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Drinking HistoryFifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages$
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Andrew Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151177

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151177.001.0001

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Cider’s Last Hurrah

Cider’s Last Hurrah

(p.77) 5 Cider’s Last Hurrah
Drinking History

Andrew F. Smith

Columbia University Press

This chapter first describes the key role of hard cider in the 1840 presidential elections. Whig candidate General William Henry Harrison, who ran against incumbent Martin Van Buren, was promoted as the “log cabin and hard cider candidate”—a man of the people who drank cider, the “poor man’s beverage,” while Van Buren sipped champagne. On Election Day in November 1840, Harrison won both the popular and electoral votes. But despite its role in Harrison’s electoral victory, hard cider faced a dim future. The remainder of the chapter discusses the rise of the American temperance movement in the late eighteenth century; temperance advocates’ expansion of their prohibitions to all kinds of alcohol, including beer, wine, and cider; and the declining cider consumption well before the temperance movement called for its total prohibition.

Keywords:   hard cider, temperance movement, William Henry Harrison, president, Whigs, Martin Van Buren

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