Pathways to Prohibition

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-09-01
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Strategies for gradually effecting social change are often dismissed as too accommodating of the status quo. Ann-Marie E. Szymanski challenges this assumption, arguing that moderation is sometimes the most effective way to achieve change.Pathways to Prohibitionexamines the strategic choices of social movements by focusing on the fates of two temperance campaigns. The prohibitionists of the 1880s gained limited success, while their Progressive Era counterparts achieved a remarkable-albeit temporary-accomplishment in American politics: amending the United States Constitution. Szymanski accounts for these divergent outcomes by asserting that choice of strategy (how a social movement defines and pursues its goals) is a significant element in the success or failure of social movements, underappreciated until now. Her emphasis on strategy represents a sharp departure from approaches that prioritize political opportunity as the most consequential factor in campaigns for social change.Combining historical research with the insights of social movement theory,Pathways to Prohibitionshows how a locally based, moderate strategy allowed the early-twentieth-century prohibition crusade both to develop a potent grassroots component and to transcend the limited scope of local politics. Szymanski describes how the prohibition movementrs"s strategic shift toward moderate goals after 1900 reflected the devolution of state legislaturesrs" liquor licensing power to localities, the judiciaryrs"s growing acceptance of these local licensing regimes, and a collective belief that local electorates, rather than state legislatures, were best situated to resolve controversial issues like the liquor question. "Local gradualism" is well suited to the porous, federal structure of the American state, Szymanski contends, and it has been effectively used by a number of social movements, including the civil rights movement and the Christian right.

Author Biography

Ann-Marie Szymanski is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgments xiii
1 Political Strategy and Social Movement Outcomes 1(22)
2 Churches, Lodges, and Dry Organizing 23(42)
3 Modular Collective Action in a Federalist System 65(24)
4 Legislative Supremacy and the Definition of Movement Goals 89(33)
5 Political Alignments, Party Systems, and Prohibition 122(31)
6 The Dynamics of Local Gradualism in the States 153(29)
7 Turning Moderates into Radicals 182(16)
8 Local Gradualism and American Social Movements 198(21)
Notes 219(82)
Selected Bibliography 301(16)
Index 317

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