Asses the View That the Policy of National Prohibition (1919-1933) Created Greater Problems Than It Solved.

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National Prohibition ended on the 17th of January 1933, after failing it’s aim to, “reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burdens on prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America”1. Although it caused some positive social change and aided the economy, it created large problems in health. The biggest problem was the creation of a new criminal underworld, which by 1933 was making so much money that the government decided it could be taking that it in taxes, so called it to a halt. Due to this huge criminal network, the police force had a lot more problems created for them as well. The original aim of Prohibition was to “reduce crime and corruption.1” The idea behind this was that by decreasing alcohol consumption, the amount of drunken crimes would go down, and decrease the crime rate. This is true to an extent as petty crimes such as vagrancy, swearing and mischief did decrease due to Prohibition2. However this is overshadowed by the fact that Prohibition created the problem of bootlegging. As liquor was no longer legally available, the public was practically forced by the government to turn to gangsters for supplies. As this industry was so vastly popular in demand, it became vastly profitable for gangsters, and as Thornton says, “criminal groups organise around a steady source of income provided by victimless crimes such as consuming alcohol.”3 This is a very useful source as Thornton is one of America’s experts on the economics of illegal drugs4, so he can inform about the way the criminal gangs avoided Prohibition, and sold alcohol illegally. Yet this quote is taken from an article, aimed at describing alcohol as failure, causing his judgment to be one sided. This means that such a relatively easy thing like selling alcohol caused, bootlegging to become a very competitive market amongst gangsters. Some of course
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