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Carrie Nation: Smashing the Evils of Alcohol

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Carrie Nation: Smashing the Evils of Alcohol

It seems that the start of Carrie Nation's alcoholism awareness and anti-drinking convictions began after the destruction of her first marriage, with Dr. Charles Gloyd who was a severe alcoholic. She gave birth to his daughter, who was disabled. The blame to the girl's disablement went to Gloyd's alcoholism. Nation was left as a single mother providing a way to live, and caring for her daughter. The effects of those two circumstances alone would have provided enough bitterness and anger to create an out of perspective bias against alcohol. Within ten years of her divorce, she married a man by the name of David Nation. He was an itinerant minister, lawyer, and newspaper editor, who moved from place to place and finally settled in Kansas. Being married to David placed Carrie in a position to get involved in politics and social reformation, and she did.

Eventually she felt that God was calling her to be a "smasher" of saloons, and to bring down the dive bars of that time. This took place during the prohibition, so Carrie had a desire not only to speak out against drinking, but to make a political statement- since the officers of the law and the state government partook in such illegal conduct and supported the dives. At the time, women still weren't a loud to vote, so her opinion was not taken into any official account. Therefore Nation saw it fit to take matters into her own hands. She felt that if she used her 6 foot tall, 175 pound stature to create large scenes, literally smash the saloons, and verbally assault the owners and consumers, that it would force communities and authorities to pay attention to the indiscretions within their town. Along with seeking to find justice within her generation, she fought to provide safety for those within the generation of her children, so they didn't have to be placed in a world full of temptation and self-gratification.

Carrie thought that Saloons were a place that manufactured criminals. That their illegal activities only began with drinking, instead of simply being the extent of it. In her mind, the saloons were a place where reckless abandonment and actions of alcohol induced debauchery and sin were committed, placing tension within marriages and families. Personally I do see those effects still to be true today. Very frequently, where you find alcohol abuse, you also find trouble. There's a reason why the Bible speaks against it. It breaks down your body, takes away your inhibitions, and allows the sin in one's heart to leap in to the forefront of their actions. I agree with her take on the political afflictions that the abuse of alcohol creates. In her time, any form of drinking landed a person in jail. With that came the use of government resources to keep them there. It's the same today. Somebody who may be a good person gets put in jail for drunk driving



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