Prohibition

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The Early Years

Involvement in the Criminal World

Prohibition

Corruption

Conviction and Death

The Legacy

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The first case of the prohibition came in 1657, when the General Court of Massachusetts made the sale of strong liquor illegal. Next, in 1851, the state of Maine banned the manufacture and sale of liquor. In 1881, Kansas became the first state of outlaw alcoholic beverages in its Constitution. Soon, many states began adding prohibition to their Constitutions, and the idea of prohibition as a national law became popular. On January 16, 1920, Prohibition began when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect.

This amendment marked the beginning of over a decade of crime and corruption. Prohibition allowed many gangsters to make millions of dollars through illegal alcohol sales, and Al Capone was most notorious for this. By the end of the decade, Capone controlled over 10,000 speakeasies in Chicago, and basically ruled the bootlegging business from Canada to Florida. Many crimes were committed during this decade, most common being theft and murder.

Throughout the years, Prohibition became more and more unpopular, and on December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was created to end Prohibition. This decision was made because a violent black market for alcohol had developed, which led to many problems. There were numerous problems that came with Prohibition, including, stronger liquor, increased theft, increased murder rates, loss of money to the government from tax revenues and corruption in law enforcement agencies.