"Prohibition in Early America" Describes Prohibition in America, what people did to get around the problems, and some of the acts that were instated to stop drinking.

Essay by tensix518High School, 11th grade March 2003

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There once was a time when a person couldn't sit down after a hard day's work,

and have a comforting Martini. This was a time in our history in which our government

felt as if the root of all evil was alcohol, it was their belief that if alcohol were no longer

here, then there would be no more problems. They had a good idea, but because of lack

of being able to enforce the laws brought forth under the Eighteenth amendment, it did

not make a difference whether drinking was illegal or legal.

"Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was

intended to solve." (Thorton, 15). On January 16, 1920, a part of nearly every American's

daily routine suddenly became illegal. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into effect

and all importing, exporting, transporting, and selling of alcohol products came to a

sudden halt.

Soon after this amendment came the National Prohibition Act, better known

as the Volstead Act. The Volstead act made any alcoholic product that had an alcohol

content over .5% illegal, unless it was intended for medical or religious uses. This act

also set up guidelines for enforcement (Bowen, 154). Prohibition was meant to stop the

consumption of alcohol, thereby reducing crime, poverty, death rates, and improve the

economy and the quality of life. "National prohibition of alcohol-the "noble

experiment"-was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems,

reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve the health of

Americans" (Thorton, 1).

After the Volstead Act was put into place to determine methods of enforcement,

the Federal Prohibition Bureau was formulated in order to see that the Volstead Act was

enforced; nevertheless, these laws were violated by most anyone who wanted to drink.

Bootleggers smuggled liquor from...