Prohibition DBQ

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Prohibition DBQ Powered By Docstoc
					Kristen McCarty, Meg Harris, TuQuyen Pham, Jenna Peng, & Hannah Kim
Period 5


PROMPT: Prohibition was a key reform during the Progressive Era. Discuss whether or
not the Prohibition movement was successful during this time period.


Historical Background:
       Lasting from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, the Progressive Era was a significant time of
social and political reform throughout the United States. Movements regarding government,
education, medicine, science, industry, and the economy were led by many people who agreed
that their area of concern must be modernized. Although prohibition has been highly disputed
throughout history, development of this movement began in the early 1800’s with the
establishment of the American Temperance Society. These movements continued to its climax
during the Progressive Era when Prohibition laws and acts banned national transportation, sale,
manufacture, and consumption of alcohol. These turn of events were also considered the Noble
Experiment. With the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919 and the Volstead Act,
alcoholic beverages were officially outlawed. Many organizations including the Anti-Saloon
League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) influentially advocated
prohibition, while others argued strongly against.


DOCUMENT 1:

Prohibition Party Platform 1869

Prohibition Party
From: D. Leigh Colvin, ed., Prohibition in the United States (New York, 1926), 72 ff.
September 2, 1869

2. That the traffic in intoxicating beverages is a dishonor to Christian civilization, inimical to the
best interests of society, a political wrong of unequalled enormity, subversive of the ordinary
objects of government, not capable of being regulated or restrained by any system of license
whatever: but imperatively demanding for its suppression effective legal prohibition, both by
State and national legislation.
3. That in view of this, and inasmuch as the existing political parties oppose or ignore this great
and paramount question, and absolutely refuse to do anything toward the suppression of the rum
traffic, which is robbing the nation of its brightest intellects, destroying internal prosperity, and
rapidly undermining its very foundations, we are driven by an imperative sense of duty to sever
our connection with these political parties, and organize ourselves into a National Prohibition
Party, having for its primary object the entire suppression of the traffic in intoxicating drinks.
4. That while we adopt the name of the National Prohibition Party, as expressive of our primary
object, and while we denounce all repudiation of the public debt, and pledge fidelity to the
principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution, we deem it not
expedient at present to give prominence to other political issues.
5. That while we recognize the good providence of Almighty God in supervising the interests of
this nation from its establishment to the present time, we would not, in organizing our party for
the legal prohibition of the liquor traffic, forget that our reliance for ultimate success must be
upon the same Omnipotent Arm.


DOCUMENT 2


Letter to William Allen White (1914)

Theodore Roosevelt
From: Elting E. Morison, ed., The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, 8 vols. (Cambridge, 1951–
55), VIII, 834–40. November 7, 1914

The public grew to identify us with all the members of the lunatic fringe in public life, whether
they were or were not members of our party. We were actually held accountable for the things
that La Follette did, in addition to suffering gravely from such antics as those of Amos Pinchot.
But I do not believe that these things were fundamental. The fundamental trouble was that the
country was sick and tired of reform. These gusts of popular feeling always come. I had not
supposed that in this case it would come to the extent that it did and so far as the Republican
machine leadership was concerned. But the dog returned to its vomit. Not only did the people
wish to beat all the reform leaders but they wished to beat the reform legislation. Wisconsin and
California have at the polls snowed under provisions for an eight-hour law for women,
provisions for the initiative, referendum and recall, all temperance legislation and the like. The
identification of progressivism with prohibition in so many states hurt us. In Pennsylvania the
workingmen voted enthusiastically for Penrose who had just defeated a Workmen's
Compensation Bill, a Child Labor bill and other pieces of labor legislation in his state legislature.
They felt the pinch of poverty; they were suffering from hard times; they wanted prosperity and
compared with this they did not care a rap for social justice or industrial justice or clean politics
or decency in public life. Moreover, they believed in the saloons, and they were hostile to us
because ours was the temperance, although not the Prohibition, party. The average man was tired
of decency in politics.


DOCUMENT 3:

"The Methodist Church on Prohibition and License" (1889)
From: The Political Prohibitionist for 1889 (New York, 1889), 76–78, prepared from
information supplied by the editor of the Western Christian Advocate.


General Conference, 1884, reaffirmed 1888, We are unalterably opposed to the enactment of
laws that propose by license, taxing, or otherwise, to regulate the drink traffic.
California, 1888, We favor the abolition of the government tax on intoxicating liquors as making
the State and nation particeps criminis in the liquor-traffic; and we are unalterably opposed to all
measures that propose, by license, taxing, or otherwise, to regulate the drink-traffic.
Kentucky, 1888, No organization, whether social, political or ecclesiastical, should have our
support in any form or manner that directly or indirectly favors license or taxation.
Michigan, 1888, The Church demands that this Government cease protecting the saloon by the
baneful systems of revenue and license laws, and forever prohibit this traffic within our borders.
New York, Central, 1888, We will not parley with the enemy, nor compromise with any policy
which, under the guise of restriction, puts principle and practice at variance. It is not license, high
or low, not restriction, so-called, but absolute Prohibition, for which we contend.
Philadelphia, 1888, High License is not a temperance measure. It is a trap adroitly set for timid
and half-informed temperance men. It was originally offered and is now urged as a compromise
by the influential political friends of the saloon. Their object is to kill the movement for
Prohibition, and prevent the threatened annihilation of the liquor traffic. We pray God to open
the eyes of those who have been deceived.
DOCUMENT 4:

Prohibition Party Platform, 1912; Date: 1912
From: History of American Presidential Elections: 1789-1968, Vol. III, ed. Arthur M.
Schlesinger Jr., p. 2197-2198

The Prohibition Party in National Convention at Atlantic City. N.J., July 10, 1912, recognizing
God as the source of all governmental authority, makes the following declarations of principles
and policies:
1. The alcoholic drink traffic is wrong; is the most serious drain on the wealth and resources of
the nation; is detrimental to the general welfare and destructive of the inalienable rights of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All laws taxing of licensing a traffic which produces crime,
poverty and political corruption, and spreads disease and death should be repealed. To destroy
such a traffic there must be elected to power a political party which will administer the
government from the standpoint that the alcoholic drink traffic is a crime and not a business, and
we pledge that the manufacture, importation, exportation, transportation and sale of alcoholic
beverages shall be prohibited.


DOCUMENT 5:

“Organization and Attitude of the Liquor Power” (1887)

From: The Political Prohibitionist for 1887 (New York, 1887), 31–34.

Resolved, That we are unalterably opposed to Prohibition, general or local, as an invasion of the
rights of the citizen, and therefore wrong in principle and impracticable in policy. Instead of
attempting to destroy the business that employs immense capital and supports a vast number of
honest workingmen, the efforts of our enemies should be directed to eliminating the evils
existing in and resulting from the abuse of liquors. In this work all would unite, and only those
be found in opposition who have no interests to protect, no character to maintain, no ambition to
gratify, and no conscience to appease. The very work of reformation is retarded by the efforts
through prohibitory laws to destroy a great industry, and to degrade the men therein engaged.
DOCUMENT 6:


“Prohibition Party Platform, 1896” (excerpt)


We the members of the Prohibition party, in National Convention assembled, renewing our
acknowledgment of allegiance to Almighty God as the Rightful Ruler of the Universe, lay down
the following as our declaration of political purpose:
Platform


The Prohibition party, in National Convention assembled, declares its firm conviction that the
manufacture, exportation, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages has produced such social,
commercial, industrial, and political wrongs, and is now so threatening the perpetuity of all our
social and political institutions that the suppression of the same by a National party organized
therefor, is the greatest object to be accomplished by the voters of our country, and is of such
importance that it, of right, ought to control the political actions of all our patriotic citizens until
such suppression is accomplished.
DOCUMENT 7:


Political Cartoon #1: The Modern Devil Fish
Caption: “The tentacles of the Devil Fish cannot be destroyed unless the HEAD, the source
of their sustaining power, is destroyed.” - Victor Hugo’s “Toilers of the Sea”

The Modern Devil Fish -- "Political Cartoons of the 1920's." Montgomery College. 19 Jun 2008
<www.montgomerycollege.edu/.../pinedoc4.jpg>.
“The Modern Devil Fish” (1904): Rpt. in Chicago Tribune. Stewart, Donald Farquharson and Wilbur,
Henry W. Chicago, 1925.
DOCUMENT 8:

Political Cartoon #2: Noble Experiment
Caption: “Yes, it’s a noble experiment.”

Noble Experiment -- "Media of Prohibition." 19 Jun 2008
<http://www.albany.edu/~wm731882/nobleexperiment.jpg>.
DOCUMENT 9:

Political Cartoon #3: Barrels on Parade

Barrels on Parade -- "Nebraska Prohibits Alcohol 1916." 19 Jun 2008

       <http://www.nebraskastudies.org/.../0701_012001.gif>.
Document 10:

       From: George Wickersham, director of Wickersham Commission on Law
Observance and Enforcement, report to President Hoover on the enforcement of
prohibition laws (Jan. 20 1931)


The Census Bureau figures for the year 1929 indicate a decline in the rate of deaths from
alcoholism, and the figures on all the points referred to are still substantially below the pre-
prohibition figures. Upon the whole, however, they indicate that after a brief period in the first
years of the amendment there has been a steady increase in drinking.
       To the serious effects of this attitude of disregard of the declared policy of the National
Prohibition Act must be added the bad effect on children and employees of what they see
constantly in the conduct of otherwise law abiding persons. Such things and the effect on youth
of the making of liquor in homes, in disregard of the policy, if not of the express provisions of
the law, the effect on the families of workers of selling in homes, which obtains in many
localities, and the effect on working people of the conspicuous newly acquired wealth of their
neighbors who have engaged in bootlegging, are disquieting. This widespread and scarcely or
not at all concealed contempt for the policy of the National Prohibition Act, and the effects of
that contempt, must be weighed against the advantage of diminution (apparently lessening) of the
amount in circulation.
Bibliography:

Barrels on Parade -- "Nebraska Prohibits Alcohol 1916." 19 Jun 2008

       <http://www.nebraskastudies.org/.../0701_012001.gif>.

Melissa, Robertson. "Prohibition through Political Cartoons." N.d. PDF file.

       *Source where all three political cartoons were retrieved*

Noble Experiment -- "Media of Prohibition." 19 Jun 2008

       <http://www.albany.edu/~wm731882/nobleexperiment.jpg>.

"Prohibition Party Platform, 1912." American History Online. Facts On File, Inc.

       http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?

       ItemID=WE52&iPin=E11730&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 29, 2012).

Prohibition Party. "Prohibition Party Platform, 1869." D. Leigh Colvin, ed., Prohibition in the

       United States (New York, 1926), 72 ff. American History Online. Facts On File,

       Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?

       ItemID=WE52&iPin=E14290&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 29, 2012).

Prohibition Party. "Prohibition Party Platform, 1896 (excerpt)." American History Online. Facts

       On File, Inc. Web.

Roosevelt, Theodore. "Letter to William Allen White." Elting E. Morison, ed., The Letters of

       Theodore Roosevelt, 8 vols. (Cambridge, 1951–55), VIII, 834–40. American History

       Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?

       ItemID=WE52&iPin=E14378&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 29, 2012).

"'The Methodist Church on Prohibition and License'."American History Online. Facts On File,

       Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?

       ItemID=WE52&iPin=E14302&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 29, 2012).
The Modern Devil Fish -- "Political Cartoons of the 1920's." Montgomery College. 19 Jun 2008

       <www.montgomerycollege.edu/.../pinedoc4.jpg>.

       Original Source: “The Modern Devil Fish” (1904): Rpt. in Chicago Tribune. Stewart,

       Donald Farquharson and Wilbur, Henry W. Chicago, 1925.

The Political Prohibitionist for 1887. "'Organization and Attitude of the Liquor Power'." The

       Political Prohibitionist for 1887 (New York, 1887), 31–34. American History Online.

       Facts On File, Inc. Web.

Wickersham Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement. "Report on the Enforcement of

       the Prohibition Laws of the United States (excerpt)." American History Online. Facts On

       File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?

       ItemID=WE52&iPin=E14034&SingleRecord=True (accessed January 29, 2012).

				
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