Inherit the Wind Historical Context

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After the upheaval and tension caused by World War I, a mood of collective nostalgia took hold in America. The culture heard calls to rid itself of "enemies" and to return to the simplicity and normalcy of the prewar society. In the mid-1920s, the enemy became embodied in Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution. The Fundamentalists sought to eradicate such thoughts from society, beginning with the schools. They were influential in several southern states, passing laws that prohibited the teaching of evolution in the classroom. Modernists, those who supported the study of Darwin and opposed a literal interpretation of the Bible, became increasingly wary of what they perceived as attacks on their constitutional rights. Their response was to look for ways to test these laws.

In the mid-1950s when Inherit the Wind was written and first produced, the country experienced a tension between the seemingly...

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This section contains 413 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Inherit the Wind Study Guide
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Inherit the Wind from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.