Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Many may say that the Antebellum Temperance Movement was primarily motivated by religious moralism. I tend to take that stance as well. The Antebellum Temperance Movement of the 18th century was focused around the idea that people, mostly men, should abstain from alcohol if they could not drink the spirits in moderation. In this era, many women had suffered greatly because their loved ones would imbibe excessively leaving them short on money, food, and even shelter which left many impoverished and unable to care for their families. Additionally, the excessive consumption of alcohol led to health care issues, crime and in the end, destitution. The first author, W.J. Rorabaugh, is a proponent on the side of how Christian ministers, Ã¢â¬Å"portrayed liquor as the tool of the devil and develop temperance societies as socialization institutions to ease social tensions and anxieties that contributed to alcohol consumption,Ã¢â¬ (Madaras, L.; SoRelle, J. Pg. 256) Appositionally, John J. Rumbarger opposes by stating that, Ã¢â¬Å"the nineteenthÃ¢â¬âcentury temperance reform was the product of the pro-capitalist market economy whose entrepreneurial elite led the way toward abstinence and prohibitionist campaigns. In order to guarantee the availability for a more productive workforce,Ã¢â¬ (Madaras, L.; SoRelle, J. Pg. 256). I agree with W.J. Rorabaugh that during the Antebellum Temperance Movement, the churchÃ¢â¬â¢s played an enormous role in prohibiting alcohol consumption because it was the Ã¢â¬Å"tool of the devilÃ¢â¬ . In taking sides, it is evident that W.J. Rorabaugh was on the right track when he points out that many evangelic religious leaders formed groups to reiterate to the people that liquor was the tool of the devil and that basically, society would continue to... ...d represent a mechanism of social control and did instigate the connection between religion and the need for social reform. In Taking Sides, although Rumbarger and Rorabaugh both had strong, compelling points on the Antebellum Temperance Movement, I believe that W.J. Rorabaugh provided enough evidence that convinced me that the ChurchÃ¢â¬â¢s definitely furthered the movement of Antebellum Temperance Reform. Since drinking was labeled as the Ã¢â¬Å"devilÃ¢â¬â¢s toolÃ¢â¬ , many of the temperance movements and the participation thereof consisted of women and pastors. I believe that the two combined were a powerful entity and really wanted to believe that ultimately, people could make better choices for their lives. Therefore, it was easier to convince society that by living a life with a moral code, free of alcohol and all the turmoil it brought, further helped reshape the society.