18th Amendment to the United States Constitution


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18th Amendment (Amendment XVIII)

Budweiser Prohibition-era poster
Budweiser’s re-formulation plan during Prohibition

What Does it Say?


Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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


What Does it Mean?


The 18th Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. This era of time was known as Prohibition and was brought on by a temperance movement that swept the nation in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Prohibition lasted 13 years in America before it was repealed as part of the 21st Amendment in 1933. Although alcohol consumption in America did decrease, bootleggers and organized crime units managed to manufacture and distribute vast quantities of alcohol illegally.