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Cartoon from The American Past by Roger Place Butterfield, p.127

Cartoon from The American Past by Roger Place Butterfield, p.127

Xenophobia and nativism played a large role in the run-up to Prohibition. This image plays off stereotypes against two immigrant populations that were rapidly growing in the United States: the Irish and the Germans.  German lager beer was briefly considered a solution to America's alcohol consumption crisis because it was generally brewed for lower alcohol levels than traditional ales (often 4% ABV or lower), it was thought of as "non-intoxicating."  Anti-German sentiment ultimately worked against the lager beer solution and was one of many forces that pushed America towards Prohibition.

Caption: The Know-Nothings charged  that Irish and German immigrants were stealing American elections and running the big city political machines.

Image and text source: Butterfield, Roger Place. The American Past: A History of the United States From Concord to Hiroshima, 1775-1945. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1947

Location: Free Library of Philadelphia, call no: 973 B982

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