′S Essay, Research Paper
Prohibition in the 1920’sThe year is 1923, and the production, consumption, and sale of alcohol in the U.S. has been illegal ever since the prohibition movement successfully persuaded Congress to ratify the eighteenth amendment,three years ago. Mr. John Krause, an antiprohibitionist, is presenting this speech to the U.S. House of Representatives in order to convince them to abolish prohibition.ProhibitionSomewhere in the Bible it says, If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. I used to think this point of view was extremely radical, until I learned of the prohibitionist s interpretation; What? Cut off my own hand because it offends me? Why should I be the only one to lose their hand? Let s get rid of all right hands; then I am certain that mine won t land me in trouble. The prohibitionists have utilized this way of thinking to rid the U.S. of all alcohol. With the loss of money and relative inefficiency associated with prohibition, the government needs to amend the eighteenth amendment so not to succumb to the values of the religious sects behind the prohibition movement. Since Congress ratified the eighteenth amendment as least one billion dollars a year is lost to the National Government in excise taxes. Part of this money, once intended for the government to spend on schools and roads, now falls into the hands of bootleggers, who are illegally smuggling alcohol into the U.S. The remainding funds are given in forms of bribes to local officials so they can look the other way as bootleggers smuggle their contraband through state lines. Not only do public officials accomadate the illegal smuggling of acohol, but the Treasury department does also. The bootlegging industry has created a demand for bills of unusually large denominations. In 1922, two-hundred and eighty-seven million dollars worth of ten-thousand dollar bills were issued. Ask yourself what kind of buisness man deals in ten-thousand dollar bills. Definitely not an honest one. These large bills were not used to pay the salaries of hard working factory workers or ministers. These bills, produced by the Treasury department, are the same bills that are financing the illegal smuggling of alcohol. An important part of our nation s income is being lost due to prohibition. Since the ratification of the eighteenth amendment, the prohibition movement, which is supposed to heal our nation, seems to be causing more (financial) trouble than it is worth. It is impossible to tell whether prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has never been enforced in this country. This quote from U.S House Representative Fiorella LaGuardia, summarizes how ineffective the amendment on prohibition has been. The inefficiency of the prohibition movement is making a mockery out of the U.S. Government. At least one million quarts of liquor is consumed each day in the U.S, while according to the constitution; the sale and manufacturing of alcohol is illegal. I believe that such a large amount of illegal traffic could not helped but be noticed, if not assisted by, law enforcement officials. At least a million dollars a day is paid in bribes to federal, state, and local officers. This corruption of law enforcement officials furthermore proves that the eighteenth amendment is leading our country in the opposite moral direction that it orginally intended to. With the large amount of illegal alcohol being smuggling across the U.S, orginization is crucial for successful business. Prohibition has increased the amount of organized crime in the U.S. With the increase of organized crime, competition between gangsters has escalated violence levles, in the streets of majors cities, to an all time high. News of gang shoot-outs, competing for new territory, can be found on the front page of almost every newspaper in the country. Prohibition, promising to lead this country from temptation, has delivered it to evil. This is why we need amend the eighteenth amendment; in order to eleminate the organized crime and violence, it causes, from the streets of our great nation. The Federal Council of Churches, which is in favor of prohibition, bases its support on four fundamental considerations. The conviction that no plan less thoroughgoing than prohibition is sufficient to eradicate the evils of the liquor traffic. The council states that we must do nothing less than totally ban alcohol in order to rid ourselves of the evils of alcohol. Since the government enacted the eighteenth amendment, not only has more alcohol been found in the U.S, but now the evils of alcohol have spread from the saloon to stores, pool halls, private parlors and other various types of speak-easies. The Council also states that, The evidence of history that other methods of attempting to control the traffic have failed and that prohibition, despite inadequacies of enforcement, is succeeding better than any other program. According to the Council, prohibition is succeeding, despite inadequacies. Have prohibitionists taken a close look at these inadequacies? If they were to, they would find that the negative affects prohibition is having on our society outweigh the positive affects by ten fold.You know as well as I do that society can not stop a man from having a drink no more than society can stop a man from sneezing. In order to protect the minority of people who have trouble with self-control and alcohol, prohibition places guilty and innocent alike, under arrest. This failing practice, along with the feeble enforcement of the ban of alcohol, proves that the eighteenth amendment is nugatory and powerless and should be revoked.
Prohibitionists claim that there must be limitations upon certain freedoms in matters affecting society so we can progress as a community. If alcohol were to be as destructive as prohibitionists claim it to be, would we be here right now to discuss it? The human race would have been destroyed by now if drinking were as habit forming as they claim. Furthermore, what stops society from deeming some other activity improper and habit forming? How would a person, in favor of prohibition, solve crime? They would keep all men locked up because a few people are deviant. While keeping all men locked up would curb crime, it would not do away with the criminal. This improficient way of solving society s problems demonstrates the need to amend the eighteenth amendment so to end the total eradication technique prohibition has instilled on our country. Prohibitionists are largely made up by a large group of religious fanatics who have more on their mind then just ridding the U.S of alcohol. The prohibition movement is just put forth as a means to eventually instill a certain kind of religious faith. People are allowed to believe whatever they wish and in this case their belief is prohibition. However, these people do not have the right to infuse their beliefs on their fellow citizens who don t share these beliefs. How many religions on earth can be found among prohibitionists? How many Jews, the most temperate race on earth, can be found in the ranks of the prohibitionists? Most of the prohibitionists are made up of Protestants. The fight for prohibition is the just a sublet of the fight of the Protestants for the supremacy of their ideas. By appealing to the emotional side of the masses, such as the Women s Christian Temperance Union, they have been able to acquire enough power to gain support put officials in office so they can dictate what happens in law making process. Our government is being invaded by a religious sect which will lead to the demise of our government. If these ideas take over our government then all the values found in the Constitution will be lost. No longer will U.S. citizens enjoy the privleges of a democracy, but will have to endure the strict policies of the Protestant religion. Our society will regress three-hundred years back to the time before there were colonies and England religiously oppressed its people. Many states are in the hands of preacher-politicians which means leaders can t make a decision without the approval of their religion. Prohibition must be repealed in order to put a stop to the spread of the religious ideals on our country. In conclusion, we cannot let the perlious effects of prohibition damage our country any longer. Despite the ban of alcohol, statistics have proven that even more alcohol is found in the U.S. Violence levels has risen and organized crime now rule the streets of major cities, all due to prohibition. The U.S Govenrment is being influenced by the ideas of Protestants and is danger of being overridden by these ideas.The threat that prohibition imposes upon our country includes all the prementioned burdens. The magnitude of this threat conclusively proves that the eighteenth amendment appoints more harm than good on society and needs to annulled.