I have been reading "A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico" and I notice a common theme with other history books about the early US --drinking alcohol was a major preoccupation with early Americans. I became curious enough that I looked in the book "The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition" by W.J. Rorabaugh and found the following chart.
Notice the huge drop in consumption around 1850. This drop is consistent with development of a temperance movement in the US in the mid-19th century. This movement was significant enough to be mentioned in the history books that I have been reading.
As a boy, I delivered the Minneapolis Star afternoon newspaper door-to-door. Every two weeks I would collect money for the papers I delivered. People usually invited me into their homes because Minnesota was often cold outside. I was always surprise at the number of people who were drunk when I entered their homes. It did not matter what time of day I stopped by. I cannot imagine what I would have encountered if the alcohol consumption levels were two or three times greater than they were in 1970, a year in which I delivered papers.