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KC‑4.1.III.A (KC)
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Unit 4: Learning Objective K

Video transcript

hey it's Becca and this is temperance part 2 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 of didn't take off until the rise of teetotalism so teetotalism is very different than temperance teetotalism 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 kind of 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 right Bekka 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 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 Washingtonian Temperance Society and The Washingtonian 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 was 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 kind of happening all throughout here in 1215 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 temperate 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 drunkards progress so this is a really famous lithograph created by Nathaniel Courier this was in 1846 so drunkards progress right over here and the drunkards 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 what is going on there he is not going to be going to the factory today for work so the trunk started not as a trunk but as for your average guy just having a drink here there then you would see them go through each should be as 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 a in 1853 I guess that's kind of in here 1853 this media campaign just took off with ten nights in a ballroom so ten nights in a barroom here it is ten nights in a barroom 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 nights in a barroom 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 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