Volstead Act

Woodrow Wilson

Definition and Summary of the Volstead Act
Summary and Definition: The Volstead Act, officially known as the National Prohibition Act, was enacted by Congress to enforce the 18th amendment on Prohibition. The Volstead Act became effective on January 29, 1920. The Volstead Act defined "intoxicating liquors" and provided penalties for abuse of the law. Andrew J. Volstead, the Representative from Minnesota, sponsored the bill and lent his name to the act. The Volstead Act was rendered inoperative by the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.

The Volstead Act for kids
Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the important events during his presidency was Prohibition and the Volstead Act.


Volstead Act Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Volstead Act for kids.

Facts about the Volstead Act for kids

Volstead Act Fact 1: The law was enacted by Congress to enforce and clarify the 18th Amendment on Prohibition. The 18th Amendment only contained 111 words whereas the Volstead Act contained 1600 words..

Volstead Act Fact 2: The passage of the bill initiated the Prohibition Era which lasted in the United States from 1920 to 1933. It was passed on October 18, 1919 and went into effect January 29, 1920.

Volstead Act Fact 3: The purpose of the law was to prohibit intoxicating beverages, regulate the sale, manufacture, or transport of intoxicating liquor.

Volstead Act Fact 4: The purpose was also to provide exceptions to the Eighteenth Amendment  for the use of alcohol in lawful industries and practices such as religious, scientific and medicinal purposes

Volstead Act Fact 5: No one could manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, or prescribe any liquor without first obtaining a Government permit from the commissioner.

Volstead Act Fact 6: Anti-Saloon League attorney Wayne Wheeler drafted both the 18th amendment on Prohibition and the Volstead Act .

Volstead Act Fact 7: The bill defined "intoxicating liquors" as any beverage over 0.5% alcohol.

Volstead Act Fact 8: The law provided penalties for abuse of the law that included fines of up to $2000 and prison sentences of not less than one month and not more than 5 years..

Volstead Act Fact 9: It made it clear that it was unlawful to advertise, buy or sell formulas or recipes or aids and machines intended for use in the unlawful manufacture of intoxicating liquor

Volstead Act Fact 10: Any premises where intoxicating liquor was manufactured, sold, kept, or bartered in violation of the law would be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction would be fined not more than $1,000 and/or be imprisoned for not more than one year


Facts about the Volstead Act for kids

Volstead Act
The info about the Volstead Act provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 28th President of the United States of America.

Facts about the Volstead Act for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about Volstead Act for kids.

Facts about Volstead Act for kids

Volstead Act Fact 11: Drinking liquor was never illegal. People were allowed to drink intoxicating liquor in their own home or in the home of a friend when they were a bona fide guest.

Volstead Act Fact 12: People were not allowed to carry a hip flask or give or receive a bottle of liquor as a gift.

Volstead Act Fact 13: Intoxicating liquor could be obtained via a medical prescription of a doctor

Volstead Act Fact 14: Opponents: The bill was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson on both constitutional and ethical grounds but overridden by Congress.

Volstead Act Fact 15: Opponents: Many American also opposed the law, including strong opposition from the labor Unions.

Volstead Act Fact 16: Loopholes: Despite the length of the bill there were many loopholes in the law:

● The law did not make it illegal to drink, or to be drunk
● The law did not make it illegal to make or consume wine or cider in the home
● Clubs, bars and saloons claimed to sell soft drinks and coffee, but served alcohol behind the scenes
● Alcohol could be prescribed medicinally by doctors and physicians - the rate of sales for medicinal alcohol went up by 400%
● Counterfeited prescriptions and liquor licenses were created to gain access to alcohol
● Bootleggers, such as George Remus, bought distilleries and pharmacies to sell "bonded" liquor to himself under government licenses for medicinal purposes
● Prohibition Bureau agents, police, judges and politicians, received large bribes to 'look the other way'

Volstead Act Fact 17: Repeal: The reason for the repeal of the law was because Prohibition simply did not work.

● There were insufficient agents to enforce the law and they were easy to bribe as were other government officials
● The banning of intoxicating alcohol had led to the rise of organized crime

Volstead Act Fact 18: Repeal: The Volstead Act was rendered inoperative by the passing of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.

Facts about 1920 Volstead Act for kids

Facts about Prohibition
For visitors interested in the history of Prohibition refer to the following articles:

Volstead Act for kids - President Woodrow Wilson Video
The article on the Volstead Act provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Woodrow Wilson video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 28th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921.

Volstead Act

Interesting Facts about Volstead Act for kids and schools
Loopholes, Reason, Opponents and Repeal of the law  for kids
Provisions of the Volstead Act, a major event in US history
Woodrow Wilson Presidency from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921
Fast, fun facts about the provisions and repeal of the law
Foreign & Domestic policies of President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson Presidency and Volstead Act for schools, homework, kids and children

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