The Prohibition Era in the United States had its roots in the Temperance movement of the United States Society. This movement consisted mostly of social moralists who fought against slavery in the country and other forms of social ills. One of their targets was alcohol consumption. This movement was extremely effective in early 20th century when Prohibition was enacted.
In the 1700’s and 1800’s different causes gave rise to an epidemic in alcoholism across the country. Alcoholism also greatly contributed to spousal abuse, family dysfunction and unemployment. Citizens of America switched from drinking light alcoholic beverages like cider to much stronger drinks like rum and whiskey.
A surge in popular demand for cheap and strong alcohol caused relaxed ordinances on alcohol sales. An important figure in the movement was Benjamin Rush who wrote, “An Inquiry Into the Effects of Ardent Spirits Upon the Human Body and Mind”. This tract concluded that consistent alcohol consumption caused serious harm to one’s physical and psychological health.
Various communities across different American states formed temperance associations that banned whiskey. Many community leaders began advocating for abstinence from alcohol. One such American was Lyman Beecher who was an influential religious leader in his state of Connecticut and urged citizens to not consume liquor.
From an economic perspective, the Prohibition dealt a powerful blow to the alcoholic beverage industry in America. The Prohibition also created an intricate and powerful black market which was not taxed since it was not part of the formal economy. When the Great Depression began, the government felt pressure to increase tax revenues. In fact, President Roosevelt’s platform was repealing the 18th Amendment!
Many farmers who initially supported the ban on alcohol changed their minds when the agricultural sector took a huge hit. Historians cannot form a consensus as to whether alcohol consumption decreased during the Prohibition. Alcoholic beverages continued to be enjoyed by Americans, but the question remains just how much? However, cirrhosis which is caused by extreme alcohol consumption decreased by over 60% during the Prohibition.
Initially, public drunkenness arrested also fell. However, the numbers climbed back up to pre-Prohibition levels after a few years. However, drug addiction rose by over 40% during Prohibition. Some historians also claim that organized crime became a lot stronger during this time. Organized crime mostly dealt with prostitution and gambling before the Prohibition.
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Simply type in Beste casinobonus Nederland in google and a huge list of high quality casinos will appea! However, the mafia joined the alcohol production market during the Prohibition which proved to have been a very profitable enterprise. Another effect of the Prohibition was that rates of absenteeism plummeted. Also as saloons were closing the “macho reputation” associated with drinking died out. This made it more socially acceptable for women to consume alcohol.
In some instances, clergymen were called to assist the government in enforcing the 18th Amendment by forming vigilante groups. However, none of these efforts were particularly fruitful in stopping bootleggers from delivering alcohol to the citizens of the country. The sheer size of America made it impossible to effectively enforce the law.
On top of the size of the country, America is populated with mountains, rivers and streams and swamps that made the task that much harder. The Ku Klux Klan was another group that tried to enforce the 18th Amendment. However, despite their threats against the bootleggers, the KKK did not have the resources to put up a fight.