Their numbers have grown exponentially over the past century and now stand at hundreds of thousands nationwide. Yet the dissident English colonists who framed the United States Constitution would have seen this modern 'police state' as alien to their foremost principles.
Early proponents Eugenics supporters hold signs criticizing various "genetically inferior" groups. Wall StreetNew York, c. The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galtonwhich originated in the s. Galton studied the upper classes of Britain, and arrived at the conclusion that their social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.
They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples; supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws ; and supported the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and "immoral".
Du BoisThomas Wyatt Turnerand many academics at Tuskegee UniversityHoward Universityand Hampton University ; however, they believed the best blacks were as good as the best whites and "The Talented Tenth" of all races should mix.
Du Bois believed "only fit blacks should procreate to eradicate the race's heritage of moral iniquity. Davenportusing money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution.
As late as the s, the ERO was one of the leading organizations in the American eugenics movement. Eugenicists such as Davenport, the psychologist Henry H. GoddardHarry H. Laughlinand the conservationist Madison Grant all well respected in their time began to lobby for various solutions to the problem of the "unfit".
Davenport favored immigration restriction and sterilization as primary methods; Goddard favored segregation in his The Kallikak Family ; Grant favored all of the above and more, even entertaining the idea of extermination. The American Breeder's Association was the first eugenic body in the U.
The ABA was formed specifically to "investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood. The National Federation of Women's Clubs, the Woman's Christian Temperance Unionand the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organization that at some point lobbied for eugenic reforms.
Margaret Sanger saw birth control as a means to prevent unwanted children from being born into a disadvantaged life, and incorporated the language of eugenics to advance the movement. She advocated sterilization in cases where the subject was unable to use birth control.
Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region. Public acceptance in the U. Almost 19 million people attended the Panama—Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, open for 10 months from 20 February to 4 December A subject that received a large amount of time and space was that of the developments concerning health and disease, particularly the areas of tropical medicine and race betterment tropical medicine being the combined study of bacteriologyparasitology and entomology while racial betterment being the promotion of eugenic studies.
Having these areas so closely intertwined, it seemed that they were both categorized in the main theme of the fair, the advancement of civilization. Thus in the public eye, the seemingly contradictory[ clarification needed ] areas of study were both represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.
Eight years later Pennsylvania 's state legislators passed a sterilization bill that was vetoed by the governor. Indiana became the first state to enact sterilization legislation in followed closely by Washington and California in Sterilization rates across the country were relatively low California being the sole exception until the Supreme Court case Buck v.
Bell which legitimized the forced sterilization of patients at a Virginia home for the mentally retarded. The number of sterilizations performed per year increased until another Supreme Court case, Skinner v.
Oklahoma, complicated the legal situation by ruling against sterilization of criminals if the equal protection clause of the constitution was violated.
That is, if sterilization was to be performed, then it could not exempt white-collar criminals. Board of Public Welfare. The Immigration Restriction League was the first American entity associated officially with eugenics. Founded in by three recent Harvard University graduates, the League sought to bar what it considered inferior races from entering America and diluting what it saw as the superior American racial stock upper class Northerners of Anglo-Saxon heritage.
They felt that social and sexual involvement with these less-evolved and less-civilized races would pose a biological threat to the American population.
The League lobbied for a literacy test for immigrants, based on the belief that literacy rates were low among "inferior races". Literacy test bills were vetoed by Presidents inand ; eventually, President Wilson's second veto was overruled by Congress in Membership in the League included: Webber and Friedrich Woods.
Hall, formalized the committee's already strong relationship with the Immigration Restriction League. Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm.
Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future. During the early 20th century, the United States and Canada began to receive far higher numbers of Southern and Eastern European immigrants.
Influential eugenicists like Lothrop Stoddard and Harry Laughlin who was appointed as an expert witness for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in presented arguments they would pollute the national gene pool if their numbers went unrestricted.Try Our Friends At: The Essay Store.
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