The 18 th Amendment “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.”
The “Alcoholic Republic” Consumption of alcohol per year was 7.1 gallons per person. Family violence Crime Poverty Loss of Production in Factories
Prohibition Passed in 1920. Believed it “would eliminate the social problems caused by intoxication.” Small towns? Cities?
“ Washington DC … had 300 bars before Prohibition: now it had 700 speakeasies, supplied by 4,000 bootleggers. Police records showed arrests for drunkenness had trebled (3x) over the decade. Massachusetts had jumped from 1,000 licensed saloons to 4,000 speakeasies, plus 4,000 more in Boston alone… Kansas had been the first state to go dry… yet ‘ there is not a town in Kansas where [you] cannot go as a total stranger and get a drink of liquor and very good liquor at that, within fifteen minutes of arrival.’” Paul Johnson, A History of the American People
Did It Work? Police funding : INCREASED $11.4 Million Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct : INCREASED 41% Arrests of Drunken Drivers : INCREASED 81% Thefts and Burglaries : INCREASED 9% Homicides, Assault, and Battery : INCREASED 13% Number of Federal Convicts : INCREASED 561% Federal Prison Population : INCREASED 366% NOPE.
Percentage of drinkers rose. Percentage of women drinking rose. Bootlegging rose. Organized crime rose. Al “Scarface” Capone? Earned $60m in 1927 In 2013? $806,472,408
So, What Does That Look Like? Zhenli Ye Gon Chinese Born, Mexican Meth Smuggler $207,000,000
Organized Crime “What Prohibition did was to transfer the manufacture, sale, and distribution of liquor from legitimate to criminal forces.” Prohibition “was the work of ‘ignorant bumpkins of the cow states who resent the fact they had to swill raw corn liquor while city slickers got good wine and whiskey.’”
Organized Crime Al Capone Chicago Lucky Luciano New York City
The 19 th Amendment “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Women in 1920 Flapper - a "new breed" of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3svvCj4yhYc
Women in 1920 “The traditionalists … looked down on flappers for what they felt was a disregard for morality. Traditionalist were also alarmed by a rising divorce rate, which was fueled by … a new sense of independence among women.”