Publication Date

Fall 2014

Faculty Supervisor

Marsh Jones


Many in the early twentieth century believed alcohol to be responsible for the many problems plaguing America. Groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League pressed for prohibition laws banning the sale, manufacture and consumption of alcohol in the belief that it would reduce unemployment, domestic violence and poverty. With a massive push that was decades in the making, the Eighteenth Amendment is passed and prohibition takes effect in January 1920. With the desire to drink still looming over everyone, the illegal alcohol or moonshining business boomed, causing more problems in America and not fixing the old ones. The rate of alcoholism rose, and many even began dying off from the illegal poisonous alcohol they were consuming. Prohibition is when the infamous gangster Al Capone came to light, with many others like him murdering others to make a buck. Prohibition ended as a failure due to many reasons. The American’s determination to get drunk and make money overwhelmed the laws passed to prevent it. How illegal alcohol, money, and the people pulling the strings on both sides ended prohibition before it was even able to start will be the focus of my paper.


History 105


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