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The Boston Brahmins, WASPs, And Nazis: The Pursuit Of Eugenics

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During the progressive era, academia hastily adopted the inhumane pseudoscience of eugenics, and its results on the world were devastating. The influence of the Boston Brahmins in New England can explain the fervent adoption of this malignant belief. This elite and well-educated class of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants reeked of pomp and snobbery. The origin of the term “Boston Brahmin” came from Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. in his 1861 novel Elsie Venner. He chose the unique word “Brahmin” because in India they are the most distinguished caste. This is how the northeastern nobles wanted to be perceived in their neck of the woods. There was no shortage of academics who propagated the eugenics movement. Richard T. Ely was a Columbia University graduate and persistently proselytized eugenic dogma. In 1901, he favored a bill proposed by an Indiana state senator, Thomas J. Lindley, to regulate marriage with the intent that the couple would not have “unfit” children. The state would examine their physical, mental, racial, and moral attributes to decide whether they could wed… (READ MORE)

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