During the late 1800s, support for Prohibition—“the outlawing of alcohols manufacture, transportation, and consumption”—gained tremendous support in the United States. Many throughout the country believed that society was in moral decline. As people moved from rural areas to urbanized ones, a number of Americans believed that they were losing touch with their religious values. They felt that one way that people were violating God’s desires was by consuming alcohol.
In 1869, a group of American citizens concerned with alcohol consumption formed the Prohibition Party. This political party ran some candidates for office at local, state and federal levels; however, it typically simply endorsed candidates that it found acceptable from among the larger political parties. Usually these candidates were members of the Republican Party. Between 1869 and the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which enacted Prohibition in 1919, the Prohibition Party played a role in every state election in Ohio. Although the party began as a small organization, it grew quickly with the support of other anti-alcohol groups, such as the Ohio Anti-Saloon League and the Progressives. Upon Prohibition’s enactment in 1919, the Prohibition Party ceased to play a role in United States politics.