James L. Sturgis
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‘Whisky detectives’ in town
The enforcement of the liquor laws in Hamilton, Ontario, c. 1870–1900
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This chapter focuses on explaining why drinking behaviour occurred and, more important, why there were difficulties in enforcing the liquor laws in Hamilton, Ontario during the late nineteenth century. As opinion polarised in the late nineteenth century, even the Oliver Mowat government found it testing of its ingenuity to ride the temperance and liquor horses at one and the same time. One respected authority has recently reminded us that even in the United States, where temperance history has its greatest centrality and recognition, the analysis of liquor law enforcement has yet to be begun. The commissioners made certain that the chief of police and his entire force were made responsible for the enforcement of the liquor laws, stipulating, in particular, that the chief was to inform them of any infractions of the law.

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Policing the empire

Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940


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