Examples Of Temperance In The 1920s

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Although many advertisements in support of temperance in the 1920s would have you believe that alcohol was tearing apart homes and creating bums, many of the actual reasons are tied back to national pride and religious motives. An address to Congress given by President Warren G. Harding on Dec. 8th, 1922, attempts to address the issues with prohibition and invites the Governor of the state to an open discussion. President Harding is a supporter of the 18th Amendment, but the majority of Temperance supporters consisted of middle-class Christian women. The average supporter saw temperance as a necessary sacrifice that would benefit America and more specifically the poor. Similarly, President Harding uses the idea of sacrifice and accommodation for the benefit of the Country to rally listeners. At its best Temperance was a performative movement from the middle class to seem charitable and faithful; in its practice temperance allowed for organized crime to gain a greater foothold in society, disproportionally barred the purchase of alcohol from the lower class, and never …show more content…

Americans went through medical professionals or produced alcohol at home to work around the law. Bootlegging, the production of alcohol at home, became a target market for organized crime rings to enter. These criminal rings made alcohol an expensive and valuable commodity, in turn making it harder for lower-class Americans to get access to alcohol. Alcohol consumption and addiction both have severe medical consequences which further crippled the lower class. Despite the poor, those the middle class intended to help were negatively affected by the Volestead Act; the rich were barely affected. The rich continued to drink, even while commonly being public supporters of the Eighteenth Amendment, infamously including Warren G.

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