scopes trial

Essay by samanthaparker211A+, November 2014

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Jessica Siconolfi

Hist 130, Plemmons

Assignment 7.3

November 8th, 2014

The 1920's was a period of great transformation in the United States. Some Americans rejoiced at the prospect of change and others experienced feelings of pure turmoil. Debate over differing ideals, values, theories, and opinions became a central issue that dominated many aspects of American life.

Two groups which held vastly differing opinions regarding the pattern of change in American society were the modernists and the traditionalists. On one end of the spectrum were the traditionalists. These individuals were mostly older, religious fundamentalists who were deeply concerned that a changing society meant the end of religious values. These traditionalists responded to the changing social patterns by looking to their religion for an answer to what they viewed as a growing problem in America. The result was a strong religious revival especially in the south.

The modernists embraced a much different opinion, which opposed the one held by traditionalists.

The modernists were fond of the changes underway in America. This group consisted largely of younger individuals who didn't base their actions on religious approval. Further, the modernists were not concerned with how society viewed their behavior, and instead sought only for the approval of fellow intellectuals. For these individuals, the 1920's was a time for intellectual experimentation, ad their actions helped bring about a new set of social patterns.

The purpose of the Scopes Monkey Trial was to determine the punishment of a high school biology teacher named John Scopes. Scopes was charged with committing the crime of illegally teaching the theory of evolution to his students. According to the state's anti-evolution statute, named the Butler Act, it was forbidden by the law to teach evolution in any school within the state of Tennessee. The Scopes trial also had an...