FREE Catholic Classes
Reasons for a temperance movement exist to a greater or less degree in all the countries of Europe, although the kind and amount of alcoholic drinks consumed vary greatly in the different lands. In former days the greatest amount of drunkenness was to be found in Russia and Sweden, while now the latter country is the most temperate of all. On the other hand conditions at present are very bad in France and Belgium, largely because these are almost the only lands where absinthe is habitually drunk. Unfortunately it is just in these countries that there are but few signs of an energetic temperance movement, for in them wine and beer are still called "hygienic drinks". A strong opposition to the use of alcoholic liquors exists in Great Britain, in the Scandinavian kingdoms, and, for the last ten years, in the Netherlands and Germany. It is only of late that the southern countries of Europe have begun to take part in the temperance movement, and of these Italy is the most active.A. Consumption of Alcohol
Statistics as to the consumption of intoxicating liquors should be used with great caution, especially when different countries are compared. The amount of alcohol in various liquors, and even in the same liquor in different countries, varies greatly. The most reliable international statistics concerning alcoholic beverages are probably those repeatedly issued since 1897 by the British Board of Trade. These statistics were taken by the Imperial Bureau of Statistics at Berlin in 1906 as the basis of the excellent papers on alcohol that appeared in the "Reichsarbeitsblatt". According to them the average amount of alcohol in distilled liquors may be taken as 50 per cent; in wine in Germany and Switzerland, ten per cent; in wine in Italy, France, Belgium, and Holland, 12 per cent; in Great Britain, 15 per cent; the average amount of alcohol in beer may be taken as 4 per cent (in Great Britain, six percent). The alcoholic beverages most generally used are distilled spirits, beer, and wine. The drinking of absinthe, since its prohibition by popular vote in Switzerland in 1908, is limited to France and Belgium, where the prohibition is to a large degree evaded. Distilled spirits is the principal alcoholic beverage in the following countries: Russia, where it is 93 per cent of all the alcoholic beverages consumed; the three Scandinavian countries, 65-69 per cent; Austria-Hungary, 59 per cent. The largest proportion of beer is drunk in Great Britain (78 per cent of all alcoholic beverages consumed) and Belgium (64 percent). Wine is the alcoholic beverage most used in the following countries: Switzerland, 58 per cent of all alcoholic beverages; France 75 per cent; Italy 95 per cent. In Germany, besides a small consumption of wine, an almost equal amount of beer and spirits is used (beer, 49 per cent, spirits, 44 per cent). The figures are, of course, quite different if the question is to the amount of liquor actually drunk. The amount depends in the first place as to whether moderate drinking is the daily habit in a country, or whether alcoholic beverages are drunk only occasionally, even though immoderately; and secondly whether alcoholic beverages containing a large amount of alcohol are most use, or whether the consumption is of weaker ones, but in larger quantities. This is why the beer-drinking countries rank first when the inquiry is how much alcoholic drink is consumed per capita of population, while, on the other hand, the lands where the largest amount of wine and brandy are consumed take the lead if the question is as to the amount of alcohol consumed. In the first respect, Belgium stands first with a consumption of nearly 54.22 gallons per capita of population, 49.52 gallons being beer; then comes Great Britain and Switzerland, each about 33.01 gallons per capita; Germany, 30.66 gallons; Italy and France, each 28.30 to 30.66 gallons; Denmark, 29.54 gallons. In the other countries the consumption is less than 25 gallons per capita, e.g., Norway 4 gallons, Holland and Russia, each about 2.35 gallons. On the other hand, the countries where the largest quantity of alcohol is drunk are: France, 4 gallons per capita, and Italy, 3.7 gallons. The countries showing the lowest figures are: Holland, .94 gallon; Russia, .61 gallon; Norway. 51 gallon. Germany and Austria are in the middle with about 2.24 gallons. If, finally, the individual beverages are considered, the largest consumption of distilled spirits is in Denmark, 3.3 gallons per capita, and Austria Hungary. 2.39 gallons; the largest consumption of beer is in Bavaria and Belgium, where it is more than fifty gallons per capita; the consumption of wine is largest in Italy, 27.59 gallons, and France, 36.55 gallons. The absolute figures are as follows: Germany, 58,962,028.3 gallons of distilled spirits, 1,757,075,471.69 gallons of beer, 87,264,150.94 gallons of wine, for which nearly £150,000,000 ($714,500,000) is paid annually, a sum nearly three times as large as the cost of the German army and navy. The annual expenditure in Austria for alcoholic beverages is about £104,166,000 ($500,000,000).
Two main periods are to be distinguished. The first, which began in 1830, was fairly general, but substantially affected only the British Isles and the Germanic countries. The second began in 1850; after a decade it extended to Scandinavia, and after thirty years to Germany. It was, however, only at the close of the century that it attained its great importance, by gradually obtaining a footing in all civilized countries. In both periods the immediate stimulus came from the United States of North America. The chief distinction between the earlier and later movements is generally expressed thus: that the former laid the emphasis on temperance, the latter on total abstinence. But this hardly even reaches the root of the matter. Apart from the fact that even in the earlier period, teetotal societies existed in England (from 1832), refraining from spirituous beverages was at that time practically equivalent to total abstinence, as other intoxicating drinks were almost unknown, or at least their injurious qualities were much underrated. Beer was then strongly recommended (even in popular songs) as a "most delicious drink"; thus the brewing industry was encouraged. It was thought that poisonous substances existed only in distilled spirits, consequently nothing was said of combatting alcohol, but always distilled spirits, and this through abstinence. The earlier movement is better characterized by calling it the era of naïve enthusiasm, supported especially by religious sentiments. Clergymen were then the principal leaders of the movement, and the pledge was its highest attainment.
The new movement is more dispassionate; its fundamental ideas are largely hygienic and social. The nature of alcoholic beverages has been more thoroughly investigated, and the danger of habitual moderate drinking, which merely avoids intoxication, has been recognized. Intemperance is no longer generally regarded as a matter of individual morality, but as a means to the public health (because of its effects on the offspring) and as a danger to national welfare (inasmuch as it promotes criminality and immorality, while lessening mental and economic productivity). The present movement is promoted by physicians, sociologists, and government officials; its final aim is rather to do away with the drinking of alcohol, either by national prohibition or by local option. Still, of late, the religious side of the movement has shown renewed vigour, especially in rescue work for drunkards; and strong religious organizations have sprung up, especially among the Catholics of Germany and Holland. It is entirely in keeping with the social character of the movement that the effort is made to influence children and young people also (as in the "Bands of Hope ") and that even the schools are called on to co-operate by means of special instruction.
The first traces of an organized temperance movement in Europe are found in the union formed at Växjö, Sweden, in 1819, by a number of pupils at a gymnasium under the guidance of Per Wieselgren (1800-77), who afterwards became famous at the father of Swedish temperance agitation. The members of the union pledged themselves to abstain from all harmful spirituous beverages. However, impulses from America ("American Temperance Society ", 1826) first led to the foundation of regular societies — almost immediately in Ireland (New Rose, 1829; by 1830, 60 societies ); Scotland (Grenock, 1829; the "Scottish Temperance Society ", a central organization, founded in 1831, soon had 300 branches); England (Bradford, 1830; by the end of 1830, 30 local societies ; the "British Foreign and Temperance Society ", 1831); Sweden (Stockholm, 1830; the "Swedish Temperance Society ", a central organization, founded in 1837, had 100,000 members by 1845). The movement spread most rapidly in Ireland, where from 1834 Father Mathew (q.v.), probably the greatest preacher of temperance of all times, laboured with extraordinary success; by 1844, he had secured nearly 5,500,000 adherents. In Dublin alone 180,000 took the pledge from him; later he went to England gaining 60,000 in London, then to Scotland and America. In 1858 the "Irish Temperance League", now the most important abstinence organization in Ireland, was founded. As in Sweden, the first movement in Norway and German was also an independent one, but it did not attain in either country much importance until it came into contact with the American and English movements. In Norway, Kjell Andresen established throughout the country numerous societies which, in 1845, he united into a central organization, "Den norske verening modbraendevinsdrikken", an association that received at once considerable financial aid from the State.
The campaign was opened in Germany about 1800 by a number of medical treatises, especially those of Hufeland (Die Branntwinevergiftung) and also the circular addressed by King Frederick William III of Prussia to the Protestant consistories urging them to exhort the people to abstain from spirits. The first societies were established in Hamburg in 1830, and at Dresden in 1832, through English influence. About 1833 Frederick Wilhelm III asked the American Government for information concerning the temperance movement. In answer to this request, Robert Baird, author of the epoch-making "History of the Temperance Societies in the United States" was sent to Europe in 1835. At Berlin Baird gave the French version of his work to the king, who had it translated immediately into German, and 30,000 copies distributed. The movement was now carried on with great zeal, mainly by the different Churches. The chief workers among the Catholics were: Father Seling (1792-1860) in the Diocese of Osnabrück ; the Archpriest Fitzek and Father Schaffranck in Silesia ; the missioner Hillebrant in Westphalia ; Father Ketterer and other Jesuits in Ermland ; much influence was also exerted by the writings of the popular author Alban Stolz. Father Mathew's work was taken as a model for the movement, but an effort was made to secure greater permanence by forming temperance confraternities; these still exist in the east of Germany. The work was carried on among Protestants by Pastor Böttcher of Hanover (also active as a writer) and by Freiherr von Seld, who covered much territory lecturing on temperance. The result of these labours was that when the first temperance congress was held (Hamburg, 1843) there were already over 450 temperance societies in Northern Germany, and 1702 when the second congress was held (Berlin, 1845). At the same date the total number of abstainers in Germany was stated to be 1,650,000, of whom over 500,000 were in Upper Silesia. This was the culminating point of the movement, which rapidly declined after the Revolution of 1848. Besides the countries already mentioned, the early movement attained prominence only in Holland and Denmark, although the American influence was felt in other countries also. In 1842 the "Nederlandsche Vereeniging tot abschaffing van sterken drank" was formed at Leyden; its membership rose to over 20,000 and then declined. Baird spent 1840 in Denmark ; 40 societies were quickly formed there, and in 1845 were united into a national association with its own newspaper, the "Folkevennen". In Denmark also the conflict between the temperance and the total abstinence advocates ended the entire movement.
With the exception of England, where the High Church Anglicans founded (1862) the "Church of England Temperance Society", which quickly attained great success, little progress was made in Europe from 1860 to 1870. Pastor Böttcher, it is true, succeeded in organizing another continental congress in Hanover in 1863, but the interest in temperance had died out. Nearly twenty years afterwards begins the later movement, which in most countries was distinctly influenced by the "Order of Good Templars ", and in Switzerland and adjacent counties by the society of the "Blue Cross" founded by Pastor Rochat at Geneva in 1877 as a society for the rescue of drunkards. In 1868 the "Independent Order of Good Templars " extended from America to England, where, at first, internal dissensions occasioned an acute crisis. About ten years later the order was established in Scandinavia (Norway, 1877; Sweden, 1879; Denmark, 1880). In these countries it proved more successful than anywhere else, particularly in Sweden, where owing to the exertions of Oskar Eklund and Edvard Wavrinski, its membership in 1887 was over 60,000. It must be acknowledged that here also internal discords had to be over come. In 1883 the order entered Germany, appearing first at Hadersleben, in the Danish-speaking district, and in 1887 the first German lodge was established at Flensburg. The main strength of the order is still in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. In the same year (1887) the first lodge was established in Switzerland. It is only within the last ten years that grand lodges have been established in Holland and Austria.
Organizations of the different social classes and business men have become of great importance in the new movement. The first of these societies was the "British Medical Temperance Association" formed by the English physicians in 1876. Special organizations for clergymen, teachers, railway men, and workmen have been established and are striving with increasing success to form international associations. Unfortunately the Social Democrats have in many instances used the movement as a means for carrying on their own agitation, and in this way have gained the sympathy of many who would otherwise hold aloof from them. This statement, however, has little application in Germany. Women take an increasingly great part in the work of temperance. The "Women's Christian Temperance Union" established in the United States in 1873, became a world wide association in 1883, and then affiliated many national associations (some very small) in Europe. Owing to these energetic labours the number of abstainers has increased greatly in most countries: in some they form from 5 to 12 percent of the entire population, as: in the United Kingdom, about 5,000,000 (including 3,200,000 children); Sweden 500,000; Norway, 240,000 (including 65,000 children); Denmark, 170,000; Germany, over 220,000 (including 85,000 children); Switzerland, 75,000 (including 25,000 children); Finland and Holland, each 30,000, and Iceland, 5,000. The total number in Europe may be safely estimated at over 6,500,000.
Under this head will be considered: the international organizations which, with one exception, are total abstinence societies ; the larger organizations of the individual countries; the Catholic movement, which is of chief interest here; finally, the most important congresses, in which, in a certain manner, the associations show their concentrated strength and the success of the movement.
(1) International Organizations
The largest organization is still that of the "Independent Order of Good Templars ", which has eighteen grand lodges in Europe ; of these 6 are in great Britain, 2 in Germany, 1 each in Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania and Hungary. There are also some district lodges in France and Russia. The total number of lodges on the Continent is 4661 with 257,638 members, and 1855 lodges for the young with 123,634 members. In Great Britain there are 2266 lodges with 92,725 members and 1380 lodges for the young with 109,220 members. A strong competitor of this order in Switzerland is the "Neutral Independent Order of Good Templars ", established in 1906 by Professor Forel, because he considered the large order laid too much stress on religious elements. The Swiss grand lodge of the new order contains 3500 adults and 3200 young members; the German 2100 members. A large number of the Dutch, Belgian French, and Hungarian lodges have also joined the Neutral Order. On account of the law in Austria regarding associations a national association with ten local branches has been formed under the special title "Nephalia". The organization next in size is the "Blue Cross" (headquarters at Geneva), which contains about 1550 branches and 60,000 members, including a large number of reformed drunkards (9000 in Germany ). Divided as to the different countries the number of societies is as follows: Switzerland, 468; Germany, 661; Denmark, 364 (the organization is here called"Det blaa Kors"); France 65; there are also several scattered societies in Belgium, Russia, and Hungary. Affiliated to the "Blue Cross" is an association called the "Band of Hope for German Switzerland ( Deutsch-sweizerische Hoffnungsbund ). A society small in membership, but important on account of the circulation of its publications is the "International Anti-Alcoholic Association" ( Int. Bureau zur Bekämpfung des Alkoholismus ), Lausanne, conducted by Dr. Hercod, which possesses a large bureau of information.
Notwithstanding their international organizations, two associations, the "Independent Order of Rechabites " and the "Blue Ribbon" are essentially English societies. The "Rechabites" form a life insurance society with 300,000 members and have a few members in Germany and Denmark ; the "Blue Ribbon" has about 1,000,000, of whom less than a tenth are in Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. The international organization of women, the "Women's Christian Temperance Union", is strongest in English speaking countries. Among its numerous branches on the continent, those in Germany and Switzerland are prominent for their activity, especially in their establishment of temperance eating-houses. Of all the international associations of different classes, the "International Society of Physicians" is, owing to the view now taken of the alcohol question, the most important.This society includes the German-speaking counties, Scandinavia, Russia, and Belgium. The "International Railway Anti-Alcoholic Association" (founded in 1904 by de Terra) has branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark. The "International Association Against the Use of Spirituous Beverages", founded in 1905, includes about 30 organizations in Germany, England, Holland, Belgium, France, and Russia. These are temperance societies, and promote equally total abstinence and temperance. The association aims at establishing an international bureau against alcohol.
(2) National Associations
Most important in Germany is the "Association Against the Use of Spirituous Beverages" ( Verein gegen Missbrauch geist. Getränke ); this was established in 1883 and has 37,000 members who take no personal pledge. The society carries on its work by periodicals, pamphlets (of which over a million were circulated in 1908), charts, exhibitions, etc. Among the total abstinence societies are: the "German Federation of the Blue Cross Societies of the Evangelical Church ( Deutsche Bund evangelisch-kirchlicher Blaukreuzvereine ) with 8500 members; several societies that have separated from the "Independent Order of Good Templars "; and abstinence societies for various classes of society, as workmen, school-children, teachers, post office officials, lawyers, philologists, etc.; the societies for lawyers and philologists are confined to German territory. In defence of their common interest nearly all the German total abstinence societies have joined the "General German Union for Combatting Alcoholism" ( Allgemeiner deutscher Zentralband zur Bekämpfung des Alkoholismus ) of Hamburg, which has a large bureau of information, a section for testing beverages free from alcohol, a bureau for lectures, etc. Germany has altogether sixty large anti-alcoholic organizations.
The movement against alcohol is weak in Austria, probably because the Government puts great difficulties in the way of international organizations. The large associations, about thirty in number, have all sprung up within the last few years. The temperance societies ( Oest. Verein gegen Trunksucht and similar provincial societies in Vorarlberg, the German Tyrol, and Moravia ) have attained considerable importance. The leading abstinence society is undoubtedly the Polish "Eleuterya" with 5300 members in 20 branches. The "Central Union of Austrian Alcoholic Societies" ( Zentralverban öst Alkoholgegenvereine ) in Vienna, serves as a common headquarters for most of these societies. Besides the "Neutral Independent Order of Good Templars ", Hungary possesses a fairly important abstinence association for workmen (1100 members) and a central organization. The main organizations in Switzerland are international. Compared with these the national societies are not very important, excepting the "Catholic Abstinence League" (see below). Among the national organizations all that call for mention are: the "Alliance Abstinence Union" of Lausanne; the temperance societies ; the "Society of St. Gall Against the Abuse of Spirituous Liquors" ( St. Gallischerverein gegen des Missbrauch geistiger Getränke ), with 14,000 members, and "The Patriotic League of Switzerland against Alcoholism" ( Ligue patriotique suisse contre l'alcoolisme ). The total abstainers have complete control; the active participation of pupils in school and children is especially worthy of mention. The "Swiss Abstinence Secretariat" at Lausanne is the headquarters of the society. In Holland there is still considerable rivalry between the total abstinence and the temperance advocates. The organizations of the latter are large, particularly the "People's Union" ( Volksbund ) which has over 20,000 members. Most of the societies are connected with the different Churches; the Protestant ones, five in number, have since 1907 been united in the "People's Union of the Christian Anti-Alcoholic Societies of Holland" ( Niederländischer Volksbund der christlichen Antialkoholvereine ).
Hitherto the associations in Belgium and France have been almost exclusively temperance societies ; in both countries, temperance societies for school children play an important part. The "French National League Against Alcoholism" ( Ligue nat. française contre l'alcoolisme ) has nearly 100,000 members in 1730 branches, of which many are for children. Belgium also has a similar patriotic league, and 120,00 children in more than 5,000 temperance societies organized during the last thirty years through the efforts of school inspector Robyn. Only the beginnings of a temperance movement are to be found in Italy. In 1907 various local organizations united into the "Italian Anti-Alcohol Federation" ( Federazione Anti-alcoolista Italiana ), which allows daily half a litre (about a pint) of wine at meal-times. The members of the Federation are mainly Social Democrats. Still less organization is there in Spain, where the first organizations are just beginning to be formed. Portugal is without organization. Total abstinence prevails in the Scandinavian kingdoms, Iceland, and Finland, although home-brewed beer appears to be still frequently permitted. The Norwegian society "Det Norske Totalafholdsselskab" has 135,000 members. In Sweden, besides the very strong "Independent Order of Good Templars " there are the Social-Democratic "Verandiorden", and many total abstinence societies for different classes, as physicians, students, teachers, preachers, soldiers, merchants, nurses, etc., as well as a society for giving instruction in abstinence. A central abstinence bureau exists in both countries. The largest abstinence society in Denmark is the "Danmarks Alfholdsforening" (about 60,000 members). Many total abstainers also belong to the "Good Templars " and the "Blue Cross".
Just as Catholics shared in the earlier movement sixty or seventy years ago they have also of late years taken an active part in the battle against alcohol. At first the entirely Catholic countries, excepting Belgium, had not a very large share in the movement. Generally speaking, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and England have been the chief champions of the cause. About 1885 the Catholic movement began in Belgium. Under the leadership of Abbé Lemmens there now exists a confederation consisting of nine large associations with about 600 local branches and 50,000-60,000 members who, as a body, represent temperance, not total abstinence. The most important of the associations are the "Sint Jansgenootschap" in the province of Limberg (which has a division for young people founded and conducted by Canon Senden), the "Onthoudersbond van West-Flandern" and the "Société belge de Tempérance". The main organization in Germany is the "Alliance of the Cross" ( Kreuzbündnis ), a society of Catholic abstainers, with headquarters at Heidhausen near Werden. The organization was established in 1899 by Father Neumann as a temperance society; in 1904 a separate section for total abstainers was formed, and since 1909 the entire organization has been a total abstinence society, with sections for women ( Frauenbund ), for young people ( Johannesbund ) and for children ( Schultzengelbund ). Altogether the association has a member ship of 12,000 adults and 60,000 children. Unfortunately the children's society has divided, about half of the members joining the "Catholic Temperance Society" ( Kath. Mässigkeitsbund ), established in 1905 (headquarters at Trier ). Recently the relations of the latter society to the "Alliance of the Cross" have constantly grown more stained, and it has even established a total abstinence branch ( Kreuzbund ) of its own. Excellent work has been done by the Catholics of Switzerland, where the former Bishop of St-Gall, Augustine Egger (1833-1904) laboured as an apostle of temperance. Good feeling exists there between the different tendencies of the movement. although total abstinence is the most conspicuous. The "Swiss Catholic Abstinence League" ( Schweizerische kath. Asbstinentenliga ) founded in 1895 with headquarters at St-Gall, has 90 branches and nearly 4000 members, three-fourths of whom are Germans. Affiliated with this society is the "Young People's Union of German Switzerland" ( Deutsche-Switzerische Jugengbund ) which has over 60 branches with 10,500 members; A similar union ( Réveil ) for French Switzerland has 22 branches and 1200 members. Nearly all the members of the society previously mentioned, "St. Galler Bezerksverein gegen Missbrauch gesitiger Getränke", are Catholics. In Holland Dr. Ariens and Dr. Banning established in 1895 the "Kruis verbonden" which has over 30,000 members; both this and the special associations for women ( Mariaveereningen ) which have almost 30,000 members, admit temperance and total abstinence advocates. Instead of children's societies, associations have been formed of parents who promise not to give their children (minors) any alcoholic beverage; these are called the "St. Anna veereningen" (membership about 25,000). These societies are arranged by diocese and since 1907 their central organization has been the "Sobrietas", with headquarters at Maastritch. Since 1901 Austria has also had its "Catholic Alliance of the Cross" and "Schutzengelbund"; so far, however, the membership has not reached 1000. Hungary has a Catholic temperance society with 10,000 members. The French Catholics have the "White Cross" Society ( Croix blanche ). Some beginnings of international organizations should, finally, be mentioned: the "Abstinence Society for Priests" (650 members) in Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, and Holland ; the "Catholic Academic Abstinence Union" with about 100 members in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The "International Catholic Association", opposed to moderate drinking of spirituous liquors, is, so far, of little importance. Mention should also be made of a branch of the Order of Benedictines founded by Father Hager, the members of which are both total abstainers and vegetarians; the mother-house is at Innsbruck.
The great international congresses against alcoholism meet every two years; the sessions, excepting that held in 1909 in London, have always been held on the Continent. According to official statistics thirteen congresses have been held (1912). The congress has met twice at the Hague, and once each at each of the following cities: Paris, Brussels, Antwerp, Christiania, Stockholm Bremen, Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Basle, London. At first the advocates of temperance exercised most influence; in 1887 at Zurich and in 1903 at Bremen sharp disputes arose between this party and the total abstainers, who now control the meetings of the congresses. Since 1899 the Holy See has been repeatedly represented. Full reports of the sessions of the congresses are published. For about ten years a German total abstinence congress has been held on average every two years, the seventh meeting being at Augsburg in 1910; similar congresses have been held in Scandinavia and Finland for the same length of time at the same intervals. The eighth Swiss abstinence congress was held at Luasanne in 1910; at its sessions local option was urged. In other countries the holding of national conferences began at still later dates ; the first Austrian congress against alcohol was held at Vienna in 1908; the first Russian at St. Petersburg in 1910; the first French total abstinence congress at Grenoble in 1910. A French congress of the opponents of the use of alcohol (held in 1903) was not of much importance. The Catholics of Holland and Belgium have so far had two national congresses. Among the special congresses held by members of a single national organization, those of the "Good Templars " are noteworthy. In some countries, particularly Germany and Switzerland, there are societies which hold educational courses of a scientific character for the study of alcoholism.
(5) Successes of the Temperance Movement
The main success is the increased understanding, everywhere apparent, of its claims. Civil rulers repeatedly emphasize in their public utterances the great importance of temperance, while churchmen of high rank are either total abstainers or else warm friends of the movement, in whose interest they have issued many pastoral letters. As regards legislative action the advance of the movement is slower. Complete prohibition exists in Iceland. In France it has been repeatedly demanded from the provincial diet, and a similar demand has been made once in Sweden. As in these two countries the number of deputies who are total abstainers grows continually larger (in Sweden they form one-half of the house), the Governments cannot permanently withstand the pressure. In Sweden the minister in 1911 appointed a special commission to take the preparatory steps. Prohibition of spirits for the country districts in general exists in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and a local option law for the cities, which is to a great extent enforced. An energetic struggle is now being carried on in Holland, Switzerland, and Germany for a local option law. In criminal jurisprudence the Pollard system is winning adherents; of late two small German states have adopted it, and it is elsewhere in use. Russia and Switzerland have introduced a Government monopoly of spirits, but this has not been of any particular use to the temperance movement, except that in Switzerland one-tenth of the profits (alcohol tithe ) must be applied to the work against alcoholism. Many counties voluntarily give such aid, as: Sweden, about 200,000 kronen ($54,000), in 1910-1911; Norway about 17,000 kronen ($4590); Holland, 20,000 florin ($8,000), etc. A number of countries have introduced special instruction in temperance into the primary schools, notably Belgium, Sweden (where there is a special course for male and female teachers), Norway, and France. Especially great has been the effect of the temperance movement on the reform of taverns. The celebrated Gothenberg system is largely used in Scandinavia and Finland. In the system the taverns are entrusted by the Government or commune to special societies ( Samlag ) who only receive a limited gain, while the profits go to the State or commune for public purposes. In Sweden these profits have amounted in twenty years to 83,000,000 kronen ($22,410,000). The tavern is carried on by a government official appointed for the purpose. The "Independent Order of Good Templars "opposes the system because it gives the communes too great an interest in the sale of alcohol. The "German Society for the Reform of Taverns" ( Deutsches Verein für Gasthausreform ) employs the following method: the inn or tavern established by the commune or by a society is given a manager with a fixed salary, who has, in addition, a commission on the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages. It is always provided that strong alcoholic liquors are never to be in stock. There are many temperance taverns in Switzerland and Sweden, and some in Germany, Hungary, and Holland. Reference should be made, lastly, to the very satisfactory increase of provision for the cure of drunkards. In Germany there are over 40 institutions (six Catholic ) where treatment is given, besides numerous homes for drunkards belonging to cities and societies. Several cities have appointed official nurses to take care of drunkards; about half the patients become permanent abstainers. In Switzerland there are about ten such institutions, one being Catholic. These two countries are far in advance of the others in the effort to cure drunkenness.
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND
In Great Britain and Ireland the State regulates the liquor traffic by imposing duties on the manufacture and importation of spirituous drink and by confining its sale to those who pay for the privilege and fulfill other conditions as to place, time, etc. Those who drink therefore must pay more for their liquor than its intrinsic value and must observe certain legal limits in the circumstances of their drinking. Thus the State aims by the one act at maintaining public order and promoting social welfare and also at raising revenue by the quasi-monopoly it creates. These two purposes are not always in harmony, which explains to some extent why the State interference from the beginning to this day has often failed of success. A full history of liquor legislation and its results would occupy volumes; here there is space only for a brief summary of the chief Acts affecting the British Isles as a whole.
It is significant that up to the Reformation there occurs no civil legislation against drunkenness, although it was prevalent enough in Catholic times. The crop of laws against in temperance began to spring up in the reign of Edward VI, but they can no more be attributed to the higher morality of the new religion than can that monarch's grammar schools to his zeal for education, or Queen Elizabeth's workhouses for her compassion for the poor. All these phenomena point to the passing away of an influence hitherto found sufficient to promote social welfare by moral means. Laws concerning liquor were, indeed, enacted from early times, but their main object was to prevent fraud on the part of sellers. Scotch legislation, for instance, was busy in the reign of David I (1124-53) regulating the brewing and selling of ale. In England, in 1200, prices were fixed by law for the different sorts of wine, and we find many subsequent enactments tending to encourage the wine trade with the English possessions in France. With the overthrow of the ancient Church and the destruction of her restraining influence, the spread of intemperance became very marked, as is attested by contemporary writers, and the State began to interfere in the interests of public welfare. An English Act was passed in 1495, empowering justices of the peace to suppress at discretion "common alehouses" as centers of disorder. The licensing system was introduced in 1551, by an Act which made the consent of the justices necessary for the establishment of the ale-houses. The Irish Parliament in 1556 prohibited the manufacture of aqua vitæ except by certain specified classes. At the beginning of the seventeenth century laws were passed in England to prevent ins from becoming public houses in the modern sense. In 1634 the licensing system was extended to Ireland. The close of this century brought a new element into the question. Hitherto fermented liquors were commonly drunk in England, for, owing to high duties, the price of imported spirits put them beyond the reach of the people, but in 1689 the Government of the Revolution, out of hostility to France, prohibited the importation of foreign spirits and removed the restrictions on home manufacture, with alarming results to public morality. In spite of the retail trade being put under the licensing system in 1700, by 1724 the passion for gin-drinking had spread "with the rapidity and violence of an epidemic" (Lecky, "English History", I, iii), and in vain was the famous "Gin Act" passed in 1736, making the license practically prohibitive. Illicit distilling and smuggling spread enormously, and high licenses had to be repealed in 1742. Although gradually the State resumed control, still "the fatal passion for drink was at once an irrevocably planted in the nation" (Lecky, op. cit.). From 1751 dates a series of laws dealing more stringently with the conduct of the drink traffic, and in 1755 the licensing system was introduced into Scotland.
An attempt was made in 1878, as the result of a parliamentary inquiry into illicit spirit-dealling to simplify and consolidate the various licensing laws for England and Scotland, and, in 1833, for Ireland, and these Acts form the basis of existing law. But experimental legislation still continued. In order to cure the nation of spirit-drinking, to encourage a British industry, and to break up the growing system of "tied houses", an Act was passe in 1830 giving practically free trade in beer. A fortnight after the Act was passed, Sydney Smith wrote: "The New Beer Bill has begun its operations. Everybody is drunk. Those who are not singing are sprawling. The Sovereign People is in a beastly state." The Act failed miserably of its purpose. In less than three months 24,000 licenses were taken out. The number of "tied houses" was not ultimately lessened and the consumption of spirits steadily rose. In 1869 the beerhouses were again brought under the licensing system. Another well-meant but unsuccessful attempt to alter the popular taste was the establishment (1860-1) of "off" grocers' licenses, by which measure Gladstone hoped to wean the people from beer-drinking in public-houses to the use of light wines and spirits at home. Much intermediate and subsequent legislation was concerned with holding licenses, particularly with the hours of closing. The "Forbes-McKenzie" Act of 1853 closed the public-houses of Scotland on Sundays, except to travellers, and the measure was extended to Ireland (except five chief towns) in 1878, and to Wales in 1881, with very noticeable results in the decrease of drunkenness. In England the hours of Sunday opening have been restricted to seven. In 1873 a licensing Act prohibited the sale of spirits to children under sixteen, required the confirmation of the County Bench for new licenses, and deprived that bench of the power of giving new licenses in opposition to local refusal. Other measures for t
- Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
- Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Hail Mary
- Dios te salve, Maria
- The Angelus
- The Apostles' Creed
- Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.