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the 125 children of 21 drunken mothers 69, or 55.2 per cent, died under two years of age; whereas of the 138 children of 28 sober mothers only 33, or 23.9 per cent, died in those years."
Further, Dr. Sullivan found a "progressive death-rate in the alcoholic family.” With the advancing years the inebriate mother gains more and more power to doom her child. Dr. Sullivan's results are exhibited in the following table:
Commenting on these figures Dr. Sullivan says “it is especially noteworthy that the rate of still-births shows almost as marked a tendency to regular increase as does the death-rate among children born alive.” Dr. Laitenen discovered a similar waste of life in Finland. He inquired into the death-rate in “3,611 families which had 17,394 children. Where the parents were abstainers only 13 per cent of their children had died. The parents who were 'moderate' drinkers lost 23 per cent; and the heavy drinkers lost
32 per cent."3
Even more startling evidence as to the disastrous effects of parental inebriety has recently been given by Dr. Mathew Woods.
* Newman, Infant Mortality, pp. 72–73; also Kelynack, op. cit., pp. 162–63.
• Sullivan, op. cit., p. 493. The table is reprinted by Newman, Infant Mortality, p. 73. For similar evidence see Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration (London, 1904), III, 67-68 passim; Aschaffenburg, Crime and Its Repression, pp. 69–72, 124; Demme, Ueber den Einfluss des Alkohols auf den Organismus des Kindes (1891); Legrain, Degenerescence el alcoholisme (1895); Shattuck, in Case and Comment, XX, 465-66.
3 Scientific Temperance Federation, The Effects of Alcoholic Drinks upon the Human Mind and Body (1913), p. 24. On Dr. Laitenen's research, see Horsley and Sturge, op. cit., pp. 248-49; cf. Bonger, op. cit., p. 500.
* Woods, “Seven Cases of Epilepsy in Children Traced to Single Alcoholic Intoxications on the Part of One or Both Parents Otherwise Teetotalers,” Journal of the American Medical Association, LXI (December 27, 1913), 2291–92, supplementing his article in ibid., February 9, 1907, p. 469.
Experts are mostly agreed, he points out, that of the two rivalsthe “twin brothers”—in causing congenital epilepsy, ancestral drunkenness and ancestral epilepsy, the former is the more prolific in the breeding of epileptic offspring. Chronic inebriety probably accounts for 35 per cent of all cases of this disease. Maudsley boldly asserts that “epileptics, because of drink on the part of parents, are as much manufactured articles as are steam engines and calico-printing machines.” Hitherto, in about 30 per cent of the cases of epilepsy in children, no adequate cause could be found; for the parents were sound and had a family history of good health and sanity. Possibly Dr. Woods has solved the puzzle. He has established a strong probability that in each of the seven cases studied by him epilepsy took place in children whose genesis occurred during the intoxication of one or both of the parents who usually were abstainers from alcoholic drinks. Here is food for sober thought. Is epilepsy the only disease which may be caused by the single inebriation of the parent? If the occasional as well as the habitual drunkard may foredoom his unborn child to such a fate, is any policy adequate short of total abstention from intoxicating drinks and absolute outlawry of the liquor traffic?
Abortions are frequent "among women who drink; and for this reason families of drinkers show a fecundity from two to four times less than that of temperate families. This fatal liquor can, then, stimulate carnal passion to the point of violence and crime without thereby increasing the birth-rate. Drunkenness of the parents destroys child-life after birth as well as before. Owing to neglect and malnutrition the infant death-rate in alcoholic families is excessive; and the slaughter of babes is very often by violence and especially through overlaying.
The evidence for the injurious effect of alcohol on parentage is very strong; and the negative results obtained through the investigations of the eugenics laboratory in London are not sufficient to refute it. On the contrary, when properly interpreted in the light
* Lombroso, Crime: Its Causes and Remedies, p. 88. On abortions due to alcohol see Newman, Infant Mortality, p. 74, and T. C. Shaw, “Psychology of the Inebriate Mother,” British Journal of Inebriety, October, 1903.
of biological law, they seem either to confirm it or not to affect it all.
Directly or indirectly alcohol is probably the most potent factor in the waste of human life. It is a cause of suicide and of race suicide. Under influence of drink a great number of persons kill themselves each year. The indirect race suicide is much the greater. Beyond question, race suicide consists chiefly in a deathrate needlessly high rather than in a low birth-rate, whatever the cause may be; for the high death-rate is due mainly to bad social conditions which society may remedy if it will. The worst of these bad conditions is alcohol and the liquor traffic whose death toll is frightfully large. Even the number of officially reported deaths due to alcohol is startling. In the registration area, covering 51.8 per cent of the population of the United States, during the five years 1904-8, 13,218 deaths are charged to alcoholism and 29,406 to liver cirrhosis. Since 75 per cent of the cases of liver cirrhosis are caused by drink, it follows that in the whole population of the country during those five years, if the same specific death-rates obtained, 68,093 persons were slain by alcoholism acting directly or indirectly through its favorite disease. In addition, the killing power of alcohol in connection with other special diseases must be considered. It is estimated that the percentages of deaths wholly or in part due to drink are 10 to 12 for tuberculosis; 22 for pneumonia, paralysis, and apoplexy; 30 for Bright's disease; 16 for heart disease; and 43 for heat prostration; while there are in all 106 diseases in which alcohol may be one cause of death.
Drunkenness must be charged with much of the legalized or socially sanctioned slaughter which we call war. Lombroso shows
• The exploitation of the report of the London laboratory by A. J. Nock, “A New Science and Its Findings,” American Magazine, LXXIII, 577-83, should be read with the luminous criticism of C. R. Davies, "Alcohol and Parentage,” Survey, XXX (1913), 737-38.
* F. Printzing, Trunksucht und Selbstmord (Leipzig, 1895); Horsley and Sturge, Alcohol and the Human Body, pp. 90-92.
3 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Mortality Statistics, 1908, pp. 114-15.
Scientific Temperance Federation, The Effect of Alcoholic Drinks, pp. 20–21, citing Phelps, The Mortality of Alcohol (1911); cf. Horsley and Sturge, op. cit., pp. 221-31, 269-77; W. H. Welch, in Physiological Aspects of the Liquor Problem, II (1913), 351–74, for the Committee of Fifty.
that "alcohol is a powerful factor in insurrections. This fact has not escaped the attention of leaders of rebellions, who have often taken advantage of it to attain their ends." The homicidal crowds of the French Revolution were inflamed by drink. Everywhere in the annals of warfare one finds evidence of the bloody deeds resulting from alcoholic madness. Considering the number of statesmen, diplomats, and especially military leaders who in all times and places are reported to have been hard drinkers, may we justly assume that many needless wars and many massacres in wars have been caused by the inflamed passions or the warped judgment due to alcohol?
The close relation of the liquor traffic to social disease and to social vice is notorious. The saloon is the sister of the brothel. Of this the Chicago vice report affords convincing proof. The commission found that next to the house of prostitution itself the liquor interest is the most important element connected with the social evil. No other influence in the city contributes so much to immorality and prostitution. “The Brewery Companies, the Liquor Dealers' Protective Association of Illinois, and the Wholesale Liquor Dealers' Association have all gone on record as in favor of the elimination of the sale of liquor in connection with prostitution.” Yet, by actual count during the term of investigation, 928 prostitutes were "permitted and encouraged in no less than 236 saloons,” many of which are “under the control of the brewery companies." In other words, over 50 per cent of the 445 saloons examined are “frequented by immoral women who' openly solicit for drinks and for immoral purposes and receive the protection of the saloon keepers and interests”; while in the city there were 6,707 saloons not investigated by the commission.”
Without doubt the saloon is the chief laboratory of the vice and crime attributable to the use of intoxicating drinks. The closing of the saloon is the indispensable condition of any successful effort to eliminate the evils caused by alcohol. Wherever the saloon has been closed, whether by local option or by state-wide prohibition,
* Lombroso, Crime: Its Causes and Remedies, pp. 100-101.
· The Social Evil in Chicago (1911), pp. 119 ff. “Alcoholism is a breeder of prostitution and sexual crimes,” Bonger, op. cit., pp. 352, 619-20.
drunkenness and therefore vice and crime have been lessened. Everywhere “dry” towns compare favorably with license towns in this regard. Why stop with local or state action? Why not demand nation-wide prohibition ? Are not the American people ready to empower and to require the federal government to outlaw a traffic so destructive of the moral and vital resources of the nation? No alleged service of the saloon as the “poor man's club,” no failure of society to provide healthful recreation for the masses, should blind us to the fact that the evil caused by the American saloon, in its sinister alliance with corrupt politics, vice, and crime, outweighs many times all the assumed benefits which it may have as a “social center.” There can be no safe compromise if we would conserve the spiritual and the vital resources of the nation. The saloon must go. The proposed constitutional amendment should be ratified by the states, and that speedily. Moreover, is not the vast waste of food materials in the production of alcoholic drinks in reality a social crime? In the present world-crisis the evil seems intolerable. As “first aid” in the emergency, shall not the whole liquor traffic be absolutely "interned” during the war?
Henderson, Preventive Agencies and Methods, pp. 219–32; Cherrington, AntiSaloon League Year Book (1913); Massachusetts Report cited above. The Report of the Massachusetts Prison Commission (1911) shows that 63 per cent of all arrests are for drunkenness.