Prohibition

Alcohol is Bad

Background

Prohibition was a constitutional ban on alcohol sales, production, and transportation. Prohibition began in 1920 and was a very controversial issue.

Details

During Prohibition, many people would hoard alcohol from before prohibition. This was drinking alcohol in your own home was legal but only the rich were able to amass enough alcohol to last the duration of Prohibition. Therefore, many people turned to making alcohol illegally.

Positive Effects of Prohibition

  • Prohibition cut alcohol consumption in half, and alcohol consumption remained low until the 1940's.
  • Jazz rapidly became more popular during prohibition.
  • Women became more welcome in bars.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous was founded.

Negative Effects of Prohibition

  • Alcohol industrialization was reversed.
  • $3,000,000,000 worth of untaxed income from illegal alcohol production.
  • Winemakers left the country.

Major Increase of Organized Crime

Organized crime drastically increased during prohibition because making illegal wine was so profitable. Crime rose by 24%. A massive black market for alcohol also emerged. Police department costs also rose 11.4%.

Prevention

The government tried to prevent people from using ethyl alcohol to make alcoholic beverages. They did this by adding poisons to the ethyl alcohol to deter people from drinking it. Chemists were then hired by bootleggers to make the alcohol safe again. by the end of Prohibition, as many as 10,000 people died by illegally drinking poisoned ethyl alcohol.
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How People Got Around Prohibition.

Grape farmers sold liquid and semi-solid grape concentrates with instructions on how to prevent the grape concentrate from turning into wine. Many shopkeepers kept specific ingredients for making wine in their shops. Some religious officials were allowed to purchase wine for religious purposes.
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