Prohibition

What Went Down

  • Prohibition was the outlawing of alcohol substances in this case
  • Was greatly fought for by women, particularly the clubwomen
  • Drinking was a great problem
    • Rivaled prostitution as a problem in poor, working class families
      • Women would succumb to prostitution
      • Men would succumb to drinking
    • Many men would work long hard hours and spend their hard-earned money in saloons
      • Drained family resources
      • Created tension between the men and women in households
      • Alcoholism rose
      • Observed in The Jungle
  • 3 forces banded together for prohibition
    • The Progressives
    • The Women's Christian Temperance Union
    • The Anti-Saloon League
  • By 1916, the collective efforts won prohibition in 16 states
  • In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution declared prohibition the law of the nation

Immigrant's Reaction

  • Not all good came out of it
    • Saloons played a great role in ethnic, working class communities
      • Provided thousands of workers a place to eat
        • Meatpacking factories had no cafeterias
        • Workers had to go out to eat or eat inside the packing house
      • Many served traditional foods and drinks
      • Provided meeting space for immigrant organizations
      • Let the men who wanted to speak in their own language talk in their native tongue
      • Sometimes became informal bankers
        • Lent out small loans
        • Cashed Checks
      • Immigrants shunned the prohibition movement
        • No immigrants wanted to be "uplifted" or "reformed"
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