Was the Great Depression the main reason for the repeal of nation prohibition in America?I am doing a research paper and trying to make a thesis. I have been doing a lot of research and I wanted to...

Was the Great Depression the main reason for the repeal of nation prohibition in America?

I am doing a research paper and trying to make a thesis. I have been doing a lot of research and I wanted to know if the income tax dilema/ Great Depression was the real motive behind the repeal, rather than the fact that the governement realized that the ban was ineffective and caused greater harm to the country.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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You have what sounds like a really good thesis there.

First, in most historical events, there is rarely a single cause, but rather several contributory factors. Rather than ask either/or questions about history, its often better to think in terms of degrees or multiple simultaneous influences.

Normally, there are two causes given for the end of prohibition. The first was that it simply didn't work. The second was that it contributed greatly to the growth of organized crime. Your point, that rather than letting alcohol revenue go to criminals, this way the US government could increase revenue (which it very much needed to do) by taxing alcohol, makes very good sense as a third factor, and makes an excellent argument.

Interestingly, your point about prohibition is being made by marijuana activists in California, who are actually arguing all three points, that keeping marijuana illegal (1) hasn't worked (2) support a vast network of criminals and (3) deprives California of significant potential revenue it could earn if it taxed marijuana as it does cigarettes.




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