The Importance Of Prohibition In The 1920s

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Throughout history, there have been many ups and downs within American society. One period of time in which American economy was undoubtedly booming was the 1920s. The 1920s were a such an important period that there was even a name to define it - the Golden Age. As the Prohibition progressed, public disregard for the Prohibition led to significant changes within American culture. In addition to this, Prohibition enforcement was also occurring. Furthermore, the ongoing conflict surrounding the Prohibition affected the election of 1928 and political support for the presidential candidates at the time. During the time in which the Prohibition occurred, there was a significant amount of public disregard for the law. There was a new world…show more content…
Many people who agreed with the Prohibition participated in Prohibition enforcement, which more often than not was very violent towards people. Some groups, in particular, worked hard and were known for their efforts to enforce Prohibition. The “Volunteer Enforcement Militia”, the “Prohibition Army”, and the Ku Klux Klan, all contributed to the Prohibition enforcement. McGirr states, “Millions of crusaders believed that it was their duty not only to comply with the law but to ensure that others did so as well: ‘Every Citizen Is An Enforcer’ trumpeted one antiliquor crusader” (McGirr, 125). People believed that every American citizen should follow the law, and if they did not, the best option would be to force them to. The “Volunteer Enforcement Militia” that McGirr speaks of is one prime example of this (McGirr, 124). This group of people involved those who were a part of an even wider movement - white Protestant nationalism (McGirr, 124). Many people, such as Jane Addams believed that in a few generations Prohibition will have helped people in a positive way, such as “improved relations between husbands and wives” (McGirr, 124). The “Prohibition Army” was another group of people who were antiliquor and engaged in Prohibition enforcement (McGirr, 124). This “army” fought to bring “lawless elements” to justice as soon as possible (McGirr, 124). For example, an…show more content…
The ongoing conflict affected the election, including political support for each of the presidential candidates. Alfred Smith was running for the Democratic party, and Herbert Hoover was running for the Republican party (McGirr, 158). Herbert Hoover was endorsed by the Methodists and Protestants with the “moral” issue of Prohibition at stake (McGirr, 158). Shortly after, Alfred Smith was blasted by the same people (McGirr, 158). It was said that Smith had “effectively nullified the Constitution” and was discredited due to his religion, Catholicism (McGirr, 158). Whilst governor of New York, Smith had expressed his disapproval of Prohibition and the war on alcohol, as well as the intolerance of the wider worldview that it contained (McGirr, 159). Smith was also an Irish immigrant, and many conservatives who were antiliquor also resented immigration in America, which eventually led to the downfall of Smith’s campaign (McGirr, 162). Many people view the Election of 1928 as a breakthrough moment (McGirr, 163). A good amount of urban ethnic workers shifted loyalties to the Democratic party, which eventually reshaped the political landscape (McGirr, 163). This made way for Franklin Roosevelt’s victory in 1932 four years later, in which many more cities and the nation as a whole massively swung into the Democratic party (McGirr, 163). Many believed the Prohibition to be the rejection

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