Key Factors for Prohibition

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Was prohibition the key factor why US society in the 1920s was so divided? Prohibition was a key factor in the social unrest in America, It had many social impacts. Due to the unpopularity of Prohibition and people still wanting to consume alcohol even though it was now illegal, many ‘mafia’ type gangs saw an opportunity to make a lot of money by bootlegging and illegally selling alcohol and although organized crime was already around by the time Prohibition was put in place there was a rapid rise in it once Prohibition became the law of the land. Speakeasy’s were opened, these were illegal bars and clubs in which people would go to consume alcohol, these could range from tiny backrooms to large buildings with entertainment such as dancers and musical acts, The alcohol was supplied by the local gangs - It in some ways glamourized organized crime, making the idea of Gangs seem cool and a good way to make money – but gangsters would bribe the local police and government officials into ignoring the many illegal clubs in the area, They would also use fear tactics into getting the club managers and owners into paying them “protection money” this would ensure that their club was “protected” from the gangs but if they refused to pay the gangs the money they would often find their clubs blown apart or themselves being gunned down. Al Capone was one of the most famous gangster who made a profits during Prohibition, it is estimated that he made $60 million from bootlegging alone, He took control of the whole Chicago liquor industry by killing off all the competition in the area, he had a good talent for avoiding jail. The St Valentine’s Day massacre is a good example of how extreme the organized crime became, on the 14th February 1929, two rival gangs, one led by Al Capone and the other led by Bugs Moran, 7 mob associates were killed out in broad daylight on the

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