Eugenics, A New Science Of Heredity

1879 WordsMar 23, 20158 Pages
Eugenics, a new science of heredity was first introduced in 1883, brought about to address the budding fears and threats to the purity and fitness of the British race. A fear brought upon by events such as the Boer War in 1899, forced Britain to question the spectrum of degeneracy within the population and resolve the issue of bringing the British and White race back to strength, unified and fit. Sir Francis Galton defined eugenics as “the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally”. It was believed that differences in mental, moral and physical traits between individuals, as well as races were hereditary, producing those who were deemed…show more content…
University Students. At this time, America provided a clear example of how race greatly impacted on the eugenics movement. The United States came across a lot more racialist than Britain; the key racial targets being the American Negro and various portions of white races emigrating from Eastern Europe. In a much more patriotic and chauvinistic country this threatened to overwhelm the superior white race, forcing the development of new immigration and sterilisation laws. Britain was just as supportive in believing in the dominant White race, however was never as extreme in it racialism. “British Society was ethnically more-or-less homogenous” and therefore it had not experienced the considerable amount of non-white emigrating people than it did in later decades. . The movement in Britain was marked by variations on existing racial themes, instead of new compositions. Racism figured a lot less distinctly and was of less importance to British Eugenics, identifying the new science as primarily class based, focusing more on the biological fitness of the different classes. Consequently, one could argue that race wasn’t awfully important to the movement, but race figured much more markedly to the eugenics movement in other countries such as the United
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