The Historical Influences that Shaped the American Drinking Age Essay examples

The Historical Influences that Shaped the American Drinking Age Essay examples

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Alcohol consumption and its place in America has shifted and changed throughout history. At different times, the change had to do with people’s views about alcohol that lead to social movements to control its consumption. At different points in American history, there was no drinking age; it has been as low as eighteen, as high as twenty-one, and at one point, drinking alcohol was illegal. Three important movements have shaped alcohol consumption in the United States of America: The Temperance Movement, Prohibition and the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. These movements and events have made the drinking age what it is today. The intention of controlling alcohol was simple: to put an end to alcohol issues whether it be death, injury, or emotional problems.
Alcohol was brought over on the Mayflower about four hundred years ago. Most of the alcohol that was brought over was beer. “One reason was that beer was safer than water, which was often contaminated with noxious wastes. Another reason was that passengers preferred to pass the tedious nine-week voyage in a pleasant beer buzz” (Carlson). Many people wanted to enjoy the boat ride over from Britain and no one saw alcohol as evil. A famous Puritan preacher stated, “Drink is in itself a good Creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness, but the abuse of drink is from Satan"(Carlson). A first major crisis in early America was related to Whiskey. Congress decided to tax whiskey in 1791. This was a very unpopular law because not only was it a large income for farmers, but whiskey making was also a love to them. Because of this new law, a revolt against the courts and tax collectors happened, which was called the Whiskey rebellion. George Washington, the p...

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"Temperance Movement." Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco: Learning about Addictive Behavior. Ed. Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. 109-113. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 17 Jan. 2012.

"Prohibition." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps and Jeffrey Lehman. 2nd ed. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 139-141. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 25 Jan. 2012.

"The Anti-Saloon League Year Book." American Decades Primary Sources. Ed. Cynthia Rose. Vol. 1: 1900-1909. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 392-396. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Jan. 2012.

Hoyt, Alia. "How Prohibition Worked" 08 January 2008. 29 January 2012.

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