In 1920, the national policy of Prohibition began. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution had been officially ratified banning the sale, transportation and manufacture of alcohol in the US. ‘The Volstead Act of 1919, also known as the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, gave the 18th Amendment some teeth, clearly defining alcoholic beverage as one with an alcoholic content greater than 0.5 percent’ (Schultz 1999). But the enforcement of the Act became difficult as many Americans enjoyed liquor and would even break the law to acquire alcoholic beverages. ‘Rum fleets filled with liquor from Europe appeared off the Atlantic coast. As many as sixteen ships at a time would lie at anchor just outside US territorial waters while smaller boats made the run to safe harbors. The Canadian border was a sieve through which liquor easily flowed’ (Coffey 1975). As a result, the liquor flowed even finding its way to White House. It was a big failure. One of the important effects of Prohibition before repeal includes the declaration of US as officially “dry” from coast to coast.
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