What Constitutional Amendment was developed with the sincerest of intentions but resulted in the growth and romanticism of the Flapper era, women in bars, the Mafia, turning law-abiding citizens into scofflaws, thriving black market, spawned speakeasies, found creative ways of distributing moonshine, had the government poisoning citizens, diminished tax revenues, and flamed the fires of corruption everywhere? Why, Prohibition, of course! Also known as the Volstead Act, it was the one law that proved that you cannot legislate your version of morality. Not everyone will agree, and even the most staunch and patriotic of law-abiding citizens will break the law if the law is senseless. Personal liberty is a very big thing.
Unfortunately, many years later, there is still a very prohibitionist attitude in many so-called “dry” regions, but that’s a discussion for another day, another blog, or Free the Grapes.
According to Wikipedia: In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the introduction of alcohol prohibition and its subsequent enforcement in law was a hotly-debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called drys, presented it as a victory for public morals and health. Anti-prohibitionists, known as wets, criticized the alcohol ban as an intrusion of mainly rural Protestant ideals on a central aspect of urban, immigrant, and Catholic life. When federal prohibition legislation was passed, effective enforcement of the ban during the Prohibition Era proved difficult and the law was widely flouted. Without a solid popular consensus for its enforcement, Prohibition led to some unintended consequences and its ultimate repeal in 1933: the growth of criminal organizations, including the modern American Mafia and various other criminal groups, disregard of federal law, and corruption among some politicians and within law enforcement.
Prohibition accomplished one thing: the legal consumption of alcohol fell substantially, and stayed low until the 1940s. Of course, it was the illegal consumption that caused the issues that have lasted until the current era.
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.
I, for one, raised a glass of wine in celebration. I hope that you did, too!