DOI: 10.17721/2521-1706.2021.11.2

Liliia Pytlovana

ORCID logo

Ph.D. (History), Associate Professor

Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine

The present paper has three main objectives: 1) to cover the history of American temperance movements at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, and their key characteristics; 2) to trace the Prohibition Party history and activity; 3) to do a content-analysis of «Prohibition Cartoons» published in 1904 to support the Prohibition Party candidates to the House of Representatives. Research methodology provides a critical approach to interpreting cartoons based on E. Panofsky’s three strata analysis from the primary subject through conventional subject matter to intrinsic content. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis of images and accompanying texts revealed the frequency of specific themes, images, allusions that authors had used. The scientific novelty lies in studying the history of the Prohibition Party through the prism of its propaganda visual materials, the possibilities of their influence on voters.

The Conclusions. Alcohol consumption was a part of Americans’ usual way of life and diet. The American Revolution and postwar economic and financial troubles were the main circumstances that formed this habit. Temperance organizations, both national and local, have been active since the 1820s and were closely associated with denominational groups. Saloons as a source of liquor, gambling, prostitution, and crime were the main objects of their criticism. They also condemned the governmental license system as a promoter of liquor traffic. Lack of systemic funding and propaganda, and the split of 1896 sharply reduced the Prohibition Party chances of becoming a real opponent for the Republicans or Democrats. Content analysis of cartoons demonstrated a range of symbols, allusions, and metaphors, which should influence public opinion. The majority of them called to vote for the Prohibition Party. Cartoons content a lack of emphasis on the harm of alcohol to human physical and mental health.

Key words: cartoon, Prohibition Party, prohibitionism, USA, temperance.

Submitted: 06.05.2021

Full text


  1. Kaspi, A. (2008). Daily life in the United States in the era of prosperity and prohibition. Moscow: young guard. [In English].
  2. Andersen, L. M. F. (2013). The Politics of Prohibition: American Governance and the Prohibition Party, 1869–1933. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [In English].
  3. Blocker, J. S. J., Fahey, D. M., & Tyrrell, I. R. (2003). Alcohol and temperance in modern history: An international encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO Interactive. [In English].
  4. Cherrington, E. (1920). 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 (Classic Reprint). Westerville, Ohio: American Issue Press. [In English].
  5. Johnson, P. (2009). George Washington: The Founding. New York: HarperCollins e-books. [In English].
  6. Hamm, R. F. (1995). Shaping the Eighteenth Amendment: Temperance Reform, Legal Culture, and the Polity, 1880–1920 (Studies in Legal History) (First Edition). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. [In English].
  7. History of Kaskaskia Baptist Association: ministering together 160 years: Vandalia – Centralia – Kaskaskia (one association – three names). (2001). Patoka, Illinois: Kaskaskia Association Press. [In English].
  8. 1904 Prohibition party platform. (2021). Prohibitionists.Org.
  9. Rorabaugh, W. J. (2020). Prohibition: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. [In English].
  10. Rorabaugh, W. J. (1979). The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press. [In English].
  11. Rush, B. (1811). An inquiry into the effects of ardent spirits upon the human body and mind: With an account of the means of preventing, and of the remedies for curing them. New-York: Printed for Cornelius Davis. [In English].
  12. Sinclair, A. (1962). Era of Excess: A Social History of the Prohibition Movement. New York: Harper & Row. [In English].
  13. Slavicek, L. C. (2009). The Prohibition Era: Temperance in the United States (Milestones in American History). New York, NY: Chelsea House Publications. [In English].
  14. Stewart, D. F., & Wilbur, H. W. (1904). Prohibition Cartoons. New York: The Defender Pub. Committee. [In English].
  15. Storms, R. C. (1972). Partisan Prophets a History of the Prohibition Party, 1854–1972. Denver, CO: National Prohibition Foundation. [In English].
  16. Ten Facts About the Distillery. George Washington’s Mount Vernon. (2021). George Washington’s Mount Vernon. [In English].
  17. Tyrrell, I. R. (1997). The US prohibition experiment: myths, history and implications. Addiction, 92(11), 1405-1409. [In English].
  18. Tyrrell, I. R. (1991). Woman’s World/Woman’s Empire: The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880–1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. [In English].
  19. S. Consumption of Beverage Alcohol 1850–1983. (2021). The Ohio State University. [In English].
  20. Walsh, V. A. (1990). «Drowning the Shamrock»: Drink, Teetotalism, and the Irish Catholics of Gilded-Age Pittsburgh. Journal of American Ethnic History, 10(1-2), 60-79. [In English].
  21. Wilentz, S. (2004). Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788–1850. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [In English].