Wickersham Report

Wickersham Report

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During the election campaign in 1928, Herbert Hoover faithfully supported the Republican plank that endorsed enforcement of the 18th Amendment. However, the candidate, like a growing segment of American society, realized that the enforcement of prohibition was not functioning as intended. The growth of bootlegging and related Organized Crime activities had grown to epidemic proportions.In May 1929, President Hoover appointed George W. Wickersham, the attorney general in the Taft administration, to head an 11-member Law Observance and Enforcement Commission to study the implementation of the amendment and make recommendations.A conflicted commission issued its findings, known as the Wickersham Report, in early 1931. The commission also noted that additional problems were created by uneven enforcement by the various states and recommended that that role be assigned exclusively to the federal government.Changing public attitudes toward prohibition also had a political impact. During his run for reelection in 1932, the president would be forced to admit that changes in the laws regarding prohibition were necessary.

See other aspects of Hoover's domestic policy.

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