Prohibition in The United States: How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol by Spencer B Johnston


Prohibition in The United States:  How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol

Spencer Johnston

3/9/2012

HIS-3375-XTIA T3

Dr. Blum.

The prohibition era in the United States inadvertently fostered a culture fixated on alcoholic beverages.  Like never before, Americans of all ages and backgrounds clung to their collective sense of identity through the cultural  significance of alcohol.  The result was imminent.  The repeal would come.

“The central quest of all human beings is to find some technique of ecstacy…to alter their state of everyday consciousness. It is [part of] the basic human appetite.” — Wade Davis, PhD, Harvard University.

     

 


 

Spencer Johnston

3/9/2012

HIS-3375-XTIA-T3

Dr. Blum

 

Prohibition in The United States:  How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol

 

.  In its boldest attempts to banish alcohol from the lives of over 100 million Americans[1], prohibition merely encouraged most to drink more. Seeking to “morally uplift the people of the United States”[2], the Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act drastically changed the social atmosphere in the United States.  Despite the amendment’s adoption, “the Noble Experiment”, as it was often referred to, was controversial from the beginning.  Ultimately, the omnipresent divide between those against alcohol and those who favored it, continued to grow throughout the decade, and a distinct subculture centered on alcohol, good or bad, ensued.  The prohibition movement inadvertently generated a more prolific alcohol culture in the United States.  “The [Noble] Experiment failed…miserably”[3] and the result was a tumultuous “thirteen years that changed America”[4] in ways entirely unforeseen. 

The drastic measures of the Eighteenth Amendment sought to eliminate all “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within… the United States.”[5]   Unlike the numerous temperance movements of years earlier, this new prohibition no longer left liberties in the hands of its citizens.  Much of the population felt stripped of their rights, because “the passage of … [the Eighteenth] Amendment was less an expression of popular will than the product of political opportunism and a generation’s worth of aggressive lobbying.”[6] All too often, prohibitionists would disguise their efforts “in the context of…Progressiv[ism].”[7]  Acting on moral ideals, advocates of prohibition utilized their positions in churches, communities and businesses as political platforms.  From which, they furthered their prohibitionist agendas and “denounce[d]…what they described as the breakdown of moral standards.”[8]  “Dry America,” according to Austen Chamberlain, Chancellor of British Exchequer, “adds to [the] woes of the world.”[9]  Luckily, it would never be completely dry for any significant amount of time.

The lack of public approval for the Eighteenth Amendment caused much chaos and panic, which “overwhelmed the nation’s law enforcement agencies.”[10]  Enforcing the new law proved to be unmanageable.  There were far too many citizens who blatantly disregarded the sanctions.  “Both retailers and drinkers refused to accept the legitimacy of Prohibition.”[11]  “Drinking-though illegal-[remained] an integral part of popular culture.”[12]  It seemed as though the passing of the amendment did nothing more than reaffirm Americans’ love of alcoholic beverages.  Whether privately or in the midst of a public square, there was usually an anti-prohibitionist within arm’s reach in 1920s America.  The difficulties that arose in enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment led many to ponder prohibition’s future.  The Volstead Act, issued some months after the amendment, focused more intently upon its enforcement.  Drawing lines in the sand, so to speak, the act helped to define the boundaries of illegal behavior concerning alcohol.  Where the Eighteenth Amendment could be manipulated by resistant individuals, the Volstead Act stood firm in its purposeful verbiage.[13]  With its issuance, the United States committed to an ongoing fight against alcohol with no end in sight.

The nature of the argument divided urban and rural communities and their ways of life during the prohibition era.  “The census of 1920 revealed that for the first time a majority of Americans …lived in “urban rather than rural places.”[14] The emigration America was experiencing was indicative of the loosening political grip of the “immense popularity” of “political conservatism and religious fanaticism in rural areas.”[15]  Some historians make the case that “most of America was rural in the early twentieth century,”[16] and that their thinking was dominant in the nation’s move to accept prohibition.   This is a constant misconception based in part on the retrospective conservativeness of the 1920s to modern scholars.  Realistically, the new wave of “truly urban Americans…were increasing steadily in number and influence.”[17]  Those who continued to live in more rural settings “coveted the…excitement of city life at the same time that they condemned its vices”[18] and perceived “inherent wickedness.”[19]  “Cities were full of [working class] immigrants”[20] and those living in urban environments were subjected to perhaps the worst cultural discriminations of all.  “German and Irish immigrants opposed the law[s] for cultural and economic reasons.”[21]  The “cultural attitudes that originated “in the old country” among…immigrants…shape[d] every day thinking…concerning alcohol.”[22] It was a way of life and a principal means of earning wages.  “A sense of mutuality, of friendship [and] togetherness,” as Dr. David A. Zonderman, Associate Professor of History at NCSU[23] argues, was of the utmost importance to “saloons and taverns”[24] in American social life.  Without them, part of the everyday zeal of life was gone.  This theory of Zonderman’s is a favorite among historians who maintain a celebratory tone on reflection of prohibition, considering events that would follow.  For these densely concentrated populations, resistance was futile to maintaining their sense of identity.  Existing social pressures among urban immigrants were further strained by “rural society[‘s] proclaimed…superiority.”[25] “Change,” they argued, “must be resisted even at the cost of individualism and freedom.”[26]  It was as though prohibition was a war waged on culture, not alcohol.

It soon became evident that the economic impact of the new laws was driving urban laborers directly into the arms of the illegal alcohol manufacturing business in one form or another.  Distilleries, wineries and bottling operations closed their doors or dramatically altered their product lines to adhere to the new measures.  A great number of working-class Americans found themselves without jobs. Waiting for the next big economic boom was for many an unacceptable fate.  Prohibition shut the doors of one of the country’s most profitable and well established markets.[27]  Rather than remain in poverty and economic uncertainty, a great number of Americans unemployed and desperate for work, looked in unconventional places for opportunities.  Simultaneously, due to the dwindling supply, the demand for newly illegal alcoholic beverages was immense.  “As soon as it became certain that prohibition would pass, Americans began to drink up existing stock with genuine enthusiasm.”[28] The superficiality of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act lead many to relinquish the notions of their permanence.  The high demand in turn drove the price of any variety of alcohol through the roof.  It was as though the nation was collectively going through alcohol withdrawal after hastily and naively consuming the nation’s reserve stock.  Unemployment skyrocketing, many honest citizens turned to various criminal activities to makes ends meet.  Upper class citizenship during prohibition, According to Claire Potter, Ph.D. of history at Wesleyan University[29] “knew perfectly well that there were armies of poor people who resented them and held them responsible for their own poverty.”[30]   Chaotically, Americans engrossed in poverty struggled to find an answer to their economic woes when suddenly it became clear to a number of these struggling Americans.  Prior to prohibition, “more than half of the beer production was concentrated in…only one hundred breweries.”[31] With the alcohol monopoly broken-up, large, capitalist ventures in alcohol were banished almost instantly.  Even “brewery-owned saloons died with prohibition.”[32]  By “abolishing the businesses that made and sold alcohol,”[33] the measures had effectively stifled alcohol consumption and trade in the United States.    But, just as the Eighteenth Amendment seemed to be “drying up” alcohol and its existing infrastructure, new institutions began to appear.  Fittingly, the most popular illegal forms of employment were the manufacture and/or sale of alcohol as a means of surviving economic turmoil. “Production of…beer and wine in the home decentralized the making of illegal liquor to such an extent that enforcement became virtually impossible,”[34] giving the (sometimes) small-time illegal brewer a cut above their conventional predecessors.  Also, this “early brewing of beer was done on a very small scale”[35] and primarily of local resources and stock.  The prolific efforts of the American people to rekindle an old love of brewing and alcohol proved sufficient enough to stymie efforts of law enforcement agencies. Citizens of all classes found themselves becoming actively involved in the illegal alcohol trade as brewers and distillers were effectively targeted and made quick work of.  The term “moonshiner”, which “is generally assumed to have originated in the USA, meaning whiskey illegally made by moonlight,”[36] suddenly became a badge of honor to those who involved in the trade and popular definitive slander for prohibitionists. 

While the need to keep afloat in economic turmoil and cultural reasons were popular explanations for such disobedience, American youth became a vehicle for illegal alcohol in its many forms for entirely different reasons altogether.  The youth of the time enjoyed being out of the spotlight for once concerning alcohol and its abuses, which they relished in a most prolific manner.  In the years leading up to prohibition, the legal drinking age beginning to be addressed.  “The temperance movement used selective prohibition (drinking ages) as a stepping-stone approach to their goal of out-lawing [sic] all alcohol”[37] in different parts of the country.   By prohibiting young people and children from drinking, these actions helped to keep alcohol out of the hands of children.  This regulating of alcoholic beverages had been quite effective and much of society agreed that assigning drinking ages to curb alcoholism was acceptable.  Unfortunately, the Eighteenth Amendment undermined that effectiveness and soon young people and adults found themselves in the same, dry predicament.  Because adult drinkers were considered just as unlawful as their adolescent counterparts, less emphasis was placed on age concerning alcohol use.  This “unintended consequence”[38] was yet another blunder of the prohibitionists’ reformative measures.  Suddenly, youth across America were enjoying the ineffectiveness of the prohibition era far more than they had ever enjoyed life.  A new found vigor for alcoholic elixirs was among them and for many, it served as a poor reminder for the outlets of entertainment of yesteryear, such as plane model kits, synchronized swimming or speech and debate.[39]  Well into the 1920s prohibition era, considerable numbers of American youth were experimenting with alcohol.   Underage drinking made up a large part of the illegal alcohol market and trade.  The “noble experiment” failed yet again as a result of these unforeseen consequences of deregulation.  Teenagers in the most conservative parts of the United States were also part of the excitement of alcohol, in spite of their perceived social and moral “superiority.”[40]  Mildred Opitz, who grew up in rural Nebraska during the era, recalls “we’d always take our little bit of bourbon with us” and “spike it with 7-Up…or Squirt.”[41]  School dances, social affairs and sporting events became peppered with a new breed of youth, ready for anything but following the rules of prohibition.  While “soda water was popular among the nation’s youth [as]…a popular mixer for whiskey,”[42], others began a “noble experiment” of their own with so-called sacramental wine.  With it being readily available in garages, basements, living rooms and kitchens across the United States, young people began to drink wine in droves.  The result is imminently a wine youth culture in the Napa Valley and across the rural countryside that “thrived.”[43]

Because of the substance’s volatile reputation, new concoctions, such as the one Mildred Opitz described, were becoming important to the concealment of alcohol and, ultimately the development of cocktail culture.  In the days before prohibition, only bartenders would have had devout knowledge of mixing spirits and alcoholic concoctions.  Like brewing, distilling and moon shining, mixing cocktails became another practice of the everyman of the time to combat omnipresent dryness.  Unlike stereotypical, hairy-chested whiskey, hard liquor, and even beer, mixed drinks and cocktails transcended some of the cultural stigmas that drink was intended for the working class or brash exclusively.  Suddenly, a plethora of appetizing new liquid treats, were appealing to the masses not just for their concealment properties, but also because they were often tastier and more visually appealing than their predecessors. The transformative power that these tasty treats have had on youth culture and young adults has been immense.  Proof is Garret Peck, a talented young historian from Rutgers whose recently published accounts of prohibition include favorite mixed drinks and concoctions along with their recipes and their place in history in the prohibition era.[44]  The drinks of the prohibition era even today are sensationalized for their seductiveness.

In spite of their many spearheading efforts of prohibitionist agendas, leaders in religious communities often conspired to manipulate and exploit the sacramental wine clause in the Volstead Act to gain access to niches of the illegal alcohol market.  This did considerable damage to the permanence of prohibitionist agenda with god speed.  To begin with, there is much speculation as to why fundamentalists and conservative religious institutions would be in favor of the prohibition movement, only to abandon these sentiments during ceremonies in which alcohol is used as a sacrament.  There is, however, no speculation as to whether these groups or organizations did continue to use alcohol during prohibition as a sacrament and that this outlet “was one of the chief sources of the illicit liquor supply.”[45]  “Sacramental wine sales increased…to…3 million gallons in first two years of Prohibition.”[46]   Members of the fundamentalist sect that sponsored prohibition would quickly check this exasperous number of wine consumption as prohibition leading more and more souls to god, concluding that the spike in sacramental use was just that, nothing more.  The Jewish community in America also relished in a revival of sorts, or so it appeared according to their immense need for “wine consumed at dinner during a Jewish Seder.”[47]  These alternative acquisitions were a successful means of obtaining alcohol for a vast number of Americans.  With what we know about the magnitude in which alcohol was being used during the time, it’s as though most use of sacramental wine was astonishingly tolerated in most circles, in spite of its obvious abuse.  In a number of well-known instances, violators of this sort went unpunished, but not without scrutiny.[48]  The use of sacramental wine was also a significant source of friction between religious sects themselves and it was not uncommon for Christians to think of Jews as sinful for their sacramental uses of wine and vice-versa.

Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital and where the Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act were both passed with great enthusiasm, set an anticipatory tone of defiance, further undermining prohibition. With a “do as I say, not as I do”[49] approach to prohibition, the nation’s foremost professionals in Washington all but sabotaged the legislative measures by publically displaying their distaste for the new restrictions.  During “the first three months before the 18th amendment became effective, liquor valued at half a million dollars was stolen from government warehouses.”[50]  Their striking amount of alcohol reserves are a historical testament to the defiance of the time.  Al Capone, the most famous of all prohibition era crime lords, likely envied the White House’s reserves of alcohol during prohibition.  The laws “had been in effect for more than a year when Wilson left the Oval Office” and his personal “wine cellar…date[s] from the 1920s”[51] when the country was perceived to be at its very driest.  As a result of Washington’s hypocrisies concerning the use of alcohol, Americans obliged their paternalistic civil leaders by “develop[ing] a celebratory culture alternative to the dry regime.”[52]

The inability of the prohibition era to cease alcohol production and ultimately its consumption by youth and adults alike represents an important shift in our thinking as a nation.  In “the most ambitious attempt to legislate morality and personal behavior in the history of the modern United States,”[53] Americans quickly organized to reaffirm their basic human rights.  “Many…were primarily concerned with their personal freedom to behave as they wished.”[54] As the population addressed societal discords, Americans’ sense of identity, much like the immigrants many of them derived from, began to again come from alcoholic beverages.  The rebellious nature of the public in the face of prohibition reaffirmed the reformative tendencies toward freedom and civility that have always been present in American history.

By the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Americans of all ages, social status, ethnic backgrounds, religious orientation and political affiliation were overwhelmingly in favor of granting the alcohol trade legal status.  To say that alcohol brought together these diverse groups is tempting, but not altogether true.  As Americans, they banded together to transform the social landscape to which they were so adamantly tethered.  In a sense, alcohol helped Americans understand the power of civic involvement because of its at times unbelievably evident effects on their lives.  Because prohibition commanded the attention of the nation through legislative oppression, more people were politically active during the time than ever before.  The prohibition era in the United States forever changed the course of civil action in local affairs as well as international ones.  Ultimately, the United States chose to abandon the confides of prohibition, but in the end it was much more than alcohol gained.  The diverse and cultural complexities of one of the world’s greatest societies were, in the long run, the exact qualities demanded by the affirmation of the anti-prohibition movement.  The challenges of the era were transcended by an overwhelming agreement on the repeal of prohibition, further bonding the melting pot that is the United States; perhaps, over a pint.    

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America. New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc., 1996.

Burnham, Kelsey. “Traces of History: Prohibition in Wine Country.”  http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/article_ed8bdf22-4a81-11df-bb7d-001cc4c002e0.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

Carnes, Mark C. The American Nation: A History of the United States, 14th Edition, Vol.2, Since 1865. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012.

Clemens, Gus. On Wine: Altar and Consumer Wines are Different.” San Angelo Standard Times, July 26, 2011, http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/26/altar-and-consumer-wines-are-different/?print=1 (accessed March 8, 2012).

“Crime Wave: 18 Months of Mayhem.” DVD. New York:  The History Channel, January 2008.

 “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America.” DVD. Directed by Patrick Leigh-Bell. New York: The History Channel, 2006.

Engs, Ruth C. “Protestants and Catholics: Drunken Barbarians and Mellow Romans?.” http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cathprot.htm (accessed March 5, 2012).

Louis Fisher. Congressional Protection of Religious Liberty. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers, 2003.

Hanson, Erica. A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades: The 1920s. San Diego, California: Lucent Books, 1999.

Koroknay-Palicz, Alex.History of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act.” Youth Truth: Official ‘Zine of American for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, Volume 1, Issue 5, Sept/Oct 2000.   http://www.asfar.org/zine/v1n5.pdf (accessed February 3, 2012).

Lerner, Michael A. Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Lerner, Michael A. “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences.” PBS presents Ken Burns: Prohibition. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/unintended-consequences/ (accessed March 8, 2012).

Loyola Marymount University. “History of Alcohol Use.” http://www.lmu.edu/Page25071.aspx (accessed March 7, 2012).

Mittelman, Amy. Brewing Battles: A History of American Beer. New York: Algora Publishing, 2008.

Opitz, Mildred. “Mildred Opitz on Booze during Prohibition.” Living History Farm:  Farming in the 1930s. http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/opitz_life_27.html#.

Peck, Garret. The Prohibition Hangover:  Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press 2009.

Peck, Garret.  Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2011.

 

Pegram, Thomas R.  Review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, by Michael A. Lerner.  American Historical Review Vol. 113 Issue 1 (2008): 203-204.

People History, The. “Popular Vintage 1920s Toys Including Photos and Prices.” http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20stoys.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

Richardson, Joe M. “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.” http://mailer.fsu.edu/~jmrichar/amh1000/fa02/prohibition.html (accessed March 1, 2012).

Selden, John. Table Talk: Being the Discourses of John Selden, Esq., or His Sense of Various Matters of Weight and High Consequence, Relating Especially to Religion and State. London: Holborn, 1654.

U.S. Census. History: 1920 Fast Facts. Washington, DC: 2012. http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1920_fast_facts.html (accessed February 2, 2012).

 

 

 


[1] U.S. Census, History: 1920 Fast Facts, (Washington, DC: 2012), http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1920_fast_facts.html (accessed February 2, 2012)

[2] Michael A. Lerner, Dry Manhattan:  Prohibition in New York City (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 2.

[3] Michael A. Lerner, “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences,” PBS presents Ken Burns: Prohibition, http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/unintended-consequences/ (accessed March 8, 2012).

[4] Edward Behr, Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America (New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc., 1996).

[5] U.S. Const. Amend. XVIII, §1.

[6] Lerner, 13.

[7] Lerner, 21.

[8] Mark C. Carnes, The American Nation: A History of the United States, 14th Edition, Vol. 2, (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012), 646.

[9] Austen Chamberlain, Chancellor of British Exchequer, Atlanta, Ga.: The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945) Feb 14, 1920.

[10] Lerner, 2.

[11] Amy Mittelman, Brewing Battles: A History of American Beer, (New York: Algora Publishing, 2008), 17.

[12] Carnes, 639.

[13] U.S. National Archives, The Volstead Act (Washington, DC: GPO, 1919), http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/volstead-act/ (accessed March 1, 2012).

[14] Carnes, 640-641.

[15] Carnes, 651.

[16] Garret Peck, The Prohibition Hangover:  Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press 2009), 10.

[17] Carnes, 641.

[18] Carnes, 651.

[19] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 10.

[20] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 10.

[21] Mittelman, 17.

[22] Ruth C. Engs, “Protestants and Catholics: Drunken Barbarians and Mellow Romans?,” http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cathprot.htm (accessed March 5, 2012).

[23]North Carolina State University, Department of History, Faculty & Staff, David Zonderman,  http://history.ncsu.edu/faculty/view/david_zonderman (accessed March 8, 2012).

[24] “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America,” DVD, directed by Patrick Leigh-Bell (New York: The History Channel, 2006).

[25] Carnes, 651.

[26] Carnes, 651.

[27] Mittelman, Ch.1.

[28]Joe M. Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment,” http://mailer.fsu.edu/~jmrichar/amh1000/fa02/prohibition.html (accessed March 1, 2012).

[29] Wesleyan University, “Faculty, History Department,” http://www.wesleyan.edu/history/faculty.html (accessed March 7, 2012).

[30] “Crime Wave: 18 Months of Mayhem,” (New York:  The History Channel, DVD, January 2008).

[31] Lerner, 22.

[32] Thomas R. Pegram, review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, by Michael A. Lerner, American Historical Review Vol. 113 Issue 1 (2008): 204.

[33] Hanson, Erica, A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades: The 1920s, San Diego: Lucent Books, 1999), 27.

[34] Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.”

[35] “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America.”

[36] Loyola Marymount University, “History of Alcohol Use,” http://www.lmu.edu/Page25071.aspx (accessed March 7, 2012).

[37] Alex Koroknay-Palicz,History of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act,” Youth Truth: Official ‘Zine of American for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, Volume 1, Issue 5, Sept/Oct 2000.   http://www.asfar.org/zine/v1n5.pdf (accessed February 3, 2012).

[38] Lerner, “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences.”

[39]The People History, “Popular Vintage 1920s Toys Including Photos and Prices,” http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20stoys.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

[40] Carnes, 651.

[41] Mildred Opitz, “Mildred Opitz on Booze during Prohibition,” Living History Farm:  Farming in the 1930s, http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/opitz_life_27.html#.

 

[42] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 193.

[43] Kelsey Burnham, “Traces of History: Prohibition in Wine Country,” Napa Valley Register, April 18, 2010, http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/article_ed8bdf22-4a81-11df-bb7d-001cc4c002e0.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

[44] Garret Peck, Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011), 109-114.

[45] “Dry Forces Have Impossible Task, U.S. Prohibition Head Says Sacramental Wine Stores Aid Bootlegging,” The Montreal Gazette, October 28, 1925, 5.

[46] Gus Clemens, “On Wine: Altar and Consumer Wines are Different,” San Angelo Standard Times, July 26, 2011, http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/26/altar-and-consumer-wines-are-different/?print=1 (accessed March 8, 2012).

[47] Louis Fisher, Congressional Protection of Religious Liberty, (Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers, 2003), 68.

[48] “Dry Agent Acquitted, Sacramental Wine Expose Blows Up Second Time,” The Pittsburgh Press, October 30, 1927, 8.

[49] John Selden, Table Talk: Being the Discourses of John Selden, Esq., or His Sense of Various Matters of Weight and High Consequence, Relating Especially to Religion and State, (London: Holborn, 1654), 118.

[50] Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.”

[51] Peck, Washington D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t, 42.

[52] Pegram, 204.

[53] Lerner, 3.

[54]Carnes, 647.

Prohibition in The United States:  How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol

Spencer Johnston

3/9/2012

HIS-3375-XTIA T3

Dr. Blum.

The prohibition era in the United States inadvertently fostered a culture fixated on alcoholic beverages.  Like never before, Americans of all ages and backgrounds clung to their collective sense of identity through the cultural  significance of alcohol.  The result was imminent.  The repeal would come.

“The central quest of all human beings is to find some technique of ecstacy…to alter their state of everyday consciousness. It is [part of] the basic human appetite.” — Wade Davis, PhD, Harvard University.

     

 


 

Spencer Johnston

3/9/2012

HIS-3375-XTIA-T3

Dr. Blum

 

Prohibition in The United States:  How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol

 

.  In its boldest attempts to banish alcohol from the lives of over 100 million Americans[1], prohibition merely encouraged most to drink more. Seeking to “morally uplift the people of the United States”[2], the Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act drastically changed the social atmosphere in the United States.  Despite the amendment’s adoption, “the Noble Experiment”, as it was often referred to, was controversial from the beginning.  Ultimately, the omnipresent divide between those against alcohol and those who favored it, continued to grow throughout the decade, and a distinct subculture centered on alcohol, good or bad, ensued.  The prohibition movement inadvertently generated a more prolific alcohol culture in the United States.  “The [Noble] Experiment failed…miserably”[3] and the result was a tumultuous “thirteen years that changed America”[4] in ways entirely unforeseen. 

The drastic measures of the Eighteenth Amendment sought to eliminate all “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within… the United States.”[5]   Unlike the numerous temperance movements of years earlier, this new prohibition no longer left liberties in the hands of its citizens.  Much of the population felt stripped of their rights, because “the passage of … [the Eighteenth] Amendment was less an expression of popular will than the product of political opportunism and a generation’s worth of aggressive lobbying.”[6] All too often, prohibitionists would disguise their efforts “in the context of…Progressiv[ism].”[7]  Acting on moral ideals, advocates of prohibition utilized their positions in churches, communities and businesses as political platforms.  From which, they furthered their prohibitionist agendas and “denounce[d]…what they described as the breakdown of moral standards.”[8]  “Dry America,” according to Austen Chamberlain, Chancellor of British Exchequer, “adds to [the] woes of the world.”[9]  Luckily, it would never be completely dry for any significant amount of time.

The lack of public approval for the Eighteenth Amendment caused much chaos and panic, which “overwhelmed the nation’s law enforcement agencies.”[10]  Enforcing the new law proved to be unmanageable.  There were far too many citizens who blatantly disregarded the sanctions.  “Both retailers and drinkers refused to accept the legitimacy of Prohibition.”[11]  “Drinking-though illegal-[remained] an integral part of popular culture.”[12]  It seemed as though the passing of the amendment did nothing more than reaffirm Americans’ love of alcoholic beverages.  Whether privately or in the midst of a public square, there was usually an anti-prohibitionist within arm’s reach in 1920s America.  The difficulties that arose in enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment led many to ponder prohibition’s future.  The Volstead Act, issued some months after the amendment, focused more intently upon its enforcement.  Drawing lines in the sand, so to speak, the act helped to define the boundaries of illegal behavior concerning alcohol.  Where the Eighteenth Amendment could be manipulated by resistant individuals, the Volstead Act stood firm in its purposeful verbiage.[13]  With its issuance, the United States committed to an ongoing fight against alcohol with no end in sight.

The nature of the argument divided urban and rural communities and their ways of life during the prohibition era.  “The census of 1920 revealed that for the first time a majority of Americans …lived in “urban rather than rural places.”[14] The emigration America was experiencing was indicative of the loosening political grip of the “immense popularity” of “political conservatism and religious fanaticism in rural areas.”[15]  Some historians make the case that “most of America was rural in the early twentieth century,”[16] and that their thinking was dominant in the nation’s move to accept prohibition.   This is a constant misconception based in part on the retrospective conservativeness of the 1920s to modern scholars.  Realistically, the new wave of “truly urban Americans…were increasing steadily in number and influence.”[17]  Those who continued to live in more rural settings “coveted the…excitement of city life at the same time that they condemned its vices”[18] and perceived “inherent wickedness.”[19]  “Cities were full of [working class] immigrants”[20] and those living in urban environments were subjected to perhaps the worst cultural discriminations of all.  “German and Irish immigrants opposed the law[s] for cultural and economic reasons.”[21]  The “cultural attitudes that originated “in the old country” among…immigrants…shape[d] every day thinking…concerning alcohol.”[22] It was a way of life and a principal means of earning wages.  “A sense of mutuality, of friendship [and] togetherness,” as Dr. David A. Zonderman, Associate Professor of History at NCSU[23] argues, was of the utmost importance to “saloons and taverns”[24] in American social life.  Without them, part of the everyday zeal of life was gone.  This theory of Zonderman’s is a favorite among historians who maintain a celebratory tone on reflection of prohibition, considering events that would follow.  For these densely concentrated populations, resistance was futile to maintaining their sense of identity.  Existing social pressures among urban immigrants were further strained by “rural society[‘s] proclaimed…superiority.”[25] “Change,” they argued, “must be resisted even at the cost of individualism and freedom.”[26]  It was as though prohibition was a war waged on culture, not alcohol.

It soon became evident that the economic impact of the new laws was driving urban laborers directly into the arms of the illegal alcohol manufacturing business in one form or another.  Distilleries, wineries and bottling operations closed their doors or dramatically altered their product lines to adhere to the new measures.  A great number of working-class Americans found themselves without jobs. Waiting for the next big economic boom was for many an unacceptable fate.  Prohibition shut the doors of one of the country’s most profitable and well established markets.[27]  Rather than remain in poverty and economic uncertainty, a great number of Americans unemployed and desperate for work, looked in unconventional places for opportunities.  Simultaneously, due to the dwindling supply, the demand for newly illegal alcoholic beverages was immense.  “As soon as it became certain that prohibition would pass, Americans began to drink up existing stock with genuine enthusiasm.”[28] The superficiality of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act lead many to relinquish the notions of their permanence.  The high demand in turn drove the price of any variety of alcohol through the roof.  It was as though the nation was collectively going through alcohol withdrawal after hastily and naively consuming the nation’s reserve stock.  Unemployment skyrocketing, many honest citizens turned to various criminal activities to makes ends meet.  Upper class citizenship during prohibition, According to Claire Potter, Ph.D. of history at Wesleyan University[29] “knew perfectly well that there were armies of poor people who resented them and held them responsible for their own poverty.”[30]   Chaotically, Americans engrossed in poverty struggled to find an answer to their economic woes when suddenly it became clear to a number of these struggling Americans.  Prior to prohibition, “more than half of the beer production was concentrated in…only one hundred breweries.”[31] With the alcohol monopoly broken-up, large, capitalist ventures in alcohol were banished almost instantly.  Even “brewery-owned saloons died with prohibition.”[32]  By “abolishing the businesses that made and sold alcohol,”[33] the measures had effectively stifled alcohol consumption and trade in the United States.    But, just as the Eighteenth Amendment seemed to be “drying up” alcohol and its existing infrastructure, new institutions began to appear.  Fittingly, the most popular illegal forms of employment were the manufacture and/or sale of alcohol as a means of surviving economic turmoil. “Production of…beer and wine in the home decentralized the making of illegal liquor to such an extent that enforcement became virtually impossible,”[34] giving the (sometimes) small-time illegal brewer a cut above their conventional predecessors.  Also, this “early brewing of beer was done on a very small scale”[35] and primarily of local resources and stock.  The prolific efforts of the American people to rekindle an old love of brewing and alcohol proved sufficient enough to stymie efforts of law enforcement agencies. Citizens of all classes found themselves becoming actively involved in the illegal alcohol trade as brewers and distillers were effectively targeted and made quick work of.  The term “moonshiner”, which “is generally assumed to have originated in the USA, meaning whiskey illegally made by moonlight,”[36] suddenly became a badge of honor to those who involved in the trade and popular definitive slander for prohibitionists. 

While the need to keep afloat in economic turmoil and cultural reasons were popular explanations for such disobedience, American youth became a vehicle for illegal alcohol in its many forms for entirely different reasons altogether.  The youth of the time enjoyed being out of the spotlight for once concerning alcohol and its abuses, which they relished in a most prolific manner.  In the years leading up to prohibition, the legal drinking age beginning to be addressed.  “The temperance movement used selective prohibition (drinking ages) as a stepping-stone approach to their goal of out-lawing [sic] all alcohol”[37] in different parts of the country.   By prohibiting young people and children from drinking, these actions helped to keep alcohol out of the hands of children.  This regulating of alcoholic beverages had been quite effective and much of society agreed that assigning drinking ages to curb alcoholism was acceptable.  Unfortunately, the Eighteenth Amendment undermined that effectiveness and soon young people and adults found themselves in the same, dry predicament.  Because adult drinkers were considered just as unlawful as their adolescent counterparts, less emphasis was placed on age concerning alcohol use.  This “unintended consequence”[38] was yet another blunder of the prohibitionists’ reformative measures.  Suddenly, youth across America were enjoying the ineffectiveness of the prohibition era far more than they had ever enjoyed life.  A new found vigor for alcoholic elixirs was among them and for many, it served as a poor reminder for the outlets of entertainment of yesteryear, such as plane model kits, synchronized swimming or speech and debate.[39]  Well into the 1920s prohibition era, considerable numbers of American youth were experimenting with alcohol.   Underage drinking made up a large part of the illegal alcohol market and trade.  The “noble experiment” failed yet again as a result of these unforeseen consequences of deregulation.  Teenagers in the most conservative parts of the United States were also part of the excitement of alcohol, in spite of their perceived social and moral “superiority.”[40]  Mildred Opitz, who grew up in rural Nebraska during the era, recalls “we’d always take our little bit of bourbon with us” and “spike it with 7-Up…or Squirt.”[41]  School dances, social affairs and sporting events became peppered with a new breed of youth, ready for anything but following the rules of prohibition.  While “soda water was popular among the nation’s youth [as]…a popular mixer for whiskey,”[42], others began a “noble experiment” of their own with so-called sacramental wine.  With it being readily available in garages, basements, living rooms and kitchens across the United States, young people began to drink wine in droves.  The result is imminently a wine youth culture in the Napa Valley and across the rural countryside that “thrived.”[43]

Because of the substance’s volatile reputation, new concoctions, such as the one Mildred Opitz described, were becoming important to the concealment of alcohol and, ultimately the development of cocktail culture.  In the days before prohibition, only bartenders would have had devout knowledge of mixing spirits and alcoholic concoctions.  Like brewing, distilling and moon shining, mixing cocktails became another practice of the everyman of the time to combat omnipresent dryness.  Unlike stereotypical, hairy-chested whiskey, hard liquor, and even beer, mixed drinks and cocktails transcended some of the cultural stigmas that drink was intended for the working class or brash exclusively.  Suddenly, a plethora of appetizing new liquid treats, were appealing to the masses not just for their concealment properties, but also because they were often tastier and more visually appealing than their predecessors. The transformative power that these tasty treats have had on youth culture and young adults has been immense.  Proof is Garret Peck, a talented young historian from Rutgers whose recently published accounts of prohibition include favorite mixed drinks and concoctions along with their recipes and their place in history in the prohibition era.[44]  The drinks of the prohibition era even today are sensationalized for their seductiveness.

In spite of their many spearheading efforts of prohibitionist agendas, leaders in religious communities often conspired to manipulate and exploit the sacramental wine clause in the Volstead Act to gain access to niches of the illegal alcohol market.  This did considerable damage to the permanence of prohibitionist agenda with god speed.  To begin with, there is much speculation as to why fundamentalists and conservative religious institutions would be in favor of the prohibition movement, only to abandon these sentiments during ceremonies in which alcohol is used as a sacrament.  There is, however, no speculation as to whether these groups or organizations did continue to use alcohol during prohibition as a sacrament and that this outlet “was one of the chief sources of the illicit liquor supply.”[45]  “Sacramental wine sales increased…to…3 million gallons in first two years of Prohibition.”[46]   Members of the fundamentalist sect that sponsored prohibition would quickly check this exasperous number of wine consumption as prohibition leading more and more souls to god, concluding that the spike in sacramental use was just that, nothing more.  The Jewish community in America also relished in a revival of sorts, or so it appeared according to their immense need for “wine consumed at dinner during a Jewish Seder.”[47]  These alternative acquisitions were a successful means of obtaining alcohol for a vast number of Americans.  With what we know about the magnitude in which alcohol was being used during the time, it’s as though most use of sacramental wine was astonishingly tolerated in most circles, in spite of its obvious abuse.  In a number of well-known instances, violators of this sort went unpunished, but not without scrutiny.[48]  The use of sacramental wine was also a significant source of friction between religious sects themselves and it was not uncommon for Christians to think of Jews as sinful for their sacramental uses of wine and vice-versa.

Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital and where the Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act were both passed with great enthusiasm, set an anticipatory tone of defiance, further undermining prohibition. With a “do as I say, not as I do”[49] approach to prohibition, the nation’s foremost professionals in Washington all but sabotaged the legislative measures by publically displaying their distaste for the new restrictions.  During “the first three months before the 18th amendment became effective, liquor valued at half a million dollars was stolen from government warehouses.”[50]  Their striking amount of alcohol reserves are a historical testament to the defiance of the time.  Al Capone, the most famous of all prohibition era crime lords, likely envied the White House’s reserves of alcohol during prohibition.  The laws “had been in effect for more than a year when Wilson left the Oval Office” and his personal “wine cellar…date[s] from the 1920s”[51] when the country was perceived to be at its very driest.  As a result of Washington’s hypocrisies concerning the use of alcohol, Americans obliged their paternalistic civil leaders by “develop[ing] a celebratory culture alternative to the dry regime.”[52]

The inability of the prohibition era to cease alcohol production and ultimately its consumption by youth and adults alike represents an important shift in our thinking as a nation.  In “the most ambitious attempt to legislate morality and personal behavior in the history of the modern United States,”[53] Americans quickly organized to reaffirm their basic human rights.  “Many…were primarily concerned with their personal freedom to behave as they wished.”[54] As the population addressed societal discords, Americans’ sense of identity, much like the immigrants many of them derived from, began to again come from alcoholic beverages.  The rebellious nature of the public in the face of prohibition reaffirmed the reformative tendencies toward freedom and civility that have always been present in American history.

By the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Americans of all ages, social status, ethnic backgrounds, religious orientation and political affiliation were overwhelmingly in favor of granting the alcohol trade legal status.  To say that alcohol brought together these diverse groups is tempting, but not altogether true.  As Americans, they banded together to transform the social landscape to which they were so adamantly tethered.  In a sense, alcohol helped Americans understand the power of civic involvement because of its at times unbelievably evident effects on their lives.  Because prohibition commanded the attention of the nation through legislative oppression, more people were politically active during the time than ever before.  The prohibition era in the United States forever changed the course of civil action in local affairs as well as international ones.  Ultimately, the United States chose to abandon the confides of prohibition, but in the end it was much more than alcohol gained.  The diverse and cultural complexities of one of the world’s greatest societies were, in the long run, the exact qualities demanded by the affirmation of the anti-prohibition movement.  The challenges of the era were transcended by an overwhelming agreement on the repeal of prohibition, further bonding the melting pot that is the United States; perhaps, over a pint.    

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

Behr, Edward. Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America. New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc., 1996.

Burnham, Kelsey. “Traces of History: Prohibition in Wine Country.”  http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/article_ed8bdf22-4a81-11df-bb7d-001cc4c002e0.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

Carnes, Mark C. The American Nation: A History of the United States, 14th Edition, Vol.2, Since 1865. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012.

Clemens, Gus. On Wine: Altar and Consumer Wines are Different.” San Angelo Standard Times, July 26, 2011, http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/26/altar-and-consumer-wines-are-different/?print=1 (accessed March 8, 2012).

“Crime Wave: 18 Months of Mayhem.” DVD. New York:  The History Channel, January 2008.

 “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America.” DVD. Directed by Patrick Leigh-Bell. New York: The History Channel, 2006.

Engs, Ruth C. “Protestants and Catholics: Drunken Barbarians and Mellow Romans?.” http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cathprot.htm (accessed March 5, 2012).

Louis Fisher. Congressional Protection of Religious Liberty. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers, 2003.

Hanson, Erica. A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades: The 1920s. San Diego, California: Lucent Books, 1999.

Koroknay-Palicz, Alex.History of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act.” Youth Truth: Official ‘Zine of American for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, Volume 1, Issue 5, Sept/Oct 2000.   http://www.asfar.org/zine/v1n5.pdf (accessed February 3, 2012).

Lerner, Michael A. Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Lerner, Michael A. “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences.” PBS presents Ken Burns: Prohibition. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/unintended-consequences/ (accessed March 8, 2012).

Loyola Marymount University. “History of Alcohol Use.” http://www.lmu.edu/Page25071.aspx (accessed March 7, 2012).

Mittelman, Amy. Brewing Battles: A History of American Beer. New York: Algora Publishing, 2008.

Opitz, Mildred. “Mildred Opitz on Booze during Prohibition.” Living History Farm:  Farming in the 1930s. http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/opitz_life_27.html#.

Peck, Garret. The Prohibition Hangover:  Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press 2009.

Peck, Garret.  Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2011.

 

Pegram, Thomas R.  Review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, by Michael A. Lerner.  American Historical Review Vol. 113 Issue 1 (2008): 203-204.

People History, The. “Popular Vintage 1920s Toys Including Photos and Prices.” http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20stoys.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

Richardson, Joe M. “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.” http://mailer.fsu.edu/~jmrichar/amh1000/fa02/prohibition.html (accessed March 1, 2012).

Selden, John. Table Talk: Being the Discourses of John Selden, Esq., or His Sense of Various Matters of Weight and High Consequence, Relating Especially to Religion and State. London: Holborn, 1654.

U.S. Census. History: 1920 Fast Facts. Washington, DC: 2012. http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1920_fast_facts.html (accessed February 2, 2012).

 

 

 


[1] U.S. Census, History: 1920 Fast Facts, (Washington, DC: 2012), http://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/fast_facts/1920_fast_facts.html (accessed February 2, 2012)

[2] Michael A. Lerner, Dry Manhattan:  Prohibition in New York City (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 2.

[3] Michael A. Lerner, “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences,” PBS presents Ken Burns: Prohibition, http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/unintended-consequences/ (accessed March 8, 2012).

[4] Edward Behr, Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America (New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc., 1996).

[5] U.S. Const. Amend. XVIII, §1.

[6] Lerner, 13.

[7] Lerner, 21.

[8] Mark C. Carnes, The American Nation: A History of the United States, 14th Edition, Vol. 2, (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012), 646.

[9] Austen Chamberlain, Chancellor of British Exchequer, Atlanta, Ga.: The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945) Feb 14, 1920.

[10] Lerner, 2.

[11] Amy Mittelman, Brewing Battles: A History of American Beer, (New York: Algora Publishing, 2008), 17.

[12] Carnes, 639.

[13] U.S. National Archives, The Volstead Act (Washington, DC: GPO, 1919), http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/volstead-act/ (accessed March 1, 2012).

[14] Carnes, 640-641.

[15] Carnes, 651.

[16] Garret Peck, The Prohibition Hangover:  Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press 2009), 10.

[17] Carnes, 641.

[18] Carnes, 651.

[19] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 10.

[20] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 10.

[21] Mittelman, 17.

[22] Ruth C. Engs, “Protestants and Catholics: Drunken Barbarians and Mellow Romans?,” http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/cathprot.htm (accessed March 5, 2012).

[23]North Carolina State University, Department of History, Faculty & Staff, David Zonderman,  http://history.ncsu.edu/faculty/view/david_zonderman (accessed March 8, 2012).

[24] “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America,” DVD, directed by Patrick Leigh-Bell (New York: The History Channel, 2006).

[25] Carnes, 651.

[26] Carnes, 651.

[27] Mittelman, Ch.1.

[28]Joe M. Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment,” http://mailer.fsu.edu/~jmrichar/amh1000/fa02/prohibition.html (accessed March 1, 2012).

[29] Wesleyan University, “Faculty, History Department,” http://www.wesleyan.edu/history/faculty.html (accessed March 7, 2012).

[30] “Crime Wave: 18 Months of Mayhem,” (New York:  The History Channel, DVD, January 2008).

[31] Lerner, 22.

[32] Thomas R. Pegram, review of Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City, by Michael A. Lerner, American Historical Review Vol. 113 Issue 1 (2008): 204.

[33] Hanson, Erica, A Cultural History of the United States Through the Decades: The 1920s, San Diego: Lucent Books, 1999), 27.

[34] Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.”

[35] “Empires of Industry: Brewed in America.”

[36] Loyola Marymount University, “History of Alcohol Use,” http://www.lmu.edu/Page25071.aspx (accessed March 7, 2012).

[37] Alex Koroknay-Palicz,History of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act,” Youth Truth: Official ‘Zine of American for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, Volume 1, Issue 5, Sept/Oct 2000.   http://www.asfar.org/zine/v1n5.pdf (accessed February 3, 2012).

[38] Lerner, “Prohibition: Unintended Consequences.”

[39]The People History, “Popular Vintage 1920s Toys Including Photos and Prices,” http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/20stoys.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

[40] Carnes, 651.

[41] Mildred Opitz, “Mildred Opitz on Booze during Prohibition,” Living History Farm:  Farming in the 1930s, http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/opitz_life_27.html#.

 

[42] Peck, The Prohibition Hangover, 193.

[43] Kelsey Burnham, “Traces of History: Prohibition in Wine Country,” Napa Valley Register, April 18, 2010, http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/real-napa/article_ed8bdf22-4a81-11df-bb7d-001cc4c002e0.html (accessed March 5, 2012).

[44] Garret Peck, Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2011), 109-114.

[45] “Dry Forces Have Impossible Task, U.S. Prohibition Head Says Sacramental Wine Stores Aid Bootlegging,” The Montreal Gazette, October 28, 1925, 5.

[46] Gus Clemens, “On Wine: Altar and Consumer Wines are Different,” San Angelo Standard Times, July 26, 2011, http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2011/jul/26/altar-and-consumer-wines-are-different/?print=1 (accessed March 8, 2012).

[47] Louis Fisher, Congressional Protection of Religious Liberty, (Hauppauge, New York: Nova Publishers, 2003), 68.

[48] “Dry Agent Acquitted, Sacramental Wine Expose Blows Up Second Time,” The Pittsburgh Press, October 30, 1927, 8.

[49] John Selden, Table Talk: Being the Discourses of John Selden, Esq., or His Sense of Various Matters of Weight and High Consequence, Relating Especially to Religion and State, (London: Holborn, 1654), 118.

[50] Richardson, “Prohibition: The Noble Experiment.”

[51] Peck, Washington D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t, 42.

[52] Pegram, 204.

[53] Lerner, 3.

[54] Carnes, 647.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Prohibition in The United States: How The Movement Drove the Nation to the Warm Forbidden Embrace of Alcohol by Spencer B Johnston

  1. salutations from over the ocean. Great article I shall return for more.

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