The day Prohibition ended in the USA – level 3

05-12-1933

A great number of people drink alcohol in the United States in the late 19th century. Adult Americans drink on average nearly two bottles of hard alcohol a week. Many people don’t like such excessive alcohol consumption, and they want to introduce Prohibition, which is a ban on selling alcohol.

Some states, especially in the southern United States, begin to introduce Prohibition first. This idea gains more support and in 1920, the government introduces Prohibition at the national level.

However, that doesn’t stop people from drinking alcohol. What is forbidden becomes fashionable. Secret bars are opened.

There are up to 100,000 of these bars in New York alone. Many people visit these bars. They are workers, rich people ,and even politicians who voted for Prohibition. Alcohol begins to be produced secretly and is also smuggled from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands.

Prohibition aimed to reform society and eliminate alcoholism. But that isn’t happening. People drink anyway. What’s more, some people die because they drink low-quality homemade alcohol. Prohibition also helps criminal gangs to gain more influence because they get money from the distribution of illegal alcohol.

After 13 years of Prohibition, the government lifts the ban. It happens on December 5, 1933. When the selling of alcohol is allowed again, there are big celebrations all over America.

Difficult words: excessive (much more than is reasonable), ban (an official order to stop something), smuggle (to transport illegally), reform (to change), eliminate (to get rid of), influence (power), distribution (sell and create something), anyway (in spite of something).

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