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p. 964. Repeallocked

  • W. J. Rorabaugh


By the late Twenties, Americans increasingly recognized that prohibition could not work, but getting the political system to tackle the issue was hard. ‘Repeal’ explains that it would take another national crisis, the Great Depression, to end prohibition. As the economy declined in the early Thirties, government officials faced falling revenues while the demand for public services increased. This appetite for revenue, along with changing public opinion, forced reconsideration of alcohol policy. The Twenty-first Amendment was ratified in December 1933. Alcohol became widely available, but high taxes kept the price high enough to reduce consumption, state governments determined where alcohol was sold or consumed, and control boards decided the circumstances under which it was drunk.

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