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EXPLORE:

Use the following activities to investigate related topics on the web.
Alternative 1: Deepening the Inquiry—Why did the Scopes trial capture the nation's attention?
  1. Go to http://www.historymatters.gmu.edu/search.php. Enter “1920s” into the space for “Keyword” and check the “Many Pasts” button on the bottom left-hand corner.
  2. Select two documents that tell you about the context of the time and that potentially influence your interpretation of the allure of the Scopes trial.
  3. For each document, list:
    • Its author
    • The time/place of origin
    • The url where you found it.
  4. Read and analyze each document (Remember to use questions to source, contextualize, read closely, and contextualize as you read). Answer the following questions for each document in one paragraph. (Total: 2 paragraphs).
    • How does the document expand your understanding of the context of the 1920s and the background of the Scopes trial?
    • Why might the Scopes trial have been a symbol or flashpoint for these broader tensions?
  5. Explain using examples and quotes from the text.
Alternative 2: Broadening the Inquiry—Bryan vs. Darrow
  1. Using the sites below, find two documents--one document (it may be primary or secondary/interpretive) about William Jennings Bryan, and one document about Clarence Darrow--that shed light on the histories and personalities of the two leading lawyers of the Scopes trial.
  2. Print or copy each document.
    • Label each document as “primary” or “secondary” (ideally, you will have one of each)
    • Write down the author(s), time/place of origin, and the url where you found each.
  3. Read and analyze each document (Remember to use questions to source, read closely, and contextualize as you read). Answer the following questions:
    • Write a paragraph for each document: How does this document help you to understand better why each man chose to participate in the Scopes trial?
  4. Explain using examples and quotes from the text.