At the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1840, held in Baltimore, Maryland, a majority of delegates fully expected that a step would be taken that would restore the Church to its rightful place in the front ranks of the Temperance Movement. Instead, the conference became embroiled in a constitutional battle that pitted a minority of the delegates, representing different viewpoints, against a majority of delegates, also representing different viewpoints. The maneuvering in and around this conference illustrates parliamentary processes then common to the denomination, the character of antebellum Methodism, and the importance of temperance in the life of the Church.

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