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Amendments To The US Constitution
18th Amendment to the US Constitution
Prohibition of Intoxicating Liquors

By Congress
May 5, 2011, 11:10am

XVIII Amendment to the Constitution

Library of Congress
Prohibition exhibited many of the characteristics of most progressive reforms. That is, it was concerned with the moral fabric of society; it was supported primarily by the middle classes; and it was aimed at controlling the "interests" (liquor distillers) and their connections with venal and corrupt politicians in city, state, and national governments. Still, it was not until U.S. entry into the Great War that prohibitionists were able to secure enactment of national legislation. In 1918, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitition, prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. States ratified the Amendment the next year.

Herbert Hoover called prohibition a "noble experiment," but the effort to regulate people's behavior soon ran into trouble. Enforcement of prohibition became very difficult. Soon, such terms as "bootlegger," "bath tub gin," and "speakeasy" became household words. Gangs of hoodlums became more powerful as they trafficked in alcohol. By the 1930s, a majority of Americans had tired of the noble experiment, and the 18th Amendment was repealed.

Source: Library of Congress

Amendment XVIII

Section 1.
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.

Section 2.
The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

This Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment, and titles I and II of the National Prohibition Act 1 were subsequently specifically repealed by the act of August 27, 1935, federal prohibition laws effective in various Districts and Territories were repealed as follows: District of Columbia--April 5, 1933, and January 24, 1934; Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands--March 2, 1934; Hawaii--March 26, 1934; and Panama Canal Zone--June 19, 1934.

Source: LII - Cornell Law School

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