What was the scopes monkey trial

47b. The Monkey Trial

what was the scopes monkey trial

The Scopes Monkey Trial Is the Blockbuster Event of 1925 (feat. Bradley Whitford) - Drunk History

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The Scopes Trial, also known as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was the prosecution of science teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school, which a recent bill had made illegal. The trial featured two of the best-known orators of the era, William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, as opposing attorneys. The theory of evolution, as presented by Charles Darwin and others, was a controversial concept in many quarters, even into the 20th century. Concerted anti-evolutionist efforts in Tennessee succeeded when in , the Tennessee House of Representatives was offered a bill by John W. Butler making teaching evolution a misdemeanor. The so-called Butler Act was passed six days later almost unanimously with no amendments.

In March the Tennessee legislature had declared unlawful the teaching of any doctrine denying the divine creation of man as taught by the Bible. World attention focused on the trial proceedings, which promised confrontation between fundamentalist literal belief and liberal interpretation of the Scriptures. William Jennings Bryan led for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense. Scopes had taught evolution, which he admittedly had. On appeal, the state Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law but acquitted Scopes on the technicality that he had been fined excessively.

When Darwin announced his theory that humans and apes had decended from a common ancestor, he sent shock waves through the Western world. In the years that followed his declaration, America's churches hotly debated whether to accept the findings of modern science or continue to follow the teachings of ancient scripture. By the s, most of the urban churches of America had been able to reconcile Darwin's theory with the Bible, but rural preachers preferred a stricter interpretation. Amid the dizzying changes brought by the roaring decade, religious fundamentalists saw the Bible as the only salvation from a materialistic civilization in decline. In , the Tennessee legislature passed the Butler Law , which forbade the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution in any public school or university.

Scopes , was accused of violating Tennessee 's Butler Act , which had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. William Jennings Bryan , three-time presidential candidate, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow , the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial publicized the FundamentalistóModernist controversy , which set Modernists , who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion, [4] against Fundamentalists , who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge.



Scopes Monkey Trial: Science on the Stand

The Scopes Monkey Trial Explained in 5 Minutes: US History Review

July 21, 1925: Scopes 'Monkey Trial' Ends With Guilty Verdict

Also known as The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes , the case tried high school substitute science teacher John Scopes for violating Tennessee's ban on the teaching of evolution in all public and state-funded Tennessee schools. The trial lasted eight days. John Scopes was found guilty but the verdict was overturned on a technicality. It also drew attention to the divide between religious Fundamentalists and Modernists who took a less literal approach to the Bible and supported modern science, as well to the schism between urban and rural American values. According to the Philadelphia Independence Hall's US History website, despite the ruling, the public saw Scopes and supporters of evolutionary theory as the victors in the case. Though the debate over teaching evolution in American public schools continues today, the Scopes trial proved to be highly influential in American culture.

In Dayton, Tennessee , the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan , the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U. The missing link was in fact Jo Viens of Burlington, Vermont , a year-old man who was of short stature and possessed a receding forehead and a protruding jaw. The next day, Raulston ordered the trial moved to the courthouse lawn, fearing that the weight of the crowd inside was in danger of collapsing the floor. In front of several thousand spectators in the open air, Darrow changed his tactics and as his sole witness called Bryan in an attempt to discredit his literal interpretation of the Bible.

The Scopes Monkey Trial was a nationally-famous Tennessee court case that upheld a state law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools in that state in During the Roaring Twenties, some in the United States were concerned about the supposedly immoral lifestyle that their neighbors were pursuing. Many opponents of this more open and less conservative lifestyle were followers of the Progressive Movement. Many of these people were religious fundamentalists, people who believe that the Bible is the truth and that it must be taken literally. To deal with the supposedly increasing immorality of the U.

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