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p. 71. Drinking and temperancelocked

  • W. J. Rorabaugh


‘Drinking and temperance’ describes the history of alcohol consumption in the United States and the introduction of the temperance movement. From the earliest European settlers to the fighters of the Revolution, Americans were among the world’s heartiest drinkers, producing their own corn beer and importing rum from the West Indies. The British blockades during the war meant access to rum was lost. Americans began to distill whiskey from corn instead, which became the country’s patriotic drink. Problems associated with heavy drinking resulted in reformers creating the temperance movement, a cause that was then taken up by Protestant preachers. In the 1850s, evangelicals lobbied for statewide prohibition laws, but there was no viable system of enforcement.

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