Eugenics and Xenophobic Sentiments during the Prohibition Era
History , Prohibition , Eugenics , Immigrant
Throughout the 1920s, the war on alcohol between the "drys" and "wets" was the prominent subject of concern in the United States. By prohibiting "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors" the 18th amendment was designed to affect every person living in the United States, however the law strategically targeted the new immigrants and those in the working class, as Lisa McGirr explains in "The War on Alcohol". Ethnocultural superiority in native-born Americans lead groups such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Anti-Saloon League, and the Ku Klux Klan to enforce the law and argued that immigrants were the problem. This paper will explore the anti-immigration laws and eugenic thought that targeted immigrants during Prohibition.