Eugenics and Social Biology at LSE Library: An Introduction

Sidney and Beatrice Webb were eugenicists and in 1909 Sidney Webb gave a talk at the Eugenics Education Society called Eugenics and the Poor Law. The talk centred on the eugenic arguments for having a relief system in place to aide the poor as opposed to leaving people to fend for themselves which it was considered would have undesirable eugenic consequences. Another element of critique was the general mixed workhouse which enabled poor men and women to mix and have children, something that, according to Webb, had ‘undesirable results from the eugenic point of view’.