The end of alcohol prohibition in 1933 and the subsequent War on Drugs might just be what spreads a widespread revival of libertarianism and Austrian Economics.

On January 17, 1920, America embarked on an official policy of prohibiting alcohol nationwide backed by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act. The idea had been tried before at the state and local levels and failed. Progressivism, the ideology of the age, however, provided optimism that government could produce a pure white Protestant society free of all social evils.

Also backing the optimism for alcohol prohibition’s success was the success of temperance movements that had begun to stir almost a century before. The temperance idea and the temperance societies that were built around it generally promoted the idea of voluntary moderation, in which alcohol should only be consumed in small amounts and intoxication should be strictly avoided. This was considered healthy living.



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