Worksheet for My Topic
I looked in Simpson Library for Prohibition research to narrow down my topic, as well as find resources for my paper. I found Perry Duis, The Saloon : Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920. I also found a book on Google Books by Linda Gordon: Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence–Boston, 1880-1960. These books will help me understand the family dynamics before, during, and after the Prohibition era. I used Prohibition and Prohibition==United States==History for my subject headings for my library searches.
I used the search engine Bing.com to get a more accurate search for my specific topic. In looking I found this summary of the Prohibition on http://history1900s.about.com/od/1920s/p/prohibition.htm . It mentions the actual amount of crime going on and the effect the act had on the families. It also provided more links to similar topics, but I noticed there were no references or a bibliography.
I talked to Professor Ferrell about my research this semester. I went into the meeting with a broad set of topics on Prohibition like the increased crime rate and the business aspects of breweries being shut down for 13 years. She gave me a few examples of what to discuss in a paper. I think that she thought that I had a ‘so what?’ before I came in, but she gave me a few ideas to work with like the dynamics of family life before and after the 18th amendment. She also mentioned the specific cities that I could study as well as people involved with crime in those cities such as Al Capone.
The primary source chosen for my topic of Prohibition is Ernest Hurst Cherrington’s Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. This encyclopedia has 6 volumes and contains terms used to describe alcohol, alcoholism, medical terms, doctors, and groups for the Prohibition Movement. There are also some colored illustrations as well as photographs of important figures contributing to the Prohibition cause. The volume of encyclopedias was written between the years 1925-1930.
There are many secondary resources in the Simpson Library that I have yet to look through. There are reference books in multiple volumes that deal with the Prohibition era that will help me and possibly lead me to other primary sources. I haven’t spoken to my professor yet about my specific topic, but what we go over in class is mostly the ‘so what?’ factor about a good research paper, which is what my research needs.
1) What were the problems with family (violence) before the Prohibition era (18th amendment)?
2) Where these problems solved or where they enhanced due to the 18th amendment?
3) Did the 21st amendment help decrease or increase family violence?