How Did William Graham Sumner Justify Social Darwinism

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HISTORY 15200 - EXAM 1 - Akanksha Tripathy How did William Graham Sumner justify Social Darwinism? How was this ideology used in relation to Gilded Age economics? Social Darwinism is based on the theories of evolution developed by British naturalist Charles Darwin. It is a term coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans, animals and plants, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in "survival of the fittest. The term social Darwinist is applied to anyone who interprets human society primarily in terms of biology, struggle, competition, or natural law. American Social Darwinism was popularized in the United…show more content…
The concept of 'Laissez-faire' economics relied on supply and demand, rather than government intervention, to regulate prices and wages. Sumner believed that the best prepared to win the struggle for survival was the American businessman. And on saying so he determined that taxes and regulations function as dangers to their survival. A majority of American businessmen rejected the theory because it did not think about the good of the less fortunate. Refuting Sumner’s ideologies, the businessmen gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art institutes and parks. What were the main complaints of farmers in this time period? How did they lead to the rise of the Populists? United States experienced a tremendous growth in industrialization in the 1800. Among the Americans left out of the prosperity were the farmers who experienced difficult economic times especially in the southern and western regions. In those regions, farmers worked as tenants and were paid minimum wage because of the sharecropping system. Both white and black tenant farmers in poverty since the owner mostly got all the money from the
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