When you consider the facts, alcohol is a bit of a mixed bag in our country, isn’t it? While doctors across America promote alcoholic drinks (like wine or rum) as preventative medicine for heart problems, hundreds of thousands of people continue to fall victim to drunk driving incidents or violent fights. What is considered a healing element also doubles as a catalyst for failure, slovenly behavior, and nasty personality traits. So, you may not be surprised to hear that, at one point, our federal government took drastic measures to prevent these beverages from being sold. Back in the roaring ‘20s, the United States ratified the 18th Amendment, hereby banning the manufacture and sales of liquors, and the results were outrageously catastrophic. As the drinking hot spot of the holidays draws near, let’s take a closer look at the history of the United States Prohibition.
Cause for Alarm
So, how did this massive landslide start in the first place? Between the 1820s and ‘30s, religious revivalism plowed across our country and initiated a wave of “perfectionist movements,” including a strong desire to get rid of alcohol. By 1906, the Anti-Saloon League (est. 1893) began a direct attack on liquor sales, and Protestant groups blasted alcohol consumption as an “ungodly practice.” Finally, after the U.S. participated in World War I, President Woodrow Wilson issued a temporary prohibition to preserve the country’s supply of grain, an issue that received unanimous support from 75% of U.S. states in a staggering 11 month-period.
Finally, on January 29, 1919, the government ratified the 18th Amendment, around the same time 33 U.S. states had set up laws for prohibition. Nine months later, in October, Congress officially approved the National Prohibition Act, spearheaded by Representative Andrew Volstead (Missouri).
Bootlegging and Speakeasies
Throughout the 1920s, the federal and state governments struggled to enforce prohibition laws, but the public still found loopholes, leading to dangerous criminal activity. While alcohol consumption dropped 30%, individuals who craved intoxicating beverages found creative ways to work around the law. For nearly 10 years, the practice of bootlegging (illegal alcohol production) thrived and people across the country gathered in speakeasies (underground stores and clubs that sold alcohol). Likewise, “moonshine” and “bathtub gin” was produced in private homes, while other people smuggled their precious cargo across state lines.
Ultimately, due to restrictions to the working class and the toxic shadow of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration repealed the 18th Amendment and replaced it with the 24th Amendment, which rendered the Prohibition null and void.
Always remember that alcohol does not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from an alcohol use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.