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Prohibition in the United States - Prohibition in the United States

Constitutional prohibition on alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933
Detroit police in a secret brewery during the prohibition era
"Every day will be Sunday when the city gets dry" (1918-1919)

The ban in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the manufacture, import, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933.

The prohibitionists tried for the first time in the 19th century to end the trade in alcoholic beverages. Led by Pietist Protestants, they wanted to cure what they viewed as a sick society ravaged by alcohol-related problems such as alcoholism, domestic violence, and saloon-based political corruption. Many communities introduced alcohol bans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the enforcement of these new prohibition laws became the subject of debate. Prohibition supporters, called "drys", presented it as a struggle for public morale and health. The movement was picked up by progressives in the Prohibition, Democratic and Republican parties and gained a national base through the Union for Christian Temperance of Women. After 1900 it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. The beer industry opposition mobilized "wet" supporters from the affluent Catholic and German Lutheran communities, but the influence of these groups declined from 1917 after the USA entered the First World War against Germany.

The alcohol industry was restricted by a number of state legislations and eventually ended nationwide under the eighteenth amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920, which was passed "by a majority of 68 percent in the House of Representatives and 76 percent in the Senate," and ratified by 46 out of 48 states. Legislation, known as the Volstead Act, set the rules for enforcing the federal ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were banned. Not all alcohol was banned; For example, the religious use of wine was allowed. Private property and alcohol use were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, and some states banned possession outright.

After the ban, criminal gangs took control of the supply of beer and spirits in many cities. In the late 1920s, new opposition to the ban emerged across the country. Critics attacked politics by causing crime, lowering local revenues, and imposing "rural" Protestant religious values ​​on "urban" America. The ban ended with the ratification of the twenty-first amendment, which repealed the eighteenth amendment on December 5, 1933, although the ban continued in some states. To date, this is the only time in American history that one constitutional amendment has been passed to repeal another.

Some research shows that alcohol consumption has decreased significantly as a result of the ban. The rates of cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholic psychosis and child mortality also decreased. The effects of the ban on crime and violence rates are controversial. Even so, it lost support every year and lowered the state's tax revenue at a critical time before and during the Great Depression.


In the United States, after the Civil War (and even before that with the Maine Act of 1851), social moralists turned to other issues, such as Mormon polygamy and the moderation movement.

On November 18, 1918, prior to the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, the US Congress passed the Temporary War Prohibition Act, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1.28%. (This law, designed to save grain for the war effort, was passed on November 11, 1918 after the armistice was signed at the end of World War I.) The War Prohibition Act came into effect on June 30, 1919, with effect from July 1, 1919 are called "Thirsty First".

The US Senate proposed the eighteenth amendment on December 18, 1917. After approval by a 36th state on January 16, 1919, the amendment was ratified as part of the constitution. Under the provisions of the amendment, the land became dry a year later, on January 17, 1920.

On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the national prohibition law, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. The law laid down the legal definition of intoxicating beverages and penalties for making them. Although the Volstead Act banned the sale of alcohol, the federal government lacked funds to enforce it.

The ban was successful in reducing alcohol consumption, cirrhosis death rates, admission to state psychiatric clinics for alcoholic psychosis, arrests for drunkenness in public, and the incidence of absenteeism. While many claim that prohibition stimulated the proliferation of rampant underground, organized, and widespread criminal activity, two scholars claim that crime did not increase during the prohibition era and that such claims are "impressionistic rather than factual." By 1925, there were 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs in New York alone. The wet opposition spoke of personal freedom, new tax revenues from legal beer and alcohol, and the scourge of organized crime.

On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% by weight and wine with a similarly low alcohol content. On December 5, 1933, the ratification of the twenty-first amendment repealed the eighteenth amendment. However, U.S. federal law continues to prohibit the manufacture of distilled spirits without meeting numerous regulatory requirements that make the manufacture of spirits for personal beverage use impractical.


The consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a controversial issue in America since colonial times. In May 1657, the Massachusetts Court approved the sale of strong liquor "whether known as rum, whiskey, wine, brandy, etc." to the Indians illegally.

In general, informal social checks at home and in the community helped maintain expectations that alcohol abuse was unacceptable. "Drunkenness was condemned and punished, but only as the abuse of a God-given gift. Drinking itself was not considered culpable, any more than eating earned the blame for the sin of gluttony. Excess was a personal indiscretion." When informal controls failed, there were legal options.

Shortly after the United States gained independence, the Whiskey Rebellion took place in western Pennsylvania to protest government-imposed taxes on whiskey. Although the taxes were raised primarily to help pay off the newly formed national debt, they also received support from some social reformers who hoped a "sin tax" would raise public awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol. The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson's Democratic Republican Party, which opposed the Federalist Party led by Alexander Hamilton, came to power in 1800.

Benjamin Rush, one of the leading physicians of the late 18th century, believed in moderation rather than prohibition. In his treatise, "The Study of the Effects of Fiery Spirits on the Human Body and Mind" (1784), Rush argued that excessive alcohol consumption was harmful to physical and mental health, and that drunkenness was a disease. Apparently influenced by Rush's much-debated belief, about 200 farmers in a Connecticut community formed a temperance union in 1789. Similar associations were formed in Virginia in 1800 and New York in 1808. Within a decade, other temperance groups had formed in eight states, some of which are national organizations. The words of Rush and other early temperance reformers were used to dichotomize alcohol use for men and women. While men enjoyed drinking and often viewed it as vital to their health, women who embraced the ideology of "true motherhood" avoided drinking. As a result, middle-class women, considered the moral authorities of their households, refused to drink alcohol that they believed posed a threat to the home. In 1830, Americans consumed an average of 1.7 bottles of liquor a week, three times as much as in 2010.

Development of the Prohibition Movement

"Anyone who does not love wine, women and song will be a fool all their life!" ( Who does not love wine, women & song / Remains a fool all his life. )

The American Temperance Society (ATS), founded in 1826, helped initiate the first temperance movement and served as the basis for many later groups. By 1835, the ATS had reached 1.5 million members, with women making up 35% to 60% of its chapters.

The prohibition movement, also known as the dry crusade, continued into the 1840s and was led by pietist religious denominations, particularly the Methodists. In the late 19th century, the moderation movement expanded its focus from abstinence to all behaviors and institutions related to alcohol consumption. Preachers like the Reverend Mark A. Matthews linked alcohol dispensing salons to political corruption.

Some successes for the movement were achieved in the 1850s, including the Maine Act, passed in 1851, banning the manufacture and sale of spirits. Before it was repealed in 1856, 12 states followed the example Maine had set in total prohibition. The moderation movement lost strength and was marginalized during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

After the war, the dry crusade was revived by the National Prohibition Party founded in 1869 and the WCTU (Woman's Christian Temperance Union) founded in 1873. The WCTU advocated banning alcohol as a method of preventing abuse through education through education of alcoholic husbands. WCTU members believed that if their organization could reach children with its message it could create a dry feeling that leads to a ban. Frances Willard, the second president of the WCTU, suggested that the aim of the organization was to create an "association of women of all denominations" in order to educate the youth, develop a better public feeling, reform the drinking classes and transforming the power of divine grace from those enslaved to alcohol and removing the drama shop from our streets by law. "While women in WCTU were still denied universal suffrage, they followed Frances Willard's" Do Everything. " "Doctrine and used temperance as a method to enter into politics and advance other progressive issues such as prison reform and labor laws.

This 1902 illustration from the newspaper Hawaiian Gazette shows in a humorous way the water healing torture used by the Anti-Saloon League and the WCTU on brewers.

In 1881, Kansas became the first state to prohibit alcoholic beverages in its constitution. Prohibition activist Carrie Nation has been arrested more than 30 times and has been fined and jailed multiple times. She tried to enforce the state ban on alcohol consumption. She went to salons, scolded customers and destroyed bottles of alcohol with her hatchet. Nation recruited women into the Carrie Nation Prohibition Group, which she also ran. While Nation's vigilante techniques were rare, other activists pushed the dry cause through by entering salons, singing, praying, and asking saloonkeepers to stop selling alcohol. Other arid states, especially those in the south, passed prohibition laws, as did individual districts within a state.

Court cases also discussed the issue of the ban. While some cases were decided in the opposition, the general tendency was to support. In Mugler v. Kansas (1887) commented Justice Harlan: "We cannot exclude from the point of view the fact that public health, morality, and public safety may be endangered by the general use of intoxicating beverages, nor the fact accessible through statistics open to everyone, that the inaction, disorder, poverty and crime that exist in the country are to some extent ... due to this evil. "In support of the ban remarked Crowley v. Christensen (1890): "The statistics of every state show a greater amount of crime and misery attributable to the use of fiery liquor obtained in these retail liquor salons than any other source."

The proliferation of neighborhood salons in the post-Civil War era became a phenomenon of an increasingly industrialized urban workforce. Workers' bars were popular meeting places at work and at home. The brewing industry was actively involved in establishing sedans as a lucrative consumer base in their business chain. Limousines were often associated with a specific brewery, where the limo owner's operation was funded by a brewer and was contractually bound to sell the brewer's product to the exclusion of competing brands. The limo business model has often involved offering a free lunch where the bill, which is usually high-salt food, is meant to make people thirsty and buy drinks. During the Progressive Era (1890-1920) hostility towards sedans and their political influence spread, with the Anti-Saloon League replacing the Prohibition Party and the Union for Christian Moderation of Women as the most influential proponents of the ban after the latter two groups expanded their efforts to support other social reform issues such as women's suffrage on their ban platform.

The ban was a major force in state and local politics from the 1840s through the 1930s. Numerous historical studies have shown that the political forces involved were ethno-religious. The ban was supported by the dryers, especially by Pietist-Protestant denominations, which included Methodists, Northern Baptists, Southern Baptists, New School Presbyterians, disciples of Christ, Congregationalists, Quakers and Scandinavian Lutherans, but also the Catholic Union for Total Abstinence from America and to some extent the Latter-day Saints. These religious groups identified saloons as politically corrupt and drinking a personal sin. Other active organizations were the Women's Church Federation, the Women's Temperance Crusade, and the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction. They were rejected by the nets, especially liturgical Protestants (bishops and German Lutherans) and Catholics, who denounced the idea that government should define morality. Even in the humid stronghold of New York City, there was an active ban movement, led by Norwegian church groups and African American labor activists who believed the ban would benefit workers, especially African Americans. Tea merchants and soda fountain manufacturers generally supported the ban, as a ban on alcohol would increase sales of their products. A particularly effective actor on the political front was Wayne Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon League, who turned Prohibition into a wedge problem and managed to elect many Pro-Prohibition candidates. When he came from Ohio, his deep grudges against alcohol began at a young age. He was injured by a drunk worker on a farm. This event transformed Wheeler. He started deep in the ranks and rose quickly due to his ingrained hatred of alcohol. He later realized that to move the movement forward he would need more public approval, and quickly. This was the beginning of his policy called "Wheelerism", in which he used the media to create the impression that the general public was "on in" on a certain topic. Wheeler became known as the "dry boss" because of his influence and power.

Governor James P. Goodrich signs the Indiana Prohibition Act of 1917

The ban represented a conflict between urban and rural values ​​that arose in the United States. Given the massive influx of migrants into the urban centers of the United States, many individuals within the Prohibition Movement have linked the crime and morally corrupt behavior of American cities to their large immigrant populations. Salons frequented by immigrants in these cities were often attended by politicians seeking immigrant votes in exchange for favors such as job offers, legal assistance, and food baskets. Sedans were seen as a breeding ground for political corruption.

Most of the early 20th century economists were in favor of passing the eighteenth amendment (prohibition). Simon Patten, a leading proponent of the ban, predicted that in the United States, for reasons of competition and evolution, the ban would come at some point. Wry economics professor Irving Fisher of Yale wrote extensively about the ban, including a paper making an economic case for the ban. Fisher is credited with providing the criteria by which future bans, such as against marijuana, could be measured in terms of crime, health and productivity. For example, "Blue Monday" referred to the hangover workers who experienced excessive drinking after a weekend of drinking that resulted in Monday being a wasted productive day. However, recent research has discredited Fisher's research, which was based on uncontrolled experimentation. Regardless, its $ 6 billion annual Prohibition profits figure for the United States continues to be cited.

In a backlash to the looming reality of a changing American population, many prohibitionists endorsed the doctrine of nativism in which they advocated the notion that America's success was a result of its white Anglo-Saxon ancestry. This belief fueled resentment towards urban immigrant communities, who typically spoke out in favor of abolishing the ban. In addition, nativist feelings were part of a larger Americanization process that happened over the same period.

Political cartoon criticizing the alliance between prohibitionists and women's suffrage movements. The geniuses of intolerance known as "prohibition" emerge from his bottle.

Two other changes to the constitution have been advocated by dry crusaders to help their cause. One was approved in the Sixteenth Amendment (1913) that replaced alcohol taxes, which the federal government funded, with a federal income tax. The other was women's suffrage, granted after the nineteenth amendment was passed in 1920; As women tended to support the ban, moderation organizations tended to support women's suffrage.

In the 1916 presidential election, Democratic incumbent Woodrow Wilson and Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes ignored the ban issue, as did both parties' political platforms. Democrats and Republicans had strong wet and dry factions and it was expected that the elections would be tight and none of the candidates wanted to alienate any part of their political base.

The 65th Congress convened in March 1917, with the drought exceeding the Democratic Party by 140-64 and the Republicans by 138-62. With the American declaration of war on Germany in April, the German Americans, an important force against the ban, were incapacitated and their protests were subsequently ignored. In addition, a new justification for the ban emerged: the ban on the manufacture of alcoholic beverages would allow more resources - particularly grain that would otherwise be used to make alcohol - to be used in the war effort. While the war ban was a spark for the movement, World War I ended before the statewide ban was enacted.

A resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to implement the nationwide ban was introduced in Congress and passed by both Houses in December 1917. By January 16, 1919, the amendment had been ratified by 36 of the 48 states, making it law. In the end, only two states - Connecticut and Rhode Island - chose to ratify it. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed an act known as the Volstead Act to enforce the eighteenth amendment when it came into effect in 1920.

Beginning of the national ban (January 1920)

After the 36th state accepted the change on January 16, 1919, the US Secretary of State had to issue a formal proclamation declaring its ratification. Implementing and enforcement laws had to be submitted to Congress and state lawmakers to be passed a year later before the change's effective date.
Budweiser advertisement from 1919 announcing the reformulation of Budweiser under the law, which will be available for sale until 1920

The ban began on January 17, 1920 when the Volstead Act came into effect. A total of 1,520 federal prohibition agents (police) were commissioned with the enforcement.

Proponents of the amendment were soon confident that it would not be repealed. One of its creators, Senator Morris Sheppard, joked, "There are as many chances of repealing the eighteenth amendment as there are possible for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument on its tail."

At the same time, songs were written that deciphered the act. After Edward, Prince of Wales, returned to Great Britain after his tour of Canada in 1919, he told his father, King George V, a little song he heard in a border town:

Twenty-four Yankees feeling very dry
went over the border to have some rye.
When the rye was opened, the Americans began to sing:
"God bless America, but God save the king!"

The ban was discussed very controversially among medical professionals, as alcohol was widely used by doctors of the era for therapeutic purposes. Congress held hearings on the medicinal value of beer in 1921. Doctors across the country then campaigned for the ban on medicinal spirits to be lifted. From 1921 to 1930, doctors made about $ 40 million on whiskey recipes.

Prescription for medical alcohol during the ban

While the manufacture, import, sale, and transportation of alcohol was illegal in the United States, Section 29 of the Volstead Act allowed wine and cider to be made at home from fruit, but not beer. Up to 200 gallons of wine and cider could be produced per year, and some vineyards have grown grapes for home use. The law did not prohibit alcohol consumption. Many people stored wines and spirits for personal use in late 1919 before the sale of alcoholic beverages became illegal in January 1920.

With alcohol legal in neighboring countries, distilleries and breweries flourished in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean as their products were either consumed by Americans or illegally smuggled into the United States. The Detroit River, which is part of the United States' border with Canada, has been known to be difficult to control, especially its circumnavigation in Windsor, Canada. When the US government complained to the British that American law was being undermined by officials in Nassau, Bahamas, the head of the British Colonial Office refused to intervene. Winston Churchill believed that the ban was "an affront to all of human history".

Three federal agencies have been tasked with enforcing the Volstead Act: the US Coast Guard Office of Law Enforcement, the US Treasury Department's IRS Bureau of Prohibition, and the US Department of Justice Bureau of Prohibition.

Pirated copies and hoarding old supplies

A policeman with a wrecked car and confiscated moonlight, 1922

As early as 1925, the journalist HL Mencken believed that the ban was not working. The historian David Oshinsky summed up the work of Daniel Okrent and wrote: "The ban worked best when it was directed at its main target: the poor of the working class." Historian Lizabeth Cohen writes: "A wealthy family could have a basement full of booze and get by as it seemed, but if a poor family had a bottle of home brew, there would be trouble." The workers were inflamed that their employers could dive into a private cache while as employees they could not. Within a week of the ban taking effect, small portable stills were on sale across the country.

Before the eighteenth amendment came into effect in January 1920, many of the upper classes were storing alcohol for their own legal consumption after prohibition began. They bought supplies from liquor dealers and wholesalers and emptied their warehouses, salons, and club storage rooms. President Woodrow Wilson moved his own supply of alcoholic beverages to his Washington residence at the end of his term in office. His successor, Warren G. Harding, moved his own large supply to the White House.

Removal of alcohol during the ban

After the eighteenth amendment became law, piracy became widespread. In the first six months of 1920, the federal government opened 7,291 cases for violations of the Volstead Act. In the first full fiscal year of 1921, the number of violations of the Volstead Act rose to 29,114 violations and would increase dramatically over the next thirteen years.

Grape juice was not restricted by the ban, although if left for sixty days it would ferment and turn into wine with an alcoholic strength of twelve percent. Many people took advantage of this when grape juice production quadrupled during the prohibition period. Vine-Glo was sold for this purpose and had a special warning telling people how to make wine out of it.

To prevent pirates from using industrial ethyl alcohol to make illegal beverages, the federal government ordered industrial alcohol to be poisoned. In response, pirates hired chemists who successfully renatured the alcohol to make it drinkable. In response, the finance department urged manufacturers to add more deadly poisons, including the particularly deadly methyl alcohol, which is 4 parts of methanol, 2.25 parts of pyridine base, and 0.5 part of benzene per 100 parts of ethyl alcohol. Medical examiners in New York prominently opposed this policy because of the danger to human life. Up to 10,000 people died of denatured alcohol before the end of Prohibition. New York coroner Charles Norris believed the government assumed responsibility for murder when they knew the poison would not deter consumption, and they continued to poison industrial alcohol (which would be used to drink alcohol). Norris noted, "The government knows that by putting poison in alcohol ... [Y] it does not stop drinking and continues its poisoning processes despite the fact that people who are determined to drink absorb this poison on a daily basis They know this is true. The United States government must take moral responsibility for the deaths caused by poisoned alcohol, even though it cannot be held legally responsible. "

Another deadly substance that often replaced alcohol was sterno, a fuel commonly known as "can heat". Forcing the substance through a makeshift filter like a handkerchief created a crude alcohol substitute; The result, however, was poisonous, though not often fatal.

Orange County, California, Sheriff's MPs Disposing of Illegal Alcohol, 1932

It was common practice to make alcohol at home in some families with wet compassion during prohibition. The stores were selling grape concentrate with warning labels detailing the steps to avoid to prevent the juice from fermenting into wine. Some drug stores sold "medicinal wine" with an alcohol content of around 22%. To justify the sale, the wine was given a medicinal taste. Self-distilled liquor was known as bathtub gin in northern cities and moonshine in rural areas of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Brewing good liquor was easier than brewing good beer. Because the sale of privately distilled alcohol was illegal and state taxes bypassed, police officers tirelessly pursued the manufacturers. In response, bootleggers modified their cars and trucks by upgrading the engines and suspensions to make faster vehicles that they believed would improve their chances of escaping and escaping agents of the Bureau of Prohibition, commonly known as " Revenue Agents "or" Avengers "are called. These cars became known as "moonlight runners" or "gloss runners". Stores with wet sympathies were also known to enter the underground liquor market by loading their inventories with ingredients for liquor, including Bénédictine, vermouth, scotch mash, and even ethyl alcohol. Anyone can buy these ingredients legally.

In October 1930, just two weeks before the midterm elections in Congress, the pirate George Cassiday - "the man in the green hat" - stepped forward and told members of Congress how he had faked for ten years. As one of the few pirates to ever tell its story, Cassiday wrote five front-page articles for the Washington Post in which he estimated 80% of congressmen and senators were drinking. The Democrats in the north were mostly wet, and they made big wins in the 1932 election. The Wets argued that Prohibition did not stop crime and actually caused the creation of large, well-funded, and well-armed criminal syndicates. As the ban became increasingly unpopular, especially in urban areas, its lifting was eagerly awaited. Wets had the organization and the initiative. They pushed for the argument that states and localities needed the tax money. President Herbert Hoover proposed a new constitutional amendment that was vague in details and did not please either side. Franklin Roosevelt's Democratic Platform promised the repeal of the 18th Amendment.

When the ban was lifted in 1933, many pirates and suppliers with wet sympathies simply stepped into the legitimate liquor business. Some criminal syndicates have sought to expand their protection thugs into the legal sale of liquor and other businesses.

Medical alcohol

A ban - a prescription used by US doctors to prescribe alcohol as a medicine

Doctors could prescribe medical alcohol to their patients. After just six months of the ban, over 15,000 doctors and 57,000 pharmacists were licensed to prescribe or sell medical alcohol. According to Gastro Obscura ,

In the 1920s, doctors wrote an estimated 11 million prescriptions a year, and Prohibition Commissioner John F. Kramer even quoted a doctor who wrote 475 recipes for whiskey in one day. It wasn't difficult for people to write - and fill up - fake subscriptions in pharmacies, either. Of course, pirates bought prescription forms from crooked doctors and participated in widespread scams. In 1931, 400 pharmacists and 1,000 doctors were involved in a scam in which doctors sold signed prescription forms to pirates. Only 12 doctors and 13 pharmacists were charged, and the defendants were punished with a one-time fine of $ 50. Selling alcohol through drug stores became such a lucrative open secret that it has been checked by name in works like The Great Gatsby. Historians speculate that Charles R. Walgreen, of Walgreens fame, expanded from 20 stores to a staggering 525 in the 1920s thanks to the sale of medicinal alcohol. "

-  Paula Mejia, "The Profitable Business of Prescribing Alcohol During the Prohibition"; Gastro Obscura, 2017.


When the ban went into effect, the majority of US citizens followed it.

Some states like Maryland and New York opposed the ban. There was no centralized authority in enforcing the law after the eighteenth amendment. Clergymen were sometimes asked to form support groups to help enforce the ban. In addition, American geography added to the difficulties in enforcing the ban. The varied terrain of valleys, mountains, lakes, and swamps, as well as the vast sea routes, ports, and borders that the United States shared with Canada and Mexico made it extremely difficult for Prohibition agents to stop pirates because they lacked resources. Ultimately, when it was repealed, it was recognized that the means of enforcing the law were not pragmatic and, in many cases, the legislature was inconsistent with popular opinion.

In Cicero, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), the proliferation of ethnic communities who had wet sympathies made it possible for prominent gang leader Al Capone to operate despite the police presence.

The Ku Klux Klan talked a lot about denouncing piracy and threatened private vigilante groups against known criminals. Despite its large membership in the mid-1920s, it was poorly organized and rarely had any impact. Indeed, after 1925, the KKK helped lower the enforcement of the ban.

The ban was a severe blow to the alcoholic beverage industry and its lifting was a step towards improving an economic sector. An example of this is St. Louis, a major pre-ban alcohol producer who was ready to resume its position in the industry as soon as possible. The large brewery had "50,000 barrels" of beer ready for sale from March 22, 1933 and was the first alcohol producer to supply the market again. others soon followed. After the repeal, the stores were licensed for liquor and restocked for business operations. After beer production resumed, thousands of workers found work in the industry again.

The ban created a black market that competed with the formal economy and came under pressure when the Great Depression broke out in 1929. State governments desperately needed the tax revenue generated by alcohol sales. Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932, in part on his promise to end the ban, which influenced his support for ratifying the twenty-first amendment to the constitution to lift the ban.


The Americans celebrated the end of Prohibition in 1933

The Navy Captain William H. Stayton was a prominent figure in the fight against the prohibition and founded the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment in 1918. The AAPA was the largest of the nearly forty organizations that fought against ending Prohibition. Economic urgency played a huge role in accelerating the endorsement of repeal. The number of conservatives who initially pushed for a ban has decreased. Many farmers who fought for the ban are now fighting for it to be lifted because of the negative impact it had on the farming business. Prior to the implementation of the Volstead Act in 1920, approximately 14% of federal, state, and local tax revenues came from the alcohol trade. When the Great Depression hit and tax revenues fell, governments needed this source of income. Millions could be made by taxing beer. There has been controversy over whether the repeal should be a state or a national decision. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an amendment to the Volstead Act, known as the Cullen-Harrison Act, which would restrict the manufacture and sale of 3.2% beer (3.2% alcohol by weight, approximately 4% by volume) % Alcohol) and light material make wines possible. The Volstead Act previously defined an intoxicating drink as one with more than 0.5% alcohol. On signing the Cullen-Harrison Act, Roosevelt remarked, "I think this would be a good time for a beer." According to a 2017 study in the magazine Public Choice Representatives of traditional beer-producing states and democratic politicians were most in favor of the bill, but politicians from many southern states were most against the legislation.

The eighteenth amendment was repealed on December 5, 1933 with the ratification of the twenty-first amendment to the US Constitution. Despite the efforts of Heber J. Grant, President of Latter-day Saints Church of Jesus Christ, that day the 21 Utah members of the Constitutional Convention unanimously voted to ratify the twenty-first amendment, making Utah the 36th So state, and repeal to exaggerate the eighteenth amendment in the necessary vote.

In the late 1930s, after it was lifted, two-fifths of Americans wanted to reinstate the national ban.

After the repeal