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Prohibition In The United States Essay

1525 words - 7 pages

Prohibition created more crime because it was leading to corruption and the “cure” was worse than the original problem (Sifakis 725). The number of crimes increased during the Prohibition which caused organized crime to be very “popular”. Many criminal groups had a regular income of money through illegal actions such as drinking and selling alcohol (Organized Crime and Prohibition 1). Alcohol increased the organized crimes during Prohibition through loopholes in the 18th Amendment, speakeasies, doctor’s prescriptions, and bootlegging.
Bootleg alcohol was one of the main reasons organized crimes began (Organized Crime and Prohibition 1). Bootlegging was when alcohol was brought into the ...view middle of the document...

Ships carrying alcohol were able to anchor themselves right outside the three-mile limit, where they were safe from any government inference, and wait for the rumrunners to quickly take the illegal cargo to shore. The rumrunners had many duels with government gunboats known as rumchasers (Sifakis 776). The rumrunners were also called “blacks” which was short for “blackships” because they were painted dark colors so they would not be spotted very easily at night in the dark (Mills 123). The rumrunners packed the alcohol in the “sack”, which was a big burlap bag that several bottles of alcohol were closely packed in. It was packed this way so that it could float and be protected from breaking (124). At least a hundred million gallons of bootleg alcohol was annually consumed during the Prohibition period (Sifakis 111).
Bootlegging brought in many great profits (Sifakis 111). Al Capone, a famous Italian-American gangster, made about $60 million from bootlegging (725). The gangs established illegal distilleries and breweries. Some gangs even produced their own alcohol to keep a steady supply of it for themselves (111). More than one million gallons of bootleg alcohol had been illegally brought into the United States by the late 1920s. Bootlegging even occurred within the United States because even though alcohol was illegal, the process of it was not (Organized Crime and Prohibition 1). Bootleg alcohol had begun being drunk in many different places such as speakeasies and even citizens’ houses (Sifakis 725). The Volstead Act authorized alcoholic beverages which were already stored in a person’s possession by midnight of January 16, 1920 (Okrent 120).
The Volstead Act did not prohibit doctors from prescribing alcohol doctors from prescribing alcohol for medical purposes. The doctors have permission to prescribe an entire pad in ninety days, but cannot prescribe more than one pint of whiskey or one quart of wine to any one person every ten days (Mowry 98). The prescriptions that were made due to emergencies are left to the integrity of the physician. Druggists had often sold without a prescription or using a fake prescription (99).
Bootleg business of alcohol was very profitable which caused many mafia or gang wars to occur (Organized Crime and Prohibition 1). These gang wars were often fought between gang members to gain control of the large incomes of money. Al Capone’s gang dominated the entire Midwest and even eliminated other tough competitors such as the Dion O’ Banion mob and the Bloody Gennas. Another war was fought in Williamson County, Illinois. This was one of the most disturbing murders that Al Capone’s gang participated in compared to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, or New York. About more than 1,000 men died from the bootleg wars in Chicago alone. On November 12, 1926, a farmhouse belonging to a family of bootleggers was supposed
to be bombed by a rival bootlegging family, but the bombs failed to explode. ...

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