Victorian Era Anthropology Essay

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The Victorian era was a period of prosperity and knowledge, especially in the social sciences. It was the start of both biological and social scientific exploration in places such as Britain, France, and the United Sates. After the introduction of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution it marked beginning of scientific application in the anthropological study. Due to this increase on popularity, the study of anthropology started to interest the minds of the common man, instead of just missionaries, and to show that, Britain started The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in 1871. However, this era also created the idea of western superiority between the races. Although the Victorian era helped shape anthropology today, its principles…show more content…
His published work, The Races of Man, agues that race cannot be changed with interbreeding because “when they accidently appear they soon cease to be, for they are either non productive or one or other of the pure breeds speedily predominates, and the weaker disappears” (Knox 52). To Knox, race, and to an extent their mental capabilities, was a genetic occurrence that was predestined to a person’s location. So when a group of individuals colonize in another place and interbred, the people will surely fail because heredity is a permanent force that could not be changed through…show more content…
By the nineteenth century Western nations, especially Great Britain, had already set up colonies all over the globe greatly affecting the natives and their cultures. American Anthropologist Ruth Benedict saw the racial discrimination due to westernization in the book Patterns of Culture. This work was written decades after the Victorian era and it shows how much this has changed. After colonization, natives were killed, moved around, and “they have seen their religion, their economic system, their marriage prohibitions, go down before the white man 's” (Benedict 20). This gave Europeans a sense of superiority with their race because it can mold their beliefs into thinking that, because changed and got rid of many of the natives culture, they were the stronger
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