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Economic and Social Effects of Prohibition

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.2 
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There are many ways in which prohibition of alcohol consumption in the United States of


America, damaged the very economic and social aspects of American culture, that it was


designed to heal.


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


solve.”   On 16th January 1920, one of the most common personal habits and customs of


American society came to a halt. The eighteenth amendment was implemented, making all


importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing of intoxicating liquors absolutely


prohibited. This law was created in the hope of achieving the reduction of alcohol consumption,


which in turn would reduce: crime, poverty, death rates, and improve both the economy, and the


quality of life for all Americans. These goals were far from achieved. The prohibition


amendment of the 1920's was ineffective because it was unenforceable. Instead, it caused


various social problems such as: the explosive growth of organized crime, increased liquor


consumption, massive murder rates and corruption among city officials. Prohibition also hurt the


economy because the government wasn’t collecting taxes on the multi-billion dollar a year


industry.


One of the main reasons that prohibition failed, was because it was difficult to control


the mass flow of illegal liquor from various countries, mainly Canada. “Bootleggers smuggled


liquor from oversees and Canada, stole it from government warehouses, and produced their


own.” The newly established Federal Prohibition Bureau had only 1,550 agents, and “with


18,700 miles of vast and virtually unpoliceable coastline, it was clearly impossible to prevent


immense quantities of liquor from entering the country.” Not even 5% of smuggled liquor was


ever actually captured and seized from the hands of...

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