18th Amendment

Academics at every meeting I attend believe that the drinking age of 21 is too old. They contend that it should be lowered to 18. There are two ways of looking at the conversation brewing among academics: on one hand, the Puritanical nature of restricting alcohol as some moral and biblical sin is false and unjustified; I do know that a number of religious conservative bodies (Ex: Southern Baptist & church of Christ) illustrate via teaching that anything bad for the temple (or body) that God created is bad in general. Keep in mind that the United States is driven by fast food. I have read and studied the Bible; it says nothing about the evils of alcohol, though it notes it is sinful to get drunk. Schools that restrict this such as my alma mater (Harding University) and Baylor University, as well as countless others due to scripture, are practicing the art of in loco parentis.It is hard to imagine that there are institutions that restrict the consumption of alcohol by adults. I noted the rest of my thoughts on the 18th Amendment here.

Puritans occupied a crucial position in the mainstream of American thought. The term “Puritanism” is normally used to identify the religious philosophy and intellectual outlook that characterized New England’s first settlers. But as descendents of New England migrated from the Northeast to pioneer in the West and the South; they carried with them traits of the Puritan mind clear across the continent. Many historians, therefore, have postulated a direct connection between Puritanism and subsequent development of America. Some claim that they were reactionary bigots who opposed freedom of thought, religion, liberty, and the idea of democratic government. Massachusetts Bay Colony was an undemocratic colony. The colony was dominated by a state of Puritans who formulated an oligarchy. They were of the anti-enlightenment. Thus, those such as Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams were seen as a threat.

Thus, the Puritan premise impacted women to the extent that they created a number of “moral organizations” during the mid-nineteenth century and before. Women were leaders in advocating for both the 13th Amendment and the 18th Amendment; however, the 18th would be the one negative right inculcated in the Constitution.


2 thoughts on “18th Amendment

  1. When the term Puritanism is employed to describe those that eschew alcohol, the historical ignorance of the speaker/writer is evident. The Puritans were harsh in their views of drunkenness, but they also drank strong drink more than they did water. The survived in the New World because they learned to cod and to manufacture rum from imported molasses. When the government (Parliament) imposed import taxes upon the importation of molasses on their descendants, the leading businessmen of the community became professional smugglers. These smugglers and their children are the men whom we have dubbed Founding Fathers.

    The Puritans would agree with, “I have read and studied the Bible; it says nothing about the evils of alcohol, though it notes it is sinful to get drunk.” That’s what they taught; that’s what they believed.

  2. I should have noted that the first moves towards “temperance” advocated not teetotalism, but moderation; wine instead of whiskey. Only when Fundamentalists became strong in the movement did it reach the extremes. Even so, most people have forgotten than Prohibition wiped of manufacture and sale of spirits; it permitted creation of homemade spirits for private consumption.

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