Evaluating the Success of the Enforcement of Prohibition in the United States

Evaluating the Success of the Enforcement of Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition was the banning of alcohol in the U.S.A. It was the 18th amendment and was known as the national prohibition act. It was also given the name the Volstead act because it was put into practice by Andrew.J.Volstead. Prohibition had its up?s and down?s. It was successful in many ways but was also a failure according to other matters. One of the reasons due to which prohibition failed was because of the size of America. It was a vast amount of land therefore made it difficult to patrol. It had a large population which gave another reason for difficulty in patrolling. There were two oceans (Pacific & Atlantic) bordering the east and west and the north and south were bordered by Mexico and Canada. This gave more chance of alcohol to be smuggled into the country. This was a long-termed reason as U.S.A has always been largely spread. Despite the country being largely spread the government wanted to enforce prohibition so they brought in agents. These agents were part of the prohibition bureau.
These agents duty was to stop alcohol being smuggled into the country. Each agent was given 200,000 sq miles of land to guard. This gave a loss to them as this was too much land to guard at the same time all round. Many agents were unsuccessful because they were bribed with money. The reason this bribe worked was because they were being badly paid as it was by the government so by accepting this bribe they would be gaining profit. The majority were bribed with money or beaten up if not given life threats. Not all agents would give in some stayed firm and abided to their duties and many of these also succeeded. This was a short term cause as they were set up due to the prohibition being introduced and stopped when the 21st amendment came into act. Leading on from this was the attitude of the government to this movement of prohibition. They wanted to enforce prohibition because America was all well at the time and they didn?t want any risks of this to be spoilt. They felt alcohol was a cause for statistics and risks rising. They felt prohibition was needed in order for safety. This was a short term cause because it was the conditions during the roaring twenties alone. This was a good idea but wasn?t successful because of the other failures. The government started to see that quantities of liquor were being smuggled into their country and so they decided on bringing in fines. If you were caught with illegal liquor you would be fined. If you could not pay off this fine then you would be taken to court. After you r case if you still couldn?t pay off this fine you would be excused this maybe because you are unable to afford this. This did have a slight effect but wasn?t a major reason of succession as it did fail in some ways. This was also a short term cause as they were only fined for illegal liquor and so when they out the 21st amendment into practice this fine would no longer be needed. Another major reason which failed to succeed and caused difficulties into enforcing prohibition was because of the gangsters at the time. Big gangs made and sold alcohol and if needed they would kill their rivals. Gangsters would threaten business people and these people had to be careful and keep safe from them so that their offices were not taken over. The leader of this organisation was Al Capone he was responsible for over 500 murders and was also the one who lead the ?Valentines Day Massacre? this was the event where they disguised themselves as police and murdered seven members of the Bug?s Moran Gang. This took place on 14th February 1929. He bribed many police men even though he was ?Public Enemy Number One.? In Chicago 250 gangsters were killed in between 1920 and 1927 this was due To Al Capone?s movements. Al Capone not only did this he would also work round speakeasies. They were taken over by many gangs, under the word of Al Capone. When everybody called him a Racketeer he told them that they were judging him wrong he was merely a Businessman. His thoughts concluded the fact that he felt what he was doing was in favour of people and he had a positive approach to prohibition. Al Capone made a lot of profit from his illegal liquor and beer sales. He made up to $60 Million which overpowered dancehalls and also gambling dens and dog tracks. This was only from his illegal liquor sales let alone the other things which he did. He gained another $10 million a year from Racketeering. This was where businessmen and shopkeepers This was a long term cause as Al Capone was bad blooded since the beginning and continued to be also after prohibition. He was given 11 years life sentence after he was found guilty. Other than Al Capone there were many other bootleggers who smuggled illegal liquor into the country. They would transport them from Canada and overseas and would be successful in bringing them into the country as they would bribe the agents which guarded the coastline. They would hide their alcohol in things such as hip flasks, false books, hollow canes and anything else they could find. The bootlegging business was so immense that customers could easily obtain alcohol. Offices were usually found in basements or office buildings. People were only able to enter if they were admitted members. These bootleggers became rich and successful. This was a short term cause as they would only smuggle illegal liquor due to the prohibition laws when these laws were released they dint have to smuggle anymore. Another illegal liquor procedure was speakeasies. These were illegal bars. The amount of speakeasies rose to such an extent there were more speakeasies than there were bars before prohibition. By 1926 there were 30,000 speakeasies in the city. They would have names such as ?Dizzy club? or ?Sligo Slasher?s.? Anybody who knew the password could get into these or would have to knock and give a special code, although the prices were sky high but the quality of the alcohol itself was to a high standard. These speakeasies got their produce from bootleggers. Another produce they sold was ?near-beer? which was beer without alcohol. This was a short term cause as they were set up during prohibition as people wanted their supply of liquor although it was illegal. These people made it difficult to enforce prohibition. There was success and failures both of them in the consuming of alcohol. The drop in alcohol related deaths before prohibition quickly rose during prohibition. Arrests for drunkenness increased by 41 percent while arrests for drink driving increased 81 percent during prohibition. There was no decrease in prohibition statistics. Although there was a very slight decrease in consumption according to Irving Fisher and Clark Warburton the amount of consumption largely increased. The poor people couldn?t afford to buy the liquor from speakeasies or bootleggers and so they decided on making their own produces. They would make their own illegal liquor in the confines of their own homes. The name given to this type of alcohol was called ?Moonshine?. Also many people used home brewed gin and added many other ingredients to it to make it consumable. Many people drank this knowing the fact that it was harmful, thus led to many deaths, serious poisoning and blinding. There was a rise in death rates due to this alcohol poisoning. It went up from 98 in 1920 to 760 in 1926. This was a short term cause as it was only produce regarding the fact that there was no other way for these poor people to get hold of any liquor which was affordable for them. Leading on from this was the consuming of alcohol from medicinal industries. There were restrictions when you were prescribed a medicine such as only one pint was allowed per person in a ten day period but these rules were blatantly ignored. The sales of medicinal alcohol which is 95% pure alcohol, increased by 400% between 1923 and 1931. People would rob industries where medicines where made and reproduce their own liquor from these small quantities that they would have. Thus was a short term cause also as they would only approach such circumstances due to the ban of alcohol. The amount of people who consumed alcohol that had been reproduced either from the medicinal industries or the fat that it was a home made produce grew. As this amount of people drinking this kind of alcohol produces started rising the amount of deaths also started to rise. This was due to the fact that people had become obsessed with illegal liquor due to their anger and frustration of the laws, not only that but they couldn?t let go of their previous habits. Many deaths occurred because the alcohol which was reproduced was harmful to people in many ways. They would get serious poisoning or it would cause blindness. Also there were many deaths because people had actually cut down on drinking which led to Cirrhosis of the liver although this was a small portion of all the deaths that occurred. Overall many deaths occurred due to the conditions during the 1920?s abiding to the prohibition laws and in disobeying them. This was a long term cause as alcohol caused many deaths before prohibition as well as during it and after prohibition. Another spectacular reason was that people would be feeling that this law was against their personal liberty and freedom. They felt that they should b allowed to consume what they want and not be given a law against it. It is like they felt someone was stopping them from a habit which is not right. They felt that this is what the government were doing to them taking away from them their freedom of consummation. One of the other reasons due to which prohibition failed was because of the condition in America at the time. This was as the great depression peoples incomes fell and the state of America worsened day by day. This gave a boost into which prohibition failed and many other minor reasons in this time period gave a reason into which they felt prohibition laws should be repealed. The great depression was a short term cause as it was. Also the Wall Street crash occurred at the time which made situations much worse. The hope that brewing industries would come back and so people may get offered jobs in such places was a reason to which the 21st amendment was thought about. Therefore in 1933 the 18th amendment was repealed and the 21st amendment was put forward. Overall concluding from all the above points it seemed that prohibition was an act which was wrong and failed greatly. This caused a great loss to America in many ways. It led to illegitimate drinking from medicines and home made produces. Prohibition expected to reduce crime but rather it increased the crime statistics. Also health statistics rose. Literally saying that this was a total disaster and such an act should not be considered in future.

Evaluating the Success of the Enforcement of Prohibition in the United States 9.2 of 10 on the basis of 997 Review.