Prohibition: The Negative Effects Of The 1920's

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Prohibition came about at a time of social and moral change for the United States eventually leading to the negative effects of the 1920’s which included the rise of the organized crime rings in major cities such as Chicago throughout the United States. Even before the passage of the National Prohibition Act or the Volstead Act in 1920, the movement towards Prohibition was strong. Starting as a state movement as early as 1916, seven states had already adopted laws against alcohol. When the United States entered the war in 1917, a partial prohibition was put in place by President Woodrow Wilson to conserve grain and limits on alcohol was put in place. Beer was not to have more than 2.75% alcohol and a full stop of production was ordered until…show more content…
(5) On January 16, 1920, the Volstead Act went into effect. The Volstead Act was an expansion of the Eighteenth Amendment and specifically defined the consequences and regulations of what alcohol was. Any beverage that was over one half of one percent of alcohol was prohibited. In addition, it was considered to be a “public and common nuisance” and carried fines up to one thousand dollars and jail times up to one year.…show more content…
Prohibition even though had a majority support in the country, was still not fully supported. In the Northeast and Midwest, was the areas that the least support was shown. It gave rise to organized crime. Bootleggers, speakeasies and rumrunners started smuggling operations that would eventually spread across the country and runs of alcohol would be made from state-to-state. The drinking problem only got worse than it had before Prohibition was enacted. Twice the number of speakeasies, the places where people had access to alcohol would double the number of legal bars before Prohibition by 1927. (1) The bars that were supposed to shut down after the Volstead Act was passed often became speakeasies. The city of Chicago was known for “blind pigs”, a closed down bar in which a front would be put up to not arouse any suspicion and would have a side door entrance with a peep hole to give anybody on the inside who was at the door without giving away their own identities.

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