The outlawing of alcoholic beverages nationwide from 1920 to 1933, under an amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, enforced by the Volstead Act, was repealed by another amendment to the Constitution in 1933.
Note: Prohibition is often mentioned in discussions of how much social change can be brought about through law, because alcohol was widely, though illegally, produced and sold during Prohibition; it was served privately in the White House under President Warren Harding, for example.
Note: Many use the example of Prohibition to argue that more harm than good comes from the enactment of laws that are sure to be widely disobeyed.
Note: Some states and localities (called “dry”) had outlawed the production and sale of alcohol before the Prohibition amendment was adopted. The repealing amendment allowed individual states and localities to remain “dry,” and some did for many years.