The rise and fall of prohibition in the American history.
Florida international university
CRTICAL ANALYSIS OF LAST CALL: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
A brilliant, authoritative and fascinating book about of America’s 14 year period, from 1920-1933, when the U.S amendment of the constitution to prohibit one of the most favourite pastimes: drinking alcohol. The’ last call’ a book written by Daniel Okrent gives a definition of the rise and fall of the alcohol prohibition. The book contains the contains the effects of alcohol,both for having it and not having it, and the facts about it.Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of the New York times, he is a qualified writer since he has written four books in the past. The book gives the impact of the prohibition in the American life during that period.
On January 16, 1920 the day before prohibition became the law of the land, the “dry’s” were supremely optimistic about the coming days. From this time henceforth natives’ bondage to alcohol was broken. “The reign of tears is over,” evangelist Billy Sunday told a revival meeting in Norfolk, Va. “Men will walk upright now, women will smile, and the children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.”
The 18th amendment didn’t so much as change the country’s culture of drinking. The “wets” had their liquor and the “dry’s” had their law. Prohibition attributed to Andrew J, Volsteadn who facilitated the 18th amendment of the constitution has most of the laws weaknesses and omissions attributed to him. Introduced in May 27, 1919 the bill was passed after a three month debate.” No person shall manufacture, distribute, import, export alcohol” the act replaced all dry legislative measures in force in the various states. The Volstead act though did prohibit the sale of various brands of alcohol, private possession of alcohol and consumption wasn’t made illegal. It faced a lot of hostility from the most of Americans who argued despite the negative effects it was deemed as denying people their rights. Anti-prohibitionist criticized the ban of liquor as an intrusion of mainly rural Protestant ideals on a central aspect of immigrant, catholic everyday life. Lack of an agreement led to the growth of criminal organisations such as the American mafia and generated corruption within politicians in the police forces. The book shows how most of the great leaders were also dependent on alcohol. President Wilson, weakened by the losing fight to keep America within the league of Nations, backed and supported the amendment of the bill (Behr,1996).
While the act was successful in reducing the amount of alcohol consumed it led to the widespread of underground criminal activities Many were astonished and disenchanted with the rise of spectacular gangland crimes (such as Chicago’s St.Valentines massacre), when prohibition was supposed to reduce crime. Prohibition lost its advocates one by one, while the wet opposition talked of personal liberty, new tax revenues from legal beer and liquor, and the scourge of organized crime. The prohibition became a great controversy since it was used by physicians for medication purposes
The last call mainly shows or brings out on the politics of the prohibition. Even in the late 1918s most of the “wets” considered the law as a “dead letter”. Enforced temperance, after all, was a highly unpopular concept in many.
quarters, particularly among city dwellers, immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and an awful lot of native-born white Protestant males. Okrent shows how the dry forces — led by powerful interest groups like the Anti-Saloon League — overcame this stiff opposition, cobbling together an unlikely coalition of rural populists, urban progressives, women and nativists (even the KKK), all of whom had their own peculiar reasons for wanting to see the demise of legal alcohol. In the end, aided by a ratification process that gave disproportionate weight to voters in rural states, the “dry’s” managed to push their amendment through — to the amazement of wets nationwide. The end of all this came when president Roosevelt redefine the law to by legalizing selling of liquor not more than 3.2% alcohol ( Towne , 1923).
Through it all Americans went to greater lengths to smuggle, conceal, and to imbibe their favourite drink. Last call is peopled with vividly astonishing characters: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. The book also includes Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between sexes were overturned forever. California vineyards producing “sacramental” wine, New England fishing groups abandoned their fishing activities for more profitable rum- running business. In Washington , the congress itself, congressmen who had voted for prohibition drank openly.
The author created much awareness on the effects of alcohol the people. The author uses ailments to emphasize on the negative side of alcohol ( Towne , 1923). Another lethal substance that was often substituted for alcohol was “canned heat”. Forced through a handkerchief, it created a rough liquor substitute. However, the result was poisonous, though not often lethal. Many of those who were poisoned as a result united to sue the government for passing of the prohibition law. One of the foremost physicians Benjamin rush termed drunkenness as a disease both physically and psychologically and believed more in moderation than prohibition. Although it was highly controversial, Prohibition was widely supported by diverse groups. Progressives believed that it would improve society as generally did women, southerners, those living in rural areas and African-Americans. There were a few exceptions such as the Woman’s Organization for Prohibition Reform who fought against it .During this period the government had a hard time keeping up with the rumrunners and bootleggers. In Boston crowd became furious and beat up a coast guard. In 1929 the U.S coast guard chased down an illegal rumrunner and when he refused to stop officers opened fire and killed him. Warning tremors of plummeting of the economy came in October 1929 when the price of wheat went down. Americans were plunged to a depression they had never known. Unemployment figures also started to raise in 1931 the level of the unemployed out of the total working population was 16 percent, following year it rose to 24 percent. Banks failures also scared the stable population hundreds of banks went down increasing the depression. Alcohol was still a major source of revenue for the government and its prohibition lead to the dwindling of the American economy. Americans looked up to president Hoover who kept normal routine hoping to build confidence in recovery.( Bennett, 2007). Ratification ended with the repealing of the eighteenth amendment by ratification of the twenty first amendment on December,5,1933.
Daniel Okrent also tries to show why women were so against sale of alcohol. They complained most of their husbands behaviours lead to the breaking up of many families. They became irresponsible and ignored their responsibilities. Drunk driving lead to the death of many travellers, increased cost lead to bankruptcy, crime among other effects( Kobler, 1973)high level of immorality in the population increased due the drunkenness levels of rape cases increased most of the young men became unproductive on the other hand contrary to the lack of employment due to lack of jobs, in this case it reduced due to lack of responsible skilled manpower. As prohibition became more unpopular repeal became more anticipated economic emergency being the top most prioritized factor against the act. Poor enforcement of the law was also another factor that lead to the failure of the act. Additionally, enforcement of the 18th amendment lacked centralized authority and many attempts to impose prohibitionist laws were deterred due to the lack of transparency between federal and state authorities Despite the fall of The prohibit, a safer way of drinking, and maintenance of the economy balance was developed as shown in “last call” the economy so as its people grew stronger though they still didn’t learn. After the amendment alcohol was sold but not in all countries. But still some states still continued embracing the prohibition law
Behr, E. (1996). Prohibition: thirteen years that changed America. New York: Arcade Pub.
Bennett, W.(2007). America: The Last Best Hope, Volume 1.New York: Thomas Nelson Inc.
Kobler, J.(1973).Ardent spirits: the rise and fall of prohibition. New York: G.P Putnam’ sons.
Towne ,C.H.(1923). The rise and fall of prohibition:The human side of the eighteenth amendment and the Volstead act have done to the United States. New York: Macmillan.co
The Rise And Fall Of Myspace
The capacity of a company to respond to changing market conditions cannot be gainsaid as far as enhancing the sustainability and profitability of the company both in the long-term and the short-term is concerned. Unfortunately, not many businesses have this feature even in instances where they may be huge in the market. This was the case for MySpace, a social networking site whose life spanned a paltry 6 years (Abrams, 2012).
- While Facebook may have ignored a certain market segment at a time when it was small unlike MySpace, the action was extremely reasonable. This is especially considering that the social site was small in which case its entry into the market had to revolve around the provision of a unique experience to a certain group of people (Hisrich et al, 2005). This was the only way that small companies can compete with large companies so that they can gain considerable market share that would allow them to compete with the large companies (Hisrich et al, 2005).
- Decisions pertaining to the sale of a business of any kind are often complex. Indeed, there exists an element of ambiguity as to the time when such a decision would be best suited for the growth and development of the company. However, while the decline of Friendster and MySpace may have been attributed to the turning down and acceptance of certain offers, it is worth noting that the success of a company is not primarily built on the amount of money offered for it, rather it is tied to the harmonization between the visions of the buyers and the sellers. Indeed, it is reported that the social site would report to Ross Levinsohn, an executive at the acquiring company whose vision was different from that of the founders (Anthony, 2009). Research shows that the founders of the social site continued undertaking rampant experimentation even after the acquisition, an action that frustrated the executives at New Corp who strived to imbue discipline in execution (Anthony, 2009). This was the same case for Friendster, which turned down Google’s offer of $30 million and ended up taking a $13 million offer with the management and the vision changing overtime. Friendster should have taken the offer as its vision would have remained intact, while MySpace should have declined the offer until their vision is harmonized. However, the timing is everything in making decisions about selling a business. In this case, one would consider the trend of growth of the company, as well as whether there is room for more growth (Hisrich et al, 2005). In instances where the owners are unable to define the next course of action, it would be best to sell at the best price they can get.
- While MySpace may have retreated to the relatively less luxurious niche of music and entertainment connections, it has the capacity to build a highly profitable business in the niche. This is especially considering its competitive advantage in the fact that it is well known, in which case it would not require as much marketing. In addition, the company is known to have had a wide following. It could exploit its competitive advantage and enhance the uniqueness of the products with which it comes up (Hisrich et al, 2005). This would increase its appeal in the highly competitive social-site market. On the same note, it is imperative that it examines ways in which it can link up with other social sites. Social networking may have resulted in its growth and subsequent fall, but it can be used to turn the fortunes of the company again.
Anthony, S (2009). MySpace’s Disruption, Disrupted. Harvard Business Review, retrieved 26th August 2013 from http://blogs.hbr.org/anthony/2009/12/lessons_from_myspace.html
Abrams, R. M. (2012). En-tre-pre-neur-ship: A real-world approach : hands-on guide for today’s entrepreneur. Palo Alto, CA: Planning Shop.
Hisrich, R. D., Peters, M. P., & Shepherd, D. A. (2005). Entrepreneurship. Boston (Mass.: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
The Rise and Fall of Islamist Parties after the Arab Spring
Islam is making headlines every day on national and international television. Much of the subject revolves around terror activities. For instance, the Pentagon incident in the United States, which has not been resolved to date, is the height of terrorism perpetuated by Islam (Ruthven 1). Analysts have argued that these activities are politically motivated. Flashing back a bit, Immanuel Kant the philosopher once claimed that Judaism was a body of laws as opposed to religion. His claim was acknowledged by secular Jews in entirety. In the same manner, secular Muslims would never doubt a claim that Islam is a political ideology (Ruthven 9). The rise and fall of Islamist parties after the Arab spring gives much insight to this claim.
Philosophically, Islamic fundamentalism owes its origin to the efforts at locating the place of Islam in the world. Much of these efforts were theoretical in nature. Notable writers were majorly activists such as Ayatollah Ruholla al-Khumayni, Sayyid Qutb, and Abu al-`Ala al-Mawdudi. Their writings have been treated with much respect in the Islamic world as setting the pace for Islamic fundamentalism. The concept of Islamic fundamentalism is part of the essentialist view of the world in which certain qualities and attributes are shared by all societies regardless of political circumstances or historical developments. It is in this regard that Islamic fundamentalism is distinguished from Marxism, Enlightenment, nationalism, democracy, and relativism (Choueiri 1).
According to Shadi Hamid, religion and politics still work together in the Arab world despite shameful failures of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to Hamid, the Egyptian failure is passing wind. He argues that cultural attitudes towards religion are never static but change with time. He gives experiments of the Wafd Party that had sensed a change in the population towards piety and acted quickly to Islamize its political program. Through this program, the party upheld social morals and was strict on media reports to avoid tainting Islam.
Hamid argues that democracy and Islamism cannot blend. The incompatibility of the two has dire consequences that make the future of the Islam world bleak (OUPblog 1). For instance, Muslims in Turkey had to abandon their identity to become conservative democrats whereupon they would be incorporated in Turkish politics. The Arab spring movements were a demonstration of ambivalence towards power. Hamid reasons that the ambivalence drove the Muslim groups to lose power intentionally. According to the Muslims, the responsibilities of power carry along danger. The Muslim Brotherhood was pushed to the opposition primarily due to this consideration.
The Arab Spring itself offered a perfect experiment for the effects of democratization. It was an opportunity to determine whether democratization could influence major Islamic movements as academicians propose. It was also possible for democratization to disguise itself while relegating Muslims to the extremes (OUPblog 1). Hamid challenges the opinions of these academicians, which he terms “cultural essentialism.” Comparing Muslims in the East to their ideological counterparts in the Western Europe and Latin America, Hamid argues that Islamism cannot coexist with liberal democracy. If Muslims follow this path, problems are bound to arise. Hamid’s parting shot is that democracy should not be an easy ride. He considers the divisions in the Arab world as inherent. Policy is not to blame for the divisions, but basic problems such as the place of religion in public life (OUPblog 1). Islamism, therefore, is both a religious faith and a political ideology. By extension, Islam could be a group identity in the sense that Islamic followers use it to assert their place in the global society (Ruthven 7).
Choueiri, Youssef. Islamic Fundamentalism. Routledge, 1998. Accessed at
http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H007 25 January 2015
OUPblog. Thinking about Islam and Islamism after the Arab Spring. OUPblog, 2014. Accessed
at http://blog.oup.com/2014/09/shadi-hamid-temptations-of-power-interview/ 25 January 2015
Ruthven, Malise. Islam: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.