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Saturday, January 16, 2016

ALCOHOL | Jan. 16–Prohibition Becomes Law

What a waste.
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1919 after having been passed by the Congress in 1917.

It was not ended until FDR came into office and immediately allowed weak beer.

The Prohibition Amendment forbade the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes.” 

The law originated among religious groups that called for "temperance"–meaning alcohol-free living. The American woman's suffrage movement, for example, emerged in 1948 because of pent-up resentment of two women attending a Quaker temperance conference in London in 1940 who were excluded from the debates. Their anger simmered for eight years and then exploded.

One reason women didn't get the vote before 1917 is that "wet" voters didn't want to add women to the voting rolls because they were viewed as more likely to be anti-alcohol.

Nine months after ratification of the Prohibition Amendment in 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, or National Prohibition Act, over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. The Volstead Act created a special unit of the Treasury Department to enforce the law.

Women got the vote in 1920. Meanwhile, organized crime flourished in America.

In 1933, the 21st Amendment was quickly passed and ratified, repealing Prohibition. It was a bad idea.