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Constitution Monday: When the Whole Country Was Dry

Here is the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:


Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

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.

You may have noticed that in most parts of the United States you can buy any kind of alcohol you want these days. Are liquor stores flouting the Constitution? Not at all. When this country decided that Prohibition on a national scale wasn’t working, people used the Amendment process provided for in Article V and eventually passed the 21st Amendment, which we will be considering in a future edition of Constitution Monday.

So if part of the Constitution irks you, start writing your Congressional Delegation and state legislators to get it changed. It can and has happened when there has been broad support for changing it.


One Response

  1. […] amendment repealed the nationwide prohibition on alcohol established by the 18th Amendment. Section two of this legislation preserves the right of state and […]

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