Chapter

Outlawing Evolution 1920–1925

Edward J. Larson

in Trial and Error

Third edition

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154719
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195154719.003.0003
Outlawing Evolution 1920–1925

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This chapter begins by examining the initial anti-evolution crusade and its impact. It traces the reform heritage of Evangelicalism within the Progressive Era, the rise of the anti-evolution issue among fundamentalist evangelicals, and the enactment of the first anti-evolution laws leading up to the Scopes trial. The crusade against evolution emerged as a mass movement fitting the interventionist pattern common to the Progressive reforms. William Jennings Bryan, William Bell Riley, and John Roach Straton were the three most prominent leaders of the national anti-evolution crusade. Of them, Bryan stood out the most in the public mind during the early 1920s as he used both his prominence as a respected politician and his magnificent speaking voice to battle evolutionary teaching.

Keywords: Progressive Era; Evangelicalism; anti-evolution crusade; Scopes trial; William Jennings Bryan; William Bell Riley; John Roach Straton; evolutionary teaching; Tennessee

Chapter.  10513 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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