APUSH Qs Pages 592-598

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Last updated: April 26, 2019

Natural Selection
A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals.

How did the ideas of scientists and social scientists reflect events they saw happening around them?
Charles Darwin believed in the theories of natural selection and social darwinism, in which organisms born genetically superior would survive and thrive longer than weaker organisms.

Sumner applied Darwin’s ideas to people and intellectuals revolted against Sumner because of this. Eugenics also developed, which were restrictive reproductive laws, sterilizing genetically “unfit” people.

Social Darwinism
Survival of the fittest.

Eugenics
Reproductive laws based on the science of human breeding. Ex: targeted mentally deficient people and proposed to sterilize the “unfit”, including those of insane asylums or mentally disabled.

Realism
Life in realist terms, they rejected the happy endings and focused on struggles and trials that occurred in life.

Naturalism
Stephen Crane and Jack London created this term picturing the world, they said human beings were not rational shapers of their own destinies as blind victims of forces beyond their control– including their own subconscious impulses.

Modernism
First great literary and artistic movement of the 20th century, lead by realist and naturalist writers who rejected traditional and conventional writing. Modernists focused on the subconscious and primitive mind.

What effect did technology and scientific ideas have on literature and the arts?
Scientific ideas of realism, naturalism and modernism affected literature. Realist authors viewed life in black and white and the wrote about the struggles and trials humans faced, naturalist authors believed humans had no control over their own destinies, and modernists rejected traditional writing and focused on the subconscious mind. Technology influenced aesthetics, and painters developed their own form of realism.

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