Anti-Saloon League

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ANTI-SALOON LEAGUE. An interdenominational Protestant organization dedicated to advancing prohibition through political means. Founded in 1893 by Rev. H. H. Russell at Oberlin College, the Ohio Anti-Saloon League is credited with being the first nonpartisan, single-issue interest group in modern American politics. The multiplication of Russell's "Ohio plan" in other states led to the creation of a national body in 1895. Using modern techniques of organization and persuasion, the league pushed for local option and state prohibition laws through legislation and by supporting dry candidates for office. Beginning in 1913, it led the successful fight for a constitutional amendment. As the effects of national prohibition became felt in the 1920s, the league came under increasing criticism. Revocation of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1933 ended its influence in American politics.


Kerr, K. Austin. Organized for Prohibition: A New History of the Anti-Saloon League. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985.

Odegard, Peter H. Pressure Politics: The Story of the Anti-Saloon League. New York: Columbia University Press, 1928. Re-print, New York: Octagon Books, 1966.

C. WyattEvans

See alsoProhibition ; Social Legislation ; Temperance Movement .

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Anti-Saloon League

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