Having been proposed on the 20th February 1933, the Amendment was ratified on the 5th December.Prohibition was introduced in 1920 as a result of the 18th Amendment. This ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages was greeted with delight by members of the temperance movement, but many law-abiding Americans who had previously been drinkers felt anger towards the government for criminalising what they viewed as a harmless activity.As a result, some members of the public were willing to break the law, and this quickly ushered in a period of criminal activity focused around the production of illegal bootlegged alcohol. Al Capone, one of prohibition’s most famous gangster bosses, made around $60 million a year from bootlegging alcohol and selling it in so-called ‘speakeasies’.Izzy Einstein, one of the government’s most famous prohibition agents, demonstrated the scale of the problem facing the authorities who were trying to enforce the ban on alcohol. When visiting New Orleans it took Einstein just 35 seconds to obtain liquor after his taxi driver offered him a bottle of whisky.Combined with many police officers being paid by the criminals to turn a blind eye to illegal activity, prohibition brought lawlessness and corruption to America. In the wake of the Wall Street Crash, repealing prohibition made sound economic sense, although the introduction of the 21st Amendment ensured that individual states were still able to enforce their alcohol laws
It's always about the money
Prohibition lasted from 1919 to 1933. One of the stumbling blocks advocates of Prohibition faced before 1913 was that the federal government was heavily dependent on taxes on alcohol. The passage of the income tax constitutional amendment that year allowed government the luxury of banning alcohol without reducing tax revenue.
The 16th Amendment of 1913, allowing Congress to levy a federal income tax, helped pave the way for Prohibition, but World War I helped stir up the pot.
On the other side, as the Great Depression deepened in the 1930s, income tax revenues plummeted and there was a question about why we were foregoing all that tax revenue and jobs from alcohol sales and production.