Preview

Effects of Social Darwinism

Powerful Essays
Open Document
Open Document
2912 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Effects of Social Darwinism
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 represent. This new social Darwinism approach to the social trends of the united states created many controversial issues arise and conflict with the existence of already stabilized beliefs. It slowly influenced all aspects of life, and influenced the major social trends of the late 19th century more and more. This caused a great number of changes in the short time period in this century, and forever changed the past present and future of the American social trends. The Darwinism Theory not only affected the science world greatly, but it’s modification into Social Darwinism also greatly changed the U.S. social trends of the 19th century in many significant views.

Chapter 1: The Social Darwinism Theory Social Darwinism is a belief, popular in the late Victorian era in England, America, and elsewhere, which states that the strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die. The theory was chiefly expounded by Herbert Spencer , whose ethical philosophies always held an elitist view and received a boost from the application of Darwinian ideas such as adaptation and natural selection. Many negative reactions to Darwinism come from the confusion of Darwinism as a



Bibliography: Darwinism: Critical Reviews from Dublin Review, Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review (1977 edition) reprints 19th century reviews and essays Fiske, John Hawkins, Mike. Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860-1945: Nature as Model and Nature as Threat. Cambridge University Press, 1997. Hofstadter, Richard. Social Darwinism in American Thought. Beacon Press, 1992. Hosle, Vittorio. Darwinism & Philosophy. University of Notre Dame Press, 2005. Kung, Hans. Does God Exist? New York: Vintage Books, Adivision of Random Mouse, 1967. Nagel, Ernest. Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science and Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2000. What is Social Darwinism. 2002-2008. 28 April 2008 <http://www.allaboutscience.org/what-is-social-darwinism-faq.htm>.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    During the late 19th century and early 20th century the Social Gospel and Social Darwinism Movements had similar but opposite beliefs; Social Darwinist believed every man is for himself and that big businesses were good for the economy, however followers of The Social Gospel believed in Christianity, favored the poor, and believed that everyone should help one another. Social Darwinism was named after the Naturalist, Charles Darwin, and the belief of evolution in society. One of the founders of Social Darwinism is the philosopher Herbert Spencer, who influenced many Social Darwinist leaders, such as William Graham Sumner; Spencer often used the phrase “Survival of the fittest” in his Social Darwinist lectures. Social Darwinists’ believed in…

    • 309 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Social Darwinism- a 19th-century doctrine that the social order is a product of natural selection of those persons best suited to existing living conditions.…

    • 365 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    5.05 Jack London

    • 336 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Social Darwinism is a theory by Charles Darwin that came from Spencer’s idea of the “Survival of the Fittest.” London interpreted this philosophy by writing about superiority of white men in his novels.…

    • 336 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    H.G. Wells wrote directly of Darwinism in the book The Time Traveler. A great exploration of separation of social classes and the prime example of " the strongest will prosper." The Time Traveler has realized that social standings in the future, 802,701, is different from the past in only of an intellectual standing. " So in the end, you would have above ground the Havers;pursuing health, comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have nots; the workers, getting continually adapted to their labor." ( Line 1) The Time Traveler realizes this because of his own social standing in his society. The Time Traveler does not cringe about his observation, but accepts these finding with a subtle acknowledgement. "In the end, if the balance was held permanent,…

    • 291 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    One of the major ideas brought about in the late nineteenth century was Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism explains the “why” in how some people are wealthy and some are “sloth.” Hebert Spencer idol of Social Darwinism, virtually described it as a natural process in which all people deserved their dismal fates. It was encouraged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to justify imperialism to discourage intervention.…

    • 444 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Ideologies of both Social Darwinism and Social Gospel was a form of justification that was adopted by many American businessmen as scientific proof of their superiority. Social Darwinism was created by using the applications of the English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin’s scientific theories of evolution and natural selection, ‘the survival of the fittest’. Herbert Spencer applied the Darwinian Theory to human development and William Graham Sumner thought that the economy was a natural event and did not need any guidance in its evolution; Sumer’s views greatly contrasted the beliefs of the Social Gospel.…

    • 387 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Social Darwinism is the theory that only those who are relatively strong can survive and achieve wealth and the weak will remain poor. It credited the gap in fortune between the rich and the poor to the fitness and strength of the wealthy. One of social Darwinism’s principal slogans was “survival of the fittest”, which was invented by Hebert Spencer not Charles Darwin. The belief was that society was comparable to the animal kingdom and that individuals who weren’t fit enough to survive in the conditions of the world created the underprivileged population. Those who believed in this theory thought that poverty and other society troubles were the result of bad genetics.…

    • 238 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Therefore, this paper will address the Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection focusing on the competition and cooperation relationship with power and how their interrelation gives rise to power…

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    One of her most intriguing essays is that of Darwinism. Darwinism is one of the most widely admired and taboo-bounded idols of this age and time. To say that Robinson had a difficult task writing against it is an understatement. However, she does so with great reason and imagination. She provides firsthand evidence and realistic arguments that is very unique in this time.…

    • 1355 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Iron Horse Apush Essay

    • 742 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Social Darwinism: notion of survival of the fittest, eliminating the unfit benefits the society, people who are poor have a deficiency in their gene pool…

    • 742 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the turn of the 19th century, a psychologist Herbert Spencer branched off the thought of Darwinism and promoted the evolutionary thought of social Darwinism which differed from the original idea of survival of the fittest (Goodwin, 1995). Social Darwinists believe in the idea that humans, like plants and animals, struggle for the existence of natural selection results in “survival of the fittest.” Spencer claimed that, evolution must be unchecked because of its natural and inevitable forces that can be harmful when tampered with by humans. Social Darwinists create a huge gap between the rich and the poor and say that “if successful then fit” which differs from Darwinisms belief that “if fit then successful.”…

    • 722 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    I begin with a breakdown of Darwin’s theory of evolution, then incorporate Darwin’s thoughts on “fitness” and why other scientists may contend against them. Next, I discuss some of the competing ideas of the time, such as William Paley’s theory of an intelligent designer, and I close with how Darwin successfully addressed these opposing arguments. The struggle for existence and natural selection…

    • 1695 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In the essay The Descent Of Man by Charles Darwin excerpted from his book The Origin Of Species (1871), he tries to describe evolution through the natural selection of accumulated favorable variations in an organism that in time form new species within which the fact that man is descended from a lower-organized life form is prescribed to, by giving evidence of similarities of the characters of man which determine embryonic development, bodily structure, sexual selection, cerebral system with those of lower-life forms and in which he evidently succeeds and it is evident that man is not a separate art of creation and is descended of a common progenitor like all other mammals and though questions can be raised against his theory in terms of Imperialism (when it comes to his own personal feelings towards another section of the society), Social Darwinism ( which gained new heights after the publishing of Darwin’s book) and homosexuality when it comes to explaining it in terms of sexual selection and though Man may have the highest of intellectuals and though he exhibits varied emotion-‘he still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin’.1…

    • 2552 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Social Darwinism is the idea that some groups of society are stronger than others or also known as “Survival of the fittest”. For this was a cause of Imperialism. Imperialism is when a stronger nation takes over a weaker nation or region and dominates its economic, political, or cultural life. Other causes of Imperialism were Economic motives, nationalism, balance of powers, and white man’s burden. Therefore they were able to control people who were scrawnier and determine who or what is acceptable in that society. The position I take is that Social Darwinism is true and does exist. This is proven through history and literature.…

    • 715 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    When it comes to Social Darwinism, there are a lot of pros and cons. First, we must understand that this idea was Herbert Spencer, but the person who was most recognized for this concept was, Charles Darwin. When it comes to, “survival of the fittest,” it was mainly talking about, you had to get in where you fit in. A lot of people did not agree with this theory, so this is where the cons comes in. Darwinism can be subjective.…

    • 245 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays