American Studies 430  
The South 
11:00-12:25, T-Th
Spring, 2001
Roger Williams University
Michael R. H. Swanson
Office:  CAS 111
Hours: 9:00-10:00 M, T, Th, F
or by appointment
Phone:  401 254 3230
For Tuesday, April 17,

We'll spend a portion of the class discussing Driving Miss Daisy

Then we'll proceed to look at the developing Southern Myth called "The Lost Cause"

READ:, in Major Problems,

Chapter 7: Southern Religion and the Lost Cause, pp. 187-213
(Skip, for now, "Redeeming the South" by Paul Harvey )
Read Document 5 and the essay by Elizabeth Turner together.


The United Daughters of the Confederacy is an active organization.

For a speech by June Murray Wells, President General, see

The current romantic view of Southern Life and Culture is often called "neo-confederacy."  It has been challenged by those who see this as a thinly veiled attempt to turn back the Civil Rights Movement. 

A website dedicated to fighting "Neo-Confederacy" can be found at

For Thursday, April 19

READ: in The American South, a History
Chapter 24, "Religion and Culture in the New South" pp. 608 - 634
In Major Problems,
Chapter 10, Doc. 5 "The Rev. Amzi Clarence Dixon on the Evils of Evolution" pp. 293-5
Chapter 10, Doc. 6 "Dr. William L. Poteat Criticizes Fundamentalism" pp. 295-7
Clarence Darrow (left) confers with William Jennings Bryan (right) at the Scopes Trial.
Visit This is a very thorough site documenting one of the most famous courtroom trials in American history. Denominated "the Monkey Trial" by reporters, the case of The State of Tennessee vs. John Scopes fascinated the nation like few trials previous to it. This site will deserve a lot of your attention. Allow ample time to look it over.   Notice ways in which "outsiders" evaluated the "southern" position.  Where, if anywhere, were there pockets of sympathy.  Does the author of the website indicate any personal bias?









House Bill No. 185

(By Mr. Butler)

AN ACT prohibiting the teaching of the Evolution Theory in all the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of Tennessee, which are supported in whole or
in part by the public school funds of the State, and to provide penalties for the violations thereof.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all
other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, 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.

Section 2. Be it further enacted, That any teacher found guilty of the violation of this Act, Shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be fined not
less than One Hundred $ (100.00) Dollars nor more than Five Hundred ($ 500.00) Dollars for each offense.

Section 3. Be it further enacted, That this Act take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare requiring it.

Passed March 13, 1925

W. F. Barry,

Speaker of the House of Representatives

L. D. Hill,

Speaker of the Senate

Approved March 21, 1925.

Austin Peay,

Two opposing views of William Jennings Bryan who helped to prosecute the Scopes Trial.  Both appeared in northern newspapers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, (left) and the Chicago Tribune (right)
A third view of evolution might be the "Monkey's View, as imagined in the Chicago Tribune

The Scopes Trial had much of the circus atmosphere about it, and helped to cement an image of southerners as backward and ignorant.