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Negative Effects of Prohibition in Detroit
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In the 1900’s, whisky was accepted as a part of everyday life even though there were still many people who preached about “the evils of drink”. In 1920, there was nationwide prohibition against alcohol and it was announced into law as the 18th amendment. In the years prior to prohibition, Michigan completely supported the outlaw of alcohol. They believed it would help them progress and become a utopian society. Unfortunately, prohibition quickly went on a downwards spiral. There were some positive results from prohibition, but the negative aspects heavily outweighed anything good that came from it.
Many people deemed alcohol the cause of most crimes in America including accidents in the workplace, corruption of youth and a catalyst for health problems. These were the main reasons behind prohibition. In the early years of prohibition, crime rates did go down for a brief period of time only to quickly sky rocket back up with the start of organized crime. Breaking the law became so normal that it was publicly accepted. Underground bars that were often referred to as “Blind Pigs” or “Speak Easies” were formed. These illegal saloons would openly sell alcoholic beverages over the counter. Also with prohibition, groups like The Purple Hand and even parts of the mafia like The Black Hand were drawn to Detroit. These groups became immensely popular because they were seen as alcohol distributers, not violent thugs.
Prohibition of anything popular does not completely end the use of the thing that is outlawed; it simply creates a black market. You can see this at work today in modern drug prohibition. The drugs are illegal but in demand, so smugglers compete violently to supply. This undermines the foundation of a good economy, turning both distributor and user into desperate criminals. This same concept can be applied to the alcohol...
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