The Challenge Fundamentalism and Modernism: Migration of Immigrants and The Scopes Trial

While immigrants favored towards the left spectrum, Americans feared the possible economic policies. As industrialism progressed, President Harding promoted a minimal government in businesses. Businesses created an abundance of products that no one could afford causing unemployment. Following the Stock Market crash was the Great Depression. The effects after World War 1 contributed to nativism and an economic crisis.

After World War 1, a migration of immigrants sought out for new opportunities in the United States. The quest for opportunity collided with political issues such as anarchism and communism. Two political radicals were executed as a result of the Sacco and Vanzetti case. With the lack of evidence, the plea is seen as controversial today. Following nativism, an uprising of the Ku Klux Klan promoted violence which created fear for minorities. As the population rose, cultural myopia appeared, instigating new immigration quotas. In addition, religious views affected modernism and social activities. Fundamentalists such as William Jennings Bryan opposed social Darwinism in the Scopes Trial. The argument in the trial broaches the separation between traditional values and the education system today. Furthermore, the effects of the consumption of alcohol were resolved with the 18th amendment. Al Capone’s role confirmed how crime rates increased. Political philosophies and religion encouraged new policies.

The debate over progressivism and individualism is fueled in elections. Harding’s slogan included isolationism and reconstruction. His promise led to a presidential victory. His plans toward normalcy pushed an administration who agreed with the laissez-faire system.

With Melon’s assistance, the federal budget was restored along with high tariffs. The plan of restoration was followed by a Five-Power Treaty, which eliminated naval ships. In attempts to secure the isolation, the Republican presidents refused to participate in international organizations. During Harding’s presidency, he was challenged by his friends.

The impact of scandals such as the Teapot Dome Scandal stained Harding’s reputation. Next in the line was Coolidge, who sought out to continue Harding’s promise. As a silent president who wished to resign the position, leadership would be handed to Herbert Hoover. Hoover directed the Republicans and later claimed authority in the 1928 election. The 1920s presidents engaged in maintaining minimal government and prosperity.

With the tax policy issued by Mellon, the stock market was fostered. Many people participated in having security and expanding their earnings. However, depending on payments, the stock prices would fluctuate. As more and more people were engaged in the stock market, an economic turmoil approached. There was no balance between supply and demand. As manufacturing increased, people were challenged with low wages which would lead to contractions. The United States along with the allies were challenged by war debts. Although Smoot and Hawley’s tariff was seen to benefit farmers, exports were set high. The high tariffs concerned foreign markets causing Europe to break away slowly. These factors contributed to the period of the Great Depression.

One of the biggest battles during the 1930s was the Great Depression. Many people could no longer support themselves due to unemployment. Poverty spread alongside hunger and homelessness. Almshouses emerged as a response to the rising poverty levels. Food was limited at churches and charities causing competition. Married women were discouraged from working as opposed to men. Men were seen as the dominant figure who supported their families. This tribulation targeted families and women were burdened. Minorities were limited in the work field and commonly discriminated. Millions were desperate for the return of their basic living standards.

The Scopes Trial challenged fundamentalism and modernism. An issue faced today is the LGBT community. Some Christian colleges disapprove of the presence of same-sex relationships due to strict religious values. This argument can also be debated by social justice. In addition, same-sex marriage is generally opposed due to the mindset that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, Christian teaching is God’s love for his creations. Same-sex marriage and participation in churches are based on one’s judgment. One’s sexuality does not determine their identity and judgment should be determined by character.

Prohibition is in effect with drunk driving and the age limit. The consumption of alcohol is valid until the point of drunkenness. In the state of being drunk, it weakens consciousness and generates more violence. Movements such as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving guaranteed the minimum age of drinking to 21. Drunk driving is a threat to society as alcohol enhances an error in social behavior. Resolutions to DWI are an increase in arrests and secure availability. Mass media benefits young drivers by exposing the dangers of drunk driving.

During the 1930s, minorities were rejected aid and were often subordinated. They were also seen as the primary conflict for jobs by nativists. Minorities have thrived in the workplace in comparison to the early 1900s. Hispanics/Latinos, Blacks, and Asians are now being recognized in fields such as management and construction.    

07 July 2022
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