East Los Angeles College Temperance Movement to The War on Drugs Essay

In the United States, Americans faced epidemics in the 19th and 20th Centuries. In the 19th Century, alcohol consumption affected the lives of many, especially women and children. During the 20th Century, the United States passed Prohibition, which failed to prevent people from drinking alcohol. Instead, it led to organized crime led by Al Capone in Chicago (others, too). Prohibition was repealed in 1933 because it did not solve the problem. Later in the same century, the use of drugs rapidly climbed in the 1960s and onward. In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon started the initiative to fight back; however, there are arguments that it is also a failure like Prohibition. Today, states are passing laws legalizing marijuana, and President Barack Obama instructed the Justice Department to stop enforcing the federal ban (that might change). Still, there are other issues like the Opiate Crisis that continue to plague the country. This assignment is for you to compare the Temperance Movement (19th Century) to the War on Drugs (starting in 1969)


Compare the 19th Century Temperance movement to the 20th Century War on Drugs.

First, explain the Temperance Movement with historical information and details.

This section should explain the historical period and the Temperance Movement of the 19th Century (do not write about Prohibition).

Second, Analyze the source below (Temperance Pamphlet).

  • Describe or quote the source. Provide context.

Third, Relate the War on Drugs today (provide information) to the Temperance Movement. What similarities do you find? Is it a success or failure?

  • Provide information and details.
  • Material:

Must Use the following:


The CATO Institute (Conservative Thinktank) (Links to an external site.) 

The National Institute of Health (Links to an external site.) 

Evangelicals and the War on Drugs

The Atlantic: The War on Drugs and Religion (Links to an external site.) 

Christianity Today (Religious Website) (Links to an external site.) 


The Atlantic article about the War on Drugs (Links to an external site.)

President Ronald Reagan for the War on Drugs

Ken Burns Episode (Below)

It is from our Chabot Library, so you might need to log into it using your ClassWeb information.

In case you have a problem, you can view the video from the library (Links to an external site.) by following the link. You will need to log into your account. I tried, and it took me directly to the video.

Longer version

Watch between 5:40 to 18:05

In case you have a problem, you can view the video using the link to the library.  (Links to an external site.)

  • Expectations:

Knowledge of the fight against drinking in the 19th century.

  • Recognition of how religion influences both movements.

Compare the Temperance Movement to the War on Drugs

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