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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
TEMPERANCE ORGANIZATIONS. In the 19th and early 20th centuries an organized effort was made to encourage moderation in the consumption of alcohol or complete abstinence. The movement's members were generally women who, with their children, had witnessed the effects of drinking by many of their menfolk. Alcohol was blamed for many of society's demerits, among them severe health problems, destitution and crime.
In the United States, a pledge of abstinence had been suggested by many preachers at the beginning of the 1800s. Temperance associations were established in New York (1808) and Massachusetts (1813). With the leadership provided by the churches, an etimated 6,000 local temperance groups in many states were operating by the 1830s.
The temperance movement reached its greatest success when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution (Prohibition, 1919-33) was passed and ratified. The failure of Prohibition (repealed by the 21st Amendment) led to the movement being discredited.
The most well-known current temperance effort has been Alcoholics Anonymous. This organization advocates total abstinence, treats alcoholism as a disease, and does not suggest governmental control of the liquor industry.
In Dubuque, temperance organizations have included the following: