chapter on Prohibition

The following material is a transcription of title page and chapter titled PROHIBITION taken from an American Government approved study book that was written during the prohibition.

The similarity of this chapter with the current prohibition is UNCANNY : )

A copy of this book is in the Educational Research and Archive Library of:

dan & mary's monastery-Hemporium

Church of Cognizance

hcr1 # 4352 Pima, AZ. U.S.A.

The use of this material by this nonprofit Religious/Educational Institute; is in pursuit of raising the awareness of the futility of:

"noble experiments in the prohibition of peoples appetites";

While Media and Highly Educated Government Officials play ignorant to the true cause of todays violence, blaming results rather than cause, it is historically shown that the violence we experience today always accompanies infringement of the peoples natural right to be in control of their life's, through prohibition upon the appetites of a segment of the population.

Also well known is the fact that violence, is a bi-product of protecting the unnaturally huge profits, of those supplying the demanded contraband of the Era.

Enjoy ;-)

      * * *  T I T L E    P A G E. * * *


                    THE AMERICAN
                G O V E R N M E N T

                 Frederic J. Haskin

       before publication every chapter of this book was
      read and approved by a Government authority.

               Illustrations from Photographs by
                       Harris & Ewing

                          published by
                        Frederic J. Haskin
                        Washington D. C
                        MADE IN U. S. A.
                        copyright 1911
                        copyright 1923
                    By Frederic J. Haskin

             * * * BEGGINING OF CHAPTER * * *



  NATION-wide prohibition became effective in the United States January 16, 
  1920, as a result of the adoption of the eighteenth amendment to the 
  Federal Constitution and the passage of an enforcement act known as the 
  Volstead Law.  This law was passed twice by Congress, the second time 
  October 28, 1919, by a two-thirds vote of both House and Senate in order 
  to override the veto of President Woodrow Wilson.
  Agitation against the use of intoxicating liquors is coeval with written 
  history- The early Mosaic lawgivers attempted to repress drunkenness- 
    Over 2,000 years B. C. a King of Babylon, Hammurabi, decreed that a wine 
    seller who permitted riotous persons to assemble on his premises shou1d 
    be put to death, and Mohammed commanded his followers to abstain from 
    the use of intoxicants.  In the United States the first laws to prohibit 
    the manufacture and sale of liquors date back to 1838 in Tennessee and 
    to 1846 in Maine. Prior to 1906, 18 States had adopted State-wide 
    prohibition, but the temperance wave had receded by that year so that 
    but three States-Maine, Kansas, and North Dakota remained in the 
    prohibition column. Campaigns for State laws and constitutional 
    provisions were renewed and the movement progressed rapidly from the
    enactment of the Georgia law in 1907.  Ten years later, when the 
    so-called Reed Amendment went into effect, there were 23 "bone dry" 
  This law was directed against the shipment of liquors into the dry States. 
  The entrance of the united States into the World War materially 
  strengthened the prohibition forces. First the sale of liquors to soldiers 
  and sailors was forbidden. Next, under the food control act, the President 
  was authorized to prohibit the use of grains and fruits in the 
  distillation of liquors for beverage purposes. Then followed the passage 
  on November 21, 1918 of the war-time prohibition act, prohibiting after 
  June 30, 1919, the sale, during the European War and thereafter until the 
  termination of demobilization, of any intoxicating liquors except for 
  export.  Meanwhile a resolution for a constitutional amendment had been 
  passed by both Houses of Congress and the fight was transferred to the 
  States to secure the necessary ratification by the legislatures of 
  three-fourths thereof.  This was accomplished by January 16, 1919, and 
  the eighteenth amendment became effective one year later- The twelve 
  months interregnum was provided for in the amendment as a period of 
  adjustment to the new order of things
--The immediate effect of prohibition was a loss to the Federal Government 
of more than $400,000,000 in annual revenue from the taxes on the liquor 
industry, and an increase in its expenditures necessitated by the 
administration of the enforcement act, the appropriation for this purpose 
for a year being in excess of $9,000,000. States and municipalities that 
had licensed the traffic also suffered a corresponding loss in revenues
  A result almost coincident with the taking effect of the law was the 
  development of a new industry, or business, known as bootlegging, which 
  speedily attained mammoth proportions. Bootlegging is the illegal traffic 
  in intoxicants.  The supplies are obtained through illegal manufacture 
  within the United States, through theft or illegal withdrawals from 
  bonded warehouses, or through smuggling from adjacent countries or near
  -by islands. Tens of thousands of people have engaged in these unlawful 
  enterprises and the capital employed has aggregated many millions. 
  The risks are great, the prices high, and the profits correspondingly 
  large. Fortunes have been amassed within a comparatively short time 
  Piracy and hijacking have developed as collateral activities of boot-
  legging and smuggling. Lawless individuals or groups have preyed upon 
  others of their kind, stealing the illicit liquor supplies in storage 
  or in transit, or the cash that was to be paid for such supplies, 
  Desperate fights and many murders have featured the operations of these 
  criminals-Most of the crimes go unreported and the perpetrators 
  unpunished because the victims are themselves lawbreakers and can not 
  appeal to the authorities or to the law.
   Another concomitant evil of bootlegging has been the corruption of 
   officials charged with the enforcing of the law. Wherever the illicit 
   traffic on a large scale has been discovered, bribery or attempted 
   bribery has been disclosed; and it has also been found that officers 
   of the law have not always waited to be corrupted but have levied 
   tribute. Immense sums in the aggregate have thus been paid for 
  Obviously there would be no bootleggers if there were no market for 
  their wares. The volume of their business is therefore indicative of 
  the widespread disregard of the law on the part of the American people. 
  Careful investigators have reported that there is scarcely a community 
  in the    United States that is entirely free of the liquor traffic, 
  and in the larger cities the evasions and violations of the law are 
  constant rather than sporadic. consumption of illegal liquor is by no 
  means confined to what is ordinarily known as the lawless element of 
  the population. Men and women who are otherwise wholly respectable and 
  respected are regular customers of the bootleggers- One of the 
  traffickers arrested in Washington had in his Possession a book 
  containing the names of persons with whom he dealt that read as if 
  someone had been compiling a list of a few hundred of the "best people" 
  in the National Capital. Legislators who voted for the prohibition law 
  have been charged with infractions of its provisions.
  The Attorney General of the United States has reported that his 
  department has been called upon to prosecute members of the judiciary, 
  prominent members of the American bar, multimillionaires, and scions of 
  the Nation's aristocracy and that it was all a sordid story of 
  assassination, bribery and corruption that found its way into the 
  very sanctum wherein the inviolability of the law was presumed to have 
  been held sacred.  Representative William D. Upshaw, of Georgia, one 
  of the spokesmen of the Anti-Saloon League, created a furor in the 
  Sixty-seventh Congress, with charges that there was great deal of 
  drinking "in high places." they proposed that all public officials of 
  the country, State as well as national, pledge themselves to total 
  abstinence and respect for the eighteenth amendment and the enforcement 
  law.  It is significant, also, that conferences of the governors of 
  the various States have been called, first by the late President Harding 
  and then by President Coolidge, to consider ways and means of enforcing 
  the prohibition act and of creating a public sentiment for law 
   The Prohibition Unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which is 
   charged with enforcing prohibition so far as the Federal Government 
   is concerned, is an organization headed by a commissioner established 
   in Washington, with State and regional directors, State agents and 
   flying squadrons stationed throughout the country. This force numbers 
   from 3,000 to 3,500 and has included more than 3,900-
  The stories of prohibition enforcement are more absorbing than detective 
  tales. The agents of the Government spend their time in a ceaseless 
  contest to outwit and apprehend the illicit distillers, smugglers, and 
  bootleggers who resort to every subterfuge to escape detection and 
  interference with their highly remunerative business. One still operated 
  successfully for months in a house adjacent to a police station, The 
  moonshiners had cut through the wall and effected a connection so that 
  the smoke and fumes of the still escaped up the chimney of the station 
  house. A southern manufacturer of corn liquor marketed his product by 
  delivering it to city retailers in. milk cans.
   Smuggling from Mexico and Canada has been successful on a large scale 
  because it is an utter impossibility patrol the thousands Of miles of 
  border. The liquor brought across the line at the North or at the South 
  finds its way hundreds of miles into the interior of the United States, 
  instances having been found of bootleggers that maintained large fleets 
  of trucks and automobiles running on regular schedules between Mexican 
  and Canadian points and cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City, and Denver.
   On the Atlantic Coast the smugglers are so numerous and so active that 
   there is at all times what is known as a rum fleet standing off or 
   anchored outside the 3-mile limit near New York and New Jersey. The 
   fleet consists of vessels of all kinds and sizes that bring there 
   illicit cargoes from the Bermudas or the West Indies, or even from 
   across the Atlantic.  As long as they remain outside the 3-mile limit 
   this Government can not interfere with them and they are able to make 
   their deliveries to bootleggers that slip out to them under cover of 
   darkness in motor speed boats. The latter are frequently run down and 
   captured by the prohibition enforcement officials, but enough of them 
   slip through .to maintain a constant supply of intoxicants on the market 
   in the larger cities.
  At one time the Prohibition Unit sought the cooperation of the Navy in 
  its efforts to curb the business done by the rum fleet, but Attorney 
  General Daugherty ruled that under the Constitution neither the Navy nor 
  the Army could be used for such enforcement work.  The State Department 
  also made diplomatic representations to European nations seeking an 
  extension of the 3-mile territorial waters limit to a 12 mile limit so 
  that the United States might be better able to enforce its prohibition 
  laws by search or seizure of rum vessels farther out at sea. However, 
  there was no immediate assent to this proposal.
   Not all the ships engaged in liquor smuggling make their sales outside 
  the 3-mile limit. Some of them have boldly entered harbors and unloaded 
  their cargoes almost under the eyes of the officials who were detailed 
  to put an end to such practices. A tramp steamer put into one of the 
  Atlantic seaboard ports. Its decks were covered with watermelons-
Merchants at the docks offered to buy the melons, but for two days the 
captain of the vessel asked an excessive price for them. On the third day 
he sold them for a fraction of the price originally asked. Then it was 
learned that at night the skipper had unloaded his real cargo, which 
consisted of several hundred cases of imported liquors and wines
  Prohibition enforcement agents have found that even coffins are used for 
  the illegal transportation of booze. On more than one occasion make
  -believe funerals have been halted and the hearse and casket found to be 
  conveying liquor instead of a corpse. Stills have been captured only 
  after electrically charged wires surrounding an illicit distiller's 
  place of business were cut. Bootleggers' automobiles have been equipped 
  with apparatuses to discharge a screen of dense, black smoke, or 
  poisonous gas fumes to enable the drivers to elude pursuit. Trunks with 
  false bottoms have been used for the transportation of whisky, and 
  barrels of merchandise labeled fish, or sirup, or paint, have been 
  seized and found to contain alcohol. One large branch of the bootlegging 
  business is the supplying of alcohol to consumers who make synthetic 
  gin, which is a much simpler process than distilling moonshine whisky. 
  Alcohol is also used in the manufacture of synthetic whisky, which is 
  not so popular with consumers, and in "cutting" imported whisky-making 
  2 or 8 quarts of what is labeled and sold for whisky out of 1 quart of 
  the genuine article This adds greatly to the profits of the bootleggers. 
  It also tends to shorten the lives of their consumers, but that does 
  not seem greatly to concern the dealers as they always have more 
  customers than they are able to supply.
    Foreign diplomats stationed in Washington enjoy an immunity which 
    enables them to bring into the country al the wines and liquors they 
    require for consumption at their embassies or legations. It has been 
    charged that some of this diplomatic liquor has frequently found its 
    way into the bootlegging market. One woman, who was arrested on a 
    charge of illegal possession and selling of contraband whisky, said 
    that she secured her supplies from such a source. This woman, who had 
    every appearance of respectability, resided in a fashionable apartment 
    house and maintained enviable social connections. She admitted her 
    illicit business and said that she was Supporting herself and sending 
    her son to college on its profits.
   Another story has it that in a Washington residence that houses a 
  certain diplomatic group there is maintained a regular bar, complete 
  even to the brass foot rail so familiar in the saloons of former years. 
  This latter feature is said to have an especial appeal to drinkers of 
  the old school who can not crook the elbow without instinctively bending 
  the knee and seeking to rest the foot on the old brass rail.
  The Attorney General of the United States, in reviewing the work of the 
  Federal courts in connection with cases arising out of 41 months of 
  prohibition enforcement, reported that more than 90,000 cases had been 
  terminated, that there had been 72,489 convictions, and that fines 
  aggregating more than $12,367,000 had been assessed in criminal cases 
  alone. For the fiscal year ending June 50, 1923, the Prohibition 
  Enforcement Commissioner reported that his general agents had seized 
  more than 5,000 illicit stills and that illicit distilling was on the 
  decrease. The general agents numbering less than 300 and not including 
  hundreds of other national and State enforcement officers, were 
  reported also to have seized 50,000 gallons of whisky, more than 
  2,000,000 gallons of mash, 9,000 gallons of pomace, 5,000 pounds of 
  sugar, 21,481 fermenters, and other apparatus. The Commissioner further 
  reported that in this fiscal year his general agents had seized 859 
  automobiles, 57 motor boats and launches, 29 horses and mules, and 15
  wagons, buggies, and sleighs, and that taxes and penalties recommended
  for assessment totaled $24,177,000.
   In review of two years of his administration the Commissioner said in 
  1923 that the facts presented warranted fair degree of satisfaction 
  with accomplishments as a whole any problems, he said, had been solved; 
  but new problem presented themselves every day in different aspects of 
  the work and would continue to do so for years. The Commissioner frankly 
  stated that one of the chief difficulties presented might be termed 
  sectional, where there was adverse public opinion to be combated. This, 
  he added, was to be found chiefly on the Eastern seaboard, although 
  there were certain interior cities where conditions made enforcement 
  difficult. In certain localities, he reported, there had been cooperation 
  offered by local authorities, in others such cooperation was lacking. 
  The Prohibition Commissioner not only controls by permit all withdrawals 
  from bonded warehouses of liquor for medicinal purposes, but he also 
  controls the issuance of prescriptions for liquor by physicians. Earlier 
  forms of these permits were counterfeited and much liquor was illegally 
  drawn. Later it was claimed there had been devised a new form of permits, 
  almost impossible to counterfeit, and under the new system illegal 
  withdrawals were much reduced during the first quarter of the year, 
  official reports indicated there were only 302 overdrafts out of a total 
  of 145,000 withdrawals. In 1920 whisky withdrawals aggregated 12,389,529 
  gallons. In 1921, when new methods were employed for checking up, 
  withdrawals dropped to 3,243,845 gallons and during the calendar year 
  1922 withdrawals of medicinal whiskey aggregated only 1,819,888 gallons. 
   Concentration of all whiskies in bond in a limited number of warehouses 
  during this period also curtailed distillery robberies and made it more 
  difficult for bootleggers to get liquor out of ware houses by forged 
   The late President Harding said shortly before his death said that it 
  would probably require 16 to 20 years to make prohibition fully effective. 
  Officials of the Anti-saloon League and the Prohibition Unit are more 
  optimistic, but it is generally conceded that legislation so suddenly 
  changing the social habits of a people can not be put immediately into 
   In combating rum running, bootlegging, and illegal transportation and 
  possession in the earlier years of prohibition Federal agents staged 
  raids that revealed both the wide spread extent of Volstead Law 
  Violations as well as the determination of the Government to suppress 
  such violations. For instance, in one great city, during the clean-up 
  drive, prohibition agents arrested 850 persons and raided 400 saloons 
  and soft-drink parlors in one night.
   While admitting the difficulty of cleaning up such wet spots in the 
  larger cities where prohibition is less popular than in the rural 
  communities generally, prohibitionists claim that eventually the 
  situation will be met. It is claimed in behalf of prohibition that 
  prohibition enforced is a success, and that prohibition even partially 
  enforced is better than the legalized liquor traffic- It is contended 
  by such prohibition advocates that arrests for drunkenness throughout 
  the United States have been cut in half since prohibition; that the 
  family man has largely dropped out of the drinkers' ranks; that there 
  has been a great decrease in sex disease, that savings-bank deposits 
  have increased even in periods of industrial depression; that the prison 
  population has been materially reduced; that the workingmen who formerly 
  spent their Saturday nights in corner saloons now take then pay 
  envelopes home and spend their money on their families.
   Its opponents say that prohibition can never be effective in America. 
  They point out that it has been an issue in the United States for a 
  hundred years; that Maine has been legally dry for more than 75 years 
  and yet prohibition was an issue in a recent election. Prohibition was 
  a failure in China, they say, before the Christian era, and no law made 
  to regulate the habits of a people has since been a success.  They assert 
  that in Denver, nearly 2,000 miles from the Atlantic seaboard, 170 
  persons died of acute alcoholism in 1922 as compared with 5 deaths 
  in 1915, and there were 5,315 arrests for drunkenness in 1922 as 
  compared with 4,384 in 1915. In Washington, the National Capital, they 
  point out that the number of arrests for drunkenness increased from 
  3,491 in the year 1920 to 6,375 in 1922. The antiprohibitionists assert 
  that prohibition was the result of the hysteria of war time, that it 
  came without a popular vote of the people on the direct issue involved, 
  and that it was abortive of the principle of local self-government 
  because it was imposed on a number of States where the sentiment was 
  undeniably against it. Proponents of prohibition reply that prohibition 
  sentiment has steadily gained ground for more than 30 years, that 
  three-fourths of the States had gone dry, and that national prohibition 
  was inevitable and the Federal Government had the duty and the power 
  to take the short route, abolish the saloon, and impose prohibition on 
  all States, for the general good of the Nation. Such Social and moral 
  reforms, they contend, are within the constitutional provinces of the 
  parent Government.
   Thus the debate proceeds over the wisdom and effectiveness of national 
  prohibition. The existence of such extremely divergent views probably 
  will keep the issue alive for years to come and reflects the somewhat 
  mercurial temperament of the American people and the slow solution of 
  their great experiment.



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