Alcohol Prohibition

Alcohol Prohibition

A Story by stmford06

short essay on the 18th amendment

Alcohol Prohibition
The prohibition of alcohol in the United States began in 1920 with the eighteenth amendment. The Volstead act set rules for enforcing the ban and defined the types pf alcoholic beverages that were prohibited from being produced and sold, but federal law didn’t ban possession or consumption, some states did go further with their laws. Most supporters reasoned that the consumption of alcohol resulted in crime, poor health, and lower productivity. Many people believe that John Rockefeller, president of Standard Oil had a large part in financing and getting the Volstead Act through congress. After all, Henry Fords ethanol production was cutting into his profits. When prohibition was lifted, standard oil had already made gasoline so cheep that ethanol was uncompetitive. 
Most people believe that the consumption rate fell to sixty percent of pre-prohibition levels after a year but by 1925 it had climbed to eighty percent. Rather than reducing crime, the Mafia started producing alcohol to sell in speak easys and on the streets. Ethanol that was used in industrial applications had deadly toxins mixed in which led to an estimated 10,000 deaths from people trying to purify and drink it. Juice concentrate was labeled with instructions to keep it from fermenting into alcohol. The number of crimes went up by 24 percent and gangs started to fight for territory to sell liquor. The cost of local enforcement went up by 11 percent and the federal government spent around $15 million through the Coast Guard and the IRS, Tax revenues fell, thousands of workers were laid off and the black market for distilled  spirits made the American mafia an estimated three billion dollars a year. 
When the ban was lifted, jobs came back, taxes increased and the cost of law enforcement fell through the floor. Alcohol is about freedom, it’s a privilege, and privelages are made to be taken away. If you abuse the privelage you have, it will be taken away. My personal opinion of alcohol is summed up byy a speech given by Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat Jr; a young lawmaker from Mississippi. 
       My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.                     

© 2014 stmford06

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Added on October 11, 2014
Last Updated on October 11, 2014
Tags: prohibition