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Prohibition and Its Failure

Based on Sources

Sources A and B give both similar and different reasons when

discussing why Prohibition was introduced as law in America in the

1920s. At first glance of both sources it appears they agree in more

ways about the reasons for prohibition, than disagree.

To begin with, both agree completely that alcohol is a bad thing and

therefore hold that as one reason for it's banning. The suggestion

that alcohol is negative is shown in Source A when 'the bad influence

of saloons' is given as an explanation, and likewise in Source B when

alcohol is described as 'one of the greatest evils of all times'.

Another example of the sources strong agreement regarding some of the

reasons for prohibition is the need to preserve grain for food. Source

A presents this when it puts forward the reason, 'wartime concern for

preserving grain for food', and source B further agrees with this,

'pressure to bear on Congress to ban the use of grain for either

distilling or brewing. Additionally, these two sources agree about

prohibition in that they both suggest pro-prohibition unions, such as

the Women's Christian Temperance Union' had an effect on the

introduction of prohibition. This is stated in Source A, 'the

influence of the Anti-Saloon League', as it is in Source B,

'Organisations such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union had

joined in a crusade against on of the great evils of the

times-alcoholism and reinstated later on in the source, 'In 1917 a

nation-wide campaign, led by the Anti-Saloon League brought pressure

to bear on Congress…' Lastly, it can be argued that they both firmly

agree once more in that they both suggest women were the main

contributors to protesting against alcohol, and therefore for

prohibition. Source A implies this, 'the influence of the Anti-Saloon

League at a time when large numbers of men were absent in the armed

forces, and Source B clearly suggests this in its mention of the

'Women's Christian Temperance Union', obviously a female orientated


Despite all the aforementioned examples of points in both sources

where they both agree on the subject of prohibition, there are also

points both sources, which resolutely do not agree with each other.

The most obvious of these being that, despite both Source A and B

agreeing that alcohol is a negative substance, Source B is far more

dramatic in its wording. Source A describes saloons where alcohol was

consumed as' a bad influence', however Source B is far stronger in its

description of alcohol, 'one of the greatest evils of the times' In

this way, the two sources disagree about prohibition because Source B

appears to be even more pro prohibition, due to its depiction of

alcohol. Furthermore, Source A, after stating that 'Historians

disagree about what was mainly responsible for the introduction of

Prohibition', it continues to give a large number of varied reasons

for the introduction of Prohibition, such as 'wartime concern for

preserving grain for food', and 'the bad influence of saloons'.

Conversely, Source B focuses on the Anti Prohibition Unions, such as

The Anti-Saloon League, when describing how and why Prohibition came

about. Source A gives a large number of reasons whereas Source B

focuses on one main reason. Continuing with this point, it is also

clear that despite their previous agreements, both sources decide on

two different reasons as the sole most important. Source A states that

'moral fervour inspired the 'War to Make the World Safe for

Democracy'', previously stating this as the most important reason for

the launch of prohibition. In contrast, Source B implies that First

World War Organisations such as The Women's Christian temperance Union

were the most important contributor factor to the sealing of

prohibition as a state law.

In conclusion, Sources A and B agree only to an extent however it can

be argued that they do not agree completely, as they do differ in

certain ways. It is definite that these two sources support each other

on certain reasons for the introduction of Prohibition, but not

entirely, as they disagree on the most important reason for the

establishment of Prohibition. They also they vary on how many

different contributory factors they focus on.




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