Part 1 of Ken Burns' three-part history of the prohibition era (1920-33) opens with the start of the temperance movement in the 19th century under the stewardship of such leaders as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard and Carry Nation; and the Anti-Saloon League, which pushed for a constitutional amendment that would ban the sale and manufacture of alcohol.
Part 2 of 3 examines the problems that the Volstead Act and prohibition caused, including a possible increase in alcoholism due to women frequenting the illicit speakeasies that replaced male-only saloons; adulterated liquor that poisons some drinkers; and civil-rights violations by overzealous federal agents anxious to make arrests. Despite the public's growing opposition to the ban, few politicians dare to speak against it due to the political might of the Anti-Saloon League.
Conclusion. The factors that led to the end of prohibition are detailed, as the criminalization of alcohol feeds large profits into the coffers of criminal organizations and turns such gangsters as Al Capone into celebrities. Wealthy Pauline Sabin encourages the repeal of the 18th Amendment; and brings together women from all classes who support her position. The 21st Amendment, which repeals the 18th, is adopted after FDR's 1932 election and by late 1933 people can again legally buy drinks.