Sunday, April 7, 2019

American Prohibition Essay Example for Free

American breastwork Essay Also cognize as the Volstead Act, named after Re commonan Senator Andrew J. Volstead, the National Prohibition Act was designed to improve the morality of the nation. However, prohibition, the grand Experiment, failed miserably in this respect. Focus/Argument Prohibition in fact failed to bolster morals as hoped, tho instead led to an increase in violent crime and caused morals to slip overdue to reactionary protest from the quite a little. Paper should focus on the major cities of the twenties a lot(prenominal) as Chicago, new York, and St. Louis.Special attention should be focused on the mafia, gangland violence, and bootlegging, as vigorous as the disseminate of speakeasies and the resulting Jazz culture (flappers, corruption, etc). Introduction The so-called Temperance movement, which in fact opposed temperate and prudent enjoyment of intoxicant beverages, proposed that to defeat the disease of alcohol dependency among the few allegedl y required abstemiousness from the some(prenominal). 1 This was the rationale which en suitabled the 18th amendment to the U. S. character to be passed.Also known as the Volstead Act, named after its antecedent the Republican senator Andrew J. Volstead, the National Prohibition Act was designed to improve the morality of the nation. However, prohibition, the Noble Experiment, failed miserably in this respect. 2 In fact, it caused an increase in crime and gave impetus to violence on a shell non seen since the days of the old west. Morality also became increasingly lax as speakeasies, Jazz, sexual promiscuity, and flappers mushroomed crossways the nation, giving full meaning to the term, The Roaring Twenties. Coupled with post-war prosperity with people having more money and measure off than ever before, they looked for things to spend their earnings on as well as for ways to gasconade off steam. 3 The rise of popular legend stemming from the Prohibition years in the form of movies, books, and people such as mobster Al Capone and Treasury agent Elliott Ness, have had a lasting carry on on popular culture through modern times. The Prohibition decade was more than a prohibition on alcohol consumption it was a prohibition on morals which never has been repealed.American Prohibition Moral Decay and Corruption in the Roaring Twenties The 1920s went by various monikers such as the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. It was a time of prosperity for most Americans. Scientific and technological improvements increased industrial production. The automobile, electric appliances, chemical and construction industries expanded tremendously during the 1920s. People were generally able to submit to luxuries. The 1920s was also an era of wild gaiety for part of the population. Novels of the period stressed the rise of the y breakh against the traditional values of their p arnts.These groups from the urban areas came to seem typical of the 1920s though actually umptee n more people were leading conservative lives. Women had been presumptuousness the right to vote in 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. For the first time, women wore their dresses short and bobbed their hair many wore make-up and smoked cigarettes. They became regulars in the dance scenes in clubs and cabarets where jazz was played. They were called flappers. Some imitated the movie stars they saw in silent files like the glamorous Gloria Swanson and Norma Talmadge and swooned over Rudolf Valentino. public lecture pictures were first introduced in 1927 featuring the Jazz Singer. Jazz music was played everywhere and was most popular in the urban area of New York as it seemed to embody the vitality of the city. Speakeasies sprouted everywhere. Its name bespoke quiet as these private clubs admonish its customers to speak easy or softly or the police superpower herar. Charles A. Lindbergh was a completely different type of national hero. In May 27, t his young man from the midwestern United States became the first person to fly alone, nonstop, across the Atlantic Ocean. 4 Prohibition was partly responsible for the daring, fool sulleny spirit of the twenties.An amendment to the Constitution was submitted to the commonwealths on December 18, 1917 and on January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment was declared ratified, to wit Section 1. after one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. 5 On January 16, 1920, the National Prohibition Act or, otherwise known as the Volstead Act, went into effect.The conservatives had long been job for temperance arguing that alcohol is the source of all ills. Science was used to give march that alcohol was linked to vices, diseases, suicide and leads to early death. The employers encouraged total abstinence so as to minimize industrial accidents and at the same time increase productivity. The religious community associated alcohol with evil. The womens group title it detrimental to family relations. 6 With the entry of the United States in World War I, they quickly gained supporters due to the exploitation resentment against anything German which included beer.Moreover, patriotism called for self-sacrifice and anyone who did not remain sober and defend the rude were met with hostility. During the war, the manufacture of beer and liquor had been prohibited to conserve grain and by July 1919, the sale of liquor had been stopped. With such public sentiment, the prohibitionists gained ground and the amendment was passed. 7 The day before the Volstead Act was to take effect, the Anti-Saloon League of New York make an affirmatory prediction by stating that, Tonight, John Barleycorn makes his last will and testament. Now for an era of clean idea and clean living 8 Instead, the opposite took place. Almost immediately, violations across the country were being reported. Police were carrying out raids of establishments who persisted in selling liquor. The law was observed mostly in the Midwest where the dry movement had begun, plainly in the large eastern cities the laws were flagrantly broken. As well, there were not enough Federal and state agents to enforce prohibition. In fact, now that is was illegal, more people began to drink more than ever. Such circumstances make Al Capone self-righteous enough to proclaim thatI make my money by supplying a public need. If I break the law, my customers, who number hundreds of the best people in Chicago, are as evil as I am. The only difference between us is that I sell and they buy. 9 Fortunes were made in bootlegging or the manufacture and sale of liquor illegally. Criminals organized mobs or syndicates to operate in certain areas. Al Capone was one of these of boss es. He held sway in Chicago and Cicero, Illinois, with an estimated 750 paid gunmen. Crime became large-minded business in other large cities, too. There were many kidnappings for ransom.Among them was Charles Lindberghs son who in 1932, was not only kidnapped but was also murdered. When prohibition ended in February 16, 1933 with the passing of the Twenty-first Amendment to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment, the mobs turned to protection rackets, slot machines and other gambling and the distribution of narcotics. 10 To be fair, the prohibition did unvarnished benefits though only for a short period. This could probably be because liquor was still relatively hard to find and when one did find it, the price of violation was high.This does not refer to the penalties to be imposed when caught but that the cost of liquor had survive so prohibitive that the average American earner could not afford a glass of cocktail. The prohibition had no effect on the rich, however, as they continued to drink well while the poor drank badly. This led to further divisiveness as it was becoming classifies as a class legislation. 11 In 1920, the year the law came into effect, there was a significant drop in the arrests for drinking which was nevertheless lower than 1918 and 1919 when Americans were voluntary abstaining from liquor due to wartime restrictions and patriotism.By 1921, however, arrests for drunkenness had once again risen with no indications of declining. This data can be seen in a 1926 hatful of 384 municipalities that was prepared by Stanley Shirk, the research handler of The Moderation League, Inc. The results as it was presented to the Senate Committee Hearing were as follows 12 Year Number of Arrests for Intoxication in 384 Communities Year Number of Arrests for Intoxication in 384 Communities 1914 523,049 1920 233,837 1915 528,347 1921 317,492 1916 557,634 1922 425,353 1917 542,039 1923 499,322 1918 423,048 1924 515,199 1919 309,760 1925 533,483The World Leag ue against Alcoholism likewise presented its own survey results in the same Senate Committee Hearing which compiled the records of 514 cities and towns. 13 Year Arrests for boozing per 10,000 Population Year Arrests for Drunkenness per 10,000 Population 1914 169 1920 60 1915 165 1921 84 1916 176 1922 111 1917 169 1923 126 1918 124 1924 127 1919 97 These figures also showed an increase in arrests after 1920, the bone-dry(prenominal) year, but it was contended that this was more due to increased police activity. The anti-Alcoholism League, at that time, can merely give a forecast that arrests will go down in 1925 and beyond.They pointed out that compared with the figures from 1914 to 1917 of the pre-prohibition years, recorded arrests after 1920 were still much lower. Regardless, whether we look at it from the wet or dry statistics, the data showed that the number of arrests for drunkenness was not receding. This gave evidence that for the primary objective of the National Prohibitio n Act was not met and could not be met. The numbers from 1918 to 1921 are also quite notable as it implied a change in the attitudes of the general population towards alcohol.By the time prohibition was put in effect, the wartime fervor seems to have already waned, abstinence had overstayed its welcome, drinking was no longer met with social disapproval and people were clamoring for a drink notwithstanding the law. Institutions and agencies were likewise passably tolerant of transgressions of the law and would accept any loophole around it. In courtrooms of Wyoming and San Francisco, judges and jury gave much gross profit to the defense to the point of allowing the evidence to be drunk which led to the technicality of lack of evidence against the bootlegger defendant and the cases were thrown out.Doctors could and did prescribe up to three pints of vitamin-enhanced whiskey which was in accordance with a independent Court ruling. Government beer was prescribed by the gallons for m edicinal purposes. 14 As a result, it had soon become a law that nobody wanted to obey thus making it harder to enforce. Thereupon, a general acquaintance followed that crime was prevalent. Foremost among these are convictions for crime which did not used to be treated as criminal before the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment.This perception of riot was compounded by the sensational publicity given to prohibition violations which had become daily news stories in the papers. In an age where cinema was most influential, many movies were produced that depicted a lot of drinking not by the villains but by the heroes and heroines. 15 big people have likewise testified before the Senate to express their opinion against the Volstead Act and argue for revision. They aimed to prove that lawlessness had in fact increase since it was passed.One of these opponents of prohibition was Michigan politician Charles S. Wood who contended that the statistics for the arrests on drunkenness would ac tually have been much greater except that people were doing their drinking inside homes and hotels rather than in saloons hence there is little chance for them to be caught drunk in the streets. 16 This can be corroborated by the increasing number of deaths recorded for cirrhosis of the liver. Alcoholic admissions in one New York hospital as recorded in the 1930s were over 1000 a year. Apparently, they became alcoholics during prohibition. 17

No comments:

Post a Comment