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Conclusion This book has pursued multiple objectives, the most fundamental of which has been to make the Good Templars visible. It also establishes that studying the IOGT can contribute to a variety ofhistorical discourses: temperance, race and gender relations, internationalism, social class, and the African American experience. The nineteenthcentury Templars reflected the search for a new, universal, reformed world order based on human equality of race, gender, and class. The Templars deserve a place in the subject matter of the new social and cultural history. In the introduction I spoke about writing the book as a voyage of discovery. Such a voyage maps the coasts and occasionally ventures a landing and risks a short march into the interior. Other researchers, making use of local sources and a variety of methodologies and languages, must explore the hinterlands. Why, for instance, did the Templars thrive in Sweden and Norway after their appeal had collapsed in North America and declined in Britain? More relevant here, why did white southerners regard keeping their place in the IOGT worth making some concessions about race relations? Southern Baptists and members of other regional churches did not think it necessary for their religious denominations to embrace the English-speaking world; if churches could be geographically limited, why the powerful attraction of a fraternal temperance society with a national and international membership? Although as a work of reconnaissance this book does not answer all the questions that it raises, I have tried to make the Templars identifiable as well as visible. They varied from region to region, country to country, and generation to generation, but a few characteristics seem clear. In the nineteenth century most Templars were young and remained members of the Order for only a short time. Most were of modest circumstances, although officers tended to be middle class. Perhaps a third of the rank and file were women, and 151 152 Temperance and Racism nearly all were devout Protestants. Sociability dominated Templar lodges, but Grand Lodges called upon members to promote temperance politically. In the last decades of the nineteenth century the IOGT became identified with political parties: in the United States, the National Prohibition Party; in Britain, the Liberals. Templars valued the Order's universalism, which in theory welcomed all those committed to total abstinence and prohibition. A major contention of this book is that the principle and practice of universal membership made the IOGT distinctive. The meaning of this universalism often changed, however. For instance, after the early decades the welcome to repentant drunkards cooled in Englishspeaking countries. The welcome to women remained but diminished in significance after the founding of the WCTU in 1874. The zeal for gender equality faded when the IOGT spread beyond its old northeastern and midwestern heartland to the American South and overseas. Pride in the IOGT's internationalism came to dominate the universalist ideology. By the end of the nineteenth century, internationalism had become so important that the IOGT conceded to the Grand Lodges discretionary authority that forestalled secessions, which might have pitted local people against the central organization . In the early 1900s a brief schism led by Swiss and Dutch Templars created the Neutral Order, which opposed the use of a quasi-religious ritual, but it was a not very important exception to the absence of international conflict. Typically, the little schisms following the great schism were national splits-such as those that fragmented Templar ranks in Scandinavia-rather than global divisions. Most of this book focuses on another aspect of universalism, the welcome to people of all races. In the years between the American Civil War and the turn-of-the-century disintegration of the IOGT in North America, many members regarded a welcome to African Americans as indispensable to Templar universalism, although for others it was irrelevant or, in the case of white southerners, unacceptable . There was never a consensus on the role of blacks in the new social order created by the War between the States and by nearly two generations of transatlantic, evangelically inspired moral reformers. Even in the South the response to the question of black membership varied. Southern white racism showed more complexity and flexibility than some historians acknowledge. W.E.H. Searcy, the ultra-racist Georgian, objected to black membership anywhere in the Conclusion 153 Order but asked the IOGT to help Mrican Americans start a separate society. Most white southern Templars, or at least their leaders, tolerated blacks in the Templar lodges outside their region, on the principle...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813161518
Related ISBN
9780813119847
MARC Record
OCLC
903964986
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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