DARWINISM, SOCIAL DARWINISM, IMPERIALISM & RACISM
Main Question: How did Darwinism, Social Darwinism and Imperialism become related ideologies by the end of the 19th century?
Instructions: You will write a 750 – 1000 words essay paragraph essay on the question above.
Your task is to show the connection between the ideologies. This is a rather important essay in that it sets up the entire 20th century --- a century of massive social and intellectual change, warfare and genocide.
Remember, that an essay must have:
a) An introduction which establishes the problem, states a thesis and presents a general organizational plan. b) A number of body paragraphs which present the evidence and arguments to support the thesis c) A conclusion which reviews the evidence and arguments and finishes with a concluding statement or two that both reflects the thesis and offers some reference to the essay’s overall historical significance.
By the end of the 19th century, the theory of Darwinism, Social Darwinism, and imperialism all became related ideologies due to social changes which caused people to be more open-minded to new things which were essential to the success of these theories. These theories were all interwoven so people think of them as related ideologies.
Darwinism has the idea that species of animals and by implication the human species, were not special creations of God, but evolved from common ancestors through long process of gradual change. He published his finding in his book “The origins of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle of life”. This theory suggested the life was a constant struggle for existence which states that through natural selection, some survived and others did not, and those that survived could develop into a new species. This theory challenged Newtonian and Biblical picture of a static universe because he suggested that nature was not necessarily benign. Darwin thought that nature was neutral and that it’s natural to struggle. This theory suggested that higher species emerged from lower species. Darwinism and Social Darwinism are thought to be related theory because social Darwinism was adopted by Herbert Spencer who coined the term “survival of the fittest” who was one of Darwin’s contemporaries and became associated with Darwin’s ideas. Darwin just used the term coined by Herbert with his theories. These two theories are also similar in the way that they help solve political, social and economic issues. Darwinism relates to social Darwinism because the application of Darwinism ideas to human affairs is called Darwinism. There is also another connection being Herbert Spencer who was an important social Darwinist but he had also been an evolutionist before Darwin published his book. Darwinism is considered a related idea to the imperialism because of the belief that the stronger race would survive while the weaker would die off. Many imperialist thought that a country that has been conquered was weaker and needed help so the greater country could force its ideals and culture upon the weaker one to make it stronger.
One major influence for Darwin was a book called The essay on population by Thomas Malthus which asserted that nature is not benign and that progress was not inevitable. He believed that increase in population will outrun the capacity to increase food and supplies which would doom human beings to a wretched existence. He says that food increases arithmetically while population increased geometrically. This law suggested that population growth was the suffering which would increase despite political and social improvement. Malthus and Marx both believed in scarcity and struggle which Darwin used for his theory for the idea of struggle for survival in the