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Prohibition The Failed Experiment Prohibition came about from the push to abolish the use of alcoholic beverages through an amendment to the Constitution which became a major crusade in the United States during the second decade of the twentieth century By the 1820s people in the United States were drinking on the average seven gallons of pure alcohol per person each year and many religious and political leaders were beginning to see drunkenness as a national curse Encarta 2 From the progressive viewpoint arguments to ban liquor made sense Alcoholism caused a multitude of social political and economic evils Prohibition often called the Noble Experiment was idealistically initiated to reduce crime and corruption solve social problems reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses and improve health and hygiene in America Thornton Results of the experiment clearly indicate it was a miserable failure on all counts During prohibition crime and corruption soared the Mafia became entrenched in our cities and government officials were corrupted According to one scholar Prohibition created the most disruptive era in our society since the Civil War Coffey II Ironically the Noble Experiments attempt to wipeout the corruption caused by the sale and consumption of alcohol in America resulted in the entrenchment of political economic and social corruption which still exists in America today The Anti-Saloon League a womans movement to legislate prohibition broke out across the nation in 1873 The Anti-Saloon League and the struggle for legal prohibition came out of the optimism and passion of the progressive reform era in America Pegram 82 By 1916 they had succeeded in establishing laws that closed saloons and prohibited the production and consumption of alcohol The womens war as it was called was the major influence behind the ratification of the eighteenth amendment the Volstead Act The eighteenth amendment to prohibit the sale and drinking of alcohol act was passed on January 22 1919 but the enactment of the
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