New Attitudes Toward Wealth Social Darwinism fueled the popularity of "Friendly visitors" in the field of social work. These upper class women believed it was their Christian duty to help the poor by providing positive moral role models. Not everybody was getting rich. The new wealthy class, although more prominent, larger, and richer than any class in American history, was still rather small.
Introduction Social Darwinismterm coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans, like animals and plants, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in "survival of the fittest.
Some social Darwinists argue that governments should not interfere with human competition by attempting to regulate the economy or cure social ills such as poverty.
Instead, they advocate a laissez-faire political and economic system that favors competition and self-interest in social and business affairs. Social Darwinists typically deny that they advocate a "law of the jungle.
The term social Darwinist is applied loosely to anyone who interprets human society primarily in terms of biology, struggle, competition, or natural law a philosophy based on what are considered the permanent characteristics of human nature.
Social Darwinism characterizes a variety of past and present social policies and theories, from attempts to reduce the power of government to theories exploring the biological causes of human behavior. Many people believe that the concept of social Darwinism explains the philosophical rationalization behind racism, imperialism, and capitalism.
Social Darwinism. I. Introduction. including steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, In the United States, historian John Fiske and naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan drew from the principles of social Darwinism to advocate foreign expansion and . Roughly fifty years later, Richard Hofstadter devoted an entire chapter of Social Darwinism in American Thought () to Spencer, arguing that Spencer’s unfortunate vogue in late nineteenth-century America inspired Andrew Carnegie and William Graham Sumner’s visions of unbridled and unrepentant capitalism. For Hofstadter, Spencer . Social Darwinism. I. Introduction. including steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, In the United States, historian John Fiske and naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan drew from the principles of social Darwinism to advocate foreign expansion and the creation of a strong military.
The term has negative implications for most people because they consider it a rejection of compassion and social responsibility.
Origins Social Darwinism originated in Britain during the second half of the 19th century. Darwin did not address human evolution in his most famous study, On the Origin of Specieswhich focused on the evolution of plants and animals. He applied his theories of natural selection specifically to people in The Descent of Mana work that critics interpreted as justifying cruel social policies at home and imperialism abroad.
The Englishman most associated with early social Darwinism, however, was sociologist Herbert Spencer. Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" to describe the outcome of competition between social groups. In Social Statics and other works, Spencer argued that through competition social evolution would automatically produce prosperity and personal liberty unparalleled in human history.
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 The most prominent American social Darwinist of the s 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. Hereditarianism Studies of heredity contributed another variety of social Darwinism in the late 19th century.
In Hereditary GeniusSir Francis Galton, a British scientist and Darwin's cousin, argued that biological inheritance is far more important than environment in determining character and intelligence.
This theory, known as hereditarianism, met considerable resistance, especially in the United States. Sociologists and biologists who criticized hereditarianism believed that changes in the environment could produce physical changes in the individual that would be passed on to future generations, a theory proposed by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the early 19th century.
Afterhereditarianism gained increasing support, due in part to the work of German biologist August Weismann.
Weismann reemphasized the role of natural selection by arguing that a person's characteristics are determined genetically at conception. The Struggle School Toward the end of the 19th century, another strain of social Darwinism was developed by supporters of the struggle school of sociology.
English journalist Walter Bagehot expressed the fundamental ideas of the struggle school in Physics and Politicsa book that describes the historical evolution of social groups into nations. Bagehot argued that these nations evolved principally by succeeding in conflicts with other groups.
For many political scientists, sociologists, and military strategists, this strain of social Darwinism justified overseas expansion by nations imperialism during the s. In the United States, historian John Fiske and naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan drew from the principles of social Darwinism to advocate foreign expansion and the creation of a strong military.
Reform Darwinism Aftersocial reformers used Darwinism to advocate a stronger role for government and the introduction of various social policies.
This movement became known as reform Darwinism. Reform Darwinists argued that human beings need new ideas and institutions as they adapt to changing conditions.Social Darwinism.
I. Introduction. including steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, In the United States, historian John Fiske and naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan drew from the principles of social Darwinism to advocate foreign expansion and the creation of a strong military.
Andrew Carnegie"> ^Andrew Carnegie^ (), one of the great financial giants of his era, published an essay titled The Gospel of Wealth in , in which he argued that the accumulation of wealth was beneficial to society and the government should take no action to impede it.
Carnegie believed the rich were trustees of their money, holding it until proper public uses could be discovered. Roughly fifty years later, Richard Hofstadter devoted an entire chapter of Social Darwinism in American Thought () to Spencer, arguing that Spencer’s unfortunate vogue in late nineteenth-century America inspired Andrew Carnegie and William Graham Sumner’s visions of unbridled and unrepentant capitalism.
For Hofstadter, Spencer .
Social Darwinism At the end of the 19th century, Social Darwinism was promoted and included the various ideologies based on a concept that competition among all individuals, groups, nations, or ideas was the framework of social evolution in human societies.
Social Darwinism is the application of Darwin’s theory of natural selection to society- specifically in economics and business in America.
Social Darwinism was embraced by the nation’s wealthy upper class in the late 19th century to justify their accumulation of wealth and power. Why might Andrew CArnegie support the principles of Social Darwinism? He succeeded by eliminating most of his competitiors. Which statement about the Social Gospel movement is TRUE?