On the night of January 26, 1920 America passed the 18th amendment, which caused ¼ of American households to harbor illegal substances. The habit of most Americans was prohibited when the 18th Amendment was passed. The manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol above 1% proof within the United States was forbidden Doc A. Prohibition was seen as a solution for one of the most serious problems in America which is caused by alcohol, but then why did America change its mind? This happened due to three major reasons: crime, enforcement of the law, and non-taxable money.
One of the main reasons that caused America to change its mind and repeal the 18th Amendment was the rapid increase of crime rate. Homicide rates in America increased 33% during prohibition Doc C. Also as shown in the cartoon by Winsor McCay, Uncle Sam is hand to hand with bootleggers, racketeers, and gangsters. This picture seems to show Uncle Sam “The US Government” happy with the way America is heading which is towards depression. Doc B
America also decided to repeal the 18th Amendment because of the concern over the cost of enforcement of the law. In which Prohibition led to the smuggling of alcohol and the rise of bootleggers who maintained a constant flow of illegal substance, and were able to be so active without any interference from the government. Also in the paper written by Frederic J. Haskin, this shows how many men were disobeying the law. Also in that document it is shown how tricky bootleggers were and how good they were at hiding their illegal product. Doc C
Finally, the 18th Amendment caused extraordinary economic issues. Which shined the light on how much the nation would benefit from taxing the alcohol sold. In which from the tax income, America would have been able to pay its interest on the national debt. “If the liquor now sold by bootleggers was legally sold, regulated, and taxed, the (tax) income would pay the interest on the entire local and national (debt) and leave more than $200,000,000 for … urgently needed purposes.” As stated in Document E, America desperately needed money for their growing national debt which lead to the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Doc E Doc D
America repealed the 18th Amendment for three major reasons: crime, enforcement of the law, and non taxable money. Due to these reasons, on December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified and repealed the 18th Amendment. It was the first and only time in the American History that an Amendment to the constitution has been repealed. This shows America truly needed its alcohol.