The Prohibition Era


Right around the same time that women were given the right to vote, Prohibition became a national law. Prohibition, simply stated, is a ban of all alcohol consumption. This shaped the ideals of this era and awoke a sense of rebellion in even the most abiding citizens.

As anything else that becomes illegal, there is always a steady supply stream of the substance available to anyone with the means to pay for it. This event lead to "Speakeasies," which were illegal bars where people came together to bond and most importantly, consume the highly illegal alcohol. Both men and women participated in this event and it really lead to more freedom for women because they were seen as the partners in crime for this activity.

Prohibition also sparked other outbursts of rebellion throughout the country. What was once High Tea Time became Cocktail, where both sexes were known to become a little tipsy and intoxicated from the countless cocktails they enjoyed during this time. It was not an uncommon occurrence for an entire paycheck to be spent at this time, but there was really no worry of the debt that could result from it. The 1920's were a time of great excess, and even the working class had some extra money to spare for such luxuries that they did not have in any other decade up until this point.

An example of a Speakeasie during the 1920's.

An example of propaganda in support of Prohibition.

Al Capone

Al Capone was an infamous Chicago mob boss that made quite the living and fortune off of the illegal sales of alcohol. An excellent example of the rebellious side of this decade, Capone drove fear into the hearts of even the most hardened mob bosses in the business that were not apart of his little "gang." Although he participated in the smuggling of alcohol, he also participated in the equally illegal act of housing and selling prostitutes,  and the immoral act of gambling.

One of the events Capone is best known for is the Valentine's Day Massacre, in which he ordered the killing of seven of his most powerful enemies. Because of the lack of evidence against him, Capone was never convicted for this crime; however, he was convicted of the evasion of paying estate and income taxes in 1931.

Scopes Monkey Trial

Unlike the name suggests, the Scope Monkey Trial had nothing to do with a monkey. The trial was a typical old-versus-new faceoff, the old being the Creationism view of most schools at this time and the new found scientifically proven views of Evolution. The theory of evolution was developed by Charles Darwin, which said that life evolved from simple forms to create the complex creatures that we are today.

Despite the evidence in support of the Evolution Theory, many Christian towns still insisted on teaching their belief of Creationism, the theory that God created all humans in one single act.  

In 1925, schoolteacher John Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for violating the state law against the teaching of Evolution in schools. This trial was one of the major trials of the 1920's, and showcased that still conservative views of the times. As we already know, the '20's was the first decade in which we saw a great movement of knowledge across the country. The views that went against scientific fact were starting to become outdated; the Scopes Monkey Trial finally brought this into perspective.

Although Scopes lost the trial and was fined $100, the war was not lost. The publicity that surrounded the trial led to the defeat of conservative views and the wide acceptance of evolutionary theory.