Encyclopedia > Temperance

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Temperance is the practice of moderation. It was one of the five "cardinal" virtues held to be vital to society in Hellenic culture. It is also one of the Four Cardinal Virtues considered central to Christian behavior by the Catholic Church.

While "temperance" can be applied to the avoidance of any extreme behavior, it was most commonly used through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to refer to abstinence from alcoholic beverages. The "temperance movement" existed alongside various women's rights movements, and often the same activists were active in both. This movement culminated in the United States in the legal Prohibition of alcohol.

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