Alcohol Prohibition in the United States of America

The Beginning of National Prohibition

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.

  1. On November 18, 1918, prior to ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, the U.S. Congress passed the temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages having an alcohol content of greater than 1.28%
  2. Many communities in the late-19th and early-20th centuries introduced alcohol prohibition.
  3. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states of America banning possession.
  4. Prohibition reduced overall alcohol consumption by half during the 1920s, and consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s.
  5. Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, cirrhosis death rates, admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis, arrests for public drunkenness, and rates of absenteeism

Ending National Prohibition

  • By 1925, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs in New York City alone.
  • On December 5, 1933, ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.
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