absolut Failure Essay

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The 1920’s was a time of major social change in the United States. The social changes during this period are reflected in the laws and regulations that were implemented. One of the most prominent examples of this was prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, or the Volsted act as it is also know, was implemented to eliminate the use of alcohol in the United States. In doing this, the advocates of prohibition hoped to also eradicate the social problems associated with alcohol. “It was an attempt to promote Protestant middle-class culture as a means of imposing order on a disorderly world”(Dumenil 226). However, this goal of keeping social order through not consuming alcohol, was not reached during the years of prohibition, or…show more content…
The government defined intoxicating liquor as anything having an alcoholic content of more then .5%. However this excluded alcohol used in religious or medical purposes. With the passing of this Amendment, the temperance movement in the United States had won a major victory. They saw the implementation of prohibition as the key to freeing American from the fiery vices of alcohol. So began the prohibition era. At the onset of prohibition, alcohol use in the United States did decline. “It did cut alcohol consumption, perhaps by as much as thirty percent, and was more effective in the early years (1919-1922)” (Dumenil 233). However, this reduction in consumption was not long lasting. “Seldom has a law been more flagrantly violated. Not only did Americans continue to manufacture, barter, and possess alcohol; they drank more of it”(Bowen 154). One of the reasons for this was because prohibition was so hard to enforce. Partly this was because of the poor wording of the Amendment. The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale, import, export, manufacture, and transport of alcohol, but it failed to specifically make purchasing alcohol or its use a crime. According to David E. Kyvig, “This allowed continued possession of intoxicants obtained prior to prohibition, provided that such beverages were only for personal use in one’s own home”(22). This loophole in the Amendment was not on the side
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