The Role Of Social Darwinism In America

Decent Essays
Social Darwinism is based off of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. He uses the concept of survival of the fittest. This was used to justify class distinctions and to explain the reason for poverty. Modern science declared that the failure to advance in society was due to the lack of self reliance and determination. They acted down on people who needed government aid. Even during the depression people still believed the notion that the poor were responsible for their fate. The idea of natural superiority was around since the Civil War. So much so, we thought it was okay to own human beings.
Later on in history we abolished slavery only to discriminate against race. In early 1900s, race became a problem due to its increasing population of ethnically diverse people. America was seen as the
…show more content…
Eugenics is the science of improving the human race by regulating who can bear children. Progressives saw this as a nation that was going to be permantly divided by race and ethnic lines. This began the process of Americanization, a homogenous natural culture. Women were often targets of Americanization because they follow tradition and culture. Children were also a primary target because of their innocent nature. Educators, employers, labor leaders, social reformers, and public officials made it their goal to Americanize immigrants. The Army began standard IQ tests taken by immigrants, scientifically proving they were far below white intelligence. Ford Motor Company sent people to investigate immigrant homes to evaluate clothing, furniture, food preferences, and enrolled them in English classes.
The idea of eugenics made it possible for involuntary sterilization. In order to improve the human race, it meant regulating reproduction. 1907 Indiana passed to sterilize the mentally insane and inmates. Their plan was to eliminate “defective” genes. By 1960 63,000 people were involuntary
Get Access