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Scientific Racism And Social Darwinism Of Aboriginal People

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The Aboriginal people for me, were barely spoken about over my years of learning history. What use to be a large population of Australia became a very small percentage over time and I wanted to know why. After studying the topic of Eugenics and observing how it affected this now dying race by separating their mixed race children or “half-casts” from there Aboriginal parents in order to make sure that Australia would become an all white continent, just because they were seen as inferior due to their different distinct physical characteristics (Social Darwinism). This motivated me to find out more about this specific topic.

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There were many different ideas about race which was then placed into two main categories or two different theories; Scientific Racism and Social Darwinism are the two main theories developed. People who studied human behavior, known as social scientists(who developed social Racism) were convinced that the way Natural Scientists categorize animals and plants depending on their specific characteristics was the same way people/humans should be categorized. They then started measure people as well as categorize them according to physical features such as skin tones and the sizes of their skulls. They reached to a conclusion, after creating the different types of races, about each race’s common characteristic that they had established. From what they found, each race has their own distinct characteristic compared to the other races. The other theory, Social Darwinism is all about evolution. To Social Darwinists it showed on Earth by how all types/species of animals are always evolving, some are more advanced than others. This theory was created by Charles Darwin(British scientist). Herbert Spencer (English social scientist) described the theory of Evolution as “survival of the fittest”, this entails that some human beings were at early levels of evolution. This particular theory produced ideas of racial hierarchy, where races , such as Whites, believed they were the superior race compared to the different races like Africans. This allowed them to gain control over who they claim were the inferior races. In Australia, the Aboriginal people were the indigenous people. They were around living on the the land way before the Europeans came. These people would move around as they were hunter-gatherers living on what nature provided for them, they were constantly on the search for clean water, fresh food and favorable climate. Once the British came about, they started chopping down trees and building housing for settlers. Due to settlers cutting down the trees that provided the Aborigines with food, they started to depend on the British settlers(who were unaware the Aboriginal people’s rights and they refused to give them the land back. The British made them on their farms as domestic workers and paid them a very little wage, this led to the Aborigines becoming broke and were easily victims to diseases(such as smallpox). The European people, according to the Pseudo-scientific theory Darwinism, they massively believed such things in the 19th century. The Aborigines were at the “early” stages which could not compete with the Europeans who were “advanced”. The Aboriginal people were not allowed to vote or own dogs and guns. What’s more, intermarriage between a white person and on Aboriginal people had to be specially permitted. However, Aborigines were moved by force to reserves. Now in the 1960s, all the Australian government wanted to do was uniformed, white Australia. The way in which attempted this had very horrific effects on the indigenous community.

At the start of the 20th century, the aborigines were close to being extinct. Although, the half-cast (mixed race of aborigine and white) population started increasing and the government realized that the so called “Aboriginal problem” was not going to end so easily. After the Aborigines were forced into the reserves ,they were aiming for the race to die out whilst the half-cast children were forced to enter a white community and were pair to a white person once they were old enough so that the aboriginal genes would vanish and the white genes are the only remaining genes generation after generation.

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Scientific Racism And Social Darwinism Of Aboriginal People. (2021, September 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from
“Scientific Racism And Social Darwinism Of Aboriginal People.” Edubirdie, 14 Sept. 2021,
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Scientific Racism And Social Darwinism Of Aboriginal People [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 14 [cited 2022 Nov 28]. Available from:
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