Temperance Movement

The temperance movement starting in the early 1800's  was led by women tired of poor, and drunken husbands. Blaming society's ailments on alcohol the wife's and children of these alcoholics pushed for new liquor laws and moderation of the consumption of alcohol. Backed by the church, the brewing civil war and industrialists, temperance groups gained power, influence and later temperance caused prohibition in the 1920's.

Leaders of Temperance- woman tried to get their husbands to sober up, so they could be better fathers, be more productive workers, and not spend all the money they have on booze. Industrialists wanted more productive and reliable workers, so the men's employers and some of societies richest members turned against alcohol and sided with the church.

People began seeing alcohol as the cause of all society's problems including major health ailments, crime, and destitution.

Temperance in Europe- temperance began in Ireland in the 1820s and spread to Britain and Scotland by the 1830s it spread all the way to Norway and Sweden.

Temperance groups- In 1808 groups began forming in New York, 1813 in Massachusetts and began gaining influence and rose to power.

Law making- Eventually these groups got a law passed in Maine that served as a model for later alcohol restriction laws. This law was declared unconstitutional by an anonymous letter to a newspaper saying that the government should not have control of "the contents of [his] bladder"

Specific Temperance Groups- specific groups (led by women) rose high and into power such as The Good Templars (1851) and the Anti-saloon League (1895)

Prohibition- after the civil war people continued to blame alcohol for society's flaws and mishaps so the 18th amendment was passed in the 1820's but later repealed with the 21st amendment.