Roaring 20s Research Article from History Firsthand

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As Americans toasted the arrival of the new decade on New Year's Eve 1920, it would be the last such celebration with legal champagne for more than a decade. On January 16, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution became law, ushering in Prohibition and making it a crime to manufacture, sell, barter, or possess alcoholic beverages.

Priests, politicians, and other reformers hailed Prohibition, calling it "a noble experiment." Those who opposed alcohol, called "drys," preached that bootleg alcohol undermined the willpower, degenerated the character, and made slaves out of those who drank it. Influential business leaders such as Henry Ford refused to hire anyone who drank so much as a drop.

Attempts to limit drinking, however honorable their intentions, led to an explosion of lawlessness never before experienced in the United States. Due to political corruption, wide-open borders, and indifference to the law, Prohibition was destined to...

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This section contains 335 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Roaring 20s Encyclopedia Article
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Roaring 20s from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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