In Tennessee, two pieces of prohibition-related legislation were passed in 1909. The first, Senate Bill No. 1, made it illegal to sell or consume alcoholic beverages within a four-mile radius of any public or private school (whether it was in session or not). While this bill did not explicitly ban the sale or consumption of alcohol across the state as a whole, the practical effect of the four-mile exclusion was to do just that. The second piece of legislation, Senate Bill No. 11, banned the manufacturing of any alcoholic beverages within the state. Governor Malcolm R. Patterson vetoed both bills, but the General Assembly promptly overrode his vetoes.
At the federal level, using the Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution, Congress passed the Wilson Act (or Original Packages Act) in 1890 and the Webb-Kenyon Act, which banned the importation of alcoholic beverages into states that had passed prohibition, in 1913, thus protecting "dry" states from their "wet" neighbors. And when the 65th Congress convened in January 1917, the "dries" outnumbered the "wets" in both parties.
The entry of the United States into World War I in 1917 also gave the temperance movement a much-needed boost. Temperance forces argued that wartime prohibition was needed to stop the waste of materials like grain and molasses, and they were able to pass the Wartime Prohibition Act (although it didn't pass until November 18, 1918 — and the Armistice had gone into effect on November 11). The U. S. Senate also proposed a Constitutional Amendment to accomplish nationwide Prohibition in December 1917.In early January 1919, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, which ratified the 18th Amendment. On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment had been ratified in thirty-six of the forty-eight states (the constitutional three-fourths threshold necessary for ratifying an amendment), and on October 28, 1919, it was implemented by the Volstead Act.
Prohibition went into effect on January 16, 1920. The constitutionality of the ratification process for the 18th Amendment was challenged in the U. S. Supreme Court, but the amendment's constitutionality was upheld by the court. Prohibition would be the law of the land for the next thirteen years.