Prohibition: Was it good for America?


 

In the modern-day United States, us citizens get to decide what we can and can not do, to an extent. If you are over the age of twenty-one, you can go out to the bar on a Friday night to have a couple of drinks with your friends to watch the game or to just talk. These are basic human rights, if you want to do this you can. In the beginning of the 1920s, the U.S. government ratified the 18th Amendment to the U.S. constitution, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors, ushered in a period in American history known as Prohibition. Many people at this time thought this was morally wrong to do. There were many pros and many cons to prohibition, but in the end, was it all worth it?

The cons of prohibition were many people still wanted to drink, it’s hard to enforce a law on millions of people. We see this today, people under the age of twenty-one still find a way to get their hands-on alcohol. In the beginning, there was a decrease in crime because people weren’t intoxicated and making terrible decisions, but the Prohibition era encouraged the rise of criminal activity associated with bootlegging. Bootlegging was the illegal production or distribution of liquor. People began to smuggle alcohol from other countries like Canada or from somewhere overseas, soon enough people discovered their own way of producing alcohol. The government also lost millions of dollars that could have been made on alcohol taxes.

On the other hand, there were some pros to prohibition, the crime rate dropped drastically. When people are consuming alcohol, we know that people tend to not make the best decisions, so without alcohol, there would be less crimes and a lot less bar fights. The health of people can improve when not consuming alcohol. Alcohol can do damage to people’s kidneys and livers and can eventually lead to death. Workers brought their paychecks home to their families instead of the bar, alcohol is expensive. Workers also worked more efficiently, and workers missed fewer days because they weren’t too drunk.

The United States government made the choice to establish the 18th Amendment to try and help people with alcohol abuse and to help them spend their money wisely, but in the end, it just made more problems. The U.S. proposed the 21st Amendment which would repeal the 18th Amendment and end Prohibition in 1933. Prohibition was morally wrong, and the U.S. government should not have tried to force some people’s way of living. Every should have a choice on what they decide to spend their money on or what they decide to do with their Friday night. Was prohibition a good thing for our nation? I think it caused more issues and created more chaos than good.

Sources

Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: A History of the United States. Pearson, 2017.

https://1920prohibitionelliott.weebly.com/pros-and-cons.html

https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/prohibition

3 thoughts on “Prohibition: Was it good for America?

  1. There certainly were both pros and cons to prohibition. It did good things for our society, and it did bad things for society. I know the government would not enacted the law if it didn’t think the law would do any good. Though I do think that the intended purpose was a good thought, but you have to know if you’re the American government that if people want to drink, they’re going to find a way. Nice blog, well done.

  2. Nice perspective. I believe that prohibition was a very reasonable thing to put in place during the 1920’s. The US had intentions when they put this amendment in place, do you think their intentions had helped the people of that time? Do you think that the government came up with a bad way to deal with the situation at hand?

  3. I feel like prohibition was the wrong way to solve the alcohol problem in America at the time. While the government had good intentions, the way it was enforced was bad and caused issues. I think that if the government had tried to help the people not want alcohol anymore by open government funded rehabilitation centers, people would be willing to get help and would control the alcohol problem. There could be other ways the government could’ve dealt with the problem, but I think that prohibition was not the correct way to go.

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