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Social critics and dissenters


The Search for a Scientific Culture
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Impact of The Origin of Species
Responses of Protestant Leaders
Subversive Implications
The Progressive View

Revolutionary Implications
Resource Type: Primary Source
"Man is But a Worm": The Punch's Almanack of 1882 carried this depiction of evolution in which life emerges from the fractured word "CHAOS" at lower left, evolves from worm to ape to man, and culminates in the figure of Darwin himself as tragic philosopher.

Responses of Protestant Leaders
Resource Type: Primary Source
The theologian Charles Hodge (1791-1878), who was affiliated with Princeton Theological Seminary for 58 years.

The Conservative View
Resource Type: Primary Source
The sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840-1910).

Report of the Magdalen Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Led by John Robert McDowell, a Princeton divinity student, the Magdalen Society was founded in 1831 to help reform prostitutes living in the Five Points slum.

Annual Report of the Interments
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dr. John Hoskins Griscom (1809–74), a Quaker physician, founded the New York Academy of Medicine and pioneered the field of public health. His advocacy for sanitation, medical care, and adequate housing led to the great reforms of the Progressive Era after the Civil War.

Charles Dickens on the Five Points
Resource Type: Primary Source
The famed British writer Charles Dickens published his account of his 1842 visit to America, where he found evidence of England's superior class system in the squalor of New York's Five Points slum.

How the Other Half Lives
Resource Type: Primary Source
Newspaper reporters, such as Jacob Riis (1849–1914), played an instrumental role in exposing the destitution and misery of New York's immigrant and working-class neighborhoods.

Social Darwinism
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
The doctrine of Social Darwinism was historically interpreted in a variety of ways, and as such it was used to defend a host of ideological perspectives, which in some cases conflicted with one another. A teacher examines the competing interpretations of Richard Hofstadter, Robert Bannister, and Mike Hawkins.

The Impact of The Origin of Species
Resource Type: Primary Source
This cartoon by humorist Thomas Nast appeared in Harper's Weekly (August 19, 1871). Titled "Mr Bergh to the Rescue," the caption reads: "THE DEFRAUDED GORILLA: 'That Man wants to claim my Pedigree. He says he is one of my Descendents.' MR. BERGH: 'Now, MR. DARWIN, how could you insult him so?'"

The Impact of The Origin of Species
Resource Type: Primary Source
Darwinism was charicatured not only in the press but in other forms of popular culture as well. The refrain of this novelty song with music by "O'Rangoutang" is "It certainly is most absurd/ The fact can never be!/ My great grand daddy never was/ A 'Monkey' up a tree" (1874).

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Historical thinking 

Discovering primary sources (9) 

Interpreting and analysing (2) 

Narrating history (2) 

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