Prohibition of Alcohol in the 1920s and Activity of Al Capone: Analytical Essay

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“ Son of a bitch, give me a drink one more night this cant be me son of a bitch if i can't get clean i'm going to drink my life away. Whoa-oh Whoa-oh whoa-oh-oh-oh .... Let's give it up to Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats for singing a lyric from their song S.O.B. Ah, S.O.B a song about a man drinking his life away, much like most average Americans of the nineteen twenties. The nineteen twenties a prosperous time to be an American. You have money thanks to the stock market, new entertainment like the radio, new technological achievements, and you have alcohol. At least until nineteen when prohibition comes along but that didn't stop the people from drinking despite it being in effect. In his book “The Great Gatsby “, F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions and talks about alcohol and prohibition throughout the story a good bit . For example, at the apartment that Tom and Myrtle had together, Nick said he got drunk only two times in his life at that time was one of them. Nick even stated that he got so drunk that he did not even know how he got home this morning.

Let us begin with the eighteenth amendment, the eighteenth amendment was passed through both chambers of Congress in nineteen seventeen and was ratified in nineteen. Now by this time, the eighteenth amendment was in full effect. Now you may be wondering what the eighteenth amendment was if you could not infer this in the introduction paragraph, the eighteenth was the banning, selling, distributing, and making of alcohol. The United States government made the eighteenth amendment in nineteen to initially make people to stop drinking. The government said they needed to make the people stop drinking for a number of reasons, one of those reasons the provided was they needed to stop drinking so it would conserve barley, wheat, and other types of grain. While the amendment was in effect, it did not stop all drinking, selling, distributing, and making all at once. People were still drinking alcohol despite the government's poor attempts. The government began to take notice that the people were still drinking despite the eighteenth amendment being in effect, and they finally realized that they could not keep the American people from drinking, so on December fifth in nineteen thirty three the united states government passed the twenty first amendment. The amendment was the repealing of the eighteenth amendment so now people could somewhat drink in peace. (Britannica)

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Now then, when people wanted alcohol to drink during this time they either number one already some some how or number two they went to a speakeasy. A speakeasy was a secret bar that served alcohol to people who still wanted to wet their whistle. F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions this in the book and in the movie “The Great Gatsby “, it showed and told us about Nick, Gatsby, and Mr. Wolfsheim going to lunch in a speakeasy. Now let us ask ourselves, how did this particular speakeasy have and acquire this much alcohol, well let me just say that they did not just happen to walk down the street one day and just find a large sum of alcohol laying around on the street for someone to just come and take it into their marry little arms. No, they either got their alcohol from bootleggers or the made it themself. But most got it from bootleggers. Now then where were we? Ah yes, during the nineteen twenties a bootlegger was a man or a women who made, sold, or distributed alcohol. Now during the beginning of the prohibition bootleggers mainly smuggled alcohol into the united states by smuggling it through the Mexican and Canadian borders, but their favorite places to rendezvous and distribute alcohol were little islands off the coast of the united states about three or four miles out because it was outside the united states borders (Britannica ). However, the bootleggers who smuggled alcohol through this process had some problems to develop over time. The united states began to send the coast guard out further along the coast and search ships for any illegal contrabanned. While this caused a little dent in bootleggers smuggling operation, they had other ways of getting alcohol to the people. For example, the united states started letting some industries like certain drug stores to sell medical alcohol but however, it was denatured and you also had to have a prescription. This did not stop the bootleggers however, they either fake prescriptions or they influenced the person to giving them the alcohol. Once the bootleggers got the alcohol, they could not sell it right away because it was deanuated, this means that the alcohol was unfit for drinking because it was filtered with chemicals that made it nearly impossible to drink alone. So bootleggers began to wash out the chemicals by adding water to it which would dilute the chemicals, then they would add a little bit of real alcohol to it for flavor, and then finally, the sold the fixed alcohol to speakeasies and made a profit. (Britannica} Also, another way that bootleggers smuggled alcohol around the united states was rivers and waterways that led into cities and towns. In his book, “The Great Gatsby “, Fitzgerald mentions an instance involving bootleggers and drug stores.

During the prohibition, something happened, something rather bad. You see, by having the eighteenth amendment and by banning alcohol, it gave a rise to criminal organizations. Criminal organizations began to notice that they could make a lot of money by making, selling, and distributing alcohol, so that's what they did. However, not all criminal organizations got along with one another. criminal organizations began to have gang wars against one another because they were all greedy and wanted to control the liquor industry all by themselves. One instance you may have heard of is the St. valentine's day massacre. The St. valentine's day massacre was an event that happened in a parking garage in the nineteen twenties. What ended up happening was that men dressed up as police officers went to a parking garage where some of al capone's rivals were and they lined them up against the wall and shot them to death because al Capone did not want any more competition with bootlegging. However, everything did not turn out so good for al Capone. Al Capone was found guilty of tax evasion, in other words, al Capone was sent to prison because he did not pay his taxes. So in nineteen thirty three al Capone was sent to prison and his criminal organization went a crippling end all because he did not pay his taxes.

During prohibition, something happened, something rather bad. You see by the government having the eighteenth amendment and banning the selling, making, and distributing of alcohol, it gave a high rise to crime in the nineteen twenties because people could make a profit if they disregarded the eighteenth amendment, and well that's what happened, gangs and criminal organizations began to form and take the advantages of the eighteenth amendment. One major crime boss the raised up in the nineteen twenties you may have heard of is Al Capone. Al Capone, let's begin where it all started. Al Capone quit school at the end of sixth grade and became involved with a local gang ( ). As time went on, Al Capone went to Chicago upon the gang leader request where became an influential lieutenant. Al Capone became the new crime boss in nineteen twenty five when the previous crime boss became seriously wounded in an attempt on his life.

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