Temperance movement

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A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence, or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation.


Temperance movement by country


In Australia, the temperance movement began in the mid-1830s promoting moderation rather than abstinence. By the late 19th century a more successful abstinence-oriented movement emerged under the influence of the U.S. temperance movement. However, it failed to bring about prohibition despite a long campaign for local option. The movement's major success was in prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages after 6:00 in the afternoon, laws which led to the notorious six o'clock swill. This refers to the practice whereby customers would rush to drinking establishments after work and consume alcohol heavily and rapidly in anticipation of the 6:00 closing.



In Ireland, a Catholic priest Theobald Mathew persuaded thousands of people to sign the pledge, therefore establishing the Teetotal Abstinence Society in 1838.

Many years later, in 1898 James Cullen founded the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association in response of the fading influence of the original temperance pledge.

New Zealand

In 1836, at the first recorded temperance meeting was held in the Bay of Islands (Northland).[1] The 1860s saw the foundation of a large number of temperance societies.[2] Many provinces passed licensing ordinances giving residents the right to secure, by petition, the cancellation or granting of liquor licenses in their district.[3] The Licensing Act of 1873 allowed the prohibition of liquor sales in districts if petitioned by two-thirds of residents.[4] Despite the efforts of the temperance movement, the rate of convictions for drunkenness remained constant in New Zealand.[citation needed] The rapid increase in the number of convictions for public drunkenness was more a reflection of the growing population rather than social deterioration.[citation needed]In 1886 a national body called the New Zealand Alliance for Suppression and Abolition of the Liquor Traffic was formed pushing for control of the liquor trade as a democratic right.[5]

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