Essay on Reform Movements Of The Antebellum Period
The temperance movement initially began with a goal to reduce the alcohol consumption of Americans. This changed when Lyman Beecher condemned any use of alcohol at all. Evangelical Protestants created the American Temperance Society. The goal of this group was to use moral suasion to persuade people to take a pledge that they would abstain from any use of alcohol.
The temperance movement began to focus on the laboring class and their consumption of alcohol. There was a great deal of opposition initially from the laboring class as it was not unusual to drink alcohol during the workday. The laboring class did not see the drinking of alcohol as a problem. As industrialization began to increase employers began to realize the value of sober workers in terms of productivity. Employers began to promote temperance within their companies. The effects of the depression that began in 1837 made some in the working class see the negative effects that alcohol consumption had on their productivity and the potential to secure and maintain employment.
The Washington Temperance Society along with the Marsha Washingtonians began holding meetings in which former drinkers…