The “Scientific” Roots: Nineteenth-Century Racism
Not all racists were imperialists, nor were all imperialists racists of the most radical variety; but racism pervaded nineteenth-century European thought about the world overseas. From the 1870’s into the 1920’s and beyond, virtually every European concerned with imperial theory or imperial administration believed that physical racial appearance was an outward sign of inborn propensities, inclinations, and abilities. The selections that follow are therefore far too few to be truly representative, but they illustrate some of the common tendencies of the period.1
KeywordsHuman Race Differential Mortality Black Hair Civilise Nation Roman Domination
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- 1.For a wider variety of selections, see E. W. Count, This Is Race (New York, 1950).Google Scholar
- P. M. Ashburn, The Ranks of Death. A Medical History of the Conquest of America (New York, 1947)Google Scholar
- Woodrow Borah, “América como modelo? El impacto demográfico de la expansión europea sobre el mundo no europeo,” Cuadernos Americanos, 21:176–185 (1962).Google Scholar
- 1.For Kidd’s relationship to other imperial ideas of his period, see B. Semmel, Imperialism and Social Reform (London, 1960), pp. 18–24.Google Scholar