97 Years Since Norwegian Population Agrees To Prohibition

A referendum to introduce the prohibition was held in Norway on 5 and 6 October 1919. Partial prohibition had been in effect since 1917 but the prohibition proposal did not include all types of alcohol, only spirits. The proposal was approved by 61.6% of voters. The Norwegian alcohol prohibition included fortified wine from 1917 to 1923 and liquor from 1917 to 1927. Attempts have been made, both by researchers and activists, to ‘rehabilitate’ the prohibition.

At the end of World War I the reasons to ban the alcohol fell away . The supply crisis was defused and Norway experienced a brief upswing. On Sunday 5th and Monday 6th October 1919 an advisory referendum over the “legal permanent ban on the manufacture, import and sale of liquor and strong wine” was held. Only 2/3 of the voting exhaust votes, and 61.6% answered yes to a continued ban. In the vote, there was a clear majority for the continuation of the ban on trade of spirits and fortified wine. Excluding the alcohol for medical, scientific and technical use.

489 017 votes or 61.6 % were for the ban.
304 673 votes or 38.4 % were against the ban.
Strong public support was in Vestlandet , Sørlandet and in northern Norway . The largest approval was in Møre and Romsdal (88%), and the lowest in Østlandet (Oslo 21%).

After the advisory referendum in 1919 Parliament adopted, by a narrow majority, a permanent ban in 1921. The ban proved to have a number of unfortunate consequences.Trade policy and social policy stood against each other on this issue, and on 18 October 1926 was again held referendum on the issue. The choice was now between keeping or revoking the ban. Country results showed that 56 percent voted against the liquor ban. That meant the end of the much talked about Prohibition in Norway.

Other countries did the same experiences as Norway: Prince Edwad Island 1901-1920, Canada, Russian Empire 1914-1925, Iceland 1915-1935, Finland 1919-1932. The prohibition in the United States from 1920 to 1933 contributed to the creation of the great gangster and mob syndicate.



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