Brooks Grain Whiskey Business: A Snapshot of Prohibition

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The Volstead Act and Prohibition – Brooks Grain Whiskey Business

One of the more colorful, and bloody, chapters of American history took place from 1920 to 1933 when the 18th Amendment became a national law. The Amendment illegalized the sale, transport, and manufacture of intoxicating beverages although it did not go into specifics. Later, the Volstead Act specified what was and was not illegal.

Prior to the Volstead Act, the states determined what was and was not legal with some allowing personal consumption and others forbidding alcohol entirely. It should be noted, however, that there were some exceptions to these laws such as the use of wine in religious ceremonies, etc.

Prohibition is considered by most to be an utter failure and the 18th Amendment was ultimately repealed by the 21st.

The effects of Prohibition were, decidedly, a mixed bag. While the consumption of alcohol almost certainly diminished in the country, the black market filled much of the vacuum and crime syndicates and gangsters began to flourish. Where the government was receiving dividends from the sale of alcohol before Prohibition, illicit gangs were profiting after with the government receiving no revenue from those sales.

People also began to make their own alcohol illegally in the form of “bathtub gin” and moonshine. Since these products were free of any regulation, they were often quite dangerous.

Law enforcement found itself at a distinct disadvantage with regards to Prohibition. One of the reasons was that politicians were woefully underprepared for the lengths to which many people would go to have a drink. The borders were porous and there was simply too much area to police. Too, the underground gangs, who were killing each other over market shares, were making enough money with illicit sales that they could afford to bribe judges and city halls.

Ultimately, Prohibition at a national level was repealed.

 

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