"Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic
 experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose."



   I. Enactment
       A. Fruition of early 1800s Temperance Movement
       B. 18th Amendment & Volstead Act (1920)
            1. Preceded by 26 states (Maine #1)
            2. Created sudden countless criminals
       C. No measure more unpopular & more violated
  II. Public support
       A. Wholesome country living vs. urban moral decay
       B. Middle class throughout South & West
       C. Protestant fundamentalists, esp. rural
       D. Lingering turn-of-the-century Progressives
       E. Social organizations
            1. American Anti-Saloon League
            2. Women's Christian Temperance Union
       F. Nativists w/ racial alcohol-use stereotypes
       G. Patriotic smokescreen (during WWI)
       H. Obstacles for support (or: fuel for opposition)
            1. Infringement of personal choice
            2. Tax increase to fund enforcement
 III. Enforcement
       A. Nearly impossible
            1. Widespread public opposition
            2. Underfunded & undermanned (only 1,500 agents)
            3. Half-hearted enforcement personnel support
                  • corruption
                  • inefficiency
                  • indifference
            4. Law ignored by some politicians & gov't officials
            5. Organized crime was major enemy
       B. Public defiance
            1. Bootlegger = dealer of bathtub gin & moonshine
            2. Private stills
                  • magazines (inc. TIME) → construction plans
                  • hardware stores → assembly kits
                  • grocery stores → simple ingredients
                  • cafés, ice cream parlors → outlets
            3. Speakeasy = surreptitious bar
       C. Legal alternatives
            1. Medicinal alcohol
            2. Sacramental wine
            3. Near-beer (later 3.2 beer)
            4. Cleaning solutions


 IV. Organized crime
       A. Opportunity to operate hugely lucrative industry
       B. Al Capone = most notorious (almost legendary)
            1. 10,000 Chicago bars & supply sources
            2. Numerous public officials on payroll
            3. All-time U.S. high of $105 million in 1927
       C. Sec. of Treas. Andrew Mellon assigned to foil
            1. Two-pronged attack
                  • Elmer Irey (IRS) → income tax evasion
                  • Eliot Ness (Prohibition Bureau) → liquor
            2. Several indictments; 11 yrs. for tax evasion
       D. Capone vs. Ness saga = The Untouchables movie
            1. Much of story fabricated
            2. Role of Ness enhanced
            3. Laden w/ factual errors
  V. Legacy
       A. Repealed by 21st Amendment (1933)
       B. Reduced overall alcohol consumption
       C. Increased lawlessness (inc. organized crime)
       D. 7 states continued (Mississippi dry until 1966)
       E. Pres. Herbert Hoover: the "noble experiment"

"A Little Party Never Killed Nobody"   by Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock