Tracey Roberts, associate professor at Cumberland School of Law, presented her research titled "Women, Whiskey and Taxes" as part of a lecture series put on by Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. The event held Nov. 12, 2020, was in coordination with the museum's gallery exhibit "Right or Privilege: Alabama Women and the Right to Vote" which has been installed throughout 2020 in recognition of the centennial anniversary of the women's suffrage movement.
Roberts' research highlighted Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who were temperance activists. Advocating for the prohibition of alcohol in a world in which women lacked both political and property rights, the two sought to curb other social ills: family poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and violent crime. Through the early 20th century, however, the U.S. relied heavily on excise taxes, including those on liquor, to fund government operations. The passage and ratification of the 16th Amendment, authorizing a federal income tax, was needed before the 18th Amendment prohibiting alcohol could be passed. In turn, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was ratified, in part, on the strength of the time-honored argument that women should not face taxation without representation.
The presentation on Zoom was recorded to share with those unable to attend. View the presentation at the link below.