Prohibition Essay Introduction

There were a number of loopholes to exploit: pharmacists could prescribe whiskey for medicinal purposes, such that many pharmacies became fronts for bootlegging operations; industry was permitted to use alcohol for production purposes, much of which was diverted for drinking instead; religious congregations were allowed to purchase alcohol, leading to an uptick in church enrollment; and many people learned to make liquor in their own homes.

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Prohibition, legal prevention of the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States from 1920 to 1933 under the terms of the Eighteenth Amendment.

Although the temperance movement, which was widely supported, had succeeded in bringing about this legislation, millions of Americans were willing to drink liquor (distilled spirits) illegally, which gave rise to bootlegging (the illegal production and sale of liquor) and speakeasies (illegal, secretive drinking establishments), both of which were capitalized upon by organized crime.

Anti-Saloon League, the Eighteenth Amendment passed in both chambers of the U. Congress in December 1917 and was ratified by the requisite three-fourths of the states in January 1919.

Its language called for Congress to pass enforcement legislation, and that was championed by Andrew Volstead, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who engineered passage of the National Prohibition Act (better known as the Neither the Volstead Act nor the Eighteenth Amendment was enforced with great success.

Their favourite sources of supply were the Bahamas, Cuba, and the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, off the southern coast of Newfoundland. The bootleggers anchored in that area and discharged their loads into high-powered craft that were built to outrace U. Bootleggers had other major sources of supply, however.

A favourite rendezvous of the rum-running ships was a point opposite Atlantic City, New Jersey, just outside the three-mile (five-km) limit beyond which the U. Among those were millions of bottles of “medicinal” whiskey that were sold across drugstore counters on real or forged prescriptions.In 1929 the onus of enforcement shifted from the IRS to the Department of Justice, with the Prohibition Unit being redubbed the Bureau of Prohibition.With Eliot Ness at the helm, the Bureau of Prohibition mounted a massive offensive against organized crime in Chicago.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!Indeed, entire illegal economies (bootlegging, speakeasies, and distilling operations) flourished.The earliest bootleggers began smuggling foreign-made commercial liquor into the United States from across the Canadian and Mexican borders and along the seacoasts from ships under foreign registry. That type of smuggling became riskier and more expensive when the U. Coast Guard began halting and searching ships at greater distances from the coast and using fast motor launches of its own.As a result, the Prohibition era also is remembered as a period of gangsterism, characterized by competition and violent turf battles between criminal gangs.Nationwide Prohibition came about as a result of the temperance movement.The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified in the hopes of eliminating alcohol from American life. To the contrary, people intent on drinking found loopholes in the newly passed anti-liquor laws that allowed them to slake their thirst, and, when that didn’t work, they turned to illegal avenues to do so.An entire black market—comprising bootleggers, speakeasies, and distilling operations—emerged as a result of Prohibition, as did organized crime syndicates which coordinated the complex chain of operations involved in the manufacture and distribution of alcohol.

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