Watching Prohibition by Ken Burns on PBS. A few points:
1) They kind of quickly glossed over he fact that at the time of early America, you could not trust the water. This was a time before the germ-theory of disease had been formed. Water purification was unknown (except for mixing it with alcohol). John Chapman (Johny Appleseed) planted the groves of apple trees not for the apples, but so the pioneers could have cider (and he could sell it to them as well).
2) If you aren't seeing the ties into modern politics and events, I don't believe you're paying attention. It's not so much an echo of the past as a deliberate snitching of the template and a resurgence of certain religious and political movements.