Saturday, December 24, 2016

Historical Drinking Patterns

A piece here on current drinking patterns:  New England and Wisconsin the heaviest, northern Midwest and Northwest states next, the evangelical South, Utah, and Idaho the least.  There's a note that the patterns don't change rapidly, but the only data is 21st century.  I wonder about the origins:
  • Utah and Idaho would date from their settlement by whites--the Mormon church frowns on alcohol.
  • Wisconsin presumably dates back to the German immigrants who settled there with their beer, among whom were some of my maternal ancestors.
  • but how about the South?  Their current dryness is accounted for by evangelical religion. I'm not sure when that developed--George Whitefield did evangelical work in the 1740's.  I don't remember that he was particularly teetotal.  Did dryness develop along with the progress of evangelical religion?
  • and how about the North?  Evangelical religion, the second Great Awakening, was perhaps more powerful in the North during the early 19th century.  I'm thinking Prohibition saw a contest between the immigrant wets, the Germans with their beer, Italians with their wine, etc. against the WASPy religious types.  With the end of Prohibition the immigrants had won.

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