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The Prohibition Amendment Essay

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The Prohibition Amendment, which took effect on January 16, 1920, outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the United States and its territories, until its repeal on December 5, 1933. Today, Prohibition is often referred to as the “Noble Experiment” because it was created to reduce the adverse effects that alcohol had on families and society. Excessive consumption of alcohol, primarily by men, often resulted in domestic violence, poor work performance, and wasteful spending of wages on alcohol, which were needed to support families. Although the Prohibition Amendment did decrease alcohol-related consequences, ultimately this legislation should not have been enacted because it led to more organized crime and an increase of economic problems.
Prohibition was positive because it helped to reduce alcohol-related consequences. The amendment was influential in reducing deaths and illnesses caused by the consumption of alcohol. Between 1915 and 1925 the death rate from cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease caused by alcoholism, declined by almost fifty percent (Dills and Miron). Additionally, Prohibition caused death rates from alcoholism to fall by eighty percent from pre-war levels by 1921 (McNeil and Mintz). This decrease in deaths and illnesses was important because it meant that the negative effects that alcohol had on the health of the country were diminishing because of Prohibition. Despite this positive impact, the lack of regulation on alcohol increased the amount of poisonous industrial alcohol that was distributed resulting in over fifty-thousand deaths by 1927 as well as hundreds of thousands of paralysis cases (Lieurance 65). Even though Prohibition was helping to reduce deaths and illness, it was also...


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...n Film Project,
2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. < http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/
unintended-consequences/>.
Lieurance, Suzanne. The Prohibition Era in American History. Berkeley Heights: Enslow
Publishers, (2003) : 65-78, 93. Print.
McNeil, S., & Mintz, S. “Prohibition”. Digital History. n.p. 2013. Web. 07 January 2014.
< http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3383>.
Okrent, Daniel. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. New York: Scribner, (2010) : 255.
Print.
Slavicek, Louise Chipley. The Prohibition Era: Temperance in the United States. New York
Infobase Publishing, (2009) : 29-32. Google Book. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. .



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