Charles Darwinâ€™s The Origin of Species was published in 1859 under the reign of Queen Victoria when the rationalism of the Enlightenment in the 18thCentury gave way to romanticism and superstition regarding social policy and religion. As a part of this intensified focus on the primacy of religion, sexual repression and social restraint were understood as norms of Victorian England.
This assignment requires students to explore the long ranging, historical impact of a singular cultural moment on societal perceptions as conveyed through writing.
Part 1: Speculation. (1 page) After reading Charles Darwinâ€™s â€œNatural Selectionâ€ from The Origin of Species, write a paper that speculates how Darwinâ€™s theories altered the sociocultural landscape of the late 19th Century. How would a public dedicated to the strict observance of religiously driven cultural values be altered as a result of Darwinâ€™s work? Be sure to use direct textual evidence from the reading to support your claims.