We have followed the temperance reformation from its beginnings in England through its successes on to its decline. The situation when the Victorian era ended was very different with regard to drink than when it opened. The Webbs credited the temperance movement with much of this difference, finding it instrumental in reducing alcoholism among the lower classes.1 The public during the Victorian era had slowly come to realise the social importance of controlling drink facilities. Never again were there to be experiments in free trade of alcoholic beverages. In the century separating 1870 from 1970 there were no serious proposals to do away with the licensing system altogether. By the time Queen Victoria passed away, drunkenness was no longer treated with the good-hearted tolerance of former times. Public drunkards were taken to jail, locked up until sober and then charged with the crime of drunkenness. Among the respectable public, boasts of two- and three-bottle men were a thing of the past. Increasingly all public drinking facilities at the end of the century were coming under scrutiny.
KeywordsAlcoholic Beverage License System Temperance Movement Respectable Public Established Custom
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