Prohibition means the forbidding by law the manufacturing and selling of alcoholic beverages. In the late 1800's, a period of reforms in the US, many people started to believe that alcohol had harmful effects on society. Due to the efforts of the Anti-Saloon League, the Women's Christian Temperance Union and other organizations, the eighteenth amendment of prohibition was ratified. But since the beginning of the prohibition era, the US faced difficulties in enforcing the amendment. The prohibition era, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, is referred to in many sources as the thirteen years that changed, or damaged, America. During those thirteen years prohibition was the cause of many problems in the US. Finally, in 1933, the twenty- first amendment, which repealed prohibition, was ratified, and since then alcohol is legal in the US.
Reasons for Prohibition
Since 1840 onward, millions of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and other countries in Europe came to the US, bringing with them the culture of drinking (Behr, p49). The continuing immigration increased the number of people consuming alcohol, and with it the liquor industry. The leaders of the Temperance movement were concerned about this growing phenomenon. They considered drinking as a mortal sin, and believed that excessive drinking caused spiritual neglect (Behr, p21).
The businesses that sold beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages, were called glass saloons. In order to increase their profit, saloon owners introduced gambling and prostitution into their establishments (Kerr). Many Americans considered saloons as offensive and noxious, which contributed to the mostly negative public opinion about alcohol.
In the economic aspect, factory owners complained that alcohol made the workers inefficient and careless. As new machines and technologies were developed, more specialization, precision and …