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Authors

Steven J. Gold

Orginal Publication Date

1991

Journal Title

Explorations in Sights and Sounds

Volume

11

Issue

ess/vol11/iss1

First Page

18

Last Page

20

Abstract

During the first decades of this century, the theory of eugenics, which applied social Darwinism to human beings, was an influential movement. Its major contention was that Northern Europeans were genetically superior to other groups-Southern and Eastern Europeans, Asians, blacks and Jews. Therefore, the presence of these "inferior" groups in the U.S. should be limited, both by constraining the growth of their populations and by restricting their entry into the nation. Rooted in "science," eugenics was embraced by prominent intellectuals of the era, including Harvard psychologist William McDougall and University of Wisconsin sociologist E. A. Ross. The power of this movement is reflected by the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, which virtually eliminated the entry of non-Northern Europeans to the U.S.

Rights

Copyright, ​©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1991

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