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The Women's Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1874, originally advocated for a number of causes. The group was active in promoting labor and prison reform. In addition, the WCTU promoted women's suffrage, or the right to vote. (See below for a link to their 1886 petition for the right of...

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The Women's Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1874, originally advocated for a number of causes. The group was active in promoting labor and prison reform. In addition, the WCTU promoted women's suffrage, or the right to vote. (See below for a link to their 1886 petition for the right of women to vote.)

Over time, the WCTU began to concentrate on one of its original goals, which was Prohibition, or the banning of the sale and transport of alcohol. This position made the group unpopular with the liquor lobby, which opposed the suffrage movement as a result. The group felt that alcohol harmed family life. Once the 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, which ushered in a period of Prohibition until it was overturned in 1933 with the 21st Amendment, the group turned to opposing drug and tobacco use.

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WCTU is the acronym for the Women's Christian Temperance Union.  As their name suggests, this was a group of women whose goal was to promote temperance.  Temperance, in this context, means not drinking alcohol.  So this was a group of women who were trying to get people to drink less alcohol.

The WCTU was founded in 1874.  At this time, reformers like those who started the WCTU felt that drinking was a major problem that ended up hurting women and children.  They felt that men would take their wages and buy alcohol instead of providing for their families.  They felt that men would come home drunk and abuse their wives and children.  For these reasons, they believed that it was important to get people to drink less and to try to get the government to (if possible) ban liquor.  This was the goal of the WCTU.

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