American Temperance Society
Founded in Boston in 1826 but national in scope, the American Temperance Society (ATS) brought together state and local temperance groups formed during a period of intense religious revival and social reform. Thousands joined temperance societies and used “moral suasion” to persuade potential adherents to abstain from alcohol and practice self-discipline. Membership in a temperance society required signing an abstinence pledge, which often included language or imagery related to protecting home and family life. By the 1850s the temperance movement successfully combined individual conversions, political pressure, and legislative measures.