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Answered 2009-10-14 10:14:22

There are several reasons why Prohibition did not work, however I think the basic reason is that people of that time believed in personal choice. The government could not dictate ones private life as long as it did not hurt another. In other words, we would not stand for it.


Good post above but wanted to add that Prohibition just made more crime on top of gang related murders, prostitution and drugs. The Mob got into it and bootleggers (crimes according to the FBI). As the above poster explained people felt their personal choices were taken away and they were and they are still being taken away to this day so we always have to fight for our rights.

Sorry another addition Prohibition went against daily customs and habits of many American citizens, as mentioned above but there were many reasons for it failure.

1. The point above

2. The bootlegging industry that gangsters entered into became heavily profitable, making crime more popular

3. The lack of enforcement, at the beginning of Prohibition there were 1500 Prohibition agents recruited for the whole of America despite the fact that just New York 30,000 speakeasies (illegal bars) alone.

4. The lack of public support dwindled as people saw the failure of enforcement as it soon became against the norm not to drink and break the law.

5. The huge corruption had a massive impact on Prohibition failure as even whole sections of the different enforcement agency were receiving bribes. Al Capone, famous gangster, once said he had 'half the Chicago police force' in his pocket. Gangsters would corrupt judges and juries enabling them to bypass the Law even if they were taken to court.

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