Science, Religion, and Temperance: pamphlets from 1880 research Note

By Kristopher A. Nelson
in May 2018

200 words / 1 min.
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Science combined with religion to play an important role in justifying and enabling new intrusions into the private lives of Americans leading up to Prohibition.


Science, often combined with religion rather than framed as being in opposition, played an importance role in justifying and enabling new intrusions into Americans’ private lives leading up to Prohibition.

A collection of pamphlets and writings gathered together to support the National Temperance Society in 1880 provides a good example of the science-religion to justify and support the Temperance movement.

The collection includes a tract by the Reverend Joseph Cook called “Alcohol and the Human Brain,” another by Alden on “Medical uses of alcohol,” one by Sabine on “Drink & Christian church,” and one by Davis on “Intemperance and crime,” among a number of others.

Relevant cases