Guidelines for the Essay Assignment:
Read: The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State, by Lisa McGirr
Your paper should focus on ONE of the questions below, from McGirr’s book.
1. In what ways was the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) both a conservative and a radical law? How did
religion, immigration, and race play a factor in the support for, and passage of, and enforcement of
2. In The War on Alcohol, McGirr looks at two distinct regions: Chicago and Virginia. Choose ONE to
explain how the citizens of that region responded to Prohibition, and how authorities in that region
3. Explain how the enforcement of Prohibition was different for the upper class and the working class.
How did race play a role?
4. Explain how the prohibition of alcohol lead to the prohibition of illicit drugs in the United States.
How does this help the United States build a “penal state,” as McGirr argues? Do those consequences
still linger today?
Writing the paper:
1. In the upper left hand corner, include your name, class time, and date. This should be
2. Include a title, centered on the page. (DO NOT include a title page)
3. Use 12 point font, left alignment for the main body of your text. The body should be
4. You must include an introduction, no more than one page, and a thesis statement. Here,
you want to introduce the topic, you can use information from the book itself or your
textbook. You can also use outside sources, but the sources MUST be from academic
journals. To find these journal articles, utilize the HCC library webpage. Two good
search engines to find articles are: Academic Search Complete and JSTOR. DO NOT
USE NON-ACADEMIC SOURCES. This means no Wikipedia or similar websites. You
MUST cite your work.
5. You must have a conclusion.
6. Your paper must be at least 5 full pages.
7. Use quotations sparingly, you should have no more than 4 in your paper. Each quotation
MUST be cited.
8. Even if you do not use quotations, you MUST CITE YOUR WORK. At the very LEAST
one citation per paragraph. You can use either MLA style OR Chicago style for your
9. You MUST have a Works Cited page.
10. Check your work for spelling and grammar errors. This will count for 10% of the overall
11. Do your own work!
12. To turn in the paper:
a. Save your paper to your computer or a flash drive. Please have your last name in
b. Click on the link titled “War on Alcohol Assignment.”
c. Follow the links to upload your paper
d. You may be prompted to register through Turnitin.com
13. DUE: June 30, 2018 by 11:59pm. DEADLINE IS ABSOLUTE.
Please find the completed work,You can get back to me in case of any concerns.
The war on alcohol
In the 1920s, the 18th amendment was passed to law, making the manufacture and
commercial use of alcohol illegal (Khan Academy). The amendment, which was considered
noble, was introduced as a result of the national mood. People were against use of alcohol which
degraded the moral values of the American society. It was also considered that the ban would
increase the supply of barley. Religion also influenced the ban, which was seen to be against the
will of God. Although prohibition has been viewed as a noble experiment that failed to achieve
its goals, it was also politically oriented and Lisa McGirr reveals the disproportionate war on
alcohol, which focused on African Americans, poor whites and immigrants. Lisa shows how the
American state was bipolar in the fight against alcoholism. The essay focuses on how the 18th
amendment was both a conservative and radical law, and the role that religion, immigration and
race played in the support, passage and amendment of the law.
Conservatism refers to a social and political philosophy which is aimed at improving
social institutions by facilitating cultural activities and socialization. Conservatism promotes the
heritage of a society in an attempt to enhance stability. On the other hand, radicalism is opposed
to modernism and it tries to derail growth of society, so that the societal composition remains the
same. A review of the 18th amendment (Prohibition) law shows some element of conservancy as
well as radicalism. The law was conservative in that it promoted individual morality, promoted
family and children safety. The law discouraged drunkenness and helped those who had become
addicted to alcoholism. It was aimed at protecting women and families whose lives had been
ruined by the habit. Excessive drinking habits had led to increase...