Schmidt's essay first appeared in English in Popular Science in March However, the use of the term was very rare—at least in the English-speaking world Hodgson,  —until the American historian Richard Hofstadter published his influential Social Darwinism in American Thought during World War II.
Hypotheses of social evolution and cultural evolution were common in Europe. The Enlightenment thinkers who preceded Darwin, such as Hegel , often argued that societies progressed through stages of increasing development. Earlier thinkers also emphasized conflict as an inherent feature of social life. Thomas Hobbes 's 17th century portrayal of the state of nature seems analogous to the competition for natural resources described by Darwin.
Social Darwinism is distinct from other theories of social change because of the way it draws Darwin's distinctive ideas from the field of biology into social studies. Darwin, unlike Hobbes, believed that this struggle for natural resources allowed individuals with certain physical and mental traits to succeed more frequently than others, and that these traits accumulated in the population over time, which under certain conditions could lead to the descendants being so different that they would be defined as a new species.
However, Darwin felt that "social instincts " such as "sympathy" and " moral sentiments " also evolved through natural selection, and that these resulted in the strengthening of societies in which they occurred, so much so that he wrote about it in Descent of Man:.
The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probable—namely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man.
For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them. Spencer proved to be a popular figure in the s primarily because his application of evolution to areas of human endeavor promoted an optimistic view of the future as inevitably becoming better. In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age such as Edward L.
Burgess , and others developed theories of social evolution as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer. In , Sumner published a highly influential pamphlet entitled "What Social Classes Owe to Each Other", in which he insisted that the social classes owe each other nothing, synthesizing Darwin's findings with free enterprise Capitalism for his justification.
Sumner also believed that the best equipped to win the struggle for existence was the American businessman, and concluded that taxes and regulations serve as dangers to his survival.
This pamphlet makes no mention of Darwinism, and only refers to Darwin in a statement on the meaning of liberty, that "There never has been any man, from the primitive barbarian up to a Humboldt or a Darwin, who could do as he had a mind to. Sumner never fully embraced Darwinian ideas, and some contemporary historians do not believe that Sumner ever actually believed in social Darwinism. Instead they gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art institutes, parks and many other institutions.
Andrew Carnegie , who admired Spencer, was the leading philanthropist in the world — , and a major leader against imperialism and warfare. Wells was heavily influenced by Darwinist thoughts, and novelist Jack London wrote stories of survival that incorporated his views on social Darwinism. Social Darwinism has influenced political, public health and social movements in Japan since the late 19th and early 20th century. Social Darwinism was originally brought to Japan through the works of Francis Galton and Ernst Haeckel as well as United States, British and French Lamarkian eugenic written studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
As Japan sought to close ranks with the west, this practice was adopted wholesale along with colonialism and its justifications. Social Darwinism was formally introduced to China through the translation by Yan Fu of Huxley's Evolution and Ethics , in the course of an extensive series of translations of influential Western thought. He understood Spencer's sociology as "not merely analytical and descriptive, but prescriptive as well", and saw Spencer building on Darwin, whom Yan summarized thus:.
By the s, social Darwinism found expression in the promotion of eugenics by the Chinese sociologist Pan Guangdan. When Chiang Kai-shek started the New Life movement in , he. Social evolution theories in Germany gained large popularity in the s and had a strong antiestablishment connotation first. Social Darwinism allowed to counter the connection of Thron und Altar , the intertwined establishment of clergy and nobility and provided as well the idea of progressive change and evolution of society as a whole.
Ernst Haeckel propagated both Darwinism as a part of natural history and as a suitable base for a modern Weltanschauung , a world view based on scientific reasoning in his Monistenbund. Friedrich von Hellwald had a strong role in popularizing it in Austria. Darwin's work served as a catalyst to popularize evolutionary thinking. A sort of aristocratic turn, the use of the struggle for life as base of social darwinism sensu stricto came up after with Alexander Tille s work Entwicklungsethik ethics of evolution which asked to move from Darwin till Nietzsche.
Further interpretations moved to ideologies propagating a racist and radical elbow society and provided ground for the later radical versions of social Darwinism. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cultural elitism Cultural evolution Cultural selection theory Environmental racism. Constructs such as ibid. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references quick guide , or an abbreviated title. November Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Journal of the History of Ideas. What if the orbit of Darwinism should be a little too circular? Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. If anyone wants to go anywhere in life or be someone they're going to have to work for it. Another reason for believing in social Darwinism is look at the extinct animals, people came along the way, and killed them off because the people were the stronger of the two.
So Darwin's theory that the stronger will survive, proves to be true once again. These would be some examples of why I believe in Social Darwinism. The theory of natural selection does adhere to the principals of Darwin's theory. Darwin believed that the stronger would live on by adapting to the environment around them while the weaker would just eventually die off. The stronger would adapt while giving them time to reproduce into more organisms, or animals.
If specie was to live on, some others forms may come of it. From reproduction, alterations may be made naturally. Social Darwinism can be shown through history. Many leaders of the world and important persons that changed the world's history have used Darwin's theory. The idea of racial supremacy and the survival of the fittest race, Darwinism reached its zenith with the national socialist party of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler was an evolutionist. This dictator believed at one point that everyone should be what he considered to be "perfect.
He thought of them as better people, he wanted the others, including the Jewish to die off. Karl Marx was a great thinker that was concerned with the human freedom. Capitalism was able to perpetuate the illusion of freedom. He believed that all human beings enter into a certain productive relation that forms their life hunting, gathering food, and certain economic foundations this makes the human being stronger and gives a rise to a form of social consciousness. The idea of natural selection was taken a step farther by Nietzsche.
He suggested that welfare, eugenics, and merciless extinction of inferior race was appropriate. Friedrich Nietzsche later went insane.
Josiah Strong believed that the Anglo-Saxon race will out number all other civilized races of the earth. I personally don't believe that this would happen due to the earth becoming more equal every day. Propagandist movements such as the Pan-German League and the German Colonial League churned out propaganda to influence the German people and the Kaiser, that Germany would become a second rate power if she did not make imperialistic actions. Britain on the other hand also other significant powers such as France and Russia felt threatened by the rise of this challenging and aggravated nation.
Where the large powers were not concerned, the colonies were feeling strangled and also felt resentment towards their over-lords. These ill feelings left Europe in two rival parties, contending for European and world dominance. It also lead to such events as the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis and the Agadir incident. All of the above factors lead to the alarming military build up and mobilisation of the European powers. The nations were now ready to expand their navies, armies, and prepare to engage in war.
Germany and Britain proved to be the major competitors in the arms race, each intensifying their fighting machines to a phenomenal level.
Social Darwinism had played its part in the initial aggravation of these opponent nations, by claiming that life was a competition for supremacy and survival of existence. Nations attempted rapid take-over of foreign lands to obtain the largest of empires.
They then endeavoured to have the most prevailing armed forces to be the strongest and most fervent and capable of war. Social Darwinism created hatred and jealousy between and within nations, initiating divisions and thus, was perhaps a key factor in laying the foundations for the First World War.
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Social Darwinism is a theory made by Charles Darwin. It stated that, basically, it was survival of the fittest. The weak diminished and eventually all died, and the strong got more power and continued to grow.
Social Darwinism is a concept that can be applied to both the natural world and the society of humans that reside on Earth. This concept can be best described as the survival of the fittest theory. Those who are the strong will go on to pursue life and leave the weak behind. Darwinism has come in 3/5(5). Effects of Social Darwinism Essay Words | 12 Pages. 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 .
Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! Jude the Obscure and Social Darwinism Essay Words | 4 Pages Jude the Obscure and Social Darwinism Jude the Obscure is indeed a lesson in cruelty and despair; the inevitable by-products of Social Darwinism.