Sunday, August 4, 2019

Herbert Hoover Essay -- History

Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover called it a "noble experiment." Organized crime found it to be the opportunity of a lifetime. Millions of Americans denounced it as an infringement of their rights. For nearly 14 years—from Jan. 29, 1920, until Dec. 5, 1933--the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States. The 18th, or Prohibition, Amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress and submitted to the states in 1917. By Jan. 29, 1919, it had been ratified. Enforcement legislation entitled the National Prohibition Act (or more popularly, the Volstead act, after Representative Andrew J. Volstead of Minnesota) was passed on Oct. 28, 1919, over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States not only prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors," but their importation and exportation also. It was adopted after a nationwide crusade by temperance groups, notably the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, or WCTU. The amendment was enforced and defined by Congress in the Volstead Act. One result of the amendment was that the production and sale of alcoholic beverages became the province of organized crime. Americans did not stop drinking, and their demands for liquor were met by wide-scale smuggling and bootlegging, much of which was controlled by such gangs as that led by Al Capone in Chicago. The era of prohibition ended in 1933 when the 18th Amendment was repealed by the twenty-first Amendment. The stage was set for more than a decade of combat between the "wets" and the "drys"—those determined to keep drinking and those determined to enforce the law. In retrospect, the period has been called the Roaring Twenties and the Jazz Age. New music appeared along with new dances, a new feminism, and a general relaxation of standards after the rigorous years of World War I. The new mood was in complete contrast to the moral earnestness of many Americans who were determined to remain the ideal "Victorians." Organized efforts to limit the use of alcoholic beverages began in the United States during the 1820s. A by-product of the religious revivalism sweeping the nation, Prohibition soon became part of the whole social reform movement that preceded the Civil War. The earliest reformers called for moderation, not total abstinence, but as ... ...bition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added many problems to those that it intended to solve. It came along in a social period where it was just simply unrealistic to have any success. The only beneficiaries to that of Prohibition were bootleggers, crime bosses, and the forces of big government in all of its corrupt forms. Though it failed to improve health, welfare, or America as a whole, the experiment with prohibition affords some valuable lessons. With this learning experience as part of the past, America should be able to confront its modern remnants in all of their assorted varieties. Bibliography Coffey, Thomas M. The Long Thirst: Prohibition in America, 1920-1933 New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1975. Krout, J. A. The Origins of Prohibition, New York City: Russell & Russell, 1996. Lee, Henry. How Dry We Were, Enlewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1963. Rorabaugh, W. J. The Alcoholic Republic- An American Tradition, New York Oxford University Press, 1979. Turner, George Kibbe. "The City of Chicago, A Study of Great Immoralities," McClure’s Magazine, April 1927 (vol. 28). Warburton, Clark. "The Results of Prohibition," Auburn Press, 1996.

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