Why was prohibition introduced in the USA in 191
There were many reasons why prohibition was introduced in the USA in 1919 the alcohol issue went back years to the 19 century when a wave of immigrants came from Europe who did drink alcohol and clashed with the anti-alcohol Protestant settlers that were already there. The Protestants claimed that alcohol was the cause of lots of diseases and that it caused the man to become violent and neglect his family. In 1875 a group of women set up the ‘National Women’s Christian Temperance Union’ after Elizabeth Thompson who was the leader of a group of women protesters that went round all of the saloons in there town and protested by praying and singing hymns to try and close them down.
This idea spread and in 1880 the NWCTU succeeded in making Kansas the first state to become dry. Once Kansas became dry other states began to follow. A few years after that in 1893 a new organisation was set up ‘The Anti Saloon League’ which was a group of powerful American business men who wanted prohibition because they thought that there workers would work better if they didn’t go out and get drunk every night. Wynne Wheeler was head of the group and Dupont and Rockefellers (the oil company) were two of the companies that funded it.
What the ASL did was to bribe the candidates standing for state presidency so that when they got elected they would immediately make their state dry; they mostly concentrated on the states that had the biggest populations, and in 1912 half of America’s population lived in dry states even though only a few state had become dry. The next step for the ASL was to try to make Prohibition a national law, it was touch and go weather prohibition would be passed as a national law. The turning point was WWI the. The ASL used WWI to manipulate the voting by doing 2 things:
1) They said that good grain was being wasted on making whisky when it could be used for countries in need of charity because of the war. They said it was like taking a meal away from a child every time you bought a bottle of whisky.
2) Because brewing was mainly done in Milwaukee, which was an American City set up by German immigrants, the ASL said that voting against Prohibition would be like voting for the enemy (Germany).
In 1919 the Anti saloon League put prohibition to the test to see if they could make it a national law, Congress had no alternative but to pass it as a national law because voting against it would be seen as you voting for poverty and starvation in poorer countries and it would also be seen as you voting for the enemy.
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