Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Cynthia Prescott


The proximity and simultaneity of World War I and Prohibition pose questions of a shared and connected relationship. The current historiography falls short to connect these two seminal events and their impact on German-American communities. This study expands the existing literature by analyzing the reactions of two German-American communities (New Ulm, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri) to Prohibition against the backdrop of anti-German sentiments of World War I. Using a diverse range of sources (anti-German war propaganda material, Anti-Saloon League posters, material from the United States Brewers’ Association and US Senate investigation, as well as German and English-language newspapers from New Ulm and St. Louis), this thesis reveals that anti-German war rhetoric played an instrumental role in the Prohibition campaign by targeting German-American cultural traditions. Furthermore, the demographic background of these two German-American communities and their levels of assimilation also influenced their reactions to Prohibition.