21st Amendment to the Constitution

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On December 6, 1932 when Senator John Blaine submitted a decree to Congress, which proposed the 21st Amendment which was designed to annul the 18th. A few months after the submission of the resolution, the amendment proposed by Senator Blaine was sent to all state governors. However, President Roosevelt, who was then the newly-elected head of the state, requested that Congress make some modifications to the Volstead Act.

The purpose of this modified Act was to legalize the sale of beer and was eventually approved. At the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis, about 30,000 people expressed their delight and welcomed a motorcade with trucks full of beer, which was about 20 blocks long. Barely a year after the submission of the 21st Amendment for ratification, the 36th state ratified this amendment on December 5, 1933. Then, President Roosevelt signed this proclamation that ended Prohibition.


Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Overview of the 18th Amendment

21st_AmendmentIt was on January 20, 1920 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution took effect. This amendment prohibited the production, manufacture, and sale of alcoholic beverages within all the states and territories of the U.S. The 18th amendment was the outcome of the decade-long temperance crusade, which aimed to end the dilemma of alcohol consumption in the country. However, the negative impacts on the 18th amendment became a primary concern of government leaders in the United States.

Details of the 21st Amendment

The prohibition of alcohol only resulted in a number of organized crimes and other casualties, which caused government leaders to think of the better solution to this significant concern. Hence, the Twenty-first amendment was submitted, and it had to pass by two-thirds majority in the Houses of Congress. Furthermore, the proposed amendment may only be ratified by vote of state legislature and by the convention method.

Advocates of the amendment believed that ratification through the legislative method is rather more objective since some members of the state legislature were assumed to have backed the Prohibition movement. With the utilization of the convention method, the required number of states decided to ratify the amendment. The consumption, sale and production of alcoholic beverages became legal. Moreover, standards were set by different states which determined the alcohol content in wine and beer that individuals are allowed to consume.

The amendment contains significant details such as the repealing of the 18th article of amendment to the U.S Constitution, which was found in Section 1. In Section 2, it stated that the import, transport or possession of intoxicating drinks, in violation of U.S laws, is prohibited. Furthermore, Section 3 explained that the article is considered as inoperative unless it has been confirmed as an amendment to the United States Constitution. The ratification should be made by conventions in several States within 7 years from the submission date to the different states by Congress.

Passing of the Amendment

On February 20, 1993, Congress passed the Twenty-first amendment to the Constitution. Then, it was ratified by several states and took effect on December 5, 1933. It is rather interesting that when Congress passes amendments or requests for ratification from the different states, each state legislature votes on this amendment and not the people. This time, though, Congress declared that the conventions of the states were required to vote on the specific amendment.

Because Prohibition was not quite popular by 1933, the U.S Congress decided that they would submit the amendment. Congress feared that state legislatures that were pro-prohibition might attempt to defeat this amendment to the Constitution. With the Twenty-first amendment, the long years of Great Experiment finally ended. Moreover, it repealed the Eighteenth amendment to the U.S constitution, which started the prohibition. It also gave the right for all the states to determine their own alcohol laws. The third section of the article explained further the repeal and ratification of the amendment.

Impact of the Twenty-First Amendment

The Twenty-first amendment aimed to nullify the 18th amendment, which prohibited the import, production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol in the different states and U.S territories. It has changed the way that the United States produced and sold alcoholic beverages. Because of this, every state is required to set its own laws and regulations on alcohol consumption. This amendment allows for an organized system that can legally distribute alcohol in the United States.

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