Prohibition And Bootlegging In The American West Essay Example For College

The Causes of Prohibition, Its Unintended Consequences and the Eventual Result

Governments worldwide try to ensure their citizens are safe from crime and other social vices. The efforts are manifested through investigating the causes of the delinquencies and bringing them to an end. Alcohol sales in the US has a significant impact on the people as it exposed them to prostitution, broken marriages, health challenges, and domestic violence. Since alcohol was perceived as a source of enjoyment, the liquor business thrived. The increase in the sale of alcohol destroyed the moral fibre in society (Andrews 11). Consequently, churches and religious institutions to come together to fight against liquor. The efforts to end alcohol consumption in the 1920s were challenging as the brewery industries thrived the most. War against alcohol gained momentum as more people and community organizations joined the uprising. It soon became a national campaign, and the 18th amendment was ratified to illegalize the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the country. Prohibition failed in its mission of protecting citizens from crime and social vices as it led to unintended consequences such as increased smuggling, decrease in tax revenue and upsurge of systematized crimes.

Prohibition, also known as the noble experiment, was supported by the middle class to protect their families from the dangers of alcohol. However, the factory owners felt their businesses were threatened and devised plans to revive them (Hall 21). Initially, the prohibition, a national movement, succeeded in the rural areas and some parts of the western state as they had no other source and the black market had not penetrated the regions. However, in the urban centers, it was challenging to stop the liquor as the brewers bribed corrupt government officials and black markets started mushrooming (Woodiwiss 31). Bootleggers were people who distilled and sold alcohol illegally in the country. They could not be arrested because the government officials mandated to implement the ban were corrupt. As a result of the corruption and moral decadence in society, more speakeasies proliferated, and the ban on alcohol lost its grip on society. The alcohol sold by the bootleggers was worse than what was banned as it was manufactured in hideouts and contained more alcoholic content than the percentage proposed in the Volstead act.

The 18th amendment, which introduced the ban on alcohol, became the first law in America to be rescinded. In 1933, it was repealed by the 21st amendment despite a powerful temperance movement. Another reason for failure was the vigorous campaigns by distillers and alcohol brewers who managed to convince anti-alcoholic politicians to vote against it and advocate for its repealing (Agnew 39). Further, some citizens also ignored the law and consumed illegal liquor sold by bootleggers. The prohibition law was not obeyed by some of the citizens but instead led to ideological differences. It became a war between Americans groups, the new and the old, the urban and the rural, Protestants and Catholics. Most adults often visited bootlegger’s dens secretly to quench their thirst for alcohol. Bootleggers thrived as they served an alternative supply of the rare commodity (Anderson 30). The prohibition movement failed to receive buy-ins from the key stakeholders. The Volstead act failed as it could not reduce the prison population and end public corruption as cartels and corrupt government officials, and the taxpayer burden was reduced as intended.

The main causes of prohibition and the passing of the 18th amendment were due to pressure from temperance groups and pressures from other welfare organizations. Temperance and religious groups believed liquor was against God’s will and responsible for the rising levels of crime and violence (Agnew 27). Christian believers who wanted to fulfill God’s will joined the war and campaigned vehemently to have a moral and safe country. Further, they termed it the principal cause of domestic violence and the breaking of marriages (Gelman 15). Preachers such as Billy Sunday convinced the conservatives that liquor was evil and required to be banned for a successful future (Andrews 17). Industrialists further believed that workers who took alcohol would be less efficient at work and therefore joined forces to ensure that their workers remained sober. Henry Ford is an example of a business tycoon in the USA who joined forces in the fight against liquor (Hall 16). As more employers advocated for it, the prohibition wave grew stronger and became a national movement which prompted the congress to launch the 18th amendment which placed a ban on alcohol countrywide.

Prohibition was intended to protect families from domestic violence and breakups, social vices and crime. The government’s efforts to protect the citizens was manifested through the enactment of the 18th amendment. However, the fight yielded unintended consequences such as the exponential growth of smuggling, expansion of black market and organized syndicate selling illegal liquor (Agnew 37). The black markets increased the rate of crime as the drug lords fought to protect their business. Consequently, there was a rise in the criminal gang who protected their illegal business of manufacturing and distributing alcohol against the law (Anderson 15). The tax revenue was also reduced, and the crime rate increased as people were not only getting drunk but had to drink while protecting themselves from the police (Andrews 12). The liquor industry had a ready market with taxes and employment opportunities guaranteed. When the great depression affected the USA and people lost their jobs, President Roosevelt considered legalizing alcohol to offer employment opportunities and raise government revenue through taxes (Gelman 18). As a result of the unintended consequences and the vehement campaigns by the alcohol brewers and distillers, the Volstead act failed to achieve its mission of protecting the citizens.

Mapping the Bootlegging Business

American Map Showing Alcohol Smuggling
Figure 1: American Map Showing Alcohol Smuggling (Hall 18)

Despite the American congress passing the law prohibiting alcohol, many Americans wanted to enjoy beer and opted for a locally-made illegal brew. When they realized that the locally-made brew had a sour taste, they opted to import from Europe, Canada and Mexico. The mushrooming of bootleggers started in Chicago, where Al Capone ran a successful gang supplying liquor and smuggling other drugs into the regions surrounding Chicago. He became close to other gangsters, such as Frankie Yale, the main drug lord in New York and supplied imported drugs to Chicago, Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina (Woodiwiss 21). The five major events that marked the bootlegging business in the USA include Torrio’s meeting with Al Capone, the Valentine’s Day massacre, rum running smuggling from Canada, Mexico, and Columbia by McCoy and his capture in New Jersey. The capturing of the alcohol ship in 1924 and subsequent burning to destroy evidence indicated that the war on smuggling was marred with corruption.

Major Events in the Bootlegging Business

The Confrontation between the Genna Brothers Gang and the Police

The shootout occurred at a club in Chicago when the anti-liquor police branch exchanged fire with the gang after chasing the three brothers. The gang hit the news headline between 1921 and 1925 as the Americans had passed the prohibition laws (Andrews 11). Genna and his brothers realized the thriving black market sells liquor, and the police started tracking them. The gang was notorious in Chicago and smuggled illegal liquor from other regions labelled A and C on the map. The main reason why the gang thrived in the business was that almost half of the American adults wanted liquor that tasted good and encouraged them to smuggle it from regions where it was not prohibited (Hall 18). The gang opened secret joints in Chicago, Nebraska and Virginia, where they had a successful empire.

Torrio Meets Al Capone

Al Capone was one of Chicago’s most influential drug lords who operated a successful illegal liquor company. He supplied alcohol to prominent people and was protected by corrupt government officials who received a bribe in return. In 1924, Al Capone met Torrio, a notorious drug dealer in Italy who introduced him to the booming liquor industries in Canada and started importing alcohol from region A and the region marked C on the map. The union between the two drug lords was ratified to form a drug syndicate that bribed police to have their way in the region and sold illegal liquor (Agnew 44). The union between the two drug lords began a drug empire and supplied many parts of the USA.

Capturing of Drugs ship in 1924

As drug cartels started importing drugs from other countries through the sea, crime rates and gang wars increased exponentially. The federal government tightened security at the coastlines to protect Americans from illegal liquor. The liquor smugglers known as rumrunners used the sea as the major entry points for alcohol importation, especially in the regions marked D on the map from where the drugs were transported to Las Vegas, Nevada, and New Mexico. On July 21, 1924, a coast guard commander named Fredric Admiral captured a ship suspected to belong to the rumrunners (Anderson 25). However, before the case could be taken to court, the ship was set ablaze to destroy evidence. The destruction of evidence is a sign that the drug cartels worked with insiders in the security forces to jeopardize the fight against alcohol and prohibition.

McCoy’s Surrender in New Jersey

McCoy is a famous rumrunner supplying illegal liquor in New Jersey and importing from Mexico, the region marked B on the map. The culprit was caught on July 16, 1923, when his man surrendered after a coast guard fired a six-pound missile, and he pleaded guilty to smuggling and was jailed in Florida (Andrews 18). The arrest symbolized that the American government was serious in the fight against drugs, and the Supreme Court ruled that all American ships with liquor could be seized up to thirty-four miles from American shores.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

The rise of rum smugglers and competition led to conflict among the gangs. The fateful event happened on February 14, 1929, when seven men were at Lincoln Park for a liquor transaction when the Chicago Northside gang attacked, trying to protect their territory. The murders in the region were associated with Al Capone and indicated an emergency of war to control the bootleggers in the region. The fight to control illegal business was the root cause of violent crimes and unrest in the regions. The government could only win the war against the smugglers by placing loyal and incorruptible law enforcement agents in a strategic location. The emergence of gang wars was a sign that the people were unsafe.

Works Cited

Agnew, Jeremy. Prohibition and Bootlegging in the American West. McFarland, 2022.

Anderson, Nathan. “Bootleggers Beware! The Untold Story of Ordinances and Their Effect on Bootleggers and Local Law Enforcement in Kansas from 1915-1925.” (2018). Web.

Andrews, Michael. “Bar talk: Informal social interactions, alcohol prohibition, and invention.” Alcohol Prohibition and Invention (November 18, 2019) (2019). Web.

Gelman, Arlene N., and Edward K. Gross. “A Valentine’s Day Massacre of Liquidated Damages: In re Republic Airways Holdings Inc.” The Journal of Equipment Lease Financing (Online) 37.2 (2019): 1-19.

Hall, Wayne. “The future of the international drug control system and national drug prohibitions.” Addiction 113.7 (2018): 1210–1223. Web.

Woodiwiss, Michael. “Reform, racism and rackets: alcohol and drug prohibition in the United States.” The Control of Drugs and Drug Users. CRC Press, 2020. 13–30. Web.

Healthcare Program: Informational Campaign On Dementia

The role of nurses shall not be underestimated when it comes to designing and implementing healthcare programs aimed to improve the well-being of the general population. Nurses provide multiple care services to different patients with various conditions, personalities, and wishes. Moreover, since the interactions and frequent and close, the team members are able to gain insight on how to approach individuals and which technique to use in order for people to be resilient, open, and precise about their symptoms and feelings. It is certain that nurses are not the only medical personnel who is to partake in policy establishment and integration. Nonetheless, collective effort is needed when it comes to intervening in an existing problem with plausible solutions. The proposed healthcare program is an informational campaign aimed to teach family members how to provide care for seniors with dementia.

Program Overview

The program is to address the topic of providing care for the elderly diagnosed with dementia. The implementation is necessary due to the extent of the problem and the challenges individuals encounter when caring for an elderly person with memory decline, difficulties in expressing themselves, and unusual behavior. Researchers point out that more than 80% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s receive assistance from non-paid caregivers or family members (Garvey et al., 2019). The program implies that such people are to receive guidance, first-hand instructions, support, and information on multiple aspects related to the provision of care for an elderly person with dementia. The aim is to conduct a meeting with family members as participants, nurses, and other healthcare providers. The non-profit Alzheimer’s Association is to cover the cost of the location and supply the necessary resources. Thus, no financial investments are needed from other parties. The expected outcome is for participants to have in-depth information on different aspects of dementia and the care that their close ones require. Another projected outcome is providing moral support for individuals who have encountered challenges in care provision. It is certain that both the patients with dementia and those taking care of them will benefit from the proposed health program, which is the ultimate goal of the intervention.

Target Population

As exemplified prior, more than half of seniors diagnosed with dementia receive care from close ones rather than professional medical assistance on a daily basis. The target population addressed in the health program consists of family members and caregivers who are in direct contact with elderly individuals in need of assistance with daily tasks. Since dementia correlates with both physical and psychological problems, the non-paid care providers have multiple complex tasks. These include taking care of nutrition, bathing, medications, safety, and other essential aspects that are required in care provision for elderly patients with loss of cognitive functioning. The chosen target population would benefit from the proposed implementation of the health plan on multiple levels. On the one hand, since dementia correlates with behavioral changes, the caregivers are to be aware of the different approaches to the individuals who may act violently or irrationally. Researchers point out that healthcare workers operating in dementia units may find difficulties with patients yelling, hitting, and putting themselves in danger (Yous et al., 2019). Needless to say, the challenge is more critical for the target population since they have had no training or experience with such encounters prior. Moreover, research shows that negative emotions and mental health problems occur for family members caring for individuals with dementia (Ruiz-Fernández et al., 2019). Thus, such limitations can be addressed through the health program.

Role of Nurses in Project Design

The role of nurses in the design stage is significant due to the experience they have with dealing with individuals with dementia. Nurses often provide care for elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and similar conditions. For example, they know how to mitigate a conflict situation, help patients relax, and provide comfort. Thus, the project design will involve information gathering on all these primary topics. Another example is the nurse and family member connection that establishes when care is being provided. Nurses are aware of the difficulties caregivers deal with when caring for a senior person with dementia. As a result, the program design will benefit from the feedback and input when it comes to providing information on maintaining psychological well-being while providing the best care possible.

Advocate Role

The role of an advocate implies participation during the design stage. First, the decisions are to consider the characteristics of the target population and the vulnerabilities they are prone to. Thus, the role of the advocate is to ensure the goals of the project, which is providing informational and mental support for caregivers, are fulfilled through the practical design of the health plan. Another essential objective is establishing the connection between the healthcare providers and the family members. Thus, all the advice and guidelines illustrated during the meeting will be well-received and retained by the participants.

Role of Nurses in Project Implementation

Needless to say, the implementation of the health plan cannot succeed without the involvement of nurses. Researchers refer to the importance of involving employees in projects since it leads to positive organizational outcomes (Klein & Sorra, 1996). The role differs from that in participation in design. While designing the project requires the nurses’ knowledge and suggestions on how to approach the goal and target population, implementation implies direct contact with the participants. For example, nurses are to give speeches and perform presentations on how dementia patients may behave and how to approach it. Moreover, they may have direct conversations with certain participants who would like to go through the information in detail.

Implementation Team

There are several healthcare workers who are to participate in program implementation. As mentioned prior, nurses will be useful team members both during design and application. Researchers point out that they are connection points between medical facilities and caregivers when it comes to Alzheimer’s (Toru, 2019). Moreover, a neurologist and a psychiatrist will be involved in the meetings in terms of sharing helpful information on the disease and its symptoms. Thus, the participants will be aware of what to expect from the older family members with the said diagnosis. Last but not least, since the program will also address the mental health of the caregivers, a psychologist will be invited to address coping skills and techniques for dealing with the stress correlating with care provision for the elderly with dementia.


The healthcare program is intended for caregivers and family members in charge of elderly people diagnosed with dementia. Both the design and the implementation will rely on healthcare workers such as nurses and physicians for gathering information and sharing it in an effective manner. The role of nurses, in particular, is crucial since they encounter dementia patients often and are aware of how to approach such individuals, both mentally and physically. As a result, the goal of the program, which is improving the information on dementia care, will be successfully fulfilled.


Garvey, J. M., Dalton, J. M., & Magny-Normilus, C. (2019). A conceptual-theoretical-empirical structure for the study of Alzheimer’s informal caregivers and home health care nursing services. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 31(4), 231–238. Web.

Klein, K. J., & Sorra, J. S. (1996). The Challenge of Innovation Implementation. Academy of Management Review, 21(4), 1055–1080. Web.

Ruiz-Fernández, M. D., Hernández-Padilla, J. M., Ortiz-Amo, R., Fernández-Sola, C., Fernández-Medina, I. M., & Granero-Molina, J. (2019). Predictor factors of perceived health in family caregivers of people diagnosed with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19), 3762. Web.

Toru, F. (2019). The role of nurses in home care in Alzheimer’s patients. American Journal of Health Research, 7(5), 67. Web.

Yous, M.-L., Ploeg, J., Kaasalainen, S., & Martin, L. S. (2019). Nurses’ experiences in caring for older adults with responsive behaviors of dementia in acute care. SAGE Open Nursing, 5, 237796081983412. Web.

Immigration From The Northern Triangle To The US

Notably, the United States has remained a favorite destination for migrants from all over the globe. In 2018, most migrants came from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, known colloquially as the “Northern Triangle countries.” The goal of the National Immigration Forum’s paper was to describe ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors, show facts on immigration to the United States, and explore the primary rationale for immigration. People move for several causes, which “can be conceptualized in two general terms: “push” and “pull” factors” (National Immigration Forum 2). For instance, “push” factors are conditions in migrants’ homeland that make it extremely difficult to live there, but “pull” characteristics in the destination country make it a more attractive place to live than their countries of origin. According to the National Immigration Forum, the number of migrants from the Northern Triangle countries has surpassed the number of migrants from Mexico since 2016 (3). The socioeconomic factors, low level of security, and legal protection force people to migrate.

With significantly high homicide rates, all three Northern Triangle countries are among the most dangerous globally. Gang activity has frequently been identified as one of the primary causes driving homicide rates (National Immigration Forum 8). Essentially, gang activity, when combined with a lack of official involvement, generates a self-perpetuating pattern of chaos and bloodshed. The paper’s authors believe that migrants from the Northern Triangle countries will continue to arrive at the U.S. border unless socioeconomic and safety challenges in their homelands are addressed effectively.

The purpose of the second article written by Adrian Reyna is to draw the attention of members of Congress to the subject of immigrant children’s protection from deportation. Reyna advocates for a Dream Act that includes “no border wall, no more detention, no more deportations for the protections of those impacted” (Reyna 1). According to the petition, Congress must enact the Dream Act without funds for enforcement, which would harm other immigrants.

The third article illustrates the stories of migrants with photographs. The purpose of Sweetland Edwards is to explain the struggles and difficulties migrants face and the reasons that pushed them to move to another country. Most stories show why the families had to escape their homeland; for instance, “their family was forced to flee after a gang threatened to murder the children” (Sweetland Edwards 26). Migrants left their homeland for various reasons: tens of millions traveled to seek better employment, education, or medical care, while tens of millions more had no options (Sweetland Edwards 26). According to studies, native-born U.S. and European populations’ perceptions about immigration in general and the character of new immigrants are typically incorrect. According to Sweetland Edwards, native-born citizens overestimate “how many immigrants live in their own communities” (42). They also underestimate the average immigrant’s abilities and education while exaggerating their impoverishment and reliance on social safety net programs. The question the authors stress today is whether the world will learn to see the massive population of foreign migrants as an opportunity rather than a danger.

For me, a white male living in a small rural community, the issues of misunderstanding the reasons for immigration and the struggles of these people raised by Sweetland Edwards are particularly relevant to my community. Small communities frequently fail to recognize the significance of the human feelings and harsh realities that motivate migration. Immigrants should not be considered a threat because some have no option but to leave their home country to provide a better future for themselves and their children. I believe that destination countries should aid by standardizing migrants’ welcome.

Works Cited

National Immigration Forum. “Push or Pull Factors: What Drives Central American Migrants to the U.S.?” Immigration Forum, 2019. Web.

Reyna, Adrian. “To: Members of Congress, United States Congress. Protect Immigrant Youth: Pass Dream Act Now!”, United We Dream Action. Web.

Sweetland Edwards, Haley. Dividing Lines. The Human Face of Global Migration. Time Inc., 2019.

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