18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)
New York City police officers watch as agents pour booze into a sewer after a raid, c. 1921. | 18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

The 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, was ratified by Congress on January 19, 1919. However, no provisional funds were available for anything other than token enforcement.

The 18th Amendment Divides the Country – Everyone is forced to make a decision: you are either a “dry” who supports Prohibition or a “wet.” But one thing is certain: Prohibition has had little impact on America’s thirst. While organized crime fights for control of illegal alcohol markets, underground distilleries and saloons supply bootlegged liquor to a large clientele. The mayhem prompts the United States Department of Treasury to beef up its law enforcement capabilities.

Congress passes the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Act on October 28, 1919, delegating responsibility for policing the 18th Amendment to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Department of the Treasury. Both pieces of legislation go into effect on January 16, 1920. From 1920 until 1926, the Prohibition Unit was established to enforce the National Prohibition Act. Men and women are employed to work as prohibition agents, and the public refers to them as “Dry Agents.”

Organized criminal organizations illegally supply America’s liquor demand, making millions and wielding power over the country’s top financial institutions. Enforcement police, prosecutors, judges, juries, and politicians are all corrupted by vast criminal wealth.

SEE ALSO:

The Prohibition of Illegal Narcotics (1915);

The Repeal of Prohibition (1933).

 

SOURCES:

18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)

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