Racial Science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At the end of the eighteenth century, slavery had not been challenged in the United States to the degree that it had been in Britain and France. Racial science was in its infancy and played a smaller role in the debates. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, American natural historians were very much on the margins of the racial discourse that had began in the previous century. The idea of a natural repugnance for sex across the racial divide gained traction in spite of successive generations of white masters raping their black slaves. The heyday of eugenics in the United States was the first four decades of the twentieth century. In the early part of the twentieth century the center of racial science shifted back to Germany where Eugen Fischer became the first to apply Mendelian laws of inheritance to study the effects of race mixing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the History of American Science
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781119072218
ISBN (Print)9781405156257
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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