Due to the U.S.Prohibition of alcohol,the Great Depression and the publication of the Great Gatsby,the decade of corruption is a good title for the 1920s.
The essay fully is aimed to prove the corruption in the 1920,which can be divided in four parts.The first part discusses Prohibition in the United States.The second part analyzed the Great Depression.The third part reveals the influence of the publication of the Great Gatsby.The fourth part is a conclusion of the whole essay.
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition is a period from 1919 to 1933 when the Twenty-first Amendment replaced the Eighteenth Amendment.(Temperance and Prohibition)Congress of the United States enacted Prohibition in the 1920s.The reason was that the alcohol was the origin of crimes.Simply speaking,it was caused by the movement of women,because alcohol caused a lot of domestic violence.In order to protect women's rights,Prohibition was implemented.In 1933,9 states have fully implemented Prohibition and 31 states allowed to ban alcohol by the public opinion.(Riggs,1064)Meanwhile,alcohol was also linked with the crimes in religion.It is seemed that Prohibition can lead to a brighter future,but it has caused a society with corruption.
In the first place,underworld alcohol market was pervasive in the United States.Although the sale of alcohol was illegal,alcohol was still easily to be purchased in the speakeasies and other underground bars.Over 280,000 bootlegging establishments were set up and between 200,000 and 500,000 speakeasies were widely scattered in the United States.(Riggs,1065)The janitor job was to filter policemen and agents and agents had no powers of forced entry if the gatekeeper didn’t allow them to enter.There were also a lot of people who maintained a private bar to entertain visitors.Meanwhile,a large number of alcohol products were smuggled from all over the world.
In the second place,Prohibition has led to a lot of social problems,which has severely influenced the social stability.
On the one hand,there existed loopholes for taking the opportunity to bootleg liquor.The law stipulated that drinking at home was not illegal.Millions of Americans were involved in the illegal purchase or sale of alcohol.(Riggs,1066)Many people started making wines or ciders in their own basement,while more people could only buy smuggled wine from the wine businessmen.The law also stipulated that selling liquored in public places was banned,but designated distributors purchase wine for religious rituals was permitted by the government.Many winemakers made many excuses in order to obtain permission for the normal operation.
On the other hand,with the doctor's prescription,people can buy whiskey.Although the provisions required that all other purposes in addition to medical problems were illegal,doctors were rarely held accountable,which caused a sudden surge in the number of hospital patients and a lot of people could obtain whiskey in this way.It was estimated that doctor freely granted prescription of a million gallons of wine within a year.The doctors made great profits during the ear of Prohibition about$40 million in 1928.(Riggs,1066)Even worse,the most serious side effects of Prohibition were the death and disability resulted from illegal alcohol.(Temperance and Prohibition)Due to the desire for alcohol,people took a risk to drink illegal alcohol which resulted in serious consequences.
In the third place,Prohibition severely influenced the alcohol industry.The business leader began to doubt Prohibition when they witnessed the consequences of the law.(Temperance and Prohibition)Prohibition had significant influence on the wine industry in the United States.Many small wineries went bankrupted due to the law of Prohibition.Only large breweries could survive under the situation of Prohibition.Larger breweries only produced simple beer and beer of the United States had been criticized for lack of personality and many beer critics lamented the decline of American beer quality and kinds.
In the period of Democratic National Convention,the Democratic Party leaders firmly supported the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment.(Riggs,1066)However,Prohibition has not brought a stable society but creates a lot of negative elements that destroyed the social stability.The black market,underground market,smuggling and unprofessional policemen all contributed to the corrupt situation in the 1920s in the United States.The origin of the temperance movement derived from the increasing poverty,unemployment and crimes that blamed on alcoholism.(Temperance and Prohibition)However,Prohibition added the frequency of crimes in the United States.
The Great Depression
After the Herbert Hoover,the 31st president of the United States,came into office in March 1929,the economy was thriving,but it soon fell into the Great depression.(Benson,651)In autumn in 1929,the stock market was out of control with huge collapse.(Benson,651)The Great Depression also reflected the corrupt situation in the United States.
First and foremost,the government and the Federal Reserve System should take the responsibilities of the Great Depression.National fiscal policy hadn’t played a positive role in the Great Depression.From this point of view,the government was corrupt in maintaining the stability of the country’s economy.
There are two main theories explaining the influence of the Great Depression.On the one hand,the Keynesian explanation is based on the theories of Keynes,a great British economics.(Caldwell,70)Keynes believes that the low demand of a country will lead to the high unemployment rate for a long time.(Caldwell,70)Keynes also believes that the Federal Reserve System should provide money to the government to borrow and spend instead of levying taxes.(Caldwell,70)On the other hand,the monetarist explanation is based on the theories of Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz.(Caldwell,70)Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz argue that the Federal Reserve System leads and spreads the depression.(Caldwell,70)The raised interest rates discouraged the borrowing and spending that results in production decline.(Caldwell,70)But government and bankers at the beginning were not fully aware of the seriousness of the Great Depress and took slow actions,causing intensified panic.Monetary tightening also had serious influence on the economic entity.Contracted investment,insufficient consumption,declining production and rising unemployment rate resulted in the vicious cycle of the economy from 1932 to 1933,which made the country’s economy enter into a comprehensive depression
Secondly,agriculture of the United States collapsed,which reflected the long-term problem in the agriculture industry.On the one hand,WWI followed had a great impact on agriculture in the United States.The United States was very prosperous during the war,and its products were exported to Europe where was in urgent need of food and clothing.However,the burden of farmers in the United States was exacerbated by the excessive reclamation of land in remote areas that were not suitable for cultivation in the long term,which lead to the result of soil loss rather than a large number of outputs.Meanwhile,farmers'debt problem was very acute,because the demand for U.S.agricultural products for several consecutive years maintained a high level and many farmers borrowed a large amount of loans to take advantage of the high price of agricultural products.On the other hand,the use of gasoline and tractors had changed the demand for agricultural labor.Large scale agricultural production began to change the face of the plains.More importantly,the income for farmers was low,which also reflected the uneven income distribution in the United States.The poverty of farmers was a serious problem,because the agricultural population accounted for one-fifth of the total population.Crop prices dropped sharply and farmers suffered a great loss.(Benson,652)The agriculture problems in the United States have exacerbated the depression of the economy and the social instability.
In a conclusion,the 1920s of the United States could be regarded as a decade of corruption,which can be illustrated in three aspects.
In the first place,Prohibition of alcohol didn’t bring a stable situation to the society and the development of the society had experienced great damage.A large number of crimes,smuggling cases and underground black markets all brought negative to the development of the United States.Corruption widely existed in the police and the ordinary people,which led to a severe consequence.
In the second place,the Great Depression is also a reflection of corruption in the economy of the United States.The improper economic policies,overburdened agricultural industry and farmers and oversupply situation all leads to the outbreak of the Great Depression.
In the third place,the publication of the Great Gatsby shows the psychological change of the American Dream.In order to become wealthy,people tends to use illegal methodologies to make profits.The initial willingness of the American Dream has changed and corruption is widely rooted in the United States People tend to use money to solve problems and achieve certain purposes.
In a nutshell,the 1920s is a decade of corruption with negative factors that have imposed a negative impact on the development of the United States and the world.This decade has left a painful lesson for the future generations.