Effects of Social Darwinism Essay

2918 WordsOct 3, 200812 Pages
Introduction The Effects of Social Darwinism on the social trends of the 19th century. “As a world view, Darwinism cannot of course be refuted, since Faith is, always has been, and always will be, stronger than facts. “ - Francis P. Yockey Social Darwinism is a theory that competition among all individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies. The term draws upon Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, where competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change through the survival of the fittest. The term was popularized in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter, and has generally been used by critics rather than advocates of what the term is supposed to…show more content…
The first advocate of the social Darwinism theory had a major impact on the American society as a whole, starting from economic bases, to the big business minds of the time. In the United States, Spencer gained considerable support among intellectuals and some businessmen, including steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, who served as Spencer’s host during his visit to the United States in 1883. The most prominent American social Darwinist of the 1880s was William Graham Sumner, who on several occasions told audiences that there was no alternative to the “survival of the fittest” theory. Critics of social Darwinism seized on these comments to argue that Sumner advocated a “dog-eat-dog” philosophy of human behavior that justified oppressive social policies. Some later historians have argued that Sumner’s critics took his statements out of context and misrepresented his views. This picture depicts the idea behind social Darwinism. IT is a powerful society in which keeps the wealthy, and powerful and kicks out the minority, poor folks who are no longer able to survive in such a materialistic world. Chapter 2: Major Social Trends of the 19th Century There were many aspects of the American life during the 19th century that have changed significantly from the times beforehand. Whether it be from economic policies, religious ideals, or political platforms, there were so many changes being made,
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