Prohibition



La Prohibición de Alcohol en Estados Unidos en la década de 1920, con la intención de cortar el exagerado consumo, puso a la nación en un estado de cuasi guerra, con pérdidas y ganancias que todavía se debaten. Al final: para saber sobre el crimen organizado, bootleggers y speakeasies

The prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's and 30's in the United States is one of most famous, or infamous, times in recent American history. The intention was to reduce the consumption of alcohol by eliminating businesses that manufactured, distributed and sold it. Considered by many as a failed social and political experiment, the era changed the way many Americans view alcoholic beverages, enhancing the realization that federal government control cannot always take the place of personal responsibility. We associate the era with gangsters, bootleggers, speakeasies, rum-runners and an overall chaotic situation in respect to the social network of Americans.
During the 19th century, alcoholism, family violence, and saloon-based political corruption prompted activists, led by pietistic Protestants, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society and weaken the political opposition. One result was that many communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries introduced alcohol prohibition, with the subsequent enforcement in law becoming a hotly debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called drys, presented it as a victory for public morals and health.

It gained a national grass roots base through the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. After 1900 it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. Opposition from the beer industry mobilized "wet" supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities. They had funding to fight back but by 1917-18 the German community had been marginalized by the nation's war against Germany, and the brewing industry was shut down in state after state by the legislatures and finally nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states banning possession outright.
In the 1920s the laws were widely disregarded, and tax revenues were lost. Very well organized criminal gangs took control of the beer and liquor supply for many cities, unleashing a crime wave that shocked the nation. By the late 1920s a new opposition mobilized nationwide. Wets attacked prohibition as causing crime, lowering local revenues, and imposing rural Protestant religious values on urban America. Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933. Some states continued statewide prohibition, marking one of the last stages of the Progressive Era.
Although popular opinion believes that Prohibition failed, it succeeded in cutting overall alcohol consumption in half during the 1920s, and consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits, at least temporarily.

Para saber
El crimen organizado recibió un fuerte impulso de la Prohibición. Las mafias se limitaban a sus actividades como la prostitución, el juego y el robo hasta 1920, cuando un organizado contrabando surgió como consecuencia de la Prohibición. Un mercado negro rentable, aunque violento, floreció.
Rum-running, o bootlegging, es el negocio ilegal de transportar (de contrabando) bebidas alcohólicas donde tal transporte está prohibido por la ley. El término rum-running es más común aplicado cuando el transporte es por agua.
Speakeasy, también llamado blind pig o blind tiger, es un establecimiento ilícito que vende bebidas alcohólicas. Estos lugares se pusieron de moda en EEUU durante la era de la Prohibición.

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Organized crime in Los Angeles in 1930s