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The Scopes Trial

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The Scopes Trial John Scopes, a high school biology teacher, who found himself at the center of one of the 20th century’s most famous life-changing court hearings; The Scopes Trial. It was also known as the Monkey Trial, where biology teacher John Scopes was prosecuted for teaching evolution in a public school located in Tennessee (Kemper). Prior to the trial, there was a anti-evolution law that was passed making Scopes actions illegal, this was known as The Butler Act. As a matter of fact, when Scopes went against this law it was the first step in moving towards modernism. As well as, causing America to move away from traditional values. This trial was viewed as an opportunity to challenge the authority of the law and to publicize the accuracy…show more content…
The idea of teaching the viewpoint of evolution is considered modernism. In teaching this idea of evolution, it is going against the law and that is exactly what Scopes did. This whole trial was going against traditionalism. It exposed a deep division in America between new scientific values and traditional religious values. People starting seeking a different and better way to represent reality and the world they lived in. Society’s values were challenged by new viewpoints of traditionalism as the old ways faded. It was easy for an individual to be absorbed into these new viewpoints and to question their beliefs. Again, this trial took a huge toll on people and many widespread changes arose in culture and throughout American society. Individuals began to reject religion and accepted these new viewpoints of modernism.This process of traditional views being rejected is still happening today, this has been evolving over a long period of time, starting in the 20’s. After this trial, it changed peoples perspectives and gave them a new outlook on society. It created a clash between modernism and traditionalism. Whereas, before people only had traditional views and now their minds are more open to other aspects. These changes towards modernism are still slowly developing today. After the Scopes Trial, the…show more content…
Traditionalism is the theory that all moral and religious truth comes from divine revelation passed on by tradition, human reason being incapable of attaining it (The Significance). Traditionalist had much respect for their culture and religious values. They base how to live their life on these values. They did not embrace change or new ideas. Throughout the 20’s, many challenges in society arose for traditionalists. For example, nightclubs, drinking illegally, jazz music, and new technology. All these changes made it difficult for traditionalists to adapt. This trial was a significant event that led to the process of the eroding of traditionalism in American society and represented a victory for the rise of progressive modernism. Although, traditionalism won because Scopes lost the trial, it is seen that society will move forward away from traditional
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