PROHIBITION | Social movements spawned by the Progressive Era lead to the Volstead Act. Women saw alcohol as the eroding factor in the family unit. The amendment worked at first but enforcement proved difficult. Open rebellion became popular and gave rise to violence and organized crime. Gangsters like Al Capone rose up from prohibition by giving the people what they wanted: alcohol.
Letter concerning the transportation of liquor from California to Washington. Record Group 56 Records of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prohibition National Archives and Records Administration ARC Identifier: 298430
After the passage of the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act in 1919, the making and selling of alcohol was illegal. This federal policeman uses a pickax to destroy a rum-runner's cargo in San Francisco during Prohibition.
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that…
The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, prohibiting the production and selling of "intoxicating liquors," had been ratified in 1919, and the Volstead Act was enacted in order to enforce and regulate the Amendment. Here, alcohol seized by police is dumped into sewage drains in New York.
Eliot Ness was a Prohibition agent who headed a team of agents that the media nicknamed The Untouchables. Him and his team were famous for taking down Al Capone (on charges of tax evasion and violations of the Volstead Act). Later, he ran for mayor of Cleveland and failed miserably in the polls
The Eighteenth Amendment was very short, but the law designed to enforce it was over 25 pages long. It was complex, confusing, difficult to interpret and – although this is sure hard to ascertain – probably one of the most disregarded laws in the history of the United States.