What Was the Ultimate Goal of the 18th Amendment?

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The ultimate goal of the 18th Amendment was to prohibit alcohol on a national level, according to Dr. Jack S. Blocker. Section one of the amendment states that the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States and its territories is prohibited, as noted by the National Archives. The amendment was ratified on Jan. 16, 1919.

Dr. Blocker explains that the concept of alcohol prohibition started with a "century-long temperance campaign," which occurred because of notable increases in alcohol consumption in the 20th century. Furthermore, the prohibition movement gained momentum when the Anti-Saloon League won its leadership after 1905. In addition, Dr. Blocker states that the prohibitionist effort gained most of its strength on the social ills of public drunkenness as opposed to the betterment of people's health.

While the ratification of the 18th Amendment helped the exempted wine-grape growers industry, it destroyed the liquor industry and brought about the demise of the saloon, as noted by Dr. Blocker. This source also states that due to prohibition, criminal activity increased through the smuggling and bootlegging of alcohol.

The Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute points out that the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933.