Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 28
  1. #11

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    ...I find myself wondering how such a stupid idea ever gained sufficient public support to become law -- and not just a statute, but an amendment to The Constitution...
    Even more remarkable when you consider the extent to which the federal government (and, likely, state and local governments, too) was reliant on excise-tax revenues, the bulk of which came from spirits.
    Prior to the enactment of the income tax in 1914, fully 90 percent of government revenue came from excise taxes -- most commonly (as is the case today) levied against alcohol and cigarettes. I recently read (but have not yet again found the reference) that alcohol/spirits accounted for nearly 75% of that revenue, but, in any case, it is widely reported that those taxes were still nearly half of federal income at the onset of Prohibition in 1919.
    It's certainly arguable that the loss of excise tax revenues at least hindered the governmental response to the stock market crash and the Depression which began a decade later, if not that it was an actual cause of it.
    Furthermore, it seems ironic that it was economic necessity -- the need for further revenue -- as well as the utter failure of Volstead to actually 'prohibit' anything, that drove repeal, not a reversal in the attitudes of the temperence reformists.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,067

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    I agree with you as regards many English pubs today but this was not always the case. They evolved slowly to become urban and country resorts for both genders of all social backgrounds and all ages (above drinking age for those imbibing). However not so long ago the pub was the haunt largely of working men. Not until well after World War II would many women enter a pub and even then (and to this day) usually accompanied. Britain never had Prohibition as in America but there were times, especially during the two wars, when pub hours were controlled and patronage was discouraged. The famous afternoon closing rules persisted until 15 years ago or so. That control era contributed to dim, rather mechanical drinking places not unlike many American bars today. The American bar scene reflects both the kind of pubs Britain used to have and the modern urban bar of central London, Edinburgh, Dublin. The latter type in New York, say, are bright urban classless pubs that would be familiar to many Britons. The Gingerman in New York is a very London pub-type of place, so is (in its own way) the Berghof in Chicago, and one can multiply examples particularly amongst the brewpubs and beer-aware bars. The low-built older type of bar on suburban and rural roads in America, or in the grimmer parts of its cities, still finds its counterpart in modern Britain, however. These are pubs where decor and food are not the focus and usually are male-frequented (not family- or young professionals-oriented). I've been to a couple of these in Manchester, Leeds and east London, and they are interesting in their own right, certainly for me as a foreign observer interested in drink and its customs - apart from which the beer in those places is usually better than anywhere else.

    Gary

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nelson County, Kentucky
    Posts
    2,734

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Dave,

    I didn't have a "direct" answer to your question. I know alot about prohibition but your question proved that, I need to know more on this...I decided to do a more in depth research on your question ...Although, I will say that Chuck's explanation is excellent as usual ...

    I found this web page provided some laughter in the Boone homestead this morning Please don't misinterpret...that comment as a sneer to this site...It was very informative

    Me and Pat, literally rolled over laughing at some of the stuff written there...The part with grape juice and grape jelly instead of wine at the last supper was hilarious!!!!!--- "quotes" by famous people---As you know, I have been married to "Pat Boone" for nearly 30 years...the Dean Martin quote gave both of us a "barrel laugh"

    In a small section on that page...I quote this...

    and what about the people who owned the breweries, distilleries and wineries? Many had invested their entire lives and savings in equipment......Overnight through no fault of their own their businesses were destroyed....

    A partial answer to that quote is in my post about the life of my Great grandfather Joseph L. Beam...

    Bettye Jo

  4. #14
    Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    93

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    ... -- Prohibition was repealed Dec. 5, 1933. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the anniversary. Happy Repeal Day!
    Thank you. Happy Repeal Day to you, too. (Should be a national holiday.)

    Today is also the first anniversary of my membership among this fine community.


  5. #15
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Today, the drink issue is a closed one...
    Gary,

    Perhaps so, but when I left Kansas in 1973, opponents of liqour by the drink (aka, "the open saloon", which was forbidden, as I recall, by the State Constitution) were still a visible force in State politics.

    Of course restraunteurs and the tourist industry (yes, a few tourists go to Kansas) were on the other side.

    At that time, in order to procure a drink of hard liquor, I sometimes joined a so-called "private club" for one dollar and then bought a virtual bottle, from which the proprietor would then dispense drinks on my behalf. In some places I could even pay for it on the installment plan, with one payment due each time I wanted another drink. Such foolishness.

    It was truly a magical bottle, in that it could dispense bourbon, rum, brandy, vodka, gin or any other liquor of my choosing.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  6. #16
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Here's a link to a current story regarding sale of alchoholic beverages in Kansas. You will have to register with The Topeka Capital-Journal to access it.

    The thrust of the story is to describe problems of certain establishments that have not complied with a Riley County (which includes the city of Manahattan, the location of Kansas State University) law by maintaining the level of their food sales volume as at least 30% of total sales.

    Incidentally, the article mentions that the State Constitution was amended in 1986 to allow liquor by the drink.

    However, under a local-option provision, today 41 counties still outlaw the practice outright, and 51 counties have the 30% food requirement. Only 13 counties allow liquor by the drink with no food-sale requirement.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  7. #17
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Dave,
    You are asking some pretty complex questions here. Prohibition is the result of many factors and can not be explained in a few paragraphs. Chuck and others have hit on some of the more popular reasons, but it is more complex than what they have said. When I teach my class on Distilling History at Bellarmine University, I spend a full night of the four night course just on prohibition.

    Prohibition is a religious issue, but more importantly it is a social issue of rural America versus Urban America. In the 19th century cities in America were growing in population and as a result political power. Most of the growth was from immigrants and these people drank. More importantly they usually gathered in their nieghborhood tavern or saloon where political bosses could meet with them and organize their voting block. These "foriegners" were becoming a political force in the United States. Prohibition was one way the rural people saw to break this power.

    This is not to say that saloons were all good places and were attacked simply to stop the political bosses. There were many saloons that were full of vices and crime. Most of the saloons in the United States at that time were actually owned by the beer companies. They held off prohibition for many years by saying that to attack the saloon and beer was to attack German culture. This is the primary answer to your question as to how prohibition came about because in 1917 we went to war with Germany and attacking things German was considered good, thus prohibition passed in places where it would not have in times of peace with Germany.

    As I said there are many other reasons and there are whole books written on the subject. If you are interested I could look a few titles and authors of books I found interesting.
    Mike Veach

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,067

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    One of the things I find fascinating about whiskey is that its traditions survived (ultimately, despite Prohibition and associated attitudes) most strongly in Nelson County, KY and that happens to be an area of significant Catholic influence contrary to the usual pattern in the South and Southwest of following the Protestant denominations.

    Catholic populations traditionally have had more forgiving attitudes to alcohol than Protestant populations (why, is another question). Mainly one sees the effects of the benign Catholic attitude to alcohol in urban centers where Italian, German and Irish immigrants settled, not in the rural hollows of the South - Nelson County, KY is a signal exception.

    Putting this a different way, would any real tradition of straight whiskey have survived in America but for largely Catholic Bardstown and Nelson County?

    Gary

  9. #19
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Mike,

    I would like to take you up on your offer to identify reference material.

    As I mentioned, I am mainly interested in the "how" and "why", not the "what" and the consequences. For example, I only recently learned that many states had enacted prohibition many years in advance of national prohibition. From my limited perspective that knowledge significantly advanced my understanding, but raised new questions at the same time.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  10. #20
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: The Politics of Prohibition

    Gary,
    While Nelson County and the Catholic population therein played a very important role in Kentucky's distilling tradition, I think the tradition would have survived without it. Simply look at the companies that were selling medicinal alcohol and their distilleries in Kentucky and you will see they were neither Nelson County or Catholic on the top level. These companies were:
    A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery - Owned by A. Ph. Stitzel, Louisville; I don't think he was Catholic, but could be wrong there.
    W.L. Weller And Sons - Owned By J.P. Van Winkle nad Alex Farnsley, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928 when the government allowed distilling again, neither were Catholic.
    Brown-Forman - Brown family, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928, Not Catholic.
    Frankfort Distillery - Jones family, Stitzel did their distilling in 1928, not Catholic.
    James Thompson and Bro. / Glenmore - Thompson family, not Catholic, distillery in Owensboro.
    Schenley Distilleries - Louis Rosenstiel, Jewish, Geo. T. Stagg distillery in Frankfort and James E. Pepper distillery in Lexington.
    National Distilleries - Multiple owners with a mixture on Jewish and Christian people in charge, Sunnybrook Distillery, Louisville, Old Taylor Distillery, Frankfort.
    I think it is safe to say that they would have kept the straight whiskey tradition alive without Nelson County and the Catholic population.

    Where Nelson County did play an important role was on the next level down as many of the people who worked in the distilleries had ties to Nelson County and were Catholic. The Beam and Dant families played a large role on that level, but there were others (the Bartons and Medley families in Owensboro and the Ripy Family in Lawrenceburg). More importantly many of the brands sold during prohibition originated in Nelson County.

    The way business was done during this period is as follows:
    War time prohibition pretty much shut down the distilleries in 1918 and Congress extended this until prohibition took effect in 1920. There stocks of whiskey were then consolidate into "Consolidation Warehouses" to be stored and guarded by the government. The original owners still owned the whiskey but the companies who had licenses (listed above) would sell this whiskey for the owners for a small fee. When whiskey ran out for a particular brand, they would often buy bulk whiskey from an owner of whiskey in their warehouse to put into that brand to keep it alive. For example if National ran out of Old Taylor whiskey made at Old Taylor, they might buy some whiskey from the Ripy family and label it Old Taylor. That is why you will see a multitude of DSP Numbers on the same brand during prohibition. It was not until 1928 that government allowed any distilling and then only in limited amounts. Nelson County provided much of the bulk whiskey being sold during this time.
    Mike Veach

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. About Prohibition
    By mrt in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-11-2006, 12:02
  2. Prohibition Distilleries?
    By greenbob in forum History
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 12-27-2004, 09:48
  3. Prohibition...
    By boone in forum History
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-26-2003, 21:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top