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proibizione (I)
prohibición (ES)
proibição (PO)
prohibition (F)
prohibition (GB)

General term for prohibition or prevention, which can refer to many things. Most of the time, however, were or are luxury goods like drugs, alcohol. tobacco or the like. As a rule, this includes a ban (in various forms) for the manufacture, import, export, transport, purchase, possession and enjoyment of alcoholic beverages from social, religious, moral, ethical or health Understood reasons. In the past, such a ban was again and again for individual luxury goods or drinks such as. B. absinthe valid. The longest-standing prohibition is the strictly Islamic, religiously based in the Koran alcohol ban, But similar bans have always been used in many other countries and cultures. That was an enormous encroachment on the habits of the countries concerned, because the consumption of alcohol has been an elementary part of the human history drinking culture,

Prohibition - alcohol prohibition signs

Countries with alcohol bans

In Canada there was a prohibition from 1916 to 1927, however wine was excluded from this alcohol ban as an exception. For example, there were further alcohol bans in Finland from 1919 to 1933 and in Ireland from 1900 to 1933. Prohibitive measures with severe restrictions on viticulture also existed in Chile from 1938 to the 1970s. In Sweden, the sale of alcohol is still prohibited and subject to high taxes. In New Zealand, prohibition is still put to the referendum. The increasing restrictions on smoking in the USA from the 1990s and later also in Europe can also be described to a certain extent as prohibitive measures.

Prohibition introduced in the USA

The most significant alcohol prohibition, which for 13 years from 1920 to 1933 in the United States was valid, was passed by the US Congress in 1919 against a two unsuccessful veto by President Thomas W. Wilson (1856-1924) as the 18th constitutional amendment. It was also referred to as "The Noble Experiment" (English for "The Honorable Experiment"). In the "National Prohibition Act" (also named after the Senator Volstead Act) it was defined that as a "intoxicating drink" all drinks with more than 0.5% alcohol content galten: The act defined intoxicating liquor as any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume and superseded all existing prohibition laws in effect in states that had such legislation. That was next schnapps and Wine of course also beer (even light beer) affected. Of the many thousands of breweries before prohibition, only the big ones that survived the so-called Near Beer had kept afloat.

5 different brands of Near Beer (Fast Bier) in cans

The alcohol ban was further tightened in 1921 and 1929. However, prohibition in the United States had a long history, as alcohol was already banned in the state of Maine in 1851. For the time being, in many of the US states, the only thing that was combated was excessive consumption or alcohol abuse. Especially the two Temperance organizations "Women's Christian Temperance Union" (founded in 1874) and "Anti-Saloon League" (founded in 1895) first campaigned for a restricted and then more and more for a strict alcohol law. As a countermovement, the “anti-temperance societies” formed with especially supporters among the Baptists. They continued to think that alcohol was a gift from God.

Anti-Saloon League

The "Anti-Saloon League" in particular was managed very professionally by the lawyer Wayne B. Wheeler (1869-1927), who knew very well how to find funds and financiers. The multiple millionaire and owner of the "Standard Oil Company" John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), impressed by Wheeler's speech, donated $ 5,000. Through clever lobbying, the ASL achieved that practically no politician could afford not to commit to the goals of the league (whether they were convinced is another question). The success was that before the prohibition came into force on January 16, 1920, alcohol was legally prohibited in 33 of the then 48 US states, albeit in different forms. However, the ban was actually ratified by many federal states only during the First World War, because this was dependent on popular votes (so-called "local options"). Taking into account the complicated legal situation in the individual states, when war broke out in 1914, more than half of the Americans were against alcohol prohibition.

Prohibition USA 1920-1933 - Destruction of beer barrels and slogan

The First World War supported the pursuit of alcohol opponents when the United States entered the war on the side of the Entente against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Because most breweries in the USA were operated by German or Austrian emigrants (for example Anheuser-Busch). Viticulture was primarily a domain of Italians and whiskey was drunk in saloons by Irish and Polish workers. These were all mostly Catholic, while the United States' Anglo-Saxon power elite was traditionally Protestant. The anti-alcohol campaign was primarily the work of Protestant fundamentalists. They particularly referred to the German brewery owners as "traitors" or the cause of the alcohol problem and unleashed a nationalist campaign. The automobile industrialist Henry Ford I (1863-1947) also supported the efforts, perhaps not so much for moral reasons, but because he did not want to tolerate the reduced work performance of his workers due to alcohol impairment. Every Ford worker who only smelled of beer was immediately dismissed without mercy without mercy. The strict ban on alcohol was regularly and strictly controlled by the company's own security staff, also unexpectedly in the workers' company apartments.

18. Additional articles in the constitution

Finally, a ban on the sale, manufacture, import and transportation of alcoholic beverages was introduced. In this regard, the constitution was even changed by the 18th Amendment (18th Amendment). It was ratified on January 16, 1919 and entered into force on January 16, 1920 (and then overridden in 1933 by the 21st Amendment). Incidentally, the introduction of prohibition against alcohol ran parallel to the introduction of the right to vote for women. Only the sale was counted as a crime, not mere consumption. The ban did not end the demand for alcohol, on the contrary. As a result, the illegal business of production and distribution through criminal, well-organized elements developed excessively. Ultimately, this led to a frightening increase in crime. So the shot went backwards, because instead of eradicating the abuse, the "noble experiment" described by the supporters led to an uncontrolled escalating black market.

Prohibition - anti-prohibition measures with slogans and posters

Negative impacts

Prohibition prevented anyone from drinking. It simply replaced good beer and good wine with bad schnapps that were harmful to health. There were numerous poisonings methanol (Wooden spirit) and rotgut alcohol, because schnapps was often produced under often adventurous conditions in the dark night; therefore the product was e.g. B. aptly referred to as "moonlight whiskey" (the picture on the left shows a "black distillery"). Exceptions regulated by law were religious ceremonies. This was also used to the fullest, because the need for altar wine suddenly rose tremendously and priests became wine sellers. In addition, everyone was able to found a church in the country of countless free churches. Wine could also be used as a spice for food or for other applications. Another loophole was that wine could be prescribed as a medicine (a recipe for this is shown below on the right). Many doctors were ready to “medical champagne “To prescribe and in every drugstore you could buy medicinal wine. Certain alcoholic beverages such as the bitter bitch popular in the United States Underberg were excluded from the ban.

Prohibition - black distillery and alcohol by prescription

There were also very original ideas to get around the ban without breaking the law. So a company made raisin cake and "warned" in the instructions for use: "Do not put the raisin cake in the filled bath tub, otherwise it will inevitably start to ferment and it will become wine" . Hundreds of thousands of Americans produced their “house wine” through this clever and clever marketing in exactly the same way during the prohibition period. Also called “grape bricks” made of concentrated grape juice were produced, on the packaging of which the warning was given: "Do not add yeast, otherwise the contents will ferment" . Another option was to buy grapes, because according to the law “non-intoxicating fruit and fruit juices were allowed to be produced”. Many Americans became hobby cellar masters. French new breeding was particularly popular Alicante Henri Bouschet that has been planted on a large scale.

Increase crime

From the first year of prohibition, a myriad of new, illegal pubs were created. One phenomenon was that a large proportion of the guests were women, who were prohibited from visiting bars in the legal times. The supply of these pubs was mainly controlled by gangsters. The most famous was the infamous Al Capone (1899-1947). Only with prohibition did the Sicilian mafia become the dominant power in the US underworld. Bribery and intimidation of politicians, police officers and judicial witnesses were common occurrences. In broad daylight, gangs were involved in shootings at sales markets. It was primarily escalating violence that angered more and more citizens against the nonsensical law. The supporters drew the (wrong) conclusion that one would have to create even tougher bans, as well as for private alcohol consumption (which was still allowed).

Prohibition - Al Capone and massacre St. Valentine's Day February 14, 1929

Decline of viticulture

As a result, there was a total decline in viticulture and wine culture in the United States and most winemakers and wineries perished. Many former wineries have now become pure grape producers. The Paul Garett company focused on the production of grape juice from the historical variety Scuppernong around. This company was the only producer able to produce wine again immediately after the ban in 1933. Wine consumption doubled, but that did not benefit American wineries. Knowledge of wine making had been lost. After prohibition, this also shaped the American wine taste for several decades and led to a loss of quality. Because it was mainly produced with much less effort Sweet wines manufactured.

Abolition of prohibition

Prohibition also plunged the United States into a social crisis and even led to constitutional discussions. The ban on alcohol contradicted the principles of the right of every individual to "personal liberty", as enshrined in the declaration of independence. The economic crisis of 1929 then brought about a rethink, because the supporters had always claimed that prohibition was economically reasonable. For the 1932 elections, the Democratic Party made repeal one of its most important points in the election program. The newly elected 32nd US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) said the legendary phrase "I think it's time for a beer" . In 1933, with the 21st amendment to the constitution, Congress overturned the 18th of 1919; appropriate regulations are left to the individual states. However, there are still strong prohibition forces in the United States today. In 1998, a ban on alcohol was reintroduced in Chicago through a referendum. In the state Utah there are the strictest rules regarding alcohol consumption. Wine is still treated as a drug in many U.S. states.

Prohibition end: March 22, 1933 light beer, December 5, 1933 all alcoholic beverages

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited outside of restaurants. That is why there is a custom of packing a bottle of alcohol in a paper bag and drinking it in this form. Open bottles in the car must not be taken and alcohol in any form may only be transported in the trunk. Every bottle of wine sold in the United States must contain the following government warning: Women should not consume alcoholic beverages during pregnancy due to the risk of harm to the unborn child. Consuming alcoholic beverages affects your ability to drive or use a machine and can lead to health problems. After prohibition it became Three-tier system introduced. In the alcohol distribution chain, this stipulates that producers, wholesalers and retailers must be strictly separated.

Additional information

The long-standing and still rigorous alcohol prohibition is that in Islam; see under alcohol ban, Further keywords on the topic are allergy. Blood Alcohol Concentration. health. Male cat. a headache. intoxication. Satyricon. drinking culture. Vinotherapie and To drink, An interesting website with more information and lots of pictures about prohibition in the USA is Prohibition - An Interactive History

Barrel destruction: Underwodd & Underwood / Corbis
Auto und Spruch I'm no camel, I want beer:
Al Capone and St.Valentins massacre: Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis
Prohibition end: Prohibition - An Interactive History

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