Scopes Trial and Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

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The Roaring Twenties was an era filled with turmoil and uneasiness. Two cases in American history, the Sacco-Vanzetti case, and the Scopes trial are two cases in which the harsh reality of the negative sentiments of the country were revealed. These are two instances of the time that show the deterioration of democracy. The injustice experienced in both situations shows a step backward in the progress of the nation. Many nativist and anti-radical sentiments were apparent in the case of Sacco and Vanzetti. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrants, were arrested for the murder of the paymaster and the guard of a South Briantree, Massachusetts shoe factory. They were also charged with robbing the shoe factory of $17,776.51 on that April 15th, 1920 night. Sacco and Vanzetti were known anarchists and during their prosecution harped on their radicalism. The judge in their case harbored negative sentiments towards the two men, because of his own conservative Yankee Republican standing. Despite the support from many influential people such as Felix Frankfurter, Eugene Debs, Ben Shahn, John Dos Passos, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, large groups of people rallied against them. The conservatives of the time called for the death of the anarchist immigrants, and the nativists harped on the immigrant origins of the two men. Unfortunately, the two men, after having gone through an unfair trial, were found guilty in 1921. After many years of appeals and delays, Sacco and Vanzetti were put to death by electric chair on August 23rd, 1927. This case illustrates how the negative sentiments of the American people affected the fair trial of two men who were doomed to be convicted from the beginning. In the 1920’s, Protestant Fundamentalists came to the forefront, insisting upon the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus and the Genesis version of Creation.

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