Sunday, May 10, 2009

Race Suicide, Motherhood, and Theodore Roosevelt

Race suicide is defined as "The voluntary failure of the members of a race or people to have a number of children sufficient to keep the birth rate equal to the death rate."

In the early 1900s there was a declining birthrate in the United States. Theodore Roosevelt was obsessed with the concept of race suicide. He was worried that the better class of old-stock Americans would be outnumbered by what he considered inferior races.

In 1905 Roosevelt gave a speech On American Motherhood to the National Congress of Mothers in Washington. Roosevelt spoke of race suicide and a woman's duty to bear enough children to prevent it. He glorified motherhood and was contemptuous of those who deliberately failed to fulfill their duty.

No race suicide here either.

Theodore Roosevelt's family is shown on this postcard in 1903.

1 comment:

  1. Really! I had NO idea. How wierd is THAT?! Thanks for sharing!

    Ahahahaa..happy mother's Day!


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