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Social Darwinism History Social Darwinism and its use to Justify Business Practices of the 19th and 20th century Thesis The need for a justification of enormous wealth of a few and an unimaginable poverty of millions was as many tend to believe fulfilled by the emergence of a theory called Social Darwinism which on one hand was regarded as a primary defense of business activities and on the other was nothing more than a myth I Definition and origin of Social Darwinism A Contribution of Charles Darwin 1 Natural selection 2 Survival of the fittest B Derivation of Social Darwinism C First Social Darwinists 1 Herbert Spencer 2 William Graham Sumner II Changes in American Society A Growth of the industry B Myth of the self made man 1 John D Rockefeller 2 Andrew Carnegie III Overemphasis on Social Darwinism A Rarely used by entrepreneurs B Relied on Christian and other arguments During the late 19th and early 20th century the United States experienced a growth of industry like it has never seen before New patents and inventions flourished New products flooded the market While thousands of poor hungry and unemployed crowded the streets the rich were busy displaying their enormous wealth Even though the need for reform was overwhelming for the majority of Americans nothing was being done The big bosses were able to buy off the politicians and persuade them to vote in their favor While the rich were getting richer and the poor getting poorer the politicians watched The need for a justification of the enormous wealth of a few and an unimaginable poverty of millions was as many tended to believe fulfilled by the emergence of a theory called Social Darwinism which on one hand was regarded as a primary defense of business activities and on the other was nothing
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