Lecture 10 Tuesday, November 26, 2013
• Book reviews will be ready next week—last lecture.
• Final exam will be submitted electronically—etiher through CU Learn or dedicated email
• Will give the final exam as early as possible.
• Last week was Prohibition—even though we tend to think about American Prohibition, it
was part of a more general phase of prohibition policies in many parts of the world—
North America, Europe, indigenous populations in Africa
• Was a fairly short phase
• No example of prhibiiton to this period except for Islam
o In place for more than a thousand years
o Predominantly Muslim countries where it’s applied rigorously, others wehre it’s
not. But since the Arab Spring, prohibition policies applied more strongly htan
• Anyway, that’s the only exception. They weren’t really applied properly until about 1910.
But they went off in about 1935 in just about every jurisdiction that had it.
o Some U.S. states dind’t go wet until 1960s
o But in national terms, American gave it up in 1933
o Canadian provinces from 1920s, 1930s
o Various European countries (Sweden, Finalnd, Norway) in 1920s
o Very short-lived experiment with prohibition.
• Would have been very difficult to propose prhoibiton before late 19 century. That’s
because alcohol was simply necessary. Water supplies not good, alcohol safer for
hydration. Until fresh water supplies and other forms fo beverages arrived, couldn’t tell
people to stop drinking alcohol.
• Perhaps a logical step to go to Prohibitoin once alcohol is no longer necessary—no
longer believed to be health-giving, therapeutic, necessary yto replace water (because
clean water was availabile)—all you could say about it is that it’s intoxicating.
• A lot could be said against it:
o Caused health problems—liver disease, heart disease
o Responsible for accidents
o Criminality • There’s nothing good to be said for it, plenty of bad things to be said—just makes sense
to get rid of it. That’s why prhiobitoin was imposed.
• But it didn’t work—massive resistance from producers, mainly consumers. If there wasn’t
this huge consumer demand, wouldn’t be illicit production, smuggling, etc.
• By end of 1920s, towards point wher eprohition would be repealed, consumption had
reached 70% of pre-prohibition level. Maybe it would have goen down but maybe would
have risen to the same level again. That combined with the state’s loss of revenue from
taxes convinced countries to abandon prohibition.
• What happens when you have prohibition and then take it off? Or, int eh case of Britain
where they didn’t have prohibition, hwat happens when you put regulatiosn to make
alcohol to optain (WWI—limiting hours of pubs, that alcohol could b esold)?
o These regulations were put into place 1910s-1920s and then relaxed. What
o General thougth: can’t go back to situation before Prohibition
o U.S.: repeal in 1933—the President Roosevelt announced the repeal but careful
not to portray alcohol as a positive thing. Still warned about the dangers of
alcohol, of going back to the old days.
o Advised Americans not to go back to what the anti-alcohol lobby had called the
worst aspect of the policies. “I askt aht no state should order the return of the
o Called the citizens to drink responsibly, prevent return to the “repugnant
conditions” of before.
o We want responsible dirnking, for people to be educated—more intensive
education programs in schools. Geared to young children.
o SALOONS—very difficult. What is it? A bar. The whole point is tha tit was a male
bar, had reputation of being seedy, associated with
crime/immorality/gambling/etc. He’s calling for more respectable drinking places.
o Ironically, the most respsectable drinking palces were some of the speak-easies:
lounges with music, entertainment, respectable people, etc.
o Balancing act going on.
o Didn’t want people to drink too much, but wanted people to drink plenty so they
could get revenues from production an dconsumption.
o There were taxes of $2.60/gallon on distilled liquor, $5/barrel on beer.
o In 1936 (three years after repeal), taxes from alcohol made up 13% of all federal
tax revenues. That’s including commercial taxes, personal income taxes, etc. o Prohibition was repealed by another amendment to the constitution. Left the
situation the way it hd been before Prohibition—gave the states control over
production and consumption. Controlled movement of alohol between states.
o Many states that had had prohibition (remember, it was originally a state activity
before national one) went on to allow alcohol. They could have decided to
continue prohibition policies on state level btu they didn’t.
o The appeal of Prohibition had waned a lot, attraction of getting state taxes.
o Some of th eons that had it continued for 3-5 years. Mississippi was the last to
give it up, in 1966.
o A lot of thse went through phases—allowing light alcohol beer of 4%, low alcohol
wine, etc. Phasing it in. General fear that, having been depried fro 13 years,
people would just start drinking.
o But that doesn’t make sense. People were drinking during Prohibition, there
wasn’t a question of being deprived.
• But we do see in the 1930s the emergence of waning of Prohibition
o Women’s Christian Temperance Union—their numbers drop off. Used to have 2
million, by 1930s dropped to about half a million. Same with all anti-alcohol
organizations. Real sense that prohibition had failed, people stopped agitating for
prohibition or even temperance.
o Decline in the intereste in temperance and prohibition policies.
• At the same time, see the emergene of more positive view of alcohol hrough the 1930s.
o Advertisements for beer, wine, and spirits begin to fill pgaes of newspapers.
Through their support behind the repeal in the 1920s—that wa opportunity for
advertisements. Alcohol advertising wasn’t as limited then as it is now.
o Importance of alcohol advertisting—by 1935, 1/5 of display ads (the big ads, half-
page or full-page) in New York Times were for alcohol. It was a boon to the
• Portrayal of alcohol in the movies.
o Hollywood movie producers hae production codes—how they can depict certain
activities, normally related to sex
o There was a new code introduced in 1930 and then revised in 1934 (year after
end of Prohibition)
o You’d expect that production codes would have something to say about alcohol
but there was nothing. No production codes in movies even after Prohibiton
o The stress was actually on sexuality. o The movie Casablanca—two main figures (Humphrey Bogart, owner of a bar,
and Ilsa, who’s with someone else)—implication that Rick and Ilsa might have
had sex at some point in their relationship, but this was more explicit in the early
version fo the movie and they had to make cuts.
o But lookat the movie—set in a bar, with people drinking and gambling, drinking all
the time and too excess—no concern about drinking (positive), but concern that
two married people might have had sex.
o The concern about alcohol didn’t flow into the film production industry.
• New drinking cultures that developed during Prhibitoin: speak-easies, domestic drinking
o Those were the two options available
o They continued afterwards
o New culture of doetic drinking
o Cocktails became popular as domestic drinks
o Women’s magazines give tips on how to serve cocktails for dinner parties
o More ready acceptance of alcohol consumption generally, seent o be as
sophisticate,d not associated with seedy saloons and criminaly but middle-class.
o Speak-easy went public as the cocktail lounge, the supper club. These had none
of the assoations of the saloon. They wer eplaces wehere men and women could
socialize without any hint of scandal.
o New attitude towards alcohol in the US following Prohibition, right after the end o
fit in 1933.
o SHouldn’t generalize—there were some not-so-elegant bars still.
o Also, many people abstained from alcohol.
o Look at alcohol consumption today—20-25% of American adults never drink.
Same here in Canada. For religious reasons, health reasons, reasons of
o Although we talk about acceptance of alcohol, there’s a good proportion ht never
• Canada after Prohibition
o Series of provincial liquor monopolies—province-operated retail outlets: LCBO,
SAQ, BCLBB, etc.
o They weremeant to be only way in which people could buy alcohol
o They’re still here. Only one that left was Alberta—privatized sale of alcohol.
o But the rest of provincial systems are still existant. o There are also private stores/retail channels that compete with the provincial
o But the whole system is controlled by province—the number of competing private
stores is limited.
o We have Wine Rack, Beer Stores, other winery stories, and online systems for
o These provincials troes were established at various times in 1920s and 1930s.
the aim was to control alcohol. Alcoholw as permitted but they wanted to permit
the flow of it.
o Punched Drunk—used passbooks to control flow of alcohol, who could purchase
it through the LCBO—system used up to 1960s.
o Similar system as the one introduced in Ontario was in other parts of Canada,
they came off at certain times.
o Not until 1990s that the stores like LCBO became like the stores they are now—
very attractive, consumer-friendly stores where the sale of alcohol is normalized
instead of being treated like something slightly shameful.
o Made anyone feel a bit like a criminal for buying alcohol before the 1990s…
o Western democracies between the wars—they had introduced restrictive policies
(not prohibition, though) during WWI because they could.
o Wanted to limit access…took opportunity to impose these policies during wartime
o Limited opening ours of bars, lasted up to 1990s and into this century
o Abolition of absinthe in France
o Restriciton of all kinds of alcohol in Italy and Germyn druign the war
o 1929—British government set up royal commission to study licencing laws and
socio-economic impact of alcohol consumption.
o Shows us the place of alcohol in this society at this time.
o This commission wasn’t set up because there was a sense of crisis/emergency,
but simply because they waned to get a picture of alcohol in Great Britain. If we
look at per capita consumption in 1929, it was lower than it had been in 1889.
Actually went downin spirits consumption from 1 gallon per capita to ¼ gallon.
Beer consumption was half what it had been. Real slide in consumption. So
there’s no alarm.
o Commission presented very positive picture of the way the British drank—
recommended maintaining limits on opening hours of pubs because they
couldn’t’s see any reason to change them. Commissioner in London said they could increase opening hours and it wouldn’t make a difference because British
are good with their drinking habits.
o Commisioer said decrease in drunkensess, singled out young people for dirnking
o Taxation contributed to this, bevergaes generally had lower alcohol levels,
unemployment (1929) was high and played a role, people didn’t have the mone
to spend on alcohol, people had to deal with machines and needed to stay sober.
o All these contirubte to lower alcohol consumption. But nonetheless this is a godo
thing—congratulated young people and said drunkenness has gone out of
fashion. But they still recognized that some people got drunk—recommended
closing some pubs, improving the character of pubs so people behae better,
more alcohol education.
o We do see a shift in the drinking culture that prefigured and followed these
o \at this time we see new pubs being built—by highways, bigger, more
comfortable, in Georgian/Tudor style, many had dining rooms with high quality
food (chefs from London, wanted to promote the food too), and in the long hours
when alcohol wasn’t available they would serve non-alcoholic beverages.
o Many had lounges that were carpeted, had pictures, comfortable furniture, made
to look like middle-class living room. See a movement between private and public
here. The pubs begint o mirror the private dwellings. The lounge in a pub
mirrored the living room in someone’s home.
o Partly to make these road houses more appealing, als to make women more
comfortable. Recognition that womenw ere significant consumers, needed to
cater to them.
o Thse spaces begant o be feminized—letter from Whitbread (big English brewer)
about the pubs that served alcohol: they needed a clean sweep, ficed furniture,
getting rid of works of art like race horses and statesmen. Getting away from
these masculine items, want more feminized look.
o Many were off highways/bypasses, aimed to cater to the motorized public. During
1920s, car ownership went up dramatically everywhere ein Europe and North
o England: 1925, there were 580,000 cars on the road. By 1939, there were 2
o Middle-class public, motorized. More mobile owners made up significant
clientele. They’d break wawy from tradition of going to local pub and they’d drive
into the country, drinka t road houses.
o Road houses designed to appeal to affluence—luxurious, swimming pools,
restaurant, dance floors with bands, encouraged to dress well, alcohol served
throughout (especially cocktails) o Not the kind of risqué cabarets that you find in parts of Eurpe (Germany). But
they were also slightly dangerous places—living on the edge if you spen the day
eating, drinking, dancing there.
o Places where men took women who werent’ their wives, drank to excess, there
were drugs. Edgy quality to many of these road houses.
o But you’re a long way form the pub—smoky, drab, noisy, people drinking beer.
Diferetn culture, clientele.
o Issue of drinking and driving—these road hosues were only accessible by road
and they didn’t offer accommodation. Nowehre you could sleep after a night’s
drinking. But interesting that in the 1929 report, there are 15 lines devoted to
drinking and driving.
o Records of raod accidents—numbers were going up considerably. They don’t
attribute the cause to anything, but they suspect it has to do with drinking.
o But there’s nothing about drinking and riving—all they say is the bus drivers
shouldn’t drink while on duty.
o While there are laws against driving while intoxicated from 1920s, the issue is not
seen to be important until 1930s and 1940s.
o 1930s: Swedish scientist came up with Breathalyzer to measure blood alcohol
levels, but that didn’t make sense to people because they couldn’t agree on what
was a good blood alcohol level.
o Ironically it was the Nazis who began to use breathalyzers systematically for the
first time. Not widely used by police in Canada until 1970s.
o Another recommendation by British commission: there should be stepped up
program of alcohol education.
o Look at North America, Europe, South Africa, etc.: education on alchol was quite
significant. Possible to look at the books they used, what they were teaching.
o First English schoolbook on alcohol published in 1909—very heavy-handed
approach. Very moralistic.
o Revised in 1922—moralizing disappeared, became very scientific. Almost
incomprehensible to the students it was meant for. Drinking responsibly
protrayed as part of general exercise of self-discipline needed for healthy life.
Dry, technical book, limited to physical effects of alcohol on body. Emphasis that
it was not food, no nutritional value, but its effects on nervous system could be
mitigated by drinking diluted alcohol/having food with it. Implication that alcohol is
bad for you.
o By early 20 century, have gotten away from historic situation where alcohol was
nutritioius, beer more nutrious than bread. Alcohol has become useless
commodity in terms of nutrition and health. o Plenty advice in books on alcohol: American example from 1930s—plaes abuse
of alcohol on same plane as the abuse of food. You drink as you live. If you’re a
person who does things to excess, you’ll do everything to excess, that includes
eating and rinking to excesss.
o General sense of holistic person within which your consumption of alchol could
o This was published in 1930s—says they weaken and disease their body by
developing taste for salt, spice, vinegar, coffee, etc. This leads to secret and
social vice (masturbation), prepare the person for intemperance, lead to wreck
o The way you handle food will condition your whole life—you’ll abuse yourself and
everything that you do. Terrible warning for children.
o What is true of eating is also true of drinking… Pure water is the best form of
drink, never take intoxicating drink, look at the ruin caused by rum.
o 1930s: kind of an acceptance of alcohol, it’s much more normalized than it had
been before Prohibition, but there’s a caution about alcohol as well. Don’t want to
ban it, but you have to treat it responsibily.