Significance Of Prohibition  

The significance of prohibition is even spoken about in modern times. Many believe that several of the social ills occurred due to prohibition. Organized crime gained a foothold and spread its tentacles across the country. Prior to prohibition, organized crime used to concentrate just on theft, gambling and prostitution. However, once nationwide ban on manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages came into effect, organized crime saw this as a profitable way to make fast and easy money.

Prohibition led to a flourishing black market for alcohol and official corruption reached a zenith with the mafia bribing many law enforcement agencies which led to racketeering. So, instead of reducing crime as it was envisage, prohibition allowed crime to flourish in the country. Many bootlegging gangs were formed and it was common for opposing gangs to fight and kill members in the open. It is believed that between the years 1920 and 1921, the rate of crime increased by 24 percent in more than 30 major cities. In addition, burglaries and theft increased by 9 percent, homicides by 12.7 percent and assaults by 13 percent. There was even an increase in the cost of running police departments in different cities and town.

While it was believed that prohibition would help in reducing alcohol-related crimes, it went on to make the situation worse that what it was before the nationwide ban on alcoholic beverages. Even though the government poisoned industrial alcohol, bootleggers found a way to make the alcohol drinkable by hiring chemists. It is estimated before prohibition came to an end, nearly 10,000 people died after consuming denatured alcohol.

People even started making alcohol at homes and some drug stores used to sell medicinal wine that had an alcohol content of 22 percent. The alcohol that was brewed at home was illegally sold to consumers and the government could not collect taxes on these sales. Hence, the government suffered great financial losses during prohibition. This money could have used when the Great Depression came about.

Prohibition also caused breweries across the country to shut down and just half of them reopened after prohibition was repealed. Before prohibition most of the beer was German lager, but once prohibition ended, it saw the rise of American lager across the country.

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Significance Of Prohibition




American History (1900-1949) :

The Percentage Of Money Lost During Prohibition      While the percentage of money lost during the prohibition was billions, this loss became more pronounced when the US was hit by the Great Depression. As per the Association Against Prohibition Amendment and Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, about $861 billion was lost in the form of uncollected federal taxes. While the prohibition was in effect, it is estimated that the government spent a whopping $40 million each year to enforce it. The lost revenue from untaxed alcohol played an important role in getting the prohibition repealed in the country that was being cowed down by severe economic recession. More..




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