It was a key component of the Progressive Era, and was strongest in the South and rural North, drawing heavy support from pietistic Protestant ministers and their congregations, especially Methodists, Baptists, Disciples and Congregationalists. It concentrated on legislation, and cared about how legislators voted, not whether they drank or not. Founded as a state society in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1893, its influence spread rapidly. In 1895, it became a national organization and quickly rose to become the most powerful prohibition lobby in America, overshadowing the older Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Prohibition Party. Its triumph was nationwide prohibition locked into the Constitution with passage of the 18th Amendment in 1920. It was decisively defeated when Prohibition was repealed in 1933.
However, the organization continued, and is today known as the American Council on Alcohol Problems.
The League was the first modern pressure group in the United States organized around one issue. Unlike earlier popular movements, it utilized bureaucratic methods learned from business to build a strong organization. The League's founder and first leader, Howard Hyde Russell (1855–1946), believed that the best leadership was selected, not elected. Russell built from the bottom up, shaping local leagues and raising the most promising young men to leadership at the local and state levels. This organizational strategy reinvigorated the temperance movement. Publicity for the League was handled by Edward Young Clarke and Mary Elizabeth Tyler of the Southern Publicity Association.
The League's most prominent leader was Wayne Wheeler, although both Ernest Cherrington and William E. Johnson ("Pussyfoot" Johnson), were also highly influential and powerful. The League used pressure politics in legislative politics, which it is credited with developing.
Howard Ball has written that the Ku Klux Klan and the Anti-Saloon league were both immensely powerful pressure groups in Birmingham, Alabama during the Post-World War I period. A local newspaper editor at the time wrote that "In Alabama, it is hard to tell where the Anti-Saloon League ends and the Klan begins". During the May 1928 primary in Alabama, the League joined with Klansmen and members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). When an Alabama state senator proposed an anti-masking statute "to emasculate the order's ability to terrorize people", lobbying led by J. Bib Mills, the superintendent of the Alabama Anti-Saloon League, ensured that the bill failed.
When it came to fighting “wet” candidates, especially candidates such as Al Smith in the presidential election of 1928, the League was less effective because its audience was already Republican.
The League used a multitiered approach in its attempts to secure a dry (prohibition) nation through national legislation and congressional hearings, the Scientific Temperance Federation, and its American Issue Publishing Company. The League also used emotion based on patriotism, efficiency and anti-German sentiment in World War I. The activists saw themselves as preachers fulfilling their religious duty of eliminating liquor in America. Lamme (2003) explores the public relations approach used by the League as it tried to mobilize public opinion in favor of a dry, saloonless nation. It invented many of the modern techniques of public relations.
The League lobbied at alleles of government for legislation to prohibit the manufacture or import of spirits, beer and wine. Ministers had launched several efforts to close Arizona saloons after the 1906 creation of League chapters in Yuma, Tucson, and Phoenix. A League organizer from New York arrived in 1909, but the Phoenix chapter was stymied by local-option elections, whereby local areas could decide whether to allow saloons. League members pressured local police to take licenses from establishments that violated closing hours or served women and minors, and they provided witnesses to testify about these violations. One witness was Frank Shindelbower, a juvenile from a poor family, who testified several saloons had sold him liquor; as a result those saloons lost their licenses. However owners discovered that Shindelbower had perjured himself, and he was imprisoned. After the Arizona Gazette and other newspapers pictured Shindelbower as the innocent tool of the Anti-Saloon League, he was pardoned.
At the state level, the League had mixed results, usually doing best in rural and southern states. It made little headway in larger cities, or among liturgical church members such as Catholics, Jews, Episcopalians and German Lutherans. Pegram (1990) explains its success in Illinois under William Hamilton Anderson. From 1900 and 1905 the League worked to obtain a local option referendum law and became an official church federation. Local Option was passed in 1907 and by 1910 40 of Illinois' 102 counties and 1,059 of the state's townships and precincts had become dry, including some Protestant areas around Chicago. Despite these successes, after the Prohibition amendment was ratified in 1919, social problems such as organized crime ignored by the League undermined the public influence of the single-issue pressure group, and it faded in importance. Pegram (1997) uses its failure in Maryland to explore the relationship between Southern Progressivism and national progressivism. The Maryland leader 1907-14 was William H. Anderson, but he was unable to adapt to local conditions, such as the large German element. The League failed to ally with local political bosses and attacked the Democratic Party. In Maryland, as in the rest of the South, Pegram concludes, traditional religious, political, and racial concerns constrained reform movements even as they converted Southerners to the new national politics of federal intervention and interest-group competition.
Unable to cope with the failures of prohibition after 1928, especially bootlegging and organized crime as well as reduced government revenue, the League failed to counter the repeal forces. Also their failure to disassociate from the Ku Klux Klan brought on negative connotations with the League. Led by prominent Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt won in 1932 on a wet platform. A new Constitutional amendment passed easily in 1933 to repeal the 18th amendment, and the League lost its power.
In 1909, the League moved its national headquarters from Washington to Westerville, Ohio, which had a reputation for supporting temperance. The American Issue Publishing House, the publishing arm of the League, was also in Westerville. Ernest Cherrington headed the company. It printed so many leaflets—over 40 tons of mail per month—that Westerville was the smallest town to have a first class post office.
From 1948 until 1950 it was named the Temperance League, from 1950 to 1964 the National Temperance League, from 1964 the American Council on Alcohol Problems. Today the organization continues its original goal. A museum about the League is at the Westerville Public Library.
The American Council on Alcohol Problems is a federation of 37 state affiliates promoting the reduction of alcohol advertising, availability and consumption throughout the United States.
The Council was known as the Anti-Saloon League from 1893 until 1948 (when it was a leading national advocate of Prohibition), as the Temperance League until 1950, the National Temperance League until 1964, and now as the American Council on Alcohol Problems.Committee of Fourteen
The Committee of Fourteen was founded on January 16, 1905 by members of the New York Anti-Saloon League as an association dedicated to the abolition of Raines law hotels.David Hogg (American politician)
David Hogg (August 21, 1886 – October 23, 1973) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana.
Born near Crothersville, Indiana, Hogg attended the common schools.
He was graduated from Indiana University College of Liberal Arts at Bloomington in 1909 and from the law department of Indiana University in 1912.
He was admitted to the bar in 1913 and commenced practice in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He served as chairman of the Allen County Republican Committee 1922-1924.
Hogg was elected as a Republican to the 69th United States Congress in 1924, and began his eight years in Congress on March 4, 1925. He was re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses, ending his last term on March 3, 1933. In 1926, the Anti-Saloon League endorsed his candidacy.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932 to the Seventy-third Congress and for election in 1934 to the Seventy-fourth Congress, and, in 1936, to the Seventy-fifth Congress.
He resumed the practice of law, branching out into mutual life insurance in 1939. From 1940 to 1943, he served as president of Goodwill Industries of Fort Wayne. From 1941 to 1946, he published an interdenominational newspaper; after which he again resumed the practice of law until his death in Fort Wayne on October 23, 1973.
He was interred in Lindenwood Cemetery.Ernest Cherrington
Ernest Cherrington (1877–1950) was a leading temperance journalist (see temperance movement). He became active in the Anti-Saloon League and was appointed editor of the organization's publishing house, the American Issue Publishing Company. He edited and contributed to the writing of The Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem, a comprehensive six-volume work. In addition, he was active in establishing the World League Against Alcoholism.
Cherrington favored education over the coersive use of force to bring about Prohibition and sobriety, a position in direct opposition to that of Anti-Saloon leader Wayne Wheeler. Following a number of name changes, the league is now the American Council on Alcohol Problems.
Cherrington remained active in temperance activities until shortly before his death in 1950.Francis Scott McBride
Francis Scott McBride (July 28, 1872 – April 23 1955) was a Presbyterian minister active in the Anti-Saloon League. He featured on the cover of Time magazine on 3 June 1929.Howard Hyde Russell
Howard Hyde Russell (1855–1946) was the founder of the Anti-Saloon League.
Following a religious conversion, he gave up the practice of law to become a minister.
In 1893, he organized the Ohio Anti-Saloon League. In 1895, when the Anti-Saloon League was established at the national level, Russell was elected superintendent. He mentored future leaders of the league, including Wayne Wheeler and Ernest Cherrington.
Russell also established the Lincoln-Lee Legion to promote the signing of temperance pledges by children and other young people. He is reported to have raised five million dollars to promote the temperance movement.
Russell was also the author of A Lawyer's Examination of the Bible, which is a work of Christian apologetics that argues the evidences for the Bible's authenticity concerning the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Russell believed that the testimony of the writers of the gospels could be tested by technical legal criteria and argued that such testimony was trustworthy. In this respect, he followed the arguments presented by the 19th century Harvard Law School professor Simon Greenleaf in his book The Testimony of the Evangelist. Russell's book was first published in 1893 and then re-released in 1935.
Ernie Pyle devotes an entire chapter to Mr. Russell in his book, Home Country.Lewis C. Branscomb
Lewis C. Branscomb (1865 - October 30, 1930) was an American Methodist minister in the U.S. state of Alabama, and the president of the Alabama Anti-Saloon League.Local option
A local option is the ability of local political jurisdictions, typically counties or municipalities, to allow decisions on certain controversial issues based on popular vote within their borders. In practice, it usually relates to the issue of alcoholic beverage and marijuana sales.
As described by an encyclopedia in 1907, local option is the "license granted to the inhabitants of a district to extinguish or reduce the sale of intoxicants in their midst." A 1911 Encyclopædia describes it as "specifically used in politics of the power given to the electorate of a particular district to choose whether licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor should be granted or not." This form of "local option" has also been termed "local veto."Local option regarding alcohol was first used in the temperance movement as a means to bring about prohibition gradually. In the 1830s, temperance activists mobilized to restrict licenses in towns and counties in New England. By the 1840s, temperance reformers demanded state laws to allow local voters to decide whether any liquor licenses would be issued in their localities. Some 12 states and territories had some form of these early local option laws by the late 1840s. Controversy over the measures gave rise to the first major confrontation in the United States over the propriety and constitutionality of ballot-box legislation, or referendums. Opponents of local option, which included drinkers and liquor dealers (many of whom were immigrants) argued that local option authorized the "tyranny of the majority" and infringed upon the rights of the liquor-dealing and liquor-consuming minority.Local option, as a method of alcohol control, made a resurgence after the Civil War. The Anti-Saloon League initially decided to use local option as the mechanism to bring about nationwide prohibition. Its intent was to work across the country at the local level. In many instances, however, it was not the agenda. For instance, several wards in Ontario, Canada, passed local option but were vehemently against province-wide prohibition, preferring to isolate alcohol sales rather than ban them altogether. That is particularly evident in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood, part of which remained notoriously dry as late as 2000, the last area of Ontario to repeal prohibition.Following the repeal of national Prohibition in the United States in 1933, some states chose to maintain prohibition within their own borders. Others chose to permit local option on the controversial issue. In the remainder of states, there was no prohibition. Overlying the patchwork of prohibition, many states (known as alcoholic beverage control states) decided to establish their own monopolies over the wholesaling and/or retailing of alcoholic beverages. Montgomery County, Maryland, for example, has used local option to establish its alcohol control monopoly within its borders.New York Anti-Saloon League
The New York Anti-Saloon League was an American organization that worked toward the prohibition of alcohol and the closing of saloons. Located at 156 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it was an offshoot of the Ohio-based Anti-Saloon League. Adna W. Leonard of Buffalo, New York was its president. The superintendent of the group was William Hamilton Anderson, of who said of prohibition: "Be a good sport about it. No more falling off the water wagon. Uncle Sam will help you keep your pledge."Pressure politics
Pressure politics generally refers to political action which relies heavily on the use of mass media and mass communications to persuade politicians that the public wants or demands a particular action. However, it commonly includes intimidation, threats, and other covert techniques as well.
The use of pressure, intimidation and manipulation has existed for millennia. However, its origins are most commonly associated with the temperance movement in the late 19th century and first two decades of the 20th century. Discovering the power of utilizing the mass media to exert pressure on politicians is usually attributed to Wayne Wheeler, the de facto leader of the Anti-Saloon League. Under his mentorship, a number of skilled practitioners of pressure politics emerged within the league (Odegard, 1928). One of the most accomplished of these was William E. Johnson, better known as "Pussyfoot" Johnson.
One leader of the league testified that prior to its passage in Congress, he had compiled a list of 13,000 business people who supported prohibition. They were then given their instructions at the crucial time:
We blocked the telegraph wires in Congress for three days. One of our friends sent seventy- five telegrams, each signed differently with the name of one his subordinates. The campaign was successful. Congress surrendered. The first to bear the white flag was Senator Warren Harding of Ohio. He told us frankly he was opposed to the amendment, but since it was apparent from the telegrams that the business world was demanding it, he would submerge his own opinion and vote for submission. (Pollard, 1932, p. 107).
The league was so powerful that even national politicians feared its strength. The Eighteenth Amendment creating Prohibition might well not have passed if a secret ballot had made it impossible for the league to have punished the "disobedient" at the next election (Sinclair, 1962, p. 110).
The Anti-Saloon League did not believe its actions to be immoral. To the contrary, its activities to bring about Prohibition were viewed as moral and justified because it believed it was working to bring about God's will (Asbury, 1968, pp. 101–102).Purley Baker
Purley Albert Baker (1858 – 1924) was an ordained Methodist minister who strongly opposed any consumption of beverage alcohol and was superintendent of the Ohio Anti-Saloon League. He became head of the national Anti-Saloon League in 1903 and five years later created the League's Industrial Relations Department to promote the idea that imposing prohibition would be a good business investment. He raised large sums of money to create a major information campaign, an important component of which was to demonize the producers of alcoholic beverages.Robert M. Wallace
Robert Minor Wallace (August 6, 1856 – November 9, 1942) was a U.S. Representative from Arkansas.
Born in New London, Arkansas, Wallace attended the common schools, and was graduated from Arizona Seminary, Arizona, Louisiana, in 1876.
He studied law.
He was admitted to the bar at Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1879 and commenced the practice of law in El Dorado, Arkansas.
He served as member of the State house of representatives in 1881 and 1882.
United States post office inspector 1887-1891.
He served as prosecuting attorney for the thirteenth judicial circuit of Arkansas in 1891 and 1892.
He served as assistant United States attorney in 1894.
Wallace was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1903-March 3, 1911).
He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress.
He resumed the practice of his profession at Hot Springs and Little Rock and also engaged in lecturing for the Chautauqua and for the Anti-Saloon League.
He moved to Magnolia, Arkansas, where he died on November 9, 1942.
He was interred in Magnolia Cemetery.Temperance movement in the United States
The Temperance movement in the United States is a movement to curb the consumption of alcohol. It had a large influence on American politics and society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, there are organizations that continue to promote the cause of temperance.The LaMontages brothers
The LaMontages brothers -- Rene, Montaigu, William and Morgan—were high society bootleggers who made $2,000,000 annually through their illegal business during the early years of alcohol Prohibition in the United States.
A tip from a disgruntled employee led to their arrest and conviction, although the U.S. Assistant Attorney General, Mabel Willibrand, reported that "every conceivable political and personal appeal, including an appeal by a Cabinet officer, was made to squash the case." On February 9, 1923, the federal court fined each brother $2,000 and sentenced three of them to four months in prison and one to two months. However, it was 1929 before their listings in the Social Register were dropped.Wayne Wheeler
Wayne Bidwell Wheeler (November 10, 1869 – September 5, 1927) was an American attorney and longtime leader of the Anti-Saloon League. The leading advocate of the prohibitionist movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s, he played a major role in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.A native of Brookfield Township in Trumbull County, Ohio, Wheeler was raised on his family's farm, and a childhood accident caused by an intoxicated hired hand gave Wheeler a lifelong aversion to alcohol, as well as an anecdote he later used in recruiting converts to the prohibition movement and promoting a prohibition amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Wheeler graduated from high school in Ohio, received his teaching qualification, and taught for two years before becoming a student at Oberlin College. After graduating in 1894, Wheeler became an organizer for the Anti-Saloon League. He earned his LL.B. degree from Western Reserve University in 1898. In 1902, Wheeler became head of the Anti-Saloon League, and perfected a system of single issue pressure politics, including media campaigns and public demonstrations, to win enactment of laws limiting or banning the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Wheeler's career hit its high point with the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act in 1920. As enforcement of Prohibition became increasingly difficult, federal agencies resorted to draconian measures including poisoning alcohol to try to dissuade people from consuming it. Wheeler's refusal to compromise, for example by amending Prohibition measures to allow for consumption of beer and ale, made him appear increasingly unreasonable. His influence began to wane, and he retired in 1927.
Soon after his retirement, Wheeler was beset by several tragedies. His wife was killed in an accidental kitchen fire, and his father-in-law had a fatal heart attack after trying unsuccessfully to aid her. Wheeler suffered from kidney disease, and died at a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan on September 5, 1927.Westerville Public Library
The Westerville Public Library is a public library that serves the community of Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. As a school district library, its geographic boundaries are defined by the Westerville City School District (Franklin County, Ohio) which straddles both Franklin County and Delaware County. All Ohio residents can apply for a Westerville Public Library card.
As of December, 2014, the library had 118,720 registered borrowers, circulated 2,102,171 items and saw 81,475 people attending library programs and events with total operating costs of $6,567,375.William David Upshaw
William David Upshaw (October 15, 1866 – November 21, 1952) served eight years in Congress (1919–1927), where he was such a strong proponent of the temperance movement that he became known as the "driest of the drys."
He was born on October 15, 1866 and served as vice-president of the Georgia Anti-Saloon League in 1906 and played a major role in passage of statewide prohibition in that state in 1907, making it the first dry state in the South.
The defense of prohibition was a major factor in the establishment of the second Ku Klux Klan ("Klan of the 1920s") in 1915. However, Upshaw was not sympathetic with the Klan, and, on one occasion, ran against a Klan-supported candidate for public office.
In a January 1951, after having been crippled for fifty-nine years as the result of an accident, Upshaw claimed to have been miraculously healed and had regained the ability to walk in a William Branham revival meeting. Upshaw sent a letter describing his healing claim to each member of Congress. Among the widespread media reports was a story carried in the Los Angeles Times that described it as "perhaps the most effective healing testimony this generation has ever seen."
Known as the "Billy Sunday of Congress," Upshaw was supported politically by the most powerful names in Southern Protestantism, including evangelist Bob Jones, Sr., the founder of what eventually became Bob Jones University. Upshaw served as a member of the Board of Trustees from the founding of Bob Jones College in Lynn Haven, Florida in 1927, until he was dropped from the Board in 1932 because of failure to attend the annual Board meetings or file his voting proxies. (See William David Upshaw Correspondence file, Bob Jones University Archives, Mack Library.)
In 1932, he was the Prohibition Party candidate for the President of the United States with Frank S. Regan of Illinois as his running mate. The ticket came in fifth, losing to Franklin D. Roosevelt (who favored repeal of prohibition), incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover, Socialist candidate Norman Thomas, and Communist candidate William Z. Foster.
For the remainder of his life he was a strong supporter of the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. He died on November 21, 1952.William Hamilton Anderson
William Hamilton Anderson (1874 – c. 1959) was the superintendent of the New York Anti-Saloon League. He worked toward the prohibition of alcohol and the closing of saloons. In 1924 a jury convicted him of skimming contributions to the league.World League Against Alcoholism
The World League Against Alcoholism was organized by the Anti-Saloon League, whose goal became establishing prohibition not only in the United States but throughout the entire world.
As ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment creating prohibition in the U.S. neared, Anti-Saloon leader Ernest Cherrington promoted creation of the World League Against Alcoholism. Created in 1919, the new organization cooperated with temperance groups in over 50 countries on six continents. It provided assistance including speakers and educational materials to advance an international temperance movement.
Just as the Anti-Saloon League opposed not only saloons but any consumption of alcohol, the World League Against Alcoholism not only sought to prevent alcoholism but any consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the Anti-Saloon League's fortunes fell dramatically and it found itself unable to continue supporting the World League Against Alcoholism.
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