During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a belief in biological determinism became the basis for the movement known as eugenics. For many, eugenics was seen as a secular religion, providing the modern world with a new, biologically based Ten Commandments. Eugenicists planned to create this better world by controlling and improving the inheritance of society's next generation. Despite this rhetoric of social improvement, 20th-century eugenics was associated with racism and ethnic bias, maintenance of the social status quo, support for the powerful over the powerless, and putting the interests of the native born over those of the newcomer. Before it was rejected as poor science and unacceptable social policy, eugenics was used against the interests of large numbers of Americans and against democracy. ...

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