Gobineau essay on the equality of races

In the wake of Types of Mankind , abolitionists and for the first time, African American scholars, engaged in the race science debate. In the political discourse leading up to the Civil War, prominent statesman and abolitionist Frederick Douglass challenged the leading theorists of the American School of Anthropology, which included Nott, Gliddon, Agassiz and Morton, among others. Work by early "race scientists" tried to prove that blacks were not the same species as whites, and alleged that the rulers of ancient Egypt were not Africans. In Douglass' 1854 address, "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically Considered," he argued that "by making the enslaved a character fit only for slavery, [slaveowners] excuse themselves for refusing to make the slave a freeman..."

 Despite Darwin’s careful avoidance of the topic, many of the post publication reviews of the Origin focused on its meaning for humans.  In addition the events of the American civil war had stimulated an Anglo-Saxonist backlash in England  including the birth of the Anthropological Society of London 9 .  Specifically in 1865 the actions of Governor Eyre against free blacks in Jamaica, which included a massacre of over 439 people, 600 floggings, and 1000 homes burned influenced Darwin to finally openly publish his views concerning human races.  This situation was made even more emotionally challenging for him due to a dispute with his own son William over Eyre.

Gobineau essay on the equality of races

gobineau essay on the equality of races

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