The prohibition movement in the United States was very successful during the era of progressive reform, from 1900 to 1919. This is because of the social composition of the prohibitionists, their motives, strategy, and pressure-group tactics, and the relationship of prohibitionism to progressive reform. The prohibitionists attacked saloons with a passion, they appealed to women's rights, and they tried every mean possible to keep their areas dry.'
Prohibitionists consisted of a few groups of people. In Document J, it is shown that most prohibitionists were clergymen, businessmen, and lawyers. Most of the prohibition movement was centered in areas with 2,500 to 99,000 people. This meant that it was not in great cities nor in rural areas that prohibition was most popular (Doc. K). A great deal of prohibition movement was concentrated in the church and in female voters. The prohibitionists appealed to women voters. One source said, "Truly does a saloon make a woman bare of all things!" (Doc. A). And in Document B there is a poster that appeals to women through their children, claiming that alcohol in fathers causes defective children. The campaign aimed at women succeeded. This is illustrated in the cartoon in Document P. Apparently one thousand saloons were closed by women voters. It was also very evident that prohibition was greatly supported by the church "in an age especially marked by religious doubt and materialism," (Doc. L). One minister said "Yes, deliverance will come, but it will be from the sober and august Anglo-Saxon south," (Doc. I) This minister was clearly stating that only sober men will be delivered. The churches were also acknowledged in their contributions to the prohibition cause. One man said, "Now, Whatever we may think about prohibition as a public policy, we must all agree in paying tribute to the efficiency and courage of the churches in their conduct of this relentless fight." (Doc. Q) It was even suggested that churches...
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