Businesses supported the amendment to ensure a more reliable workforce, while prejudice against German-Americans and their breweries during World War I helped make Prohibition a patriotic cause.
The amendment passed through both Congress and the states with amazing speed.
However, such a linear view of history may be all too narrow, as Ian Tyrell, writing in the One of the major groups behind the temperance movement, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, was “long ignored or ridiculed as a fossil of prohibition.” But recent scholarship has come to appreciate the more progressive—even feminist—side of temperance work.
Scholars like Ruth Bordin recognize that the temperance movement—whose goals included improving the lives of women whose drunken husbands were driven to abuse—as “the foremost example of American feminism.” Indeed, many women’s rights activists came to the movement through participation in the temperance crusade (among them Susan B. The temperance movement, in fact, gave women the opportunity to be engaged in public political life for the first time.
In the 1920 National Prohibition Cases, the Supreme Court ruled that, under the Supremacy Clause, states could not enact legislation that conflicted with congressional enactments regarding Prohibition.
Because the states had been the engines of much Progressive legislation, the Progressive Movement assumed that the states would actively enforce the amendment, federal law, and their own state laws.When we celebrate our ability to drink freely in America, we should raise a glass to the women whose temperance activism was, at its core, not a call for repression but rather a demand for liberation.Somewhere in 1950s Georgia, a teacher brought a whiskey bottle and a Bible to her classroom.The act defined "intoxicating liquors" as any drink with an alcohol content higher than .05 percent, a strict definition that prohibited even the intake of beer.It permitted exemptions for industrial, medicinal, and sacramental uses, and the act also contained a possession exemption for personal use within one's own private dwelling.As Jed Dannenbaum, writing in Gradually [women] won their demands for greater participation.As male temperance reformers began to suffer defeats in the campaign for state prohibition laws, they found that the movement needed all the loyal supporters it could get.Although the American involvement with alcohol and with temperance movements had been present from the beginning of the country's history, Prohibition rode to easy victory in an alliance with other elements of the Progressive Movement in the early twentieth century.The Sixteenth Amendment, permitting the income tax, freed the government from dependence on the tax on liquor.– Anti-Prohibition car ("Stamp Out Prohibition"), photograph by Sanborn Studio ca. Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware, 75.434. – Carey Orr, "Bullet Proof," political cartoon, - You will need software on your computer that allows you to read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.If you do not have this software, you may download it FREE from Adobe's Web site.