- Summaries (3)
With gangsters terrorizing the public and profiting from the sale of alcohol, many citizens believed Prohibition was unsuccessful, which led to its repeal.
By the mid-1920s, a great many people had become convinced that prohibition was a serious mistake. Alfred E. Smith, the Governor of New York, was unsuccessful in getting the Democratic nomination for President in 1924 but succeeded in 1928. Smith was adamant that as President, he would repeal the 18th Amendment. He was not successful in seeking the Presidency though the fact that he was a Roman Catholic likely had more to do with his defeat. While alcohol consumption continued to rise, nothing demonstrated the failure of prohibition as did the rise of organized crime and the man who became the poster boy for crime and bootlegging, Al Capone. Soon, Pauline Sabin organized a national movement to restore the legal sale of alcoholic beverages. By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in 1932, beer was being sold and in less than a year, the 19th Amendment was repealed.
Support for Prohibition diminishes in the mid-1920s; the law has given savvy gangsters a way to make huge profits, wreaking havoc in cities across the country. By the late 1920s many American women believe that the "Noble Experiment" has failed. After the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, Congress easily passes the 21st Amendment, which repeals the 18th, and the states quickly ratify it. In December of 1933, Americans can legally buy a drink for the first time in 13 years.
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