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The Modern Effects of Prohibition

Updated on November 16, 2012

Prohibition: Focused on Alcohol but impacted everything from speedboats to income tax.

No other constitutional amendment (or law for that matter) in the history of this country has ever had more long-term impacts than that of prohibition. It might shock you that everything from personal property rights to the modern cruise ship industry was greatly transformed by the seemingly simple goal of eliminating alcohol from a new country. Fortunes were made by those that were able to capitalize on the new laws using both illegal but also legal methods. Tourist industry in Canada and Cuba boomed bringing new wealth from the United States to both locations in a completely legal manner. There was of course no lack of illegal profits being made by everyone from producers, to smugglers to sellers of alcohol. Many of these leaders turned legitimate after repeal, rarely admitting the source of their unbelievable wealth came from illegal operations. In fact the modern beer industry is living testament to a few producers who were able to gain tremendous market share when it was illegal to produce and yet proceeded all the same. Learn how all this took place and the impacts it had on this country, and the world.

Women's right to vote

One of the greatest challenges facing religious leaders and politicians who were in favor of prohibition (called Drys) was there just weren't enough citizens with the right to vote in favor of such a ban. So what do you do as a politician when you are trying to pass a law that voters don't want? Simple answer is you find new voters. In this case there was the realization that a vast majority of women would be in favor of such a law. They were wives who receive abuse from their drunk husbands or watch those same men spend their earnings on drink versus on the family. Or mothers who saw their children get addicted to the drink and not be the sons they hoped for.

Since the only way prohibition would work would be for the entire country to go dry requiring every state to ratify a constitutional amendment, politicians first worked to bring in the largest block of voters ever added in this country's history. Cloaked in the messaging of equal rights for women, politicians round the country fought to have women admitted to the polls, and of course won.

A new source of revenue: The Income Tax

The second greatest challenge to prohibition was financial. Keep in mind that until prohibition there was no such thing as an income tax. In fact it was deemed un-American to tax everyone regardless of what they partake in. The common belief was that it was much more fair to tax an item (alcohol, tobacco, etc) that if a person so chose they could abstain and avoid the tax. Tax revenue on alcohol was so tremendous at this time, it paid a great portion of expenses that the young United States faced. In fact as much as one third of America’s revenue came from custom duties around alcohol, thus if Washington was somehow going to eliminate this product they would have to find a new way of bringing in revenue.

This began the next phase of political maneuverings to bring a new type of tax to the population, a highly unpopular income tax. This tax would be based on how much an individual earns and thus would be more fair to the general population. Very quickly this new tax brought in tremendous additional cash into the treasury, as much as nine times the revenue from alcohol custom taxes. It did not take long until the financial argument against prohibition lost its validity. Sadly once prohibition ended, income taxes were far too entrenched to ever be repealed as well. However the concept of taxing items still remains with ‘sin’ taxes on alcohol and tobacco sales paying for schools around the country.

Adversity to Invention: The speedboat

Once prohibition passed it of course outlawed the sale of intoxicating liquors in the United States but that rule stopped at the borders of the country. It did not take long before individuals found out exactly where the borders were of the United States. Along the east coast especially in the South it was discovered that the border was only 3 miles from shore into the Atlantic Ocean. Soon large barges dropped anchor and became permanent floating liquor stores receiving liquor from the Caribbean. These barges were so close to shore that even the most modest boats could row out, buy their liquor and return back to shore in short order. So close in fact that lights that were mounted on the barges were clearly seen by shore showing they were open for business. Such flaunting of the ban on liquor made prohibition more inconvenient, but far from eliminating alcohol in cities close to the water. Trying to stem the tide of these illegal imports, the United States took the extreme step and moved the international border for all countries to 12 miles (from the original 3 miles). While there was quite a bit of disagreement from other countries, the United States had just finished helping Europe quite extensively during WWI and had the political and financial might to make this change stick.

It is said that adversity is the mother of all inventions and this was no exception. Within a short period of time a little know Naval Architect brought his V shaped design boat away from pure navy uses and into civilian life. His first successful design called "Kitty Hawk" was able to exceed 50 mph, once thought unthinkable. Soon "rum running" was even easier with these new classes of boats who could bridge that 12 mile border in minutes and outrun anything the police might have had to catch them.

The cruise to nowhere

Similar to the integration of the speedboat to civilian population to help smuggling operations so too did the cruise ship industry realize that they were sitting on a potential gold mine. A large ship could cross into international waters in an ever shorter period of time and as long as they were not flying a US flag of ownership could serve as much alcohol as their customers could consume. Soon the concept of a booze cruise, or a cruise to nowhere was become ever more popular. In fact, these cruises to no place was brought to the extreme with dinner cruises that went out just far enough to serve all types of alcohol over dinner with 'a view of the city from the water'.

So easy was it to circumvent the prohibition laws and with such popularity that the US passed a law that no cruise ship docking in the United States could contain alcohol onboard. Thus forcing British cruise ships to try to sell or dump all the alcohol before making port. Such was the outcry from other countries that the US had to modify the law that the alcohol would have to be sealed when they were within 12 miles of shore. This new form of vacation grew in the culture of the United States and is still enjoyed almost universally from everyone from college kids to families needing a break from their lives.

Some of my favorite quotes

"We have German enemies in this country too. And the worst of all our German enemies, the mod treacherous, the most menacing, are Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz and Miller." -John Strange a dry politician

"It was absolutely impossible to get a drink in Detroit unless you walked at least ten feet and told the busy bartender what you wanted in a voice loud enough for him to hear you above the uproar." newspaperman Malcom Bingay

"Take three ounces every hour for stimulant until stimulated" Doctor's prescription for alcohol

"There may be no clearer demonstration of the drys' pragmatic acceptance of every variety of ally than a common made by Mabel Willebrandt--a Federal official, a feminist, a progressive--when she was asked about the faithfully dry Ku Klux Klan: 'I have no objection to people dressing up in sheets, if they enjoy that sort of thing.'"

Mississippi was much more agreeable to this second constitution amendment ever to place limits on individual behavior than it was to be the first one. It didn't get around to ratifying that one--the Thirteenth, abolishing slavery -- until 1995!

Personal Property? Fair game to the authorities

Prohibition was supposed to stop the flow of alcohol, alas it did no such thing. In fact it gave life and greatly expanded the modern profession of smuggling. Prior to prohibition the concept of personal property (home, car, etc) was sacred and could not be breached by a police officer without a warrant. Many times police knew and could even see that a car had cases or even entire casks of alcohol in the backseat, but without a warrant, which took time, they had no right to arrest or seize. How frustrating must it have been to pull over a car and physically see entire casks of alcohol sitting in plain view and have no ability to do anything about it. By the time they got the warrant the alcohol would of course no longer be in the car. Suddenly there was great pressure to dramatically increase the power that police officers had to search without a warrant if they had probable cause and a charged congress was inclined to provide this power. Soon, and forever after, police were provided the power to redefine the limits of private property and what they had the right to search.

In a vacum power will find a way: Nationwide Crime Syndicates

As new enforcement abilities were passed, so too must criminals adapt and grow to face and surmount obstacles placed in their path. Initially, simple organization was enough to help face the police force. Crime families divided up cities and states to ensure they did not compete with each other and allowing for the smooth running of illegal operations. As alcohol smuggling and sales became ever more lucrative, these families expanded their territory until there were families that controlled sales in states spanning the entire country. This organization of crime never went away long after alcohol was re-legalized, they simply turned to new operations that continue to this day including guns, drugs and prostitution.

Never before has a single law caused such a dramatic rise in crime with such a lasting effect on a population. The ironic part is that it was believed by politicians and religious leaders that all crime derived from alcohol and once it was made illegal that the crime rate would drop to near zero. So confidant were some that within days of prohibition passing they were closing jails and selling them to private companies to be made into factories. Needless to say very soon they were purchasing those properties back.

What America needs now is a drink," Franklin D Roosevelt 1933.

Women re-inventing their role in society

Previously I mentioned that women were largely in favor of prohibition to keep fathers, sons and husbands away from alcohol and some of the terrible side effects it caused on family life. However many of those same women enjoyed the occasional drink from the privacy of their home long before prohibition. Once the ban was in-place those occasional drinks had to be procured in new ways. One way was with a doctor's prescription for a nip of rum or whiskey to help with nerves. But especially for younger women, going to speakeasies and other establishments became much more common. Soon society was lamenting that women were becoming much more outspoken and brazen, drinking in public and becoming much more involved in politics. Who could have predicted that a law passed by women whose place was in the home and rarely allowed to have a voice in public would actually lead to the greatest of societal changes ever seen to date, making acceptable for unmarried women to drink in public with unrelated men. It truly was a remarkable time.

What we can learn from this story

While every politician will admit they can not tell the future and know the full impact of any law that is passed, prohibition is the cautionary tale of unexpected consequences. The impacts I outlined above are just a few of the long term implications of prohibition that we are still experiencing today from what was supposed to be a very simple and straightforward piece of legislation. Let us take from this that any law, especially complex legislation that is so common these days can have tremendous impact far beyond the actual text. It deserves careful thought and consideration before citizens vote or voice their views as it is never quite as simple as it seems. This can include healthcare bills, gun control, or even mere budget changes. "Thought before action if time permits"

Get your own copy to learn more than I could share here

This was an incredibly fascinating book (as you can tell here), so you might want to pick up your own copy and read more about this subject.

Daniel Okrent's Prohibition story

Last Call by Daniel Okrent is an incredibly fun read that keeps you asking for more. Taking a tremendous amount of historical information and condensing it down to manageable bites is probably one of the greatest skills this former NY Times editor has. Daniel was editor of NY Times and later Time and Life magazine. Perhaps his ability to synthesize complex stories is the secret to his success in Last Call. He keeps the story moving without getting lost in the details, yet still takes the time to demonstrate the impacts of any given decision in a fascinating way. For all those interested in history, women's rights or their place in society, even those interested in politics and law I would strongly recommend this book.

Get your own copy or other items from age of prohibition

Did you know much about prohibition before?

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    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Very informative and enjoyable.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • profile image

      JustOneGuy 4 years ago

      Forgive me but I have one more comment on the so-called right to vote. I didn't mean to say that women don't have the same rights as men, they do: they're human beings. But the right to vote is not a right. And for the feminists out there, see the interview between Aaron Russo and Alex Jones on the Rockefeller conversations. Find out what Russo says was the real reason that "women's lib" was started by and backed by the rockefeller foundation. Russo is dead now but what he says, if true, will blow you away.

      I happen to think that women are easily as smart as men, possibly smarter. So don't think for a moment that I have a "look down my nose" view of women. Quite the contrary.

    • profile image

      JustOneGuy 4 years ago

      Ladies, I'm afraid I have to disagree with both of you about at least one thing: the so-called "right to vote".

      Have you ever thought about what voting really is? And when we say that we have "the right" to vote, that means it's something that we are born with, like our ability to make choices (which is a right in the truest sense of the word) and to seek the truth (which is also a right in the same fundamental sense). But voting?

      50% + 1 of the people who vote do NOT, by their "majority", have a corner on the truth.

      The fallacy that darn near 99% of the citizens of our country have bought into is the idea that we cannot know what is true, all we can do is vote on it and that will somehow guide us down the correct path. Well, look at prohibition. The "right" to vote destroyed our right to choose. Soon that right to vote will be used to take away all of the guns that make our country the largest army on earth and incidentally is one the main reasons the Japanese did not consider a land war in the U.S. to be a winnable proposition.

      The right to vote is simply the most insidious form of tyranny there is because not only is it wrong to rule by majority, to consider voting to be a right is to attack the actual meaning of Right. Gang warfare is not the answer to creating a rational society and majority rule is nothing more than a politically correct way of describing Mob Rule.

      This is not an insignificant conversation.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 4 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Pat Goltz: I very much appreciate your thoughts here and love different opinions. You bring up a number of great points here and will try to add more. Please know that I am by no means an expert, just coming from what I have read in a couple of books on this time period.

      1) For woman's right to vote, I do not want to diminish the tremendous work done by women who fought for their right to vote. They worked incredibly hard and took on many sacrifices. The point the author made was for over 50% of men to vote to give women this right, there had to be a real catalyst. That catalyst from the author's perspective was the desire to ban alcohol which women favored in massive numbers compared to men.

      2) As for the basic pros and cons of prohibition, I think there will be plenty of debates on this. Clearly there are plenty of good reasons for alcohol when used in moderation.

      Truly thank you for your thoughts on this article.

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      This has been an interesting read. I must respectfully disagree with you on a couple of points. Income taxes were tried on several occasions before they succeeded. For this reason I do not believe Prohibition was the impetus for enacting an income tax. To say that woman suffrage was a result of the desire to enact Prohibition does a disservice to women and to the feminists who fought valiantly for suffrage for decades before. Certainly this will prompt more investigation on my part. While drunkenness was obviously a problem in those days, alcoholic beverages have always had a number of legitimate uses: medicinal, religious, and as a substitute for water when the water supply is unsafe. For those reasons, Prohibition was the wrong remedy to begin with.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great Lens... Very interesting. I guess I will have to get the book.

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 5 years ago

      no, nice lens

    • Trixiesmom2u profile image

      Trixiesmom2u 5 years ago

      No. A very interesting lens.

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 5 years ago

      Didn't realize all the long-term consequences. Knew something about the connection to women's suffrage. Great lens! The Market will always adapt and invent ways to adjust to legislation in order for the people to get what they want. A great cautionary insight into what legislation can do unintentionally!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Squidoo LOTD Lenses-2. Hugs

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      No, I didn't! Thanks for the great info.

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 5 years ago

      It is a very interesting topic about prohibition!

    • Keeah profile image

      Keeah 5 years ago

      Another effect is today's oil, gas crisis. I believe the Model T Ford ran on ethel alcohol but had to switch fuel due to the Prohibition.

    • MrMojo01 profile image

      MrMojo01 5 years ago

      Great lens! I knew a little about prohibition but you lens was very informative and well written.

    • Earnlat profile image

      Earnlat 5 years ago

      Yes I did have an interest, and some knowledge.Your lens has just given me more food for thought! Thanx

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      I enjoyed having my memory refreshed and being reminded of things not often thought of. Great lens. Congratulations on your LotD and your purple star.

    • profile image

      JustOneGuy 5 years ago

      Only that it was horrendously wrong. Nobody should ever have the ability to limit what I do with my body or what I consume.

      I am not at all surprised that this violation of personal freedom resulted in a blizzard of travesties and deaths.

      We don't seem to learn from our mistakes because we never seem to analyze the nature of what was wrong with what we did.

      Look at the carnage caused by our so-called "war on drugs". The gangs, the gang warfare, the graft and the deaths. We never seem to learn.

      Thanks for this very great lens.

    • efcruzarts profile image

      efcruzarts 5 years ago

      great lens for classic current events

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      How interesting! I have to admit, I was hesitant to read at first because it looked like so much, but you drew me in until I forgot I was even reading and ended up at the end of the page. Very well written.

    • profile image

      malimbus360 5 years ago

      history is repeating itself now

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @NewUsedCarsSacramento: I appreciate the kind words. Hopefully you can take something from here and use at your next dinner party :-)

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @weakbond: Thank you for your time and thoughts

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 5 years ago from Johanesburg

      very interesting history lesson i really enjoyed it

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very interesting read. Thanks for that!

    • profile image

      NewUsedCarsSacramento 5 years ago

      Thanks for giving such a useful information through your lens...nice work

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @justmelucy: Funny you mention Nascar, I believe that is indeed where it came from. One of so many impacts. Thank you for sharing this and your time!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @pheonix76: From one history nerd to another, I could not agree more. Thank you!

    • justmelucy profile image

      justmelucy 5 years ago

      Sparked my interest into learning more. Wasn't Nascar kind of born out having to drive like lightning to keep those revenuers from getting a hold of the bootlegger and his White Lightning?

    • profile image

      clerana 5 years ago

      Great content!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      Not being American, I didn't know much about prohibition before reading this. Thanks for educating me!

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

      Being something of a history nerd, I knew a lot about prohibition, and I think it was a silly and un-realistic endeavor. Thanks for sharing and congrats on LotD!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Nanciajohnson: (phew) glad to know I got it right next to PBS :-). Thank you for the affirmation and your time.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @inmersion: Not just illegal drugs, but also guns & healthcare regulations. Thank you for the compliments and for your time.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @anonymous: I was equally surprised. Hidden gems in books :-)

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @anonymous: Ironically enough I know nothing of the tobacco prohibition, I will have to look into that more. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Congratulations on the LOTD and well-deserving Purple Star. I recently watched a long special on PBS on Prohibition. I never knew all the particulars until that show. Your information mirrors the special.

    • profile image

      inmersion 5 years ago

      After reading your lens, I can only wonder what will be the probably unexpected effects and long term consequences of our current legislation regarding illegal drugs being so prohibitionist in nature. I really enjoyed your lens, thank you for taking the time to write it and sharing this with the world.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent lens! I was surprised to learn about the link between women's suffrage and prohibition.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I knew of prohibition, but did not look at it closely until tobacco prohibition.

      It was good to read a factual, non-bias piece of our history. Thank You.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Not this much! Thanks.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Vortrek Grafix: An interesting view point and I thank you for sharing. Someone earlier mentioned the legalization of marijuana along similar ideas as you mentioned. Thank you for sharing them.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @montanatravel52: Thank you, let it not be said that informative can not also be entertaining.

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 5 years ago

      The repeal of Prohibition was in large part responsible for reversing the Great Depression. We are currently experiencing prolonged tough economic times and yet are not taking this example as a tool for building a better future. Example the multi-million strong illegal migrant labor force. Though prohibited, it flourishes anyway and will never go away. tax and regulate like alcohol and everyone benefits. Same holds true for internet gaming. Regulation (if done right) would lower the house edge to something sporting and restrict credit and wagering limits to something responsible. This industry is not going away either, and now there's no control and no taxation. There are other examples too but I've made my point. Our nation needs to be more fiscally creative.

    • Mike Best profile image

      Mike Best 5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Great lens that taught me something new. Congrats on LoTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I did but you have a lot of information here that I was not aware of. Great lens. Congratulations on getting LoTD!

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 5 years ago

      I certainly didn't know as much as I do now:) Thanks! Very informative yet interesting read!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @PROmotionsLLC: I could not agree more, one of the reasons I find biographies and historical non-fiction so interesting. Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      PROmotionsLLC 5 years ago

      We can learn a lot from the past

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @anonymous: Thank you, extremely kind of you and much appreciated!!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @dannystaple: Thank you for the blessing and agreed it was very eye opening.

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Michey LM: Thank you for the blessing and you hit on the very argument that so many people had against income tax. Why tax everyone when instead you should tax people on luxury goods they choose to purchase. Alas, we needed to recover the revenue that was lost on alcohol sales.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @DebMartin: Thank you for both the blessing and kind words

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @LynetteBell: Thank you

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @anonymous: Thank you for your comments and the blessing. I was equally surprised how women got the right to vote in the US versus England which was much more grassroots and for the very deserving role they have in society. Amazing how strong the religious leaders were in the US who pushed this through so quickly.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @LiteraryMind: Thank you!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @DrIntrepid: Thank you!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @RawBill1: Thank you for sharing. I knew that many countries were impacted by prohibition. On a true global scale the US forced the rest of the world to change international water boundaries (3miles -> 12 miles) and how they shipped and regulated their own alcohol. Amazing how connected we all were even back then.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @karMALZEKE: I have heard of that book but have not read it yet. I will have to add it to my list. Thank you for sharing!

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @lollyj lm: Believe it or not this was less about politicians and more about religious groups that really wanted to ban alcohol. Politicians had to be convinced since they still made way too much money on alcohol revenue.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @FionaCarroll: Thank you for taking the time. You might want to grab a copy of the book (or borrow from library) there was quite a bit more information than I could include, and it was very easily readable!

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @motobidia: Ahh the blue laws and dry counties. What fascinates me is how they have survived with very little conversation for so long. I remember dealing with them in Ohio when I lived there.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Dressage Husband: Clearly nothing makes an individual want something more than telling them they can't have it. Thank you for sharing.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you for taking the time and for the blessing. I could not agree more that it is a very delicate balance between government protecting citizens from items that are truly dangerous versus over regulating them (aka Marijuana).

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @Rosaquid: Thank you for taking the time to share. Amazing how many people had personal stories during that time period working with or dealing with crime families. It must have been truly an interesting time.

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 5 years ago

      Yeah ... A few things, but now things are much more ... Clear!

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @CMatthewHawkins: I could not agree more. Will be interesting to see the impact of other major items including healthcare reform and social security.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @KimGiancaterino: Wow, I bet you have heard some amazing stories from your friend. Maybe you can add those stories to next generation history books.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just had to return to love this on FB for you.

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      dannystaple 5 years ago

      I knew vaguely how much it had contributed to criminal organisation, but I had no idea of the breadth of its changes. Wow - this is an amazing lens. Blessed!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I come back to give Angel Blessings to this lens from which I learn a lot. I didn't know that income tax didn't exist prior to the prohibition.... and make a lot of sense to me to tax goods, not entire income of people, so we actually we are taxed twice and in some instances 3 times... LOL.

      Great lens! Congrats for purple star and LOTD.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      I knew a few things about prohibition but your lens has really enlightened me. Thanks for the lesson. What a thorough and enjoyable read. Blessed.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Congrats on LOTD. You've pu a lot of work into your lens and it is deserved!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I guess we've learned the lesson again and again that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and consequences that can't be measured all that accurately in advance. It seems the best way to get people to want something is to say they can't have it. What an eye opener about the impact of prohibition on changing our world. It was a little disappointing that women didn't get the vote so much because they deserved it but as a political ploy, should have known I guess. Congratulations on an excellently researched and presented LotD and on that pretty purple star...blessed.

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      DrIntrepid 5 years ago

      No, I did not. This is a great, very informative lens. Keep up the good work!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This was so very interesting. Congratulations on LOTD-- well deserved.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Well done on being awarded LOTD. This is a great read and I learned a lot that I did not know. Even over here in Australia, some of those laws over time have changed the face of our country as well.

    • karMALZEKE profile image

      karMALZEKE 5 years ago

      WONDERFUL! I became interested in the prohibition after reading the book, "Poison". It is really eye-opening what impact this period of history had on the U.S. I hope we can all learn from it. Thank you for writing this lens. Happy LOTD!

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 5 years ago from Washington KS

      Fascinating lens. I didn't know that granting women the vote was an underhanded way politicians got enough voters to pass prohibition. But nothing politicians devise comes as a surprise anymore.

      Congrats on LOTD. Well deserved.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 5 years ago

      congrats on LOTD, this is a fun examination of unintended results....and how those who believe the ends justify the means often achieve ends they did not intend!

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      Fiona Carroll 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Really interesting stuff. I had no idea about the income tax ramifications or the changes afforded to women! Might have to read more about this. Thanks for a good read and congrats on purple star and LOTD.

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      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      Fascinating!

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      motobidia 5 years ago

      Unfortunately, remnants of these laws are very much still alive in many states, including our fair Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

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      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: And what about me? Boring and straight - trying to set a good example for my kids.

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      Stephen J Parkin 5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      It is an interesting fact that more alcohol was actually consumed during prohibition than after it was removed!

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      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed the information presented here. It is interesting how nothing ever occurs in a vacuum - one movement is affected by others. And even though I would not be in favor of prohibition, I believe that our country is still affected very negatively by the effects of alcohol. It truly was and is a destroyer of families, and many people who are not affected are in denial about the effect alcohol has on their lives - to devastating results. I am really disturbed to the heavy alcohol advertising that make drinking seem so glamorous, but people are responsible to dealing with temptation. What you did not mention was the current prohibition against marijuana which I think is ridiculous, especially since smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol - both of which have far greater health consequences are legal. Some European countries do a better job with these issues, and I believe in "sin" taxes - alcohol is not food, and it is fine to get revenue from it. Thoughtful, wonderful lens - this will start intelligent discussion - which is so needed in our society. Blessed and google plus.

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      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      I knew a little, but now I know a lot more. Thanks for the fascinating lens and congrats on a well-earned LOTD award!

      I had a friend, a Russian immigrant, who first made her way in this country as 'chief cook and bottle washer' for a rich, mid-western family. One of her duties was making the bathtub gin that the family sold to Al Capone. My dear friend died at nearly 90 years of age more than 30 years ago, sweetly unsullied by her early brushes with organized crime.

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      CMatthewHawkins 5 years ago

      I hadn't realized the multiple consequences of the struggle to pass prohibition, as well as its aftermath. I think this is an excellent lesson in the unintended consequences of public policy.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Yes, I've always been interested in prohibition because of the direct and unintended consequences to society. One of our friends who is 90 was a bootlegger's daughter, and she can tell a few tales. I learned a lot from your lens. Sadly, our history books do not tell the whole story.

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      LaurisB LM 5 years ago

      Fascinating look at an important part of our history!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      What a fantastic Lens! In NYC alone there were over 30,000 Speak-Easy's during prohibition, the only one that survives today is the 21 Club.

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      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      An excellent lens! Congratulations on LOTD!

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      homeremedy lm 5 years ago

      Nice read. I've watched many history channel shows on the subject, seems like a very interesting time!

    • PlethoraReader profile image
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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @SteveKaye: I could not agree more Steve which is why I find history and then reading today's newspapers so interesting. Thank you for stopping by and your blessing.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @kimberly-dodson-773: Thank you Kimberly. I actually try to add some thoughts on what we can take away from all the books I review. Hopefully gives us something to think about for a moment.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @delia-delia: Thank you for both the blessing and your thoughts!

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @DreamingBoomer: I was equally fascinated by that. Could not believe they actually sold jails to make room for stores because they thought crime would disappear without alcohol. Thank you for stopping by.

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      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      @santadelcobre: Appreciate you stopping by. Thank you