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Legal prevention of the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages. In the U.S., the Prohibition movement arose out of the religious revivalism of the 1820s. Maine passed the first state Prohibition law in 1846, ushering in a wave of such state legislation. The drive toward national Prohibition was fueled by the Anti-Saloon League, founded in 1893. With Prohibition already adopted in 33 states, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect in 1920. Prohibition was embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm in different parts of the country, and enforced accordingly. In urban areas, bootlegging gave rise to organized crime, with such gangsters as Al Capone. In part because of the rise in crime, its supporters gradually became disenchanted with it. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th in 1933, and by 1966 all states had also abandoned Prohibition.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Prohibition, visit Britannica.com.
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