hide You are viewing an archived web page collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:50:04 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
table anchor table anchor table anchor
The Famous Five: Heroes for Today
       Home   |   Info   |   Contact Us   |   Partners   |   Sitemap
Context, Achievement, Legacy and Timeline spacer

Temperance and Prohibition

Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource.ca and The Famous Five Foundation

Social problems resulting from the liquor trade turned the question of controlling liquor into an election issue as early as 1891. Prohibitionists identified alcohol as the cause of numerous social evils, such as:

  • Neglect of one's work
  • Widespread poverty in Canada's fast-growing cities
  • Immorality and the spread of disease
  • Neglect of families, as husbands spent money on alcohol rather than feeding and clothing their wives and children
  • Abuse and battery of women and children
  • Crime
  • As Canada industrialized, factory workers wound up working long hours for very small wages, and both men and women drank to forget their misery.

    The use and abuse of alcohol was seen as a widespread and growing problem, which gave rise to other many other social ills. As a result, prohibition became the focus of social reformers of every stripe, who banded together in common cause.

    As alcohol had the ability to decimate homes and families, it became the focus of prohibition campaigns by women's groups like the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and the United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA). Failing to achieve the reforms they sought, these groups began increasingly to view female suffrage as necessary to achieving prohibition—as well as other social reforms. Women's groups, church groups, farm and industry groups, and other reformers united in pursuit of similar causes. As women played a prominent role in achieving prohibition, many of their allies in that cause supported women's bid for suffrage.

    Heritage Trail: Controlling Liquor in Alberta
    Whiskey trading in the 1860s and 1870s was destroying Aboriginal communities and threatened anticipated settlement of the West. In 1873, the Canadian Government created the Northwest Mounted Police mainly to control the whiskey trade in the West. The Northwest Territories Act of 1875 established the first regulations to control alcohol. And as historian David Leonard explains, this was done through the granting of permits by the Lieutenant Governor. . . Listen Now
    Group Picture
    Group Picture  
    Group Picture    Copyright © 2004 Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved

    Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
                For more on women and the vote in Canada, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
    Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved