Social Darwinism and Race Superiority In The West Essay

Social Darwinism and Race Superiority In The West Essay

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Social Darwinism was a set of theories developed by various people during the 19th century. It was the adaptation of Darwin theory of evolution applied to human social behavior and ability to survive compared to other human beings. It can now easily be seen that these theories could be used to justify racial discrimination and they have been used in this way throughout history. This misconception of Darwin’s theories popularized by various academics in the west gave western nations to treat other nations badly. People like French man Joseph Gobineau had already come up with race supremacy ideas before Darwin’s theories of evolution had started to become a popular idea. He took his ideas from what he was seeing around him at the time not looking at other factors as to why people from these other races had not succeeded in the same way his own race had. Similar ideas again were backed up in the French translation of Darwin’s The Origin of Species as an introduction added by the translator Clemence Royer applied some of Darwin’s ideas to the different human races. Herbert Spencer probably the most popular Social Darwinists believed that the fight between races was inevitable and time would tell who came out on top. These race supremacy ideas were put into use by colonial Britain which showed that many ‘well educated’ and like wise people in the west believed that social evolution had made them a more advanced race.

Most people believe that Social Darwinism is a term that can only be applied to people’s race, and for most well known social Darwinism theories this is true. The basis of these theories is always revolved around the term survival of the fittest. Darwin works where to do with animals and how animal species have ada...


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...aust. He saw his race as superior because of its ability to concur not its strength to survive. Herbert Spencer also believed that human advancement was taking from, or destroying other less advanced human races. Examples of this are the colonisation of Australia and India by the British in which they had no problem treating the people of these countries in a bad way. Colonial Britain could justify this racism with Social Darwinism on the basis that they had the power to take over therefore had the right. These ideas were popular in the west in the 19th century because it was a time of much colonisation and Social Darwinism justified the mistreatment of others. Social Darwinism was basically an excuse for racism and although based very roughly around Darwin’s Origin of Species it was used putting the person writing as the superior subject, never in a scientific way.

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