Q:

How many constitutional amendments have been passed and then repealed?

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Quick Answer

Over the course of American history, only one amendment to the U.S Constitution has been passed and then repealed: the 18th Amendment. This amendment concerned the prohibition of alcohol in 1919. It was later annulled by the 21st Amendment passed on February 20, 1933.

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Full Answer

The Anti-Saloon League, headed by Wayne Wheeler, worked hard to bring Prohibition to America. Their first true success came when Andrew Volstead sponsored a bill that banned the manufacture, sale, import, export and transport of alcohol in the US and territories under its influence. The second part of the amendment stated that Congress and the states had equal power in enforcing this legislature. The 18th Amendment officially became a law on January 17, 1920.

The amendment appeared successful at first, states the University at Albany. Immediately following the law, liquor consumption declined, there were fewer arrests for drunkenness and illegal alcohol rose to a price that common workers couldn't afford. Over time, these statistics changed as Americans found ways around Prohibition. Hidden bars, known as speakeasies, began to arise inside normal businesses. Drug stores, barbershops and many other establishments offered a safe place where Americans could consume alcohol. This secrecy caused problems until the 21st Amendment was passed, putting an end to Prohibition and deeming alcohol a state matter.

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