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Scopes Monkey Trial

Uploaded by harsh_way on May 15, 2005

The Scopes Monkey Trial is considered to be one of the biggest trials in the history of the United States. The trial took place in the 1920’s, in a small town of Tennessee called Dayton. The trial was of a twenty four year old science teacher and a football coach named John T. Scopes. He was accused of opposing the Butler Act, which forbade the teaching of evolution in public schools and universities (Encarta). The trial was famous worldwide as it divided the United States in the opinion of Darwinism. The trial was not only about a man who was accused of breaking a Tennessee law, it was a fight between modernists and traditionalists who were struggling to prove their point about evolution. Even though the trial was not so successful in changing the Butler Bill, it made many people believe that this is a issue that would be dealt with for a long time.

During the Jazz Age in the 1920’s there was a lot of social change taking place in the United States. Many people, especially the northerners and people from cities were changing their attitude from a formal one to a different, more informal type of attitude. There were many things that were new and people liked it, for example jazz music and the developments in science. These people believed in Darwinism, a theory from Charles Darwin saying that man has evolved from an ape. The modernist were the people who supported Darwin’s theory, they opposed the restrictions against the teaching of ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬evolution and tried to get rid of restrictions. Most of the people who opposed the theory of Darwinism came from the rural south and had conservative thoughts and feared that their country was turning into an agnostic nation rather than a protestant nation. (Inherit/1925) These people were known as the traditionalists. These conservatives wanted the things as they were and tried very hard to stop the teaching of Darwinism. They passed laws and acts in most of the southern state that forbade the teaching of Darwinism in public schools and colleges. One of these laws was known as the Butler Bill.

In Dayton, Tennessee 1925, John Scopes met a man named George Rappelyea, a 31-year-old local company manager from New York, who was also a modernist who disliked the Butler Bill met him at a drugstore in Dayton (Inherit/1925). Rappelyea asked Scopes if he would challenge the...

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Uploaded by:   harsh_way

Date:   05/15/2005

Category:   History

Length:   8 pages (1,730 words)

Views:   2057

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