US History Since 1865
1. What does the concept of Social Darwinism and “Survival of the Fittest” say about our national identity?
A cartoon drawing of an older couple sitting in easy chairs. The husband reading a newspaper asks, “What is social darwinism?” The wife reading a book answers “Survival of the Richests.” (file upload)
(Note: You must first be able to define “social darwinism” and “survival of the fittest.”)
One of the concepts developed during the Industrial Era in the United States was the concept articulated by Andrew Carnegie in his 1889 popular essay The Gospel of Wealth. He explained that “there is no genuine, praiseworthy success in life if you are not honest, truthful, and fair-dealing.”
Was Carnegie’s view the prevailing value of American business during this period in history? Or, was there an alternative definition that justified the ruthless behavior of entrepreneurs who gained their wealth though shady deals and under-handed conspiracies?
Moreover, what does the concept of the ideology of Social Darwinism and “survival of the fittest” say about our national identity? On the one hand, it could represent the commonly held value that hard work and perseverance leads to wealth. It might also suggest, on the other hand, that poverty is a character flaw. What do you think?
2.Reply this answer: ” Social Darwinism says that only the rich survive, and they so so with shady deals and underhanded dealing that involve corruption and greed. If your rich, have friends in high places or you just good at undermining things then you will survive and mmaybe even flourish. Carnegie’s view was not the prevailing value of American business. The prevailing motto was only the rich survive. Many fact will pion this out. One would be how around the order of 35 thousand factory workers died each year because of poor safety regarded for the poor or low man on the totem pole. Another fact that illustrates that the rich didn’t care was the fact they used child workers and women and paid them next to nothing.Another fact is the extremely sub standard housing for the factory workers. Or how a foreman killed several workers during a factor fire because he locked the workers in the factory so they couldn’t take breaks. There was constant bribing to the government officials for one thing or another, most of it was bribing for votes. Hard work and perseverance can still lead to wealth in the America in those days. Of course that is if you were americanized not Irish, African American or native American. Other than that you could get wealthy as long as you were not a minority or old. This concept usually applied to the younger men of America.” Do you agree with this ? why or why not ?
2. Reply this answer: ” By what I understood from Social Darwinism and Survival of the Fittest is basically how people live in society. Well back in the Industrial revolution era, more people moved to the cities to find jobs and be able to walk there. When they worked, they got what they worked for no matter if it was something small, they accepted it when it provided for their families, even if it was a slice of bread to get by. They would work their butts off to support their families even themselves if they didn’t have a family. They would finds any type of work that would get them by, that’s why a lot of them took factory jobs even if it wasn’t what they wanted.
To me, today’s society is being more lazy. There are people that works their butt off today in the job fields but if you really look at it, half of Americans don’t work. The Americans that don’t work are basically getting on these social programs to earn a living instead of going out and getting a job. I understand that some people can’t go to work with a disability, but the people that don’t have a disability, they can easily work. They just want the easy way where everything is handed to them instead of the people that actually work to survive and support their families. That’s why I see our national identity as an American being more lazy compared to back then with people.I just see more and more people living off Welfare, food stamps, etc… and barely any one getting a job now. It’s just like the rich, they don’t need to work because they have tons of money. Also they can get away with almost anything becasue of their money. The wealthy’s behavior is jsut like these social program people, thye think they have it better than anyone else but in reality what will happen to them if this country falls. People may see or think different but this is my own opinion on our identity as an American society.” do you agree with this answer? why or why not ?
4. there is a very famous photograph of young boys as coal breakers by Lewis W. Hine who once said “Photographs may not lie, but liars make photographs.” His work has left us with some of the most powerful images of the late 19th century industrial era. View the sites below, read his biography and then, examine some of his work. You can also see many of his photographs by doing a Google Images search with “Lewis Hines child labor.”
What thoughts come to your mind after viewing his photographs? How would you characterize the period of time in American when he worked as a photographer? If this was the only evidence you had of this period, what would you—the historian—write (or interpret) from these images?
Lewis W. Hine biography
Lewis W Hine (Child labor)
Lewis W. Hine “Social Photography”
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