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The Power is in the People Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (The United States Constitution: The First Amendment). By the action taken on December 12, 1791 (when the Bill of Rights was adopted), the United States of America granted its people a power that would prove extremely potent one-hundred and twenty-nine years later. During the era of Prohibition (1920-1933), people took whatever action necessary to get their way, and did so through the rights afforded to them in the First Amendment. Individuals in favor of Prohibition, seeing the benefits of the institution, worked together to sustain it. Those against Prohibition, feeling a violation of their rights, acted just as intensely, if not even more so, to stop the movement. The government, ignoring the voice of the people, was primarily concerned with keeping Prohibition alive. However, the right to individual voice, a principle upon which the United States was founded, made it impossible for an institution such as Prohibition to exist successfully. In the years prior to and during Prohibition, many people did everything within their power to keep the nation free of alcohol. Numerous committees were formed for the purpose of pursuing the enactment and continuation of Prohibition. Church and religion also played a large part in the fight to keep the nation "dry". Some individuals even entered politics and took office in the government in an effort to be heard. People made an united effort to reveal the virtues of Prohibition to the nation. The Anti-Saloon League of America was founded in 1893 at Oberlin, Ohio. Throughout Prohibition, its members went from town to town speaking out against saloons and alcohol (Merz 8). On January 16, 1920, …

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