Prohibition And The Temperance Movement

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The ratification of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution introduced a new period in American history most commonly known as Prohibition. It was the result of a nationwide temperance movement during the 1910s and ‘20s. The enactment of Prohibition led to a large increase of organized crime, the government lost millions of dollars, and there was corruption among government officials and police officers. The Anti-Saloon League (ASL) played a major role in the temperance movement against alcohol, starting late 1800s to early 1900s, with its establishment in 1893. The ASL consisted mostly of women, along with a few men. There was also the rise of evangelical Protestantism, where the church proclaimed saloons and liquor corrupt and ungodly. Another group that played a large part in Prohibition, the Women Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). These groups wanted to either try to moderate drinking or totally ban it. They ended up choosing the latter. The ASL and WCTU claimed that people who drank a lot could suddenly burn to death from inside of their bodies; or that if you inhaled alcohol vapors it would cause defects in the next three of your generations, and many more unscientific claims. Also, since temperance movements claimed that drinking alcohol was sinful, the church insisted that Jesus drank grape juice instead of wine. Temperance activists went even as far as to hire a scholar to rewrite the Bible, removing all references to alcohol. The Ku Klux Klan

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