Category: 1907

Karl Pearson on ‘race-suicide’ (1907)

Quoted by Collin Wells in 1907: As Karl Pearson has recently said: The great problem is whether limitation has not begun at the wrong end. If a nation is to be strong, there must be wastage; the reckless and diseased must not be in a condition to multiply like the strong and able. At present …

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Eugenics as a Religion and Social Darwinism, Collin Wells

Source: Dr. Collin Wells, “Social Darwinism” a paper presented in 1907, found in The American Journal of Sociology, pages 706-709 Finally, what is the evolutionary value of certain ideals? Let us take individualism, the ideal of democracy, which has tacitly figured in many of the phenomena to which I have already referred. Let us go …

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Child Labor Laws as Eugenics Policy

Source:  Dr. Frank a Fetter, Cornell University, in a discussion of “Western Civilization and the Birth-Rate”, as found in The American Journal of Sociology, 1907, page 619. The paper mentions but one recent social change which tends definitely and positively to reduce the families of the unskilled classes, namely, child-labor legislation. Such laws as these …

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Universal Education a Pre-Requisite for Effective Eugenics Policies

Source: G.W. Cooke, discussing ‘Social Darwinism’  in American Journal of Sociology 12 (March 1907), 714-715. Below the image is OCR scanned text.  If anyone would like to send a cleaned edition, that would be greatly appreciated. I wish to call attention to the fact that natural selection must work in a different manner among men …

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E.A. Ross and the Difference in Races

Source: E.A. Ross, discussing ‘Social Darwinism’  in American Journal of Sociology 12 (March 1907), 715. Strongly attracted as I am by the hopeful and noble views that have been expressed, I cannot but feel that Dr. Wells’s is right.  The theory that races are virtually equal in capacity leads to such monumental follies as lining …

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Sterilization Like Vaccination!

The argument that compulsory sterilization was justified on the same grounds as compulsory vaccination was common, and eventually won Supreme Court Sanction in Buck vs. Bell. Source: “Sterilization: A Progressive Measure?”  In Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring of 1960,  wisconsin-sterilization-progressives-21585 As Dr. T.W. Williams of Milwaukee wrote, the fate of the present [compulsory sterilization] bill …

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Objections to Compulsory Sterilization “are essentially sentimental.”

While eugenics today is castigated as ‘pseudoscience,’ the eugenicists themselves might say that the chief difference between progressives then versus now, is the latter is hindered by ‘sentimentality.’ E.A. Ross, Letter to Charles McCarthy, January 30, 1907.  (As found in Rudolph J. Vecoli’s “Sterilization: A Progressive Measure” in Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring 1960.  LINK: wisconsin-sterilization-progressives-21585 …

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Leon Cole on the Social Body and Our Duty to Future Generations

From The Relation of Philanthropy and Medicine to Race Betterment by Leon J. Cole, University of Wisconsin, at the First Conference for Race Betterment (1914) Among those who have in their treatment of this subject emphasized the importance of the natural selection viewpoint may be mentioned especially Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and Karl Pearson, the …

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