In the documentary series Prohibition, a video segment called “Brewers” derived from “A Nation of Drunkards,” illustrates the justifications formulated by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick concerning the conflict existing amid native-born Americans and European immigrants, with regards to drinking cultures. In the segment, the main arguments presented by Burns and Novick persuasively include the concerns that the temperance reformers showed and had towards the European immigrants who drink excessively. This concern was somewhat compassionate. however, it increasingly developed into fear that the urban immigrants would destabilize the way of life adopted by Americans. In addition, the White Southerners feared that drinking would turn their Black neighbors into criminals.
This drinking according to the temperance reformers created anger and sorrow, which eventually resulted to the destruction of many families and marriages. In other words, the drunkards out of anger and sorrow mistreated their wives and children. Burns and Novick imply that drinking was considered a symbol of masculinity and yet again it often ruined masculinity’s key obligation and expectations, which is an individual’s capability to provide support to their family (Burns &. Novick). In addition, the National Prohibition depicted a coincidence resulting from a combination of certain aspects. These aspects included the Anti-Saloon League’s political skill, and the formulation and implementation of an amendment to the constitution of the federal government, which resulted to formation of an income tax (ensuring that drink taxes were rendered inappropriate). It also included the entrance of the American nation into the world war one, a factor that led to the demonization of the German-American brewers. Generally, these explanations made by Burns and Novick are the factors that led to the assumptions that the National Prohibition had a high probability of being self-enforcing.
Burns Ken and Novick Lynn, dir(s). .Brewers Episode I: A Nation of Drunkards. PBS, 2011. Film.