Was World War One The Main Reason Why Prohibition

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Was world war one the main reason why prohibition was introduced? Prohibition illustrates well the contradictions in American society and politics during the period. The prohibition battle divided the nation along sharp geographic, religious and ethnic boundaries that defined much of America’s political landscape in the post-war years. There were several factors behind the decision to pass the 18th Amendment which banned the sale, transportation and manufacture of intoxicating liquor within the USA. These factors include campaigning groups such as the Anti-Saloon league and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, post-war tension, industries and religious groups. When the First World War broke out in 18914, 19 states had already passed prohibition legislation. The government during this period had passed into a stage of “progressivism”, they now believed that it was their responsibility to resolve social problems. This progressive feeling led them to control morality in the cities and to improve society. In their eyes introducing prohibition could decrease the levels of prostitution, gambling and crime in the cities .The war provided prohibitionists with more ammunition to support their cause. They argued that as the government was calling for maximum agriculture production, so how could they justify the wasteful use of grains for beer and spirits? The prohibition lobby was also able to harness anti-German wartime hostility as the majority of brewers were of German origin, and that their trade organisation helped finance the National German-American Alliance which was a potent source for the Kaiser. Alcohol was also said to undermine military discipline and the virtue of young soldiers. Although world war one played a significant factor in giving ammunition to prohibitionists such as the patriotic feeling, and the fact that the government had begun to interfere
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