The Eighteenth amendment was very controversial when it was brought up in 1917.  After the 36 required states ratified it, prohibition went in affect in 1920.  This made any drink with more then .5 percent alcohol illegal to manufacture, possess, or transport.  This had many impacts on the people of this time both for the good and some that did not turn out so good.


With prohibition came many positive impacts.  One of the things that I see being the most important is a cut down in domestic violence cases.  Another big positive outcome was no money being spent on alcohol and more money being spent on consumer goods.  Along with this was people became healthier from not drinking as much alcohol and had more money to spend on their families.  In the end there was many positive outcomes of prohibition, but the negative impacts affected the people just as much.


During this prohibition period there were many negative things that led to people just not following the law at all.  One of the biggest affects from this was the rise in bribery among public officials to have the law enforcement look the other way.  Along with this there was also a lot of jobs lost in the alcohol industry throughout the country.  Anyone from makers of alcohol to bartenders found themselves jobless because of this. The government even hurt themselves with this losing tax money for both the state and federal government.


In the end prohibition came to and end and had a impact on history as we know it.  I think with it came both positive and negative outcomes that we will always look back on.  I do not think the government should have ever passed any type of legislation like this and was something that put a lot of mistrust in the government by the people.  Overall I think this is something that we learned from and will continue to make improvements off these decisions.






Works Cited


Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: a history of the United States. Pearson, 2017 (Chapter 21.2.2)




13 thoughts on “Prohibition

  1. I also agree that there are positive and negative outcomes from the prohibition. Alcohol does bring in money for the government. But it also has a negative effect on overall health. I find it hard to think the government would ever be able to prohibit something that was once legal. In the end if someone wants something bad enough they will find a way to get it whether that is in a legal way or not!

    1. I think you make a good point about the government banning something that was previously legal, especially something like alcohol which many Americans were accustom to having at anytime they wanted. Unfortunately, after the ban was passed, people were so desperate for alcohol that they turned to illegal and most of the time more violent crimes to get their hands on the substance.

      1. Yes, after the ban they turned to either committing crimes to get alcohol or by trying to make it on their own. It also led to people trying to bribe the law enforcement at this time to let them have alcohol. Also at this time law enforcement officers were usually pretty heavy into alcohol and I’m sure it was hard for them as well.

  2. It is great hearing that it helped bring down domestic violence cases but then it also increased other crimes. Like the ones conducted by Al Capone, who was known for being relentless with his killings. I agree that the intent of the government was good but I think it turned out to do more harm than good.

      1. The government was trying to do something good but its like a double standard. You cant completely restrict something that was in full use. Of course they can but they have to be ready for the repercussions. Alot of things are going to change once they change the law. It literally works that way for everything they try to make illegal within our country.

    1. Yes bringing down domestic violence is always a great outcome. It seems that mainly all domestic violence cases happen under the influence of alcohol. Just for this reason alone was probably the best outcome of prohibition.

  3. I think the ban of alcohol was an amendment with good intentions that did not turn out the way many people hoped it would. Overall, this ban could have saved many American’s money to spend elsewhere other than alcohol and violence that is caused by alcohol. Although it did have its positives like you mentioned, the ban ultimately led to more violence, crime, and illegal production and selling of the product. I think the American people felt as if the government was taking away their fun and freedom by taking away alcohol.

  4. I agree too that there are positive and negative outcomes from the prohibition. Alcohol does bring in money for the government, but it is bad for your overall health. Also, if men are at the bars after a long day of work, it is going to effect the family at home. I sure wouldn’t be happy if my husband sat in a bar all evening. But prohibiting it sure wasn’t going to make it any better either. If it’s wanted it will be gotten, illegal or not.

  5. I agree too that there are positive and negative outcomes from the prohibition. Alcohol did bring in an ample amount of money for the government but it had many negative effects from it. The government had good intentions but it wasn’t favored by many Americans.

  6. The government had good intentions but they should have gone about it in a different way. The way they did things only made the Americans angry. But, that’s how the government is, passing laws that we don’t have a say in.

  7. Like previous attempts with the Sedition and Espionage Act, I believe the government had the best of intentions, but just did the wrong thing. Taking away something that people have always had in the past or something that they want as much as they wanted alcohol, will just lead to crime. At least when it was legal there were health standards. As before, this was a poor choice with good intent.

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