The Temperance (Scotland) Act was introduced in 1913, this gave the public the ability to hold local votes on if their area would allow alcohol licenses or not. The first of the votes started in 1920.
How did the vote work?
When the local area voted in the Temperance, they were given three choices: No change resolution, limiting resolution or no-license resolution. If the area votes no change, then nothing would happen with the current licenses, everything would be the same it is always was. If the vote was a limiting resolution, that would mean that the licenses in the area would be reduced by 25% and if the vote ended in a no-license resolution, this would mean that the area would be ‘dry’. No alcohol licenses would be allowed in the area (except for hotels and restaurants in special cases).
What effect did this have on Scotland?
The Temperance hit Glasgow and Scotland very hard. The working men in Glasgow would spend the majority of their time in public houses drinking so if their area was voted no-license, they were devastated. This didn’t stop the locals from drinking though! A much more deadly trend developed as a result of the temperance… Methylated spirits. The people that were so desperate to drink would end up blind or dead because of the methylated spirits because it was essentially poison.
What did the government do to combat the methylated spirits?
The government thought they had a simple solution to this problem, just add a horrible taste to the liquid and that would deter people from consuming it and causing themselves harm. This didn’t completely eradicate the problem though as many people in Glasgow would just mix the liquid with wine to dilute the taste.
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