Prohibition: Impact and Effects



President Harding had alcohol delivered to the White House

Judge Harry Trumann, played cards with friends and drank alcohol

Al Capone- Control of people- politicians/congressman

Mayor 'Big Bill' Thompson of Chicago paid off gangsters using $1 million of government/state money

Ned Green- Prohibition administrator of North Carolina held cocktail parties

Elliot Ness arrested Al Capone for Tax evasion rather than all the other crimes he committed

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Speakeasies and Bootlegging

Speakeasies- illegal liqour shops and drinking clubs during prohibition

Bootlegging- illegal traffic of alcoholic drinks into the USA

New York- number of establishments=32,000- double pre-prohibition no.

Only 3,000 prohibition officers, earning $2,500 a year- same as bin men, thus easily bribed

Average $400 a month= $150 million a year bribes from speakeasies to police

One agent earned $7 million

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Speakeasies and Bootlegging 2

1920-1930= 10% of agents fined for corruption

Not much alcohol was intercepted only 5%, 1924 =$40 million, thus estimated $800 million was entering the US

St Pierre and Miquelon- French, brought alcohol to US, 3 million bottles of champagne, became france's biggest overseas market

By 1929, alcohol consumption was 70% of pre-war level

'King of the Bootleggers'- George Remus, bought breweries before prohibition for medicinal purposes, yet arranged for it to be hijacked by 300 gansters

made $5 million in 5 years

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Organised Crime

Alcohol was the 7th biggest industry- large demand

Hotspot for gansters- Chicago

National murder rate increased by 1/3 during prohibition

It turned gangsters into celebs, lots of money was involved in this business

John Torrio- leading ganster- before Capone- retired with $30 million-1925

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Organised Crime-Al Capone

700 gansters at disposal 

They killed 300 people between 1927-30

Famous St Valentine's day Massecre (1929), 7 died, Irish and Jewish Americans associated with Dion O'Banion and the Bugs Moran Gang

No one bothered with Capone as he was a celeb 

Arrested in 1932 for tax evasion

$70 million business undertaken by Al Capone's gang

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Positive Effects

Soft drinks industry boomed

Sale of Coca Cola up, 182 million sold during prohibition

Reduction in workplace accidents, drink driving, alcohol related abuse

WCTU- had more of a voice, spoke out against alcohol lead to child/domestic abuse and waste of money

Intake of alcohol per adult per year reduced from 2.6 gallons to 1 gallon

Billy Sunday- introducting of prohibition- 'Reign of tears is over'

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Other (e.g. the Campaign for Repeal)

Franklin D. Roosevelt- elected 1933

First act- Beer Act- re-evaluated intoxication levels of liquor- allowed some alcohol to be produced

Created more jobs

Campaign song-'Happy days are hear again'- gave people hope of the return of alcohol

Wickersham Report- 1931- they said it wasn't working yet it should still be kept

1920's women (some) orginally supported prohibition yet changed minds by the end

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