What the lessons of 18th, 19th Amend­ments mean for to­day

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE - Betsy Sch­warm,

In her ex­cel­lent col­umn on find­ing hope in his­tor­i­cal think­ing, Patty Limerick ex­pressed a wish to hear from read­ers with thoughts on the sub­ject. Here’s one:

In 1919, the U.S. adopted the 18th Amend­ment, launch­ing Pro­hi­bi­tion; in 1920 came the 19th Amend­ment and women’s suf­frage. The drive for the lat­ter amend­ment suf­fered many at­tacks blam­ing women for hav­ing forced Pro­hi­bi­tion, sug­gest­ing that many more prob­lems might arise if women could vote for them­selves, rather than just pres­sur­ing their hus­bands on is­sues. De­spite such alarmism, suf­frage was ap­proved, as the great ma­jor­ity of think­ing per­sons un­der­stood that, though Pro­hi­bi­tion might have been par­tially at fault for in­creased crime, women were not the trig­ger point of that is­sue.

So when the 18th Amend­ment was re­pealed in 1933, there was no ac­tive drive to re­peal the 19th Amend­ment. Per­haps a larger per­cent­age of Amer­i­cans can again learn to rec­og­nize that one should never try to end one prob­lem by also can­cel­ing an un­re­lated good.

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