The United Kingdom's Temperance Movement

In the early 19th century, groups began to form in order to advocate for abstinence from alcohol.  The first of these groups was called Glasgow and West of Scotland Temperance Society and it was founded in 1829 (Wikipedia Contributors).  Before this, there were no such ideals to abstain from drinking wine, beer, or distilled spirits; it just wasn’t in the culture at the time. Besides the first group mentioned, many other groups also gained traction as they were supported by Christian churches. At the time, working-class men in England did not have the right to vote, and they wanted to prove themselves to their parliament (Wikipedia contributors).  They began the temperance movements in order to garner enough respect the earn the right to vote from the rich and elite.  Stopping their consumption of alcohol was supposed to demonstrate their dedication and ability to take on the responsibility to vote.  Specific groups were created over periods of time dedicated to the different aspects of drinking.  In 1847, a group was created to help children abstain from the activity of drinking (Wikipedia contributors).  Most of these temperance groups were aimed at the working class since they had less resources than the elite (Wikipedia contributors).  This temperance movement was against all forms of alcohol; wine, beer, and distilled spirits were all entirely prohibited for those who were involved in this stand against alcohol.  This timeline entry particularly applies to The Tennant of Wildfell Hall since it was apparent that the characters drank, but also had guests over that chose to abstain from drinking and drunkenness. 

Wikipedia contributors. "Temperance movement in the United Kingdom." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Nov. 2020. Web. 2 Dec. 2020.

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