Angela has fifteen years of teaching experience, primarily in Special Education and Gifted Education at the K-12 level. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and Special Education, K-12. In addition, she has a M.A.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted, K-12. Angela has had several research and review articles published in education journals.
A couple of years ago, the mayor of New York City banned the sale of large sugary drinks including soda pop. The mayor did this because he was worried about people's health; however, many people were unhappy. They felt like it should be their choice whether or not they wanted to buy and drink large volumes of soda pop. The ban was eventually lifted.
The 18th Amendment prohibited people from selling, making or transporting 'intoxicating liquors.' Although alcohol and soda pop are very different types of drinks, people's reaction to the ban was similar. This time in history was known as Prohibition.
Around the 1820s, the temperance movement began. This was a social movement by many groups who were worried about the problems that were arising due to the use of alcohol. Many religious groups believed it was a sin to drink alcohol, while women were concerned that drunkenness was harming families. During this era, it was difficult for a woman to get a divorce or get custody of her children, even if her husband had a drinking problem. Many of these groups felt that by banning alcohol, there would be less violence, crime and accidents.
Throughout the 1800s, the temperance and prohibition movement grew stronger. Around 1906, the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) joined with the Anti-Saloon League (ASL) and began a movement against the use of alcohol through speeches, advertisements and protests. A saloon is an old-time bar where alcohol is sold.
One organizer of the prohibition movement, Carrie Nation, had suffered greatly from a husband who drank too much. However, she didn't use the best tactics for fighting against the drinking of alcohol. She resorted to breaking saloon windows and mirrors and even took a hatchet to whiskey barrels. She was arrested many times.
The 18th Amendment
On January 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment of the Constitution took effect, banning the selling, making and transporting of alcohol. The National Prohibition Act, also known as the Volstead Act, was created to enforce the 18th Amendment.
Now, it's important to realize that the 18th Amendment did not make it illegal for people to drink alcohol or own it privately in their homes. And there were several loopholes, ways to get around a law, that people used. Loopholes during Prohibition included getting a doctor to prescribe whiskey for medical reasons, or making it yourself in your own home - wine making became very popular!
During Prohibition, many people decided to make alcohol and sell it illegally. This was known as bootlegging (originally, smugglers would put alcohol bottles down their boots or into their pant legs). Certain groups of people made a lot of money because of Prohibition and organized crime became a problem. The famous Mafia leader, Al Capone, made about $60 million dollars a year bootlegging. Speakeasies, saloons or nightclubs that illegally sold alcohol, popped up everywhere. Prohibition was not working.
The End of the 18th Amendment
In time, most Americans feared that things had gotten worse, instead of better, because of the 18th Amendment. In 1932, presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt made it clear that he believed Prohibition should end. He was elected president and in 1933, Congress passed the 21st Amendment, which appealed the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act. This was the first, and so far the only, time an amendment has been repealed.
Many religious and women's groups protested the sale of alcohol and in 1920, the 18th Amendment was passed, banning the selling, making and transporting of alcohol. However, due to many loopholes in the Volstead Act and bootlegging. Prohibition ended up creating more problems and crime then it eliminated. The 18th Amendment was repealed with the passing of the 21st Amendment in 1933.
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