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HISTORY OF NYC PROHIBITION

WHY WAS PROHIBITION POPULAR?

  • People thought it could reduce crime, improve health and safety, promote economic prosperity, and promote moral values.
  • The effects of alcohol were being examined more in the medical field, and people were starting to realize how damaging these effects were.
  • Families' were being affected because sometimes alcohol was being abused by the husbands', and this could lead to abuse and economic instability within the home.

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED?

  • Prohibition was enacted on January 16th, 1919, despite Woodrow Wilson's veto. The legislation was named the Volstead Act, and 36 states ratified it.
  • While consumption of alcohol decreased, crime rates due to smuggling and consumption of alcohol soared.
  • By 1925, in New York City alone, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs.
  • Notorious gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano emerged as notorious criminals who were directly linked to smuggling alcohol.
  • Women's temperance groups were created to lead the attack on alcohol smuggling and abstinence.
  • Prohibition in New York State ended before prohibition ended nationally, 12 years after the Volstead Act passed.