Charles Darwin, Social Darwinism, and Imperialism Essay

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England went through dramatic changes in the 19th century.
English culture, socio-economic structure and politics where largely influenced by the principles of science. Many social expressions occurred due to these changes. Transformations which categorized this time period could be observed in social institutions; for instance: the switch from popular Evangelicalism to atheism, emergence of feminism and the creation of new political ideologies (Liberalism, Conservatism and
Radicalism). These are just a few of the changes that took place. All of this social alteration can be attributed to the importance of science. The English people began to trust more in empiricism and logical thought than in faith and glory of the empire .
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. . the grade of civilisation seems to be a most important element in success in competing nations."(Darwin, Decent of Man, p. 297).
In this observation, Darwin connotated superiority to civilized nations. In this same work, he referred to the indigenous people as
"savages, barbarians and tribal men". This immediately transfers a condescending attitude toward the "uncivilised people". Darwin classified them as tribes while the English and other Aryan cultures were a race.
These claims of basic inequality gave the English the
"jurisdiction" philosophically, to exploit the colonies to a greater level than previously attained. The drive to "Christianize" the colonies was abandoned, politically. The view shifted from "owing the primitive world" education and Christianity, to a more self-interested
"we English are naturally better". Therefore, the we should be exploiting you, because, that is why you are here.
Charles Darwin had a tremendous amount of influence on the scientific community and the English population. It can be seen that
Darwinism played a large part in justifying the imperial behavior of
England. Darwin's studies on nature and the behavior of animals had unlocked "Pandora's Box" in a manner of speaking. He studies reveal how close to nature humanity really is. The English empire quickly saw themselves as a dominant predatorial species of
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