Examples Of Social Darwinism

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Herbert Spencer was an English sociologist who lived during the age of a new form of imperialism that swept throughout Europe. Although Spencer himself was not directly nor physically involved in these new imperialistic ways, he did author the most standout narrative for legitimizing these European imperialists: ‘Social Darwinism’. The European upper class in the 1870’s sought to extend both its economic and political power beyond their shores; and they employed this ‘Social Darwinism’–the idea of “survival of the fittest” being a natural law–to justify the obvious gap between them and the poor, which was increasing drastically. The thing is, social darwinism was seen to be legitimate scientifically, therefore, holding more validity above …show more content…
King Leopold’s conquest of Africa sprouted from one explorer: Sir Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley’s career as an explorer all started when he was a foreign correspondent for the New York Herald. The Herald’s publisher at the time, James Gordon Bennett, sponsored Stanley to search for the famous English explorer, David Livingstone, who went missing in Africa searching for the source of the Nile River. (page number) The immediate aim of Stanley’s mission to find Livingston was to draft intriguing stories about African exploration for the Herald. In 1872, Stanley successfully found Livingston and wrote a book on his adventure: How I Found Livingstone. This ended up being Stanley’s path to fame as a hero and King Leopold, having followed Stanley’s career in the newspapers, also strived for this same …show more content…
By holding international conferences, Leopold was able to display his rationale for conquest: “Curbing the slave trade, moral uplift, and the advancement of science” (42). First off, Leopold put a big emphasis on him wanting to curb the slave trade by protecting the natives from Arab slavers. Since slavery had been abolished, Leopold knew that Europeans were on a moral campaign to stop these Arab slave traders from continuing their practices so he used this as one of his false claims for colonizing. (page number chapter 2) On top of that, the Europeans also saw Africans as uncivilized and needy of Christianity to reverse them from their “backwards” ways of living. Leopold jumped on that by also cascading the lie that he was bringing culture to these Africans by spreading Christianity, leading them to be similar to the normal, white Europeans. Lastly, Leopold illustrated his colonization as a “scientific” exploration. (chapter 4 pg #) At the time, most of Europe was freshly out of their industrial revolution which brought about new knowledge and technology. Leopold wanted to make it seem as if he would be exporting this new knowledge and technology to these uncivilized, “backward” African natives. Introducing new western medicine, railways, and steamboats (all of

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