The Pros And Cons Of The 18th Amendment

973 Words4 Pages
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in January 1919 and enacted in January 1920, outlawed the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” This amendment was the culmination of decades of effort by organizations such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League, and built upon the dry laws of eighteen states. The Prohibition Amendment had profound consequences: it made brewing and distilling illegal, expanded state and federal government, inspired new forms of sociability between men and women, and suppressed elements of immigrant and working-class culture. During the Prohibition era’s first years, amendment supporters were gratified by a decline in arrests for drunkenness, hospitalization for alcoholism, and instances of liver-related medical problems. These statistics seemed to validate their campaign and to suggest that America’s future might include happier families, fewer industrial accidents, and a superior moral tone. The rise of mass disobedience to prohibition laws took the amendment’s…show more content…
The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (AAPA) and the National Organization of Women for Prohibition Reform (NOWPR) were single-issue pressure groups that opposed Prohibition upon the grounds that it provoked lawlessness; members of these organizations were business-minded elites suspicious of expanding federal power, and they put a respectable face on repeal. By 1928 the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Al Smith, spoke openly of the need to repeal the prohibition amendment. In 1931 the Wickersham Commission reported to President Herbert Hoover that the costs of prohibition were greater than its benefits, giving the amendment’s opponents an additional source of support and authority. Hoover grudgingly announced his support for repeal in
Open Document