Yet a majority of people supported National Prohibition (1920-1933) when it went into effect. They wanted it to succeed.
III. Prohibition Problems
But Prohibition quickly began creating serious problems. Therefore, Prohibition supporters (drys) wanted to de-emphasize the growing opposition to the Noble Experiment.
For instance, Ella Boole was head of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She made a bold assertion to Congress. She shouted “I speak for the women of America.” Thus, she implied that all women in the country agreed with the WCTU. And that they supported Prohibition.
On the other hand, was anti-Prohibition (wet) US Rep. George Tinkham. He wanted to stress that many people strongly opposed it. Early in Prohibition he called Anti-Saloon League leader Wayne Wheeler. He was to testify before a House committee.
There he compelled Wheeler to read aloud a list of anti-Prohibition groups. There were already many. And opposition would grow over time. So did the number of groups favoring Repeal. They included the following.
- Am People’s League.
- Anti-Dry League of NJ.
- Anti-Prohib Soc of Am.
- Assn Against the Prohib Amend.
- Assn of Moderate Legislation Clubs.
- Assn Opposed to Nat Prohib.
- Auxiliary Caravan (Order of Camels) for Women.
- Constitutional Liberty League.
- Free People’s League.
- Good Fellows of Am. (Not the Goodfellows)
- Labor’s Nat Comm for the Modification of the Volstead Act
- League of Rights.
- Liberty Defense League.
- Light Wine and Beer League of America.
- Moderation League of New York. (Despite its name, this was a nation-wide Repeal group.)
- Molly Pitcher Club
- Nat Liberal Alliance.
- Nat Liberty Party.
- Nat Order of Camels.
- Nat Order of the Sphinx.
- Nat Personal Liberty League.
- New York Anti-Prohib League.
- One Hundred Per Cent American Spirit League.
- Personal Liberty League.
- Republican Citizens Comm Against Nat Prohibi.
- Sanity League.
- Self-Determination League of Liberty.
- Tax Adjustment League.
- The 1776 Society.
- United Repeal Coun.
- Veterans of Liberty.
- Vigilance League.
- Voluntary Comm of Lawyers. See also VCL.
- Women’s Moderation Union.
- Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR).
Be sure to visit Repeal Groups.
III. Prohibition Problems (Promoted Anti-Prohibition Groups)
With the passage of time, the serious problems caused by Prohibition increased. Crime went up. Violence increased. Corruption spread. Deaths from toxic moonshine skyrocketed. Binge drinking became common. Tax revenues dropped. Criminal justice expenses rose. Respect for law declined. And the list went on.
The promises of Prohibition went unfilled. But the serious unintended results quickly grew. Opposition to Prohibition mushroomed. It culminated in Repeal.