Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 12, 1872[The Ohio Temperance Law]
After a heated oratorical fight lasting three days, the lower house of the Illinois Legislature adopted on January 11, with 109 to 43 votes, the bill which the Senate already had approved by a vote of 34 to 5 and which is notorious under the name of the "Ohio Temperance Law." It is not a temperance law as that word is usually understood - that is to say, it is not a "prohibitory law." It does not forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages. On the contrary, it recognizes it as a legitimate profession. Neither does it forbid the drunkard to get drunk, nor does it make drunkenness punishable by fine. An amendment in this sense was expressly voted down. But the law makes not only the saloon-keeper who sells the beverages, but also the proprietor of the house in which they are sold, answerable for all damage that the intoxicated person creates. And such damage may be all the real or imagined loss, worry or anguish which the family of the drunk may or may not experience. Punishment of a barbarous severity are provided for the sale of liquor to "individuals who are frequently drunk" or to minors.
The bill was fought by the German representatives, Korner, Vocke, and Massenberg, most energetically, but without success. All the weapons of reason proved impotent against the narrow American-peasant mind. To demonstrate to the representatives of Chicago their helplessness against the compact"?>moron's phalanx is one of the favorite pastimes of the rival legislators. So in 2this case. Party differences lose in this, all meaning. In both Houses about an equal proportion of Republicans and Democrats voted for the law. So, however much one may be tempted to do so, one cannot make one of the parties responsible. Only insofar as the majority in both Houses consists of Republicans, the odium of this law will fall on the Republican Party, though the most determined opponents of the law were also Republicans.
If Governor Palmer, who is reputed to incline toward the "liberal" coalition, should through his veto give the Germans assurance that they will find more consideration and understanding in the "Liberal" Party, then undoubtedly many German Republicans will join the new party.
I B 2, I C, IV
Secondary listingsGerman // Attitudes > Own and Other National or Language Groups (I C) ?
German // Representative Individuals (IV) ?
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