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HIST 124 (191)

Booze Lecture

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Queen's University
HIST 124
Steven J Maynard

Last Call: Booze and the Regulation of Leisure I. The Historical Present: The Drinking Habits of History 124 Students - regulation of personal behavior – when and why and how did it come to govern your personal choices? - social reform came to be through mini-movements because new ideas created a sense of anxiety and uncertainty within citizens – drinking was the cause of this II. Drink in Pre-Industrial Canada A. Rise of the Breweries - 1668 first brewery jean talon - montreal - 1786 molson family north Americas oldest brewery – canadas second oldest company – links drinking of beer to Canadian nationalism (I am Canadian) - montreal - Alexander Keith - Halifax - Labatt – London Ontario – 1847 B. Functions of Drink in Pre-Capitalist Society purposes: health measure (precaution against a cold and to keep kids warm on way to school) – water was unsafe and or scarce, whereas water in booze is boiled – milk double the price of beer – no insurance if abstaining from drinking - 1878 sir john a macdonald – drunk – temperance law - Campbell drunk speaking in the house with a hat on inside, demanding a fight - working class culture: work payment in rum accepted – grain traded at distillery for whiskey – absence of cash (medium of capitalism) – same or more exchange value as money - taverns everywhere – social centres – economic and political centres – rebellions and unions formed – in most working class neighborhoods – predominantly male spaces - III. Taverns and Late-19 -Century Industrial Capitalism A. Taverns and Working-Class Culture: Joe Beef’s Canteen - montreal – late 1860s - in irish working class neighborhood – sailors, etc - kept skeletons, bottles, etc., props to tell stories to people who came in - wild animals (monkeys, cats, etc.) – entertains customers – drinking bears most popular – always drunk - joe beef was a son of the people – egalitarian space – fed poor men no matter of race, religion, etc. – hangout for everyone, especially poor – a box for tips (to montreal hospitals) – hostel for homeless and unemployed – 10 cents on the bar and given a blanket and tables were converted to cots and rooms upstairs had bunks - 1877 labourers on canal went on strike because of low wages – supplied lots of bread and stew – paid for travel expenses to go meet government B. Reformers on the Waterfront - for middle class people to stamp out drinking, it seems like attacking the whole class culture and lifestyle - the montreal sailors institute – middle class setting up in the lower, waterfront land - reading room, writing desk, purchase food, etc. – no alcoholic drinks - middle class calls police in for fights – unwanted control - ymca, salvation army, etc. - IV. The Temperance Movement A. Pledges, Lodges, and Liberal Individualism - goal was not to completely suppress drinking, but to temper it, to control it - gradually it turns to no drinking – pledge to not drink and not to serve alcohol to others because temperance is too difficult - any drink might lead to ruin (even only an occasional beer) - whether adopted no drinking or temperance, it should be the individual choice – improvement and will power to be self-respectible – liberal individualism - had to sign a pledge card – rallies and handed out cards - V. The Prohibition Movement A. The Canada Temperance Act and Legal Regulation - believe that it is too hard for an individual to agree to not drink – wants state intervention – breaking the liberal individualist culture movement - the womens Christian temperance union – and other groups – brought together as a huge dominion (all prohibition groups brought together – lobbied government to eliminate booze - the scot act – 1878 – not everything was what they wanted, but the right for each city to hold a referendum – the local option
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