Cultural Wars: An Emphasis on Traditionalism By Erisa Gjoka, Sara PrEddy, Elliana Namen, catherine BouChereau

Religious Fundamentalism

Progressive reformers no longer had faith in the laissez-faire system, but realized that a radical shift away from capitalism was dangerous.

Social Responsibility was a means to salvation in the Social Gospel movement. Walter Rauschenbusch, a Protestant theologian with socialist inclinations, wrote about human salvation through Christian reform and was a spokesman of the Progressive movement.

An example of the Social Gospel movement in action is the Salvation Army, which provided material and spiritual assistance to the urban poor.

During the 1920s, when the culture was urban and consumer oriented, a new value system reflecting economic prosperity became increasingly popular.

For many of the millions of people who lived in rural areas, towns, and small cities around the country, it was not the great urban migration that was a problem, it was that urban culture itself seemed to be wicked, materialistic, and detrimental to moral character.

In response to the new secular culture of the 1920s, religious fundamentalism arose, which sought to preserve and maintain as the center of life, traditional religion. Fundamentalists believed that these new ideas minimized the importance of the Bible and contributed to the moral breakdown of young people. Fundamentalists thought that every word in the Bible must be excepted as literally true.

A key point in fundamentalist doctrine was that creationism (the idea that God had created the universe in seven days as said in Genesis), explained the origin of all life

Fundamentalists blamed the liberal views of modernists for causing of a decline in moralsIn contrast, Modernist Christians, who mostly lived in large cities, attempted to connect new scientific advances with religion. Modernists took a historical and critical view of certain passages in the Bible and believed that they could accept Darwin's theory of evolution without abandoning their religious faith. They believed that science and religion could not only coexist, each could support the other’s tenants and principles.

Just as Social Gospel movement of the Progressive Era reflected the reform spirit of the Second Great Awakening, once again, religion inspired the bettering of human society and a reaching out to the marginalized. The prominence of women in the temperance movement in the Progressive Era reflected the leadership of women in the temperance movement of the Second Great Awakening.

In the Progressive movements a greater emphasis was place on social responsibility as derived from morality; Christian morality was used to directly criticize the weaknesses in American society. The arising of the Social Gospel in response to America's corrupt markets, just as the rise of Fundamentalism was in response increasing consumer priorities. Both of these rejections of greed in American society seemed to foreshadow the later and similar conservative movement that would arise in response to secularism.

Fundamentalism especially correlates with modern conservative belief. Many modern conservatives agree with the New-earth creationist and non-evolutionary beliefs of fundamentalists.

Ever since the great awakening in the early 1700s, the religious revivals swept through America periodically. Revivalists of the 1920s preached a fundamentalist message for the first time using the radio. Leading radio evangelists were Billy Sunday, who drew large crowds as he attacked drinking, gambling, and dancing.

The Scopes Trial represented the rise of a significantly popular anti-evolution movement that still exists today. It is no longer illegal to teach evolution, in fact it is part of the curriculum at most schools, but many private, religiously affiliated schools still refuse to teach their students the theory of evolution.

The Scopes Trial

"The Monkey Trial"

John Scopes, a biology teacher, taught Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a school in Dayton, Tennessee. In the south, many states outlawed the teaching of evolution in public schools as it went against the religious fundamentals of the South. John Scopes was persuaded to commit this crime by the American Civil Liberties Union which questioned if this law, Known as the Butler Act was constitutional.

To “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals" was illegal and punishable by a fine.

Darwins theorised that man evolved from a monkey hence the name "The Monkey trial"
Clarence Darrow defended Scopes and William Jennings Bryan, who claimed he was an export on the Bible, defended the Southern fundamentalists.

People gathered in Dayton, Tennessee were tents were set up and revivalists preached outside. A carnival like atmosphere were they had drinks, food and monkeys to entertain people. The rest of the nation followed this trial by newspapers and radio.

During the trials, Darrow questioned Bryans literal interpretation of the Bible. All this questioning and stress led to Bryans death just a few days after the trial was over. Not surprisingly, John Scopes was found guilty of the crime and had to pay a fine of $100. Although laws that banned the teaching of evolution remained for years, they were rarely enforced afterwards.

The Nobel Experiment

The 18th amendment prohibited the selling or manufacturing of any alcoholic beverages. It was passed during wartime to conserve grain and maintain a sober workforce.

It became fashionable to break the law and purchase smuggled goods. Prohibition laws led to the rise of gangs.

Republicans supported prohibition, while Democrats were split on the issue the 18th amendment was repealed with the 21st amendment.

The Glorified Women's Role in the Home

The 1920's were a very transformational time for women. They had just received their right to vote, and the traditional roles of women were being extremely altered. There was a commonly excepted idea that men and women existed in "separate spheres." Women should only be concerned with with home and children and the men would take care of business and politics. With the right to vote given to women came the existence of "new women." These women did things that had been unheard of for women before like voting, obtaining college degrees, going to work, and even learning to drive. Although a majority of women remained in the traditional role of housewife, the number of working women increased by 25%. There was also a huge influx in women receiving a college education. It was no longer assumed that that the mother would always be in the house, and it was no longer believed that women did not have the skills necessary to make it in the workforce. Opposite to these "new women" were the women who believed in the traditional values that had been established, and they did not think that women should be given the right to vote. Some even said that voting might cause some women to "grow beards."

Women in the workforce

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