Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > American History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

American History American History Forum - United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old December 7th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #1

Cuish's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jun 2011
From: Scotland
Posts: 124
Why was Prohibition enacted?


I mean, there's potential for scores of threads on the period itself, why it failed, etc. But anyway, why was the 18th amendment even proposed? Why did people think it would work?
Cuish is offline  
Remove Ads
Old December 7th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #2
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuish View Post
I mean, there's potential for scores of threads on the period itself, why it failed, etc. But anyway, why was the 18th amendment even proposed? Why did people think it would work?
This is pure speculation on my part, by I think it had something to do with the drug problems from the end of the Civil War to the time Prohibition was enacted. Many soldiers wounded during the Civil War became hooked on morphine. Products sold on store shelves, different cure all formulas, contained drugs like morphine. The first Coca Colas actually had cocaine in them, hence the name Coca Cola. Many respectable housewives became drug addicts, who were treated by their personal physicians, who could only become enablers by prescribing other drugs to help. I believe that Americans, but mostly women, became strictly opposed to any type of intoxication.
Virgil is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #3

Rongo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2011
From: Ohio
Posts: 5,685

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuish View Post
I mean, there's potential for scores of threads on the period itself, why it failed, etc. But anyway, why was the 18th amendment even proposed?
Prohibition was nothing new at this point in time. It had been tried many times before at the state level. My guess is that there was a feeling that the only way it could succeed was at the national level. It was bound to be tried sooner or later. The timing here had a lot to do with woman's suffrage and with anti-immigrant feeling centered around WWI.

Quote:
Why did people think it would work?
Seems to be human nature that all you need to do to get rid of a problem is wave a magic wand. The same is being tried now with the drug problem, with about the same effect. There are also those who propose doing the same thing with guns, despite the lessons of the past.
Rongo is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #4

Patito de Hule's Avatar
Quack
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,319
Blog Entries: 9

The temperance movement had deep roots in the United States. After the failure of Reconstruction many of the crusading ladies grew disinterested in racial equality and went on to join the Women's Christian Temperance Union and, for Catholic ladies there was a similar Catholic Total Abstinence Union. Either that or women's suffrage. In that era, middle and upper class ladies had to have something to crusade for. (In England as well as United States!). Even though they didn't have the franchise, the ladies had power. (Ever read Aristophanes' Lysistrata?) They didn't get women's suffrage through for another two years.

It's a girl thing! :blush

I see Rongo already posted the other thing I was going to say.

Last edited by Patito de Hule; December 7th, 2012 at 04:31 PM.
Patito de Hule is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #5

tjadams's Avatar
Epicurean
 
Joined: Mar 2009
From: Texas
Posts: 25,389
Blog Entries: 6

Toss in many a working man would earn his wages, then when going home, he'd cash his check only
drink away the profits at the local bar. A drunk husband coming home could be abusive to wife and kids.
Toss in also, there was no legal drinking age for kids. Granted most people tried their best to keep kids
from drinking, with no legal drinking age, the kids were allowed to hang out in bars and run errands.
Click the image to open in full size.
Carrie Nation seemed to think the nation was moving too slow for tastes and took action into
her own hands at times as part of the early Temperance Movement.
tjadams is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #6

Sam-Nary's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: At present SD, USA
Posts: 2,744

The temperance movement in general looked at specific problems (poverty, child and spousal abuse) and took heavy note of the disproportionate number of times alcohol involved in these issues, to the stance that if we ban alcohol, we'll solve ALL of our problems...

Because if we ban alcohol...
1) Working men won't spend all their money on beer, and will in fact work harder, and become richer.
2) Men won't get drunk and beat their wives and children, but will be model fathers.
3) Men won't get drunk and cheat on their wives with floozies in bars and taverns and will be model husbands.
4) Men won't be violent toward each other to get money for beer or to get alcohol, or get drunk and get themselves killed over the most absurd of things, and would become model citizens.

And many that backed the temperance movement took an almost religious stance toward trying to get it passed, and ultimately won the support of various politicians of the day, including William Jennings Bryan.

And ultimately it failed and was repealled beacuse when prohibition happened and NONE of the things that the temperance supporters expected happened.
1) The working class didn't get richer.
2) Husbands didn't magically become kind and not beat their wives and children.
3) Adultery still occurred.
4) Crime still occurred.
Sam-Nary is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 05:14 PM   #7

Pacific_Victory's Avatar
SEMISOMNVS
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: MARE PACIFICVM
Posts: 4,839

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuish View Post
I mean, there's potential for scores of threads on the period itself, why it failed, etc. But anyway, why was the 18th amendment even proposed? Why did people think it would work?
For the same reason that many drugs are banned today. It is actually quite interesting, from a historian's perspective, to watch the War on Drugs today. Many of the same issues with enforcement have arisen and it has probably been even less effective at stopping the flow than Prohibition was. Many of the same arguments both for legalization and for continued prohibition have been raised as well. Yes, quite interesting.

I remember reading an article a couple years ago written by one Temperance lady who was convinced that if they could only enforce Prohibition effectively for a few years, men would get used to not having alcohol and the smuggling/bootlegging and moonshine problem would go away. I don't know how ubiquitous that viewpoint was, but certainly something to consider.
Pacific_Victory is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #8
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: USA
Posts: 4,015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
For the same reason that many drugs are banned today. It is actually quite interesting, from a historian's perspective, to watch the War on Drugs today. Many of the same issues with enforcement have arisen and it has probably been even less effective at stopping the flow than Prohibition was. Many of the same arguments both for legalization and for continued prohibition have been raised as well. Yes, quite interesting.

I remember reading an article a couple years ago written by one Temperance lady who was convinced that if they could only enforce Prohibition effectively for a few years, men would get used to not having alcohol and the smuggling/bootlegging and moonshine problem would go away. I don't know how ubiquitous that viewpoint was, but certainly something to consider.
The US government was always wrong on this issue, just as they are today. We imprison more people than anyone from what I hear, but we accomplish nothing except causing more pain for the families of people on drugs. There is no reason for people to be in prison for smoking or otherwise ingesting something. I only drink, but I understand. Decades ago when I was in college, I did drugs too. They can be truly horrible in terms of ruining a life, people in that situation do not need criminal concerns thrown on top of that.
Virgil is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #9

tjadams's Avatar
Epicurean
 
Joined: Mar 2009
From: Texas
Posts: 25,389
Blog Entries: 6

People, like me, if I had the place, prestige and power, would wage a war on drugs
and I would not, would not, back down: a modern day Ms. Nation?
There are some people back then and today, who feel they/we have to at least try to
do something positive instead of caving in. Today's drug problem is 40x worse than
the drinking problem of the past. If we just give up then what? What if the pro-drug side
wins a battle, but then something else pops up in society, that the pro-drug people don't
like, then what? Wouldn't the pro-druggies have to say, "Well, if they want it, let them have
it, we won our battle." It has has to stop or at least tighten the spigot more.
Prohibition took on one of the main tenants of man kind, around the planet: the love
of drinking. If the Temperance Movement had taken a different approach: hitting
the drinker in the pocket book, then they would have had more success.
tjadams is offline  
Old December 7th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #10

Viperlord's Avatar
Scalawag
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: VA
Posts: 6,424
Blog Entries: 13

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
People, like me, if I had the place, prestige and power, would wage a war on drugs
and I would not, would not, back down: a modern day Ms. Nation?
There are some people back then and today, who feel they/we have to at least try to
do something positive instead of caving in. Today's drug problem is 40x worse than
the drinking problem of the past. If we just give up then what? What if the pro-drug side
wins a battle, but then something else pops up in society, that the pro-drug people don't
like, then what? Wouldn't the pro-druggies have to say, "Well, if they want it, let them have
it, we won our battle." It has has to stop or at least tighten the spigot more.
Prohibition took on one of the main tenants of man kind, around the planet: the love
of drinking. If the Temperance Movement had taken a different approach: hitting
the drinker in the pocket book, then they would have had more success.
Very few people are "pro-drug" in the sense of supporting widespread drug usage. Some can just read the statistics and realize that waging war on drugs is utterly ineffective and wasteful, whereas solutions that treat drug addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal one are universally more successful. Take the example of Portugal; they had 1% of their entire population addicted to drugs at one point. They decriminalized all drugs and began sending drug addicts to rehab centers on a case-by-case basis, rather than imprisoning them. It's gone a long way towards reducing the problem.

http://www.businessinsider.com/portu...n-works-2012-7

Last edited by Viperlord; December 7th, 2012 at 05:55 PM.
Viperlord is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > American History

Tags
enacted, prohibition


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Books on Prohibition Cuish History Book Reviews 1 September 14th, 2012 06:40 PM
Prohibition and WWI Vladd American History 8 September 4th, 2012 01:00 PM
Prohibition of Alcohol lokariototal General History 35 July 1st, 2012 04:52 AM
Well known supporters of Prohibition Cuish American History 10 April 28th, 2012 11:00 PM
Successful prohibition Sharks and love Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 10 May 21st, 2011 12:41 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.