The Eighteenth Amendment and Volstead Act

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 327
Reading time:
2 min

The Eighteenth Amendment was developed in order to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages. During the period of its adoption from 1917 to 1920, such prohibition was promoted by a number of social forces. One of them is the Temperance Movement. The Temperance Movement is the union of Christian women promoting family values and defending the interests of women as protectors of hearth and home.

The activists of the Temperance Movement saw a threat to the family institution in alcohol beverages as they caused unnecessary quarrels in families along with unnecessary financial losses. Among the other “dries” were the representatives of different Protestant churches, including the Northern and Sothern Baptists, Methodists, New School Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Scandinavian Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, and Quakers. The opponents of the Eighteens Amendment were the “wets.”

Among the “wets” were liturgical Protestants and Roman Catholics. The “wets” were also supported by the representatives of a number of social organizations from the North. This is explained by the fact that in the North, selling alcoholic beverages was extremely beneficial on the reason of urban way of living was common for the Northern States. Urban workers were accustomed to drinking alcohol which brought significant benefits to the alcohol selling enterprises. The Volstead Act implementing the Eighteens Amendment ultimately failed on the reason of the class injustice resulting from it along with the success of criminals speculating on alcohol sales prohibition.

The class injustice caused by the Volstead Act was in the inability of lower working classes to find legal means for home usage of alcoholic beverages on the reason of money shortages. Contrary to the possibilities of lower classes, higher classes had open access to the use of alcoholic beverages in a variety of places, including their homes and special salons, as they had financial means for buying rights for the use of alcohol in the household conditions.