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It will also reveal how legal and bureaucratic incursions have, over time, sapped this cultural resource.The complexity of the century-long assault on our constitutional order dissuades those who want clean, abstract, and constitutional arguments, but it rewards those who recognize in the messy details of this story the tangled resources of a self-governing people. In the sweltering summer of 1925, two elderly liberals came to do battle—one a populist and the other an elitist, both holdovers from a generation of battles over reform.The businessmen simply hoped that a court challenge on this controversy would bring much attention—and with it, much-needed tourism.
As teaching about evolution reached an ever-increasing percentage of the population, parents and religious leaders began to mobilize in the early 1920s to gain state or local control over the content of science education.
A number of states passed laws that in one way or another restricted or eliminated the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the schools.
Many young people's prejudice against Christianity is being fueled and justified by this work of fiction.
For decades, defenders of liberty and self-rule have been fighting what seems like a continuous battle about the power, reach, and accountability of the federal government.
Placing an advertisement in Tennessee newspapers promising to provide legal support to any teacher who challenged the law, the ACLU caught the eye of a group of businessmen in Dayton. Scopes, a coach and occasional science teacher, to challenge the state law banning the teaching of evolution.
Dayton was not a bastion of modernism, but it was no fundamentalist hotbed, either.This confrontation took place in a courtroom in Dayton, Tennessee, a small town in the eastern part of the state, where a young schoolteacher, John T. The trial attracted several thousand spectators and hundreds of newsmen, representing the most prestigious papers and journals in the nation.The radio broadcast by WGN of Chicago marked the first time a trial was ever broadcast live.Two trends merged in the 1920s to help create the conditions for the event.One was that, after the scientific community had wrangled over competing views of the theory of evolution for more than half a century, the theory was now widely accepted and had become a standard part of high school biology textbooks.In recent years, removing the Ten Commandments from public spaces has been big news.In fact, Christian morality on the whole seems to be rapidly declining in America and the western hemisphere: abortion is on the rise, divorce rates are climbing, gay marriage issues are increasing.Second, during the first two decades of the new century, state reforms in education led to dramatic increases in high school education and the taxes that supported it.Fundamentalist Christians had remained largely untouched by Darwinian science and evolution until they were forced to finance the teaching of it in the schools their children were required to attend.The Dayton businessmen worked to assure that the trial would be extraordinary, inviting even H. Wells—an English novelist well known for his hostility to organized religion—to participate.The ACLU, for its part, wanted a small trial that would lead to a Supreme Court case testing the constitutionality of the law. William Jennings Bryan agreed to work on behalf of the prosecution, provoking Clarence Darrow to volunteer his services for the defense.