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American History - 3. Return To Normalcy > 3. Prohibition > Flashcards

Flashcards in 3. Prohibition Deck (15):
1

Why was prohibition introduced?
Give 4 reasons

1. WOMENS TEMPERANCE ASSOCIATIONS and the ANTI-SALOON LEAGUE campaigned against drinking, arguing that it encouraged child abuse and domestic violence

2. INDUSTRIALISTS like Henry Ford thought that drinking reduced efficiency and work output

3. Some RELIGIOUS GROUPS argued that alcohol was the root of all sin and evil

4. US participation in WW1 encouraged support as many Brewers were of German descent, which fuelled patriotism

2

- What did Wilson ban until the end of the war?
- What was passed in January 1919?

- In 1918, Wilson banned beer production until the end of the war
- In January 1919, the Prohibition Amendment was passed, and became known as the Volstead Act

3

In what ways did prohibition not work?

Prohibition just didn't work - it only drove drinkers underground. At 30,000 in New York alone, there were more speakeasies then there had been legal drinking saloons.

It was a law that was impossible to enforce.

4

Why didn't prohibition work?
Give 3 reasons
(Give statistics)

1. GEOGRAPHICAL - the US had more then 18,700 miles of coastline so it was difficult to intercept smuggling. In 1925, only 5% of alcohol entering the US was intercepted

2. INTERNATIONAL REVENUE SERVICE - was set up to enforce prohibition, but was riddled with corruption. Between 1920 and 1930, about 10% of its agents were fined for corruption

3. BOOTLEGGERS - those who illegally produced and distributed alcohol - often called 'moonshine' (as it was produced in remote areas, often by the light of the moon

5

THE END OF PROHIBITION
By the early 30s, there was growing resentment for prohibition
- Which presidential candidate advocated its abolition?
- What did president Hoover set up to investigate prohibition?
- In what year did Roosevelt finally abolish prohibition, and why?

- Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith advocated the abolition of prohibition
- Hoover set up the WICKERSHAM COMMISSION to investigate prohibition. It reported that it was impossible to enforce, but recommended its continuation
- Roosevelt abolished prohibition in 1933, during the depression, as people thought that local brewing industries would create jobs and help combat the effects of depression

6

What were the benefits of prohibition?
(Think about deaths due to alcohol, road accidents, arrests, consumption...)
Give 4 points with statistics

1. By 1921, deaths due to alcoholism had fallen by 80%. Male deaths due to cirrhosis of the liver fell to 10.7 per 100,000 in 1927
2. Reduced deaths due to road accidents, as well as drink related accidents at work
3. Arrests from drunkenness fell
4. Alcohol consumption fell from 2.6gallons per person in 1917 to 1 gallon by the 30s

7

SHORTCOMINGS
Give 4 shortcomings of prohibition, with statistics
(Think poisoned alcohol, gang crime, illegal drinking, industry...)

1. About 50,000 died from poisoned alcohol
2. Created organised crime and gangs. Between 1927 and 1930, there were 227 gang murders, with only 2 killers ever convicted
3. A large percentage of the population drank illegally
4. The brewing industry suffered badly - eg St Louis had 22 breweries, with only 9 reopened after prohibition

8

What did New York politician Fiorello LaGuardia famously say about prohibition?

"It is impossible to tell whether prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has never been enforced"

9

GANGSTERS AND ORGANISED CRIME
- How did mobsters control territory?
- How did gangs sell alcohol?
- What else did they become involved with?
- Mobsters were easily able to control politicians, for example....

- Mobsters controlled territory by force
- They established monopolies in the manufacture and sale of alcohol, as well as building hundreds of breweries and transporting alcohol in armoured lorries
- They also became involved in prostitution and 'numbers' (illegal lottery)
- Mobsters were easily able to control politicians, for example, 'Big Bill' Thompson, the Mayor of Chicago, who did nothing to control gangs in his city

10

AL CAPONE
1. Son of an _______ _______, and left school at an early age
2. Nicknamed ________ after a fight when he was working as a bouncer at a New York club
3. Succeeded ______, who ran illegal alcohol businesses in Chicago
4. Controlled ______, ______ and _____ with bribes, and was able to fix ______
5. What 5 other things was Capone also able to control?
6. He had an army of _____ gangsters, who committed over _____ murders
7. Was seen as a glamorous man, who moved in the highest of social circles, and even opened a _____ after the Wall Street crash

1. Son of an Italian Immigrant, and left school at an early age
2. Nicknamed Scarface after a fight when he was working as a bouncer at a New York club
3. Succeeded John Torrio, who ran illegal alcohol businesses in Chicago
4. Controlled local officials, senior police and the mayor with bribes, and was also able to fix local elections
5. He also controlled speakeasies, gambling houses, brothels, night clubs and breweries
6. He had an army of 700 gangsters, who committed over 300 murders
7. Was seen as a glamorous man, who moved in the highest of social circles, and even opened a soup kitchen after the Wall Street crash

11

Describe the Valentine's Day massacre

Valentine's Day Massacre - 14th Feb 1929
Five of Capone's men dresses as police officers, and arrested 7 of the rival gang members from 'Bugs Moran' and machine gunned them to death. Capone was in Florida with the perfect alibi

12

What is a WASP?

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants - the original American settlers
They tended to treat other minorities such as Jews, Irish, Italians and Asians very badly

13

What was the Anti-Saloon League?
When and where was it founded?
What other forces was it allied with? - what did these do?

Anti-Saloon League
- Founded in 1893 in Ohio, beginning as a state organisation
- In 1913 they announced their campaign to achieve prohibition through a constitutional amendment
- They were allied with other forces such as THE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY and WOMENS CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE SOCIETY - who had the support of pietistic ministers, and Wayne Wheeler was their most influential leader

14

FAMOUS GANGSTERS OF THE 1920s

Who were....

Edmund 'Eddie Boyle'
Dan Carroll
Joseph P Kennedy
Arnold Rothstein
Max Boo Boo Hoff

- EDMUND 'EDDIE' BOYLE - part of the Gambino crime family - one of the 'five families' that dominated organised crime in NYC
- DAN CARROLL - organised crime figure who controlled bootlegging in Boston
- JOSEPH P KENNEDY - a respectable business man who became involved in bootlegging. He provided alcohol at Harvard alumni dinners, reflecting that even respectable people became involved in illegal drinking
- ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN (the brain) - head of the New York Jewish Mob, the first person who saw prohibition as a business opportunity. He was also accused of fixing the 1919 World Series
- MAX 'BOO BOO' HOFF - bootlegger/mobster in Philadelphia. His operation included an office with 175 phones and a weekly pay roll of $30,000 - one of Americas richest mobsters. He transported 350,000 gallons of alcohol I've a three month period

15

______ also became a big area for bootlegging, and some mobsters also owned big clubs like the _______ in New York. In Philadelphia alone, it is estimated that ______ people died each week due to poisoned alcohol (for example ______'s __________ company) - though this is most likely an underestimate as ___________

Philadelphia also became a big area for bootlegging, and some mobsters also owned big clubs like the Cotton Club in New York. In Philadelphia alone, it is estimated that 10-12 people died each week due to poisoned alcohol (for example Boo Boo Hoff's 100% alcohol for cleaning company) - though this is most likely an underestimate as people didn't want to admit to it