The American Prohibition was enacted in the year 1920 and would last until 1933. The eighteenth amendment was enacted to enforce the restriction of alcoholic beverages. This included liquor and beer products. At the time these products were in high demand, since it is a major part of society, its iconic and everyone for the most part enjoys them. This being said, the market would go from legal to illegal very quickly. The black market would supply these products to people who were willing to pay. In the big cities, the alcohol trafficking was done mostly by gangsters. These gangsters would form organizations and create bars and clubs. Being a very lucrative business and highly illegal, the police would step in and shut them done. Eventually the businesses went “underground”. Alcohol trafficking was a great way to make money doing this time, assuming the person would not get caught. Cars were in demand being the new thing. The transportation of goods went from horse and wagon to the automobile. During this time many alcohol products would be brought in by cars or trucks and sold to the public “under the table”. Eventually this would be found out by the police and the transportation of goods this way had to be more crafty. This would lead to the modification of these automobiles. Having a car or truck that could evade the police for the most part fixed this issue. This, some may say, laid the foundation for the beginning of NASCAR, and modification of cars.
Many aspects contributed to the boost in illegal activity during the Prohibition. At the time people realized that large amounts of profit could be made at the time. Alcohol was in demand, and people did almost everything to get it. The black market at this time was highly lucrative, being that large amounts of money could be made extremely fast. In essence the black market would jump start the illegal activity of many during this era.
The transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century was widely apparent. Cities grow to record sizes and the people changed for the good and bad. During the roaring twenties, some people acted on this black market, either adding to it or trying to “bust” it. The people who wanted to control this surge of money were primarily the big time gangsters in these huge cities. Cities like Chicago, New York City, Boston, ect. Gangsters back then are nothing like the ones of today. They had class, but also thought on their feet. One of the most famous ones from this time period was Al Capone, working in the mid west. Since the distribution of any alcoholic product was outlawed aside from medical use, it would be harder and harder to sell it. The gangsters of this time thought of extremely clever ways to make money and ensure their customers had what they wanted. The creation of “underground” bars and clubs would begin. Theses types of clubs and bars would be known as speak easy. These clubs would be hidden and passwords would be used for access. People had fun, and the gangsters made money. It was a win win.
With the high demand for the illegal drinks, transportation of the alcohol for sale would evolve from simple transportation to the use of the newly adapted automobile. Cars were a new thing at this time. They were beginning to be widely used and it transformed the transportation system. The American Prohibition helped create NASCAR because the cars used were modified. The cars were made to be faster then the police and made to handle better as well. Eventually the people who illegally transported the alcohol would begin to race the cars they modified. This would lay the foundation for NASCAR, since it is a sport based on racing high performance cars. The engines were modified along with taking out unnecessary weight.
The foundation of NASCAR and other sports like it would be laid during this era. People began modify cars not only to evade the police but to race. This would give birth to a whole new sport that many enjoy. The story goes, that the moonshiners down in the southern states would get together and race their moded cars. After the Prohibition, the races would continue and eventually be recognized as a sport.
Essentially, the prohibition boosted illegal activity within the United States and with that created one of America’s greatest sports.
The American Prohibition helped create NASCAR because the cars used were modified. The cars were made to be faster then the police and made to handle better as well. Eventually the people who illegally transported the alcohol would begin to race the cars they modified. This would lay the foundation for NASCAR, since it is a sport based on racing high performance cars. The engines were modified along with taking out unnecessary weight.
Racing in America went from Horses at the local derby to cars on the race track. After the discovery of car racing, the sport took over the track. Racing started off as Rally Cross, off road racing. This form of racing is widely popular and carried onto Europe where most of the races are held. After Rally Cross, the cars and the sport evolved to road racing, very similar to the Grand Prix. Here the races would only be held on roads that were paved making the races more fast paced. Finally, NASCAR would come into play. The races are held on an oval track. Hard to believe that this iconic American sport evolved from the prohibition. At the time no one really knew that having fun racing cars would evolve to such a big thing. People simply had fun.
BUT, many can argue that the art of racing was around way before the American Prohibition. At the time, especially in Europe, racing cars would be the newest craze. The races would be called the Grand Prix. This originated in France and involved into its own “sport.” Eventually the Grand Prix would become Formula One racing. The roots would begin in the 1920’s but would not be recognized until 1950. For the most part these European races involved gambling on who would win and watching the races unfold. During this time cars in America were used for a completely different purpose. Making money. Eventually, racing would become popular.
NASCAR as a whole is a sport based on the actions of everyday people in the 1920’s. Throughout time, many things were created on accident or because of the effects of an event. At the time, people thought nothing of the racing, but eventually the races would turn into a sport loved by many. The argument stands however that the sport may have been around before the Prohibition.
In the end, a lot of good and bad things came out of the prohibition, the most obvious good thing was the removal of the actual amendment. Getting rid of alcohol made people more creative, and people had fun. An American sport was born, and with that came one of the most expensive hobbies, modifying cars.
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