Grateful American Kids
Constitutional Calendar

January 16: The 18th Amendment

The 18th Amendment of 1919 prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol: “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” It followed a century of growing prohibition movements in the US, which were led by religious groups who considered intoxicating liquors threats to the nation. Proponents of the 18th Amendment expected its ratification to decrease crime in the nation, but the amendment prompted the opposite result: crime increased, especially as “bootlegging,” or the illegal manufacture and sale of alcohol, became popular. The 18th Amendment only lasted 13 years before the 21st Amendment repealed it in 1933.

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