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In the 1920s Americans lives seem to revolve around their glittering automobiles blaring radios rambunctious parties and a live life in the fast lane attitude but underneath all the glitz and glamour lived a group of people who refused to obey any laws With the enactment of Prohibition in 1919 by the 18th Amendment a great struggle began to brew on the streets of Chicago between the United States government and gangsters In 1924 when the Department of Commerce estimated the value of liquor being smuggled into the country by gangsters at 40 million a young United States Prohibition Bureau agent by the name of Eliot Ness was asked to assemble and lead a team to go after Al Capones breweries and hard liquor operations Eliot Ness and his team of nine men would later become known as The Untouchables They would successfully enforce Prohibition in the city of Chicago by putting an end to Al Capone and his flourishing bootlegging industry On December 22 1917 with the majorities well in excess of the two-third requirement Congress submitted to the 18th Amendment to the states This amendment prohibited the manufacture sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors By January 1919 ratification was complete with 80 of the members of 46-state legislatures recorded approval To enforce the 18th Amendment Congress passed the National Prohibition Act This act was usually called the Volstead Act because Congressman Andrew Volstead introduced it in 1919 The Volstead Act defined the prohibited intoxicating liquors as those with an alcoholic content of more than 05 percent On January 17th 1920 the federal government was in the business of enforcing prohibitionHeimel 27 Because the opportunities to make money by disregarding the law through smuggling distilling fermenting and brewing were legion prohibition always represented more of an ideal than a reality It was on this basis that the Bootleg Wars began The mid-1920s saw the birth of organized crime From Boston to Kansas City powerful
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