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The Moderation League of New York was an organization founded in 1923 in opposition to prohibition.



The Moderation League was founded in 1923 by Austen George Fox and "six other wealthy residents of New York City" to change the Volstead Act's legal definition of the "intoxicating liquors" prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishing prohibition.[1] This seemed to its members to be an achievable goal, whereas the repeal of prohibition seemed at that point an impossible achievement. The League worked closely with the American Federation of Labor and the Constitutional Liberty League of Massachusetts.[2]

In 1926, the League conducted a survey of 602 police departments that found that Prohibition law violations had dramatically risen over time,[3] and that the "increase in arrests was up more in those states that were already dry before National Prohibition".[4]

While the Moderation League was unsuccessful in its battle over the alcohol content, it helped win the repeal of National Prohibition with the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution.[4]


Besides Fox (a close ally of Elihu Root),[5] the others involved were E. N. Brown, James A. Burden (father of James A. Burden II), John G. Agar, James Speyer and Martin Vogel of New York and Thomas D. Stokes of Long Beach.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "FORM MODERATION LEAGUE.; Austen G. Fox Heads Organization Aimed to Modify". The New York Times. 2 September 1923. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  2. ^ The Textile Worker: Official Journal of the United Textile Workers of America. United Textile Workers of America. 1923. p. 680. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  3. ^ Act, United States Congress Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Bills To Amend the National Prohibition (1926). National Prohibition Law: Hearings Before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Bills To Amend the National Prohibition Act, Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 360, 1476. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Moderation League of New York & Prohibition". Alcohol Problems & Solutions. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ Jeffers, Honorée Fanonne; Kyvig, David E. (2000). Repealing National Prohibition. Kent State University Press. p. 271. ISBN 9780873386722. Retrieved 15 May 2019.