Urlifestyle Magazine October 2016 October 2016 - Page 34

Heroes and Villains: THe rise of ProHibiTion By Michael Kashey Staff Writer and Cocktail Historian Al Capone, Elliot Ness, Enoch Lewis (or for Boardwalk Empire fans, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson”) are names often associated with Prohibition. And although important figures during this time, they were simply results of “the noble experiment” as it has become called. Without the pioneers of the Temperance Movement, the speakeasy and bootleggers most likely would have never existed. In this issue we will explore those who made Prohibition possible. Luckily for us, despite their best efforts, we can enjoy a beer or cocktail at our favorite drinking establishments while we admire their handiwork. 18 Women’s Rights and Prohibition It is of no surprise that among the first members of temperance and abolition movements were women suffragettes. For the 19th century contemporary woman, alcohol more often than not lead to abusive relationships, orphans and rape. A common legal belief in marital rape can be stemmed from Sir Matthew Hale, an English jurist from the 1600s. In his 1736 The History of the Pieces of the Crown, he stated that husbands are incapable of rape due to the fact that his wife, “hath given up herself in this kind to her husband, which she cannot retract.” This lack of women’s well-being made a woman’s movement focusing on the dangers of alcohol inevitable. In last month’s issue we learned about a movement that began in Hillsboro, Ohio led by Eliza Thompson. Thompson and her group of followers convinced virtually all liquor selling establishments in more than 110 towns to discontinue their services. Their method of attack, praying for the souls of the shopkeepers and imbibers. Her movement was so successful that by February of 1874, tax collections on liquor were short by more than $300,000 in just two revenue districts. Despite its initial success, much like Neal Dow’s liquor ban, in just a few months the effects had ended and business returned to usual. Thompson’s success (however brief) has had a lasting legacy. From that time to now saloon keepers (now bartenders) have had a certain stigma associated with their profession. To many this will comes as a surprise, however from the 1700s to the early 1900s, bartenders were heroes of the working class. In New York City bartenders were known to sway elections, an idea that would shock many today to hear a bartender talk politics. But all good things (Continued on the next page....)