By: Raychelle Pulliam & Alex Chavez
During prohibition murder rates increased. In the 1920s buying, selling, and consuming alcohol was made illegal by the federal government. The government’s train of thought was that prohibition was a good idea because it would bring crime down and the citizens would prosper, but people who opposed the law believed it would do more harm than good. Prohibition caused most of the crime in the 1920s.
The homicide rate in 1919 was 7 murders for every 100,000 people. During prohibition era more people were being murdered than before its implementation. Before prohibition in 1914 to 1918 the rates per 100,000 people was lower. By the end of prohibition era, the murder rate had increases by 30% . Murder got worse and people realized the repercussions of outlawing liquor in America.
The men who were putting bootleggers in jail were the ones violating the law. According to Mabel Walker Willebrandt, Deputy U.S.Attorney General for Prohibition Enforcement, “The very men made prohibition law are violating it . . . How did the Prohibition Enforcement Agency expect other citizens to follow the law, if the lawmakers didn’t follow it themselves. Many congressmen and senators… are present violators of the Volstead Act.” Most Americans still consumed alcohol despite it being illegal, so the public didn’t see any reason to keep prohibition.
Some people think prohibition benefited America. They thought alcohol was bad for the public health. Although people believe prohibition caused crime and harmed America and its people. That belief was wrong because prohibition was more harmful to the public and drastically increased crime.
Prohibition didn’t do what lawmakers thought it would. They thought it would lessen crime but it only made it worse. There was more crime in the 1920s because of prohibition. That is why America changed its mind about prohibition.