The State and the trade: the drink question at the turn of the century

James Nicholls

in The Politics of Alcohol

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719077050
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702758 | DOI:
The State and the trade: the drink question at the turn of the century

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The period between 1880 and 1918 would see prohibitory legislation put on the statute books for the first time, the passing of legislation formalising arrangements for the reduction of licences, and the State itself taking direct control not only of licensing regulations, but the actual ownership of breweries and pubs. It would see the Liberal Party repeatedly stake its reputation on the drink question, and a parade of leading politicians publicly identify the drink question as the single most important social problem facing the country. Does the State, while retaining free trade principles, have a right to directly reduce the scale of alcohol trade? This chapter looks at the drink question in England at the turn of the century. It focuses on the Licensed Victuallers Defence League, the test case Sharp v. Wakefield and its implications for local magistrates, the National Liberal Federation's adoption of local option as official policy, and the approach taken by the influential Church of England Temperance Society.

Keywords: England; licensing; alcohol trade; Liberal Party; drink question; Licensed Victuallers Defence League; Sharp v. Wakefield; local magistrates; National Liberal Federation; Church of England Temperance Society

Chapter.  9331 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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