The anti-alcohol movement that led to Prohibition in the U.S. Fueled by religious organizations during the Second Great Awakening, women's groups who felt that male drinking led to women and children left without a provider, and anti-immigrant feeling, the tempermance movement extended as far back as the 1840s, when married women pledged to "withdraw conjugal favors" if their husbands drank. But the latter half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century saw a gradual buildup of temperance organizing in response to German, Irish, and Italian immigrants who brought in different drinking habits which bothered native-born Americans, and the increased economic power of saloons, taverns, brewers, and distillers.

Maine in 1851 was the first state to outlaw alcohol. Organizations such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union (founded 1874) and the Anti-Saloon League (founded 1893) put more and more pressure on local and state governments until the 18th Amendment was passed to outlaw alcohol completely in 1920.

Barr, Andrew. Drink: A Social History of America. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1999.