Preachers, Pedagogues & Politicians: The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina, 1920-1927

Preachers, Pedagogues & Politicians: The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina, 1920-1927

Preachers, Pedagogues & Politicians: The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina, 1920-1927

Preachers, Pedagogues & Politicians: The Evolution Controversy in North Carolina, 1920-1927

Excerpt

A generation accustomed to missiles and moonshots is likely to consign the evolution controversy of the 1920's to the realm of flagpole sitting, the Coué craze, and other comic mementoes of the decade. But behind the more ludicrous aspects of the conflict lay the deep-seated fears, anxieties, and frustrations of a people who had come to feel alienated from their past. During those first few years following World War I a series of tremors ran through American society as a half century of social, economic, and intellectual changes, as well as a host of new forces unleashed by the war, presented themselves as realities that could no longer be ignored. Traditional formulas for the good life seemed strangely inappropriate in the new America in which old certainties, one after the other, buckled before a rash of social and cultural innovations. The prospects of this new environment set off a spasm of popular disorientation of which the agitation over evolution was one significant manifestation.

This study attempts to contribute to the existing literature on the evolution controversy by exploring the subject in some detail at the grass roots level. For several reasons North Carolina offers an especially appropriate field for such concentration. The controversy raged there throughout most of the 1920's, and perhaps in no other state was the role of the educational leadership more decisive. More significant, the national anti-evolutionist leaders themselves considered the state one of the most critical arenas of their campaign. Failure to enact a statewide statute in North Carolina undoubtedly had an adverse effect upon their crusade in other states. But this work . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.