• “Children in Misery” or young crusaders?: the political utilization of children by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union

      Murphy, Shayna (2020-05)
      This paper discusses the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s use of children for political purposes during their fight for Prohibition. In an effort to sympathize their mission and to create a sense of urgency around the banning of alcohol, members of the WCTU created an image of children as victims in their propaganda. However, the WCTU understood the importance of creating future voters, and so often created propaganda that presented children as active heroes. This conflicting portrayal of children showed that the WCTU used children as political tools and used such contrasting portrayals to reach a political goal rather than aptly represent children of alcoholic families. To understand this relationship between the WCTU and children, I analyzed posters created by the WCTU that present children as victims of alcohol and then content produced directly for children by the WCTU.