The Noble Savage Analysis

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Imbedded deep in this medieval tradition are the foundations of modern race thought, as these ideas would be built upon, evolved, and taken as fact well into today’s time. While many were first pronounced in the Enlightenment and the 19th century, the initial seed can be found in the works of St. Augustine, St. Jerome, Thomas Aquinas, and others. Concepts like the “Noble Savage” “the natural hierarchy of races” and “Social Darwinism” can all trace their roots back to the Middle Ages. The Noble Savage is essentially the philosophy of St. Augustine updated to illustrate the worthiness of the less-advanced races, and to promote missionary work. In fact, St. Augustine’s writings are the basis of much of missionary philosophy, as he promoted the…show more content…
Natural selection had obviously favored the white race to be dominant, and there was nothing to be done about it. Social Darwinism, while still embedded in the same framework of medieval Christian thought, does take a stance as an almost outright rejection of theology as the explanation of racial differences. There were, although, some Social Darwinist propaganda and texts that still put the white Christian man at the very top, and the atheists or the agnostics slightly farther down the chain, showing that not all traces of religion had disappeared from 19th century racial…show more content…
Crucial medieval thinkers, cartographers, and moralists all helped to spread their views on these imaginary and fantastical peoples. Through artifacts like the Hereford map, Western thought was maintained, researched, and prospered, and while many of the races turned out to be based on myths and legends, the way those races were talked about would eventually mirror and become the way actual differences in race were handled. Unfortunately, this meant that the same issues of lineage and culture resulted in the white Christian Europeans asserting their dominance over all other races. The troubling manner in which they did so, labeling some races as the descendants of the cursed biblical figures Cain and Ham and questioning whether they had the ability to reason and their humanity, continued to define racial theory up to and including modern

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