Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Smithsonian mag:
How did it happen? How did a freedom-loving people
decide to give up a private right that had been freely exercised by
millions since the first European colonists arrived in the New World? How did
they condemn to extintion what was, at the very moment of its death, the
fifth-largest industry in the nation? How did they append to their most sacred
document 112 words that knew only one precedent in American history? With that
single previous exception, the original Constitution and its first 17 amendments
concerned the activities of government, not citizens. Now there were two
exceptions: you couldn't own slaves, and you couldn't buy alcohol.
- John C.L. Morgan

Related: When Barrels of Rum Were On Sidewalks and Water Was Free (February 10, 2008)

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