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a moral defeat for those opposed to resubmission, and carries with it the strongest evidence of the ineffectiveness of the present law. If it had not been a failure it would have been upheld.
Minnesota: The question of local option entered very largely into the campaign for the next legislature. The Republican candidate for governor, who had declared strongly for county local option, was defeated by a large majority and it is estimated that the new legislature stand two to one against such a measure.
Nebraska: The county local option question was a prominent factor in the campaign for the legislature, but did not touch the gubernatorial campaign. A majority of the new legislature are regarded as opposed to county local option.
New Jersey: Local option was the main issue in the election of members to the legislature. Most of the candidates and all the leading ones in favor of local option were defeated.
Ohio: The Republican candidate for governor who had favored the Rose County Local Option Law passed early in the year, and who was on record as in favor of State-wide prohibition, was defeated by his Democratic opponent, although the State gave the national Republican nominees a large majority. The result can only be construed as an emphatic protest against the so-called "Rose Bill."
Oklahoma: The State Dispensary Law passed by the last legislature and submitted for ratification was defeated. This law aimed to ease up the prohibition restrictions by authorizing in a very limited way the sale of liquor for certain purposes.
Rhode Island: The question of licenses or no-license was submitted in all the towns and cities of the State and city elections. Previously there had been 23 licensed and 18 no-license towns. As a result of the election, there are now 30 license towns and 11 nolicense (mostly small places), a net loss for no-license of 7.
South Dakota: The question of county local option was submitted to the entire State under the law of initiative and referendum and was defeated by a majority of 7,000.
Tennessee: The Democratic governor re-elected in conformity with the primaries of June, is opposed to State-wide prohibition. A legislature favoring the same was chosen.
Texas: The legislature elected will have to pass upon the question of submitting to the people a constitutional amendment providing for State prohibition. The result appears to be in doubt.
Washington: The new legislature chosen is favorable to local option but opposed to county local option. The question was an issue in the election of governor.
West Virginia: The legislature elected is opposed to State prohibition, but apparently favorable to local option.
Wisconsin: A strong effort was made to elect a legislature favorable to county local option, but without success.
THE PROBABLE TREND OF LEGISLATION.
There are few signs that the prohibition wave which has swept up from the South is about to recede. Only those who are ignorant of the history of the past will dare predict that the wave has already reached its highest point. Like all previous emotional movements, the present one is transitory, of course. But it has been a long time in gathering momentum and is not likely to disappear of a sudden, although it may undergo some changes. The first temperance movement in the United States required more than ten years to reach a climax. That was in the twenties of the last century. Its successor, in the fifties, also lasted for many years. All these movements bear a strong resemblance to each other. The propelling power, then as now, has chiefly been emotion backed by religious sentiment.
To make clear the meaning of the present prohibition movement, it is worth while to consider how it originated in the South. No one has stated the cause so authoritatively as Mr. William G. Brown in an article in the Century for July, under the title "The South and the Saloon."
"It would not be a bad generalization," he says, "that the South has recently come into the phase of democracy in which government stretches its authority to the uttermost in the endeavor to enforce absolute moralities. Government is for the time being well-nigh Puritanized." The formerly ruling "aristocracy" has been replaced
by the 'common' people, who have awakened to a new sense of independence and power. The process has been a gradual one, but hastened by the great industrial changes in the South. In short, the negro eliminated, majority rule has now come to prevail as generally among Southern white men as in the North; and, as in the North, the majority are plain or "common
In the South the far greater mass of plain people or 'common' are nearly all Methodists or Baptists. They take their moral and religious guidance from the ministry, described as "none too well equipped intellectually, and deriving no aid from any superiority in birth or breeding to the people whom they serve. They preach incessantly; they make daily rounds of visits to the homes of their communicants; they keep in touch with one another, and study their people as closely as the most observant politician; they do not neglect the ever-evidencing influence of women. * * * It is these men in the South who have taken the lead in the now almost world-wide movement for prohibition."
The Episcopal church, with which the old aristocracy have always been affiliated, has hardly ever taken an active part in this movement, and its leaders have often opposed it. The Catholic church, which is not strong in the South, has observed much the same attitude. "The Presbyterians seldom advocate prohibition from the pulpit. But the Baptist and Methodist preachers commit themselves to it unreservedly, inside and outside the pulpit. They are for prohibition by local option as against the high license and dispensaries, but for State prohibition as against local option. Temperance they have virtually ceased to preach, demanding instead that government ought to compel all men to become teetotalers. And it is these congregations which supply the readiest converts to the policy."
The movement, no doubt, has been hastened on by other conditions. "To the small farmer or shopkeeper or artisan of the South, the drink habit presents itself in the crudest and least defensible form. The use of wine with food is virtually unknown. Beer is not uncommonly drunk in the cities, but does not find its way into the country. Accordingly, to drink means ordinarily to drink whiskey, and in surroundings the least conducive to moderation and decency. It means, therefore, deplorably often not merely drunkenness, but rowdyism.
"The greed of the liquor dealers and the brewers behind them,
and their amazing contempt of public sentiment, have contributed to render the drinking habits of the South as unlike as possible to those of Southern Europe where wine drinking is general, even among the peasants, and drunkenness extremely rare.
"A year ago a local option leader of North Carolina claimed that nine-tenths of the people of that State were living in prohibition territory and that there were within its limits only one-fifth as many saloons as in Kansas, which has had State prohibition for a quarter of a century. The same authority makes the exceedingly significant statement that the South having turned from the local option plan to State prohibition, is now 'in full cry on the coldest train in its history.'
"Arguments of reason or experience are dispensed with by these people. Serious studies of the liquor problem are unknown to them. The chairman of the Prohibition Committee in a city which not long ago voted to exclude the saloon had not even heard of the Prohibition Year Book, much less of weightier documents." As Mr. Brown describes it, and the instance is typical, "the fight was won in fact mainly by the devices of a Methodist revival; by terrifying and rather coarsely emotional oratory from pulpit and platform; by parades of women and children drilled for the purpose; by a sort of persecution not stopping short of an actual boycott of prominent citizens inclined to vote 'wet'; by the Anti-Saloon League's very effective and short method with politicians whom it convinced that they have more to lose by offending the League than by deserting the saloon keeper; and finally by fairly mobbing the polls with women and children, singing and doing everything conceivable to embarrass and frighten every voter who appeared without a white ribbon in his lapel.
"It is this method, gradually perfected in campaign after campaign, that has won for prohibition so many victories in the towns and counties. It is the politicians' absolute helplessness against such methods and the success of the Anti-Saloon League in its determination to teach them that the most dangerous thing for a politician to tamper with is saloon votes, which has suddenly won over to State prohibition legislatures full of men who never before gave any help to the temperance cause."
The methods by which a professedly moral cause has been advanced in the South must inspire thoughtful men with a distrust of the permanence of the good results of the movement. Indeed,
LIQUOR QUESTION IN 1908
no moral cause is ever permanently advanced except by fair appeals to a deliberate public opinion and an uninflamed public conscience. It is certain, however, that the depth of the feeling in the South against the saloon is very real.
"The saloon can never be again in the South what it has been in the past. That the politicians will ever again serve it as they once did is not believable. They have been too thoroughly, too ludicrously frightened."
It has frequently been said that the presence of the negroes in the South determined the vote for prohibition. No doubt it had some influence. It is a fact, however, that this argument has not generally been employed. "On the temperance question, no race line has been drawn. Whites and blacks are divided on it with little or no reference to its bearing on the racial relations."
Having received its present impetus from the South, the present prohibition movement of the North exhibits essentially the same characteristics. There is, however, in the North a pseudo appeal to reason and to facts. But, in the words of Prof. Münsterberg: "This spring flood of prohibition legislation which has overrun the States shows few signs of deeper connection with serious study and fewer signs of profit from the experiments of the past. When the Chinese government made laws against intemperance about eleven hundred years before Christ, it can hardly have gone more hastily to work than the members of the movement of the twentieth century of Christ. It is unworthy of women and men who want to stand for sobriety to allow themselves to become intoxicated with hysterical outcries, when a gigantic national question is to be solved."
That the tide of emotional legislation will set generally toward State-wide prohibition in the North may well be doubted. This is the ultimate goal, of course, but one to be reached via county local option.
The recent concerted efforts for county local option point strongly in this direction. While such is likely to be the trend of agitation, Congress will continue to be besieged for legislation forbidding the importation of liquors into "dry" territory from another State. A reconstruction of the Interstate Commerce law for this purpose is actively on the programme.
There may be many a backward step; emotional legislation may in a characteristic manner undo its own gains. But there will not be a return to the old order of things, South or North. If an en