As anything we do in our lives, there is a different choice that you could make. I could decide to go out on Saturday night with my friends, or I could stay home and play video games and watch college football. I could chose to eat healthy for a certain period of time, aka a diet, and do that until I see the results I want to see health wise, or I could eat junk food all day long. All of these things are choices we make everyday. Of course with those choices we make, there are pros and cons to those choices. If you’ve ever taken an economy class, we call that opportunity cost. If I ate junk food all day, pros are I would not have to work very hard to do so. A con of eating junk food all day is that I would gain weight quickly, and I would live a very unhealthy lifestyle. Of course when the eighteenth amendment was instituted into our constitution, our government saw the ramifications it had on our country. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones.
Some pros of prohibition were there was an instant decrease in crime, people actually used the money they earned from their jobs to support their families and not their drinking needs, workers did not show up to work drunk, and finally fewer sick days were taken. Of course we all know when people are under the influence, people tend to not make the best decisions. In result, crime went down, because of course, people were not making those bad decisions to break the law. Of course it was also good that people were not spending all of their money at the bar while they all had families to support. I have never had an immediate family member with a drinking problem, but I know people that do, and those situations are not optimal ones to be in. And certainly not saying that you can’t go out get a beer or two after work with your colleagues a couple times a week. All I am saying is once it becomes a nightly thing six or seven nights a week, and you put a considerable amount of time and money into drinking, then it could potentially get problematic. The eighteenth amendment helped stop that type of behavior to an extent. And of course it was nice that the eighteenth amendment helped stop people coming to work drunk and helped people from calling in and taking a sick day because they were drunk. When a workplace has to replace people in a timely fashion because they were sick, that can be pretty difficult on an employer.
On the other hand, there were plenty of cons that prohibition brought to the American public. Does anyone else realize that when they turn twenty-one that drinking isn’t as fun anymore? I am twenty, but when I talk to people who are older than I am, they say partying and drinking isn’t the same as it was when they were still minors and weren’t supposed to be doing it. Well, when the eighteenth amendment was established as a living part of the constitution, people still wanted to drink. The amendment didn’t stop the consumption of alcohol, but it did stop the sale and transportation of alcohol. Which then people thought “Well, if we can’t sell it, and we can’t transport it, and if we don’t know how to make it, then we’re screwed.” Which then inevitably created a disrespect for the law itself. Which then of course led to bootlegging and that of course was illegal. Not to mention people tried to make wood alcohol which killed over 10,000 people over the course of the 1920’s.
Of course any choice we make has two sides to it. There are pros and cons probably of both choices. But when we look at prohibition, depending on which side of the coin you identify with, you may think it was bad, and you may have thought it was good. Either way, we can objectively say that it did do some good things, and it created some problems for the American public. It just depends on if you think it was worth it. And at that point I would have to say it wasn’t worth it for the government to put that law into effect. To put it into law and then have it ratified, it just wasn’t it worth it in my opinion. I don’t think it should’ve been a law in the first place. Though I understand the thought behind it, and it’s a good thought in my opinion. I can see why they did it. At the same time, it is an extremely unpractical one at that, and that is putting it kindly.
Bondy, R. J., & Mattys, W. C. (1978). Canadiana Srapbook The Confident Years: Canada in the 1920’s. Pretence Hall of Canada. Ltd. Scarborough, Ontario
Cruxton, B. J., & Wilson, D. W. (2000). Spotlight Canada 4th Edition. Don Mills, Oxford University Press.
Douglas, C. G., & Patrick, L. M. (2012). Canadian Decades 1920″s. Weigl Education publishers limited.
Florin, Daniel. (2011). 12 Bad Effects of Prohibition you Should Know.
Peter, B. J., & Todd, N. B. (1998). The Century. Bouble Day (copyright)
- https://1920prohibitionelliott.weebly.com/pros-and-cons.html is the link I used for a majority of my information, and it gave me all of my bibliography sources excluding Daniel Florin.