Friday, January 21, 2011

Licking County and The Temperance Movement

 The Temperance Movement
Ohio Churches were one of the instrumental parts in preparing the way for what President Hoover once termed "the noble experiment."   As early as 1874, at  Hillsboro,  women were fighting to stop the spread of saloons.  Christian women organized o the women's Christian Temperance Union under the inspiring leadership of Miss Frances E Willard of Illinois.   Rev. Howard E. Russell,  in 1893  organized the Anti-Saloon League 
The Temperance Movement wanted to see the consumption and production of alcohol limited or outlawed in the United States.
During the early nineteenth century, many citizens of the United States became convinced that many Americans were living in an immoral manner. These people feared that God would no longer bless the United States.  
 Advocates for Temperance movement encouraged Americans to reduce the amount of alcohol that they consumed.   As a matter of fact they hoped they would do away with alcohol all together.  The largest organization established to advocate temperance was the American Temperance Society.   Would you believe that around  the mid 1830s, more than 200,000 people belonged to this organization.  
Many Ohioans participated in the temperance movement, but temperance efforts in Ohio remained haphazard.  . It wasn’t until  the early 1850s that statewide efforts against alcohol took place .  A woman's temperance convention was held on January 13, 1853 and they drafted a constitution and created the Ohio Women's Temperance Society
During The American Civil War (1861-1865) the temperance movement was weakened.  As the war ended concerns regarding alcohol usage quickly returned. During the late 1800s, the United States was shifting from a national economy based principally on agriculture to a more industrialized one. As a result of this shift, urban areas, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Canton, Akron, and Columbus experienced tremendous growth. Many Americans, including Ohioans, believed the social ills of the cities, including homelessness, high crime rates, and joblessness, all resulted from alcohol usage. Ohio temperance advocates, like others across the United States, began to use more radical tactics to stop the consumption of alcohol  
The temperance movement continued through the late nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century. Advocates during this time period became much more politically active, primarily through their support of the Progressive Movement. In 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution went to effect. This amendment outlawed the production and the sale of alcohol in the United States. Prohibition remained in effect until the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933. With the Eighteenth Amendment's repeal, organized temperance movements declined in popularity and in power.
On Dec 27, 1850 Licking County Temperance Society was organized at Temperance hall.  The first union meeting took place at the First Presbyterian church around Feb of 1874 and by March it took full form of political movement.  Like at lot of organizations by Dec 1874 the meetings were little in attendance.
By May of 1878 the Wallace opera House held Temperance society meeting.  Around Mar 1879, Col A. J. Bowen of Maryland, begins a series of temperance meetings at the "Home"
Resources:   History of the State Of Ohio vol VI by Lindley, William I Davis Chronologies Reflecting the History of Newark, Oh 1800 to 1900,

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