Posted: March 13th, 2023
Industrialization brought great wealth to America, but the price was quite high. The growing extremes of poverty and wealth that were being exhibited at the end of the 19th century, caused some to seek ways to make possible a just and humane society, while others sought justification for the emerging social order. The promise of success was made, promoting the idea that America was the land of opportunity and that hard work led to success. Social Darwinism was used to provide a scientific explanation for why some acquired great wealth while others barely survived.
How would you respond to someone who presents you with the arguments proposed by Social Darwinists to explain the success or failures of individuals in the society? What evidence would you use to support your position? For this discussion, you must first identify and present their arguments, and then your counterargument. As you collect your information for this discussion you should keep in mind the opportunities that were available to many, but also the climate of racism that permeated parts of the American society and the legalized discrimination that existed.
Social Darwinism is a belief that emerged during the late 19th century that attempted to apply the principles of natural selection and survival of the fittest to human society. Social Darwinists argued that individuals who succeeded in society did so because they possessed inherent qualities such as intelligence, ambition, and hard work, while those who failed were inherently inferior.
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