Several scientific advances and studies throughout the late 19th century that attempted to create the best people and society actually divided and isolated individuals with disabilities in regards to intelligence, character, temperance, and physical traits.
Social Darwinism- Although the impact of Charles Darwin's research on later philosophers progressed beyond the study of biology, his publishing of The Origin of Species (1859) influenced the coining of the phrase "survival of the fittest" by Herbert Spencer in the 1860s. More widely read than Darwin, Spencer published Social Statistics (1865) which emphasized competition being the key to greater specialization, differentiation, and interdependence.
Eugenics- Largely influenced by Social Darwinist thought, the Eugenics movement also combined elements of elitism, racism, social reform and genetics with roots found in the work Hereditary Genius by Francis Galton in 1869. Galton applied experimental biology and psychology by studying subjects, more specifically eminent British men of between 1768 and 1868 who were statesmen, soldiers, scientists, writers, poets, artists and ministers and tracked the data collection of being "distinguished" through genetics lineage. Through statistical analysis and his suggested intelligence scale that distributed subjects from idiocy to genius, also influencing other tests.
Testing Movement- Mental testing and its impact on determining placement in special education classrooms derived from a model that existed in France in 1905. Alfred Binet and his assistant Theopile Simon devised 30 subtests that sequenced in order of difficulty known as the Measuring Scale of Intelligence to provide a mental age. Later in America, testing focus shifted from the needs of the individual to the needs of the society to cleanse society of deviants and defectives. Henry Goddard adapted Simon and Binet's test at the New Jersey Institution for Feeble Minded Boys and Girls at Vineland in efforts to find the causes of mental retardation and attempt to eradicate the conidtion. In the Vineland Revisions, Goddard discovered that at least 2% of his sample of 2,000 school age children in the school system were mentally retarded and unable to achieve in traditional classrooms. In 1916, Lewis Terman
at Stanford University further modified, expanded, and standardized the Binet-Simon Intelligence scale to become the typical American sample. Terman's Revisions along with his published text, The Measurement of Intelligence, emphasized IQ as a predictor intelligence while attributing the genetic inheritance to causation. Later, data collected via Army tests during the draft for World War I which determined the eligibility of over 1,726,966 draftees, and at statistics about the men who were deemed unfit to serve on the basis of physical disability, mental retardation, illiteracy, or psychiatric disorders.