The debate about eugenics : eugenics and social legislation in New Zealand, 1900-1939 : four case studies : a thesis presented in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in History at Massey University
The inspiration for this thesis came largely from an interest in population concerns of the early twentieth century. Eugenics stemmed partly from one of these, the difference in birthrate between the lower and middle classes, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which suggested to those who worried about it that the middle classes would be submerged by a rising tide of fecund poor. What was Eugenics? Before any discussion take place of literature or of the New Zealand setting it is necessary to explain the some of the background to the worldwide development of eugenics and to attempt to define what is being discussed.