What was one of the signs of a society in conflict in the 1920s, and what did it involve?

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Prohibition was one of the defining conflicts of the 1920s-era United States.

When alcohol was first outlawed by the successive implementations of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act, the intention was relatively wholesome—a reduction in vice in favor of "temperance," or what we now call sobriety. The conflict became symbolic, standing in for the tension between those who believed excess was sinful and those who believed indulgence was a hard-won privilege.

When prohibition finally took effect in practice, it became clear that implementation wasn't quite so easy as the government thought. A massive social schism arose instantly, with some citizens upholding the new laws and others simply taking their alcohol consumption underground.

This ultimately lead to an entire secret network of "bootleggers"—people who produced and distributed illegal alcohol—and "speakeasies"—places that sold it in secret. As this industry grew, those in support of temperance became increasingly more sure of their own convictions and the tension between them increased even further. There were protest marches, dueling publications, and fiery public debates between disagreeing citizens on a regular basis.

Ultimately, the consequence of prohibition was even more dire than its detractors could have expected: the speakeasies and bootleggers created fertile ground for the rise of organized crime, which would foster a whole different type of legal conflict long after prohibition's repeal.

In the reference links, I've included a PBS article that offers some further context for prohibition's unintended conflicts and consequences.

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