IV. The Rise of the Institutions 1800 - 1950 D. Protect Society from the Deviant
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  • In 1905 in France, Dr. Alfred Binet and Dr. Theodore Simon developed an intelligence scale of 30 items that was intended to distinguish between school-aged children who were of subnormal and normal intelligence. There were three principles for use laid down by the tests' inventor, Alfred Binet. Rule 1: The scores do not define anything innate or permanent. Rule 2: The scale is a rough guide for identifying and helping learning-disabled children. Rule 3: Low scores don't mean a child is innately incapable.
  • In 1917, Dr. Goddard and his associates administered a version of the Binet test to 1.75 million army recruits. The results found that 40% of the white male population was feebleminded.
  • In 1924, Congress passed the Immigration Restriction Act.
  • The late 19th and first quarter of the 20th century saw the rise and consequences of the Eugenics Movement, which advocated " ... the science of the improvement of the human race by better breeding." So-called "feeblemindedness" was thought to be hereditary, and was eventually blamed for most of society's burdens. Proponents of eugenics, many of whom were doctors, advocated sterilization of persons with disabilities. They believed that if people with disabilities reproduced, they would eventually ruin the human species.
  • Social Darwinism was also on the rise. This theory stated that the evolution of biological species came about by a process of natural selection, and also governed the affairs of society and social evolution. Social Darwinism was promoted by Herman Spencer and widely accepted. Spencer was optimistic about the improvement of human beings and believed that human relationships could be reduced to scientific principles. Darwin's observations on the natural order of plants and animals reinforced Spencer's belief that the social order was governed by the "survival of the fittest." This belief helped to justify forced sterilizations, marriage restrictions, and the warehousing of individuals with disabilities in institutions.
  • Compulsory public school attendance laws were enacted during the late 19th and early 20th century. As more children attended public schools, teachers noticed more pupils who were "slow and backward." Teachers began to call for persons with special training and for special classes to take care of these students.