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Thread: Prohibition

  1. #1
    Practically Family Eyemo's Avatar
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    Prohibition

    Watching "The Untouchables"..Can anyone please explain about prohibition....
    Thanks..
    Seimon.
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    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    The eighteenth amendment to the US Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages. In effect from 1920 thru 1933 and enforced under provisions governed by the Volstead Act. Various states had prohibition laws of their own, and momentum to national prohibition had built thruout the teens, with the austerity of WW1 giving the movement the final push it needed to get over the political top.

    Supporters called it "The Noble Experiment," but in reality it led to an explosion of crime and vice, as organized gangs controlled the importation and distribution of bootleg beverages, and as the criminal tide escalated, public sentiment turned against the law. The amendment was officially repealed on December 6, 1933.
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  3. #3
    Practically Family Eyemo's Avatar
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    Thanks so much... I'll drink to that!
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  4. #4
    Call Me a Cab Viola's Avatar
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    The black market for booze was enormous, at every income bracket from bathtub gin up to the guys passing the laws in the first place buying liquor smuggled in from the UK.

    And criminal organizations could use it as a MAJOR money-maker, and funding other, darker enterprises.

    As one major crime-lord said, (and I would attribute if I could remember which one, it may have been Capone) "when I bring it into the country, I'm a crook. When my customers serve it on a silver tray, it's elegant hospitality."
    All travellers must visit wardrobe before departure. And that goes for you especially Trevor. You've created a hell of a stink back in 2010 wearing those bloody silly goggles of yours and that hoodie. - Smithy

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    Bartender LizzieMaine's Avatar
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    A government commission appointed by the Hoover Administration in 1931 outlined all the shortcomings of Prohibition, found that most Americans held it in contempt -- and then recommended that it continue. The result was one of the loveliest bits of satire to come out of the era -- a bit of doggerel rhyme by newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams:

    Prohibition is an awful flop.
    We like it!
    It don't stop what it's meant to stop.
    We like it!
    It's left a trail of graft and slime,
    It's filled the land with vice and crime,
    It don't prohibit worth a dime --
    Nevertheless -- we like it!
    The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. -- William Jennings Bryan

  6. #6
    One of the Regulars imported_the_librarian's Avatar
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    Just some links that might help:

    http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/073_dry.html

    http://www.wpl.lib.oh.us/AntiSaloon/index.html

    Have yet to read this, just stumbled across it:

    http://www.archive.org/details/howdr...eproh006540mbp

    (there is a flip-book version that is pretty neat)

    Maybe this can help?
    Like cool vintage and history stuff?

    Me too! Check below for cool topics!

    http://history.writingwithtony.com/

  7. #7
    One of the Regulars LondonLuke's Avatar
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    It did create one great thing though-the speakeasy! Something alluring about entering a secret bar in a basement, and ordering a drink, add the adrenaline rush of a potential raid at any moment.

  8. #8
    Incurably Addicted John in Covina's Avatar
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    Touchy subjects.

    From fairly early on in the US there were groups, some based on religious affliliation, that were advocating the banning of alcoholic beverages. These were collectively called the Temperance Movement. Alcohol was usually a tax revenue item and fell under a section of the tax collection system. THis is why in some areas the hunting of illicit stlls was handled by "Revenuers" as seen in film mostly in the Southern states. Even today it is regulated by a federal law enforcement agency part of the IRS (TAX) sytem called the A.T.F. or Alcohol, Tabbaco, and Firearms agency. Every state has its own Alcohol Board that oversees it. While beer and even wine may come up as TV ads, on open air TV commercials for hard liquor are rare still to this day because of the attitudes we have inherited.

    Alcohol remains a touchy subject and was even the cause of a Rebellion by farmers around the 1780's or 1790's called the Whiskey Rebellion. It points to the fact that by growing grain you could make or lose money but if you brewed and distilled alcohol with that grain, you would make more money and have less to ship. Taxing alcohol was a bite on the farmers income they were not happy with.

    Anyway the Temperance Movement gained in strength an in many areas of many states county governments outlawed alcohol and which is still held over, these are called "Dry Counties." As the popularity grew state afte state outlawed alcohol. The Constitutional Amendment was ratified by enough states to make it Federal law for the entire US. Bootlegging is when one brings alcohol to a place where it has been banned. Those that brought in alcohol from North or South of the US border were bootleggers. I believe those that used ships were refered to as Rum-runners too.

    It was a big split in US sentiment and is an example of the "tyranny of the majority." Many saw alcohol as a distinct Vice while others saw alcohol as a good thing that could be mis-used and abused. It is an example as to how the US will have a so called "Puritanincal" ethics it will turn in on itself under certain conditions. Often as described as "that certain feeling that somewhere, somebody was having fun" and that sentiment was used it to the detriment of society by banning things even films. Not to be a diatribe on the morals and ethics of such crusades, but it did lead to the most tremendous growth of organized crime and layed the foundations of many criminal activities which remain today, Prohibition was the source of funding and fueled that growth as mentioned in previous reply. It has parallels in certain aspects of recreational drug use, even today, and that is an even more touchy subject for all involved!
    Blue Skies!

  9. #9
    Familiar Face Nash Buckingham's Avatar
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    I remember Sinatra saying "I feel sorry for people that don't drink because when you get up in the morning that's as good as you're going to feel all day"

    I'll drink to that!

    didn't I see in another thread that abisinthe or some other liquor was allowed because it's taste was so "Medincine" like?

  10. #10
    Practically Family Matt Crunk's Avatar
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    I live in the heart of the bible belt, were "dry" counties and cities still exist. I don't live in one (thank God), but they are all around.

    In fact, as a bit of trivia, just about 60 miles up the road from me, Jack Daniel's distillery and world headquarters operates inside a dry county. You can take a factory tour and watch it being made there, but you have to go over the county line to buy it. How weird, and hypocritical is that? A county seat that gets it's lion's share of revenue from a whiskey maker, but does not allow the sale of it. They never re-legalized it after prohibition. Only in the South.
    "Clothes don't make the man. They just make him look better."

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