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How did the Monkey Scopes Trial show intolerance in 1920s America?

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Presentation on theme: "How did the Monkey Scopes Trial show intolerance in 1920s America?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How did the Monkey Scopes Trial show intolerance in 1920s America?

2 Learning objective – to be able to assess the impact of the Monkey Trial on 1920s America. I can describe some of the key features of the Monkey Trial. Grade D I can explain the impact of the Monkey Trial. Grade B I can explain and assess the impact of the Monkey Trial. Grade A

3 Starter – The Monkey Trial of 1925 was caused by a lesson in which curriculum subject?

4 Answer - Biology

5 Why was Darwin’s theory of evolution controversial in America? Darwin’s Theory of Evolution argued that humans developed over millions of years from apes. This idea was hugely controversial as for many this directly contradicted the belief that God explained human existence.

6 What was the reaction to Darwin’s theory of evolution in America? The states in the Mid West and South, known as the ‘Bible Belt’ states strongly opposed the theory of evolution. The teachings of the Bible were very strong in these states. The politician, William Bryan, successfully campaigned to ban the teaching of evolution in schools in Tennessee – a strong ‘Bible Belt’ state –as it contradicted the Creation Story in the Bible. The law was called The Tennessee Anti-Evolution Law. Although, the theory of evolution was taught in most schools in America.

7 Who was John Scopes and what did he do? John Scopes was a High School Biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee. He disagreed with the new law banned the teaching of evolution and within days of the law being passed deliberately taught evolution so to force a test case to see if the law was unconstitutional. He allowed his friend to sue him for breaking the law to ensure the case went ahead.

8 Why did the Monkey Trial gain so much media attention? The Monkey Trial gained massive attention as it has an audience of around a thousand and was broadcast live on radio. It was billed as a contest between old and new America with the prosecution led by William Bryan, the leading conservative politician of the day and the defence was lead by the most famous lawyer in America, Clarence Darrow.

9 What case did the Scopes defence present? Scopes’ defence knew that he was guilty of breaking the law so instead focused upon the arguments for and against evolution and testing the evidence of the Creation Story. The defence was aggressive and ferociously attacked William Bryan to the extent that the judge had to step in and halt questioning. Bryan was taken ill an died days later.

10 What was the verdict at the Monkey Trial? The judge referred to the jury and reminded them that Scopes had taught against the Creation Story and that this was illegal. Scopes was found guilty and fined $100.

11 What was the impact of the Monkey Trial? Despite being found guilty, John Scopes and his supporters claimed a moral victory because they felt that they had defended free thought and free speech. However, the law remained in place in Tennessee until 1967.

12 Tasks Why did John Scopes face trial in July 1925? In your answer include – The theory of evolution. The ‘Bible Belt’. The Tennessee Anti-Evolution Law. How does the Monkey Trial show America as an intolerant nation? Write a press report for the ‘Monkey Trial’ which includes a catchy headline, the arguments for and against the theory of evolution and the reason for the trial and its outcome.

13 Plenary This word cloud summarises the content of today’s lesson. Pick out the three most important words and explain why they summarise your learning in the lesson.


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