Explain how the concept of Social Darwinism was used to justify conditions in the 1800s.
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The major condition in the 1800s that Social Darwinism was used to justify was the condition of massive inequality of wealth. Social Darwinism justified this by arguing that the people got the status in life that they deserved.
Social Darwinism held that human society was subject to natural selection (survival of the fittest) just as Darwin said nature was. Social Darwinists argued that those who became rich in human society were the ones who were the most "fit." Those who became poor got that way because they were not "fit." Social Darwinists argued, then, that the massive inequality of wealth that occurred during the "Gilded Age" was a natural consequence of human inequalities. This meant that the government should not try to do anything to reduce inequality since inequality was simply natural.
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