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The Eighteenth Amendment came into force in January 17, 1920 (Kyvig, 198). The Amendment was enacted to prohibit the sale of alcohol. Proponents of the law argued that prohibition was designed to eliminate the liquor business and more so the taverns. Hence, the more reason the Anti-Saloon league fronted the law (Burnham, 210).
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Kyvig argues that prohibition fell short of the expectations of most Americans (207). The amendment meant to be a success because it was part of the constitution and not a statute. While it barred manufacturing, transportation, selling, importing or exporting of alcohol, the law never addressed the use and purchase of liquor. This feature then never considered consumers and purchasers of alcohol offenders since using and purchasing alcohol was never criminalized (Kyvig, 199). In effect, users were encouraged and provided with support for their actions by this feature.
To support failure of prohibition, Kyvig argues that the increased number of prosecutions occasioned by those breaking the law, is a sign that it was not favorable (204). This fact illustrates that the citizens were against banning alcohol use since the number of people prosecuted increased each year.
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Although, Burnham is of the opinion that prohibition was a success, there is enough evidence though to suggest that this is not true. The number of new people using alcohol rose and reportedly ‘everyone’ was said to be drinking, and in particular, the upper class of the population (Burnham 214). In consideration of that fact that most respected people in the country were disregarding the amendment, then how could the nation be governed by a law the citizens hate? A prove that the law was very unpopular.
In conclusion, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed about seventy years ago. This is enough evidence to prove that prohibition was just an experiment that could not work. Although prohibition brought down consumption of alcoholic drinks down, the main goal of eliminating alcohol was not achieved. For this reason, prohibition qualifies to be a failed experiment.
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