The Role of the Temperance Movement During Prohibition
Women’s groups that were fighting against domestic violence were also strong proponents of the movement. Additionally. many powerful industrialists also supported banning alcohol in an effort to increase their workers’ productivity.
The early temperance movement sought to moderate the consumption of alcohol; it emphasized personal responsibility. However, by the 1840s, these groups began to advocate a complete abstinence from alcohol. Groups such as the Anti-Saloon League and the American Temperance Society rapidly gained membership and soon became powerful political lobbying forces.
By the turn of the 20th century, the Progressives, many of them part of the temperance movement, had brought all-out Prohibition of alcohol to the center stage of American politics.
The temperance movement ultimately brought about the 18th Amendment which was ratified in 1919. It banned the commercial production and sale of alcohol in America. The Volstead Act was ratified in 1920 and expounded on the actual implementation of Prohibition. From 1920-1933, this “noble experiment” was enacted in an effort to reduce crime, improve health and generally improve the social fabric of America.
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