LIFE

Prohibition: America’s Ban On Booze = Worst Idea Ever

On the surface, the idea of making booze illegal sounds stupid. If you dig a little bit deeper, it’s still really stupid. America found out the hard way.

Many laws come to pass that are unpopular. That’s the nature of the legal system, yes it’s there to keep people safe and sound, but it can also be a tool used to beat people round their already sore and bleeding heads. It brings a tear to my eye to think that someone could be so mean as to ban booze. I mean that’s pretty low ain’t it? But that’s exactly what the US government did in the early 20th century. Gits.

Prohibition meant a ban on the sale, production, import and transport of any booze over 2.75% alcohol. And as everyone knows, there is literally no point in drinking stuff weaker than that because it fills you up quicker than it intoxicates. It’s wasted effort.

Arguments in favour of banning alcohol had been around since the birth of modern America, mostly led by Protestants in rural communities, in the most part the debate was seen as a rural vs urban thing. Rural Protestants used both moral and health arguments against drinking. The moral argument can swivel, but you can see what they were getting at on the health tip. To confuse things further, both Democratic and Republican parties had pro and anti drink members and so consensus was hard to reach.

Prohibition - Drink Ban - America - Woman's Movement

The first proper law banning booze started in 1919 on the ‘thirsty first’ of July and was called the Wartime Prohibition Act. The main reason cited for the law was to save grain for the war effort. So the fact that the ban had a humanitarian twang helped it through parliament. On top of that, a large faction that had always rallied hard against prohibiting beer – the German American immigrants – no longer counted. Since the war started the German immigrants had been side lined and lost their sway. Mix that in with the worry of the war and the law was passed.

Prohibition - Drink Ban - America - German-Americans

The poster above was made by German-Americans promoting German values and the fact that you could enjoy a drink without beating your woman.

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