American Temperance Society
220.jpg Early Years
The first American Temperance Society was founded on February 13, 1826. The purpose was to decrease the consumption of alcohol. The leader of the union was Lyman Beecher who was also a leader of the Second Great Awakening. It was the first U.S social organization to promote national support for a national cause. The movement was the result of increased consumption of alcohol and the people's desire to improve the better general family life. So naturally as the American people drank more alcohol the reaction to theses negative effects increased as well.The This led to over 2,200 temperance societies in five years and 170,000 men who took a pledge of abstinence from alcohol. Churches were the center of much of the activity. As time went on the people involved in the temperance movements went from encouraging abstinence of alcohol to demanding the prohibition of alcohol. They called alcohol "Demon Rum," because it was said that the Devil used it to take people off their righteous path. By the year 1835, there were over one million members of temperance organizations across the country. The society was most successful in the northern states.

The Woman's Christain Temperance Union(WCTU)
When just the encouragement of voluntary abstinence wasn't enough, the WCTU was formed in an attempt to persuade all states to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages. In 1873 women who believed that men's usage of alcohol was a way of disregarding women and their needs took a stand by marching to the saloon and asking the owners to close their establishments. With some success the women decided that they should be come organized nationally, resulting to the WTCU in Ohio 1874. The society also fought for the woman's right to vote. Their argument was woman are individuals meaning they have the same rights as any other American individual. The WCTU also supported the prison reform and abolition of prostitution. The WCTU is still around to this day.

The Anti-Saloon League
The Anti-Saloon Leauge was formed in Ohio in the year 1893. The league shared a lot of the same views as the Woman's Christain Temperance Union, and allied with them to promote the ban of alcohol. The league was religiously motivated. They were backed by Baptist, Methodist, and presbyterian groups. The Anti-Saloon Leauge resulted in the 18th amendment in 1919 which prohibits the sale of alcohol. It didn't last long though, for the amendment was repealed by the 21st amendment in 1933.

Impact on History
By reducing alcohol, the general family life of society was improved with the American Temperance Society. In this time period it was not uncommon for a man to get drunk and come home to beat their wife and children. This was reduced with the temperance movements. The society also contributed to the abolition of slavery, and the expansion of women's rights.

Lyman Beecher was a leader of the first American Temperance Society


Carry Nation 1846-1911