The History of the Eugenics Movement in the United States

This presentation, and my research paper, will cover the history of the eugenics movement in the US. While we briefly mentioned this during class, I plan to elaborate on the intricacies of the brief push for a genetic master race in Americana. While eugenics actions and legislation were active from the 1920s until the 1980s, the peak years were the late 20s into the late 30s. A majority of scientists advocated education on the issue, purely out of intellectual curiosity. However, the American culture at the time took this to promote their own agendas of xenophobia and racial bigotry. Mostly eugenics was harmless, with a general push to promote breeding between well off citizens of similar backgrounds. There were cases of eugenics being championed as a cure-all for the maladies of the day such as crime and mental illness, and legislation passed in 24 states which resulted in over 60,000 people being sterilized. Eventually, the eugenics movement died out due to a combination of increased scientific knowledge of genetics, along with the strong association between eugenics and the Nazi party.