Temperance Movement Many

temperance movements and societies emerged in the United States during the nineteenth century. These movements began in the early 1800s and gained ascendancy during the mid-to-late 1800s, culminating in the Prohibition Movement, the Prohibition Amendment (Article 18) to the U.S. Constitution in 1919, and the start of Prohibition in 1920. Gusfield (1986), an eminent scholar of the temperance movement, has argued that the term temperance is not appropriate, because the broad reformist ideology of the movement focused mainly on abstinence—not moderation—in the intake of alcoholic beverages. Blocker (1989) observed that the many temperance movements that emerged in the United States represented men and women from varying ethnic, religious, social, economic, and political groups who selected out temperance as the solution to what they perceived as problems in their own lives and in those of others. By the end of the nineteenth century, the temperance movement had evolved through several phases, and the strategies used by the proponents changed from persuasive efforts to moderate the intake of alcoholic beverages to more coercive strategies, even laws, to bring about the control of all drinking.

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