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Pubs and PatriotsThe Drink Crisis in Britain during World War One$
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Robert Duncan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318955.001.0001

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A Tale of Temperance and Drink 1870–1914

A Tale of Temperance and Drink 1870–1914

(p.14) Chapter One A Tale of Temperance and Drink 1870–1914
Pubs and Patriots

Robert Duncan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers the origins of the drink problem in Victorian Britain, discusses the temperance movement and analyses the growing importance of Social Darwinism upon social reform and national efficiency agendas. The working class was deemed to be in most need of aid and reviews of their social habits argued that time spent in the pub was neither rational or productive. A discussion of these concerns is required to emphasise the continuity of reform ideologies from pre-war to wartime Britain. The consumption of alcohol had been a longstanding concern but the war served to magnify the necessity of reform. The development of Liberal social theory and the evolution of a new form of social investigation will be examined as contributing factors to the renewed interest in the potentiality of an abstemious society. The influence of governmental intervention and legislation in this period will also be considered. Finally, an analysis as to whether these societal warnings were justifiable, given the magnitude of their malevolent predictions in relation to the actual situation, will be undertaken.

Keywords:   Temperance, National Efficiency, Drink, Alcohol, Consumption, Social habits, Victorian, Socialism, Pubs, Working Class

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