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Prohibition And Organized Crime In The United States Of America (Research Paper Sample)


This is a Polemic Assignment. Must be 1500 words (at least half is based on footnotes and the rest is a fake primary source you create, in this case a letter to an editor for example). Double space the fake primary source and single space the footnotes. Include a title and brief description of the time place and format of the piece. You must use 5 academic/scholarly secondary sources. It must be a stance on issue or a debate on alcohol with relation to the prohibition in the United States in the 1920-30 era.


Prohibition and Organized Crime
The 1920s up to the early 1930s came with one of the most bizarre of prohibitions that the country has ever experienced. Referred to as the prohibition era, this was a time that alcohol was banned in the United States. This was a time when the society was suffering from alcoholism, political corruption and even family violence. As a result, there was a rise in religious revivalism, which geared much of their efforts towards abolitionism, temperance and perfectionism in the human beings. This is a movement that had been brewing since the early 1820s and only came to be in the early 1920s. Some of the traces of temperance could be traced back to the 1800s where the church played a significant role in popularizing the developments and the ideologies (Blocker, David and Ian). The prohibition era came into effect with the ratification of the 18th amendment of the US constitution. The amendment led to the ban on manufacture, transportation and sale of any intoxicating liquors. Later on there came the Volstead Act to assist with the enforcement of the temperance (Stelzer). However, the irony of the efforts brought in the society an even more complex problem and social nightmare that the church had not anticipated, the rise of organized crime.
The prohibition era is a time between the 1920s and the 1930s, when alcohol production, transportation, importation and even sales were prohibited. Lasting approximately 13 years, this marked one of the infamous histories that have shaped America to what it is today. Temperance, stated in the early 1800s and had been building momentum over the years. Much of the support came from the church where religious revivalism was intense, pushing for human perfectionism and abolitionist ideals. At the time, much of the campaigns cited that alcoholism was a real problem and family violence was on the rise. At the same there was some element of political corruption with most of the people driving opposition agendas. By the year 1833 there were more than 6000 local societies across the United States. The move to get the legal backing for the temperance started in parts of Massachusetts, where the prohibition of spirits started with banning of sales less than 15 gallons. It was in Maine that the first prohibition laws was passed in 1846. This ushered a wave of legislations before the American civil war came into play. Later on came the eighteenth amendment of the US constitution (Ray). This took place in December of 1917 where both chambers of the US congress passed the law banning the production, transportation, importation and sale of alcohol. Ratification would then come in 1919, when the three fourths of the states in America came on board. Much of the conception of the amendment was associated with the Anti-Saloon League leader Wayne Wheeler. However, with the slow enforcement, there was a need for an enforcement law and this came in the form of the Volstead Act. This is referred to as the National Prohibition Act. The law was enacted in the year 1919 and took effect in the following year. This worked in tandem with the Eighteenth Amendment as a part of the enforcing legislations. Andrew Volstead the then chairman of the House of Judiciary Committee, had been the key element behind the bill and finally behind the prohibition. The president, Woodrow Wilson, however, vetoed the bill only for it to be vetoed back into law by congress (Ray).
The fall of the Prohibition
There was a lot of support from the church for the prohibition of alcohol. Most of the church leaders pushing for the prohibition cited the idea that, the society was a better pace without intoxication. People were able to live a better and even healthier life if they av...

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