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We Are What We DrinkThe Temperance Battle in Minnesota$
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Sabine N. Meyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039355

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039355.001.0001

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“Westward the Jug of Empire”

“Westward the Jug of Empire”

The Emergence of a Temperance Movement in Minnesota (1819–1865)

(p.17) 1. “Westward the Jug of Empire”
We Are What We Drink

Sabine N. Meyer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of a temperance movement in Minnesota during the period 1819–1865. It goes back to Minnesota's preterritorial beginnings where the story about “the Jug of Empire” began to unfold. It first looks at the founding of the frontier settlement that would later become St. Paul, which soon turned into a trading hub for furs and whiskey. It then considers the involvement of St. Paul's Irish Catholics in the temperance movement, and particularly in the campaign for a Maine Law, along with the German Americans' opposition to the movement in the antebellum period. It also examines women's support for the Maine Law as part of their temperance activism and concludes by arguing that the temperance movement that was inaugurated in Minnesota country was not simply an imitation and transplantation of Eastern anti-liquor activism but also a response to the rampant whiskey consumption that preceded and accompanied the process of settlement.

Keywords:   temperance movement, Minnesota, frontier, St. Paul, whiskey, Irish Catholics, Maine Law, German Americans, women, temperance activism

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