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Volstead Act Company Tonic Syrup.


Prohibition by the Numbers


The Volstead Act Record Group 11 General Records of the United States Government National Archives and Records Administration ARC Identifier: 299827

V is for Volstead Act (AtoZ Challenge – Roaring Twenties)

The Eighteenth Amendment was very short, but the law designed to enforce it was over 25 pages long. It was complex, confusing, difficult to interpret and – although this is sure hard to ascertain – probably one of the most disregarded laws in the history of the United States.

PROHIBITION | Social movements spawned by the Progressive Era lead to the Volstead Act. Women saw alcohol as the eroding factor in the family unit. The amendment worked at first but enforcement proved difficult. Open rebellion became popular and gave rise to violence and organized crime. Gangsters like Al Capone rose up from prohibition by giving the people what they wanted: alcohol.


Drawing of a Still Record Group 56 Records of the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prohibition National Archives and Records Administration ARC Identifier: 298446