Enforcing the Law 1925–1960

Edward J. Larson

in Trial and Error

Third edition

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195154719
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849505 | DOI:
Enforcing the Law 1925–1960

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This chapter tells the Scopes story, pointing out the judicial attitudes toward scientific and popular opinion as reflected in that litigation. The account follows the impact of the case on the ongoing anti-evolution movement though to 1960. During the 1920s, the ACLU sought to shatter many traditional assumptions in the defense of its concept of individual freedom and the Tennessee anti-evolution statute became its target. The World's Christian Fundamentals Association (WCFA) also vowed to battle for popular opinion, but with the aim of restoring traditional values. The ACLU's goal of publicizing the perceived threat to freedom posed by the Tennessee anti-evolution statute coincided with the goals of Dayton civic leaders. Together, they secured the consent of a young science teacher named John T. Scopes to stand trial.

Keywords: anti-evolution crusade; ACLU; Christianity; Fundamentalists; Tennessee anti-evolution law; Dayton; Chattanooga; John T. Scopes

Chapter.  12848 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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