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HIS 211 - U.S. History: Reconstruction to the Present - Textbook

Assignment: Social Darwinism

Why is it that in every society some are successful and other are not?  Some become fabulously rich, some do well, some do “ok,” and some just can’t get ahead? William Graham Sumner suggest one reason: Social Darwinism. Read this brief excerpt from “William Graham Sumner on Social Darwinism.” (see link below)

After reading, answer the following in a short paragraph for each:

  1. What exactly is Social Darwinism? Explain it by using or making up some kind of example of the concept.
  2. How does Sumner explain the existence of poverty and social inequality (what is his answer to my question about some succeeding and others failing)?

Be sure to use specific evidence from the document in support of your answer.


CC Licensed content, original

  • Social Darwinism Assignment. Authored by: Chris Thomas. Provided by: Reynolds Community College. LicenseCC BY: Attribution