190114 History Talk 14th Jan 2019: Prohibition, 1920-1933

Date: 14th January 2019 10:30

Location: Salón de Actos, Espai la Senieta, Moraira (next to the large free car park)

Subject: Prohibition, 1920-1933: the Law of Unintended Consequences in Action

Lecturer: Peter Atkinson

After decades of campaigning by the temperance movement, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution came into effect in 1920, prohibiting the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. It was made possible by the 16th Amendment, which permitted the levying of income tax, potentially a replacement for lost alcohol-related taxes.

Repeal came with the 21st Amendment in 1933. During the nearly-14 years of Prohibition, Americans did drink less but, predictably, it was a period of ruthless criminality, widespread hypocrisy, and breath-taking corruption, peopled by many extraordinary characters. It is a fascinating, colourful and entertaining story.