Temperance Movement. Temperance defined. The temperance movement was a widespread effort by many Americans during the 1800s and early 1900s to reduce the consumption of alcohol. . Alcohol banned.
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… the bartender is the figure of Death. In a back room there is a drunken fight, with one man swinging a bottle. Just outside the door are two children, perhaps pleading for their father to come back home. The damage done to families by alcohol drinking was one of the main arguments used by leaders in the temperance movement.
Saloons were usually places for men only in the 1800s and early 1900s. They could be fancy places in big cities, or rickety wood frame buildings in a Western town. However the saloons looked, their customers considered them as a kind of men's social club where they were welcome and could relax with friends.
The temperance movement became very well organized by the late 1800s. It drew much of its energy from preachers like the one below, who has drawn a crowd in the street by speaking out against alcohol in front of a saloon.
In 1917, the U.S. Congress voted to propose an Amendment to the Constitution to ban the making, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages. The proposal was approved, and the 18th Amendment took effect in 1920.