American Temperance Society

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American Temperance Society
Region served
United States
Official language

The American Temperance Society (ATS), also known as the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, was a society established on February 13, 1826, in Boston, Massachusetts.[1][2] Within five years there were 2,220 local chapters in the U.S. with 170,000 members who had taken a pledge to abstain from drinking distilled beverages. Within ten years, there were over 8,000 local groups and more than 1,250,000 members who had taken the pledge.[3][4]

The society benefited from, and contributed to, a reform sentiment in much of the country promoting the abolition of slavery, expanding women's rights, temperance, and the improvement of society. Possibly because of its association with the abolitionist movement, the society was most successful in northern states.

After a while, temperance groups increasingly pressed for the mandatory prohibition of alcohol rather than for voluntary abstinence. The American Temperance Society was the first U.S. social movement organization to mobilize massive and national support for a specific reform cause. Their objective was to become the national clearinghouse on the topic of temperance.[5] Within three years of its organization, ATS had spread across the country.

Most notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Young, Michael P. (2007). Bearing Witness against Sin: The Evangelical Birth of the American Social Movement. University of Chicago Press


  1. ^ John L. Merrill, "The Bible and the American temperance movement: text, context and pretext," Harvard Theological Review 81, no. 2 (1988): 147.
  2. ^ "Temperance Exhibit". Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  3. ^ Cherrington, Ernest Hurst (8 August 2018). "The evolution of prohibition in the United States of America; a chronological history of the liquor problem and the temperance reform in the United States from the earliest settlements to the consummation of national prohibition by Ernest H. Cherrington". Westerville, Ohio American Issue Press. Retrieved 8 August 2018 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ "God In America - Timeline". Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "The Washingtonian Movement - Introduction". Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2009-09-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)