“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too."

So recently, me and my fiance and his sister and brother in law took a trip to Belfast! Despite living in the UK for my whole life, i’d never been and so it was another addition to my countries been!

Whilst we were there we went to a distillery – Titanic Distillers where they make whiskey and vodka.

Titanic Distillers | Attractions, Distillery & Brewery Tours, Indoor  attractions, See & Do | Visit Belfast

When learning about the distillery on the tour, they talked about the prohibition in America. In short, prohibition was a nationwide ban on the sale and import of alcoholic beverages that lasted from 1920 to 1933. During this time, a lot of distilleries closed down due to the lack of requirements to produce.

Signature Tour | Titanic Distillers

Anyway I digress. Whilst learning about this, I realised I never knew about this at all. I never even knew it happened. So when we got back to England, my fiance decided to educate me in the best way he knew how – through my love of books! So here goes!

Titanic Distillers: A labour of love, sweat and years – The Irish News

“If a family or a nation is sober, nature in its normal course will cause them to rise to a higher civilization. If a family or a nation, on the other hand, is debauched by liquor, it must decline and ultimately perish” – Richmond P. Hobson, in the U.S. House of Representatives, 22nd December 1914.

Did you know? That prohibition, inadvertently led to the guarantee of American womens right to abortion whilst simultaneously dashing the hopes of womens Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution? It’s hard to overstate how much Americans used to drink. Liquor was cheaper than tea, safer than water, and used as currency in many western States during the years of the early republic. In the 1830s, Americans were drinking, per capita, 7 gallons of pure alcohol.

oh the cleverness of you — “Drink me.” Hm. Better look first, for if one...

Ultimately, the initiation of prohibition was linked with the dark side of alcohol leading to the Temperance Movement, which began way back in the 1840s. It was spearheaded by women, and for good reason. Though they didn’t have the right to vote, they were getting tired of pernicious effect that liquor had on their lives: husbands who drank away salaries, then came home in furious tempers. venereal disease contracted by the wives of drink-sodden husbands who had found something more than liquor lurking in saloons), progressives (assuming alcohol as the root of poverty), populists (whose ranks also included a small socialist auxiliary), and nativists. Even Industrial Workers of the World believed liquor was the enemy of the working classes, a poison poured into their lives by capitalist exploiters intent on weakening them, distributed leaflets cautioning workers that they “can’t fight booze and the boss at the same time.”

Prohibition managed to combine some unlikely forces which allied with the temperance movement (notably the Ku Klux Klan, proponents of women’s suffrage and evangelical Christians) to ratify the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) – The Volstead Act. These groups don’t necessarily seem like natural allies, but in the context of this patriotic campaign to outlaw the sale of alcohol, they somehow found common interest. They also found a common enemy in the ‘lawless hordes’ of immigrants who were entering the United States. It involved a lot of strange bedfellows willing to come together to do one thing, for different reasons. For instance, you had women, who were on the wrong end of drunken husbands, teaming up with the Ku Klux Klan, who were terrified at the idea of black people and Catholics drinking.

It fostered a culture of bribery, blackmail and official corruption. It also maimed and murdered, its excesses apparent in deaths by poison, by the brutality of ill-trained, improperly supervised enforcement officers, and by unfortunate proximity to mob gun battles.  It demonstrates that Prohibition was an epic farce, unenforceable from inception. It led to the rise of organized crime, the corruption of both local and federal law enforcement, and trampled civil rights (the War on Alcohol began the evisceration of the 4th and 14th Amendment that the War on Drugs has finished).

Once Upon a Dream: Disney World Will Start Serving Alcoholic Drinks In 2019!

But all things must come to an end and the movement to overturn the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) was spearheaded not by brewers and distillers, who’d fought so hard against its ratification, but by the super-rich, who thought they could overturn the 17th Amendment if they first got rid of the 18th. (That is, they could get rid of income taxes if they could replace that shortfall with a liquor tax).

Prohibition was as the author stated ‘a big oops’. It deprived the government of revenue and limited individual rights. It was responsible for the making of organized crime in the country. It fostered bribery, hypocrisy, and official corruption. With its poisonous, bootleg alcohol, it murdered and injured thousands.

Okrent’s fairness is demonstrated by how he shows Prohibition’s upside. Yeah, sure, there were gangs and assassinations and people dying from poisoned liquor. But Prohibition also decreased the per capita consumption of alcohol, led to a legal drinking age, and so forth. And when I say that per capita consumption of alcohol decreased, I meant that it really decreased. To the extent that you can make a plausible argument that Prohibition – for all the harm done to the Constitution, the proper role of government, and a Nation’s respect for its own laws – really changed people’s behavior – and health – for the better.

disney mulan gif | WiffleGif

I apologise – I feel this essay may have turned into a essay but I hope the disney gifs have brightened your day and I hope you have at least learned something new! I know I did!

You can find this on Amazon

Until next time,

Keep reading,

D x

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