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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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Equating Temperance with Patriotism

Equating Temperance with Patriotism

The Great War and the Liquor Question (1916–1919)

(p.166) 5. Equating Temperance with Patriotism
We Are What We Drink

Sabine N. Meyer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the consequences of World War I for Minnesota's temperance movement during the period 1916–1919. The specter and, consequently, the reality of military involvement enhanced the tolerance of many Americans toward restrictive liquor laws they would otherwise not have accepted. The chapter considers how the struggle for prohibition became entangled with the United States's looming military efforts in the Great War and how the war provided an opportunity for temperance reformers to fight for the preservation of military discipline in army camps throughout the United States. Reformers insisted that military efficiency could be achieved only through young soldiers' abstinence and purity, an argument that convinced Congress to pass the Hobson-Sheppard bill, the Selective Service Act, and the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act in 1917. In addition, Progressive reformers waged a social purification campaign. In September 1918, Congress passed the National Prohibition Act, which would function as the enforcement act of the Eighteenth Amendment. The period also saw the demise of German Americans' opposition to Minnesota's temperance movement.

Keywords:   temperance movement, World War I, Minnesota, liquor laws, prohibition, temperance reform, abstinence, social purification, National Prohibition Act, German Americans

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