The Social Impact of the American Eugenics Movement
Keywords:eugenics, American eugenics movement, negative eugenics, the feebleminded, new immigrants
This paper explores the American eugenics movement and the manifestation of its ideas in society. American
eugenics thought is mainly characterized by its strong focus on the elimination of socially undesirable individuals. The two main targets of American eugenics, the feebleminded and new immigrants, are discussed in this text, with the main focus legally implemented measures such as forced sterilization and restrictions on immigration, along with the legacy of these actions. This examination of American eugenics points out a clear continuity with Nazi ideology, an association which in the end also contributed to the fall of the official American eugenics movement. To explore the theoretical framework of the movement, works by Charles Davenport and Madison Grant are examined.
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