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History Of Prohibition
  • MODERATION WAS THE NORM
  • SOCIAL CONTROLS WERE STRONG
  • CHANGE AND REVOLUTION CREATED PROBLEMS
  • BIRTH OF THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT
  • FROM TEMPERANCE TO TOTAL ABSTINENCE
  • PAVING THE ROAD TO UTOPIA
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF ALCOHOL EDUCATION
  • TEMPERANCE TEACHINGS
  • SCIENTIFIC TEMPERANCE INSTRUCTION CRITICIZED
  • THE LEGACY
  • THE NOBLE EXPERIMENT
  • PROHIBITION AND THE KKK
  • ANOTHER TRY FOR PROHIBITION
  • TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT BIDES ITS TIME
  • THE NEW TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT
  • SUMMARY
  • Appendix
  • History Of Prohibition

    MODERATION WAS THE NORM

    Alcohol was viewed positively while its abuse was condemned. "In 1673, Increase Mather praised alcohol, saying that 'Drink is in itself a creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness'" (Mendelson and Mello, 1985, p. 10). Consistent with that belief, toddlers drank beer, wine, and cider with their parents and regular use was seen as healthful for everyone (Asbury, 1968, pp. 3-4; Sinclair, 1962, pp. 36-37; Popham, 1978, pp. 267-277). For more than 30 years, because of this belief, abstainers had to pay one life insurance company rates 10 percent higher than that for drinkers. This was because the abstainer was considered "thin and watery, and as mentally cranked, in that he repudiated the good creatures of God as found in alcoholic drinks" (Kobler, 1973, p. 26).

    A historian has pointed out that:

    Alcohol was pervasive in American society; it crossed regional, sexual, racial, and class lines. Americans drank at home and abroad, alone and together, at work and at play, in fun and in earnest. They drank from the crack of dawn to the crack of dawn. At nights taverns were filled with boisterous, mirth-making tipplers. Americans drank before meals, with meals, and after meals. They drank while working in the fields and while traveling across half a continent. They drank in their youth, and, if they lived long enough, in their old age. They drank at formal events, such as weddings, ministerial ordinations, and wakes, and on no occasion-by the fireside of an evening, on a hot afternoon, when the mood called. From sophisticated Andover to frontier Illinois, from Ohio to Georgia, in lumber camps and on satin settees, in log taverns and at fashionable New York hotels, the American greeting was, "Come, Sir, take a dram first." Seldom was it refused. (Rorabaugh, 1979, pp. 20-21)

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