Thomas Pegram's Monograph Analysis, Essay Example

Published: 2022-03-01
Thomas Pegram's Monograph Analysis, Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Racism American history
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 931 words
8 min read

Thomas Pegram "Hoodwinked: The Anti-Saloon League and the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Prohibition Enforcement."

The Anti-Saloon League (ASL) and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were the controversial leading institutions in support of national prohibition in the United States since the 1920s. Both organizations acted to put into effect prohibition, the ASL following the legal and political means while the KKK through central pressure and extra-legal vigilante means. Prohibition was a primary element of the Progressive Era and was the most significant in the south and northern areas drawing support from pietistic protestant priests and their audience particularly Baptists, Methodists, and Congregationalists. Historians belonging to the Klan movement established that the ASL was in cooperation with Invisible Empire in direct implementation of dry laws.

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All ASL advocates and prohibition historians, ultimately taking part in the prejudiced, occasionally vicious, Klan vigilantism and instead emphasized the independent administrative processes of the ASL. The real indecisive relationship mirrored weaknesses in the dry administration as well as in the two groups. Unsuccessful implementation pushed some ASL representatives into friendly ties with native Klans, while the league allowed pro-Klan views among some leaders. However, widespread and persistent collaboration was not evident.

ASL focused on legislation and was concerned about how representatives elected their members, not whether they consumed alcohol or not. Established as a national society in Oberlin, its impact spread quickly. It became a national organization in 1895 and rapidly rose to become the most influential prohibition lobby in the United States. Its success was countrywide prohibition engraved on the Constitution in 1920.It was finally defeated in 1933 when Prohibition was abolished.

The most significant explanation for this conclusion is basically that Countrywide Prohibition had long been the aim of the movement. The constitutional amendment process in that particular year the ASL started its operation both created a channel to a centralized income tax and authorized the direct election of senators in the United States (the 16th and 17th Amendments). Also, it appeared to be the most comfortable route to achieve that goal (Thomas, "The Dry Machine: Formation of the Anti-Saloon League of Illinois" 1990).

Its followers anticipated that the campaign for a change would be an extensive one and that the interlude between the accomplishment of the amendment and their final object would also belong. Eventually, drinkers with deep-rooted behaviours would pass on, while a new generation would abstain under the healthy influence of the ban. Additionally, the leaders of the ASL group needed to show their aggressiveness to ward off problems from intra-movement opponents, and the road to a statutory amendment lay through government and state legislatures, where their technique of coercing contenders promised great results than seeking endorsement through a poll in every state.

The wartime environment during the reasonably short-term period of US participation in WWI played a significant role in the National Prohibition. As such, non-German sentiment, blatantly whipped up and oppressed by the central administration to rally support for the warfare, disgraced a vital anti-prohibitionist institution-the German-American association. A state ban on cleansing embraced for grain conservation, shattered the power of another critical wet player, the core of the industry. However numerous prohibition conquests at the national level and in congressional polls were attained before America went into the war, and the initial approval votes happened after the end of the war.

Perhaps the most influential legacy of Nationwide Prohibition is the certainty that it was not successful. However, other historians have claimed that this belief is not true: As such, Prohibition triumphed in decreasing per capita consumption (Blocker 2006).Lowered consumption levels during the quarter-century put forward that Prohibition maintained a significant part of the population in moderate or abstemious habits. In that regard, it was relatively useful as public health improvement. Its political disaster is attributed more to a fluctuating framework than to features of the invention itself.

In the present day, it is quite easy to say that the aim of complete prohibition was difficult and the means were needlessly severe-for instance, Nationwide Prohibition could have lasted had the dry's were ready to compromise by authorizing alcoholic drinks. However, from the 1913 viewpoint, the denial of alternative modes of alcohol control is more logical. Additionally, American citizens continued to back up Prohibition even in its severe form, at least in state politics, until the crash of their economy which powerfully turned their fears in a different direction (Thomas 2008). Nonetheless, the probability remains that a less limiting form of the ban could have fulfilled the economic worries that championed Repeal while still governing alcohol use in its most unsafe structures.

Overall, though the sobriety campaign was nearly a century old when the 18th Amendment was implemented, and Nationwide Prohibition had been an objective for numerous prohibitionists for that long, and its success came about as a creation of a particular environment. Few change movements can earn a statutory amendment. All the same, that accomplishment, which appeared at a period, so permanent-no modification had ever been replaced in the past; it was susceptible to changes in the context on which it was subject to. Moreover, researchers have not reached an agreement on the effects of Prohibition for other methods of prohibition, and community address in America reflects our collective uncertainty.


Blocker, Jack S. 2006. "Did Prohibition Really Work? Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation." American Journal of Public Health 233-243.

Thomas, Pegram. 2008. "Hoodwinked: The Anti-Saloon League and the Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Prohibition Enforcement"." The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 89-119.

Thomas, Pegram. 1990. "The Dry Machine: Formation of the Anti-Saloon League of Illinois." Illinois Historical Journal 173-186.

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