Now with Carraway

Monday, May 10, 2010


Prohibition (a.k.a. "the noble experiment") refers to the period 1916-1933 when the 18th amendment to the US constitution banned the sale, transportation, and manufacture of "intoxicating liquors" in the United States. It was proposed by lawmakers after significant pressure from the Temperance Movement, which regarded alcohol as the source of/catalyst for numerous societal ills. It would later be supplemented by the Volstead Act, which set standards for exactly what an "intoxicating liquor" was, as well as protecting the manufacture of alcoholic spirits used in science and industry. (Left: headline announces the beginning of prohibition)

The amendment was respectful to the people of the US. It specifically did not ban the possession or consumption of liquor, leaving those already in possession of it in the clear. In addition, it exempted liquors used for religious purposes from the ban. Lastly, it provided 1 years time from ratification before the law went into effect, providing distillers and liquor merchants with time to seek alternate employment. (Right: Overzealous supporters of the law symbolically destroy a barrel of whiskey)

Prohibition had serious unexpected consequences. Chief among these is the fact that it didn't eliminate the "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors", it just moved them from the hands of legitimate businesses into those of criminal empires. Violence between competing factions of moonshiners (illegal manufacturers) and bootleggers (illegal transporters/sellers) became a serious hazard to the populace. On top of this, alcohol consumption went from a common activity to a romanticized, "forbidden fruit" luxury in stylish, illegal taverns called "speakeasies".( Below: a speakeasy)

1 comment:

  1. Very good first post, but you need to make sure to cite your sources and start working on theme. 75/75

    Ms. Donahue