About this Activity

Created by:National Archives education TeamHistorical Era:The appearance of modern America (1890-1930)Thinking Skill:Historical Issues-Analysis & Decision-MakingBloom"s Taxonomy:AnalyzingGrade Level:High School
This task asks student to research documents and also images concerned the Eighteenth revised of 1919 prohibiting the trade in liquor. Files include: the Act and its repeal by president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933; letters from citizens for and versus Prohibition; and photos and also political cartoons. Utilizing these artefacts students will decide whether Prohibition was important to defend the individual and family, or it was unwarranted over-reach by the U.S. Government.

You are watching: Which document would be a primary source for the study of prohibition?


This activity can be used throughout a unit on barred or the 1920s because that an American background course, or for a unit in a federal government course focusing on the function of federal government in citizens’ lives. For qualities 9–12. Approximate time necessary is 45 minutes.
Begin by providing students with historical context as to how and why the 18th Amendment, or Prohibition, to be passed:
By the rotate of the 20th century, temperance societies were prevalent in the joined States. Involved citizens had started warning others around the results of alcohol virtually 100 year earlier. In 1826 the American Temperance culture was founded to convince world to abstain native drinking. Not lengthy after, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union pledged not only to half alcohol and also drugs, but to enhance public morals. The anti-Saloon organization was formed in 1893 and eventually ended up being a powerful political pressure in passing a national ban on alcoholic beverages. Females were strong behind the temperance movement, because that alcohol was seen as the destroyer of families and also marriages. Husbands could spend your money top top alcohol, leave wives there is no money to carry out for your children. Factory owners also supported temperance due to the fact that of the new work actions that were forced of commercial workers: early on mornings and also long nights. Steady reformers additionally took to Prohibition due to the fact that they witnessed it as a continuation of their initiatives to improve culture in general. Temperance societies and also Progressives alike experienced the need for much more governmental control and also involvement in citizens’ lives.
Prohibition was enacted to defend individuals and families indigenous the “scourge the drunkenness.” However, it had actually unintended results including: a climb in arranged crime connected with the illegal production and sale of alcohol, boost in smuggling, and also a decrease in taxes revenue.
Encourage students to keep the adhering to questions, and also their very first reactions come them, in mind together they complete the task and analyze primary sources:
Was Prohibition essential to safeguard individuals and families?Was the the Government’s function to step in and also protect them?Was prohibition an unwarranted overreach by the U.S. Government?
Open the task and select one that the documents. Design careful record analysis, ending with the concern Was Prohibition necessary to protect citizens or to be it an unwarranted overreach by the Government? based on this document. Demonstrate how the range works and also ask college student to place the record they simply examined top top the scale according to the translate it ideal supports.
Explain to the students that they will need to place each photograph and textual record on the scale based upon careful document analysis.

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After students complete the activity, they need to click “When You"re Done” and also answer the concerns listed:
On which next of the range did many of your proof fall?Why walk you pointer the range the method you did?Do girlfriend think Prohibition was a success? Why or why not?
Conduct a course discussion based upon students’ answers. Then, questioning a last question because that discussion: What lessons have the right to be learned indigenous Prohibition to aid inform today’s movement to legalize marijuana?This task was created by national Archives volunteerCynthia Peterman.

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