The 18th Amendment

Enacted in 1920, the 18th Amendment (or the Prohibition Amendment as it is referred to) is only a mere 111 words long.  It reads:

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.

With the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933, Prohibition was repealed.  Since then, issues related to the enforcement of/regulation of social mores and values have not been added to the Constitution.  That is not say that attempts have not been proposed to the Constitution with regards to social issues.  Proposed amendments related to abortion, marriage, flag burning, and school prayer, for example have all failed.

Do you believe that any issue related to values will be added to the United States Constitution?  (Remember — it takes 2/3 of both Houses of Congress and 3/4 of the states to pass an Amendment to the Constitution.)



32 responses to “The 18th Amendment

  1. section 1 will not pass they already seen what happen when they did the prohibition but what if they change it to like weed but i feel that people will still break the law and the law will become pointless and they will stop enforcing it or get rid of it

  2. well i mean they could make it a law then have some underground speakeasy but the government is in on it and raise the prices and even arrest people to make it seem like the government is protecting the people and make money on the side

  3. Katelyn Mategrano

    I believe that the only social issue that could possibly be added to the constitution is legalized marijuana and gay marriage. if the government legalized marijuana their could be a potential to make money off it with tax. and gay marriage is slowly getting legalized in the states. the goverment should not stand in the way of someones happiness. if someone wants to marry someone of the same sex they should be allowed too if that is what they want and will make them happy.

  4. I don’t believe that many social issues could be added to the constitution because each person has different perspectives for every value. Values are personal to people and shouldn’t be incorporated into the constitution. Like already said above, legalizing marijuana and taxing it so the government can get money, will be something they will want to consider.

  5. The fact that we added equal rights for women and African Americans to our Constitution makes me somewhat hopeful. But, even though I personally believe that gay marriage rights should be added to our constitution, I strongly feel that it will never happen. Social issues are usually very controversial. I believe that there is too many different opinions for our government to ever come to a point were they add it as an amendment. Many politicians fear backlash from different parties and people in power so unfortunately I don’t think that social issues will ever be added into our constitution.

  6. I don’t think the constitution will add anything like prohibition again because of how badly it worked out last time. I am strictly against alcohol so I liked the idea of prohibition but there was so much bootlegging and injuries that it turned out to be a bad idea. There most likely will be something like prohibition issue enacted again but probably it will revolve around drugs r something along that line. I would love it if all of the drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous things for our bodies were just stopped being made.

  7. I don’t think anything will be added to the Constitution for a long time. Prohibition and its repeal is an interesting case. If you look at all amendments previous to the 18th amendment, they were all about the government or the rights of US citizens. Since all US citizens have the ability to vote and participate in government, I don’t think any new amendments will be popping up.

  8. Tasneem Abdelmajid

    As much as I believe some social issues should be added to the Constitution, I don’t think it will be happening any time soon. One of the biggest social issues in today’s world is gay marriage. I believe that they should be allowed to get married, and that it should be added in the Constitution. However, I don’t see it happening any time soon. The topic is too controversial, and there will be too many different opinions and everyone has their own set of values and beliefs.

  9. I feel the prohibition of alcohol was a big waste of time and caused more damage than good. If you ever watch the movie Lawless with Tom Hardy you can get a good sense of what it was like in the prohibition era. I think if we tried to prohibit drugs that would completely back fire but this time way worse. Think of the crazy stories you hear about drugs on the news. People will go to extreme measures to get that drug.

  10. I too agree that Prohibition of alcohol was a waste of time. People still went looking for alcohol and didn’t stop just because their was a law. Till this day we can see people doing unthinkable things just to get drugs. I think that gay marriage should be legalized. I don’t think the government has any right telling these couples that they don’t have a right to be married. It is their life and they should be with the person that makes them happy.

  11. I do not believe that social issues will be added into the constitution. They are social issues because you are going to be able to find people who agree and disagree about the topic. When candidates are running for office you will either here that they are pro life or pro choice and this effects the amount of votes that they receive. Every new term there is a possibility of electing a candidate into office that shares your views on social issues. I have a feeling that social issues are going to remain this way.

  12. I remember reading about the 18th Amendment in High School and the one thing that stood out the most was the corruption it caused, which I believe led to the 21st Amendment to repeal Prohibition. I believe this is still going on today with Money follows corruption and we must fight harder to stop it. With that being said I believe that adding to the Constitution can cause major problems if not backed up properly.

  13. I believe social issues should be left out of the constitution only because of the many issues it could cause. During the prohibition era there was much corruption between the citizens of the United States, you had infamous gangster Al Capone smuggling over alcohol and causing turmoil. When it comes to social issues as the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage, I believe a lot of problems will erupt and cause much corruption between the government and the people of the United States.

  14. In my opinion, I do not believe that any issues related to values will be added to the United States Constitution. Values are related to personal opinions, family morals, and different beliefs. Laws should not be passed that can determine how one lives and values their own personal beliefs. Due to the prohibition of alcohol being ratified and repealed in the past, I feel there will not be any more social issues in the Constitution in the future.

  15. I do not think any amendments regarding social mores and values will be added to the US Constitution. I believe this because the Amendment process is very difficult and complex and also, because the states do not all agree on certain issues. Adding amendments that are regarding values and morals will become failures and divide the nation more like Prohibition did. To a certain extent, I believe that by adding an amendment that calls for a certain value or more, the government in a sense is implementing a certain set of beliefs on its constituents. Also, amendments that call for values will prove to be failures as people will continue to do whatever is not allowed and eventually the amendment will have to be repealed.

  16. I do not believe amendments regarding social issues will be added to the US Constitution. I think it would be hard to pass in the first place because not all states would agree on this. Many would realize the problems the prohibition caused in the past and would not want to repeat history.

  17. I do not see amendments that include social issues being put in the constitution just because not all parties will agree on the issue. Prohibition was very bad and it caused major violence to occur and if we prohibit drugs people will just find other ways to get it.

  18. The amendment was overturned because of the economic factors, such as tax on liquors, compared to the cost of enforcing prohibition law, also it was overturned during the great depression. The temperance and progressive ideology bleed into this amendment’s construction during a time of booming industry therefore immigration whom brought their own culture regarding alcoholic i.e. irish and german. However there will never be a morality law influenced by a specific religious/purity ideology in today’s society.

  19. I believe that two issues that are highly debated about today will one day be added to the constitution. Marijuana is already being legalized at the state levels, and I think that the amount of revenue that is being generated will persuade politicians to decriminalize the production of marijuana. The plants abilities to produce other materials such as rope, paper, and clothing will also be a reason for decriminalization.

    The issue of gay marriage may also be added to the constitution. There are also several states who have legalized gay marriage and i believe that there are more soon to follow because equal marriage advocates have been successful at persuading public opinion that same sex marriage should be accepted.

  20. I don’t think that they will add the prohibition law back in the constitution because it will most likely do more harm than good. When they first had the prohibition law, there were companies poisoning the liquor because underground breweries were still selling and distributing it. Many people died because of this law back in the old days. A law against liquor, like anything else, won’t stop people from getting their hands on it.

  21. I don’t think we will be seeing any new amendments added to the constitution any time soon. As of right now we, citizens have an immense variety of rights in the United states compared to many other countries across the globe. Adding a new amendment to the U.S constitution is definitely not as easy at it may seem, for some it may even be a very touchy subject. For example abortion, gay rights and legalization of marijuana may bring controversy between citizens and government and I truly believe that the government should sat out of those touchy subjects.

  22. The separation of church and state is pivotal to any government, in my opinion. When talking about issues relating to value, it seems like a majority of the time, religious groups are the driving force behind the proposed amendments. The 18th Amendment was an injustice to the American people and it stripped them of their rights. Abortion, alcohol, gay marriage, and prayer in schools are all topics that relate to a person’s free will and ability to live their lives however they chose. If these issues were regulated by a government amendment, it removes that ability for any American citizen.

  23. I doubt that any of those issues will be added to the constitution any time in the near future. They’re are still so many people that in our government that are against same sex marriage, abortion, and plenty of other social issues despite the fact that they’re are states that are making a few of them, like same sex marriage, legal. Also the fact that there are plenty of people outside of the government that are for it doesn’t seem to matter to a lot of government officials. It’s sad but true.

  24. Patrick Szupernak

    I don’t believe that any issue related to values will be added to the constitution for years to come. The cultures are very diverse across the states and I don’t think we could get a big enough party to agree on a particular value related issue. People have totally different ethical beliefs and standards that they live by. The only way I could see this happening was if there was some huge shift across the board and suddenly a vast majority of the country lived their life off of the same value system.

  25. I don’t think anything like Prohibition will be added to the Constitution again. IF there was anything to be added, I think it would have been Marijuana, but seeing as how its been legalized in some states, I don’t see it going into the Constitution anymore. Even if anything like Prohibition makes it into the Constitution, it won’t stop it completely. Just like during Prohibition, you had speakeasies, moonshiners, and bootleggers. You can’t stop anything completely, even if its in the Constitution.

  26. Soledad Cervantes

    I think they might alter certain amendments in the future. I do think they will alter the Prohibition law though,because slowly they are making things legal. I do think they should add something related to immigration, like if you have been here for like 25 years or more and haven’t committed a crime since being here you should be able to be a citizen without having to go through the original process of citizenship.

  27. i belive issues od values will be added. It has a;ready happened before so why cant it happen again? Even if they are contraverasal. minds change as years go on

  28. I do not believe that social issues should be added to the constitution because the rate in which a generation of people change is too fast. We live in an era where fads are common; people want to see drama and violence, but fail to realize the real issues. We value what is popular, not what is right.

  29. My opinions aside, I do not believe that any social issues will be added to the constitution, unless it’s legalizing marijuana or gay marriage. People’s values are so varied these days that it would be difficult to pass a lot of social amendments. Like I said, legalizing certain things is one thing but passing new restrictions on social issues would be difficult and controversial.

  30. No, because everybody is to divided on all the issues. Social issues depend on the generation. It takes a majority of votes for a amendment to be passed I just think everybody is to divided. Plus,the government tried to ban alcohol and it didn’t work out. I think social issues should be either left alone or dealt with by more local governments.

  31. I think the legalization of marijuana will be added to the constitution. Certain aspects of it like the sale and possession will be important to legalize because it will be beneficial to the reduction in petty crimes and will affect drug trafficking coming from the southern boarder. It will not stop the already violent crimes that come from trafficking this drug but it can potentially slow it down significantly since it is becoming a more accepted substance to use like alcohol and cigarettes. With some states already legalizing and with further research I believe this issue is important enough to be added to the constitution just like the 21st amendment was at the time of its ratification of prohibition.

  32. I don’t believe that social issues will be added to the constitution any time soon. There are too many people with different social values, so there would never be enough votes to make it happen. Everyone has their own beliefs on what is right or wrong. Also politics want to win votes so by trying to add certain social issues to the constitution, it may not help them win the votes they need. Unless there was a major change and everybody somehow managed to have the same belief in something, that would be the only way a social issue would be added.

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