Prohibition began in the USA on this day in 1919 after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, banning the making, transporting, and selling of alcohol, was ratified, and became the law of the land. The law was the result of puritan temperance movements and societies who began pushing for the banning of alcohol in the late 19th century. These groups became a powerful political force at state level calling for national abstinence. Months later the U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act which allowed law enforcement agencies to crack down on the production and consumption of alcohol. The Act was a total failure when it came to large scale distribution, which soon became the domain of violent organised criminals. Prohibition ended in 1933.