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Social Darwinism

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Rebecca Brereton

on 28 March 2014

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Transcript of Social Darwinism

Social Darwinism in America
Who Were They?
Citation Page
What is it?
Social Darwinism came to be popular in America in the 1870's. It was a commonly used idea during WWII. It also sought to explain reasoning behind human behavior with human evolution and adaptations of culture.
"Social Darwinism." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web.

"Social Darwinism." Social Darwinism. Colorado EDU, n.d. Web.

Sweet, William. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Spencer, Herbert []. St. Francis Xavier University, n.d. Web.

Landsburg, Lauren F. "Thomas Robert Malthus." : The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty, 2008. Web.

Gega, Stela. "Sir Francis Galton." Psychology History. N.p., May 2000. Web.
Herbert Spencer:
Philosopher,Biologist,Anthropologist, Sociologist, and a political theorist.
Developed the idea of evolution. Known for expression of "survival of the fittest"*
Extended the biological theories into politics.
Social Darwinism is the theory that people, groups, and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection, commonly perceived in plants and animals in nature
Development and Impact of Ideological Currents:
Social Darwinism

Rebecca Brereton-Farr

Natural selection is an idea and proven theory that Charles Darwin developed in 1859, the theory is mostly studied in biology. Natural selection is the theory that traits will either become more popular or less common due to reproductive success in nature. The idea of Survival of the Fittest is that the fittest or most powerful animal will do better in the community, and that the weakest will quickly die off due to its inability to contribute to the community.
Background on Natural Selection
Though many people could connect to the idea, there were many extremists. Some of the most popular were: Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus, and Francis Galton.
Social Darwinist
Thomas Malthus:
Most influential in the field of demographics and political economy. "An Essay on the Principle Population" about population being checked by disease.
Francis Galton:
Anthropologist, Eugenicist**, Geneticist, Psychometrician. Wrote essays and books on the intelligence and the inheritance of it.
* Survival of the Fittest is the idea that the strongest or fittest creature should survive in society, while the weak or unfit should be left alone and allowed to die.
** Eugenicist is the practice of improving genes in humans to better the quality of the human population. Advocating the improvement by producing offspring with people with the desired traits/characteristics, which will reduce the rate of people with negative eugenics.
Allowing the weak to die was not only politically right, but ethical.
Social Darwinist structured their beliefs on two main ideas: there is a constant struggle for survival in nature, and the proper guide for structuring society lay in the structure of nature.
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