The Scopes Monkey Trial Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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implied that any aspect of a single religion would not be forced upon members of society. In the rural areas of the South and the Midwest, “Americans turned to their faith for comfort and stability in a literal interpretation of the Bible, viewing Darwin and the theory of evolution as the most present threat to the truth, they were certain that they alone possessed” (Lloyd 1). As a result, many state laws including the Butler Law promoted the teaching of religious principles in public schools. Further, any view considered contrary to that of the primary religion of the state was considered illegal to teach. The teaching of evolution by John Scope in his Biology class therefore constituted an illegal act, punishable by fine and loss of his job. The trial ended with a verdict

of guilty for John Scopes and he was fined $100, only to have the verdict overturned the next year by the State Supreme Court in Nashville. Ironically, the Butler Law remained on the books in the State of Tennessee until the 1960’s but its foundation as a credible law was certainly shaken by the proceedings of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Further, the Scopes Monkey Trial reinforced the importance of freedom of speech to all Americans. Granted to Americans in the First Amendment to the Constitution, all “people have the right to speak, publish, and express their views”(US Constitution). Although not specifically stated in the Constitution that one has the right to teach ones views, it is to be implied. Following his conviction, Scopes stated to the judge that “I feel that I

have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue to oppose this law and any other action that would be in violation of my idea of academic freedom”(Lloyd 3). Works Cited Blake, Nelson Manfred. A History of American Life and Thought. NewYork: McGraw- Hill Book Company, 1963. Cherney, Robert W. A Righteous Cause. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1985. Coletta, Paolo E. William Jennings Bryan. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1969. Larson, Edward. Summer of the Gods. New York: Basic Books, 1997. Lloyd, Jeff. “The Scopes ?Monkey Trial’.” Http://