Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion - Part 1, Chapter 3 In Defense of Individual Liberty Summary & Analysis

Edward Larson
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Part 1, Chapter 3 In Defense of Individual Liberty Summary

The National Civil Liberties Bureau was established in 1917 to defend protesters and conscientious objectors to World War I. Through their experiences with this, activists saw that majority rule and liberty were not one and the same. After the war, defending labor union activists became the primary focus of the organization. They also changed the name to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to reflect this new focus. By 1925, the ACLU was still looking for its first courtroom success, largely due to the fact that the first amendment was given little meaning in the federal courts and its wording did not necessarily protect freedom of speech at the state level.

When the Tennessee law against teaching evolution was enacted, the ACLU took notice instead of viewing it as an insignificant law in...

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