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p. 282. The dry crusadelocked

  • W. J. Rorabaugh


‘The dry crusade’ describes the increasing number of anti-liquor reformers who wanted state and national prohibition. Key groups were the Women’s Crusade and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Ohio and the Anti-Saloon League. Middle-class women dried up dozens of small towns, but when anti-liquor reformers in larger towns led similar movements, they met defiance and resistance. The rise of local option in the 1880s and 1890s meant smaller communities could support a ban even if votes were lacking to prohibit alcohol statewide. Without World War I, it is doubtful that prohibition would ever have passed Congress or been ratified, but enforcement turned out to be far more challenging than the dry forces ever imagined.

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