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Origin of prohibition
OTHER WORDS FROM prohibitionpro·hi·bi·tion·ar·y, adjectivean·ti·pro·hi·bi·tion, adjective, nounnon·pro·hi·bi·tion, nounpre·pro·hi·bi·tion, noun
Words nearby prohibition
When was Prohibition?
Prohibition refers to a period in American history when the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was made illegal. The law, which was created by the Eighteenth Amendment (ratified in 1918) to the United States Constitution and subsequently reversed by the Twenty-first Amendment (ratified in 1933), proved largely unpopular.
What was Prohibition?
Anti-alcohol advocacy, formally called the temperance movement, was popular in the United States in the early 19th century. Largely created and run by religious women, the temperance movement was a response to the perceived role that alcoholism and drunkenness played in creating crime, poverty, and trouble among families. The movement grew through the 19th century, gaining footholds in traditionally Protestant areas like New England, until 1918, when the Eighteenth Amendment (which is often called Prohibition and was enforced through the Volstead Act) was ratified. Prohibition effectively lasted from 1920–1933, and is so called because it prohibited (banned) making, selling, or transporting alcohol.
Many Americans disagreed with Prohibition, and many ignored the laws and restrictions. While alcohol consumption did fall as a result of liquor becoming more difficult to obtain, Prohibition also spawned a new area of organized crime in which bootlegging (making, transporting, and selling alcohol illegally) rose in popularity. This business could be carried out locally, but it was largely controlled by the mob, who created a national bootlegging network. Famed gangster Al Capone is said to have made $60 million every year from his bootlegging exploits. Many people also made their own alcohol from scratch, creating homemade beer or moonshine.
Prohibition was eventually repealed in 1933, amidst the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the possibilities in creating an influx of jobs through reviving the liquor industry, and actually campaigned on a platform that involved repealing Prohibition. Roosevelt easily won the election and repealed Prohibition, to much celebration.
Examples of Prohibition
“In an age when individual freedom is all, it comes as something of a shock to reflect that in the world’s most prosperous and dynamic country the prohibition of alcohol lasted for almost 14 years. Today we often think of Prohibition as a deluded experiment, instinctively associating it with images of Al Capone, the mafia, and the Valentine’s Day Massacre. In fact, the campaign to prohibit alcohol had been deeply rooted in Anglo-American society for some two centuries.”
—Dominic Sandbrook, “How Prohibition backfired and gave America an era of gangsters and speakeasies,” The Guardian, August 25, 2012
“When the 21st Amendment was ratified on this day, Dec. 5, in 1933, it ended Prohibition 13 years, 10 months, and 19 days after it began.”
—Jennifer Latson, “A Toast to the End of Prohibition,” Time, December 5, 2014
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for prohibition
The trade flouts a March 2014 prohibition on all exports of weaponry and military equipment to Moscow.
After the end of Prohibition in 1933, alcohol was once again legal throughout Arkansas.
The first major shift towards the Republican Party in Texas came with Prohibition.
Or take Breaker bourbon, the “first bourbon produced in Southern California since Prohibition.”Your ‘Craft’ Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana|Eric Felten|July 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The prohibition was erected for good reason: to prevent the religious wars that wracked Europe in the previous century.The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One|Jack Schwartz|July 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For periodicals it is sufficient if the prohibition is made in a general way, at the beginning of each number.Copyright: Its History and Its Law|Richard Rogers Bowker
I can very well understand why such a prohibition was never given in that case.The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain|William Carleton
The King, when he heard of it, smiled and said that his prohibition had only been aimed at men.Old and New Paris, v. 1|Henry Sutherland Edwards
In the Penitentials we find the prohibition of burning grains where a man had died.Folklore as an Historical Science|George Laurence Gomme
The minor will be sufficiently proved by disproving all the pretences of a prohibition.A Christian Directory (Volume 1 of 4)|Richard Baxter
British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (1 of 2)
Derived forms of prohibitionprohibitionary, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for prohibition (2 of 2)
Derived forms of ProhibitionProhibitionist, noun
Cultural definitions for prohibition
The outlawing of alcoholic beverages nationwide from 1920 to 1933, under an amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, enforced by the Volstead Act, was repealed by another amendment to the Constitution in 1933.