A Study of the Role of Churches in the Enactment of the Arkansas Prohibition Law of 1917

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Hoshaw, Ralph Bradley
morals; ethics; prohibition; Bone Dry Law; Arkansas; Christian Denominations and Sects; Civic and Community Engagement; Ethics in Religion; Food and Drug Law; Legislation
thesis / dissertation description
Churches have been involved in the moral and ethical standards of the United States and its political subdivisions since the formation of the nation. Major questions about the churches' involvement as a social force in the nation or in the community concern: (1) the degree of involvement, (2) the methods employed and (3) the relative effectiveness of church influence upon the mores and laws of any society or state. To answer these questions, a historical study must be made of a particular moral problem in a specific locale and of the role that church influence or direct action played in its solution.The purpose of this study was to ascertain the role that churches and Christian leaders had in Arkansas' enactment of the "Bone Dry" Law of 1917 and of the numerous less important prohibition laws which led to its enactment....With the signature of Governor Charles Hillman Brough, Senate Bill 36 of 1917 became law, Act 13 of the Arkansas General Assembly. The "Bone Dry" Law, as Act 13 was popularly known, made Arkansas the first "Bone Dry" state in the United States.The basic contention underlying this study was that churches and Christian leaders in various denominations were primarily responsible for the "Bone Dry" Law and the previously enacted laws upon which it was predicated. The purpose of this study, consequently, was to determine the validity of this basic contention and to determine what methods or approaches were used in securing the passage of Act 13.