Prohibition

Definition - What does Prohibition mean?

Prohibition was a time in the United States when the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited according to the US Constitution's 18th amendment. It began in 1920 and ended in 1933 when it was finally repealed by the 21st amendment.

Despite the fact that the sale of alcohol was outlawed, the consumption of it actually doubled thanks to smuggling and bootlegging.

WineFrog explains Prohibition

The period of Prohibition was a violent time in US history. Due to the ban of the manufacture, transportation and sale of "intoxicating" liquors, some producers and even those who were not originally involved in the making of alcohol, went underground.

The sale and distribution of alcohol became a black market and as a side effect, mafias and gangs were formed, as they saw it as an opportunity to make a lot of money. One of the more famous gangsters, Al Capone, was said to have made $60 million annually, however, this is only an account of the money which was found.

Originally, Prohibition was not a means of banning all types of alcohol, for example, wine. After the US entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson called for a temporary prohibition so that grain was not used for making alcohol, but only reserved for food for its population on the home front. The ban of all alcohol was due to a wave of religious conservatives, which created their own state laws, banning libations which contained even low levels of alcohol.

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