Major Effects Of Prohibition In The 1920's

Superior Essays
Richard Miller
Ms. Roussell
U.S. History
27 January 2016
The Effects of Prohibition on the 1920s
On January 16, 1920 the 18th amendment to the constitution was passed. This amendment was prohibition, or the ban on the manufacture, sale or distribution of alcohol. Prohibition had many effects on the 1920s, a large number of which were not foreseen. One of the most major effects of prohibition was the rise of organized crime. The ban of alcohol created a new opportunity for gangsters to make money. Because of this, gangs began to appear in cities across America. These gangs got alcohol and distributed it for large profits. They also created a large number of speakeasies or illegal bars across the United States. The speakeasies themselves had
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The ban of alcohol created a new opportunity for gangsters to make money. As a result of this, alcohol became a new “street drug” during the 1920s. In large cities all across the United States, gangs began to appear. Gangs often started small, but quickly grew, often to the point when one gang controlled an entire city. This meant that the crime across a city was all lead by the same person, so smuggling and bootlegging happened much more efficiently (Al Capone 3). Gangs smuggled alcohol across state lines with by using boats to transport it across rivers and other waterways. With the rise of gangs came an increase in homicides. In 1920, fewer than 7 deaths out of 100,000 were ruled homicide. By 1933, that number had risen to nearly 10 deaths per 100,000 (Thornton 1). Not only did homicide rates increase, but burglaries, robberies and assaults increased dramatically as well. “According to a study of 30 major U.S. cities, the number of crimes increased 24 percent between 1920 and 1921...arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct increased 41 percent. Among crimes with victims, thefts and burglaries increased 9 percent, while homicides and incidents of assault and battery increased 13 percent.” (Thornton …show more content…
This term originally meant someone who carried a flask of alcohol in their boot, but soon came to mean anyone who created or smuggled alcohol illegally. Just like gangs, bootleggers saw prohibition as a way to make money, and as a result they began to make and distribute alcohol. The exact laws of prohibition contained many loopholes, which bootleggers acted upon. One of the most popular was that whiskey could be distributed for medicinal purposes. In the 1920s, whiskey could be prescribed for a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from influenza to anxiety. Many bootleggers thought that this would be an excellent way to sell illegal alcohol, so many people opened pharmacies. “ [As a result of this] the number of registered pharmacists in New York State tripled during the Prohibition era.” (Lerner 1) Religious leaders such as priests and rabbis were also allowed to obtain wine and other alcohols for their congregations. Because of this, attendance of religious services increased dramatically during

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