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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Prohibition

Definition:

a policy outlawing the sale of alcoholic beverages, but also used for the time period, 1920-1933, when alcohol sales were illegal in the U.S.

Wisconsin's first effort at prohibition occured in 1853, when the question of whether the legislature should enact a law prohibiting the sale of liquor in the state was submitted to a vote of the people. It was carried affirmatively by a vote of 27,579 to 24,109. In 1855 the legislature enacted a law prohibiting the sale of liquor and Governor Barstow vetoed it.


Prohibition became federal law on January 29, 1919, with the ratification of the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the sale, manufacture, or transportation of intoxicating liquor starting in 1920. To clarify its terms, Congress passed the Volsted Act in October 1919, which defined an intoxicating beverage as one that contained one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume. During Prohibition many Wisconsin breweries began to make "near beer" while others tried to produce soda, ice cream, and cheese; many simply went bankrupt, while organized crime took over black market liquor distribution. In 1926, Wisconsin voters approved a referendum amending the Volsted Act that allowed the manufacture and sale of beer with 2.75 percent alcohol, and in 1929 they repealed Wisconsin¿s prohibition enforcement law. Pledging loyalty to the ¿will of the people¿ as expressed in these referendums on alcohol, Wisconsin Senator John J. Blaine (q.v.) proposed a constitutional amendment for the repeal of prohibition. The U.S. Senate modified Blaine¿s resolution to satisfy antiprohibitionists and passed the measure without delay. On December 5, 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment was ratified and national prohibition ended. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.

View pictures relating to brewing at Wisconsin Historical Images.

View pictures relating to prohibition at Wisconsin Historical Images.

View related articles at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Wisconsin: comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form, ed. by Ex-Gov. Geo. W. Peck (Madison, Wis., Western Historical Association, 1906); Turning Points in Wisconsin History]

115 records found

Packing-the-rigging (logging)
Packs (logging)
paczki (food)
pad (farming)
paddock (farming)
Pail and Shovel Party
Paleoindian culture (archaeology)
pallasado
panary (farming)
Panic of 1837
pantograph (railroads)
paper industry in Wisconsin
Paramount records
parfleche (Fr.)
Parkman Club
parole (military)
parroquets
parterre (farming)
pastern (farming)
pasteurization (dairy)
patent
pause
pays d'en haut (Fr.)
Pearl Fishing
Pearl-diver (logging)
Peavey (logging)
peavey (logging)
Peckatonica River
pelleterie (Fr.)
Pelée
Penah
Pendarvis
per diem (railroads)
perche (Fr.)
period revival (architecture)
Perryville, Battle of
Peshtigo Fire
Petersburg, Siege of
Peto
Petrified Man Hoax
petroglyph
Pewit's Nest
phalanx
Phoenix (shipwreck, 1847)
piastre (Fr.)
Piastre (Fr.)
pictograph
Picture(d) Rocks, Michigan
Pie-fork (logging)
piece (Fr.)
pied (Fr.)
pigeon
Pike Creek
Pike-pole (logging)
pillage (Civil War)
pilothouse (maritime)
Pine Bend
pinery
pinte (Fr.)
pirogue (Fr.)
pistole (Fr.)
piston (railroads)
plank road
plants, native
plate (maritime)
Platoon (Civil War)
pledget (farming)
plomb (Fr.)
plover
Plumb Plan
plunder (Civil War)
plus (Fr.)
Pokelogan (logging)
Pole-ax (logging)
Political Equality League
pollard (farming)
pontoon (Civil War)
pony boiler (maritime)
Poor-box (logging)
population of Wisconsin, 1820-1990
porcelain
port (maritime)
Port Gibson, Battle of
Port Hudson, Siege of
Portage City Guards (Civil War)
pot (Fr.)
potatoes
Potosi Badgers (Civil War)
Potter Law (1874)
pottery and earthenware industry in Wisconsin
Poualak
pouce (Fr.)
Pouteouatamis
Poux
Prairie du Chien, Battle of (1814)
Prairie Grove, Battle of
Prairie School (architecture)
Prairieville
Pre-exemption Law (1841)
Presidential Visits to Madison
primary elections in Wisconsin
primary rocks (mining)
prisons in Wisconsin
private (Civil War)
Prize-logs (logging)
probang (farming)
Progressive Movement
Prohibition
Project Sanguine
Puan, Puans, Puants
Puankikias
puddingstone (mining)
Punk (logging)
put about (maritime)
pyrites (mining)

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