Social Darwinism in the United States

Social Darwinism in the United States
Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP

In 1853, Joseph-Arthur, Comte de Gobineau published a tract entitled “Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races”, in which he argued that “history springs only from contact with the white races” and that miscegenation with “commoners” as well as with “yellow” and “black” races leads to the “demise of civilization”. Widely credited with popularizing the concept of the Aryan master race, Gobineau’s thoughts found purchase among pro-slavery Americans and, eventually, became an ideological cornerstone for the American Breeder’s Association, the American Eugenics Society and the Nazi party. His royalist assertions of elite white “bloodlines” have been enduringly influential in the United States.

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