American Temperance Movement Essay

1770 WordsJun 22, 20068 Pages
The desire to control alcohol consumption, or advocate temperance, has been a goal of humanity throughout countless periods of history. Many countries have had organized temperance movements, including Australia, Canada, Britain, Denmark, Poland, and of course, the United States. The American temperance movement was the most widespread reform movement of the 19th century, culminating in laws that completely banned the sale of all alcoholic beverages. The movement progressed from its humble local roots to nationwide organizations with millions of members and large amounts of political power. The growth of the temperance movement resulted from the changes in society between the original American settlers and the post-Revolutionary War…show more content…
This creation of a strong domestic market involved extension of trade links between communities that were previously not joined. The production of domestic goods increased while the price of the goods decreased, allowing urban growth and specialization among manufacturers. During this time, a division formed between men and women, where men's work moved away from home while women's became fixed there. A new society was formed after the Revolutionary War, and the norms of colonial America soon became a thing of the past. Consumption of alcohol changed greatly after the war as well. Whiskey became the America's favorite liquor, and a deeply valued trade item. It was efficient to make, saved materials, and cheap for people to buy. Whiskey was suddenly being consumed in record amounts, and was even used to instead of water and milk in cities, where the water was often polluted and the milk expensive (Blocker 9). Drinking changed in ways other than higher consumption rates and cheaper whisky in cities. Whereas in the colonies drinking took place in community situations, in the cities drinking often took place outside the home. It was no longer being produced by families but had to be purchased with money that can ultimately hurt the family. People began drinking more in informal individual situations instead of closely tied community events, creating hostility
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