Write a 3-4 page essay that answers the prompt below. Your paper should be double spaced, and in Times New Roman, size 12 font.
Eugenics, or the belief in the improvement of the human race through selective breeding, played a significant role in the history and culture of the United States prior to WWII. Based on pseudo science, tens of thousands of Americans were forcibly sterilized during those years and well into the 1970s. Using ONE of the secondary sources listed below AND at least FIVE of the primary sources below (or six sources total) answer the following question: Despite early criticism, what contributed to the rise of the eugenics movement during the first decades of the twentieth century?
Hint: To answer this question, you will need to to consider who supported the movement, how propaganda was disseminated, the language used, widespread concerns with immigration and urbanization, the Progressive movement itself, etc. Select two or three elements that you find most significant in the rise of eugenics, name them in your thesis statement, and expand on them in the body of your paper. IMPORTANT: This paper should not be about your agreement or disagreement with eugenics. It should focus on the historical conditions that enabled the spread of these ideas and the practice of forced sterilization in the United States.
Secondary Sources (select at least 1)
George O’donnell, The Eugenics Crusade: What’s Wrong with Perfect? (documentary) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.) Nicole Mellow, “The Democratic Fit: Party Reform and the Eugenics Tool,” pp. 197-218 (book chapter) (Links to an external site.)
**Note: Nicole Mellow’s book chapter is available on JSTOR. You’ll need to access JSTOR using your FIU credentials. Visit library.fiu.edu, click on “Find,” then select A-Z list. Scroll down to JSTOR and sign in.
Primary Sources (select at least 5)
Robert Rentoul, Proposed Sterilization of Certain Mental and Physical Degenerates: An Appeal to Asylum Managers and Others (1903) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)G. Stanley Hall, “Eugenics as a New Creed (1911) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Anonymous, “Pastors for Eugenics” (1913) (Links to an external site.)
William J. Robinson, Eugenics, Marriage and Birth Control (Practical Eugenics) (1917) (Links to an external site.)
Kelly Miller, Eugenics of the Negro Race” (1917) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)Buck v. Bell (1927) (Links to an external site.)
The Civilizing Force of Birth Control: Margaret Sanger Becomes a Moderate (1929) (Links to an external site.)
Harry Laughlin, The Legal Status of Eugenical Sterilization (1930) (Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)
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Some criticisms of eugenics:
Veto of Pennsylvania Eugenics Law by Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker (1905) (Links to an external site.)
Franz Boas, “The Instability of Human Types” (1911) (Links to an external site.)
Judgement on Eugenics Law – Supreme Court of the State of Indiana (1920) (Links to an external site.)
Walter Lippman, “The Mental Age of Americans” (1922) (Links to an external site.)
Clarence Darrow, “The Eugenics Cult” (1926)Preview the document
(Links to an external site.)
Be sure to structure your essay with an introduction, body and conclusion.
The introductory paragraph should include the following three parts:
Context or background (2-3 sentences). You should provide context to the material you will be discussing. You should set the scene by providing the what, the where, the when, or the who of the material. There should be no argument here, just general historical data to set up your historical question and thesis statement.
Historical problem (1-2 sentences). This should be the essay prompt reintroduced as the historical problem you will be addressing in the paper. Try to find a flow between the background information you provide and the statement of the historical problem. Why should we care about the historical facts you just discussed in the preceding background/context section of the introduction? What is their significance?
Thesis statement (1-2 sentences). The thesis statement should have 2 parts. The first states your position or answer to the historical problem above, and the second provides a blueprint for the paper (or approximately three elements that will support your position in the body of the paper). ***Note: Each element in the blueprint should directly correlate to a topic sentence or main idea in a corresponding body paragraph.
Body paragraphs should have topic sentences describing the main idea of the corresponding paragraph. They should echo one of your thesis elements.
Sources should provide your evidence. Body paragraphs should use primary and secondary sources to support your argument. You may ONLY use the primary and secondary sources provided on CANVAS or specified in the prompt(s) above. Absolutely no outside internet sources should be used for this assignment. The specific number of sources required for each essay question is provided in the prompt(s) above.
Citations: Cite any quotations, paraphrased content, or original ideas from other sources using the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Citations in CMS formatting should be written as footnotes. ***Note: Sources and citations are two different things. Sources are the repositories of your information (the book, article, or historical document). Citations are references to the sources, usually with specific page numbers or locations within the source. The paper should use the minimum number of sources stated above, but it can and should have many more footnote citations. The minimum number of footnotes will equal the number of sources required, but an excellent paper will have many more specific footnote citations. ***Note: You do not need a bibliography. The first time you mention a source in a footnote citation, you should provide the full reference of the source. You should use “Ibid” (plus the page number, if applicable) for any series of footnotes that reference the same source. See the Purdue Online Writing Lab (Links to an external site.) for specific examples.
Grammar and Style. Use a concise, professional and academic style of writing, free of grammatical errors and colloquialisms.
Quotations: Limit quotations to 1 sentence per page or one longer quotation of 3 to 4 sentences for the whole essay.
For more on this precise essay structure, refer to the handouts I posted on the Student Resources module on CANVAS.