Social Darwinism: Past and Present

Essay by someone7663663High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2006

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Social Darwinism is the idea that society evolves from a primitive to complex civilization. This is because those that are fit to survive live and those who are not fit to survive die, leaving only the fit. Society has no responsibility to help the weak because to help them would allow them to survive, which would interfere with evolution and weaken society. This idea of Social Darwinism was created by Herbert Spencer, by applying the biological concepts of Charles Darwin to society. Social Darwinism was used to justify many events which would be viewed as immoral today. During the Industrial Age, the government practiced the idea of Social Darwinism and was reluctant to provide support for those who were not capable of survival. Social Darwinism was the source for the lack of support by the government towards society's problems.

During the dawn of the Industrial Revolution throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, there was an increase in the amount of corporations and factories being built in the United States.

This was because of a great amount of new technology that was being created, such as the control of electricity, which increased the efficiency to get things done. This brought a wide variety of consumer goods and millions of additional jobs. Factories were in desperate need for employees who would work for very low wages to make this merchandise. Because there was an increase in the number of jobs available, people moved away from farms and towards cities. This brought a great number of people to the cities, however, cities had difficulty accommodating the increased numbers of people (Patterns of Urbanization). At that time, buildings could not extend above five stories due to the lacking elevator technology and the lack of ability to supply water above that height.