18th amendment Facts

18th amendment Facts
The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, marking the beginning of Prohibition in the United States. As the amendment process requires many steps, it took a while for it to become law. It was first proposed and passed by two-thirds majority in Congress on December 18, 1917. The next step in the amendment process meant that it went to the separate state legislatures for a vote; three-fourths of the state legislatures needed to pass the amendment by a simple majority for it to become law. The number of states needed was reached on January 16, 1919 and then it went into effect one year later, on January 17, 1920. The Eighteenth Amendment was the culmination of Progressive Era ideas such as Women's Suffrage coming together with the temperance movement and Christian groups. The idea was that by reducing the availability of alcohol, the United States would become a more efficient and moral nation. The reality is that local authorities often looked the other way when illegal drinking establishments, known as "speakeasies," cropped up and organized crime groups led by kingpins such as Al Capone gained immense power. After the Great Depression hit, Prohibition became very unpopular so it was repealed with the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933.
Interesting 18th amendment Facts:
The consumption of alcohol was technically not prohibited under the Eighteenth Amendment.
Enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment was covered under the National Prohibition Act, or Volstead Act. The Volstead Act was named for Minnesota United States Congressman Andrew Volstead, who was Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee at the time.
Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only two states that rejected the Eighteenth Amendment.
Section 1 of the amendment reads: "After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited." Many thought that since beer and wine or not distilled liquors, they would be exempt.
The Volstead Act greatly expanded federal police powers. Although the Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the FBI) had existed for a number of years, the Bureau of Prohibition was formed.
Eliot Ness led a famous team of Prohibition agents in Chicago that became known as the "Untouchables." They focused their efforts on members of the Outfit, which was led by Al Capone, and the North Side gang.
The Bureau of Prohibition became the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms after Prohibition ended.
Many breweries, distilleries, and wineries switched to soft drinks during Prohibition to stay in business but many went under.
The experiment was a failure in terms of reducing crime, as crime actually increased by 24% nationwide during Prohibition.


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