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1 This ppt originally appeared on the Langley Secondary School website at This site went down in July 2010, so I have copied it here.

2 Prohibition The 18 th Amendment

3 What was Prohibition? A law called the Volstead Act introduced in the USA in January It banned the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol. The federal government had the power to enforce this law. It theory the USA became dry. It has since become known as the noble experiment.

4 Why was prohibition introduced? 1.It already existed in many states 2.Moral reasons 3.Campaigners like the Anti-Saloon League of America 4.The First World War

5 What is the message of this cartoon? (6)




9 What were the effects of prohibition? 1.Speakeasies 2.Moonshine 3.Smuggling 4.Organised crime

10 Speakeasies Secret saloon bars opened up in cellars and back rooms. They had names like the Dizzy Club and drinkers had to give a password or knock at the door in code to be let in. Speakeasies sold bootleg alcohol, smuggled into America from abroad. Before Prohibition there were 15,000 bars in New York. By 1926 there were 30,000 speakeasies!

11 Moonshine A spirit made secretly in home made stills. Several hundred people a year died from this during the 1920s. In 1929 it is estimated that 700 million gallons of beer were produced in American homes.

12 Bootleggers Smugglers called Bootleggers made thousands of dollars bringing in illegal alcohol to America. America has thousands of miles of frontiers so it proved easy. Famous smugglers like William McCoy made fortunes by bringing alcohol from the West Indies and Canada.

13 Organised Crime The enormous profits to b made attracted gangsters who started to take control of many cities. They bribed the police, judges and politicians. They controlled the speakeasies and the distilleries, and ruthlessly exterminated their rivals.

14 Al Capone By 1927 he was earning some $60 million a year from bootlegging. His gang was like a private army. He had 700 men under his control. He was responsible for over 500 murders. On 14 th February 1929, Capones men dressed as police officers murdered 7 members of a rival gang. This became known as the Valentines Day Massacre.

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