Prohibition: The action of forbidding something, especially by law. (Oxford University Press, 2019)
The 18th Amendment went into effect in 1920. Which made it illegal to sell, manufacture, or transport intoxicating liquors. Even though all except 2 states voted in favor of the 18th Amendment, there were still people who did not agree. This lead to a big disagreement between neighbors, friends, and even family members.
“Wet” vs “Dry” was the big disagreement in the United States. The “Wets” did not agree with the 18th amendment, compared to the “Drys” were for the Prohibition of liquors. There were positive and negative elements on both sides. To every story, event, disagreement, and matter there is always more than one side. As well as positive and negatives to each solution or scenario. Those who wanted the United States to be “Dry” (no liquor). From their viewpoint, they saw how if liquor was not so easily accessible fewer people would drink, and people would drink less. With the hopes, of people spending more time with their families instead of going to the bars. Sitting at home drinking/getting drunk and ignoring the rest of the family. Sometimes alcohol causes aggressive behavior. With alcohol being illegal, domestic violence had the possibility of decreasing.
On the other hand, many people were dependent on alcohol. It was their way of soothing the pain, being able to ignore the world for a bit. These people were not in favor of the 18th amendment; They wanted to keep the United States “Wet”. Not everyone who wanted to keep their alcohol and liquor was alcoholics.
Reasons, why they wanted to keep their alcohol:
-Freedom; They thought it was their right to drink what they wanted when they wanted. The people didn’t think the government should have that much control over their daily routine.
-Simple Enjoyment; For hundreds of years, alcohol has been a drink for celebrations.
-Protection; Many families did not want their teenagers to have access to alcohol, and be getting into trouble.
So some would say the alcohol should be illegal. However, making something illegal will not make the problem go away. A problem had arisen because the alcohol was illegal the regular alcohol was not available, people would find be buying them from wherever they could find it. With the government not involved it was not being regulated or tested. The sellers were not held accountable for making and selling safe products. Sometimes the buyer would get more than they had bargained for.
In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt became president and made the motion for the 21st amendment to be made. Leading to the repeal of the 18th amendment, and make alcohol legal once again.
Was it right for the government to pass this “moral” legislation? I do not have a direct answer. I believe there needs to be a balance. The government should provide structure for the people, but should not be able to control all aspects of people’s life. The people should be able to have a say in what they do with their own life.