A World of Clashing Darwinisms: Conservatism and Liberalism in Late Nineteenth-Century America and Today

Lecture Description

This lecture begins with the question, “why, if the conditions for so many people were so poor in late 19th-century America did it take so long for American society to address those problems in any systematic way? The talk examines the clashing conservative and progressive ideas of the late nineteenth century and how understanding that context and those ideas can inform our understanding of contemporary political/economic/cultural divides. The lecture contrasts the Social Darwinist William Graham Sumner with the Reform Darwinist Lester Frank Ward; the Popular Calvinist Russell Conwell with Social Gospel proponent Walter Rauschenbusch; and Constitutional Conservative Stephen J. Field with Legal Pragmatist Louis Brandeis.

CATEGORIES

Gilded Age and Progressive Era Theory and Methodology

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