Pressure Groups At Work

Pressure groups from the Anti-Saloon League to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union united to pressure the US Congress into enacting the 18th Amendment to the Constitution which prohibited the sale of alcoholic drinks. This interference with the personal habits of American citizens was a triumph of moral hypocrisy by the conservative forces in the US and had very little effect on the availability of alcohol. The self-righteous prig who led the Anti-Saloon League, Wayne Wheeler, invented the term, “pressure group.”

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.
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.

(Sources: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent and 18th Amendment.)

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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