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Prohibition

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2/23/05

Prohibition

Prohibition

The success of the prohibition movement can be seen from many different views. It was measured by the prohibitionists many motives, their social make-up, their creative reasons they came up with to promote their cause, and the positive outcomes they imagined possible by prohibiting alcohol consumption.

The prohibitionists had several motives for letting loose their concern of alcohol. The main issue discussed, using the example of the average middle-class citizen, was the aspect of growing children and the effect of alcohol on the family. Facts show that children with parents that have major drinking problems are more "defective" than children with parents that have little to no alcohol trouble (doc. B). Also, more generally, the prohibitionists tried vigorously to directly relate prohibition to progressivism. This was one of their key tactics to their eventually success with the 18th. The movement had strong backup that showed the world that they weren't just a group of extremists fighting for a cause that probably wouldn't work. Their emphasis on fact and reason kept them afloat; this is shown (in doc. C) with the statements of the American Medical Association, mentioning that they specifically discourage the use of alcohol, and it is said as "detrimental to the human economy."

The prohibitionists included many different people, including most women and some men. The ones involved in this were mostly religious. The reason for this is because it was very easy way to grab the attention of other religious people by mentioning alcohol as something God didn't want (doc. I). By doing this, you have the worshipers on your side. This was quite effective, given the ratio of religious people to non-religious people during this time period. Through time, the prohibition movement gained more followers from a wider variety of backgrounds. With their ways of luring the different types of people in, they gain understanding from that particular group, and therefore getting more of those on your side. This is generally how the prohibition movement gained power over time.

As previously mentioned, the prohibitionists had many creative ways of grabbing the attention of these different people. The way they related their cause directly to progressivism wasn't too hard; and luckily, it was easy to base it all on fact. By mentioning everything bad alcohol can do to someone, it is easy to bring about the statement that a sober society is the best way to progress. As mentioned in document E, prohibition was stated as "a theory of proper social life."

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