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Moonshiners and ProhibitionistsThe Battle over Alcohol in Southern Appalachia$
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Bruce E. Stewart

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130002

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130002.001.0001

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“Wilt Thou Send the Revenues down upon the Distillers” A Political History of Prohibition, 1882–1908

“Wilt Thou Send the Revenues down upon the Distillers” A Political History of Prohibition, 1882–1908

(p.189) 8 “Wilt Thou Send the Revenues down upon the Distillers” A Political History of Prohibition, 1882–1908
Moonshiners and Prohibitionists

Bruce E. Stewart

University Press of Kentucky

At the end of the nineteenth century, it appeared that the campaign for statewide prohibition had run out of steam throughout the US. To renew interest in the issue, many temperance organizations decided to shift their strategy from advocating for statewide prohibition to campaigning for the enactment of local referenda that banned the sale of alcohol. Crusaders believed that these laws would bring their neighbors face-to-face with the obstinate saloon and eventually convince them to accept prohibition on a broader scale. However, it soon became clear to mountain highlanders that federal liquor taxation, local-option ordinances, and alcohol dispensaries were ineffective in solving the region's liquor problem. Although they were concerned that statewide prohibition would infringe on the rights of alcohol producers and destroy an important local industry, the highlanders finally acknowledged that it was the only viable solution. In May 1908, western North Carolina, which has often been depicted as the land of intemperance and moonshining, garnered the highest percentage of votes in favor of prohibition than anywhere else in the state.

Keywords:   North Carolina, statewide prohibition, intemperance, moonshining, mountain reformers, federal liquor taxation, local-option, alcohol dispensary

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