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Canadian Temperance groups began to rally for prohibition during the 1840s and 1850s It was not until after World War I began in 1914 that the temperance groups support for prohibition grew A need for grain for the armed forces was viewed as a major catalyst for Canadas Prohibition Law Although Canadas Prohibition Era only lasted two years from 1917 to 1919 it created the stage for many historic successes and failures in Canada This paper looks at the emergence successes and failures of Prohibition of Alcohol in Canada Particular emphasis is placed upon Nova Scotia that along with Manitoba scored a large majority in favor of prohibition during the national plebiscite on the matter held by the Laurier Federal Government in 18981 This national support of prohibition when provinces in Canada were only moderately in favor and Quebec strongly opposing2 created an interesting paradox in the shaping of Canadas history Though largely seen unfavorably today prohibition did have some partially successful facets in its overall focus Prohibition forces argued that alcohol led to an increase in crime and other anti-social behaviors Substantial reductions in the amount of alcohol consumption and a decrease in the crime rate were two measures of prohibitions success Statistical evidence supported prohibitionists thoughts regarding crime and alcohol Following 1919 when the spread of alcohol control expanded to the provinces crime increased In 1922 there were 15720 convictions for indictable offences and in 1928 21720 convictions This was an increase of 38 per cent and more than three times the increase in Canadas population From 1922 to 1928 the number of criminals who were moderate drinkers rose at the same rate as the total number of convictions The number of criminals who drank in excess however increased by 64 per cent or nearly twice as fast3 Along with crime alcohol was linked to other negative occurrences such as insanity vice wife and child abuse family destruction poverty and economic inefficiency
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