War is a terrible enemy to temperance: drinking, self-control, and the meaning of loyalty in the Civil War era

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dc.contributor Huebner, Andrew J.
dc.contributor Janney, Caroline E.
dc.contributor Dorr, Lisa Lindquist
dc.contributor Rothman, Joshua D.
dc.contributor.advisor Rable, George C.
dc.contributor.author Bever, Megan Leigh
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-26T14:22:37Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-26T14:22:37Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001648
dc.identifier.other Bever_alatus_0004D_11976
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/2960
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract When the American Civil War began in 1861, people on both sides of the conflict believed that the conduct of soldiers and civilians would shape if not determine the war's outcome. In this context, the nation-wide temperance movement began a period of transition. Before the 1860s, interest in temperance was waning nationally; local and state regulatory measures had curbed excessive drinking. Once war broke out, however, alcohol became increasingly threatening. Soldiers and officers drank heavily, lacked discipline, and harassed civilians. Distillers and traffickers wasted grain and profited during a time of scarcity, when most civilians practiced patriotic self-sacrifice. Temperance reformers believed that ridding the nation - either the Union or the Confederacy - of alcohol was the only way to curb immorality, whip the armies into fighting shape, and win the war. Many Americans outside of the temperance movement agreed. Debates over alcohol's manufacture and consumption became essential components for understanding what it meant to be a patriotic citizen during the Civil War. In turn, examining these wartime issues recasts historical understandings of the centrality of temperance to conceptions of nationalism in the post-bellum United States. This study relies on a variety of sources: military records, legislative journals, temperance and religious publications, personal accounts, and newspapers. It examines soldiers' uses and beliefs about drinking; the supply of alcohol in the armies; regulatory debates on the northern and southern home fronts; and northern and southern temperance reformers' understandings of the war's purposes. It argues that when it came to alcohol northern and southern civilians clashed with military officials. Union and Confederate military officials knew that whiskey was responsible for chronic indiscipline, but they nevertheless supplied alcohol to soldiers to stave off illness and fatigue. Soldiers drank willingly. Alcohol took the edge off the war. On the home front, however, civilians regarded liquor as an enemy in its own right. Temperance reformers implored soldiers to put down the bottle. Union and Confederate civilians demanded that military and civil authorities prohibit distilling to restore order and preserve food. In doing so, they laid the foundations for the post-war prohibition movement.
dc.format.extent 308 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other American history
dc.title War is a terrible enemy to temperance: drinking, self-control, and the meaning of loyalty in the Civil War era
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of History
etdms.degree.discipline History
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level doctoral
etdms.degree.name Ph.D.


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