Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Today In Wyoming's History: August 1, 1917. The Senate goes after alcohol and the Pope appeals to end the war.

Two items from Today In Wyoming's History: August 1 of interest here:
1917  The United States Senate passes the text of the 18th Amendment to be sent to the states for ratification.   It read:
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
The US entry into World War One spurred prohibition on, oddly enough, over concerns about the exposure to alcohol to young men that military service would bring about.  Congress had already passed a law prohibiting beverage alcohol within so many miles of military reservations, bringing prohibition to Cheyenne due to the presence of Ft. D. A. Russell there, and banning it on U.S. Territories (such as Hawaii), as opposed to states.  The use of grains for distillation had also been banned on the basis that it took valuable grains away from the production of food.
Of course, no matter what the spurring motivation may have been, the 18th Amendment lacked any pretext about the concern for health and morals of the troops.  Prohibition was riding high, partially on its own momentum and partially on the momentum of concern brought about by the Great War.

Speaking of the Great War, Pope Benedict XV appealed to humanity to end it.

1917         Pope Benedict XV urges "an end to useless slaughter" of World War One.  His statement declared:


From the beginning of Our Pontificate, amidst the horrors of the terrible war unleashed upon Europe, We have kept before Our attention three things above all: to preserve complete impartiality in relation to all the belligerents, as is appropriate to him who is the common father and who loves all his children with equal affection; to endeavor constantly to do all the most possible good, without personal exceptions and without national or religious distinctions, a duty which the universal law of charity, as well as the supreme spiritual charge entrusted to Us by Christ, dictates to Us; finally, as Our peacemaking mission equally demands, to leave nothing undone within Our power, which could assist in hastening the end of this calamity, by trying to lead the peoples and their heads to more moderate frames of mind and to the calm deliberations of peace, of a "just and lasting" peace.

Whoever has followed Our work during the three unhappy years which have just elapsed, has been able to recognize with ease that We have always remained faithful to Our resolution of absolute impartiality and to Our practical policy of well-doing . We have never ceased to urge the belligerent peoples and Governments to become brothers once more, even although publicity has not been given to all which We have done to attain this most noble end....

First of all, the fundamental point should be that for the material force of arms should be substituted the moral force of law; hence a just agreement by all for the simultaneous and reciprocal reduction of armaments, according to rules and guarantees to be established to the degree necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of public order in each State; then, instead of armies, the institution of arbitration, with its lofty peacemaking function, according to the standards to be agreed upon and with sanctions to be decided against the State which might refuse to submit international questions to arbitration or to accept its decisions.

Once the supremacy of law has been established, let every obstacle to the ways of communication between the peoples be removed, by ensuring through rules to be fixed in similar fashion, the true freedom and common use of the seas. This would, on the one hand, remove many reasons for conflict and, on the other, would open new sources of prosperity and progress to all....

With regard to territorial questions, such as those disputed between Italy and Austria, and between Germany and France, there is ground for hope that in consideration of the immense advantages of a lasting peace with disarmament, the conflicting parties will examine them in a conciliatory frame of mind, taking into account so far as it is just and practicable, as We have said previously, the aspirations of the peoples and co-ordinating, according to circumstances, particular interests with the general good of the great human society.

The same spirit of equity and justice should direct the examination of other territorial and political questions, notably those relating to Armenia, the Balkan States, and the territories composing the ancient Kingdom of Poland, for which especially its noble historical traditions and the sufferings which it has undergone, particularly during the present war, ought rightly to enlist the
sympathies of the nations. Such are the principal foundations upon which We believe the future reorganization of peoples should rest. They are of a kind which would make impossible the recurrence of such conflicts and would pave the way for a solution of the economic question, so important for the future and the material welfare of all the belligerent States.
The appeal would be ignored, of course, and the war would go on.  Careful observers of religious statements and 1917 would ponder other religious statements about the war.

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