Prohibition During Prohibition Essay

Superior Essays
"Prohibition has made nothing but trouble."- Al Capone. Alcohol was made illegal in the United States in 1920. Not very many people agreed nor followed that law. With so many people being rebellious, it made bootlegging into a big business and made many rich. Getting alcohol during prohibition could be as easy as walking to your neighbors house and picking it up. Law officials took bribes and even had their own stash of alcohol. The eighteenth amendment was hard to enforce due to the unpopularity of it. Many call prohibition an experiment, and the experiment failed miserably. January 16, 1920 the eighteenth amendment was signed into law (Britten). The eighteenth amendment is the period between 1920-1933 when manufacture, transport, …show more content…
One way was, to make their own beer and wine. Loopholes and exemptions allowed home wine production (Indomitable Spirits) There was a lot of poisonous things that went into the home breweries, and not on purpose. Immigrants found abundant of ways to make their own brews and wine (Blumenthal, 77). Another way you could get past the law was doctors could sign you off. Legally a doctor could sign a prescription and then you could drink alcohol (Pietrusza 26). The number of prescriptions that were signed by doctors rose dramatically (Indomitable Spirits). Doctors would often sell prescriptions for the right price (Blumenthal 82). People would wear hip flasks, hide bottles in false books, and in coconut shells. One man was caught hustling over the International Bridge at Buffalo carrying two boxes of eggs, which been drained and the eggs filled with liquor (Britten …show more content…
Not only did Americans continue to manufacture, barter, and have possession of alcohol they drank more of it (Britten 110) How much did they drink? Alcohol consumption was about seven gallon per person in early 1900 's compared to less than three gallons today (Indomitable Spirits). Surveys on college compasses during the 1920 's showed that more students drank than didn 't. Liquor was largely available to those who could afford it. The wealthy continued to insist a regular supply of alcohol, which funded an enormous underground economy (Blumenthal 74,75). Drinkers said you could get a glass of liquor in any building on 52nd street between fifth and sixth avenue. Feds said that 45th street was the wettest street in the country. Fifty million gallons of liquor was stored for "safe keeping" before prohibition. By the end of prohibition twenty million gallons were gone. In Texas, a few months after prohibition, still turning one hundred and thirty gallons of whiskey on Senator Morris Shepard 's farm. He is one of the senators that wrote the eighteenth amendment into law (Britten 110,114) Nineteenth-Century saloons were usually owned by breweries (Hangen). Sometimes it seemed for every saloon that closed half of a dozen underground drinking places would come up (Britten 114). Prohibition was supposed to prevent the consumption of alcohol to Americans but it just

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Speakeasies and Gatsby’s parties would attract the kind of people that would just be likely to drop by without an invitation. Bootlegging is making, selling, or distributing alcohol illegally and, “millions of Americans were willing to drink liquor illegally which gave rise to bootlegging and speakeasies, capitalized upon by organized crime” (Britannica). Gatsby himself earned his fortune by bootlegging during the era of Prohibition, so he took part in the organized crime. Tom says to Gatsby in Chapter seven, “I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were. He turned to us and spoke rapidly.” Nick thinks, “He and Wolfsheim brought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol.…

    • 1588 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The old saying goes, it is only illegal if you get caught. Throughout the 1920’s, organized crime leaders took this to the extreme thus, violence and corruption increased rampantly. While many straightforward Americans viewed the American dream as a stable economic state some viewed it as a method to get rich quick. The corruption of this era rose to unparalleled heights with some people losing faith in police officers, judges, and anyone in government. Prohibition only added to the chaos of the decade, with many ordinary citizens becoming criminals simply because they wished to consume alcohol.…

    • 1135 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Tom’s accusation reveals that Jay Gatsby is a bootlegger. It also tells the reader that because of the prohibition, people usually got alcohol through the drugstore by doctor’s prescriptions. There is also a reference to doctors through a Gatsby guest and Doctor T.J.Eckleburg, who is also very rich because of his shady works that he is like a boss of The Valley of Ashes. Gatsby, however, is different from the other criminals during that time. He is a biggest and smartest bootlegger.…

    • 800 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    From the rebellious socialites carousing in speakeasies to the rapidly developing criminal syndicates; it was evident that the respect the American public had for their own constitution was rapidly disappearing. The reason for this being that the demand for alcohol had not disappeared, but legal methods of obtaining it had. Therefore a vast number of the population, normally law-abiding citizens, used whatever criminal means necessary to procure a drink. Alcohol was smuggled from Canada, the Bahamas and other nearby countries by ‘rum-running’ organisations. Ships, such as those belonging to Captain William McCoy, carried vast quantities of alcohol to just beyond the US territorial waters.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On January 16, the eighteenth amendment made all alcohol illegal. The eighteenth amendment came with the "National Prohibition Act" which swept across the nation. Even though alcohol was illegal the officers conspired with the drinkers. (Editors of Time Life Books 108). Prohibition was difficult to enforce because of the lack of officers.…

    • 689 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “By 1763 rum was pouring out of 159 commercial distilleries in New England alone, by the 1820’s liquor was so plentiful and so freely available, it was less expensive than tea” (Okrent 7). As liquor prices continued to drop more people would miss work on Monday’s after a “hard” weekend of partying which mostly just consisted of alcohol. Liquor began to seem uncontrollable and reckless making people, more women than men, want to ban liquor all together thinking it would help things at home and work more suitable for everyone involved. Prohibition caused higher crimes to be committed and a lot of illegal…

    • 1078 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The roaring twenties was an era that consisted of gangs, speakeasies, and bootlegging. During Prohibition sometimes referred to as the "Noble Experiment" the United States announced that the sale and manufacturing of beverages that contained intoxicating liquor were illegal from 1920 to 1933. This action was known to many as the temperance movement, which had tons of supporters across the nation. The temperance movement of the 1920s failed because the demand for alcohol was not eliminated among many Americans, and the law was hard to enforce due to numerous illegal acts produced by it. The elimination of alcohol provides many opportunities for Americans to focus more on life than getting wasted at a bar.…

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Though The Great Gatsby takes place during the Prohibition era, Long Island’s elite drown in alcohol throughout the book. Fitzgerald gives a realistic glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich during Prohibition and their access to illegal liquor. Alcohol is frequently associated with old money. Gatsby, who is seen as different from the rest of the wealthy people in the book, rarely drinks, while everyone else is constantly drunk. The scarcity of alcohol to the public made it desirable and fashionable to the upper class during Prohibition, despite its poor stigma prior to the era.…

    • 1209 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Purpose Of Prohibition

    • 942 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although a great idea in concept, prohibition was ultimately a failure; the public grew less respectful of the law. Drink driving increased and public drunkenness also increased. After thirteen long years the government finally saw that prohibition was not working, it had infact created more of a problem than it solved, finally the government abolished the prohibition laws. Crime decreased and the criminal element was taken out of the industry, organized crime in the 1920's flourished in America because of prohibition and it did not stop there, after the prohibition era they simply went on to other markets with their new found wealth. Had prohibition never happened organized crime syndicates may not have become so wealthy or…

    • 942 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The ban on alcohol, although meant to cease the production and consumption of it, backfired and only made it increasingly desirable and fashionable. This led to a black market, as the production and sale of alcohol went underground, and an increase in wealth to those who were willing to take advantage of the booming demand of alcohol, called “bootlegging.” One of the most notorious examples of this phenomenon was Chicago’s Al Capone, before being sent to Alcatraz Prison in 1934 for a tax evasion conviction, he had hoarded a personal fortune estimated at $100 million from the bootlegging and speakeasy operations he controlled. In addition to…

    • 440 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays