why was it introduced?
female reformers argued there was a clear link betwen consumption of alcohol, wife beating and child abuse. Henry Ford and other industrialists concerned it would effect effiency and outyputy at work. Religious groups saw alcohol as a root of sin
thought prohibition would re inforce the traditonal values of americans, god-fearing, hard-working, family-oreintated and thrifty and would encourage immigrants to follow.
many brewers were german , so when war was declared against germany it was seen as a patriotic issue and it was seen that the consumption and selling of alcohol in the usa was turning against your own country. As anti german feelings grew beer was nicknamed 'kaisers brew' and was banned by woodrow wilson until the war was finished.
the prohibition amendment which banned manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liqours was set by congress in jan 1919 se to com into place a year later. This amendment did not outlaw buying and drinking alcohol and did not define intoxicating liqours. in 1920 congress passed the volstead act defining anything over 0.5% alcohol intoxicated. The international revenue service became responsible for enforcing prohibiton.
effects on society?
smuggling - many people produced it illegally and many smuggled it across the borders as the USA had 30,000km of coastal and land boarders to guard so smuggling prevention became exetremely difficult.
speakeasies- illegal drinking saloons, more than 30,000 speakies in new york alone by 1930, gangsters such as al capone grew and paid off police and became popular public figures.
health - by 1926 about 50,000 people died from poisioned alcohol. increase in cases of blindness and paralysis due to alchol poisoning. Reduced amount of people killed on roads.
brewing industry - in 1915 there were 1,345 brewaries however in 1934 there were only 756.
end of prohibition - many felt if prohibition was removed it would create jobs. people would pay more in taxes thus ending depression. Roosevelt ended prohibition in december 1933.