Prohibition

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The 18th amendment to the Constitution -passed by Congress in 1917, and ratified by ? of the states by 1919– prohibited the manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages within the boundaries of the United States. The Volstead Act of 1919, also known as the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, which was mandating “No person shall manufacture, sell, barter, transport, import, export, deliver, furnish or posses intoxicating liquor except as authorized in this act.” It clearly defined an alcoholic beverage as one with an alcoholic content greater than 0.5 percent. The necessary 36 states ratified the amendment on January 16th of the same year. Allowing for the years adjustment, America went “dry” at the stroke of midnight, the morning of January 17th. The Prohibition Era began January 16th, 1920, when the United States ratified the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol. The good intention ideals of the Prohibition Era led to several ill effects including unbearable hypocrisy within the American society, corruption on all levels of government, and an astounding death toll, which was a result of the alarming crime rate.
Prohibition in the United States was a measure designed to reduce drinking by eliminating the businesses that manufactured, distributed, and sold alcoholic beverages. The best evidence available to historians shows that consumption of beverage alcohol declined dramatically under prohibition. In the 1920s consumption of beverage alcohol was about thirty percent of the pre-prohibition level. Consumption grew somewhat in the last years of prohibition, as illegal supplies of liquor increased and as a new generation of Americans disregarded the law and rejected the attitude of self-sacrifice that was part of the bedrock of the prohibition movement. Nevertheless, it was a long time after repeal before consumption rates to their pre-prohibition levels. In that sense, prohibition “w