157: Temperance, Prohibition, and the Path to the 18th Amendment

History That Doesn't Suck

Jun 3 2024 • 1 hr

Episode Description: “Farewell, you good-for-nothing, God-forsaken, iniquitous, bleary-eyed, bloated-faced old imp of perdition, farewell!” This is the story of the path to prohibition. Early America drinks a lot – I mean, A LOT. Alcohol doesn’t give you dysentery, it’s used as a medicine, and in the first decades of the Republic, whiskey is cheaper than coffee or tea. But some are starting to think that maybe Uncle Sam needs an intervention. First, it's the American Temperance Society, then the Washingtonians, and by the late-nineteenth-century, it’s the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. These ladies are particularly keen to see the nation lay off the bottle, particularly as drunk men are laying their paychecks on saloon bars and fists on their wives and children. But no one is perhaps more invested or influential than the Anti-Saloon League’s Wayne B. Wheeler.  From Founding Father Luther Martin’s likely drunken appearance before the Supreme Court, to Carrie Nation busting up saloons with a hatchet, and Wayne Wheeler proving himself a master lobbyist and king-making in Congress, this is the “how” and “why” behind the US Constitution’s 18th Amendment.  ____ Connect with us on HTDSpodcast.com and go deep into episode bibliographies and book recommendations join discussions in our Facebook community get news and discounts from The HTDS Gazette  come see a live show get HTDS merch or become an HTDS premium member for bonus episodes and other perks. HTDS is part of the Airwave Media Network.  Interested in advertising on the History That Doesn't Suck? Email us at advertising@airwavemedia.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices