Ken Burns Prohibition

With the passing of the eighteenth amendment in January 16, 1920, alcohol was illegal in the United States and began the 13 years of the Prohibition era.  Understanding the merits of why the use of alcohol should be banned due to risk of health dangers, domestic abuse, public drunkenness and fights due to intoxication, liver diseases, and a detriment product to the welfare of family life.  However, what is clearly obvious from Ken Burns’ Prohibition video is the lack of enforcement policy in place by the U.S. government.  The effectiveness of enforcing the law to the rise in criminal activities of Al Capone from bootleg operations and speakeasies, and law enforcement corruptions in Chicago, were severely trending in opposite spectrum.  As Congress attempted to legislate acts of morality in America and decided to enforce a law banning alcohol, this was inevitably going to be doomed to fail from the beginning.  Not only did the 18th amendment fail to prohibit alcohol sales, but actually increased the usage and resulted in organized criminal activities to be formed.  If the government had any common sense, they would have known the Prohibition law would be a big failure and also waste of resources in the enforcement of such acts.  Nearly 100 years later, what is truly a even bigger failure in the government’s efforts to police morality and repeat history is the war on drugs in 1971 by President Nixon.  Apparently, the tried and failed test of the Prohibition law has not taught the lessons of history among the U.S. government.


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