Social Darwinism: The Theory of Evolution Applied to Human Society
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Social Darwinism was the application of Charles Darwin`s scientific theories of evolution and natural selection to contemporary social development. In nature, only the fittest survived—so too in the marketplace. This form of justification was enthusiastically adopted by many American businessmen as scientific proof of their superiority.
Leading proponents of Social Darwinism included the following:
Spencer was widely popular among American capitalist leaders, but held a much smaller following in his homeland.
In 1907, Sumner published his most influential book, Folkways, in which he argued that customs and mores were the most powerful influences on human behavior, even when irrational. He concluded that all forms of social reform were futile and misguided.
Sumner`s views contrasted sharply with those of the advocates of the Social Gospel.
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Social Darwinism in American Thought by Richard Hofstadter.
Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers ov...