Laws

This law outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages in quantities of less than that amount. The intention was to only make it affordable for the wealthy to purchase strong spirits. This law was repealed within two years. Maine was the first “dry state” in the union when it passed the Maine law, which prohibited the production and sale of alcoholic drinks.

Since there was a strong link between alcohol consumption and domestic violence, the Temperance movement allied with women’s rights movements. Often times, the same activists would champion the causes of both movements. In 1893, the American Temperance Movement was founded in Tennessee. The university was short lived; it closed in 1908.

Another way that the Temperance movement influenced American life was with Temperance fountains. In the 19th century America, potable water was of poor quality, which drew many Americans to consume alcohol for health reasons. Temperance activists installed public drinking fountains after the Civil War all across the nation.

Third Wave Temperance was the last wave of the movement and it gave rise to the Anti-Saloon League. The Anti-Saloon League played a pivotal role in ensuring that National Prohibition would be legislated. Interestingly, this wave of the movement was a very diverse group. Its members included wealthy industrialists, doctors, pastors, liberal theologians, Klansmen, and labor radicals. The Anti-Saloon league started in 1893, and paid extra attention to political results practiced pressure politics. This wave demanded that politicians vote a certain way in the state legislature.

The Anti-Saloon League’s motto was “THE Church in action against the saloon”. It was very successful in organizing a religious coalition which engaged in pressure politics and passed legislation. Most Protestant denominations and many prominent members of the Catholic Church support this movement. Of course, these groups argued that alcohol consumption led to deviant social behavior including domestic violence and prostitution on Broadway.

Breweries across the country vehemently advocated against the Temperance movement because the movement sought to destroy them financially. However, the Temperance movement finally had its way and in 1919 when three-fourths of the state legislatures ratified the 18th Amendment. It quickly became clear to most people that the Prohibition was not as effective as the lawmakers hoped.

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