Social Darwinism And The Gilded Age Essay

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Social Darwinism and the Gilded Age The concept of Social Darwinism and the Gilded Age period are interrelated because they determine the same time in the history of the United States. At the end of XIX century, the great popularity acquired the theory of Charles Darwin's natural selection. This theory justified social inequality by "survival of the fittest". The ideas of social Darwinism were combined with the notions of a free market and Laissez-faire policy. Although the theory of social Darwinism was not accepted in America by everybody, it became hugely popular. In opposition to it, the idea of helping the poor was spread as well. The social Darwinism was closely connected with the economic life of American society.…show more content…
Thus, some advocated for the rights of poor citizens, while others for the rich. For example, William Graham Sumner who strongly believed that the best man able to win the struggle for existence is an American businessman. Fortunately, a significant majority of American businessmen rejected Sumner's ideas. Instead, these entrepreneurs gave millions of dollars to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art galleries, parks, and other useful facilities. In such a way they contributed to the Gilded Age, which was signed by rapid economic and population growth. Manifest Destiny and Wounded Knee The Wounded Knee accident which took place in South Dakota in 1890 to a certain extent was a result of Manifested Destiny ideology which determined the reasons of all conquests provided by the United States. The Manifest Destiny was the doctrine, which expressed the belief that the United States had the destination to expand from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, and defended or justified other territorial annexation. The proponents of the doctrine believed that expansion is not only good but was also convinced that it is intended to them from above. This phrase was a political slogan that Democrats used during 1845-1855 years. And it was rejected by the Liberals and Republicans of that period. The Manifested Destiny was an excuse for expansion to the west, or, according to some interpretations, an ideology that helped to propel this
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