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Social Darwinism is the belief that the fittest or strongest among individuals, groups, or nations should survive and flourish, while the weak or unfit should be allowed to perish. This view was advocated by Herbert Spencer, a British sociologist who attempted to apply Charles Darwin's theory of biological evolution to the development of human societies. Social Darwinism became popular in the late Victorian era in England, the United States, and elsewhere. Another social interpretation of Darwin's biological views was promoted by Francis Galton. His view and its theoretical offshoot, later known as eugenics, have also been associated with social Darwinism. This entry first reviews Spencer's and Galton's views on developments of human faculties and human societies and then describes the trajectory that social Darwinism took ...

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