Elements Of The Eugenics Movement

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Elements of the American Eugenics movement were models for the Nazis, whose radical interpretation of the movement lead to the Holocaust (open). Eugenics is simply the controlled reproduction of individuals with “good” genes and the discouraging of those who have “bad” genes (Open). Many Eugenicists lobbied for social legislation to keep racial and ethnic groups segregated; to restrict immigration and sterilizing those who are “genetically inept” (Open). Eugenic ideology was deeply embedded in American popular culture during the 1920s and 1930s (Selden). The proponents of Eugenics were the best and brightest of civic reforms and professional leaders (Platt). In order to understand why the Eugenics movement gained a strong following during…show more content…
Some of the wealthy supporters were Madison Grant and David Starr Jordan; also a group of other leading scholars and clergyman (Schrag). This group of men were deeply invested in the betterment movement which mission was “To create a new and superior race through Eugenics, or Personal and public hygiene and Eugenics, or Race Hygiene…” (Schrag). Theodore Roosevelt praised Madison Grant’s book Passing the Great Race, which was about eugenics (Marks). In 1906, John Harvey Kellogg created the Race to Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan (Selden). Many Eugenicists had some background in agriculture (Carlson). Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin, both ran the Eugenics Record Office, met through their shared enthusiasm for chicken breeding (Carlson). Both gentlemen were active in the Eugenics aspect of the American Breeder’s Association (Carlson). Medicine encouraged the eugenics movement (Carlson). Anton Ochsner and Harry Sharp, both medical professionals, were convinced that social failure was a medical issue (Carlson). Also the famed Italian Criminologist and doctor Cesare Lombroso assisted the popularization the image of an innate criminal type that was thought to be reversion or atavism of a bestial ancestor of humanity (Carlson). The German Physician Rudolph Virehow, advocated programs to deal with disease prevention on a large

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