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Temperance movement

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**Historical Context and Origins**:
– Alcohol was widely accepted in colonial America but drunkenness was not tolerated.
– Hard cider was the primary alcoholic drink in America until the mid-1800s.
– Attitudes towards alcohol turned negative in Great Britain in the late 18th century.
– Physician Benjamin Rush identified the negative effects of excessive drinking, linking it to disease, death, suicide, and crime.
– Early movements against alcohol began during the American Revolution.
– Native American cultures were impacted by alcohol trade in the 18th century.
– The gin craze in 18th-century Britain led to criticism of drunkenness.

**Development and Spread of the Temperance Movement**:
– Temperance societies emerged in the US in the early 19th century, advocating for moderate drinking.
– The American Temperance Society (ATS) was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 19th century, rapidly growing with over 8,000 local groups and 1,250,000 members.
– The movement originated in the 1820s in the US, popularized by evangelical temperance reformers and the middle class.
– Temperance societies spread internationally, with growth in England, Ireland, British colonies, and among Native American communities.
– New Christian denominations like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Seventh-day Adventism emphasized temperance.

**Teetotalism Movement and Influence**:
– Teetotalism emerged in the 1830s, advocating complete abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.
– The term ‘teetotaler’ originated from pledging complete abstinence.
– The American Temperance Union promoted total abstinence from all liquors.
– The movement gained significant traction by 1835.
– The Catholic temperance movement began in 1838, focusing on teetotal abstinence.

**Shift Towards Prohibition and Social Influence**:
– The temperance movement shifted towards advocating for complete abstinence from alcohol.
– The movement led to national prohibitions in various countries.
– The movement overlapped with the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements.
– The Band of Hope, founded in 1847, aimed to teach sobriety to working-class children.
– The focus shifted towards political advocacy for legal prohibition of alcohol during the Victorian era.

**Religious Influence and Impact on Society**:
– The Second Great Awakening in the 1820s and 1830s fueled social movements, including the temperance movement.
– The movement aimed for moral reform through volunteer organizations.
– The United States experienced the Third Great Awakening in the mid-1850s, with religious organizations playing roles in the gospel temperance movement.
– Gospel rescue missions provided shelter and support for homeless drunkards.
– The movement influenced the perception of alcoholism as a sin or disease, emphasizing sympathy and helplessness.

The temperance movement is a social movement promoting temperance or complete abstinence from consumption of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the movement typically criticize alcohol intoxication or promote teetotalism, and its leaders emphasize alcohol's negative effects on people's health, personalities and family lives. Typically the movement promotes alcohol education and it also demands the passage of new laws against the sale of alcohol, either regulations on the availability of alcohol, or the complete prohibition of it.

The Drunkard's Progress (1846) by Nathaniel Currier warns that moderate drinking leads to total disaster step-by-step.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the temperance movement became prominent in many countries, particularly in English-speaking, Scandinavian, and majority Protestant ones, and it eventually led to national prohibitions in Canada (1918 to 1920), Norway (spirits only from 1919 to 1926), Finland (1919 to 1932), and the United States (1920 to 1933), as well as provincial prohibition in India (1948 to present). A number of temperance organizations exist that promote temperance and teetotalism as a virtue.

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