American Temperance Union

The American Temperance Union, established in 1836, published the Journal of the American Temperance Union for adults and Youth's Temperance Advocate for young people. The Union published a variety of books, reports, pamphlets and other materials that were influential in promoting the temperance movement.

Within a decade of its founding, there were over 8,000 similar temperance groups with over 1.5 million members.

The American Temperance Union, like most other temperance groups at the time, called for voluntary abstention from drinking distilled spirits but not from beer and wine. This reflected the myth that distilled spirits were more alcoholic than the other beverages. However, standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits all contain an equivalent amount of alcohol -- 0.6 ounces per drink. [See Alcohol Eqivalence]

A standard drink is:

Standard Drinks graphically illustrates information on the equivalence of standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor.

With the passage of time temperance groups increasingly pressed for abstention from all alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, and then pushed for the mandatory prohibition of alcohol rather than for voluntary abstinence.

Surprisingly, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and many vestiges of Prohibition are still defended.

 

References and Resources on the American Temperance Union:

  • American Temperance Union. Journal of the American Temperance Union. Philadelphia, PA: American Temperance Union, 1837-1857.
  • American Temperance Union. Youth's Temperance Advocate. New York: American Temperance Union, 1839-1860.
  • American Temperance Union. Almanac of the American Temperance Union for 1842. New York, American Temperance Union, 1841.
  • American Temperance Union. Almanac of the American Temperance Union for 1843. New York, American Temperance Union, 1842.
  • American Temperance Union. Temperance Lecturer and Almanac of the American Temperance Union for the Year of Our Lord 1844. New York, American Temperance Union, 1843.
  • American Temperance Union. Journal of the American Temperance Union and the New York Prohibitionist. New York: American Temperance Union.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1839. Philadelphia, PA: S.W. Benedict, 1839.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1840. Philadelphia, PA: S.W. Benedict, 1840.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1845. New York, American Temperance Union, 1845.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1848. New York, American Temperance Union, 1848.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1849. New York, American Temperance Union, 1849.
  • American Temperance Union. Report of the Executive Committee of the American Temperance Union, 1853. New York, American Temperance Union, 1853.
  • American Temperance Union. The Test of wine, Beer, and Cider Drinking, and Tobacco. The Test of Experience. New York, American Temperance Union, 1863.
  • Christian Chronicle: American Temperance Union (christianchronicler.com/history1/benevolent_empire.html+%22American+Temperance+Union%22&hl=en)
  • This Date In History: American Temperance Union (atheism.about.com/b/a/145391.htm+%22American+Temperance+Union%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6)

filed under: Prohibition

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