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"Prohibition Is Here to Stay"

The Reverend Edward S. Shumaker and the Dry Crusade in America

Jason S. Lantzer

Publication Year: 2009

“Prohibition Is Here to Stay” focuses on the Reverend Edward S. Shumaker, a Methodist minister who for nearly twenty-five years led Indiana's influential chapter of the Anti Saloon League. Shumaker was one of the most powerful men in Indiana in the fight against demon rum, and his influence extended well beyond the boundaries of the state during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jason Lantzer uses Shumaker's life and work to shed new light on the rise and fall of Prohibition and to better understand and appreciate the interplay of religion and politics in American culture. Drawing on Shumaker's personal papers as well as archival work, Lantzer argues that understanding the role of religious faith and in particular evangelical Protestantism is essential to understanding Prohibition. Shumaker's religious faith inspired his crusade against alcohol and his efforts to make the Indiana Anti Saloon League one of the strongest political pressure groups in the country. Lantzer argues that Edward Shumaker's life and the cause to which he devoted most of it were not aberrations but exemplars of central currents in American culture of the time. Lantzer also connects Shumaker and the prohibition movement in Indiana to larger issues of America's transition from a predominantly rural society to an urban culture, with the attendant fears of change, loss of values, the impact of industrialization, and foreign immigration.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press

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pp. vii-ix

Writing a book is a massive undertaking that leaves the author with a long list of people to thank. Let me start with my parents, Jack and Juanita Lantzer, who instilled in me as a child a love of learning and the importance of faith. Without either of these two things this book would not have been completed. I owe thanks to all my family and friends, including the ones whom this project consumed, for their generosity of spirit and their guidance as well as for many welcome distractions along...

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pp. 1-8

In February 1929 the Reverend Edward S. Shumaker, the leader of Indiana’s “drys”—those who opposed the drinking of alcohol and supported its prohibition—left his Indianapolis home for Putnam County. The route was one he had traveled many times before in his lifelong struggle against the forces of Demon Rum. Indeed, he had gone to college in the county, at DePauw University in Greencastle, and had begun his ministry in its...

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1. Origins of a Dry Leader

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pp. 9-30

Before Edward Shumaker could become the Midwestern embodiment of the dry crusade, he first had to become initiated in the ways of the Progressive Era and the Social Gospel. His upbringing and religious faith, coupled with these twin engines of reform, made him a minister with a mission. These forces also compelled him to seek a stage larger than a single pulpit...

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2. South Bend and Beyond

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pp. 31-48

The Reverend Edward Shumaker arrived in South Bend to take part in an evangelical Protestant, Progressive group whose goal was to solve the problem of drinking in America.1 Reform was now his career, not just a part of his ministry. Though the Anti Saloon League was not the first organization that sought to focus dry sentiment on the creation of an orderly society, it was the eventual means by which drys managed to penetrate the...

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3. A Political Education

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pp. 49-70

Edward Shumaker’s perspective of the dry crusade changed when he became state superintendent of the Indiana Anti Saloon League. A telegram sent from Indianapolis at 3 a.m. on 22 July 1907 from U. G. Humphrey announced his unanimous election to the position. It was followed by a letter from the IASL Headquarters Committee, saying, “Our experience of your labors gives good hope that your endeavors in this office will redound to the advantage of this great reform.” Humphrey replied...

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4. Shumaker Victorious

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pp. 71-92

The Hoosier dry crusade faltered in 1908, but in the decade that followed, Edward Shumaker revamped the Indiana Anti Saloon League and led it to unprecedented successes. By 1917, the forces of dry order were victorious in both Indiana and the nation. Yet, drys soon discovered that the kingdom of God had to be built in the face of persistent opposition; it did not emerge fully formed with the mere passing of legislation. The...

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5. The Faulty Alliances of Rhetoric

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pp. 93-112

The dry crusade had triumphed in both Indiana and the nation by 1920 for several reasons. After years of hard work by people such as Edward Shumaker, America’s evangelical Protestant churches, business owners, and politicians had rallied to the banner of reform. However, the dry cause’s victorious coalition was larger than those three constituencies. Drys believed that Prohibition was going to be a force for social uplift in the United States and around the world. Their rhetoric claimed...

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6. Dangerous Friends

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pp. 113-132

As the mid-1920s began, supporters of the dry cause found themselves needing to mount a more vigorous defense of Prohibition than they had originally expected. Even as drys prepared for battle, an organization arose that pledged to come to their aid. With Protestant churches providing ideas and issues and the ASL serving as a model, the Ku Klux Klan wove together a message of defending God, country, and the nation’s laws from those who might oppose them.1 The Klan offered drys a means of escalating...

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7. Trials and Tribulations

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pp. 133-158

The 1920s began on a high note for the dry crusade. Americans voted in Prohibition “hopefully” and wanted to give the reform a chance. Hoosiers in particular seemed to desire the civil order that Prohibition promised.1 These hopes meant that drys such as Edward Shumaker increasingly focused on law enforcement, which brought them into conflict not only with wets but also with the police, prosecutors, and judges who had to enforce...

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8. The Death of a Man and His Dream

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pp. 159-178

After a three-year court battle, as we know, Edward Shumaker was sentenced to the state farm, where he and his fellow drys believed him to be a martyr for their cause. Little did they realize that his time in that role would be short and that their chief accomplishment was not only about to come to an end but...

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9. Everything Old Is New Again

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pp. 179-188

By December 1933, Prohibition was finished. Drys never got a delay in the repeal process to regroup.1 The dry cause had been too successful for its own good. By closing down the saloon and the brewers, drys had destroyed or weakened their enemies without preparing themselves for what came next. Most drys saw their work as done, and the movement neglected to educate the next generation on the dangers of alcohol that had prompted the enactment of Prohibition. Though the reform remained...


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pp. 189-270


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pp. 271-302


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pp. 303-306

E-ISBN-13: 9780268085667
E-ISBN-10: 0268085668
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268033835
Print-ISBN-10: 0268033838

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: Images removed; no digital rights
Publication Year: 2009