How did progressives and immigrants differ in their feelings about saloons?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The progressives and the immigrants (in general) had very different views on the issue of saloons and drinking.  The progressives thought that saloons were bad things that would harm society by making a class of drunks.  The immigrants felt that drinking together was an important way of relaxing while maintaining their community bonds with one another.

Progressives wanted the immigrants to have sensibilities like those of middle class "natives."  They felt that drinking led men to waste their money and abuse their families.  They also felt that drinking made men into worse workers.  For these reasons, they wanted prohibition.

By contrast, the immigrants felt that saloons and drinking were a way of maintaining their communities and of socializing with one another.  They felt that there was nothing immoral about drinking.

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