This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.
We’re slowly working our way through the Constitution and its amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Eighteenth Amendment.
Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.
SECTION 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
SECTION 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
SECTION 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
This was probably the second worst amendment, next to the income tax. Regardless of whether or not you approve of the consumption of alcohol, Prohibition did not accomplish its purpose. It merely gave rise to a new class of criminals such as Al Capone and Joe Kennedy who made millions and millions of dollars importing whiskey illegally. It was rescinded a few years later.
“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”
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