Metaphors of slavery and liberation and their relationship to the temperance crusade are a significant aspect of Temperance era songs and poetry. The song "Emancipation (1914)" speaks of America as a nation with "True liberty so grand,/ that makes men free" and alcohol as a monster that enslaves Americans. The song conflates the crusade's mission with Puritan ideals of personal and communal salvation, ending with the stanza:
Women risk their unborn children when they consume alcohol during pregnancy and puts their children at risk for multiple constellations of abnormalities when they are born....
Alcohol has been used by people for many different reasons over time such as pleasurable effects, rewards, food, sacrament, water substitute, tranquilizer, and a source of tax revenue (Inaba & Cohen, 2011)....
"Grandmother's boy," "Look out for the trap" and many other children's pamphlets present a dilemma whose solution is temperance. The dilemma is an extreme situation, often of pain, suffering or another intense emotion which must be immediately and directly addressed. Abstinence from alcohol is always the happy ending - as soon as the characters in the story swear off spirits they become successful, happy and achieve salvation.
As the centuries passed alcohol and drugs became ingrained in the early cultures of recorded history, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and early Christians all utilized mind-altering substances in ceremony and celebration (Hanson, 2013, Para.
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In 1805, Benjamin Rush, a physician from Philadelphia, wrote an essay titled "The Effects of Ardent Spirits Upon Man". Rush's writing reflected the changing attitudes towards distilled alcohol at the time, especially among the US medical community. Rush's article drew upon ideas from a century earlier; at the beginning of the eighteenth century, medical practitioners began taking a more scientific approach to medicine. Scientists and doctors like Rush felt that the American public needed to be made aware of the health hazards inherent in alcohol consumption. Rush's argument against the consumption of ardent spirits was not only scientific, but also moral. At the end of his essay, Rush described the moral evils that resulted from the use of distilled spirits such as fraud, theft, uncleanliness and murder (Runes 339). Not long after Rush began writing about alcohol's detrimental effects on moral and physical health, he began a correspondence with the Boston Minister Jeremy Belknap. The physician and the minister soon became collaborators, using a mixture of scientific and moral claims in their fight against the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The teaming up of the minister and the physician is emblematic of a century of rhetoric surrounding alcohol use and abuse in America. For over a century, Americans argued for abstinence from alcohol using a combination of scientific and moral reasons. What made Rush and Belknap's writing compelling and persuasive for many Americans? Why did later propaganda continue to use Rush and Belknap's two-fold argument against alcohol consumption? In this paper I will address these questions by discussing the rhetorical methods used in Temperance and Prohibition Era propaganda.
The author symbolically presents the stages of alcoholism, its effects on the alcoholic, as well as how the alcoholic’s family and friends change towards Neddy.
The second rhetorical technique employed by anti-liquor propaganda is pathos or appeals to emotion. The final part of Rush's essay dealing with morals and value judgments is based in pathos. Both logos and pathos played an important role in Temperance and Prohibition era propaganda, although ultimately, pathos proved to be the most widely used rhetorical method. Temperance and Prohibition era propaganda appealed to emotion through religious language, drawing upon the prevalent morals and values of the times. Both the Temperance Movement and Prohibition Era coincided with periods of intense religious fervor in the US. These religious revivals were steeped in Puritan moral codes which in turn served as the basis for the underlying ideology of antiliquor propaganda.
They must balance safety, liability, and law-enforcement responsibilities with universities’ historic role as havens of personal freedom, experimentation, and student self-expression and individual responsibility.
Therefore, there needs to be an tremendous change in the amount of alcohol consumption in the US, and with this change there will be an explicit alteration of the amount of alcohol intake.