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Complete Explanation:
The second of a pair of prints (see "Tree of Temperance," no. 1855-2) issued by A. D. Fillmore in 1855 expounding on the benefits of temperance and the evils of drink.

In the center grows a gnarled tree whose roots are schnappes, whiskey, wine, beer, and other spirits. Around its trunk winds a giant serpent with an apple in its mouth and a mug of beer on its head. The trunk branches out into limbs marked "Diseases Corporeal," "Ignorance," "Vice," "Crime," and "Immorality." These in turn divide into smaller branches representing a plethora of social and moral evils, such as wars, drunkenness, anarchy, counterfeiting, dueling, and "Breach of the Peace."

Below, on the left is a procession of prohibition men, holding banners reading "Hurrah! for the Maine Law" and "All together." (The Maine Liquor Law of 1851 was a landmark in the history of prohibition and was widely adopted in other states.) One man chops at the roots of the tree with an ax. On the right are barren thorn bushes (in contrast to the healthy, foliated brush on the left) and several men in various states of inebriation and despondency.

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