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by dawn


October 1, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Social history

Prohibition was not strictly the result of moral conviction sweeping the nation that drinking was wrong. Many elites and industrialist promoted prohibition because they wanted to target ethnic neighborhoods, groups whose community center tended to be the saloon. Prohibition want to sober up the poor working class who were their employees, to enhance their ability and work ethic.
Prohibition was not aimed at the upper class at all this was demonstrated in the unequal enforcement of the eighteenth amendment (Lerner 105). The attitudes of many is summed up by this quote from Dry Manhattan. Lerner writes of a Journalist interviewing a meatpacking magnate who “discussed the benefits of prohibition for the working class while holding a cocktail in his hand” (Lerner, pg 113).
Not all prohibitionist were so hypocritical woman who were very much involved were doing so because they were the moral guardians of our country woman such as Beauchamp, who was a leading prohibitionist active in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. She was the recording secretary of the National WCTU, and then became the President in 1895 until her death in 1923(Keepler, 63). Beauchamp not only educated and advocated for prohibition but also initiated the WCTU to improve prisons and creation of a separate prison for under age offenders (Keepler, 63). Beauchamp not only held position in a woman’s group for prohibition but also was elected to position in the Prohibition Party state wide and nationally(Keepler, 63).
Prohibition also targeted African Americans who viewed it as a chance to eliminate corruption due to alcohol and “give new power to the black voters”(Lerner 35). Corruption prevailed though in the different form of illegal alcohol. While corruption ensued, the speakeasy and jazz craze captivated both Blacks and Whites, bringing them together. In the already hidden speakeasies, Blacks and Whites could easily intermingle(Lerner 207).

Kleeber, John. “Kentucky Encyclopedia.” The University Press of Kentucky. 1992.
Lerner, Michael. “Dry Manhattan.” Harvard university Press. 2007
Prohibition in Kentucky Published: August 5, 1907Copyright © The New York Times

Separate but not equal

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s

If in 1842, a white slave owner in Kentucky could leave his estate to a daughter he had with one of his slaves, ( Narcissa executors vs. Wathan et al Ky. 1842) why did it take so long for women in Kentucky to gain the rights they deserved. (Fathers of Conscience Jones 2009)The issue of the rights of women both black and white was being fought on both Judicial and legal fronts. Widows were granted the right to own property and women were proving to be quite capable of running the family business.
For a nation that fought for its independence it took a long time for “these truths we hold to be self evident” to be evident when it came to women suffrage. Nations like New Zealand (1893) and Australia (1902) granted women the right to vote before legislation would even be introduced in the U.S. congress. The fifteenth amendment, “Race no bar to vote” was ratified in 1870 it would then be 50 years before women can vote in the U.S. and in reality it meant only white women.
The roaring 20’s gave way to the great depression and women being the natural caregivers saw their role, in most cases out of necessity, expand to include bread winner and protector. See the effects that the abuse of alcohol had on the family, women successfully lobbied for the prohibition act.

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