Though this episode of iMinds (category: History) briefly covers international prohibition laws, it focuses primarily on Herbert Hoover's "noble experiment" in the United States. As is always the case with iMinds, the program packs an expansive amount of material into a short timeframe without seeming to overburden a listener with facts. The information flows abundantly, but with a light touch, thanks in part to Australian actress (and iMinds favorite) Ellouise Rothwell. Rothwell's precise and stylish sentences cover everything between the 18th and the 21st Amendments, and the content is further bolstered by subtle background music evocative of 1930s speakeasies.
Learn about the history of Prohibition with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.
Imagine not being able to have a beer at the baseball. Or not being allowed to have a wine at the theatre. Imagine it was illegal to offer your guests a drink at your next dinner party. This is what life would be like under prohibition. Prohibition is a law that forbids the manufacturing, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages.
Countries all over the world have introduced prohibition at different times in their history and today many countries continue to ban the sale of alcohol. Muslim countries are generally strict about the consumption of alcohol by their citizens and often have some form of prohibition. This is due to references of the danger of alcohol in the Qur’an, which is Islam’s holy book. Scandinavia also has a rich history of prohibition. Most of the Scandinavian countries, with the exception of Denmark, had prohibition during the early 1920s, with a few of them continuing the ban on alcohol well into the following decades. Australia continues to have a form of prohibition in certain remote indigenous communities, but you can drink freely in most of the country.
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"I'm learning all sorts of stuff about stuff I didn't even know I didn't know. And it sticks. In a nutshell: wonderful." (Jonathon Margolis, Financial Times)
I learned a lot about prohibition in the United States from this book. Prohibition took place between 1920 – 1933 and really influenced and impacted society in a variety of ways. Of course, it created a huge underground market and mobsters came to the forefront of all of that.
This book is a good look at the various religious groups that were pushing for the US to adopt prohibition as the law of the land. The occurrence of the Great Depression was probably when the greatest pushback (plus the fact that it just wasn't working and the States were missing out on the taxes that could be gathered) to repeal the laws of prohibition, and in 1933, prohibition was repealed.
It was also interesting to learn that almost every culture throughout history has implemented some form of prohibition from time to time.
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