What was the Scopes Trial? It was otherwise known as the Monkey Trial. It settled the debate of “should evolution be taught in public schools.” To see if evolution would be the best idea to teach kids, they decided to put a teacher on trial who taught evolution.
Introduction America was changing in the 1920’s. The values, laws, and ideas were constantly changing. One of the ideas that was changing was the notion of the theory of evolution being correct. And if it was correct should it be taught to the masses? To test the idea if evolution should be taught in schools they decided to put an evolution teacher on trial.
Introduction It started with the Butler Bill which banned evolution on the grounds of it being heresy to the Bible in 1925. It passed in congress in 1925. The state of Tennessee enacted the law, and it would be a great place to test the fate of evolution. The America Civil Liberties Union sought out teachers to put the law into practice. They placed an ad in the Chattanooga newspaper seeking teachers who would challenge the Butler Law. They promised in the ad that it would not cost the teacher his job.
Introduction Now that there was public interest from the news ad, a group of towns people from Dayton, Tennessee tried to make this case very public. They tried to figure out ways to generate buzz. The Daytonians chose John Thomas Scopes to be on trial as the teacher who violated the Butler Law and taught evolution.
John Thomas Scopes John Thomas Scopes was born in Paducah, Kentucky. His family moved to Illinois when he was a teenager. He eventually got a law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1924. He moved to Dayton, Tennessee where he became a football coach and a substitute teacher for Rhea County High School. He was 24 when he was asked to participate in the trial.
The Scopes Trial While in Rhea High School, working as a football coach and substitute, he accepted the challenge of being put on trial for teaching evolution. He later admitted as a substitute teacher, he was not sure if covered teaching evolution to the students. However, he still accepted the challenge of saying he would teach students evolution. He was asked by Daytonians to be the test of the Butler law. He agreed to be indicted to see how this case played out.
The Scopes Trial Due to the shear publicity of this issue, many well-known people stepped up to be apart of the trail. William Jennings Bryan who brought about the Butler law decided to be the prosecutor for the trial. Clarence Darrow and Dudley Field Malone were high profile attorneys that wanted to represent Scopes in the trial. Pictured: Darrow and Bryan
Preparing for the Trial Scopes was indicted by a grand jury for violating the anti-evolution law(the Butler Law). As the tension was building for the trial, the town built a pedestrian mall close by, a platform on the lawn of the courthouse, and a tourist camp. The courtroom was prepared to broadcast the trial to the world as the equipped it with the necessary technology.
The Trial After the jury selection, Darrow tries to persuade the jury that the Butler Law is unconstitutional. He tried to state that this violates the freedom of religion. The next day he objects to having prayer to begin the trial, but Judge Raulston objects to that. The judge also overruled that the defense's motion to have the Butler Law declared unconstitutional. The judge cited that public schools are not religious, but they are designed to maintain mental and moral development and discipline.
The Trial Scopes’ defense pleas not guilty. Some witnesses and experts were reviewed. Scopes’ students did say he taught them evolution. A zoologist, Maynard Metcalf, testified that evolution is widely embraced by the scientific community. The prosecution asks the judge to bar the scientists’ testimony; Judge Raulston rules to bar it. The judge said it was not relevant enough to the case.
The Trial - Interpretation Bryan calls on a biblical text expert to testify. Clarence Darrow asks Bryan many questions about if the Bible should be taken literally. Bryan states that Darrow is making a “slur at the Bible.” Darrow replied back with accusing Bryan of “fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on Earth believes.”
The Ruling Judge Raulston expunges Bryan’s testimony from the record stating that it is not relevant to the case. Darrow asks the jury to find Scopes guilty and go deliberate. They could chose to appeal this verdict. The jury deliberated for a total of 9 minutes. Scopes was found guilty and only had to pay $100 in fines. Both ACLU and Bryan offer to pay for his fine.
The Ruling After the ruling is stated, Scopes has a chance to speak. He uttered this about his intent, “To oppose this new law in any way I can. Any other action would be in violation of my ideal of academic freedom – that is, to teach the truth as guaranteed in our constitution, of personal and religious freedom.”
After the Trial Five days after trial, Bryan died in his sleep in Dayton. IN May 31, 1926, the appealing hearing started. Ultimately, the judge upheld the Butler Law, stating that it was constitutional. However, Scopes’ verdict was overturn, because Judge Raulston should have not set the fine amount, the jury should have. In May 17, 1967, the Butler Act is repealed.
Quiz • What was the scopes trial also called? • The Monkey Trial • The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes • All of the above - • None of the Above
Quiz 2. True or False. Scopes was a fulltime biology teacher. • True • False -
Quiz 3. What was the act officially called that Scopes was indicted for? • The Anti-Evolution Act • The Darrow Act • The Darwin Act • The Butler Act -
Quiz 4. Which organization advertised in a newspaper for a participant to be found guilty of teaching evolution? • The America Civil Liberties Union - • The Evolution Civil Union • The Scientists of America • The Christians for Evolution of America
Quiz 5. What did the defense state as why the Butler Act was unconstitutional? • The first amendment - • The fourth amendment • The six amendment • The eighth amendment
Quiz 6. Place these people with their correct title during the Trial. Scopes – Defendant Darrow – Attorney Field – Attorney Raulston – Judge Bryan - Prosecutor
Quiz 7. True or False. Darrow questioned Bryan about the Bible being taken completely literally. • True – • False
Quiz 8. How long did it take the jury to present the verdict? • 1 hour • 9 minutes - • 34 minutes • 4 hours and 16 minutes
Quiz 9. True or False. The trial verdict in 1925 declared the Butler Act unconstitutional. • True • False -
Quiz 10. How much was the fine Scopes had to pay? • $125 • $115 • $110 • $100 -
Quiz 11. Who offered to pay for Scopes’ fine? • Bryan • ACLU • Darrow • Both A&B - • Both B & C • All of the Above
Quiz 12. True or False. Scopes tried to appeal the verdict. • True – • False
Quiz 13. During the appeal trial, the Butler Act was found to be unconstitutional. • True • False -
Quiz 14. During the appeal trial, Scopes’ verdict was overturned. • True – • False
Quiz 15. When was the Butler Act repealed in Tennessee? • 1928 • 1954 • 1967 - • 1969
Resources • http://www.aboutpaducah.com/directory/celebrities/354.html • http://www.biographyplus.com/john_t_scopes.htm • http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/Sco_sco.htm • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/monkeytrial/peopleevents/p_scopes.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Scopes • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4723956 • http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/evolut.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial