This should’ve been obvious. I mean, look how they dressed! Nobody sober would be caught dead in that!
Along with being a national embarrassment and a storage space for the dregs of society, the U.S. Government ironically also spends its time trying to enforce some form of morality on the public. Anti-drug laws, temperance laws, not too long ago there were “blue laws” that made stores close on Sundays! Alcohol, specifically, has often been the target of legislation. This is nothing new, however. Prohibition being the most famous form of limiting alcohol consumption, we can even go farther back in time! America has long been obsessed with booze
In fact, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush, did a study on the affects of alcohol, as the Atlantic reports: In his loquaciously named pamphlet, An Inquiry Into the Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Mind and Body, first published in 1784, Rush describes the “usual” downward spiral of drink. What starts as water and wine quickly turns into punches and toddies and cordials, ending with a hopeless vortex of gin, brandy, and rum, “day and night.”* In the pits of intemperance, one can expect such vices as “Idleness, Gaming, peevishness, quarrelling, Fighting, Horse-Racing, Lying and Swearing, Stealing and Swindling, Perjury, Burglary, [and] Murder,” with punishments including “Black eyes and Bags,” “State prison for Life,” or, worst of all, “Gallows.”
There was even a “Morality Thermometer!”
Rating the moral-ness of drinks and other things was seen as important back then. In the 18th century the founding fathers believed that the nation would not survive if there wasn’t a moral public to upkeep it. They needed a sober and moral population to defend liberty!
Of course, the people of early America also drank a lot more than we do today. From morning till night, people would booze it up continuously. This had something to do with a lack of clean water to stay hydrated with, and the fact that beer back then was a lot weaker than today’s, but it was still reaching ridiculously high amounts. At it’s peak in 1830, Americans were drinking 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year.
So, in short, a good chunk of U.S. history was caused by a bunch of alcoholics. Congress literally was a frat house! (Explains why it’s so full of rich assholes, huh?)