International social movement dedicated to the control of alcohol consumption through the promotion of moderation and abstinence. It began as a church-sponsored movement in the U.S. in the early 19th century. It attracted the efforts of many women, and by 1833 there were 6,000 local temperance societies in the U.S. The first European temperance society was formed in Ireland in 1826. An international temperance movement began in Utica, N.Y., U.S., in 1851 and spread to Australia, Asia, Europe, India, South and West Africa, and South America. See also Carry Nation; Prohibition; Woman's Christian Temperance Movement.
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