The New Prohibition Essay

1263 Words 6 Pages
Prohibition was a time when gangsters ran the United States and the government could do little to stop it. The Prohibition period in the United States occurred from 1920 to 1933 in the United States, and was a period where it was illegal for any United States citizen could consume alcohol. Instead of simply following the law, many United States citizens went to illegal saloons called “speakeasy” (Thornton) to consume alcohol. Gangs and mobsters who made the booze in dangerous ways, which resulted in the endangerment of the American people, ran these places. For example, the gangs that ran the speakeasies use to brew the alcohol in large lead vats, which in some cases “poisoned the alcohol that was brewed” (Did). Many Americans were …show more content…
Before 1984, states in America had the ability to set the age in which alcohol could be bought and consume to any age the state saw fit. This power was not, “… specifically delegated to the Federal Government in the Constitution, and therefore is a power that belongs to the states” (Minimum). Therefore, the drinking age varied from state to state. Approximately, three fifths of all the states in the US set the legal age at eighteen (Pflughoeft). However, this all changed the summer of 1984. “The National Minimum Drinking Age Act quickly cleared both houses of Congress… and went into effect” (Minimum). Under the provisions of this act, the federal government withheld a, “… significant percentage of highway funds from the state” (APIS), from any state that did not follow the age set to consume alcohol in this act. When confronted with this penalty, all fifty-one states followed suit and changed the ages to twenty-one, despite what the age was originally set at before the Act (Facts)
The United States Constitution states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (United). Therefore, the power to set a drinking age is not given to the federal government, which means it is solely each individual state’s decision to set its own drinking age. Because of this fact, the

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