Prohibition of the 1920's

From 1919 to 1933

The 18th Amendment and The Volstead Act

The 18th Amendment to the Constitiution established the prohibition of alcohol in the United States. The Prohibition banned the manufacturing, selling, and transporting of liquor in the United States. Later, the Volstead Act was passed to enforce the ban.

"Dry" and "Wet" Counties

Dry counties are counties that had already banned the use of alcohol before the 18th amendment. This actually was a large number of the states in the U.S. The wet counties are counties that allowed the use of alcohol and allowed it to be sold in the state. Some of the counties were mixed which meant you could drink alcohol there but you couldn’t sell alcohol there. In the map, blue represents the wet counties and red and yellow represent the partially dry and heavily dry counties. This is a modern map but shows an example of the two different types of counties

The Culture of the Prohibition and Bootlegging

During Prohibition there were speakeasies and it made the alcohol underworld. It became the model for organized crime and many people were illegally drinking. Speakeasies got their name because they wanted people to keep quiet about the alcohol that

they were serving. They didn’t want people to find out about the places that served alcohol so a system of secret bars and such was created along with many ways to prevent the law from interfering in their social/partying lives.

Bootlegging was a common occurence during the Prohibition. It is the making, distributing, and selling of alcohol illegally. Many people, such as Al Capone, made money off bootlegging.

Al Capone

Al Capone was a major mob gangster during the Prohibition. Capone would host speakeasies and other social fundtions. Capone earned an estimated $100,000,000 a year from bootlegging and hosting these parties. Because there was a lot of competition between bootleggers, especially in Chacago where Capone did his business, Capone would kill anyone who became too powerful. One of his most brutal and infamous murders was the St. Valentine's Massa of his massacre. Four of Capone's men walked into a big bootlegging center dressed as police men. The men inside thought that they were being raided so they surrendered their guns amd put their hands against the wall. Using their guns, Capone's men killed all seven of the men inside. After this and many other murders, Capone became Public Enemy Number One in Chicago. However, Capone never really served much time for these crimes. When he did serve time, it was for tax evasion. After he served time for this, he retired and lived the rest of his life peacefully.

The 21st Amendment

The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment; thus, ending the Prohibition. This was the first time an Amendment was taken back and repealed. The 21st Amendment allowed the production and sale of Alcohol in the United States again.