Age Of Prohibition Dbq Essay

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As if becoming the decade of the worst economic bust in history, usually referred to as the Great Depression, was not enough, the early 19th century also came to be known as the age of Prohibition. For many years prior to the 1920s, a growing number of people had feared the damage alcohol could do to America. After decades of work by organizations like the Anti-Saloon League, the Eighteenth Amendment was passed and prohibition started on January 16, 1919 and continued until December 5, 1933. Although it was formed to stop drinking completely, it ended up being a resounding failure. Even most Americans viewed the amendment as a challenge and proceeded to produce and consume alcohol anyway causing many law abiding citizens to become criminals…show more content…
Although drinking was generally thought to have declined during Prohibition, it had instead, continued uninterrupted in many parts of the country, particularly in large cities and areas with large foreign-born populations. Smuggling on such a large scale could not be prevented, and the illegal manufacture of liquor sprang up with such speed that authorities were hard pressed to contain it. Thus began a period of illegal drinking, lawbreaking, organized crime, and the corruption of public officials. During Prohibition there was a 24 percent increase in crime rate between 1920 and 1921. The rate of arrests on account of drunkenness rose 41 percent, and arrests for drunken driving increased 81 percent. Thefts rose 9 percent, and assault and battery incidents rose 13 percent. By the end of Prohibition the number of federal convicts had increased 561 percent and the federal prison population increased by 361 percent. All American cities experienced increases in crime, with Chicago becoming a prime example of this corruption. Speakeasies, illegal bars that often had their own bootleggers, began popping up all over the city. The bootleggers and the city officials both found the arrangements very profitable since bootleggers made money from their speakeasies and in turn paid off the police, politicians and corrupt prohibition

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