The Repeal of Prohibition in the United States was accomplished with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933.
In 1919, the requisite number of state legislatures ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, enabling national prohibition one year later. Many women, notably members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, were pivotal in bringing about national Prohibition in the United States, believing it would protect families, women, and children from the effects of alcohol abuse.
Impact of prohibition
The proponents of prohibition had believed that banning alcoholic beverages would reduce or even eliminate many social problems, particularly drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty. In 1925 journalist H.L. Mencken believed the opposite to be true:
Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished.
So what did we learn boys and girls from this brave experiment? Some of the lesser known – well in some cases anyway facts about this fun time.
- Cost the government estimated billions in lost revenue
- Cost the government estimated millions to enforce
- Gave rise to the mob as we know it
- Killed over 10,000 people from Government poisoned alcohol
- People in power still drank and had stock piles of it
- DC was probably drunker then than now
- People all over still drank
There you have it, let some people decide that they know best for the masses, and let them take it to Johnathan Swift levels of absurdity.
- On this day 1933…Prohibition ends (thedrinksbusiness.com)
- Ending Prohibition: Yet Another Nullification Success Story (tenthamendmentcenter.com)
- Party like it’s 1933: Repeal Day cocktail specials around Seattle (blogs.seattletimes.com)
- Celebrate: 80 years since Prohibition (rss.cnn.com)
- Celebrate The Repeal Of the 18th Amendment This Thursday (cravedfw.com)
- Ignoble Experiment (maggiemcneill.wordpress.com)
- Shaken, Stirred or Straight Up? US Toasts Repeal of Prohibition (voanews.com)