12 DRUG USE AND THE LAW
America, partly because milk and other beverages were difficult to get, and unfiltered water could be dangerous. The settlers not only drank alcohol in large amounts, but they also manufactured it to the point that it became colonial New England’s dominant industry. By the 19th century, America had expanded and its population had skyrocketed. Drinking was still very common, though some people were beginning to worry about its effects on health and society. Leaders such as Doctor Benjamin Rush and the minister Lyman Beecher spoke out against the evils of excessive drinking. Thirteen states passed anti-alcohol laws in the four-year span between 1851 and 1855, though many of these were repealed soon afterwards.
An anti-alcohol drawing from around 1830 by the temperance campaigner George Cruikshank.
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