—Reasons for a temperance movement exist to a greater or less degree in all the countries of Europe, although the kind and amount of alcoholic drinks consumed vary greatly in the different lands. In former days the greatest amount of drunkenness was to be found in Russia and Sweden, while now the latter country is the most temperate of all. On the other hand, conditions at present are very bad in France and Belgium, largely because these are almost the only lands where absinthe is habitually drunk. Unfortunately, it is just in these countries that there are but few signs of an energetic temperance movement, for in them wine and beer are still called “hygienic drinks”. A strong opposition to the use of alcoholic liquors exists in Great Britain, in the Scandinavian kingdoms, and, for the last ten years, in the Netherlands and Germany. It is only of late that the southern countries of Europe have begun to take part in the temperance movement, and of these Italy is the most active.
A. Consumption of Alcohol.
—Statistics as to the consumption of intoxicating liquors should be used with great caution, especially when different countries are compared. The amount of alcohol in various liquors, and even in the same liquor in different countries, varies greatly. The most reliable inter-national statistics concerning alcoholic beverages are probably those repeatedly issued since 1897 by the British Board of Trade. These statistics were taken by the Imperial Bureau of Statistics at Berlin in 1906 as the basis for the excellent papers on the alcohol question that appeared in the “Reichsarbeitsblatt”. According to them, the average amount of alcohol in distilled liquors may be taken as 50 per cent; in wine in Germany and Switzerland 10 per cent; in wine in Italy, France, Belgium, and Holland, 12 per cent; in Great Britain, 15 per cent; the average amount of alcohol in beer may be taken as 4 per cent (in Great Britain, 6 per cent). The alcoholic beverages most generally used are distilled spirits beer, and wine. The drinking of absinthe, since its prohibition by popular vote in Switzerland in 1908, is limited to France and Belgium, where the prohibition is to a large degree evaded. Distilled spirits is the principal alcoholic beverage in the following countries: Russia, where it is 93 per cent of all the alcoholic beverages consumed; the three Scandinavian countries, 65-69 per cent; Austria-Hungary, 59 per cent. The largest proportion of beer is drunk in Great Britain (78 per cent of all alcoholic beverages consumed) and Belgium (64 per cent). Wine is the alcoholic beverage most used in the following countries: Switzerland, 58 per cent of all alcoholic beverages; France, 75 per cent; Italy, 95 per cent. In Germany, besides a small consumption of wine, an almost equal amount of beer and spirits is used (beer, 49 per cent; spirits, 44 per cent). The figures are, of course, quite different if the question is as to the amount of liquor actually drunk. The amount depends in the first place on whether moderate drinking is the daily habit in a country, or whether alcoholic beverages are drunk only occasionally, even though immoderately; and, secondly, whether beverages containing a large amount of alcohol are most used, or the consumption is of weaker ones, but in larger quantities. This is the reason why the beer-drinking countries rank first when the inquiry is how much alcoholic drink is consumed per capita of population, while, on the other hand, the lands where the largest amounts of wine and brandy are consumed take the lead if the question is as to the amount of alcohol consumed. In the former respect, Belgium stands first with a consumption of nearly 54.22 gallons per capita of population, 49.52 gallons being beer; then come Great Britain and Switzerland, each about 33.01 gallons per capita; Germany, 30.66 gallons; Italy and France, each 28.30 to 30.66 gallons; Denmark, 25.94 gallons. In the other countries the consumption is less than 25 gallons per capita, e.g. Norway, 4 gallons; Holland and Russia, each about 2.35 gallons. On the other hand, the countries where the largest quantity of alcohol is drunk are: France, 4 gallons per capita, and Italy, 3.7 gallons. The countries showing the lowest figures are: Holland, .94 gallon; Russia, .61 gallon; Norway, .51 gallon. Germany and Austria are in the middle with about 2.24 gallons. If, finally, the individual beverages are considered, the largest consumption of distilled spirits is in Denmark, 3.3 gallons per capita, and Austria-Hungary, 2.39 gallons; the largest consumption of beer is in Bavaria and Belgium, where it is more than 50 gallons per capita; the consumption of wine is largest in Italy, 27.59 gallons, and France, 36.55 gallons. The absolute figures are as follows: Germany, 58,962,028.3 gallons of distilled spirits, 1,757,075,471.69 gallons of beer, 87,264,150.94 gallons of wine, for which nearly £150,000,000 ($714,500,000) is paid annually, a sum nearly three times as large as the cost of the German army and navy. The annual expenditure in Austria for alcoholic beverages is about £104,166,000 ($500,000,000).
B. Development of the Temperance Movement.
—Two main periods are to be distinguished. The first, which began about 1830, was fairly general, but substantially affected only the British Isles and the Germanic countries. The second began in 1850 in Great Britain; after a decade it extended to Scandinavia, and after thirty years to Germany. It was, however, only at the close of the century that it attained its great importance, by gradually obtaining a footing in all civilized countries. In both periods the immediate stimulus came from the United States of North America. The chief distinction between the earlier and later movements is generally expressed thus: that the former laid the emphasis on temperance, the latter on total abstinence. But this hardly reaches the root of the matter. Apart from the fact that even in the earlier period teetotal societies existed in England (from 1832), refraining from spirituous beverages was at that time practically equivalent to total abstinence, as other intoxicating drinks were almost unknown, or at least their injurious qualities were much underrated. Beer was then strongly recommended (even in popular songs) as a “most delicious drink”; thus the brewing industry was encouraged. It was thought that poisonous substances existed only in distilled spirits, consequently nothing was said of combating alcohol, but always distilled spirits, and this through abstinence. The earlier movement is better characterized by calling it the era of naive enthusiasm, supported especially by religious ideas. Drunkenness was regarded chiefly as a vice to be overcome by strong religious sentiments. Clergymen were the principal leaders of the movement, and the pledge was its highest attainment.
The new movement is more dispassionate; its fundamental ideas are largely hygienic and social. The nature of alcoholic beverages has been more thoroughly investigated and the danger of habitual moderate drinking, which merely avoids intoxication, has been recognized. Intemperance is no longer generally regarded as a matter of individual morality, but as a menace to the public health (because of its effects on the offspring) and as a danger to national welfare (inasmuch as it promotes criminality and immorality, while lessening mental and economic productivity). The present movement is promoted by physicians, sociologists, and government officials; its final aim is rather to do away with the drinking of alcohol either by national prohibition or by local option. Still, of late, the religious side of the movement has shown renewed vigor, especially in rescue work for drunkards; and strong religious organizations have sprung up, especially among the Catholics of Germany and Holland. It is entirely in keeping with the social character of the movement that the effort is made to influence children and young people also (as in the “Bands of Hope“) and that even the schools are called on to cooperate by means of special instruction.
The first traces of an organized temperance movement in Europe are found in the union formed at Vaxjo, Sweden, in 1819, by a number of pupils at a gymnasium under the guidance of Per Wieselgren (1800-77), who afterwards became famous as the father of the Swedish temperance agitation. The members of the union pledged themselves to abstain from all harmful spirituous beverages. However, impulses from America (“American Temperance Society“, 1826) first led to the foundation of regular societies—almost immediately in Ireland (New Ross, 1829; by 1830, 60 societies); Scotland (Greenock, 1829; the “Scottish Temperance Society“, a central organization, founded in 1831, soon had 300 branches); England (Bradford, 1830; by the end of 1830, 30 local societies; the “British and Foreign Temperance Society“, 1831); Sweden (Stockholm, 1830; the “Swedish Temperance Society“, a central organization, founded in 1837, had 100,000 members by 1845). The movement spread most rapidly in Ireland, where from 1834 Father Mathew (q.v.), probably the greatest preacher of temperance of all times, labored with extraordinary success; by 1844 he had secured nearly 5,500,000 adherents. In Dublin alone 180,000 took the pledge from him; later he went to England, gaining 60,000 in London, then to Scotland and America. In 1858 the “Irish Temperance League“, now the most important abstinence organization in Ireland, was founded. As in Sweden, the first movement in Norway and Germany was also an independent one, but it did not attain in either country much importance until it came into contact with the American and English movements. In Norway, Kjell Andresen established throughout the country numerous societies which, in 1845, he united into a central organization, “Den norske verening modbraendevinsdrikken”, an association that received at once considerable financial aid from the State.
The campaign was opened in Germany about 1800 by a number of medical treatises, especially those of Hufeland (Die Branntweinvergiftung), and also the circular addressed by King Frederick William III of Prussia to the Protestant consistories urging them to exhort the people to abstain from spirits. The first societies were established at Hamburg in 1830 and at Dresden in 1832, through English influence. About 1833 Frederick William III asked the American Government for information concerning the temperance movement. In answer to this request Robert Baird, author of the epoch-making “History of the Temperance Societies in the United States”, was sent to Europe in 1835. At Berlin Baird gave the French version of his work to the king, who had it translated immediately into German, and 30,000 copies distributed. The movement was now carried on with great zeal, mainly by the different Churches. The chief workers among the Catholics were: Father Seling (1792-1860) in the Diocese of Osnabruck; the Archpriest Fitzek and Father Schaffranek in Silesia; the missionex Hillebrandt in Westphalia; Father Ketterer and other Jesuits in Ermland; much influence was also exerted by the writings of the popular author Alban Stolz. Father Mathew’s work was taken as the model of the movement, but an effort was made to secure greater permanence by forming temperance confraternities; these still exist in the east of Germany. The work was carried on among Protestants by Pastor Bottcher of Hanover (also active as a writer) and by Freiherr von Seld, who covered much territory lecturing on temperance. The result of these labors was that when the first temperance congress was held (Hamburg, 1843) there were already over 450 temperance societies in Northern Germany, and 1702 when the second congress was held (Berlin, 1845). At the same date the total number of abstainers in Germany was stated to be 1,650,000, of whom over 500,000 were in Upper Silesia. This was the culminating point of the movement, which rapidly declined after the Revolution of 1848. Besides the countries already mentioned, the early movement attained prominence only in Holland and Denmark, although the American influence was felt in other countries also. In 1842 the “Nederlandsche Vereeniging tot abschaffing van sterken drank” was formed at Leyden; its membership rose to over 20,000 and then declined. Baird spent 1840 in Denmark; 40 societies were quickly formed there, and, in 1845, were united into a national association with its own newspaper, the “Folkevennen”. In Denmark also the conflict between the temperance and total abstinence advocates ended the entire movement.
With the exception of England, where the High Church Anglicans founded (1862) the “Church of England Temperance Society“, which quickly attained great success, little progress was made in Europe from 1860 to 1870. Pastor Bottcher, it is true, succeeded in organizing another continental congress at Han-over in 1863, but the interest in temperance had died out. Nearly twenty years afterwards begins the later movement, which in most countries was distinctly influenced by the “Order of Good Templars”, and in Switzerland and adjacent countries also by the society of the “Blue Cross”, founded by Pastor Rochat at Geneva in 1877 as a society for the rescue of drunkards. In 1868 the “Independent Order of Good Templars” extended from America to England, where, at first, internal dissensions occasioned an acute crisis. About ten years later the order was established in Scandinavia (Norway, 1877; Sweden, 1879; Denmark, 1880). In these countries it proved more successful than anywhere else, particularly in Sweden, where, owing to the exertions of Oscar Eklund and Edvard Wavrinsky, its membership in 1887 was over 60,000. It must be acknowledged that here also internal discords had to be overcome. In 1883 the order entered Germany, appearing first at Hadersleben in the Danish-speaking district, and in 1887 the first German lodge was established at Flensburg. The main strength of the order is still in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. In the same year (1887) the first lodge was established in Switzerland. It is only within the last ten years that grand lodges have been established in Holland and Austria.
Organizations of the different social classes and business men have become of great importance in the new movement. The first of these societies was the “British Medical Temperance Association” formed by the English physicians in 1876. Special organizations for clergymen, teachers, railway men, and workmen have been established, and are striving with increasing success to form international associations. Unfortunately, the Social Democrats have in many instances used the movement as a means for carrying on their own agitation, and in this way have gained the sympathy of many who would otherwise hold aloof from them. This statement, however, has little application to Germany. Women take an increasingly great part in the work of temperance. The “Woman‘s Christian Temperance Union”, established in the United States in 1873, became a world-wide association in 1883, and then affiliated many national associations (some very small) in Europe. Owing to these energetic labors the number of total abstainers has increased greatly in most countries; in some they form from 5 to 12 per cent of the entire population, as: United Kingdom, about 5,000,000 (including 3,200,000 children); Sweden, 500,000; Norway, 240,000 (including 65,000 children); Denmark, 170,000; Germany, over 220,000 (including 85,000 children); Switzerland, 75,000 (including 26,000 children); Finland and Holland, each 30,000; and Iceland, 5000. The total number in Europe may be safely estimated at over 6,500,000.
C. Present Status of the Temperance Movement.
—Under this head will be considered: the inter-national organizations, which, with one exception, are total abstinence societies; the larger associations of the individual countries; the Catholic movement, which is of chief interest here; finally, the most important congresses, in which in a certain manner the associations show their concentrated strength and the success of the movement.
(1) International Organizations.
—The largest organization is still that of the “Independent Order of Good Templars”, which has 18 grand lodges in Europe; of these 6 are in Great Britain, 2 in Germany, 1 each in Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Roumania, and Hungary. There are also some district lodges in France and Russia. The total number of lodges on the Continent is 4661 with 257,638 members, and 1855 lodges for the young with 123,634 members. In Great Britain there are 2266 lodges with 92,725 members and 1380 lodges for the young with 109,220 members. A strong competitor of this order in Switzerland is the “Neutral Independent Order of Good Templars”, established in 1906 by Professor Forel, because he considered the large order laid too much stress on religious elements. The Swiss grand lodge of the new order contains 3500 adults and 3200 young members; the German, 2100 members. A large number of the Dutch, Belgian, French, and Hungarian lodges have also joined the Neutral Order. On account of the law in Austria regarding associations a national association with ten local branches has been formed under the special title “Nephalia” The organization next in size is the “Blue Cross” (headquarters at Geneva), which contains about 1550 branches and 60,000 members, including a large number of reformed drunkards (9000 in Germany). Divided as to the different countries the number of societies is as follows: Switzerland, 468; Germany, 661; Denmark, 364 (the organization is here called “Det blaa Kors”); France, 65; there are also several scattered societies in Belgium, Russia, and Hungary. Affiliated to the “Blue Cross” is an association for youth called the “Bandof Hope for German Switzerland” (Deutsch-schweizerische Hoffnungsbund). A society small in member-ship but important on account of the circulation of its publications is the “International Anti-Alcoholic Association” (Int. Alkoholgegnerbund) with national organizations in Germany and Switzerland. Affiliated with this since 1907 is the “International Bureau for Combating Alcoholism” (Int. Bureau zur Bekampfung des Alkoholismus), Lausanne, conducted by Dr. Hercod, which possesses a large bureau of information.
Notwithstanding their international organizations, two associations, the “Independent Order of Rechabites” and the “Blue Ribbon”, are essentially English societies. The “Rechabites” form a life insurance society with 300,000 members, and have a few branches in Germany and Denmark; the “Blue Ribbon” has about 1,000,000, of whom less than a tenth are in Den-mark, Norway, and Sweden. The international organization of women, the “Woman‘s Christian Temperance Union”, is strongest in English-speaking countries. Among its numerous branches on the Continent, those of Germany and Switzerland are prominent for their activity, especially in the establishing of temperance eating-houses. Of all the inter-national associations of different social classes the “International Society of Physicians” is, owing to the view now taken of the alcohol question, the most important. This society includes the German-speaking countries, Scandinavia, Russia, and Belgium. The “International Railway Anti-Alcoholic Association” (founded in 1904 by de Terra) has branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark. The “International Association against the Abuse of Spirituous Beverages”, founded in 1905, includes about 30 organizations in Germany, England, Holland, Belgium, France, and Russia. These are temperance societies, and promote equally total abstinence and temperance. The association aims at establishing an international bureau against alcohol.
(2) National Associations.
—Most important of those in Germany is the “Association Against the Abuse of Spirituous Beverages” (Verein gegen Missbrauch geist. Getranke); this was established in 1883 and has 37,000 members who take no personal pledge. The society carries on its work by periodicals, pamphlets (of which over a million were circulated in 1908), charts, exhibitions etc. Among the total abstinence societies are: the “German Federation of the Blue Cross Societies of the Evangelical Church” (Deutsche Bund evangelisch-kirchlicher Blaukreuzvereine), with 8500 members; several societies that have separated from the “Independent Order of Good Templars”; and abstinence societies for various classes of society, as workmen, school-children, teachers, post-office officials, lawyers, philologists etc.; the societies for lawyers and philologists are confined to German territory. In defense of their common interest nearly all the German total abstinence societies have joined the “General German Union for Combating Alcoholism” (Allgemeiner deutscher Zentralband zur Bekampfung des Alkoholismus) of Hamburg, which has a large bureau of information, a section for testing beverages free from alcohol, a bureau for lectures, etc. Germany has altogether sixty large anti-alcoholic organizations.
The movement against alcohol is weak in Austria, probably because the Government puts great difficulties in the way of international organizations. The large associations, about thirty in number, have nearly all sprung up within the last few years. The temperance societies (Oest. Verein gegen Trunksucht and similar provincial societies in Vorarlberg, the German Tyrol, and Moravia) have attained considerable importance. The leading abstinence society is undoubtedly the Polish “Eleuterya”, with 5300 members in 20 branches. The “Central Union of Austrian Anti-Alcoholic Societies” (Zentralverband ost. Alkoholgegnervereine “), in Vienna, serves as a common headquarters for most of these societies. Besides the “Neutral Independent Order of Good Templars”, Hungary possesses a fairly important abstinence association for workmen (1100 members) and a central organization. The main organizations in Switzerland are international. Compared with these the national societies are not very important, excepting the “Catholic Abstinence League” (see below). Among the national associations all that call for mention are: the “Alliance Abstinence Union” of Lausanne; the temperance societies, the “Society of St. Gall against the Abuse of Spirituous Liquors” (St. Gallischerverein gegen den Missbrauch geistiger Getranke), with 14,000 members, and the “Patriotic League of Switzerland against Alcoholism” (Ligue patriotique Suisse contre l’alcoolisme). The total abstainers have complete control; the active participation of pupils in schools and children is especially worthy of mention. The “Swiss Abstinence Secretariate” at Lausanne is the headquarters for the society. In Holland there is still considerable rivalry between the total abstinence and the temperance advocates. The organizations of the latter are large, particularly the “People’s Union” (Volksbond), which has over 20,000 members. Most of the societies are connected with the different Churches; the Protestant ones, five in number, have since 1907 been united in the “People’s Union of the Christian Anti-Alcoholic Societies of Holland” (Niederlandischer Volksbund der christlichen Antialkoholvereine).
Hitherto the associations in Belgium and France have been almost exclusively temperance societies; in both countries temperance societies for school-children play an important part. The “French National League against Alcoholism” (Ligue nat. frangaise contre l’alcoolisme) has nearly 100,000 members in 1730 branches, of which many are for children. Belgium has also a similar “Patriotic League” and 120,000 children in more than 5000 temperance societies organized during the last thirty years through the efforts of school inspector Robyn. Only the beginnings of a temperance movement are to be found in Italy. In 1907 various local organizations united in the “Italian Anti-Alcohol Federation” (Federazione Antialcoolista Italiana), which allows daily half a liter (about a pint) of wine at meal-times. The members of the federation are mainly Social Democrats. Still less organization is there in Spain, where the first associations are just beginning to be formed. Portugal is without organization. Total abstinence prevails in the Scandinavian kingdoms, Iceland, and Finland, although home-brewed beer appears to be still frequently permitted. The Norwegian society “Det Norske Totalafholdsselskab” has 135,000 members. In Sweden, besides the very strong “Independent Order of Good Templars”, there are the Social-Democratic “Verdandiorden” and many total abstinence societies for different classes, as physicians, students, teachers, preachers, soldiers, merchants, nurses etc., as well as a society for giving instruction in abstinence. A central abstinence bureau exists in both countries. The largest abstinence society in Denmark is the “Danmarks Afholdsforening” (about 60,000 members). Many total abstainers also belong to the “Good Templars” and the “Blue Cross”.
(3) Catholic Temperance Organizations.
—Just as Catholics shared in the earlier movement sixty or seventy years ago they have also of late years taken an active part in the battle against alcohol. At first the entirely Catholic countries, excepting Belgium, had not a very large share in the movement, Generally speaking, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and England have been the chief champions of the cause. About 1885 the Catholic movement began in Belgium. Under the leadership of Abbe Lemmens there now exists a federation consisting of nine large associations with about 600 local branches and 50,000-60,000 members, who, as a body, represent temperance, not total abstinence. The most important of these associations are the “Sint-Jansgenootschap” in the Province of Limburg (which has a division for young people founded and conducted by Canon Senden), the “Onthoudersbond van West-Flanderen”, and the “Societe beige de Temperance“. The main organization in Germany is the “Alliance of the Cross” (Kreuzbiundnis), a society of Catholic abstainers, with headquarters at Heidhausen near Werden. This organization was established in 1899 by Father Neumann as a temperance society; in 1904 a separate section for total abstainers was formed, and since 1909 the entire organization has been a total abstinence society, with sections for women (Frauenbund), for young people (Johannesbund), and for children (Schutzengelbund). Altogether the association has a membership of 12,000 adults and 60,000 children. Unfortunately, the children’s society has divided, about half of its members joining the “Catholic Temperance Society” (Kath. Massigkeitsbund), established in 1905 (headquarters at Trier). Recently the relations of this latter society to the “Alliance of the Cross” have constantly grown more strained, and it has even established a total abstinence branch (Kreuzbund) of its own. Excellent work is done by the Catholics of Switzerland, where the former Bishop of St-Gall, Augustine Egger (1833-1904), labored as an apostle of temperance. Good feeling exists there between the different tendencies of the movement, although total abstinence is the most conspicuous. The “Swiss Catholic Abstinence League” (Schweizerische kath. Abstinentenliga), founded in 1895 with headquarters at St-Gall, has 90 branches and nearly 4000 members, three-fourths of whom are Germans. Affiliated with this society is the “Young People’s Union of German Switzerland” (Deutsch-Schweizerischer Jugendbund) which has over 60 branches with 10,500 members; a similar union (Rkveil) for French Switzerland has 22 branches and 1200 members. Nearly all the members of the society previously mentioned, “St. Galler Bezirksvereins gegen Missbrauch geistiger Getranke”, are Catholics. In Holland Dr. Ariens and Dr. Banning established in 1895 the “Kruis verbonden” which has over 30,000 members; both this and the special associations for women (Mariavereenigingen), which have about 30,000 members, admit temperance and total abstinence advocates. Instead of children’s societies, associations have been formed of parents who promise not to give their children (minors) any alcoholic beverage; these are called the “St. Anna vereenigingen” (membership 25,000). These societies are arranged according to dioceses and since 1907 their central organization has been the “Sobrietas” with headquarters at Maastricht. Since 1901 Austria also has had its “Catholic Alliance of the Cross” and “Schutzengelbund”; so far, however, the membership has not reached 1000. Hungary has a Catholic temperance society with 10,000 members. The French Catholics have the “White Cross” society (Croix blanche). Some beginnings of inter-national organizations should, finally, be mentioned: the “Abstinence Society for Priests” (650 members) in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, and Holland; the “Catholic Academic Abstinence Union” with about 100 members in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The “International Catholic Association”, opposed to moderate drinking of spirituous liquors, is, so far, of little importance. Mention should also be made of a branch of the Order of Benedictines founded by Father Hager, the members of which are both total abstainers and vegetarians; the mother-house is at Innsbruck.
—The great international congresses against alcoholism meet regularly every two years; the sessions, excepting that held in 1909 in London, have always been held on the Continent. According to official statistics thirteen congresses have been held (1912) . The congress has met twice at The Hague, and once at each of the following cities: Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Christiania, Stockholm, Bremen, Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Basle, London. At first the advocates of temperance exercised most influence; in 1887 at Z Ulrich and in 1903 at Bremen sharp disputes arose between this party and the total abstainers, who now control the meetings of the congresses. Since 1899 the Holy See has been repeatedly represented. Full reports of the sessions of the congresses are published. For about ten years a German total abstinence congress has been held on an average every two years, the seventh meeting being at Augsburg in 1910; similar congresses have been held for Scandinavia and Finland for the same length of time at the same intervals. The eighth Swiss abstinence congress was held at Lausanne in 1910; at its sessions local option was urged. In other countries the holding of national conferences began at still later dates: the first Austrian congress against alcohol was held at Vienna in 1908; the first Russian at St. Petersburg in 1910; the first Italian at Milan in 1910; the first French total abstinence congress at Grenoble in 1910. A French congress of the opponents of the use of alcohol (held in 1903) was not of much importance. The Catholics of Holland and Belgium have so far had two national congresses. Among the special congresses held by the members of a single organization, those of the “Good Templars” are noteworthy. In some countries, particularly Germany and Switzerland, there are societies which hold educational courses of a scientific character for the study of alcoholism.
(5) Successes of the Temperance Movement.
—The main success is the increased understanding, every-where apparent, of its claims. Civil rulers repeatedly emphasize in their public utterances the great importance of strict temperance, while churchmen of high rank are either total abstainers or else warm friends of the movement, in whose interest they have issued many pastoral letters. As regards legislative action the advance of the movement is slower. Complete prohibition exists in Iceland. In Finland it has been repeatedly demanded from the provincial diet, and a similar demand has been made once in Sweden. As in these two countries the number of deputies who are total abstainers grows continually larger (in Sweden they form one-half of the house), the Governments cannot permanently withstand the pressure. In Sweden the ministry in 1911 appointed a special commission to take the preparatory steps. Prohibition of spirits for the country districts in general exists in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, and a local option law for the cities, which is to a great extent enforced. An energetic struggle is now being carried on in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany for a local option law. In criminal jurisprudence the Pollard system is slowly winning adherents; of late two small German states have adopted it, and it is elsewhere in use. Russia and Switzerland have introduced a government monopoly of spirits, but this has not been of any particular use to the temperance movement, except that in Switzerland one-tenth of the profits (alcohol tithe) must be applied to the work against alcoholism. Many countries voluntarily give such aid, as: Sweden, about 200,000 kronen ($54,000) in 1910-1911; Norway about 17,000 kronen ($4590); Holland, 20,000 florins ($8000), etc. A number of countries have introduced special instruction in temperance into the primary schools, notably Belgium, Sweden (where there is a special course for male and female teachers), Norway, and France. Especially great has been the effect of the temperance movement on the reform of taverns. The celebrated Gothenburg system is largely used in Scandinavia and Finland. In this system the taverns are entrusted by the Government or commune to special societies (Samlag), who only receive a limited gain while the profits go to the State or commune for public purposes. In Sweden these profits have amounted in twenty years to 83,000,000 kronen ($22,410,000). The tavern is carried on by a government official appointed for the purpose. The “Independent Order of Good Templars” opposes the system because it gives the communes too great an interest in the sale of alcohol. The “German Society for the Reform of Taverns” (Deutsche Verein fur Gasthausreform) employs the following method: the inn or tavern established by the commune or by a society is given a manager with a fixed salary, who has in addition a commission on the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages. It is always provided that strong alcoholic liquors are never to be in stock. There are many temperance taverns in Switzerland and Sweden, and some in Germany, Hungary, and Holland. Reference should, lastly, be made to the very satisfactory increase of provision for the cure of drunkards. In Germany there are over 40 institutions (six Catholic) where treatment is given, besides numerous homes for drunkards belonging to cities and societies. Several cities have appointed official nurses to take care of drunkards; about half of the patients become permanent abstainers. In Switzerland there are about ten such institutions, one being Catholic. These two countries are far in advance of the others in the effort to cure drunkenness.
II. GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
—In Great Britain and Ireland the State regulates the liquor traffic by imposing duties on the manufacture and importation of spirituous drink and by confining its sale to those who pay for the privilege and fulfill other conditions as to place, time etc. Those who drink, therefore, must pay more for their liquor than its intrinsic value and must observe certain legal limits in the circumstances of their drinking. Thus the State aims by the one act at maintaining public order and promoting social welfare and also at raising revenue from the quasi-monopoly it creates. These two purposes are not always in harmony, which explains to some extent why State interference from the beginning to this day has often failed of success. A full history of liquor legislation and its results would occupy volumes; here there is space only for a brief summary of the chief Acts affecting the British Isles as a whole.
It is significant that up to the Reformation there occurs no civil legislation against drunkenness, although it was prevalent enough in Catholic times. The crop of laws against intemperance began to spring up in the reign of Edward VI, but they can no more be attributed to the higher morality of the new religion than can that monarch’s grammar schools to his zeal for education, or Queen Elizabeth‘s work-houses to her compassion for the poor. All these phenomena point to the passing away of an influence hitherto found sufficient to promote social welfare by moral means. Laws concerning liquor were, indeed, enacted from early times, but their main object was to prevent fraud on the part of the sellers. Scotch legislation, for instance, was busy in the reign of David I (1124-53) regulating the brewing and selling of ale. In England, in 1200, prices were fixed by law for the different sorts of wine, and we find many subsequent enactments tending to encourage the wine trade with the English possessions in France. With the overthrow of the ancient Church and the destruction of her restraining influence, the spread of intemperance became very marked, as is attested by contemporary writers, and the State began to interfere in the interests of public welfare. An English Act was passed in 1495, empowering justices of the peace to suppress at discretion “common ale-houses”, as centers of disorder. The licensing system was introduced in 1551, by an Act which made the consent of the justices necessary for the establishment of ale-houses. The Irish Parliament in 1556 prohibited the manufacture of aqua vitae except by certain specified classes. At the beginning of the seventeenth century laws were passed in England to prevent inns from becoming public-houses in the modern sense. In 1634 the licensing system was extended to Ireland. The close of this century brought a new element into the question. Hitherto only fermented liquors were commonly drunk in England, for, owing to high duties, the price of imported spirits put them beyond the reach of the people, but in 1689 the Government of the Revolution, out of hostility to France, prohibited the importation of foreign spirits and removed the restrictions on home manufacture, with alarming results to public morality. In spite of the retail trade being put under the licensing system in 1700, by 1724 the passion for gin drinking had spread “with the rapidity and violence of an epidemic” (Lecky, “English History”, I, iii), and in vain was the famous “Gin Act” passed in 1736, making the license practically prohibitive. Illicit distilling and smuggling spread enormously, and high licenses had to be repealed in 1742. Although gradually the State resumed control, still “the fatal passion for drink was at once and irrevocably planted in the nation” (Lecky, op. cit.). From 1751 dates a series of laws dealing more stringently with the conduct of the drink traffic, and in 1755 the licensing system was introduced into Scotland.
An attempt was made in 1828, as the result of a Parliamentary inquiry into illicit spirit-dealing, to simplify and consolidate the various licensing laws for England and Scotland, and, in 1833, for Ireland, and these acts form the basis of the existing law. But experimental legislation still continued. In order to cure the nation of spirit-drinking, to encourage a British industry, and to break up the growing system of “tied houses”, an Act was passed in 1830 giving practically free trade in beer. A fortnight after the Act was passed, Sydney Smith wrote: “The New Beer Bill has begun its operations. Everybody is drunk. Those who are not singing are sprawling. The Sovereign People is in a beastly state.” The Act failed miserably of its purpose. In less than three months 24,000 licenses were taken out. The number of “tied houses” was not ultimately lessened and the consumption of spirits steadily rose. In 1869 the beerhouses were again brought under the licensing system. Another well-meant but unsuccessful effort to alter popular taste was the establishment (1860-1) of “off” grocers’ licenses, by which measure Gladstone hoped to wean the people from beer-drinking in public-houses to the use of light wines and spirits at home. Much intermediate and subsequent legislation was concerned with the conditions of holding licenses, particularly with the hours of closing. The “Forbes-Mackenzie” Act of 1853 closed the public-houses of Scotland on Sundays except to travelers, and the measure was extended to Ireland (except five chief towns) in 1878, and to Wales in 1881, with very noticeable results in the decrease of drunkenness. In England the hours of Sunday opening have been restricted to seven. In 1873 a licensing Act prohibited the sale of spirits to children under sixteen, required the confirmation of the County Bench for new licenses, and deprived that Bench of the power of granting licenses in opposition to local refusal. Other measures for the protection of children were passed, culminating in the Act of 1909 which forbids children under fourteen access to public bars. For the last forty years under the influence of State regulations the number of licensed houses has steadily decreased. Shadwell shows that the number of “on” licenses per 10,000 persons in England and Wales was forty-nine in 1871, thirty-one in 1901, twenty-six in 1909. In Scotland there were 17,713 public-houses in 1829; in 1909 with more than double the population there were 6845 only or 14.03 per 10,000. The decrease in numbers has obtained in Ireland also, but a greater decrease in population has counteracted the relative diminution. With a smaller population than Scotland there are in Ireland more than three times as many licensed houses—in 1909, 22,591 in all. The Act of 1904 has tended to accelerate the decrease of licenses by admitting the principle of compensation and giving license holders for the first time a legal claim to renewal unless forfeited by misconduct. In the eyes of those who desire to suppress altogether traffic in drink for private gain this is considered a step backwards, a view which is strengthened by the notable increase of “clubs” since the passing of the Act. Finally, one marked effect of the Finance Act of 1910, so far as it concerns the Temperance Movement, was to reduce the consumption of spirits by ten millions of gallons; against this must be set an increased consumption of fermented liquors and presumably of illicitly distilled spirits. In the history of State activities for the promotion of temperance must be included the action of the various education departments in making temperance teaching an integral part of the elementary code. A temperance syllabus was made compulsory by the Irish Commissioners in 1906. The English department issued its syllabus for England and Wales in 1909, and a similar syllabus was drawn up for Scotland in 1910. If future generations of the populace indulge in drunkenness, it will not be through ignorance of its evil effects on the human frame and the body politic.
This brief sketch of the history of legislation for the control of the liquor traffic is enough to indicate the nature of the problem. The State interferes to secure such observance of temperance as is necessary for social well-being. But reasonable liberty to do what in itself is not unlawful is also a part of social well-being. Were all its citizens sufficiently self-controlled the State would have no claim to interfere, but in its own interests it has to supply by external pressure defects of personal character. The difficulty, then, is so to legislate that the weak may be protected without the freedom of the temperate being unduly infringed. The most obvious thing to do was to lessen temptation by lessening the number of licensed houses. But this policy involves evils of its own. The giving of licenses creates a quasimonopoloy, and monopolies legally secured have a tendency to breed fraud of every sort. The drink-seller tends to become a publican in the old sense. He pays a heavy sum in excise and license for the privilege of trading in liquor, and he must recoup himself from the purchaser. Hence, on the one hand, the evils of smuggling or illicit production, and, on the other, of adulterated liquor, of inducements to drink to excess, of “tied houses” in the hands of producers. The heavy taxation, induced both by considerations of revenue and of social welfare, crushes out free competition and brings the trade into a few hands, and thus within the state is begotten a powerful trust, the interests of which are purely financial and not necessarily in harmony with those of the commonwealth. If legislation opposed to those interests has not behind it, as a permanent force, the moral sense of the larger and saner part of the community, it becomes inoperative and defeats itself. Hence true reform in the matter of the drink traffic depends ultimately on rightly educated public opinion.
Until the end of the eighteenth century the medical profession did little to dispel the ancient tradition about the health-giving qualities of strong drink, to which the name given to the distilled essence of fermented liquors, aqua vitoe and the word “spirit” itself remain as witnesses. And in default of the Church, persecuted and gagged by the civil law, there was none amongst the sects to preach temperance as a principle of ascetics. Isolated physicians like Dr. George Cheyne (1671-1743) had pointed out the dangers of spirit-drinking; Dr. Trotter of Edinburgh and Dr. Rush of Philadelphia both published papers to the same effect in 1788. But it was in the United States that the first combined efforts were made to educate public opinion in this matter. In tracing the history of these voluntary associations which aimed at temperance reform primarily by persuading the individual, it will be convenient to deal with the non-Catholic bodies separately; historically they were the first in the field, and, arising in communities predominantly non-Catholic, they are naturally much more numerous. As will be pointed out, though alike in aim, they sometimes differ in method from Catholic organizations. We cannot pretend to give more than a few salient features of so enduring and widespread a movement.
Influenced by the formation at Boston in 1826 of the Society for the Promotion of Temperance Dr. John Edgar, of Belfast, a Presbyterian, founded on the same lines the Ulster Temperance Society in 1829, and the Rev. G. W. Kerr, a Quaker, a similar society at New Ross. Later in the same year the Glasgow and West of Scotland Society was started by John Dunlop. The next year an English society was formed by Henry Forbes in Bradford. All these and many others which sprang up throughout the British Isles originated in the desire to suppress the spirit-drinking which had become so prevalent, and hence their pledges allowed the moderate use of fermented liquors, It was not until 1832 that at Preston under the advocacy of Joseph Livesay total abstainers first appeared, and the word “teetotal”, applied to abstinence, came into general use. The new pledge caused a sort of schism in many of the earlier societies, but gradually, as the illogicality of taking alcohol in one form and renouncing its use in another became apparent, teetotalism prevailed almost everywhere. Yet the phenomenon observable today, that less spirit consumption means more consumption of beer, was evident even then. Another cause of dissension amongst non-Catholic reformers sprang from erroneous views about the moral character of strong drink itself. In their hatred of its abuse, many extremists declaimed against its use as something intrinsically evil and thus were betrayed into irrational attitudes which injured their cause. If alcohol is evil in se, no one is justified in offering it to others, or in licensing its sale by others. The publican must be classed with the pander: the State must put down the drink traffic by force. In addition to these violent views, men who based their religion on the Bible were hard put to it to explain the toleration and even implicit commendation of the use of wine to be found in its pages, and a vast controversy arose over the question whether the “wine” of Scripture was fermented or not. Undoubtedly, these disputes, and the adoption in many cases of a standpoint opposed to common sense, have done much to prevent the cause of real temperance from progressing, as it might have done, outside the Church, and its practical identification with false religious beliefs has operated to create distrust of the movement amongst many Catholics. But, notwithstanding this ethical confusion amongst the sects, the social and physical benefits of temperance are so marked that its advocacy has had a constant and growing influence upon public opinion. By 1842 the chief societies in England were, the National Temperance Society, the British and Foreign Society for the Suppression of Intemperance, and the British Temperance Association: the Scottish Temperance League was founded in 1844, and in Ireland all the Protestant bodies had drawn new vigor from the great campaign of Father Mathew.
But the mid-century ended in universal political and social disturbance, and the original impulse towards temperance lost for a time much of its vitality. Later, in more settled conditions, the campaign against strong drink took on a more scientific character. It aimed, by the organization of women and children, by teaching temperance in the schools, and by setting forth the physical effects of excessive indulgence, at creating such a weight of opinion as to influence the legislature. The juvenile societies, called “Bands of Hope“, so marked a feature today of Protestant propaganda, were started in 1847. Inspired by the Prohibition Law of Maine (1851) the United Kingdom Alliance, which had for express object “the total and immediate legislative suppression of the traffic in intoxicating liquors as beverages” and which is still the most active of modern organizations, came into being in Manchester in 1853. We need not trace in greater detail the development during the next half-century of these various societies in the British Isles, a development which, as far as numbers are concerned, is of imposing extent. A recent Presbyterian movement, inaugurated in 1909 in the north of Ireland by the Rev. R. J. Patterson and called “Catch-My-Pal”, may be mentioned as having met with much success both there and in England. As for other societies, the Alliance Hand-book (and as regards Ireland and Scotland its enumeration is by no means exhaustive) reckons 18 temperance bodies which are legislative and general, 17 which are sectional (Army, Navy, etc.), 22 identified with different “Churches”, 14 which are sects or orders of themselves, 10 confined to women, 8 juvenile societies, 62 county and 176 town societies—in all 327. These various associations, of course, produce a large amount of Temperance literature, whether in book form or as newspapers and tracts. This vigorous polemic, as is natural, has called forth similar measures of defense on the part of the trade. The Alliance Annual enumerates 10 main associations of those engaged in the drink traffic and estimates the local societies throughout the United Kingdom at about 700. On the grounds that their trade is a lawful one and, under proper conditions (which they profess their readiness to observe), even necessary for social well-being, the sellers of drink are justified in resisting attacks which deny the soundness of those grounds. No Catholic temperance society will base its opposition to the drink traffic on such unsound foundations.
As an organization existing to teach and make feasible man’s duty of self-control, the Catholic Church is the first and the greatest of temperance societies. She teaches, and has always taught, that all are bound under sin not to misuse strong drink themselves or cooperate in the abuse of it by others—and this, whatever means they employ, is the ultimate end of all temperance associations. With the social evil of drunkenness (before she was robbed of her due influence and before the common use of spirits intensified the evil), the Church had been able in great measure to cope by her ordinary discipline—her preaching of self-denial, her administration of the Sacrament of Penance, her institution of penitential seasons, and her canonical legislation. All these moral influences were swept away at the Reformation and nothing effective set in their place. Hence the excesses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are largely attributable to the destruction of Catholicism as a social force. Even after Emancipation in 1829, the effects of the Penal Laws still continued, and it is not till 1838 that we find mention in Great Britain of a purely Catholic temperance association. It is true that in 1819 there was founded at Skibbereen in Kerry a temperance organization presumably Catholic, but it seems to have been rather of the nature of a benefit society with a temperance resolution amongst its rules. At Chelsea, in 1838, the Rev. T. Sisk started a Catholic Total Abstinence Society, and in 1840 we find mention of a South London Catholic Temperance Association which was addressed by Daniel O’Connell. Moreover in the same year a Metropolitan Catholic Association was instituted through the exertions of Mr. John Giles, a Quaker. But these little local efforts were thrown completely into the shade by the gigantic work accomplished (at the providential instigation of another Quaker, William Martin) by the greatest temperance apostle the world has ever seen, Father Theobald Mathew. As a result of his advocacy in the years 1838 to 1845 it is computed that Ireland, with a population of over eight million, counted from three to four million total abstainers, and the annual consumption of spirits, which from 1835 to 1839 averaged 11,595,536 gallons, sank in 1842 to 5,290,650 gallons. The want of permanence that marked this great movement was no doubt mainly due to the catastrophe of the famine, but also in no slight degree to the fact that it won scant support amongst the upper and middle classes and even from the clergy themselves. Its inspiration, however, is alive and growing in strength today, not only in the land of its origin, but in Great Britain as well. For Great Britain in 1843 came under the spell of Father Mathew’s zeal and eloquence, and many Catholic associations were formed in the towns he visited in England and Scotland as parts of the parochial organization.
After the general reaction that preceded and followed the year of Revolution (1848) there is record of further Catholic effort. St. Patrick’s Total Abstinence Society, founded in Dundalk in 1850, still flourishes. In 1858 a Catholic Temperance Hall was opened in Spitalfields by the Rev. Dr. Spratt of Dublin, one of Father Mathew’s most zealous coadjutors; in 1858, we are told, a new Roman Catholic Total Abstinence Society was founded in London, where also in 1863 there is recorded a meeting of the Roman Catholic Teetotal Union. But not until 1866, when Archbishop Manning began to take practical interest in the temperance question, was anything attempted on a larger scale. The United Kingdom Alliance of Manchester and the late Msgr. Nugent of Liverpool put facts and figures before him with the result that both in Liverpool and in London in 1873 a Catholic organization was formed called the League of the Cross which, under those zealous leaders, accomplished a vast deal for temperance in Great Britain. Branches of this organization were set up in many parishes abroad as well as in England and Scotland, and under the eyes of its founders it became a great social force. In 1869 Dr. Delany of Cork promoted a temperance revival in his diocese, and the bishops, by their joint pastoral in 1875, gave a great stimulus to the movement. In that year was instituted in Dublin the Confraternity of the Sacred Thirst of Jesus and in Salford the Diocesan Crusade by Bishop, afterwards Cardinal, Vaughan. The Crusade, or Catholic Association for the Suppression of Drunkenness, inaugurated by Dr. Richardson of London, and various lesser associations date from the same period. Another remarkable revival in Catholic advocacy of total abstinence in the British Isles began towards the end of last century. Father James Nugent did wonderful work in Liverpool for the cause. As a temperance reformer, Father F. C. Hays, a nephew of Father Nugent, has won a like renown. In 1896 he founded his Catholic Temperance Crusade, which aims to prevent, rather than reclaim from, intemperance, and includes members who are total abstainers, children over ten who take the resolution till the age of twenty-one years, and associates who lead a strictly temperate life. There is no central governing body, but the crusade readily cooperates with all other temperance endeavors, aiming at establishing some sort of organization in every parish and, by means of lectures and literature, at spreading a healthy public opinion on the matter. The promoter of the crusade has traveled and worked extensively in its interests, and the influence of his zeal is felt in the whole English-speaking world. The League of the Cross, under the care of Canon Murnane, one of Cardinal Manning’s earliest and most energetic lieutenants, is renewing its youth in England and Scotland.
A Father Mathew Union, the membership of which is confined to the clergy, was founded in London in 1908. But it is in Ireland, where poverty and depopulation make the ravages of strong drink most apparent, that the most strenuous efforts are being made to combat it. In 1898 there was formed in Dublin by Father James Cullen, S.J., the Pioneer Total Abstinence League of the Sacred Heart which numbers today 180,000 members and 172 centers. Particularly noticeable is the large accession to its ranks of the younger clergy. It was the first temperance association to insist on a two years’ probation as a test of purpose and a guarantee of stability; it was enriched by Pius X with many indulgences in 1905. In that year, moreover, the Irish Hierarchy called upon the Capuchins, the religious brethren of Father Mathew, to take up again his work. This they have done with much of his success. Recently under their stimulating zeal one-fourth of the whole population of Limerick took the pledge. Still more recent is the formation by the bishops of the western province of St. Patrick’s League of the West, an organization planned to cover the whole of Connaught with a network of temperance societies and to stamp out drunkenness by the most carefully devised methods. Other less heroic devices, like the Anti-Treating League, aim at counteracting one of the most frequent sources of demoralization. Such vigorous and sustained efforts have had a marked effect in Ireland. Arrests for drunkenness, which were 98,401 in 1899, have fallen each year to 68,748 in 1909, and the expenditure on drink, though still appallingly large (£13,310,469), considering the needs and poverty of the country, is now more than a million less than it was ten years ago. And though the “Drink Bill” of the United Kingdom, which was £179,499,817 in 1902, has now decreased to £155,162,485, owing to some extent to the growth of a more enlightened public opinion, there is yet abundant need of temperance propaganda before the population of the British Isles learns as a whole to avoid excessive drinking, as a vice that is both degrading to the individual and very injurious to the State.
III. IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA.
A. United States.
—The first temperance work in the United States was due to a reaction against intemperance, which threatened to make the Americans a nation of drunkards. The culminating period of intemperance was the seventy-five years between 1750 and 1825. Nearly everyone drank intoxicating liquor. It was the family beverage. It was the prevailing mark of hospitality. It was regarded as a discourtesy, even an insult, to refuse it. At all functions, public and private, social and commercial, sacred and solemn, intoxicating beverages were used. Not only was liquor regarded as indispensable on such occasions, but the erroneous belief prevailed that no hard work could be accomplished without the stimulating glass. Laborers and mechanics were provided with their quota of liquor, twice a day, at the sound of the town bell, that summoned them regularly at eleven and four o’clock. The farmer stipulated with his help when he hired them for harvesting that they were to receive a certain amount of “spirits”, which was generally whisky or New England rum. Strong liquor was supposed to make strong men. This supposition was not questioned until the fatal effects of drinking habits were evident in the multitude who went down to drunkards’ graves. Intemperance was widespread, increasing day by day, till it reached its climax at the close of the Revolutionary War. Congress furnished the Colonial troops with liquor to strengthen them in the hardships of war. The soldiers returned to their homes and added to the wave of drunkenness that rose high and spread far and wide. It was commonly stated at the end of the Revolution that the United States consumed more liquor per capita than any other nation. It was generally admitted that no man could be found who had not been drunk on some occasion. The out-come of this universal intemperance was a reaction in favor of temperance.
The first pronounced effort at reform was inaugurated by Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In 1785 he issued a pamphlet entitled “Inquiry into the effects of ardent spirits on the human body and mind”, which was widely read in America and England. No organized movement resulted from it, but it affected public opinion strongly and laid the foundation of subsequent temperance work. The reform inaugurated by Dr. Rush did not advocate total abstinence; the public was not prepared for any such remedial measure. The first step toward it was the abolition of the custom of affording liquor to employees. Then moderation in the use of distilled liquors was encouraged; this developed into abstinence from this class of liquors, and the moderate use of wine, beer, and cider. Finally after a half-century of effort in regulating the use of liquor, it was demonstrated that the plan of moderation had proved a failure, and that the only practical remedy was total abstinence.
The first temperance organization was formed by two hundred farmers in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1789. The members merely pledged themselves not to give liquor to their farm hands. This action met with bitter opposition from the workmen, who persecuted the members of the new society and heaped every indignity upon them. Such was the prejudice in favor of strong drink that this very moderate temperance movement was considered drastic and revolutionary. The first society of pledged abstainers was formed in April, 1808, at Moreau, Saratoga County, New York. Forty-seven members pledged themselves to abstain from distilled spirits and wine except in case of sickness or at public dinners, under penalty of a fine of twenty-five cents, and fifty cents for actual intoxication. Other societies were established which prohibited not the use but the intemperate use of intoxicating liquors. One of these societies was organized in a tavern, at the bar of which the officers treated the others. Members were fined twenty-five and fifty cents for drunkenness, and a bylaw of one society required members who had become drunk to treat all the other members.
The vice of drunkenness called for a more adequate effort than the mere advocacy of moderation. On February 13, 1826, “The American Temperance Society” was established at Boston. This opened a new era, and paved the way to total abstinence. The new society advocated total abstinence, but, from considerations of prudence, it was not enforced. The purpose of the society was to mould public sentiment and to reform the habits and customs of the community. Gradually men began to see that drunkenness was to be combated by attacking the drink-habit. Ten years later, in 1836, the second national temperance convention held at Saratoga declared for total abstinence from distilled and fermented liquors. Dr. Dorchester in his “Liquor Problem in All Ages”, commenting on the work of this period, says: “In the year 1835 more than eight thousand societies had been formed, with more than one million five hundred thousand members, every state except one being organized. More than four thousand distilleries had been stopped, and eight thousand merchants had ceased to sell ardent spirits. More than twelve hundred vessels in which it is not used sail from our ports.” The year 1840 gave birth to the Washingtonian Temperance Society, a total abstinence organization, which began at Baltimore with six members, and grew to six hundred thousand. In time, two-thirds of this large society fell away. Other societies lost members and men who regarded teetotalism as the sovereign remedy of intemperance turned their attention from the drinker and the drunkard to the dealer in liquor, whose livelihood depended on the drinker, and inaugurated another phase of temperance reform, which eventually took the shape of prohibition. Neal Dow of Maine became the leader of the new agitation, and after persistent and unwearying effort succeeded in 1851 in securing the passage of an absolute prohibitory law commonly known as the “Maine Law“. In subsequent years prohibition of the liquor traffic became a law in Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Delaware, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois, Alaska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee. In time the law was repealed in all except the eight latter and Maine (January 1, 1911).
Among the early prominent advocates of temperance reform who deserve especial mention are Rev. Lyman Beecher and Dr. Nathaniel Hewitt of Connecticut, Edward C. Delevan, Dr. Clark, and Gerrit Smith of New York, Rev. Thomas P. Hunt of Pennsylvania, Bishop Charles P. Mellravie of Ohio, John B. Gough, Rev. Justin Edwards of Massachusetts, and Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. Before the Civil War the principal organizations that advocated temperance were the Washingtonian Movement, 1840, Rechabites, 1841, Sons of Temperance, 1842 Cadets of Temperance, Templars of Honor and Temperance, 1845, Good Templars, 1851. The first national temperance convention was held at Philadelphia in May, 1833. Twenty-one states were represented, with four hundred delegates. By vote of Congress and approval of President Jackson the sale of spirits to the Indians was prohibited in 1834. On November 5, 1832, General Lewis Cass, secretary of war, issued an order prohibiting the introduction of liquors in any garrison, fort, or camp in the United States. The secretary of the navy offered a money substitute for the grog ration.
An era in temperance work was inaugurated in the United States on July 2, 1849, which marked the advent of Father Theobald Mathew, the Irish apostle of temperance. He was received at New York with tremendous enthusiasm. Mayor Woodhull and the city council gave him a public reception. At Washington he was entertained by President Taylor, and was admitted to a seat within the bar of the Senate and on the floor of the House, a distinction granted only once previously to a foreigner—General Lafayette. On this occasion, Henry Clay said: “It is but a merited tribute of respect to a man who has achieved a great social revolution—a revolution in which no blood has been shed, a revolution which has involved no desolation, which has caused no bitter tears of widows and orphans to flow, a revolution which has been achieved without violence, and a greater one, perhaps, than has ever been accomplished by any benefactor of mankind.” Father Mathew spent two years and a half in the United States and, though in feeble health, traveled 37,000 miles, visiting 25 states, administering the pledge in over 300 of the principal cities and towns to more than 500,000 persons.
Several Catholic total abstinence societies were organized during Father Mathew’s visit, but their influence was exerted only in the restricted sphere in which they originated. No bond united them till 1871, when the societies of Connecticut formed a state union, out of which a national union grew, at a convention held at Baltimore on February 22, 1872. One hundred and seventy-seven societies, comprising 26,481 members, represented Connecticut Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia. A constitution was adopted, an address was issued to the Catholics of America, and the union was named “The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America“. In the address to the Catholic body, the aim of the convention was proclaimed in these terms: “Our motto is moral suasion. With prohibitory laws, restrictive license systems, and special legislation we have nothing whatever to do. There is blended with our proposed plan of organization the attractive feature of mutual relief. Thus Temperance and Benevolence go hand in hand.” Moral suasion was favored by some, legislative action by others, and a combination of both by a third class. It was finally determined to work on the lines of moral suasion as the belief prevailed that neither prohibitory nor restrictive laws availed unless supported by public opinion. The mind of the convention concerning the suppression and restriction of the liquor traffic was expressed in the following resolution: “Resolved, That this convention, though not deeming it expedient to take part in any political or legislative action, in reference to ‘Prohibitory Liquor Laws’, recognizes, however, the great good that would accrue from the suppression of public drinking places, and from such legislation as would restrain the manufacture of intoxicating liquors within bounds consistent with public morality, and will gladly hail such legislation whenever the proper authorities may grant it.” The convention advocated the organization of subordinate unions of the different states or dioceses in affiliation with the national union. State unions were established in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, also in Canada. Diocesan unions were formed in Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Dubuque, Duluth, Erie, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Providence, Savannah, Scranton, Springfield, St. Paul, Syracuse, Wheeling, Wilmington, and Winona.
Annual conventions of the national union were held in different cities of the East and Middle West. Archbishops, bishops, and a host of priests attended the conventions, took active interest in the work of the Union, and propagated its principles in their respective dioceses. The Apostolic delegate, the Most Rev. Diomede Falconio, attended the forty-first convention at Scranton, Pennsylvania, in August, 1911, and gave unmistakable evidence of his interest in the work, in his address to the delegates, and in an eloquent discourse at the public meeting, of which the following is an extract: “Ladies and gentlemen, you here find in your presence a great body of men who, with manly courage and the true Christian spirit, have bound themselves together for the great cause of temperance. Follow their example, for the cause of temperance means the cause of Christian perfection and the cause of suffering humanity. Should you, however, not find it convenient to join their ranks, at least help their cause by your prayers and your constant cooperation. Gentlemen of the Total Abstinence Union, we admire your spirit of self-abnegation in professing the great virtue of total abstinence, and we appreciate your efforts in encouraging it both by words and example. Your associations are of paramount importance for the spiritual and temporal welfare of our people, and are, consequently, of great service to religion and to society.”
At the convention of the national union held at Indianapolis, August 28, 1878, a memorial was forwarded to Pope Leo XIII, who in reply addressed a papal Brief to the members of the union, of which the following is an extract: “Especially pleasing to us is that noble determination of yours to oppose and uproot the baneful vice of drunkenness, and keep far from yourselves and those united with you all incentive to it, for, in the words of the wise man, `It goeth in pleasantly but in the end it will bite like a snake, and will spread abroad poison like a Basilisk’.” A papal Brief was addressed by Pope Pius X to the Rt. Rev. J. Francis Regis Canevin, president of the national union, on July 10, 1906. The pontiff commended the work of the union in these terms: “Following the example of our predecessors, and especially the latest among them, to whom there seemed to be no greater enemy of the teachings and commands of Christ than the abuse of strong drink, we heartily approve the work of the union, and congratulate all in this commendable assemblage, because they are our associates and helpers in persuading men to practice one of the principal Christian virtues—temperance.”
The union is composed of men’s, women’s, and juvenile societies, and the Priests’ Total Abstinence League, and numbers in all over 90,000 members.
The women’s societies were admitted in 1878 as honorary members, and in 1880 as active members; in 1888 women delegates were first received, the women’s societies having previously been represented by men; three years later Miss S. A. Moore of Philadelphia was elected third vice-president.
The union issues a monthly publication “The C. T. A. U. Advocate”. In 1911 the union was represented for the first time at the (Thirteenth) International Congress against alcohol, held at The Hague, Holland. It has also joined the Catholic International Society against Alcoholism founded in 1907 by Father Neumann of Mundt, Prussia.
In 1873 “The Women’s Crusade” started in Hillsboro, Ohio. The members appealed directly to the saloon-keeper to desist from liquor traffic, visiting all the saloons in the towns in which they were organized. The movement spread from Ohio, through the North Central States, to Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, California, Oregon, and eastward to the Atlantic coast. In Ohio the saloons in two hundred and fifty towns were closed by the crusade. The result of this movement was the organization of a total abstinence society called the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which was established at Cleveland on November 18, 1874, at a national convention of one hundred and thirty-five delegates from about a dozen states. In 1880 six departments were instituted—organization, preventive, educational, evangelistic, social, and legal. At the head of each department was a superintendent. Under each department were sub-departments, in charge of superintendents, the total number of departments and superintendents being thirty-eight. Juvenile societies were formed in the various local unions, and through the efforts of the union scientific temperance instruction was introduced in the schools. In 1910, 22,000,000 children received instruction on the baneful effects of alcohol. In 1883 the union was organized in every state and territory of the United States, and was introduced into Canada. The World’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which has societies in many countries, was a fuller development of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. For nearly twenty years the destinies of the W. C. T. U. were guided by a gifted woman of high character, who had resigned her position as dean of the Woman‘s College and Professor of !Esthetics in the Northwestern University to devote all her energies to the cause of temperance—Miss Frances E. Willard.
—In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the sale of intoxicating liquor was scarcely restricted by law in Canada and its use was almost universal. Intemperance developed and spread to such an extent that a reaction set in, and called forth active opposition. A meeting was held at Brockville, Ontario, in the autumn of 1828, and the first pledged Temperance Society in Canada was formed. It was not a total abstinence society. Moderation was inculcated in this and many other societies established throughout the country until 1839, when the total abstinence pledge succeeded the old moderation pledge, as was the case in the United States. Moderation had proved a failure, and total abstinence was adopted as the best remedy against the drink evil. Immediately a noticeable progress was made against intemperance. Societies were organized as “open temperance societies”, with no bond of union till 1847, when the Sons of Temperance established a branch in Canada. An executive council governed local societies and systematized their work. An aid to thorough organization was afforded in 1858 by the Independent Order of Good Templars, whose pledge lasted for life, and who admitted women to membership. In 1874 the Women’s Christian Temperance Union instituted a union in Canada, and by systematic work gave a strong impulse to temperance reform. The Canada Temperance Union came into existence in 1869, and, after various modifications in name and methods, was replaced in 1877 by the Dominion Alliance for the Total Suppression of the Liquor Traffic. The Alliance worked with vigor in securing legislation for the restriction of the liquor traffic, and was actively engaged in the enforcement of excise laws, throughout most of the provinces of Canada. Since 1850, nearly every Canadian Parliament has been called upon to enact legislation prohibitive or restrictive of the liquor traffic. Repeated petitions made to Parliament for total prohibition] urged the enactment of the Canada Temperance Act of 1878, commonly called the “Scott Act”, authorizing counties and cities to prohibit the retail sale of liquor. The popular vote was overwhelming in favor of prohibition, but disputes as to its constitutionality and controversy concerning the responsibility of enforcement by federal or provincial authorities rendered it inoperative.
The Church of England Temperance Society, established in a way in every province, was for a time active in the temperance reform movement. In latter years the success of the Protestant societies has been in the way of local option or “banish the bar” campaign. In the rural districts of Ontario this work is popular, and has been effective. The Catholic Church grappled with the drink evil, from the earliest days of the colony of New France. For many years her adherents have been most active in propagating temperance principles through the League of the Cross, the Catholic Total Abstinence Union, and other societies scattered throughout Canada. Since 1900 the Diocese of Peterborough has taken the lead in temperance work. In the episcopal city there is a society of 1200 men. Archbishop Bruchesi of Montreal has taken active interest in the work, and has developed a strong total abstinence sentiment.
IV. KNIGHTS OF FATHER MATHEW.
—The Knights of Father Mathew, a total abstinence and semi-military body, was instituted at St. Louis, Mo., on April 26, 1872. A life-insurance feature was adopted on July 18, 1881, having been authorized by a charter empowering the society to include life insurance among its aims and objects, and to form branches of the order, called “councils”, throughout the State of Missouri. As the work and benefits of the society became known, invitations to establish councils beyond Missouri were received. At present (1911) it has councils in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. There are two classes of membership: active and honorary. To be eligible to active membership, it is necessary to be a practical Catholic, to pass a physical examination, and to be not less than sixteen nor more than seventy years of age. For honorary membership, it is sufficient to be a practical Catholic. The Society has been active in promoting temperance and frugality, and has expended over eight hundred thousand dollars in benefits for the families of its deceased members. Councils of the order are permitted to organize branches of Catholic women, to be designated as “Ladies’ Auxiliaries of the Knights of Father Mathew,” and to be governed by laws in harmony with the laws of the parent organization. The Ladies’ Auxiliaries have been instrumental in upbuilding the male organization, in promoting temperance among boys and girls, and have been active in charitable work among the poor. The Knights of Father Mathew and the Ladies’ Auxiliaries of the Knights of Father Mathew were affiliated with the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America in 1895, and have been among its most energetic members in advancing the work of the national union.
WALTER J. SHANLEY