The Scopes Trial In The Reactionary Twenties

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Reactionary conservation and immigrant restriction was a time period of many different movements such as the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, which put a restriction on the number of Europeans that we’re able to immigrate into the United States to 3 percent. Three years later after numerous complaints about there being too many eastern and southern Europeans being admitted, so Congress decided to pass the Immigration Act of 1924, this restricted the number of Europeans that were being admitted to 2 percent, these eastern and southern European groups consisted of Russians, Jews, Poles, and Italian. At the height of this Immigration Act, there were two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. These two men stole $16,000 from a shoe factory and killed the paymaster. This led to the Sacco and Vanzetti case which was the most widely publicized criminal case of the twenties. Another reactionary movement was the new Ku Klux Klan. This was the most violent movement of the twenties. The new KKK was a group of anti-Negro, alien, red, Catholic, Jew, Darwin, Modern, and anti-Liberal racists who were devoted to the “maintenance of White Supremacy”. The Klan contained over 4 million members at one point. The Klan fell apart after a man named Stephenson was arrested for raping a woman leaving merely 100,000 members left. The Klan believed in old-time religion as in the Bible or the direct word of God. William Jennings Bryan was also a man who believed in the Bible. He believed that God’s word was the only truth, so he offered to help the prosecution of John T Scopes. John T Scopes was a science teacher put on trial for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. This trial was called the Scopes Trial or Scopes Monkey Trial. William Jennings Bryan opposed drinking because of his faith in old-time religion, a crusade of his was prohibition which would stop all sales of beer, wine, and liquor. This act did not succeed until he was dead. The prohibition act made alcohol illegal. After just one year people started to find loopholes in this law such as it was illegal to make alcohol but not to drink it. Although people did not obey this act it lasted for 14years.

The Republican Resurgence was when republicans wanted to reverse progressivism. This did not go through. When Harding was elected President, he wanted to put America back to normal but he was not a politician. He had no knowledge of politics so he was basically controlled by the republicans. He drank outlawed liquor, had affairs, and had children born into wedlock. He gave a woman that threatened to expose him 3 million dollars. He continued too give money to the women that he had affairs with which caused debt to rocket causing the nation to go into a state of depression. After the war unemployment was at 12% and the only way out of this depression was by Andrew Mellon, he was the treasure of the cabinet. He created the landmark budget and accounting act of 1921, this is when he created the bureau of the budget to make federal budgets for the government and the general accounting office. After a few years people were doing better including Andrew Mellon. He made a huge oil empire, ship, banking, and aluminum. He also created the McCumber terrify of 1922, which was to prevent Germans from dominating the industry. After the war everybody owed debut because nobody had money. We had money but we did not want to give it out until we have already paid our debut. This is why the United States helped Germany get their economy up so that once they got a good flow of money coming the United States would pay France and Great Britain. Charles Even Hughes wanted to keep peace in the world and the way to do that was to make everybody have the same amount of power. Then there was a Kellogg-Briand pact or the pact of Paris which declared “renounce it [war] as an instrument of national policy”.

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The causes of the great depression because of the numerous amount of people that were investing in the stock market. Then when the stock markets values started to tumble scared investors started to sell their shares. Black Tuesday was the worst day in the history of the stock market. Stock prices went into free fall, many investors lost $15 billion and $50 billion by the end of the month. This later caused the economy to crumble. Although the stock market did not directly cause the Great Depression the stock market crash did cause a psychological panic which only further increased the economic decline after the economy began to fall due to overproduction along with underconsumption months before the stock market. During the time of the crash, factories were reducing production or just shutting down. U.S. economic output or GDP dropped almost 27 percent from 1929 to 1933. Government policies were also a cause of the Great Depression by the high tariffs reducing foreign trade which hurt the economy. The stance of the Fed was another contribution to the Great Depression. The Fed actually reduced the money supply instead of expanding it which would have caused the growth. The chaotic state of the European economy was also a cause of the Great Depression. Because of Great Britain never fully recovered after the Great War the United States hadn’t yet gotten back the $11 billion it had loaned to France and Great Britain. The U.S. needed to borrow $5 billion which furthered their debut.

The human toll of the depression bad. By 1932 around a quarter of Americans could not afford housing or good food. Those who went hungry started to loot grocery stores. Unemployment was at 4 million in 1930, 8 million in 1931, and 12 million in 1932. 6,000 New Yorkers sold apples just to survive. Business professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, nurses, engineers, accountants, stockbrokers, and teachers would not eat and go without Medicare in order to save money to avoid going “on relief.” Although millions of people lined up at “soup kitchens” to get a limited amount of free food and water there were 100 cases of death due to starvation and 66 percent more illnesses of unemployed workers and families than employed. Along with hunger millions of people were homeless. People lived on the roads and the rails. 200,000 people were living in empty boxcars of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. 683,457 people were evicted from the Southern Pacific Railroad just a year later.900,000 children left home and joined the growing army of homeless “tramps”. Some women got to keep their jobs because of the fact that women originally got paid less than men, but that didn’t really help because their husbands were still jobless so they were taking care of their families with very little to no money.

Racial progressivism is relevant to America today because people are still fighting for equal rights between races and there are a lot of racists in our world today. This relates to the New Ku Klux Klan which is still relevant today because there are still Klans’ in the United States today and racism is a very big part of the society that we live in. The New KKK also relates to the Scopes Trial because the members of the New KKK were believers in the literal word of God. The Scopes trial was a trial of evolution vs God. This relates to today because there is an ongoing debate between scientists and the believers of the bible on where humans came from.


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