The War On Alcohol And Drugs Essay

1588 Words 7 Pages
The war on alcohol and on drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and opium were efforts to restore social control. In the face of changing demographics and rising social insecurity, prohibitionists campaigned for federal laws to fight against the liquor trade and narcotics and eradicate the social ills they believed the substances caused. Social class, ethnicity, race, and religious struggles shaped the passage of laws prohibiting alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and opium use. For alcohol, a variety of factors such widespread disrespect for the law and vigilante enforcers combined to weaken support for prohibition in a way that has not yet happened for cocaine, marijuana, and opium. Many forces, such as racial tensions and desire to remedy social ills, played roles in the initial prohibition of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and opium, but lack of public opposition to drug legislation accounts for the longer duration of the prohibition of the narcotic drugs in the United States. The collision of evangelical Protestantism with reform movements, industrialization, and World War I resulted in a prohibition of alcohol that was radical in its scope and its absolutism. Although the culture of drinking existed long before the 19th century, attitudes towards drinking shifted during the preindustrial era. With the escalation of “ethnic, religious, and class tensions,” white and middle-class citizens, who became insecure in their social place, found meaning in the evangelical Protestant church…

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