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- [Voiceover] Hey, it's Becca,
and this is Temperance, Part Two.
And in this video, I'll be talking more
about how exactly over the course
of the 1830s until mostly the 1860s
the temperance movement
took root in America

and how it became this
national phenomenon.

So, a lot of it had to do
with temperance societies.

So, in the last video,
I mentioned that the
American Temperance Society

was founded in 1826, so that's 1826.
But the American Temperance
Society really was this group

of upper-class Northern
white dudes saying,

"Oh, well, we should probably make sure
"that people don't drink as much."
But this idea didn't take off
until the rise of teetotalism.

So, teetotalism is very
different than temperance.

And so, teetotalism is the idea
that people should not temper
their alcohol consumption,

that they should drink no alcohol.
So, the origin of this word
is debated among historians

and there's kinda two funny stories.
One is the idea that when
you would sign a pledge,

so let's say I was going to pledge
that I would drink no alcohol
and join the American
Temperance Society, right here,

I would have to sign my name like that
and write my name, Becca.
Or the other idea is that there
was this temperance activist

and he was trying to convince people
to stop drinking alcohol.
And he said, "You don't have
to stop drinking hard alcohol,

"you have to-to-to-to totally abstain,"
and that's where teetotalism
came from, his stutter.

Just kind of a fun little
factoid about teetotalism.

But this idea of signing a
pledge to drink no alcohol

was really popular among
these different societies

that started popping up.
So, the American Temperance Society
was not quite as effective.
But the Washingtonian Temperance Society
started in the 1840s, in 1840, actually,
the Washington Temperance Society.
And the Washington Temperance Society
was different than the
American Temperance Society

because it kind of looked
a little bit more like

the 19th century version
of Alcoholics Anonymous.

People would come together
and talk about their problem.

There wasn't really a treatment aspect,
it wasn't super effective
in stopping people

from drinking alcohol because
a pledge, people realized,

wasn't actually going to stop
alcoholics from drinking.

However, the Washingtonian
Temperance Society

was more this group of middle class men
and they would all come together
and try and curb their consumption.
So, during this time, there were also lots
of prohibitory laws being
passed by the states.

So, different states at different times
during the early-1800s started to try
and curb consumption by enacting laws.
They realized that the pledges,
you know, me signing my name like this,
didn't actually help that much,
and so they needed to
do something legally.

The first temperance law was
passed by Maine in 1838, Maine,

and this law just outlawed
the sale of hard liquor.

But slowly, states across the country
started banning alcohol
consumption altogether.

So, this was kinda happening
all throughout here

and 12-15 states had some sort
of regulatory law on alcohol.

So, over this time period,
from the 1830s to the 1860s,

Americans were not just taking pledges
like they were up here with
the American Temperance Society

and the Washingtonian Temperance Society,
but they were actually enacting laws.
Temperance went really mainstream.
It wasn't just this idea
that you were going to sign a pledge
to stop drinking hard alcohol,
there were gonna be laws

that would bind you to drink no alcohol.
So, on top of this legal transition,
there was also a big
social and media campaign

about the terrors and evils of alcohol.
So, right over here is
The Drunkard's Progress.

So, this is really famous lithograph
created by Nathaniel Currier.
This was in 1846, so Drunkard's
Progress, right over here.

And The Drunkard's
Progress, as you can see,

shows the kind of cyclic
nature of the alcoholic.

First, he's just drinking at home,
then he's drinking with friends.
And then, oh, what is going on there?
He is not going to be going
to the factory today for work.

So, the drunk started not as a drunk
but as your average guy just
having a drink here or there.

Then you would see them go
through each of these steps,

you see Step 2, Step 3, Step 4.
Over here, Step 5 seems
like he's just hanging out

with his buddies, having a good time,
but then it really slowly deteriorated
into something that Americans didn't want.
So then, in 1853, I guess
that's kind of in here, 1853,

this media campaign just took off
with Ten Nights in a Bar-Room,
so Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.

Here it is, Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.
This is one of the pictures in the book.
This really had just
huge mainstream reach;

almost everyone read it.
And then they started
putting on plays of it,

depicting just how drunk people got
and how terrible that was
for everyone involved.

Ten Night in a Bar-Room had
this really national reach

and it was similar to that
of Harriet Beecher Stowe

and Uncle Tom's Cabin in
the abolition movement.

So, this was this rhetoric
that made the temperance
movement take off.

So, you're probably wondering, then what?
What happened to temperance?
Why did prohibition not happen until 1920?
And so, this has a lot to do
with the abolition movement.

So, the abolition movement was taking off
right around here, abolition.
And the abolition movement was the idea
that slavery had to be
ended right now, today.

Abolition was the focus
of the American people

come the mid-1800s, and this
really put temperance on hold.

And so, temperance would
come back after the Civil War

and after slavery was abolished.
So, you can learn more
about postbellum temperance,

postbellum, that means
after the Civil War,

postbellum temperance and prohibition
in the Khan Academy
article titled Prohibition.

You can check that out and
learn a little bit more

about how this whole crazy story ended.
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The early Temperance movement - 2

80 Folder Collection
Amy.Lin published on October 22, 2017
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