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Title: Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography
Author: Semple, Ellen Churchill, 1863-1933
Language: English
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                     BY ELLEN CHURCHILL SEMPLE


           Hither, as to their fountain, other stars
           Repairing, in their golden urns draw light.


The present book, as originally planned over seven years ago, was to be
a simplified paraphrase or restatement of the principles embodied in
Friedrich Ratzel's _Anthropo-Geographie_. The German work is difficult
reading even for Germans. To most English and American students of
geographic environment it is a closed book, a treasure-house bolted and
barred. Ratzel himself realized "that any English form could not be a
literal translation, but must be adapted to the Anglo-Celtic and
especially to the Anglo-American mind." The writer undertook, with
Ratzel's approval, to make such an adapted restatement of the
principles, with a view to making them pass current where they are now
unknown. But the initial stages of the work revealed the necessity of a
radical modification of the original plan.

Ratzel performed the great service of placing anthropo-geography on a
secure scientific basis. He had his forerunners in Montesquieu,
Alexander von Humboldt, Buckle, Ritter, Kohl, Peschel and others; but he
first investigated the subject from the modern scientific point of view,
constructed his system according to the principles of evolution, and
based his conclusions on world-wide inductions, for which his
predecessors did not command the data. To this task he brought thorough
training as a naturalist, broad reading and travel, a profound and
original intellect, and amazing fertility of thought. Yet the field
which he had chosen was so vast, and its material so complex, that even
his big mental grasp could not wholly compass it. His conclusions,
therefore, are not always exhaustive or final.

Moreover, the very fecundity of his ideas often left him no time to test
the validity of his principles. He enunciates one brilliant
generalization after another. Sometimes he reveals the mind of a seer or
poet, throwing out conclusions which are highly suggestive, on the face
of them convincing, but which on examination prove untenable, or at
best must be set down as unproven or needing qualification. But these
were just the slag from the great furnace of his mind, slag not always
worthless. Brilliant and far-reaching as were his conclusions, he did
not execute a well-ordered plan. Rather he grew with his work, and his
work and its problems grew with him. He took a mountain-top view of
things, kept his eyes always on the far horizon, and in the splendid
sweep of his scientific conceptions sometimes overlooked the details
near at hand. Herein lay his greatness and his limitation.

These facts brought the writer face to face with a serious problem.
Ratzel's work needed to be tested, verified. The only solution was to go
over the whole field from the beginning, making research for the data as
from the foundation, and checking off the principles against the facts.
This was especially necessary, because it was not always obvious that
Ratzel had based his inductions on sufficiently broad data; and his
published work had been open to the just criticism of inadequate
citation of authorities. It was imperative, moreover, that any
investigation of geographic environment for the English-speaking world
should meet its public well supported both by facts and authorities,
because that public had not previously known a Ritter or a Peschel.

The writer's own investigation revealed the fact that Ratzel's
principles of anthropo-geography did not constitute a complete,
well-proportioned system. Some aspects of the subject had been developed
exhaustively, these of course the most important; but others had been
treated inadequately, others were merely a hint or an inference, and yet
others were represented by an hiatus. It became necessary, therefor, to
work up certain important themes with a thoroughness commensurate with
their significance, to reduce the scale of others, and to fill up
certain gaps with original contributions to the science. Always it was
necessary to clarify the original statement, where that was adhered to,
and to throw it into the concrete form of expression demanded by the
Anglo-Saxon mind.

One point more. The organic theory of society and state permeates the
_Anthropo-geographie_, because Ratzel formulated his principles at a
time when Herbert Spencer exercised a wide influence upon European
thought. This theory, now generally abandoned by sociologists, had to be
eliminated from any restatement of Ratzel's system. Though it was
applied in the original often in great detail, it stood there
nevertheless rather as a scaffolding around the finished edifice; and
the stability of the structure, after this scaffolding is removed shows
how extraneous to the whole it was. The theory performed, however, a
great service in impressing Ratzel's mind with the life-giving
connection between land and people.

The writer's own method of research has been to compare typical peoples
of all races and all stages of cultural development, living under
similar geographic conditions. If these peoples of different ethnic
stocks but similar environments manifested similar or related social,
economic or historical development, it was reasonable to infer that such
similarities were due to environment and not to race. Thus, by extensive
comparison, the race factor in these problems of two unknown quantities
was eliminated for certain large classes of social and historical

The writer, moreover, has purposely avoided definitions, formulas, and
the enunciation of hard-and-fast rules; and has refrained from any
effort to delimit the field or define the relation of this new science
of anthropo-geography to the older sciences. It is unwise to put tight
clothes on a growing child. The eventual form and scope of the science,
the definition and organization of its material must evolve gradually,
after long years and many efforts of many workers in the field. The
eternal flux of Nature runs through anthropo-geography, and warns
against precipitate or rigid conclusions. But its laws are none the less
well founded because they do not lend themselves to mathematical
finality of statement. For this reason the writer speaks of geographic
factors and influences, shuns the word geographic determinant, and
speaks with extreme caution of geographic control.

The present volume is offered to the public with a deep sense of its
inadequacy; with the realization that some of its principles may have to
be modified or their emphasis altered after wider research; but also
with the hope that this effort may make the way easier for the scholar
who shall some day write the ideal treatise on anthropo-geography.

In my work on this book I have only one person to thank, the great
master who was my teacher and friend during his life, and after his
death my inspiration.

_January_, 1911.




Man a product of the earth's surface--Persistent effect of geographic
barriers--Recurrent influences of nature-made highways--Regions of
historical similarity--Persistence of climatic influences--Relation of
geography to history--Multiplicity of geographic factors--Evolution of
geographic relations--Interplay of geographic factors--Direct and
indirect effects of environment--Indirect effects in differentiation of
colonial peoples--General importance of indirect effects--Time
element--Previous habitat--Transplanted religions--Partial response to
environment--The larger conception of environment--Unity of the earth
and the human race.


Four classes of influences--Physical effects of environment--Stature
and environment--Effects of dominant activities--Physical effects of
climate--Pigmentation in relation to heat and light--Pigmentation
and altitude--Difficulty of generalization from geographic
distribution--Psychical effects--In Religion--In mind and character--In
language--The great man in history--Economic and social effects--Size of
the social group--Effects on movements of peoples--Segregation and
accessibility--Change of habitat.


People and land--Political geography--Political versus social
geography--Land basis of society--Morgan's _societas_--Land bond in
primitive hunter tribes--In fisher tribes--In pastoral tribes--Land and
state--Strength of the land bond in the state--Evolution of land
tenure--Land and food supply--Advance from natural to artificial basis
of subsistence--Land basis in relation to agriculture--Migratory and
sedentary agriculture--Geographic checks to progress in economic and
social development--Native animal and plant life as factors in
progress--Density of population under different cultural and geographic
conditions--Its relation to government--Territorial expansion of the
state--Artificial checks to population--Extra-territorial relations of
state and people--Theory of progress from the standpoint of
geography--Progressive dependence of man upon nature.


Universality of such movements--The name Historical Movement--Its
evolution--Its importance in history--Geographical interpretation of
historical movement--Mobility of primitive peoples--Civilization and
mobility--Migration and ethnic mingling--Cultural modification during
migration--The transit land--War as form of historical
movement--Slavery--Military colonies--Withdrawal and flight--Natural
regions of asylum--Emigration and colonization--Commerce as a form of
historical movement--Movements due to religion--Historical movement and
race distribution--Zonal distribution--Movements to like or better
geographic conditions--Their direction--Return movements--Regions of
attraction and repulsion--Psychical influences in certain movements--Two
results of historical movement--Differentiation and
area--Differentiation and isolation--Geographic conditions of
heterogeneity and homogeneity--Assimilation--Elimination of unfit
variants through historical movement--Geographical origins.


The importance of geographical location--Content of the term
location--Intercontinental location--Natural versus vicinal
location--Naturally defined location--Vicinal location--Vicinal groups
of similar or diverse race and culture--Thalassic vicinal
location--Complementary locations--Continuous and scattered
location--Central versus peripheral location--Mutual relations between
center and periphery--Inland and coastward expansion--Reaction between
center and periphery--Periphery in colonization--Dominant historical
side--Change of historical front--Contrasted historical sides--One-sided
historical location--Scattered location--Due to adverse geographic
conditions--Island way stations on maritime routes--Scattered location
of primitive peoples--Ethnic islands of expansion and
decline--Discontinuous distribution--Contrasted location--Geographical
polarity--Geographical marks of growth and decline--Interpretation of
scattered and marginal location--Contrast between ethnic islands of
growth and decline.


The size of the earth--Relation of area to life--Area and
differentiation--The struggle for space--National area an index
of social and political development--The Oikoumene--The unity of
the human species in relation to the earth--Isolation and
differentiation--Monotonous race type of small area--Wide race
distribution and inner diversities--Large area a guarantee of racial or
national permanence--Weakness of small states--Protection of large area
to primitive peoples--Contrast of large and small areas in
bio-geography--Political domination of large areas--Area and
literature--Small geographic base of primitive societies--Influence of
small, confined areas--The process of territorial growth--Historical
advance from small to large areas--Gradations in area and in
development--Preliminaries to ethnic and political
expansion--Significance of sphere of influence or activity--Nature of
expansion in new and old countries--Relation of ethnic to political
expansion--Relation of people and state to political boundary--Expansion
of civilization--Cultural advantages of large political
area--Politico-economic advantages--Political area and the national
horizon--National estimates of area--Limitations of small tribal
conceptions--Evolution of territorial policies--Colonial expansion--The
mind of colonials.


The boundary zone in Nature--Oscillating boundaries of the habitable
area of the earth--Wallace's Line a typical boundary zone--Boundaries as
limits of expansion--Boundary zone as index of growth or
decline--Breadth of boundary zone--Broad frontier zones of active
expansion--Value of barrier boundaries--The sea as the absolute
boundary--Natural boundaries as bases of ethnic and political
boundaries--Primitive waste boundaries--Alien intrusions into border
wastes--Politico-economic significance of the waste boundary--Common
boundary districts--Tariff free zones--Boundary zones of mingled race
elements--Assimilation of civilization in boundary zones--Relation of
ethnic and cultural assimilation--The border zone of assimilation in
political expansion--Tendency toward defection along political
frontiers--The spirit of colonial frontiers--Free border states as
political survivals--Guardians of the marches--Lawless citizens deported
to political frontiers--Drift of lawless elements to the
frontiers--Asylums beyond the border.


The coast a zone of transition--The inner edge--Shifting of the inner
edge--Outer edge in original settlement--In early navigation--In
colonization--Inland advance of colonies--Interpenetration of land and
sea--Ratio of shore-line to area--Criticism of the
formula--Accessibility of coasts from hinterland--Accessibility of
coasts from the sea--Embayed coasts--Contrasted coastal belts--Evolution
of ports--Influence of offshore islands--Previous habitat of
coast-dwellers--Habitability of coasts as a factor in maritime
development--Geographic conditions for brilliant maritime
development--Scope and importance of seaward expansion--Ethnic contrast
between coast and interior peoples--Ethnic amalgamations of
coastlands--_Lingua franca_ a product of coasts--Coast-dwellers as
middlemen--Differentiation of coast from inland people--Early
civilization of coasts--Progress from thalassic to oceanic
coasts--Importance of geographic location of coasts--Historical decline
of certain coasts--Complex interplay of geographic factors in


The water a factor in man's mobility--Oceans and seas the factor of
union in universal history--Origin of navigation--Primitive
forms--Relation of river to marine navigation--Retarded and advanced
navigation--Geographic conditions in Polynesia--Mediterranean versus
Atlantic seamanship--Three geographic stages of maritime
development--Enclosed seas as areas of ethnic and cultural
assimilation--Assimilation facilitated by ethnic kinship--Importance of
zonal and continental location of enclosed seas--Thalassic character of
the Indian Ocean--Limitations of small area in enclosed seas--Successive
maritime periods in history--Contrasted historical rôles of northern and
southern hemispheres--Size of the ocean--Neutrality of the seas--_Mare
clausum and Mare liberum_.


The protection of a water frontier--Pile villages of ancient
times--Modern pile dwellings--Their geographic
distribution--River-dwellers in old and popular lands--Man's
encroachment upon the sea by reclamation of land--The struggle with the
water--Mound villages in river flood-plains--Social and political gain
by control of the water--A factor in early civilization of arid
lands--The economy of the water--Fisheries--Factors in maritime
expansion--Fisheries as nurseries of seamen--Anthropo-geographic
importance of navigation.


Rivers as intermediaries between land and sea--Sea navigation merges
into river navigation--Historical importance of seas and oceans
influenced by their debouching streams--Lack of coast articulations
supplied by rivers--River highways as basis of commercial
preëminence--Importance of rivers in large countries--Rivers as highways
of expansion--Determinants of routes in arid or semi-arid
lands--Increasing historical importance of rivers from source to
mouth--Value of location at hydrographic centers--Effect of current upon
trade and expansion--Importance of mouth to upstream people--Prevention
of monopoly of river mouths--Motive for canals in lower
course--Watershed canals for extension of inland waterways--Rivers and
railroads--Natural unity of every river system--In arid lands as common
source of water supply--Tendency towards ethnic and cultural unity in a
river valley--Identity of country with river valley--Rivers as
boundaries of races and peoples--Rivers as political boundaries--Fluvial
settlements and peoples--Boatman tribes or castes--River islands as
protected sites--River and lake islands as robber strongholds--River
peninsulas--River islands as sites of trading posts and colonies--Swamps
as barriers and boundaries--Swamps as regions of survivals--Swamps as
places of refuge--The spirit of the marshes--Economic and political
importance of lakes--Lakes as nuclei of states--Lakes as fresh-water


Insularity of the land-masses--Classification of land-masses according
to size and location--Effect of the size of land-masses--Independence
due to location versus independence due to size--Continental convergence
and ethnic kinship--Africa's location--The Atlantic abyss--Geographical
character of the Pacific--Pacific affinities of North America--The
Atlantic face of America as the infant Orient of the world--The Atlantic
abyss in the movements of peoples--Races and continents--Contrast of the
northern and southern continents--Effects of continental structure upon
historical development--Structure of North and South America--Cultural
superiority of Pacific slope Indians--Coast articulations of
continents--Importance of size in continental articulations--Peninsular
conditions most favorable to historical development--The continental
base of peninsulas--Continental base a zone of transition--Continental
base the scene of invasion and war--Peninsular extremities as areas of
isolation--Ethnic unity of peninsulas--Peninsulas as intermediaries.


Physical relationship between islands and peninsulas--Character of
insular flora and fauna--Paradoxical influences of island habitat on
man--Conservative and radical tendencies born of isolation and
accessibility--Islands as nurseries and disseminators of distinctive
civilizations--Limitation of small area in insular history--Sources of
ethnic stock of islands on nearest mainland. Ethnic divergence with
increased isolation--Differentiation of peoples and civilizations in
islands--Differentiation of language--Unification of race in
islands--Remoter sources of island populations--Double sources--Mixed
population of small thalassic isles--Significant location of island way
stations--Thalassic islands as goals of maritime expansion--Political
detachability of islands--Insular weakness based upon small area--Island
fragments of broken empires--Area and location as factors in political
autonomy of islands--Historical effects of island isolation in primitive
retardation--Later stimulation of development--Excessive
isolation--Protection of an island environment--Islands as places of
refuge--Islands as places of survival--Effects of small area in
islands--Economic limitations of their small area--Dense population of
islands--Geographic causes of this density--Oceanic climate as
factor--Relation of density to size--Density affected by a focal
location for trade--Overflow of island population and colonies to the
mainland--Precocious development of island agriculture--Intensive
tillage--Emigration and colonization from islands--Recent emigration
from islands--Maritime enterprise as outlet--Artificial checks to
population--Polyandry--Infanticide--Low valuation of human life.


Relief of the sea floor--Mean elevations of the continents--Distribution
of relief--Homologous reliefs and homologous
histories--Anthropo-geography of lowlands--Extensive plains unfavorable
to early development--Conditions for fusion in plains--Retardation due
to monotonous environment--Influence of slight geographic features in
plains--Plains and political expansion--Arid plains--Nomadism--Pastoral
life--Pastoral nomads of Arctic plains--Historical importance of steppe
nomads--Mobility of pastoral nomads--Seasonal migrations--Marauding
expeditions--Forms of defense against nomad depredations--Pastoral life
as a training for soldiers--Capacity for political organization and
consolidation--Centralization versus decentralization in
nomadism--Spirit of independence among nomads--Resistance to
conquest--Curtailment of nomadism--Supplementary agriculture of pastoral
nomadism--Irrigation and horticulture--Scant diet of nomads--Effects of
a diminishing water supply--Checks to population--Trade of
nomads--Pastoral nomads as middlemen--Desert markets--Nomad
industries--Arid lands as areas of arrested development--Mental and
moral qualities of nomads--Religion of pastoral nomads.


Man as part of the mobile envelope of the earth--Inaccessibility of
mountains--Mountains as transit regions--Transition forms of relief
between highlands and lowlands--Piedmont belts as boundary
zones--Density of population in piedmont belts--Piedmont towns and
cities--Piedmonts as colonial or backwoods frontiers--Mountain
carriers--Power of mountain barriers to block or deflect historical
movement--Significance of mountain valleys--Longitudinal valleys--Passes
in mountain barriers--Breadth of mountain barriers--Dominant
transmontane routes--Height and form of mountain barriers--Contrasted
accessibility of opposite slopes--Political and ethnic
effects--Persistence of barrier nature--Importance of mountain
passes--Geographic conditions affecting the historical importance of
passes--Passes determine the transmontane routes--Navigable river
approaches to passes--Types of settlement in the valley approaches--Pass
cities and their markets--Pass peoples--Their political importance.


Zones of altitude--Politico-economic value of a varied relief--Belief
and climate--Altitude zones of economic and cultural
development--Altitude and density belts in tropical
highlands--Increasing density where altitude confers safety--Geographic
conditions affecting density of mountain population--Terrace
agriculture--Its geographical distribution--Terrace agriculture in
mountainous islands--Among savage peoples--Fertilizing terrace
lands--Economy of level land--Mountain pastures and stock-raising--Life
and industry of the summer herdsmen--Communal ownership of mountain
pastures--Hay making in high mountains--Winter industries of mountain
peoples--Overpopulation and emigration--Preventive checks to increase of
population--Religious celibacy--Polyandry--Marauding tendencies in
mountaineers--Historical consequences of mountain raiding--Conquest of
mountain regions--Political dismemberment of mountain peoples--Types of
mountain states--Significance of their small size--Mountain isolation
and differentiation--Survival of primitive races in mountains--Diversity
of peoples and dialects--Constriction of mountain areas of ethnic
survival--Isolation and retardation of mountain regions--Mental and
moral qualities of mountain people.


Importance of climatic influences--Climate in the interplay of
geographic factors--Its direct and indirect effects--Climate determines
the habitable area of the earth--Effect of climate upon relief and hence
upon man--Man's adaptability to climatic extremes--Temperature as
modified by oceans and winds--Rainfall--Temperature and zonal
location--Mutual reactions of contrasted zones--Isothermal lines in
anthropo-geography--Historical effects of compressed
isotherms--Historical effects of slight climatic differences--Their
influence upon distribution of immigration--Temperature and race
temperament--Complexity of this problem--Monotonous climatic
conditions--Effects of Arctic cold--Effect of monotonous heat--The
tropics as goals of migration--The problem of
acclimatization--Historical importance of the temperate zone--Contrast
of the seasons--Duration of the seasons--Effect of long winters and long
summers--Zones of culture--Temperate zone as cradle of civilization



ETHNOGRAPHICAL MAP OF INDIA                                   102
ETHNOGRAPHICAL MAP OF ASIA                                    103
ETHNOGRAPHICAL MAP OF AFRICA                                  105
THE SLAV-GERMAN BOUNDARY IN EUROPE                            223
ETHNOGRAPHICAL MAP OF RUSSIA                                  225
THE GERMAN NORTH SEA COAST                                    243
LAKE OF THE FOUR FOREST CANTONS                               374
THE ANNUAL RAINFALL OF THE WORLD                              484
DENSITY OF POPULATION IN ITALY                                559
MEAN ANNUAL ISOTHERMS AND HEAT BELTS                          612



[Sidenote: Man a product of the earth's surface.]

Man is a product of the earth's surface. This means not merely that he
is a child of the earth, dust of her dust; but that the earth has
mothered him, fed him, set him tasks, directed his thoughts, confronted
him with difficulties that have strengthened his body and sharpened his
wits, given him his problems of navigation or irrigation, and at the
same time whispered hints for their solution. She has entered into his
bone and tissue, into his mind and soul. On the mountains she has given
him leg muscles of iron to climb the slope; along the coast she has left
these weak and flabby, but given him instead vigorous development of
chest and arm to handle his paddle or oar. In the river valley she
attaches him to the fertile soil, circumscribes his ideas and ambitions
by a dull round of calm, exacting duties, narrows his outlook to the
cramped horizon of his farm. Up on the wind-swept plateaus, in the
boundless stretch of the grasslands and the waterless tracts of the
desert, where he roams with his flocks from pasture to pasture and oasis
to oasis, where life knows much hardship but escapes the grind of
drudgery, where the watching of grazing herd gives him leisure for
contemplation, and the wide-ranging life a big horizon, his ideas take
on a certain gigantic simplicity; religion becomes monotheism, God
becomes one, unrivalled like the sand of the desert and the grass of the
steppe, stretching on and on without break or change. Chewing over and
over the cud of his simple belief as the one food of his unfed mind, his
faith becomes fanaticism; his big spacial ideas, born of that ceaseless
regular wandering, outgrow the land that bred them and bear their
legitimate fruit in wide imperial conquests.

Man can no more be scientifically studied apart from the ground which he
tills, or the lands over which he travels, or the seas over which he
trades, than polar bear or desert cactus can be understood apart from
its habitat. Man's relations to his environment are infinitely more
numerous and complex than those of the most highly organized plant or
animal. So complex are they that they constitute a legitimate and
necessary object of special study. The investigation which they receive
in anthropology, ethnology, sociology and history is piecemeal and
partial, limited as to the race, cultural development, epoch, country or
variety of geographic conditions taken into account. Hence all these
sciences, together with history so far as history undertakes to explain
the causes of events, fail to reach a satisfactory solution of their
problems largely because the geographic factor which enters into them
all has not been thoroughly analyzed. Man has been so noisy about the
way he has "conquered Nature," and Nature has been so silent in her
persistent influence over man, that the geographic factor in the
equation of human development has been overlooked.

[Sidenote: Stability of geographic factors in history.]

In every problem of history there are two main factors, variously stated
as heredity and environment, man and his geographic conditions, the
internal forces of race and the external forces of habitat. Now the
geographic element in the long history of human development has been
operating strongly and operating persistently. Herein lies its
importance. It is a stable force. It never sleeps. This natural
environment, this physical basis of history, is for all intents and
purposes immutable in comparison with the other factor in the
problem--shifting, plastic, progressive, retrogressive man.

[Sidenote: Persistent effect of remoteness.]

History tends to repeat itself largely owing to this steady, unchanging
geographic element. If the ancient Roman consul in far-away Britain
often assumed an independence of action and initiative unknown in the
provincial governors of Gaul, and if, centuries later, Roman Catholicism
in England maintained a similar independence towards the Holy See, both
facts have their cause in the remoteness of Britain from the center of
political or ecclesiastical power in Rome. If the independence of the
Roman consul in Britain was duplicated later by the attitude of the
Thirteen Colonies toward England, and again within the young Republic by
the headstrong self-reliance, impatient of government authority, which
characterized the early Trans-Allegheny commonwealths in their
aggressive Indian policy, and led them to make war and conclude treaties
for the cession of land like sovereign states; and if this attitude of
independence in the over-mountain men reappeared in a spirit of
political defection looking toward secession from the Union and a new
combination with their British neighbor on the Great Lakes or the
Spanish beyond the Mississippi, these are all the identical effects of
geographical remoteness made yet more remote by barriers of mountain and
sea. This is the long reach which weakens the arm of authority, no
matter what the race or country or epoch.

[Sidenote: Effect of proximity.]

As with geographical remoteness, so it is with geographical proximity.
The history of the Greek peninsula and the Greek people, because of
their location at the threshold of the Orient, has contained a
constantly recurring Asiatic element. This comes out most often as a
note of warning; like the _motif_ of Ortrud in the opera of
"Lohengrin," it mingles ominously in every chorus of Hellenic
enterprise or paean of Hellenic victory, and finally swells into a
national dirge at the Turkish conquest of the peninsula. It comes out
in the legendary history of the Argonautic Expedition and the Trojan
War; in the arrival of Phoenician Cadmus and Phrygian Pelops in
Grecian lands; in the appearance of Tyrian ships on the coast of the
Peloponnesus, where they gather the purple-yielding murex and kidnap
Greek women. It appears more conspicuously in the Asiatic sources of
Greek culture; more dramatically in the Persian Wars, in the retreat
of Xenophon's Ten Thousand, in Alexander's conquest of Asia, and
Hellenic domination of Asiatic trade through Syria to the
Mediterranean. Again in the thirteenth century the lure of the
Levantine trade led Venice and Genoa to appropriate certain islands
and promontories of Greece as commercial bases nearer to Asia. In 1396
begins the absorption of Greece into the Asiatic empire of the Turks,
the long dark eclipse of sunny Hellas, till it issues from the shadow
in 1832 with the achievement of Greek independence.

[Sidenote: Persistent effect of natural barriers.]

If the factor is not one of geographical location, but a natural
barrier, such as a mountain system or a desert, its effect is just as
persistent. The upheaved mass of the Carpathians served to divide the
westward moving tide of the Slavs into two streams, diverting one into
the maritime plain of northern Germany and Poland, the other into the
channel of the Danube Valley which guided them to the Adriatic and the
foot of the Alps. This same range checked the westward advance of the
mounted Tartar hordes. The Alps long retarded Roman expansion into
central Europe, just as they delayed and obstructed the southward
advance of the northern barbarians. Only through the partial breaches in
the wall known as passes did the Alps admit small, divided bodies of the
invaders, like the Cimbri and Teutons, who arrived, therefore, with
weakened power and at intervals, so that the Roman forces had time to
gather their strength between successive attacks, and thus prolonged the
life of the declining empire. So in the Middle Ages, the Alpine barrier
facilitated the resistance of Italy to the German emperors, trying to
enforce their claim upon this ancient seat of the Holy Roman Empire.

It was by river-worn valleys leading to passes in the ridge that
Etruscan trader, Roman legion, barbarian horde, and German army crossed
the Alpine ranges. To-day well-made highways and railroads converge upon
these valley paths and summit portals, and going is easier; but the Alps
still collect their toll, now in added tons of coal consumed by engines
and in higher freight rates, instead of the ancient imposts of physical
exhaustion paid by pack animal and heavily accoutred soldier. Formerly
these mountains barred the weak and timid; to-day they bar the poor, and
forbid transit to all merchandise of large bulk and small value which
can not pay the heavy transportation charges. Similarly, the wide
barrier of the Rockies, prior to the opening of the first overland
railroad, excluded all but strong-limbed and strong-hearted pioneers
from the fertile valleys of California and Oregon, just as it excludes
coal and iron even from the Colorado mines, and checks the free
movement of laborers to the fields and factories of California, thereby
tightening the grip of the labor unions upon Pacific coast industries.

[Sidenote: Persistent effect of nature-made highways.]

As the surface of the earth presents obstacles, so it offers channels
for the easy movement of humanity, grooves whose direction determines
the destination of aimless, unplanned migrations, and whose termini
become, therefore, regions of historical importance. Along these
nature-made highways history repeats itself. The maritime plain of
Palestine has been an established route of commerce and war from the
time of Sennacherib to Napoleon.[1] The Danube Valley has admitted to
central Europe a long list of barbarian invaders, covering the period
from Attila the Hun to the Turkish besiegers of Vienna in 1683. The
history of the Danube Valley has been one of warring throngs, of
shifting political frontiers, and unassimilated races; but as the river
is a great natural highway, every neighboring state wants to front upon
it and strives to secure it as a boundary.

The movements of peoples constantly recur to these old grooves. The
unmarked path of the voyageur's canoe, bringing out pelts from Lake
Superior to the fur market at Montreal, is followed to-day by whaleback
steamers with their cargoes of Manitoba wheat. To-day the Mohawk
depression through the northern Appalachians diverts some of Canada's
trade from the Great Lakes to the Hudson, just as in the seventeenth
century it enabled the Dutch at New Amsterdam and later the English at
Albany to tap the fur trade of Canada's frozen forests. Formerly a line
of stream and portage, it carries now the Erie Canal and New York
Central Railroad.[2] Similarly the narrow level belt of land extending
from the mouth of the Hudson to the eastern elbow of the lower Delaware,
defining the outer margin of the rough hill country of northern New
Jersey and the inner margin of the smooth coastal plain, has been from
savage days such a natural thoroughfare. Here ran the trail of the
Lenni-Lenapi Indians; a little later, the old Dutch road between New
Amsterdam and the Delaware trading-posts; yet later the King's Highway
from New York to Philadelphia. In 1838 it became the route of the
Delaware and Raritan Canal, and more recently of the Pennsylvania
Railroad between New York and Philadelphia.[3]

The early Aryans, in their gradual dispersion over northwestern India,
reached the Arabian Sea chiefly by a route running southward from the
Indus-Ganges divide, between the eastern border of the Rajputana Desert
and the western foot of the Aravalli Hills. The streams flowing down
from this range across the thirsty plains unite to form the Luni River,
which draws a dead-line to the advance of the desert. Here a smooth and
well-watered path brought the early Aryans of India to a fertile coast
along the Gulf of Cambay.[4] In the palmy days of the Mongol Empire
during the seventeenth century, and doubtless much earlier, it became an
established trade route between the sea and the rich cities of the upper
Ganges.[5] Recently it determined the line of the Rajputana Railroad
from the Gulf of Cambay to Delhi.[6] Barygaza, the ancient seaboard
terminus of this route, appears in Pliny's time as the most famous
emporium of western India, the resort of Greek and Arab merchants.[7] It
reappears later in history with its name metamorphosed to Baroche or
Broach, where in 1616 the British established a factory for trade,[8]
but is finally superseded, under Portuguese and English rule, by nearby
Surat. Thus natural conditions fix the channels in which the stream of
humanity most easily moves, determine within certain limits the
direction of its flow, the velocity and volume of its current. Every new
flood tends to fit itself approximately into the old banks, seeks first
these lines of least resistance, and only when it finds them blocked or
pre-empted does it turn to more difficult paths.

[Sidenote: Regions of historical similarity.]

Geographical environment, through the persistence of its influence,
acquires peculiar significance. Its effect is not restricted to a given
historical event or epoch, but, except when temporarily met by some
strong counteracting force, tends to make itself felt under varying
guise in all succeeding history. It is the permanent element in the
shifting fate of races. Islands show certain fundamental points of
agreement which can be distinguished in the economic, ethnic and
historical development of England, Japan, Melanesian Fiji, Polynesian
New Zealand, and pre-historic Crete. The great belt of deserts and
steppes extending across the Old World gives us a vast territory of rare
historical uniformity. From time immemorial they have borne and bred
tribes of wandering herdsmen; they have sent out the invading hordes
who, in successive waves of conquest, have overwhelmed the neighboring
river lowlands of Eurasia and Africa. They have given birth in turn to
Scythians, Indo-Aryans, Avars, Huns, Saracens, Tartars and Turks, as to
the Tuareg tribes of the Sahara, the Sudanese and Bantu folk of the
African grasslands. But whether these various peoples have been Negroes,
Hamites, Semites, Indo-Europeans or Mongolians, they have always been
pastoral nomads. The description given by Herodotus of the ancient
Scythians is applicable in its main features to the Kirghis and Kalmuck
who inhabit the Caspian plains to-day. The environment of this dry
grassland operates now to produce the same mode of life and social
organization as it did 2,400 years ago; stamps the cavalry tribes of
Cossacks as it did the mounted Huns, energizes its sons by its dry
bracing air, toughens them by its harsh conditions of life, organizes
them into a mobilized army, always moving with its pastoral
commissariat. Then when population presses too hard upon the meager
sources of subsistence, when a summer drought burns the pastures and
dries up the water-holes, it sends them forth on a mission of conquest,
to seek abundance in the better watered lands of their agricultural
neighbors. Again and again the productive valleys of the Hoangho, Indus,
Ganges, Tigris and Euphrates, Nile, Volga, Dnieper and Danube have been
brought into subjection by the imperious nomads of arid Asia, just as
the "hoe-people" of the Niger and upper Nile have so often been
conquered by the herdsmen of the African grasslands. Thus, regardless of
race or epoch--Hyksos or Kaffir--history tends to repeat itself in these
rainless tracts, and involves the better watered districts along their
borders when the vast tribal movements extend into these peripheral



[Sidenote: Climatic influences.]

Climatic influences are persistent, often obdurate in their control.
Arid regions permit agriculture and sedentary life only through
irrigation. The economic prosperity of Egypt to-day depends as
completely upon the distribution of the Nile waters as in the days of
the Pharaohs. The mantle of the ancient Egyptian priest has fallen upon
the modern British engineer. Arctic explorers have succeeded only by
imitating the life of the Eskimos, adopting their clothes, food, fuel,
dwellings, and mode of travel. Intense cold has checked both native and
Russian development over that major portion of Siberia lying north of
the mean annual isotherm of degree C. (32 degrees F.); and it has had a
like effect in the corresponding part of Canada. (Compare maps pages 8
and 9.) It allows these sub-arctic lands scant resources and a
population of less than two to the square mile. Even with the intrusion
of white colonial peoples, it perpetuates the savage economy of the
native hunting tribes, and makes the fur trader their modern exploiter,
whether he be the Cossack tribute-gatherer of the lower Lena River, or
the factor of the Hudson Bay Company. The assimilation tends to be
ethnic as well as economic, because the severity of the climate excludes
the white woman. The debilitating effects of heat and humidity, aided by
tropical diseases, soon reduce intruding peoples to the dead level of
economic inefficiency characteristic of the native races. These, as the
fittest, survive and tend to absorb the new-comers, pointing to
hybridization as the simplest solution of the problem of tropical

[Sidenote: The relation of geography to history.]

The more the comparative method is applied to the study of
history--and this includes a comparison not only of different
countries, but also of successive epochs in the same country--the more
apparent becomes the influence of the soil in which humanity is
rooted, the more permanent and necessary is that influence seen to be.
Geography's claim to make scientific investigation of the physical
conditions of historical events is then vindicated. "Which was there
first, geography or history?" asks Kant. And then comes his answer:
"Geography lies at the basis of history." The two are inseparable.
History takes for its field of investigation human events in various
periods of time; anthropo-geography studies existence in various
regions of terrestrial space. But all historical development takes
place on the earth's surface, and therefore is more or less molded by
its geographic setting. Geography, to reach accurate conclusions, must
compare the operation of its factors in different historical periods
and at different stages of cultural development. It therefore regards
history in no small part as a succession of geographical factors
embodied in events. Back of Massachusetts' passionate abolition
movement, it sees the granite soil and boulder-strewn fields of New
England; back of the South's long fight for the maintenance of
slavery, it sees the rich plantations of tidewater Virginia and the
teeming fertility of the Mississippi bottom lands. This is the
significance of Herder's saying that "history is geography set into
motion." What is to-day a fact of geography becomes to-morrow a factor
of history. The two sciences cannot be held apart without doing
violence to both, without dismembering what is a natural, vital whole.
All historical problems ought to be studied geographically and all
geographic problems must be studied historically. Every map has its
date. Those in the Statistical Atlas of the United States showing the
distribution of population from 1790 to 1890 embody a mass of history
as well as of geography. A map of France or the Russian Empire has a
long historical perspective; and on the other hand, without that map
no change of ethnic or political boundary, no modification in routes
of communication, no system of frontier defences or of colonization,
no scheme of territorial aggrandizement can be understood.

[Sidenote: Multiplicity of geographic factors.]

The study of physical environment as a factor in history was
unfortunately brought into disrepute by extravagant and ill-founded
generalization, before it became the object of investigation according
to modern scientific methods. And even to-day principles advanced in the
name of anthropo-geography are often superficial, inaccurate, based upon
a body of data too limited as to space and time, or couched in terms of
unqualified statement which exposes them to criticism or refutation.
Investigators in this field, moreover, are prone to get a squint in
their eye that makes them see one geographic factor to the exclusion of
the rest; whereas it belongs to the very nature of physical environment
to combine a whole group of influences, working all at the same time
under the law of the resolution of forces. In this plexus of influences,
some operate in one direction and some in another; now one loses its
beneficent effect like a medicine long used or a garment outgrown;
another waxes in power, reinforced by a new geographic factor which has
been released from dormancy by the expansion of the known world, or the
progress of invention and of human development.

[Sidenote: Evolution of geographic relations.]

These complex geographic influences cannot be analyzed and their
strength estimated except from the standpoint of evolution. That is one
reason these half-baked geographic principles rest heavy on our mental
digestion. They have been formulated without reference to the
all-important fact that the geographical relations of man, like his
social and political organization, are subject to the law of
development. Just as the embryo state found in the primitive Saxon tribe
has passed through many phases in attaining the political character of
the present British Empire, so every stage in this maturing growth has
been accompanied or even preceded by a steady evolution of the
geographic relations of the English people.

Owing to the evolution of geographic relations, the physical environment
favorable to one stage of development may be adverse to another, and
_vice versa_. For instance, a small, isolated and protected habitat,
like that of Egypt, Phoenicia, Crete and Greece, encourages the birth
and precocious growth of civilization; but later it may cramp progress,
and lend the stamp of arrested development to a people who were once the
model for all their little world. Open and wind-swept Russia, lacking
these small, warm nurseries where Nature could cuddle her children, has
bred upon its boundless plains a massive, untutored, homogeneous folk,
fed upon the crumbs of culture that have fallen from the richer tables
of Europe. But that item of area is a variable quantity in the equation.
It changes its character at a higher stage of cultural development.
Consequently, when the Muscovite people, instructed by the example of
western Europe, shall have grown up intellectually, economically and
politically to their big territory, its area will become a great
national asset. Russia will come into its own, heir to a long-withheld
inheritance. Many of its previous geographic disadvantages will vanish,
like the diseases of childhood, while its massive size will dwarf many
previous advantages of its European neighbors.

[Sidenote: Evolution of world relations.]

This evolution of geographic relations applies not only to the local
environment, but also to the wider world relations of a people. Greeks
and Syrians, English and Japanese, take a different rank among the
nations of the earth to-day from that held by their ancestors 2,000 years
ago, simply because the world relations of civilized peoples have been
steadily expanding since those far-back days of Tyrian and Athenian
supremacy. The period of maritime discoveries in the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries shifted the foci of the world relations of European
states from enclosed seas to the rim of the Atlantic. Venice and Genoa
gave way to Cadiz and Lagos, just as sixteen centuries before Corinth
and Athens had yielded their ascendency to Rome and Ostia. The keen but
circumscribed trade of the Baltic, which gave wealth and historical
preeminence to Lübeck and the other Hanse Towns of northern Germany from
the twelfth to the seventeenth century, lost its relative importance
when the Atlantic became the maritime field of history. Maritime
leadership passed westward from Lübeck and Stralsund to Amsterdam and
Bristol, as the historical horizon widened. England, prior to this
sudden dislocation, lay on the outskirts of civilized Europe, a terminal
land, not a focus. The peripheral location which retarded her early
development became a source of power when she accumulated sufficient
density of population for colonizing enterprises, and when maritime
discovery opened a way to trans-oceanic lands.[9]

Meanwhile, local geographic advantages in the old basins remain the
same, although they are dwarfed by the development of relatively greater
advantages elsewhere. The broken coastline, limited area and favorable
position of Greece make its people to-day a nation of seamen, and enable
them to absorb by their considerable merchant fleet a great part of the
trade of the eastern Mediterranean,[10] just as they did in the days of
Pericles; but that youthful Aegean world which once constituted so large
a part of the _oikoumene_, has shrunken to a modest province, and its
highways to local paths. The coast cities of northern Germany still
maintain a large commerce in the Baltic, but no longer hold the
pre-eminence of the old Hanse Towns. The glory of the Venetian Adriatic
is gone; but that the sea has still a local significance is proven by
the vast sums spent by Austria and Hungary on their hand-made harbors of
Trieste and Fiume.[11] The analytical geographer, therefore, while
studying a given combination of geographic forces, must be prepared for
a momentous readjustment and a new interplay after any marked turning
point in the economic, cultural, or world relations of a people.

[Sidenote: Interplay of geographic factors.]

Skepticism as to the effect of geographic conditions upon human
development is apparently justifiable, owing to the multiplicity of the
underlying causes and the difficulty of distinguishing between stronger
and weaker factors on the one hand, as between permanent and temporary
effects on the other. We see the result, but find it difficult to state
the equation producing this result. But the important thing is to avoid
seizing upon one or two conspicuous geographic elements in the problem
and ignoring the rest. The physical environment of a people consists of
all the natural conditions to which they have been subjected, not merely
a part. Geography admits no single blanket theory. The slow historical
development of the Russian folk has been due to many geographic
causes--to excess of cold and deficiency of rain, an outskirt location
on the Asiatic border of Europe exposed to the attacks of nomadic
hordes, a meager and, for the most part, ice-bound coast which was
slowly acquired, an undiversified surface, a lack of segregated regions
where an infant civilization might be cradled, and a vast area of
unfenced plains wherein the national energies spread out thin and
dissipated themselves. The better Baltic and Black Sea coasts, the
fertility of its Ukraine soil, and location next to wide-awake Germany
along the western frontier have helped to accelerate progress, but the
slow-moving body carried too heavy a drag.

[Sidenote: Land and sea in co-operation.]

The law of the resolutions of forces applies in geography as in the
movement of planets. Failure to recognize this fact often enables
superficial critics of anthropo-geography to make a brave show of
argument. The analysis of these interacting forces and of their various
combinations requires careful investigation. Let us consider the
interplay of the forces of land and sea apparent in every country with
a maritime location. In some cases a small, infertile, niggardly country
conspires with a beckoning sea to drive its sons out upon the deep; in
others a wide territory with a generous soil keeps its well-fed children
at home and silences the call of the sea. In ancient Phoenicia and
Greece, in Norway, Finland, New England, in savage Chile and Tierra del
Fuego, and the Indian coast district of British Columbia and southern
Alaska, a long, broken shoreline, numerous harbors, outlying islands,
abundant timber for the construction of ships, difficult communication
by land, all tempted the inhabitants to a seafaring life. While the sea
drew, the land drove in the same direction. There a hilly or mountainous
interior putting obstacles in the way of landward expansion, sterile
slopes, a paucity of level, arable land, an excessive or deficient
rainfall withholding from agriculture the reward of tillage--some or all
of these factors combined to compel the inhabitants to seek on the sea
the livelihood denied by the land. Here both forces worked in the same

In England conditions were much the same, and from the sixteenth century
produced there a predominant maritime development which was due not
solely to a long indented coastline and an exceptional location for
participating in European and American trade. Its limited island area,
its large extent of rugged hills and chalky soil fit only for pasturage,
and the lack of a really generous natural endowment,[12] made it slow to
answer the demands of a growing population, till the industrial
development of the nineteenth century exploited its mineral wealth. So
the English turned to the sea--to fish, to trade, to colonize. Holland's
conditions made for the same development. She united advantages of
coastline and position with a small infertile territory, consisting
chiefly of water-soaked grazing lands. When at the zenith of her
maritime development, a native authority estimated that the soil of
Holland could not support more than one-eighth of her inhabitants. The
meager products of the land had to be eked out by the harvest of the
sea. Fish assumed an important place in the diet of the Dutch, and when
a process of curing it was discovered, laid the foundation of Holland's
export trade. A geographical location central to the Baltic and North
Sea countries, and accessible to France and Portugal, combined with a
position at the mouth of the great German rivers made it absorb the
carrying trade of northern Europe.[13] Land and sea coöperated in its
maritime development.

[Sidenote: Land and sea opposed.]

Often the forces of land and sea are directly opposed. If a country's
geographic conditions are favorable to agriculture and offer room for
growth of population, the land forces prevail, because man is primarily
a terrestrial animal. Such a country illustrates what Chisholm, with
Attic nicety of speech, calls "the influence of bread-power on
history,"[14] as opposed to Mahan's sea-power. France, like England, had
a long coastline, abundant harbors, and an excellent location for
maritime supremacy and colonial expansion; but her larger area and
greater amount of fertile soil put off the hour of a redundant
population such as England suffered from even in Henry VIII's time.
Moreover, in consequence of steady continental expansion from the
twelfth to the eighteenth century and a political unification which made
its area more effective for the support of the people, the French of
Richelieu's time, except those from certain districts, took to the sea,
not by national impulse as did the English and Dutch, but rather under
the spur of government initiative. They therefore achieved far less in
maritime trade and colonization.[15] In ancient Palestine, a long
stretch of coast, poorly equipped with harbors but accessible to the
rich Mediterranean trade, failed to offset the attraction of the gardens
and orchards of the Jezreel Valley and the pastures of the Judean hills,
or to overcome the land-born predilections and aptitudes of the
desert-bred Jews. Similarly, the river-fringed peninsulas of Virginia
and Maryland, opening wide their doors to the incoming sea, were
powerless, nevertheless, to draw the settlers away from the riotous
productiveness of the wide tidewater plains. Here again the geographic
force of the land outweighed that of the sea and became the dominant
factor in directing the activities of the inhabitants.

The two antagonistic geographic forces may be both of the land, one born
of a country's topography, the other of its location. Switzerland's
history has for centuries shown the conflict of two political policies,
one a policy of cantonal and communal independence, which has sprung
from the division of that mountainous country into segregated districts,
and the other one of political centralization, dictated by the necessity
for coöperation to meet the dangers of Switzerland's central location
mid a circle of larger and stronger neighbors. Local geographic
conditions within the Swiss territory fixed the national ideal as a
league of "sovereign cantons," to use the term of their constitution,
enjoying a maximum of individual rights and privileges, and tolerating a
minimum of interference from the central authority. Here was physical
dismemberment coupled with mutual political repulsion. But a location at
the meeting place of French, German, Austrian and Italian frontiers laid
upon them the distasteful necessity of union within to withstand
aggressions crowding upon them from without. Hence the growth of the
Swiss constitution since 1798 has meant a fight of the Confederation
against the canton in behalf of general rights, expanding the functions
of the central government, contracting those of canton and commune.[16]

[Sidenote: Local and remote geographic factors.]

Every country forms an independent whole, and as such finds its national
history influenced by its local climate, soil, relief, its location
whether inland or maritime, its river highways, and its boundaries of
mountain, sea, or desert. But it is also a link in a great chain of
lands, and therefore may feel a shock or vibration imparted at the
remotest end. The gradual desiccation of western Asia which took a fresh
start about 2,000 years ago caused that great exodus and displacement of
peoples known as the _Völkerwanderung_, and thus contributed to the
downfall of Rome; it was one factor in the Saxon conquest of Britain and
the final peopling of central Europe. The impact of the Turkish hordes
hurling themselves against the defenses of Constantinople in 1453 was
felt only forty years afterward by the far-off shores of savage America.
Earlier still it reached England as the revival of learning, and it gave
Portugal a shock which started its navigators towards the Cape of Good
Hope in their search for a sea route to India. The history of South
Africa is intimately connected with the Isthmus of Suez. It owes its
Portuguese, Dutch, and English populations to that barrier on the
Mediterranean pathway to the Orient; its importance as a way station on
the outside route to India fluctuates with every crisis in the history
of Suez.

[Sidenote: Direct and indirect effects of environment.]

The geographic factors in history appear now as conspicuous direct
effects of environment, such as the forest warfare of the American
Indian or the irrigation works of the Pueblo tribes, now as a group of
indirect effects, operating through the economic, social and political
activities of a people. These remoter secondary results are often of
supreme importance; they are the ones which give the final stamp to the
national temperament and character, and yet in them the causal
connection between environment and development is far from obvious. They
have, therefore, presented pitfalls to the precipitate theorizer. He has
either interpreted them as the direct effect of some geographic cause
from which they were wholly divorced and thus arrived at conclusions
which further investigation failed to sustain; or seeing no direct and
obvious connection, he has denied the possibility of a generalization.

Montesquieu ascribes the immutability of religion, manners, custom and
laws in India and other Oriental countries to their warm climate.[17]
Buckle attributes a highly wrought imagination and gross superstition to
all people, like those of India, living in the presence of great
mountains and vast plains, knowing Nature only in its overpowering
aspects, which excite the fancy and paralyze reason. He finds, on the
other hand, an early predominance of reason in the inhabitants of a
country like ancient Greece, where natural features are on a small
scale, more comprehensible, nearer the measure of man himself.[18] The
scientific geographer, grown suspicious of the omnipotence of climate
and cautious of predicating immediate psychological effects which are
easy to assert but difficult to prove, approaches the problem more
indirectly and reaches a different solution. He finds that geographic
conditions have condemned India to isolation. On the land side, a great
sweep of high mountains has restricted intercourse with the interior; on
the sea side, the deltaic swamps of the Indus and Ganges Rivers and an
unbroken shoreline, backed by mountains on the west of the peninsula and
by coastal marshes and lagoons on the east, have combined to reduce its
accessibility from the ocean. The effect of such isolation is ignorance,
superstition, and the early crystallization of thought and custom.
Ignorance involves the lack of material for comparison, hence a
restriction of the higher reasoning processes, and an unscientific
attitude of mind which gives imagination free play. In contrast, the
accessibility of Greece and its focal location in the ancient world made
it an intellectual clearing-house for the eastern Mediterranean. The
general information gathered there afforded material for wide
comparison. It fed the brilliant reason of the Athenian philosopher and
the trained imagination which produced the masterpieces of Greek art and

[Sidenote: Indirect mental effects.]

Heinrich von Treitschke, in his recent "Politik," imitates the direct
inference of Buckle when he ascribes the absence of artistic and poetic
development in Switzerland and the Alpine lands to the overwhelming
aspect of nature there, its majestic sublimity which paralyzes the
mind.[19] He reinforces his position by the fact that, by contrast, the
lower mountains and hill country of Swabia, Franconia and Thuringia,
where nature is gentler, stimulating, appealing, and not overpowering,
have produced many poets and artists. The facts are incontestable. They
reappear in France in the geographical distribution of the awards made
by the Paris _Salon_ of 1896. Judged by these awards, the rough
highlands of Savoy, Alpine Provence, the massive eastern Pyrenees, and
the Auvergne Plateau, together with the barren peninsula of Brittany,
are singularly lacking in artistic instinct, while art nourishes in all
the river lowlands of France. Moreover, French men of letters, by the
distribution of their birthplaces, are essentially products of fluvial
valleys and plains, rarely of upland and mountain.[20]

This contrast has been ascribed to a fundamental ethnic distinction
between the Teutonic population of the lowlands and the Alpine or Celtic
stock which survives in the isolation of highland and peninsula, thus
making talent an attribute of race. But the Po Valley of northern Italy,
whose population contains a strong infusion of this supposedly
stultifying Alpine blood, and the neighboring lowlands and hill country
of Tuscany show an enormous preponderance of intellectual and artistic
power over the highlands of the peninsula.[21] Hence the same contrast
appears among different races under like geographic conditions.
Moreover, in France other social phenomena, such as suicide, divorce,
decreasing birth-rate, and radicalism in politics, show this same
startling parallelism of geographic distribution,[22] and these cannot
be attributed to the stimulating or depressing effect of natural scenery
upon the human mind.

Mountain regions discourage the budding of genius because they are areas
of isolation, confinement, remote from the great currents of men and
ideas that move along the river valleys. They are regions of much labor
and little leisure, of poverty to-day and anxiety for the morrow, of
toil-cramped hands and toil-dulled brains. In the fertile alluvial
plains are wealth, leisure, contact with many minds, large urban centers
where commodities and ideas are exchanged. The two contrasted
environments produce directly certain economic and social results,
which, in turn, become the causes of secondary intellectual and artistic
effects. The low mountains of central Germany which von Treitschke cites
as homes of poets and artists, owing to abundant and varied mineral
wealth, are the seats of active industries and dense populations,[23]
while their low reliefs present no serious obstacle to the numerous
highways across them. They, therefore, afford all conditions for

[Sidenote: Indirect effects in differentiation of colonial peoples.]

Let us take a different example. The rapid modification in physical and
mental constitution of the English transplanted to North America, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand has been the result of several
geographic causes working through the economic and social media; but it
has been ascribed by Darwin and others to the effect of climate. The
prevailing energy and initiative of colonists have been explained by the
stimulating atmosphere of their new homes. Even Natal has not escaped
this soft impeachment. But the enterprise of colonials has cropped out,
under almost every condition of heat and cold, aridity and humidity, of
a habitat at sea-level and on high plateau. This blanket theory of
climate cannot, therefore, cover the case. Careful analysis supersedes
it by a whole group of geographic factors working directly and
indirectly. The first of these was the dividing ocean which, prior to
the introduction of cheap ocean transportation and bustling steerage
agents, made a basis of artificial selection. Then it was the man of
abundant energy who, cramped by the narrow environment of a Norwegian
farm or Irish bog, came over to America to take up a quarter-section of
prairie land or rise to the eminence of Boston police sergeant. The
Scotch immigrants in America who fought in the Civil War were nearly two
inches taller than the average in the home country.[24] But the ocean
barrier culled superior qualities of mind and character
also--independence of political and religious conviction, and the
courage of those convictions, whether found in royalist or Puritan,
Huguenot or English Catholic.

[Sidenote: Indirect effect through isolation.]

Such colonists in a remote country were necessarily few and could not be
readily reinforced from home. Their new and isolated geographical
environment favored variation. Heredity passed on the characteristics of
a small, highly selected group. The race was kept pure from intermixture
with the aborigines of the country, owing to the social and cultural
abyss which separated them, and to the steady withdrawal of the natives
before the advance of the whites. The homogeneity of island peoples
seems to indicate that individual variations are in time communicated by
heredity to a whole population under conditions of isolation; and in
this way modifications due to artificial selection and a changed
environment become widely spread.

Nor is this all. The modified type soon becomes established, because the
abundance of land at the disposal of the colonists and the consequent
better conditions of living encourage a rapid increase of population. A
second geographic factor of mere area here begins to operate. Ease in
gaining subsistence, the greater independence of the individual and the
family, emancipation from carking care, the hopeful attitude of mind
engendered by the consciousness of an almost unlimited opportunity and
capacity for expansion, the expectation of large returns upon labor,
and, finally, the profound influence of this hopefulness upon the
national character, all combined, produce a social rejuvenation of the
race. New conditions present new problems which call for prompt and
original solution, make a demand upon the ingenuity and resourcefulness
of the individual, and therefore work to the same end as his previous
removal from the paralyzing effect of custom in the old home country.
Activity is youth and sluggishness or paralysis is age. Hence the
energy, initiative, adaptability, and receptivity to new ideas--all
youthful qualities--which characterize the Anglo-Saxon American as well
as the English Africander, can be traced back to the stimulating
influences, not of a bracing or variable climate, but of the abundant
opportunities offered by a great, rich, unexploited country. Variation
under new natural conditions, when safe-guarded by isolation, tends to
produce modification of the colonial type; this is the direct effect of
a changed environment. But the new economic and social activities of a
transplanted people become the vehicle of a mass of indirect geographic
influences which contribute to the differentiation of the national

[Sidenote: General importance of indirect effects.]

The tendency to overlook such links between conspicuous effects and
their remote, less evident geographic causes has been common in
geographic investigation. This direct rather than indirect approach to
the heart of the problem has led to false inferences or to the
assumption that reliable conclusions were impossible. Environment
influences the higher, mental life of a people chiefly through the
medium of their economic and social life; hence its ultimate effects
should be traced through the latter back to the underlying cause. But
rarely has this been done. Even so astute a geographer as Strabo, though
he recognizes the influence of geographic isolation in differentiating
dialects and customs in Greece,[25] ascribes some national
characteristics to the nature of the country, especially to its climate,
and the others to education and institutions. He thinks that the nature
of their respective lands had nothing to do with making the Athenians
cultured, the Spartans and Thebans ignorant; that the predilection for
natural science in Babylonia and Egypt was not a result of environment
but of the institutions and education of those countries.[26] But here
arise the questions, how far custom and education in their turn depend
upon environment; to what degree natural conditions, molding economic
and political development, may through them fundamentally affect social
customs, education, culture, and the dominant intellectual aptitudes of
a people. It is not difficult to see, back of the astronomy and
mathematics and hydraulics of Egypt, the far off sweep of the rain-laden
monsoons against the mountains of Abyssinia and the creeping of the
tawny Nile flood over that river-born oasis.

[Sidenote: Indirect political and moral effects.]

Plutarch states in his "Solon" that after the rebellion of Kylon in 612
B.C. the Athenian people were divided into as many political factions as
there were physical types of country in Attica. The mountaineers, who
were the poorest party, wanted something like a democracy; the people of
the plains, comprising the greatest number of rich families, were
clamorous for an oligarchy; the coast population of the south,
intermediate both in social position and wealth, wanted something
between the two. The same three-fold division appeared again in 564 B.C.
on the usurpation of Peisistratus.[27] Here the connection between
geographic condition and political opinion is clear enough, though the
links are agriculture and commerce. New England's opposition to the War
of 1812, culminating in the threat of secession of the Hartford
Convention, can be traced back through the active maritime trade to the
broken coastline and unproductive soil of that glaciated country.

In all democratic or representative forms of government permitting free
expression of popular opinion, history shows that division into
political parties tends to follow geographical lines of cleavage. In our
own Civil War the dividing line between North and South did not always
run east and west. The mountain area of the Southern Appalachians
supported the Union and drove a wedge of disaffection into the heart of
the South. Mountainous West Virginia was politically opposed to the
tidewater plains of old Virginia, because slave labor did not pay on the
barren "upright" farms of the Cumberland Plateau; whereas, it was
remunerative on the wide fertile plantations of the coastal lowland. The
ethics of the question were obscured where conditions of soil and
topography made the institution profitable. In the mountains, as also in
New England, a law of diminishing financial returns had for its
corollary a law of increasing moral insight. In this case, geographic
conditions worked through the medium of direct economic effects to more
important political and ethical results.

The roots of geographic influence often run far underground before
coming to the surface, to sprout into some flowering growth; and to
trace this back to its parent stem is the necessary but not easy task of
the geographer.

[Sidenote: Time element.]

The complexity of this problem does not end here. The modification of
human development by environment is a natural process; like all other
natural processes, it involves the cumulative effects of causes
operating imperceptibly but persistently through vast periods of time.
Slowly and deliberately does geography engrave the subtitles to a
people's history. Neglect of this time element in the consideration of
geographic influences accounts equally for many an exaggerated assertion
and denial of their power. A critic undertakes to disprove modification
through physical environment by showing that it has not produced
tangible results in the last fifty or five hundred years. This attitude
recalls the early geologists, whose imaginations could not conceive the
vast ages necessary in a scientific explanation of geologic phenomena.

The theory of evolution has taught us in science to think in larger
terms of time, so that we no longer raise the question whether European
colonists in Africa can turn into negroes, though we do find the recent
amazing statement that the Yankee, in his tall, gaunt figure, "the
colour of his skin, and the formation of his hair, has begun to
differentiate himself from his European kinsman and approach the type of
the aboriginal Indians."[28] Evolution tells the story of modification
by a succession of infinitesimal changes, and emphasizes the permanence
of a modification once produced long after the causes for it cease to
act. The mesas of Arizona, the earth sculpture of the Grand Canyon
remain as monuments to the erosive forces which produced them. So a
habitat leaves upon man no ephemeral impress; it affects him in one way
at a low stage of his development, and differently at a later or higher
stage, because the man himself and his relation to his environment have
been modified in the earlier period; but traces of that earlier
adaptation survive in his maturer life. Hence man's relation to his
environment must be looked at through the perspective of historical
development. It would be impossible to explain the history and national
character of the contemporary English solely by their twentieth century
response to their environment, because with insular conservatism they
carry and cherish vestiges of times when their islands represented
different geographic relations from those of to-day. Witness the
wool-sack of the lord chancellor. We cannot understand the location of
modern Athens, Rome or Berlin from the present day relations of urban
populations to their environment, because the original choice of these
sites was dictated by far different considerations from those ruling
to-day. In the history of these cities a whole succession of geographic
factors have in turn been active, each leaving its impress of which the
cities become, as it were, repositories.

[Sidenote: Effect of a previous habitat.]

The importance of this time element for a solution of
anthropo-geographic problems becomes plainer, where a certain locality
has received an entirely new population, or where a given people by
migration change their habitat. The result in either case is the same, a
new combination, new modifications superimposed on old modifications.
And it is with this sort of case that anthropo-geography most often has
to deal. So restless has mankind been, that the testimony of history and
ethnology is all against the assumption that a social group has ever
been subjected to but one type of environment during its long period of
development from a primitive to a civilized society. Therefore, if we
assert that a people is the product of the country which it inhabits at
a given time, we forget that many different countries which its forbears
occupied have left their mark on the present race in the form of
inherited aptitudes and traditional customs acquired in those remote
ancestral habitats. The Moors of Granada had passed through a wide range
of ancestral experiences; they bore the impress of Asia, Africa and
Europe, and on their expulsion from Spain carried back with them to
Morocco traces of their peninsula life.

A race or tribe develops certain characteristics in a certain region,
then moves on, leaving the old abode but not all the accretions of
custom, social organization and economic method there acquired. These
travel on with the migrant people; some are dropped, others are
preserved because of utility, sentiment or mere habit. For centuries
after the settlement of the Jews in Palestine, traces of their pastoral
life in the grasslands of Mesopotamia could be discerned in their social
and political organization, in their ritual and literature. Survivals of
their nomadic life in Asiatic steppes still persist among the Turks of
Europe, after six centuries of sedentary life in the best agricultural
land of the Balkan Peninsula. One of these appears in their choice of
meat. They eat chiefly sheep and goats, beef very rarely, and swine not
at all.[29] The first two thrive on poor pastures and travel well, so
that they are admirably adapted to nomadic life in arid lands; the last
two, far less so, but on the other hand are the regular concomitant of
agricultural life. The Turk's taste to-day, therefore, is determined by
the flocks and herds which he once pastured on the Trans-Caspian plains.
The finished terrace agriculture and methods of irrigation, which the
Saracens had learned on the mountain sides of Yemen through a schooling
of a thousand years or more, facilitated their economic conquest of
Spain. Their intelligent exploitation of the country's resources for the
support of their growing numbers in the favorable climatic conditions
which Spain offered was a light-hearted task, because of the severe
training which they had had in their Arabian home.

The origin of Roman political institutions is intimately connected with
conditions of the naturally small territory where arose the greatness of
Rome. But now, after two thousand years we see the political impress of
this narrow origin spreading to the governments of an area of Europe
immeasurably larger than the region that gave it birth. In the United
States, little New England has been the source of the strongest
influences modifying the political, religious and cultural life of half
a continent; and as far as Texas and California these influences bear
the stamp of that narrow, unproductive environment which gave to its
sons energy of character and ideals.

[Sidenote: Transplanted religions.]

Ideas especially are light baggage, and travel with migrant peoples
over many a long and rough road. They are wafted like winged seed by the
wind, and strike root in regions where they could never have originated.
Few classes of ideas bear so plainly the geographic stamp of their
origin as religious ones, yet none have spread more widely. The abstract
monotheism sprung from the bare grasslands of western Asia made slow but
final headway against the exuberant forest gods of the early Germans.
Religious ideas travel far from their seedbeds along established lines
of communication. We have the almost amusing episode of the brawny
Burgundians of the fifth century, who received the Arian form of
Christianity by way of the Danube highway from the schools of Athens and
Alexandria, valiantly supporting the niceties of Greek religious thought
against the Roman version of the faith which came up the Rhone Valley.

If the sacred literature of Judaism and Christianity take weak hold upon
the western mind, this is largely because it is written in the symbolism
of the pastoral nomad. Its figures of speech reflect life in deserts and
grasslands. For these figures the western mind has few or vague
corresponding ideas. It loses, therefore, half the import, for instance,
of the Twenty-third Psalm, that picture of the nomad shepherd guiding
his flock across parched and trackless plains, to bring them at evening,
weary, hungry, thirsty, to the fresh pastures and waving palms of some
oasis, whose green tints stand out in vivid contrast to the tawny wastes
of the encompassing sands. "He leadeth me beside the still waters," not
the noisy rushing stream of the rainy lands, but the quiet desert pool
that reflects the stars. What real significance has the tropical
radiance of the lotus flower, the sacred symbol of Buddhism, for the
Mongolian lama in the cold and arid borders of Gobi or the wind-swept
highlands of sterile Tibet? And yet these exotic ideas live on, even if
they no longer bloom in the uncongenial soil. But to explain them in
terms of their present environment would be indeed impossible.

[Sidenote: Partial response to environment]

A people may present at any given time only a partial response to their
environment also for other reasons. This may be either because their
arrival has been too recent for the new habitat to make its influence
felt; or because, even after long residence, one overpowering
geographic factor has operated to the temporary exclusion of all others.
Under these circumstances, suddenly acquired geographic advantages of a
high order or such advantages, long possessed but tardily made available
by the release of national powers from more pressing tasks, may
institute a new trend of historical development, resulting more from
stimulating geographic conditions than from the natural capacities or
aptitudes of the people themselves. Such developments, though often
brilliant, are likely to be short-lived and to end suddenly or
disastrously, because not sustained by a deep-seated national impulse
animating the whole mass of the people. They cease when the first
enthusiasm spends itself, or when outside competition is intensified, or
the material rewards decrease.

[Sidenote: The case of Spain.]

An illustration is found in the mediæval history of Spain. The
intercontinental location of the Iberian Peninsula exposed it to the
Saracen conquest and to the constant reinforcements to Islam power
furnished by the Mohammedanized Berbers of North Africa. For seven
centuries this location was the dominant geographic factor in Spain's
history. It made the expulsion of the Moors the sole object of all the
Iberian states, converted the country into an armed camp, made the
gentleman adventurer and Christian knight the national ideal. It placed
the center of political control high up on the barren plateau of
Castile, far from the centers of population and culture in the river
lowlands or along the coast. It excluded the industrial and commercial
development which was giving bone and sinew to the other European
states. The release of the national energies by the fall of Granada in
1492 and the now ingrained spirit of adventure enabled Spain and
Portugal to utilize the unparalleled advantage of their geographical
position at the junction of the Mediterranean and Atlantic highways, and
by their great maritime explorations in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, to become foremost among European colonial powers. But the
development was sporadic, not supported by any widespread national
movement. In a few decades the maritime preëminence of the Iberian
Peninsula began to yield to the competition of the Dutch and English,
who were, so to speak, saturated with their own maritime environment.
Then followed the rapid decay of the sea power of Spain, followed by
that of Portugal, till by 1648 even her coasting trade was in the hands
of the Dutch, and Dutch vessels were employed to maintain communication
with the West Indies.[30]

[Sidenote: Sporadic response to a new environment.]

We have a later instance of sporadic development under the stimulus of
new and favorable geographic conditions, a similar anti-climax. The
expansion of the Russians across the lowlands of Siberia was quite in
harmony with the genius of that land-bred people; but when they reached
Bering Sea, the enclosed basin, the proximity of the American continent,
the island stepping-stones between, and the lure of rich sealskins to
the fur-hunting Cossacks determined a sudden maritime expansion, for
which the Russian people were unfitted. Beginning in 1747, it swept the
coast of Alaska, located its American administrative center first on
Kadiak, then on Baranof Island, and by 1812 placed its southern outposts
on the California coast near San Francisco Bay and on the Farralone
Islands.[31] Russian convicts were employed to man the crazy boats built
of green lumber on the shores of Bering Sea, and Aleutian hunters with
their _bidarkas_ were impressed to catch the seal.[32] The movement was
productive only of countless shipwrecks, many seal skins, and an
opportunity to satisfy an old grudge against England. The territory
gained was sold to the United States in 1867. This is the one instance
in Russian history of any attempt at maritime expansion, and also of any
withdrawal from territory to which the Muscovite power had once
established its claim. This fact alone would indicate that only
excessively tempting geographic conditions led the Russians into an
economic and political venture which neither the previously developed
aptitudes of the people nor the conditions of population and historical
development on the Siberian seaboard were able to sustain.

[Sidenote: The larger conception of the environment.]

The history and culture of a people embody the effects of previous
habitats and of their final environment; but this means something more
than local geographic conditions. It involves influences emanating from
far beyond the borders. No country, no continent, no sea, mountain or
river is restricted to itself in the influence which it either exercises
or receives. The history of Austria cannot be understood merely from
Austrian ground. Austrian territory is part of the Mediterranean
hinterland, and therefore has been linked historically with Rome, Italy,
and the Adriatic. It is a part of the upper Danube Valley and therefore
shares much of its history with Bavaria and Germany, while the lower
Danube has linked it with the Black Sea, Greece, the Russian steppes,
and Asia. The Asiatic Hungarians have pushed forward their ethnic
boundary nearly to Vienna. The Austrian capital has seen the warring
Turks beneath its walls, and shapes its foreign policy with a view to
the relative strength of the Sultan and the Czar.

[Sidenote: Unity of the earth.]

The earth is an inseparable whole. Each country or sea is physically and
historically intelligible only as a portion of that whole. Currents and
wind-systems of the oceans modify the climate of the nearby continents,
and direct the first daring navigations of their peoples. The
alternating monsoons of the Indian Ocean guided Arab merchantmen from
ancient times back and forth between the Red Sea and the Malabar coast
of India.[33] The Equatorial Current and the northeast trade-wind
carried the timid ships of Columbus across the Atlantic to America. The
Gulf Stream and the prevailing westerlies later gave English vessels the
advantage on the return voyage. Europe is a part of the Atlantic coast.
This is a fact so significant that the North Atlantic has become a
European sea. The United States also is a part of the Atlantic coast:
this is the dominant fact of American history. China forms a section of
the Pacific rim. This is the fact back of the geographic distribution of
Chinese emigration to Annam, Tonkin, Siam, Malacca, the Philippines,
East Indies, Borneo, Australia, Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific Coast
States, British Columbia, the Alaskan coast southward from Bristol Bay
in Bering Sea, Ecuador and Peru.

As the earth is one, so is humanity. Its unity of species points to some
degree of communication through a long prehistoric past. Universal
history is not entitled to the name unless it embraces all parts of the
earth and all peoples, whether savage or civilized. To fill the gaps in
the written record it must turn to ethnology and geography, which by
tracing the distribution and movements of primitive peoples can often
reconstruct the most important features of their history.

Anthropo-geographic problems are never simple. They must all be viewed
in the long perspective of evolution and the historical past. They
require allowance for the dominance of different geographic factors at
different periods, and for a possible range of geographic influences
wide as the earth itself. In the investigator they call for pains-taking
analysis and, above all, an open mind.


[1] George Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp.
149-157. New York, 1897.

[2] A.P. Brigham, Geographic Influences in American History, Chap. I.
Boston, 1903.

[3] R.H. Whitbeck, Geographic Influences in the Development of New
Jersey, _Journal of Geography_, Vol. V, No. 6. January, 1908.

[4] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, p. 372. London and New
York, 1902-1906.

[5] Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India, 1641-1667. Vol. I, chap.
V and map. London, 1889.

[6] Sir Thomas Holdich, India, p. 305. London, 1905.

[7] Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. II, pp. 464-465, 469.
London, 1883.

[8] _Imperial Gazetteer for India_, Vol. III, p. 109. London, 1885.

[9] G.G. Chisholm, The Relativity of Geographic Advantages, _Scottish
Geog. Mag_., Vol. XIII, No. 9, Sept. 1897.

[10] Hugh Robert Mill, International Geography, p. 347. New York, 1902.

[11] Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 228-230. London, 1903.

[12] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 317-323. London,

[13] Captain A.T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 36-38.
Boston, 1902.

[14] G.G. Chisholm, Economic Geography, _Scottish Geog. Mag_., March,

[15] Captain A.T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 37-38.
Boston, 1902.

[16] Boyd Winchester, The Swiss Republic, pp. 123, 124, 145-147.
Philadelphia, 1891.

[17] Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws, Book XIV, chap. IV.

[18] Henry Buckle, History of Civilization in England, Vol. I, pp.

[19] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. I, p. 225. Leipzig, 1897.
This whole chapter on _Land und Leute_ is suggestive.

[20] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 524-525. New York, 1899.

[21] _Ibid._, 526.

[22] _Ibid._, 517-520, 533-536.

[23] Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 256-257, 268-271. London, 1903.

[24] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 89. New York, 1899.

[25] Strabo, Book VII, chap. I, 2.

[26] Strabo, Book II, chap. III, 7.

[27] Plutarch, Solon, pp. 13, 29, 154.

[28] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, pp. 244-245. New York,

[29] Roscher, _National-oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 33, note 3.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[30] Captain A.T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 41-42,
50-53. Boston, 1902.

[31] H. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. I, pp. 298, 628-635. San

[32] Agnes Laut, Vikings of the Pacific, pp. 64-82. New York, 1905.

[33] Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. II, pp. 351, 470-471.
London, 1883.



Into almost every anthropo-geographical problem the element of
environment enters in different phases, with different modes of
operation and varying degrees of importance. Since the causal conception
of geography demands a detailed analysis of all the relations between
environment and human development, it is advisable to distinguish the
various classes of geographic influences.

[Sidenote: Physical effects.]

Four fundamental classes of effects can be distinguished.

1. The first class includes direct physical effects of environment,
similar to those exerted on plants and animals by their habitat. Certain
geographic conditions, more conspicuously those of climate, apply
certain stimuli to which man, like the lower animals, responds by an
adaption of his organism to his environment. Many physiological
peculiarities of man are due to physical effects of environment, which
doubtless operated very strongly in the earliest stages of human
development, and in those shadowy ages contributed to the
differentiation of races. The unity of the human species is as clearly
established as the diversity of races and peoples, whose divergences
must be interpreted chiefly as modifications in response to various
habitats in long periods of time.

[Sidenote: Variation and natural conditions.]

Such modifications have probably been numerous in the persistent and
unending movements, shiftings, and migrations which have made up the
long prehistoric history of man. If the origin of species is found in
variability and inheritance, variation is undoubtedly influenced by a
change of natural conditions. To quote Darwin, "In one sense the
conditions of life may be said, not only to cause variability, either
directly or indirectly, but likewise to include natural selection, for
the conditions determine whether this or that variety shall survive."[34]
The variability of man does not mean that every external influence
leaves its mark upon him, but that man as an organism, by the
preservation of beneficent variations and the elimination of deleterious
ones, is gradually adapted to his environment, so that he can utilize
most completely that which it contributes to his needs. This
self-maintenance under outward influences is an essential part of the
conception of life which Herbert Spencer defines as the correspondence
between internal conditions and external circumstances, or August Comte
as the harmony between the living being and the surrounding medium or

According to Virchow, the distinction of races rests upon hereditary
variations, but heredity itself cannot become active till the
characteristic or _Zustand_ is produced which is to be handed down.[35]
But environment determines what variation shall become stable enough to
be passed on by heredity. For instance, we can hardly err in attributing
the great lung capacity, massive chests, and abnormally large torsos of
the Quichua and Aymara Indians inhabiting the high Andean plateaus to
the rarified air found at an altitude of 10,000 or 15,000 feet above sea
level. Whether these have been acquired by centuries of extreme lung
expansion, or represent the survival of a chance variation of undoubted
advantage, they are a product of the environment. They are a serious
handicap when the Aymara Indian descends to the plains, where he either
dies off or leaves descendants with diminishing chests.[36] [See map page

[Sidenote: Stature and environment]

Darwin holds that many slight changes in animals and plants, such as
size, color, thickness of skin and hair, have been produced through food
supply and climate from the external conditions under which the forms
lived.[37] Paul Ehrenreich, while regarding the chief race distinctions
as permanent forms, not to be explained by external conditions,
nevertheless concedes the slight and slow variation of the sub-race
under changing conditions of food and climate as beyond doubt.[38]
Stature is partly a matter of feeding and hence of geographic condition.
In mountain regions, where the food resources are scant, the varieties
of wild animals are characterized by smaller size in general than are
corresponding species in the lowlands. It is a noticeable fact that
dwarfed horses or ponies have originated in islands, in Iceland, the
Shetlands, Corsica and Sardinia. This is due either to scanty and
unvaried food or to excessive inbreeding, or probably to both. The
horses introduced into the Falkland Islands in 1764 have deteriorated so
in size and strength in a few generations that they are in a fair way to
develop a Falkland variety of pony.[39] On the other hand, Mr. Homer
Davenport states that the pure-bred Arabian horses raised on his New
Jersey stock farm are in the third generation a hand higher than their
grandsires imported from Arabia, and of more angular build. The result
is due to more abundant and nutritious food and the elimination of long
desert journeys.

The low stature of the natives prevailing in certain "misery spots" of
Europe, as in the Auvergne Plateau of southern France, is due in part to
race, in part to a disastrous artificial selection by the emigration of
the taller and more robust individuals, but in considerable part to the
harsh climate and starvation food-yield of that sterile soil; for the
children of the region, if removed to the more fertile valleys of the
Loire and Garonne, grow to average stature.[40] The effect of a scant and
uncertain food supply is especially clear in savages, who have erected
fewer buffers between themselves and the pressure of environment. The
Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are shorter than their Hottentot kindred
who pasture their flocks and herds in the neighboring grasslands.[41]
Samoyedes, Lapps, and other hyperborean races of Eurasia are shorter
than their more southern neighbors, the physical record of an immemorial
struggle against cold and hunger. The stunted forms and wretched aspect
of the Snake Indians inhabiting the Rocky Mountain deserts distinguished
these clans from the tall buffalo-hunting tribes of the plains.[42] Any
feature of geographic environment tending to affect directly the
physical vigor and strength of a people cannot fail to prove a potent
factor in their history.

[Sidenote: Physical effects of dominant activities.]

Oftentimes environment modifies the physique of a people indirectly by
imposing upon them certain predominant activities, which may develop one
part of the body almost to the point of deformity. This is the effect of
increased use or disuse which Darwin discusses. He attributes the thin
legs and thick arms of the Payaguas Indians living along the Paraguay
River to generations of lives spent in canoes, with the lower
extremities motionless and the arm and chest muscles in constant
exercise.[43] Livingstone found these same characteristics of broad
chests and shoulders with ill-developed legs among the Barotse of the
upper Zambesi;[44] and they have been observed in pronounced form,
coupled with distinctly impaired powers of locomotion, among the
Tlingit, Tsimshean, and Haida Indians of the southern Alaskan and
British Columbia coast, where the geographic conditions of a mountainous
and almost strandless shore interdicted agriculture and necessitated
sea-faring activities.[45] An identical environment has produced a like
physical effect upon the canoemen of Tierra del Fuego[46] and the
Aleutian Islanders, who often sit in their boats twenty hours at a
time.[47] These special adaptations are temporary in their nature and
tend to disappear with change of occupation, as, for instance, among the
Tlingit Indians, who develop improved leg muscles when employed as
laborers in the salmon canneries of British Columbia.

[Sidenote: Effects of climate.]

Both the direct and indirect physical effects of environment thus far
instanced are obvious in themselves and easily explained. Far different
is it with the majority of physical effects, especially those of
climate, whose mode of operation is much more obscure than was once
supposed. The modern geographer does not indulge in the naive hypothesis
of the last century, which assumed a prompt and direct effect of
environment upon the form and features of man. Carl Ritter regarded the
small, slit eyes and swollen lids of the Turkoman as "an obvious effect
of the desert upon the organism." Stanhope Smith ascribed the high
shoulders and short neck of the Tartars of Mongolia to their habit of
raising their shoulders to protect the neck against the cold; their
small, squinting eyes, overhanging brows, broad faces and high cheek
bones, to the effect of the bitter, driving winds and the glare of the
snow, till, he says, "every feature by the action of the cold is harsh
and distorted."[48] These profound influences of a severe climate upon
physiognomy he finds also among the Lapps, northern Mongolians,
Samoyedes and Eskimo.

[Sidenote: Acclimatization]

Most of these problems are only secondarily grist for the geographer's
mill. For instance, when the Aryans descended to the enervating lowlands
of tropical India, and in that debilitating climate lost the qualities
which first gave them supremacy, the change which they underwent was
primarily a physiological one. It can be scientifically described and
explained therefore only by physiologists and physico-chemists; and upon
their investigations the geographer must wait before he approaches the
problem from the standpoint of geographical distribution. Into this
sub-class of physical effects come all questions of acclimatization.[49]
These are important to the anthropo-geographer, just as they are to
colonial governments like England or France, because they affect the
power of national or racial expansion, and fix the historical fate of
tropical lands. The present populations of the earth represent physical
adaptation to their environments. The intense heat and humidity of most
tropical lands prevent any permanent occupation by a native-born
population of pure whites. The catarrhal zone north of the fortieth
parallel in America soon exterminates the negroes.[50]

The Indians of South America, though all fundamentally of the same
ethnic stock, are variously acclimated to the warm, damp, forested
plains of the Amazon; to the hot, dry, treeless coasts of Peru; and to
the cold, arid heights of the Andes. The habitat that bred them tends to
hold them, by restricting the range of climate which they can endure. In
the zone of the Andean slope lying between 4,000 and 6,000 feet of
altitude, which produces the best flavored coffee and which must be
cultivated, the imported Indians from the high plateaus and from the low
Amazon plains alike sicken and die after a short time; so that they take
employment on these coffee plantations for only three or five months,
and then return to their own homes. Labor becomes nomadic on these
slopes, and in the intervals these farm lands of intensive agriculture
show the anomaly of a sparse population only of resident managers.[51]
Similarly in the high, dry Himalayan valley of the upper Indus, over
10,000 feet above sea level, the natives of Ladak are restricted to a
habitat that yields them little margin of food for natural growth of
population but forbids them to emigrate in search of more,--applies at
the same time the lash to drive and the leash to hold, for these
highlanders soon die when they reach the plains.[52] Here are two
antagonistic geographic influences at work from the same environment,
one physical and the other social-economic. The Ladaki have reached an
interesting resolution of these two forces by the institution of
polyandry, which keeps population practically stationary.

[Sidenote: Pigmentation and climate.]

The relation of pigmentation to climate has long interested geographers
as a question of environment; but their speculations on the subject have
been barren, because the preliminary investigations of the physiologist,
physicist and chemist are still incomplete. The general fact of
increasing nigrescence from temperate towards equatorial regions is
conspicuous enough, despite some irregularity of the shading.[53] This
fact points strongly to some direct relation between climate and
pigmentation, but gives no hint how the pigmental processes are
affected. The physiologist finds that in the case of the negro, the dark
skin is associated with a dense cuticle, diminished perspiration,
smaller chests and less respiratory power, a lower temperature and more
rapid pulse,[54] all which variations may enter into the problem of the
negroes coloring. The question is therefore by no means simple.

Yet it is generally conceded by scientists that pigment is a protective
device of nature. The negro's skin is comparatively insensitive to a sun
heat that blisters a white man. Livingstone found the bodies of albino
negroes in Bechuana Land always blistered on exposure to the sun,[55]
and a like effect has been observed among albino Polynesians, and
Melanesians of Fiji.[56] Paul Ehrenreich finds that the degree of
coloration depends less upon annual temperature than upon the direct
effect of the sun's rays; and that therefore a people dwelling in a
cool, dry climate, but exposed to the sun may be darker than another in
a hot, moist climate but living in a dense forest. The forest-dwelling
Botokudos of the upper San Francisco River in Brazil are fairer than the
kindred Kayapo tribe, who inhabit the open campos; and the Arawak of the
Purus River forests are lighter than their fellows in the central Matto
Grosso.[57] Sea-faring coast folk, who are constantly exposed to the
sun, especially in the Tropics, show a deeper pigmentation than their
kindred of the wooded interior.[58] The coast Moros of western Mindanao
are darker than the Subanos, their Malay brethren of the back country,
the lightness of whose color can be explained by their forest life.[59]
So the Duallas of the Kamerun coast of Africa are darker than the
Bakwiri inhabiting the forested mountains just behind them, though both
tribes belong to the Bantu group of people.[60] Here light, in
contradistinction to heat, appears the dominant factor in pigmentation.
A recent theory, advanced by von Schmaedel in 1895, rests upon the
chemical power of light. It holds that the black pigment renders the
negro skin insensitive to the luminous or actinic effects of solar
radiation, which are far more destructive to living protoplasm than the
merely calorific effects.[61]

[Sidenote: Pigmentation and altitude]

Coloration responds to other more obscure influences of environment. A
close connection between pigmentation and elevation above sea level has
been established: a high altitude operates like a high latitude.
Blondness increases appreciably on the higher slopes of the Black
Forest, Vosges Mountains, and Swiss Alps, though these isolated
highlands are the stronghold of the brunette Alpine race.[62] Livi, in
his treatise on military anthropometry, deduced a special action of
mountains upon pigmentation on observing a prevailing increase of
blondness in Italy above the four-hundred meter line, a phenomenon which
came out as strongly in Basilicata and Calabria provinces of the south
as in Piedmont and Lombardy in the north.[63] The dark Hamitic Berbers
of northern Africa have developed an unmistakable blond variant in high
valleys of the Atlas range, which in a sub-tropical region rises to the
height of 12,000 feet. Here among the Kabyles the population is fair;
grey, blue or green eyes are frequent, as is also reddish blond or
chestnut hair.[64] Waitz long ago affirmed this tendency of mountaineers
to lighter coloring from his study of primitive peoples.[65] The
modification can not be attributed wholly to climatic contrast between
mountain and plain. Some other factor, like the economic poverty of the
environment and the poor food-supply, as Livi suggests, has had a hand
in the result; but just what it is or how it has operated cannot yet be

[Sidenote: Difficulty of Generalization]

Enough has been said to show that the geographer can formulate no broad
generalization as to the relation of pigmentation and climate from the
occurrence of the darkest skins in the Tropics; because this fact is
weakened by the appearance also of lighter tints in the hottest
districts, and of darker ones in arctic and temperate regions. The
geographer must investigate the questions when and where deeper shades
develop in the skins of fair races; what is the significance of dark
skins in the cold zones and of fair ones in hot zones. His answer must
be based largely on the conclusions of physiologists and physicists, and
only when these have reached a satisfactory solution of each detail of
the problem can the geographer summarize the influence of environment
upon pigmentation. The rule can therefore safely be laid down that in
all investigation of geographic influences upon the permanent physical
characteristics of races, the geographic distribution of these should be
left out of consideration till the last, since it so easily
misleads.[67] Moreover, owing to the ceaseless movements of mankind,
these effects do not remain confined to the region that produced them,
but pass on with the wandering throng in whom they have once developed,
and in whom they endure or vanish according as they prove beneficial or
deleterious in the new habitat.

[Sidenote: Psychical effects.]

II. More varied and important are the psychical effects of geographic
environment. As direct effects they are doubtless bound up in many
physiological modifications; and as influences of climate, they help
differentiate peoples and races in point of temperament. They are
reflected in man's religion and his literature, in his modes of thought
and figures of speech. Blackstone states that "in the Isle of Man, to
take away a horse or ox was no felony, but a trespass, because of the
difficulty in that little territory to conceal them or to carry them
off; but to steal a pig or a fowl, which is easily done, was a capital
misdemeanour, and the offender punished with death." The judges or
deemsters in this island of fishermen swore to execute the laws as
impartially "as the herring's backbone doth lie in the middle of the
fish."[68] The whole mythology of the Polynesians is an echo of the
encompassing ocean. The cosmography of every primitive people, their
first crude effort in the science of the universe, bears the impress of
their habitat. The Eskimo's hell is a place of darkness, storm and
intense cold;[69] the Jew's is a place of eternal fire. Buddha, born in
the steaming Himalayan piedmont, fighting the lassitude induced by heat
and humidity, pictured his heaven as Nirvana, the cessation of all
activity and individual life.

[Sidenote: Indirect effect upon language]

Intellectual effects of environment may appear in the enrichment of a
language in one direction to a rare nicety of expression; but this may
be combined with a meager vocabulary in all other directions. The
greatest cattle-breeders among the native Africans, such as the Hereros
of western Damaraland and the Dinkas of the upper White Nile, have an
amazing choice of words for all colors describing their animals--brown,
dun, red, white, dapple, and so on in every gradation of shade and hue.
The Samoyedes of northern Russia have eleven or twelve terms to
designate the various grays and browns of their reindeer, despite their
otherwise low cultural development.[70] The speech of nomads has an
abundance of expressions for cattle in every relation of life. It
includes different words for breeding, pregnancy, death, and
slaughtering in relation to every different kind of domestic animal. The
Magyars, among whom pastoral life still survives on the low plains of
the Danube and Theiss, have a generic word for herd, _csorda_, and
special terms for herds of cattle, horses, sheep, and swine.[71] While
the vocabulary of Malays and Polynesians is especially rich in nautical
terms, the Kirghis shepherd tribes who wander over the highlands of
western Asia from the Tian Shan to the Hindu Kush have four different
terms for four kinds of mountain passes. A _daban_ is a difficult, rocky
defile; an _art_ is very high and dangerous; a _bel_ is a low, easy
pass, and a _kutal_ is a broad opening between low hills.[72]

To such influences man is a passive subject, especially in the earlier
stages of his development; but there are more important influences
emanating from his environment which affect him as an active agent,
challenge his will by furnishing the motives for its exercise, give
purpose to his activities, and determine the direction which they shall
take.[73] These mold his mind and character through the media of his
economic and social life, and produce effects none the less important
because they are secondary. About these anthropo-geography can reach
surer conclusions than regarding direct psychical effects, because it
can trace their mode of operation as well as define the result. Direct
psychical effects are more matters of conjecture, whose causation is
asserted rather than proved. They seem to float in the air, detached
from the solid ground under foot, and are therefore subject matter for
the psychologist rather than the geographer.

[Sidenote: The great man in history.]

What of the great man in this geographical interpretation of history? It
seems to take no account of him, or to put him into the melting-pot with
the masses. Both are to some extent true. As a science,
anthropo-geography can deal only with large averages, and these exclude
or minimize the exceptional individual. Moreover, geographic conditions
which give this or that bent to a nation's purposes and determine its
aggregate activities have a similar effect upon the individual; but he
may institute a far-seeing policy, to whose wisdom only gradually is the
people awakened. The acts of the great man are rarely arbitrary or
artificial; he accelerates or retards the normal course of development,
but cannot turn it counter to the channels of natural conditions. As a
rule he is a product of the same forces that made his people. He moves
with them and is followed by them under a common impulse. Daniel Boone,
that picturesque figure leading the van of the westward movement over
the Allegheny Mountains, was born of his frontier environment and found
a multitude of his kind in that region of backwoods farms to follow him
into the wilderness. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, in the Louisiana
Purchase, carried out the policy of expansion adumbrated in Governor
Spottswood's expedition with the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe over
the Blue Ridge in 1712. Jefferson's daring consummation of the purchase
without government authority showed his community of purpose with the
majority of the people. Peter the Great's location of his capital at St.
Petersburg, usually stigmatized as the act of a despot, was made in
response to natural conditions offering access to the Baltic nations,
just as certainly as ten centuries before similar conditions and
identical advantages led the early Russian merchants to build up a town
at nearby Novgorod, in easy water connection with the Baltic

[Sidenote: Economic and social effects.]

III. Geographic conditions influence the economic and social development
of a people by the abundance, paucity, or general character of the
natural resources, by the local ease or difficulty of securing the
necessaries of life, and by the possibility of industry and commerce
afforded by the environment. From the standpoint of production and
exchange, these influences are primarily the subject matter of economic
and commercial geography; but since they also permeate national life,
determine or modify its social structure, condemn it to the dwarfing
effects of national poverty, or open to it the cultural and political
possibilities resident in national wealth, they are legitimate material
also for anthropo-geography.

[Sidenote: Size of the social group.]

They are especially significant because they determine the size of the
social group. This must be forever small in areas of limited resources
or of limited extent, as in the little islands of the world and the yet
smaller oases. The desert of Chinese Turkestan supports, in certain
detached spots of river-born fertility, populations like the 60,000 of
Kashgar, and from this size groups all the way down to the single
families which Younghusband found living by a mere trickle of a stream
flowing down the southern slope of the Tian Shan. Small islands,
according to their size, fertility, and command of trade, may harbor a
sparse and scant population, like the five hundred souls struggling for
an ill-fed existence on the barren Westman Isles of Iceland; or a
compact, teeming, yet absolutely small social group, like that crowding
Malta or the Bermudas. Whether sparsely or compactly distributed, such
groups suffer the limitations inherent in their small size. They are
forever excluded from the historical significance attaching to the
large, continuously distributed populations of fertile continental

[Sidenote: Effect upon movements of peoples.]

IV. The next class belongs exclusively to the domain of geography,
because it embraces the influence of the features of the earth's surface
in directing the movements and ultimate distribution of mankind. It
includes the effect of natural barriers, like mountains, deserts,
swamps, and seas, in obstructing or deflecting the course of migrating
people and in giving direction to national expansion; it considers the
tendency of river valleys and treeless plains to facilitate such
movements, the power of rivers, lakes, bays and oceans either to block
the path or open a highway, according as navigation is in a primitive or
advanced stage; and finally the influence of all these natural features
in determining the territory which a people is likely to occupy, and the
boundaries which shall separate from their neighbors.

[Sidenote: River routes.]

The lines of expansion followed by the French and English in the
settlement of America and also the extent of territory covered by each
were powerfully influenced by geographic conditions. The early French
explorers entered the great east-west waterway of the St. Lawrence River
and the Great Lakes, which carried them around the northern end of the
Appalachian barrier into the heart of the continent, planted them on the
low, swampy, often navigable watershed of the Mississippi, and started
them on another river voyage of nearly two thousand miles to the Gulf of
Mexico. Here were the conditions and temptation for almost unlimited
expansion; hence French Canada reached to the head of Lake Superior, and
French Louisiana to the sources of the Missouri, To the lot of the
English fell a series of short rivers with fertile valleys, nearly
barred at their not distant sources by a wall of forested mountains, but
separated from one another by low watersheds which facilitated lateral
expansion over a narrow belt between mountains and sea. Here a region of
mild climate and fertile soil suited to agriculture, enclosed by strong
natural boundaries, made for compact settlement, in contrast to the wide
diffusion of the French. Later, when a growing population pressed
against the western barrier, mountain gates opened at Cumberland Gap and
the Mohawk Valley; the Ohio River and the Great Lakes became interior
thoroughfares, and the northwestern prairies lines of least resistance
to the western settler. Rivers played the same part in directing and
expediting this forward movement, as did the Lena and the Amoor in the
Russian advance into Siberia, the Humber and the Trent in the progress
of the Angles into the heart of Britain, the Rhone and Danube in the
march of the Romans into central Europe.

[Sidenote: Segregation and accessibility.]

The geographical environment of a people may be such as to segregate
them from others, and thereby to preserve or even intensify their
natural characteristics; or it may expose them to extraneous influences,
to an infusion of new blood and new ideas, till their peculiarities are
toned down, their distinctive features of dialect or national dress or
provincial customs eliminated, and the people as a whole approach to the
composite type of civilized humanity. A land shut off by mountains or
sea from the rest of the world tends to develop a homogeneous people,
since it limits or prevents the intrusion of foreign elements; or when
once these are introduced, it encourages their rapid assimilation by the
strongly interactive life of a confined locality. Therefore large or
remote islands are, as a rule, distinguished by the unity of their
inhabitants in point of civilization and race characteristics. Witness
Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Iceland, as also Australia and New
Zealand at the time of their discovery. The highlands of the Southern
Appalachians, which form the "mountain backyards" of Kentucky, Tennessee
and North Carolina, are peopled by the purest English stock in the
United States, descendants of the backwoodsmen of the late eighteenth
century. Difficulty of access and lack of arable land have combined to
discourage immigration. In consequence, foreign elements, including the
elsewhere ubiquitous negro, are wanting, except along the few railroads
which in recent years have penetrated this country. Here survive an
eighteenth century English, Christmas celebrated on Twelfth Night, the
spinning wheel, and a belief in Joshua's power to arrest the course of
the sun.[75]

An easily accessible land is geographically hospitable to all
new-comers, facilitates the mingling of peoples, the exchange of
commodities and ideas. The amalgamation of races in such regions depends
upon the similarity or diversity of the ethnic elements and the duration
of the common occupation. The broad, open valley of the Danube from the
Black Sea to Vienna contains a bizarre mixture of several stocks--Turks,
Bulgarians, various families of pure Slavs, Roumanians, Hungarians, and
Germans. These elements are too diverse and their occupation of the
valley too recent for amalgamation to have advanced very far as yet. The
maritime plain and open river valleys of northern France show a complete
fusion of the native Celts with the Saxons, Franks, and Normans who have
successively drifted into the region, just as the Teutonic and scanter
Slav elements have blended in the Baltic plains from the Elbe to the

[Sidenote: Change of habitat.]

Here are four different classes of geographic influences, all which may
become active in modifying a people when it changes its habitat. Many of
the characteristics acquired in the old home still live on, or at best
yield slowly to the new environment. This is especially true of the
direct physical and psychical effects. But a country may work a prompt
and radical change in the social organization of an immigrant people by
the totally new conditions of economic life which it presents. These may
be either greater wealth or poverty of natural resources than the race
has previously known, new stimulants or deterrents to commerce and
intercourse, and new conditions of climate which affect the efficiency
of the workman and the general character of production. From these a
whole complex mass of secondary effects may follow.

The Aryans and Mongols, leaving their homes in the cool barren highlands
of Central Asia where nature dispensed her gifts with a miserly hand,
and coming down to the hot, low, fertile plains of the Indian rivers,
underwent several fundamental changes in the process of adaptation to
their new environment. An enervating climate did its work in slaking
their energies; but more radical still was the change wrought by the
contrast of poverty and abundance, enforced asceticism and luxury,
presented by the old and new home. The restless, tireless shepherds
became a sedentary, agricultural people; the abstemious nomads,--spare,
sinewy, strangers to indulgence--became a race of rulers, revelling in
luxury, lording it over countless subjects; finally, their numbers
increased rapidly, no longer kept down by the scant subsistence of arid
grasslands and scattered oases.

In a similar way, the Arab of the desert became transformed into the
sedentary lord of Spain. In the luxuriance of field and orchard which
his skilful methods of irrigation and tillage produced, in the growing
predominance of the intellectual over the nomadic military life, of the
complex affairs of city and mart over the simple tasks of herdsman or
cultivator, he lost the benefit of the early harsh training and
therewith his hold upon his Iberian empire. Biblical history gives us
the picture of the Sheik Abraham, accompanied by his nephew Lot, moving
up from the rainless plains of Mesopotamia with his flocks and herds
into the better watered Palestine. There his descendants in the garden
land of Canaan became an agricultural people; and the problem of Moses
and the Judges was to prevent their assimilation in religion and custom
to the settled Semitic tribes about them, and to make them preserve the
ideals born in the starry solitudes of the desert.

[Sidenote: Retrogression in new habitat.]

The change from the nomadic to the sedentary life represents an economic
advance. Sometimes removal to strongly contrasted geographic conditions
necessitates a reversion to a lower economic type of existence. The
French colonists who came to Lower Canada in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries found themselves located in a region of intense
cold, where arable soil was inferior in quality and limited in amount,
producing no staple like the tobacco of Virginia or the wheat of
Maryland or the cotton of South Carolina or the sugar of the West
Indies, by which a young colony might secure a place in European trade.
But the snow-wrapped forests of Canada yielded an abundance of
fur-bearing animals, the fineness and thickness of whose pelts were born
of this frozen north. Into their remotest haunts at the head of Lake
Superior or of Hudson Bay, long lines of rivers and lakes opened level
water roads a thousand miles or more from the crude little colonial
capital at Quebec. And over in Europe beaver hats and fur-trimmed
garments were all the style! So the plodding farmer from Normandy and
the fisherman from Poitou, transferred to Canadian soil, were
irresistibly drawn into the adventurous life of the trapper and
fur-trader. The fur trade became the accepted basis of colonial life;
the _voyageur_ and _courier de bois_, clad in skins, paddling up
ice-rimmed streams in their birch-bark canoes, fraternizing with Indians
who were their only companions in that bleak interior, and married often
to dusky squaws, became assimilated to the savage life about them and
reverted to the lower hunter stage of civilization.[76]

[Sidenote: The Boers of South Africa]

Another pronounced instance of rapid retrogression under new unfavorable
geographic conditions is afforded by the South African Boer. The
transfer from the busy commercial cities of the Rhine mouths to the
far-away periphery of the world's trade, from the intensive agriculture
of small deltaic gardens and the scientific dairy farming of the moist
Netherlands to the semi-arid pastures of the high, treeless _veldt_,
where they were barred from contact with the vivifying sea and its
ship-borne commerce, has changed the enterprising seventeenth century
Hollander into the conservative pastoral Boer. Dutch cleanliness has
necessarily become a tradition to a people who can scarcely find water
for their cattle. The comfort and solid bourgeois elegance of the Dutch
home lost its material equipment in the Great Trek, when the long wagon
journey reduced household furniture to its lowest terms. House-wifely
habits and order vanished in the semi-nomadic life which followed.[77]
The gregarious instinct, bred by the closely-packed population of little
Holland, was transformed to a love of solitude, which in all lands
characterizes the people of a remote and sparsely inhabited frontier. It
is a common saying that the Boer cannot bear to see another man's smoke
from his _stoep_, just as the early Trans-Allegheny pioneer was always
on the move westward, because he could not bear to hear his neighbor's
watch-dog bark. Even the Boer language has deteriorated under the
effects of isolation and a lower status of civilization. The native
_Taal_ differs widely from the polished speech of Holland; it preserves
some features of the High Dutch of two centuries ago, but has lost
inflexions and borrowed words for new phenomena from the English,
Kaffirs and Hottentots; can express no abstract ideas, only the concrete
ideas of a dull, work-a-day world.[78]

The new habitat may eliminate many previously acquired characteristics
and hence transform a people, as in the case of the Boers; or it may
intensify tribal or national traits, as in the seafaring propensities of
the Angles and Saxons when transferred to Britain, and of the
seventeenth century English when transplanted to the indented coasts of
New England; or it may tolerate mere survival or the slow dissuetude of
qualities which escape any particular pressure in the new environment,
and which neither benefit nor handicap in the modified struggle for


[34] Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. V, p. 166. New York, 1895.

[35] E. Virchow, _Rassenbildung und Erblichkeit_, Bastian
Festschrift, pp. 14, 43, 44. Berlin, 1896.

[36] Darwin, Descent of Man, pp. 34-35. New York, 1899.

[37] Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. I, pp. 8-9. New York, 1895.

[38] P. Ehrenreich, _Die Urbewohner Brasiliens_, p. 30. Braunschweig,

[39] Ratzel, _Die Erde und das Leben_, Vol. I, pp. 364, 365. Leipzig and
Vienna, 1901.

[40] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 79-86, 96, 100. New York, 1899.

[41] T. Waitz, Anthropology, pp. 57-58. Edited by J.F. Collingwood.
London, 1863.

[42] Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. I, pp.
198-200, 219. Philadelphia, 1853.

[43] Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 33. New York, 1899.

[44] D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 266. New York, 1858.

[45] Alaska, _Eleventh Census Report_, pp. 54, 56. Washington, 1893, and
Albert P. Niblack, The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern
British Columbia, p. 237. Washington, 1888.

[46] Fitz-Roy, Voyage of the Beagle, Vol. II, pp. 130-132, 137, 138.
London, 1839.

[47] H. Bancroft, Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 88-89. San Francisco, 1886.

[48] S. Stanhope Smith, Essay on the Causes of the Variety of Complexion
and Figure in the Human Species, pp. 103-110. New Brunswick and New
York, 1810.

[49] For full discussion see A.R. Wallace's article on acclimatization
in Encyclopedia Britanica, and W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe. Chap. XXI.
New York, 1899.

[50] D.G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 39-41. Philadelphia, 1901.

[51] Darwin, Descent of Man, pp. 34-35. New York, 1899.

[52] E.F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, pp. 137-138. London, 1897.

[53] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 58-71, Map. New York, 1898.

[54] _Ibid._, p. 566. D.G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 29-30.
Philadelphia, 1901.

[55] D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 607. New York, 1858.

[56] Williams and Calvert, Fiji and the Fijians, p. 83, New York, 1859.

[57] P. Ehrenreich, _Die Urbewohner Brasiliens_, p. 32. Braunschweig,

[58] T. Waitz, Anthropology, pp. 46-49. Edited by Collingwood, London,

[59] _Philippine Census_, Vol. I, p. 552. Washington, 1903.

[60] F. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 106. London, 1908.

[61] Major Charles E. Woodruff, The Effect of Tropical Light on the
White Man, New York, 1905, is a suggestive but not convincing discussion
of the theory.

[62] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 74-77. New York, 1899.

[63] Quoted in G. Sergi, The Mediterranean Race, p. 73. London and New
York, 1901.

[64] _Ibid._, pp. 63-69, 74-75.

[65] T. Waitz, Anthropology, pp. 44-45. Edited by J.F. Collingwood,
London, 1863.

[66] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 76. New York, 1899.

[67] For able discussion, see Topinard, Anthropology, pp. 385-392. Tr.
from French, London, 1894.

[68] J. Johnson, Jurisprudence of the Isle of Man, pp. 44, 71.
Edinburgh, 1811.

[69] Charles F. Hall, Arctic Researches and Life among the Eskimo, p.
571. New York, 1866. Franz Boas, The Central Eskimo, _Sixth Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology_, pp. 588-590. Washington, 1888.

[70] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 35. London, 1896-1898.

[71] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 34, note 8.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[72] Elisée Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants, _Asia_, Vol. I, p.
171. New York, 1895.

[73] Alfred Hettner, _Die Geographie des Menschen_, pp. 409-410 in
_Geographische Zeitschrift_, Vol. XIII, No. 8. Leipzig, 1907.

[74] S.B. Boulton, The Russian Empire, pp. 60-64. London, 1882.

[75] E.C. Semple, The Anglo-Saxons of the Kentucky Mountains, _The
Geographical Journal_, Vol. XVII, No. 6, pp. 588-623. London, 1901.

[76] E.C. Semple, American History and its Geographic Conditions, pp.
25-31. Boston, 1903. The Influence of Geographic Environment on the
Lower St. Lawrence, Bull. _Amer. Geog. Society_, Vol. XXXVI, p. 449-466.
New York, 1904.

[77] A.R. Colquhoun, Africander Land, pp. 200-201. New York, 1906.

[78] _Ibid._, pp. 140-145. James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, p.
398. New York, 1897.



[Sidenote: People and land.]

Every clan, tribe, state or nation includes two ideas, a people and its
land, the first unthinkable without the other. History, sociology,
ethnology touch only the inhabited areas of the earth. These areas gain
their final significance because of the people who occupy them; their
local conditions of climate, soil, natural resources, physical features
and geographic situation are important primarily as factors in the
development of actual or possible inhabitants. A land is fully
comprehended only when studied in the light of its influence upon its
people, and a people cannot be understood apart from the field of its
activities. More than this, human activities are fully intelligible only
in relation to the various geographic conditions which have stimulated
them in different parts of the world. The principles of the evolution of
navigation, of agriculture, of trade, as also the theory of population,
can never reach their correct and final statement, unless the data for
the conclusions are drawn from every part of the world, and each fact
interpreted in the light of the local conditions whence it sprang.
Therefore anthropology, sociology and history should be permeated by

[Sidenote: Political geography and history.]

In history, the question of territory,--by which is meant mere area in
contrast to specific geographic conditions--has constantly come to the
front, because a state obviously involved land and boundaries, and
assumed as its chief function the defence and extension of these.
Therefore political geography developed early as an offshoot of history.
Political science has often formulated its principles without regard to
the geographic conditions of states, but as a matter of fact, the most
fruitful political policies of nations have almost invariably had a
geographic core. Witness the colonial policy of Holland, England, France
and Portugal, the free-trade policy of England, the militantism of
Germany, the whole complex question of European balance of power and the
Bosporus, and the Monroe Doctrine of the United States. Dividing lines
between political parties tend to follow approximately geographic lines
of cleavage; and these make themselves apparent at recurring intervals
of national upheaval, perhaps with, centuries between, like a submarine
volcanic rift. In England the southeastern plain and the northwestern
uplands have been repeatedly arrayed against each other, from the Roman
conquest which embraced the lowlands up to about the 500-foot contour
line,[79] through the War of the Roses and the Civil War,[80] to the
struggle for the repeal of the Corn Laws and the great Reform Bill of
1832.[81] Though the boundary lines have been only roughly the same and
each district has contained opponents of the dominant local party,
nevertheless the geographic core has been plain enough.

[Sidenote: Political versus social geography.]

The land is a more conspicuous factor in the history of states than in
the history of society, but not more necessary and potent. Wars, which
constitute so large a part of political history, have usually aimed more
or less directly at acquisition or retention of territory; they have
made every petty quarrel the pretext for mulcting the weaker nation of
part of its land. Political maps are therefore subject to sudden and
radical alterations, as when France's name was wiped off the North
American continent in 1763, or when recently Spain's sovereignty in the
Western Hemisphere was obliterated. But the race stocks, languages,
customs, and institutions of both France and Spain remained after the
flags had departed. The reason is that society is far more deeply rooted
in the land than is a state, does not expand or contract its area so
readily. Society is always, in a sense, _adscripta glebae_; an expanding
state which incorporates a new piece of territory inevitably
incorporates its inhabitants, unless it exterminates or expels them. Yet
because racial and social geography changes slowly, quietly and
imperceptibly, like all those fundamental processes which we call
growth, it is not so easy and obvious a task to formulate a natural law
for the territorial relations of the various hunter, pastoral nomadic,
agricultural, and industrial types of society as for those of the
growing state.

[Sidenote: Land basis of society.]

Most systems of sociology treat man as if he were in some way detached
from the earth's surface; they ignore the land basis of society. The
anthropo-geographer recognizes the various social forces, economic and
psychologic, which sociologists regard as the cement of societies; but
he has something to add. He sees in the land occupied by a primitive
tribe or a highly organized state the underlying material bond holding
society together, the ultimate basis of their fundamental social
activities, which are therefore derivatives from the land. He sees the
common territory exercising an integrating force,--weak in primitive
communities where the group has established only a few slight and
temporary relations with its soil, so that this low social complex
breaks up readily like its organic counterpart, the low animal organism
found in an amoeba; he sees it growing stronger with every advance in
civilization involving more complex relations to the land,--with settled
habitations, with increased density of population, with a discriminating
and highly differentiated use of the soil, with the exploitation of
mineral resources, and finally with that far-reaching exchange of
commodities and ideas which means the establishment of varied
extra-territorial relations. Finally, the modern society or state has
grown into every foot of its own soil, exploited its every geographic
advantage, utilized its geographic location to enrich itself by
international trade, and when possible, to absorb outlying territories
by means of colonies. The broader this geographic base, the richer, more
varied its resources, and the more favorable its climate to their
exploitation, the more numerous and complex are the connections which
the members of a social group can establish with it, and through it with
each other; or in other words, the greater may be its ultimate
historical significance. The polar regions and the subtropical deserts,
on the other hand, permit man to form only few and intermittent
relations with any one spot, restrict economic methods to the lower
stages of development, produce only the small, weak, loosely organized
horde, which never evolves into a state so long as it remains in that
retarding environment.

[Sidenote: Morgan's Societas.]

Man in his larger activities, as opposed to his mere physiological or
psychological processes, cannot be studied apart from the land which he
inhabits. Whether we consider him singly or in a group--family, clan,
tribe or state--we must always consider him or his group in relation to
a piece of land. The ancient Irish sept, Highland clan, Russian mir,
Cherokee hill-town, Bedouin tribe, and the ancient Helvetian canton,
like the political state of history, have meant always a group of people
and a bit of land. The first presupposes the second. In all cases the
form and size of the social group, the nature of its activities, the
trend and limit of its development will be strongly influenced by the
size and nature of its habitat. The land basis is always present, in
spite of Morgan's artificial distinction between a theoretically
landless _societas_, held together only by the bond of common blood, and
the political _civitas_ based upon land.[82] Though primitive society
found its conscious bond in common blood, nevertheless the land bond was
always there, and it gradually asserted its fundamental character with
the evolution of society.

The savage and barbarous groups which in Morgan's classification would
fall under the head of _societas_ have nevertheless a clear conception
of their ownership of the tribal lands which they use in common. This
idea is probably of very primitive origin, arising from the association
of a group with its habitat, whose food supply they regard as a
monopoly.[83] This is true even of migratory hunting tribes. They claim a
certain area whose boundaries, however, are often ill-defined and
subject to fluctuations, because the lands are not held by permanent
occupancy and cultivation. An exceptional case is that of the Shoshone
Indians, inhabiting the barren Utah basin and the upper valleys of the
Snake and Salmon Rivers, who are accredited with no sense of ownership
of the soil. In their natural state they roved about in small, totally
unorganized bands or single families, and changed their locations so
widely, that they seemed to lay no claim to any particular portion. The
hopeless sterility of the region and its poverty of game kept its
destitute inhabitants constantly on the move to gather in the meager
food supply, and often restricted the social group to the family.[84]
Here the bond between land and tribe, and hence between the members of
the tribe, was the weakest possible.

[Sidenote: Land bond in hunter tribes.]

The usual type of tribal ownership was presented by the Comanches,
nomadic horse Indians who occupied the grassy plains of northern Texas.
They held their territory and the game upon it as the common property of
the tribe, and jealously guarded the integrity of their domain.[85] The
chief Algonquin tribes, who occupied the territory between the Ohio
River and the Great Lakes, had each its separate domain, within which it
shifted its villages every few years; but its size depended upon the
power of the tribe to repel encroachment upon its hunting grounds.
Relying mainly on the chase and fishing, little on agriculture, for
their subsistence, their relations to their soil were superficial and
transitory, their tribal organization in a high degree unstable.[86]
Students of American ethnology generally agree that most of the Indian
tribes east of the Mississippi were occupying definite areas at the time
of the discovery, and were to a considerable extent sedentary and
agricultural. Though nomadic within the tribal territory, as they moved
with the season in pursuit of game, they returned to their villages,
which were shifted only at relatively long intervals.[87]

The political organization of the native Australians, low as they were
in the social scale, seems to have been based chiefly on the claim of
each wretched wandering tribe to a definite territory.[88] In north
central Australia, where even a very sparse population has sufficed to
saturate the sterile soil, tribal boundaries have become fixed and
inviolable, so that even war brings no transfer of territory. Land and
people are identified. The bond is cemented by their primitive religion,
for the tribe's spirit ancestors occupied this special territory.[89] In
a like manner a very definite conception of tribal ownership of land
prevails among the Bushmen and Bechuanas of South Africa; and to the
pastoral Hereros the alienation of their land is inconceivable.[90] [See
map page 105.]

A tribe of hunters can never be more than a small horde, because the
simple, monotonous savage economy permits no concentration of
population, no division of labor except that between the sexes, and
hence no evolution of classes. The common economic level of all is
reflected in the simple social organization,[91] which necessarily has
little cohesion, because the group must be prepared to break up and
scatter in smaller divisions, when its members increase or its savage
supplies decrease even a little. Such primitive groups cannot grow into
larger units, because these would demand more roots sent down into the
sustaining soil; but they multiply by fission, like the infusorial
monads, and thereafter lead independent existences remote from each
other. This is the explanation of multiplication of dialects among
savage tribes.

[Sidenote: Land bond in fisher tribes.]

Fishing tribes have their chief occupation determined by their habitats,
which are found along well stocked rivers, lakes, or coastal fishing
grounds. Conditions here encourage an early adoption of sedentary life,
discourage wandering except for short periods, and facilitate the
introduction of agriculture wherever conditions of climate and soil
permit. Hence these fisher folk develop relatively large and permanent
social groups, as testified by the ancient lake-villages of Switzerland,
based upon a concentrated food-supply resulting from a systematic and
often varied exploitation of the local resources. The coöperation and
submission to a leader necessary in pelagic fishing often gives the
preliminary training for higher political organization.[92] All the
primitive stocks of the Brazilian Indians, except the mountain Ges, are
fishermen and agriculturists; hence their annual migrations are kept
within narrow limits. Each linguistic group occupies a fixed and
relatively well defined district.[93] Stanley found along the Congo
large permanent villages of the natives, who were engaged in fishing and
tilling the fruitful soil, but knew little about the country ten miles
back from the river. These two generous means of subsistence are
everywhere combined in Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia: there they
are associated with dense populations and often with advanced political
organization, as we find it in the feudal monarchy of Tonga and the
savage Fiji Islands.[94] Fisher tribes, therefore, get an early impulse
forward in civilization;[95] and even where conditions do not permit the
upward step to agriculture, these tribes have permanent relations with
their land, form stable social groups, and often utilize their location
on a natural highway to develop systematic trade. For instance, on the
northwest coast of British Columbia and Southern Alaska, the Haida,
Tlingit and Tsimshean Indians have portioned out all the land about
their seaboard villages among the separate families or households as
hunting, fishing, and berrying grounds. These are regarded as private
property and are handed down from generation to generation. If they are
used by anyone other than the owner, the privilege must be paid for.
Every salmon stream has its proprietor, whose summer camp can be seen
set up at the point where the run of the fish is greatest. Combined with
this private property in land there is a brisk trade up and down the
coast, and a tendency toward feudalism in the village communities, owing
to the association of power and social distinction with wealth and
property in land.[96]

[Sidenote: Land bond in pastoral societies.]

Among pastoral nomads, among whom a systematic use of their territory
begins to appear, and therefore a more definite relation between land
and people, we find a more distinct notion than among wandering hunters
of territorial ownership, the right of communal use, and the distinct
obligation of common defense. Hence the social bond is drawn closer. The
nomad identifies himself with a certain district, which belongs to his
tribe by tradition or conquest, and has its clearly defined boundaries.
Here he roams between its summer and winter pastures, possibly one
hundred and fifty miles apart, visits its small arable patches in the
spring for his limited agricultural ventures, and returns to them in the
fall to reap their meager harvest. Its springs, streams, or wells assume
enhanced value, are things to be fought for, owing to the prevailing
aridity of summer; while ownership of a certain tract of desert or
grassland carries with it a certain right in the bordering settled
district as an area of plunder.[97]

The Kara-Kirghis stock, who have been located since the sixteenth
century on Lake Issik-Kul, long ago portioned out the land among the
separate families, and determined their limits by natural features of
the landscape.[98] Sven Hedin found on the Tarim River poles set up to
mark the boundary between the Shah-yar and Kuchar tribal pastures.[99]
John de Plano Carpini, traveling over southern Russia in 1246,
immediately after the Tartar conquest, found that the Dnieper, Don,
Volga and Ural rivers were all boundaries between domains of the various
millionaries or thousands, into which the Tartar horde was
organized.[100] The population of this vast country was distributed
according to the different degrees of fertility and the size of the
pastoral groups.[101] Volney observed the same distinction in the
distribution of the Bedouins of Syria. He found the barren cantons held
by small, widely scattered tribes, as in the Desert of Suez; but the
cultivable cantons, like the Hauran and the Pachalic of Aleppo, closely
dotted by the encampments of the pastoral owners.[102]

The large range of territory held by a nomadic tribe is all successively
occupied in the course of a year, but each part only for a short period
of time. A pastoral use of even a good district necessitates a move of
five or ten miles every few weeks. The whole, large as it may be, is
absolutely necessary for the annual support of the tribe. Hence any
outside encroachment upon their territory calls for the united
resistance of the tribe. This joint or social action is dictated by
their common interest in pastures and herds. The social administration
embodied in the apportionment of pastures among the families or clans
grows out of the systematic use of their territory, which represents a
closer relation between land and people than is found among purely
hunting tribes. Overcrowding by men or livestock, on the other hand,
puts a strain upon the social bond. When Abraham and Lot, typical
nomads, returned from Egypt to Canaan with their large flocks and herds,
rivalry for the pastures occasioned conflicts among their shepherds, so
the two sheiks decided to separate. Abraham took the hill pastures of
Judea, and Lot the plains of Jordan near the settled district of

[Sidenote: Geographical mark of low-type societies.]

The larger the amount of territory necessary for the support of a given
number of people, whether the proportion be due to permanent poverty of
natural resources as in the Eskimo country, or to retarded economic
development as among the Indians of primitive America or the present
Sudanese, the looser is the connection between land and people, and the
lower the type of social organization. For such groups the organic
theory of society finds an apt description. To quote Spencer, "The
original clusters, animal and social, are not only small, but they lack
density. Creatures of low type occupy large spaces considering the small
quantity of animal substance they contain; and low-type societies spread
over areas that are wide relatively to the number of their component
individuals."[104] In common language this means small tribes or even
detached families sparsely scattered over wide areas, living in
temporary huts or encampments of tepees and tents shifted from place to
place, making no effort to modify the surface of the land beyond
scratching the soil to raise a niggardly crop of grain or tubers, and no
investment of labor that might attach to one spot the sparse and migrant
population. [See density maps pages 8 and 9.]

[Sidenote: Land and state.]

The superiority over this social type of the civilized state lies in the
highly organized utilization of its whole geographic basis by the mature
community, and in the development of government that has followed the
increasing density of population and multiplication of activities
growing out of this manifold use of the land. Sedentary agriculture,
which forms its initial economic basis, is followed by industrialism and
commerce. The migratory life presents only limited accumulation of
capital, and restricts narrowly its forms. Permanent settlement
encourages accumulation in every form, and under growing pressure of
population slowly reveals the possibilities of every foot of ground, of
every geographic advantage. These are the fibers of the land which
become woven into the whole fabric of the nation's life. These are the
geographic elements constituting the soil in which empires are rooted;
they rise in the sap of the nation.

[Sidenote: Strength of the land bond in the state.]

The geographic basis of a state embodies a whole complex of physical
conditions which may influence its historical development. The most
potent of these are its size and zonal location; its situation, whether
continental or insular, inland or maritime, on the open ocean or an
enclosed sea; its boundaries, whether drawn by sea, mountain, desert or
the faint demarking line of a river; its forested mountains, grassy
plains, and arable lowlands; its climate and drainage system; finally
its equipment with plant and animal life, whether indigenous or
imported, and its mineral resources. When a state has taken advantage
of all its natural conditions, the land becomes a constituent part of
the state,[105] modifying the people which inhabit it, modified by them
in turn, till the connection between the two becomes so strong by
reciprocal interaction, that the people cannot be understood apart from
their land. Any attempt to divide them theoretically reduces the social
or political body to a cadaver, valuable for the study of structural
anatomy after the method of Herbert Spencer, but throwing little light
upon the vital processes.

[Sidenote: Weak land tenure of hunting and pastoral tribes.]

A people who makes only a transitory or superficial use of its land has
upon it no permanent or secure hold. The power to hold is measured by
the power to use; hence the weak tenure of hunting and pastoral tribes.
Between their scattered encampments at any given time are wide
interstices, inviting occupation by any settlers who know how to make
better use of the soil. This explains the easy intrusion of the English
colonists into the sparsely tenanted territory of the Indians, of the
agricultural Chinese into the pasture lands of the Mongols beyond the
Great Wall, of the American pioneers into the hunting grounds of the
Hudson Bay Company in the disputed Oregon country.[106] The frail bonds
which unite these lower societies to their soil are easily ruptured and
the people themselves dislodged, while their land is appropriated by the
intruder. But who could ever conceive of dislodging the Chinese or the
close-packed millions of India? A modern state with a given population
on a wide area is more vulnerable than another of like population more
closely distributed; but the former has the advantage of a reserve
territory for future growth.[107] This was the case of Kursachsen and
Brandenburg in the sixteenth century, and of the United States
throughout its history. But beside the danger of inherent weakness
before attack, a condition of relative underpopulation always threatens
a retardation of development. Easy-going man needs the prod of a
pressing population. [Compare maps pages 8 and 103 for examples.]

[Sidenote: Land and food supply.]

Food is the urgent and recurrent need of individuals and of society. It
dictates their activities in relation to their land at every stage of
economic development, fixes the locality of the encampment or village,
and determines the size of the territory from which sustenance is
drawn. The length of residence in one place depends upon whether the
springs of its food supply are perennial or intermittent, while the
abundance of their flow determines how large a population a given piece
of land can support.

[Sidenote: Advance from natural to artificial basis of subsistence.]

Hunter and fisher folk, relying almost exclusively upon what their land
produces of itself, need a large area and derive from it only an
irregular food supply, which in winter diminishes to the verge of
famine. The transition to the pastoral stage has meant the substitution
of an artificial for a natural basis of subsistence, and therewith a
change which more than any other one thing has inaugurated the advance
from savagery to civilization.[108] From the standpoint of economics, the
forward stride has consisted in the application of capital in the form
of flocks and herds to the task of feeding the wandering horde;[109] from
the standpoint of alimentation, in the guarantee of a more reliable and
generally more nutritious food supply, which enables population to grow
more steadily and rapidly; from the standpoint of geography, in the
marked reduction in the per capita amount of land necessary to yield an
adequate and stable food supply. Pastoral nomadism can support in a
given district of average quality from ten to twenty times as many souls
as can the chase; but in this respect is surpassed from twenty to
thirty-fold by the more productive agriculture. While the subsistence of
a nomad requires 100 to 200 acres of land, for that of a skillful farmer
from 1 to 2 acres suffice.[110] In contrast, the land of the Indians
living in the Hudson Bay Territory in 1857 averaged 10 square miles per
capita; that of the Indians in the United States in 1825, subsidized
moreover by the government, 1-1/4 square miles.[111]

[Sidenote: Land in relation to agriculture.]

With transition to the sedentary life of agriculture, society makes a
further gain over nomadism in the closer integration of its social
units, due to permanent residence in larger and more complex groups; in
the continuous release of labor from the task of mere food-getting for
higher activities, resulting especially in the rapid evolution of the
home; and finally in the more elaborate organization in the use of the
land, leading to economic differentiation of different localities and
to a rapid increase in the population supported by a given area, so that
the land becomes the dominant cohesive force in society. [See maps pages
8 and 9.]

[Sidenote: Migratory agriculture]

Agriculture is adopted at first on a small scale as an adjunct to the
chase or herding. It tends therefore to partake of the same extensive
and nomadic character[112] as these other methods of gaining subsistence,
and only gradually becomes sedentary and intensive. Such was the
superficial, migratory tillage of most American Indians, shifting with
the village in the wake of the retreating game or in search of fresh
unexhausted soil. Such is the agriculture of the primitive Korkus in the
Mahadeo Hills in Central India. They clear a forested slope by burning;
rake over the ashes in which they sow their grain, and reap a fairly
good crop in the fertilized soil. The second year the clearing yields a
reduced product and the third year is abandoned. When the hamlet of five
or six families has exhausted all the land about it, it moves to a new
spot to repeat the process.[113]

The same superficial, extensive tillage, with abandonment of fields
every few years, prevails in the Tartar districts of the Russian
steppes, as it did among the cattle-raising Germans at the beginning of
their history. Tacitus says of them, _Arva per annos mutant et superest
ager_,[114] commenting at the same time upon their abundance of land and
their reluctance to till. Where nomadism is made imperative by aridity,
the agriculture which accompanies it tends to become fixed, owing to the
few localities blessed with an irrigating stream to moisten the soil.
These spots, generally selected for the winter residence, have their
soil enriched, moreover, by the long stay of the herd and thus avoid
exhaustion.[115] Often, however, in enclosed basins the salinity of the
irrigating streams in their lower course ruins the fields after one or
two crops, and necessitates a constant shifting of the cultivated
patches; hence agriculture remains subsidiary to the yield of the
pastures. This condition and effect is conspicuous along the termini of
the streams draining the northern slope of the Kuen Lun into the Tarim

[Sidenote: Geographic checks to progress.]

The desultory, intermittent, extensive use of the land practised by
hunters and nomads tends, under the growing pressure of population, to
pass into the systematic, continuous, intensive use practised by the
farmer, except where nature presents positive checks to the transition.
The most obvious check consists in adverse conditions of climate and
soil. Where agriculture meets insurmountable obstacles, like the intense
cold of Arctic Siberia and Lapland, or the alkaline soils of Nevada and
the Caspian Depression, or the inadequate rainfall of Mongolia and
Central Arabia, the land can produce no higher economic and social
groups than pastoral hordes. Hence shepherd folk are found in their
purest types in deserts and steppes, where conditions early crystallized
the social form and checked development. [Rainfall map chap. XIV.]

[Sidenote: Native animal and plant life as factors.]

Adverse conditions of climate and soil are not the only factors in this
retardation. The very unequal native equipment of the several continents
with plant and animal forms likely to accelerate the advance to nomadism
and agriculture also enters into the equation. In Australia, the lack of
a single indigenous mammal fit for domestication and of all cereals
blocked from the start the pastoral and agricultural development of the
natives. Hence at the arrival of the Europeans, Australia presented the
unique spectacle of a whole continent with its population still held in
the vise of nature. The Americas had a limited variety of animals
susceptible of domestication, but were more meagerly equipped than the
Old World. Yet the Eskimo failed to tame and herd the reindeer, though
their precarious food-supply furnished a motive for the transition.
Moreover, an abundance of grass and reindeer moss (_Cladonia
rangiferina_), and congenial climatic conditions favored it especially
for the Alaskan Eskimo, who had, besides, the nearby example of the
Siberian Chukches as reindeer herders.[117] The buffalo, whose
domesticability has been proved, was never utilized in this way by the
Indians, though the Spaniard Gomara writes of one tribe, living in the
sixteenth century in the southwestern part of what is now United States
territory, whose chief wealth consisted in herds of tame buffalo.[118]
North America, at the time of the discovery, saw only the dog hanging
about the lodges of the Indians; but in South America the llama and
alpaca, confined to the higher levels of the Andes (10,000 to 15,000
feet elevation) were used in domestic herds only in the mountain-rimmed
valleys of ancient Peru, where, owing to the restricted areas of these
intermontane basins, stock-raising early became stationary,[119] as we
find it in the Alps. Moreover, the high ridges of the Andes supported a
species of grass called _ichu_, growing up to the snowline from the
equator to the southern extremity of Patagonia. Its geographical
distribution coincided with that of the llama and alpaca, whose chief
pasturage it furnished.[120] In contrast, the absence of any wild fodder
plants in Japan, and the exclusion of all foreign forms by the
successful competition of the native bamboo grass have together
eliminated pastoral life from the economic history of the island.

The Old World, on the other hand, furnished an abundant supply of
indigenous animals susceptible of domestication, and especially those
fitted for nomadic life, such as the camel, horse, ass, sheep and goat.
Hence it produced in the widespread grasslands and deserts of Europe,
Asia, and Africa the most perfect types of pastoral development in its
natural or nomadic form. Moreover, the early history of the civilized
agricultural peoples of these three continents reveals their previous
pastoral mode of life.

North and South America offered over most of their area conditions of
climate and soil highly favorable to agriculture, and a fair list of
indigenous cereals, tubers, and pulses yielding goodly crops even to
superficial tillage. Maize especially was admirably suited for a race of
semi-migratory hunters. It could be sown without plowing, ripened in a
warm season even in ninety days, could be harvested without a sickle and
at the pleasure of the cultivator, and needed no preparation beyond
roasting before it was ready for food.[121] The beans and pumpkins which
the Indians raised also needed only a short season. Hence many Indian
tribes, while showing no trace of pastoral development, combined with
the chase a semi-nomadic agriculture; and in a few districts where
geographic conditions had applied peculiar pressure, they had
accomplished the transition to sedentary agriculture.

[Sidenote: Land per capita under various cultural and geographic

Every advance to a higher state of civilization has meant a progressive
decrease in the amount of land necessary for the support of the
individual, and a progressive increase in the relations between man and
his habitat. The stage of social development remaining the same, the per
capita amount of land decreases also from poorer to better endowed
geographical districts, and with every invention which brings into use
some natural resource. The following classification[122] illustrates the
relation of density of population to various geographic and
socio-economic conditions.

Hunter tribes on the outskirts of the habitable area, as in Arctic
America and Siberia, require from 70 to 200 square miles per capita; in
arid lands, like the Kalahari Desert and Patagonia, 40 to 200 square
miles per capita; in choice districts and combining with the chase some
primitive agriculture, as did the Cherokee, Shawnee and Iroquois
Indians, the Dyaks of Borneo and the Papuans of New Guinea, 1/2 to 2
square miles per capita.

Pastoral nomads show a density of from 2 to 5 to the square mile;
practicing some agriculture, as in Kordofan and Sennar districts of
eastern Sudan, 10 to 15 to the square mile. Agriculture, undeveloped but
combined with some trade and industry as in Equatorial Africa, Borneo
and most of the Central American states, supports 5 to 15 to the square
mile; practised with European methods in young or colonial lands, as in
Arkansas, Texas, Minnesota, Hawaii, Canada and Argentine, or in European
lands with unfavorable climate, up to 25 to the square mile.

Pure agricultural lands of central Europe support 100 to the square
mile, and those of southern Europe, 200; when combining some industry,
from 250 to 300. But these figures rise to 500 or more in lowland India
and China. Industrial districts of modern Europe, such as England,
Belgium, Saxony, Departments Nord and Rhone in France, show a density of
500 to 800 to the square mile. [See maps pages 8 and 9.]

[Sidenote: Density of population and government.]

With every increase of the population inhabiting a given area, and with
the consequent multiplication and constriction of the bonds uniting
society with its land, comes a growing necessity for a more highly
organized government, both to reduce friction within and to secure to
the people the land on which and by which they live. Therefore
protection becomes a prime function of the state. It wards off outside
attack which may aim at acquisition of its territory, or an invasion of
its rights, or curtailment of its geographic sphere of activity. The
modern industrial state, furthermore, with the purpose of strengthening
the nation, assists or itself undertakes the construction of highways,
canals, and railroads, and the maintenance of steamship lines. These
encourage the development of natural resources and of commerce, and
hence lay the foundation for an increased population, by multiplying the
relations between land and people.

[Sidenote: Territorial expansion of the state.]

A like object is attained by territorial expansion, which often follows
in the wake of commercial expansion. This strengthens the nation
positively by enlarging its geographic base, and negatively by forcing
back the boundaries of its neighbors. The expansion of the Thirteen
Colonies from the Atlantic slope to the Mississippi River and the Great
Lakes by the treaty concluding the Revolution was a strong guarantee of
the survival of the young Republic against future aggressions either of
England or Spain, though it exchanged the scientific or protecting
boundary of the Appalachian Mountains for the unscientific and exposed
boundary of a river. The expansion to the Rocky Mountains by the
Louisiana purchase not only gave wider play to national energies,
stimulated natural increase of population, and attracted immigration,
but it eliminated a dangerous neighbor in the French, and placed a wide
buffer of untenanted land between the United States and the petty
aggressions of the Spanish in Mexico. Rome's expansion into the valley
of the Po, as later into Trans-Alpine Gaul and Germany, had for its
purpose the protection of the peninsula against barbarian inroads.
Japan's recent aggression against the Russians in the Far East was
actuated by the realization that she had to expand into Korea at the
cost of Muscovite ascendency, or contract later at the cost of her own

[Sidenote: Checks to population.]

If a state lacks the energy and national purpose, like Italy, or the
possibility, like Switzerland, for territorial expansion, and accepts
its boundaries as final, the natural increase of population upon a fixed
area produces an increased density, unless certain social forces
counteract it. Without these forces, the relation of men to the land
would have tended to modify everywhere in the same way. Increase in
numbers would have been attended by a corresponding decrease in the
amount of land at the disposal of each individual. Those states which,
like Norway and Switzerland, cannot expand and which have exploited
their natural resources to the utmost, must resign themselves to the
emigration of their redundant population. But those which have remained
within their own boundaries and have adopted a policy of isolation, like
China, feudal Japan during its two and a half centuries of seclusion,
and numerous Polynesian islands, have been forced to war with nature
itself by checking the operation of the law of natural increase. All the
repulsive devices contributing to this end, whether infanticide,
abortion, cannibalism, the sanctioned murder of the aged and infirm,
honorable suicide, polyandry or persistent war, are the social
deformities consequent upon suppressed growth. Such artificial checks
upon population are more conspicuous in natural regions with sharply
defined boundaries, like islands and oases, as Malthus observed;[123] but
they are visible also among savage tribes whose boundaries are fixed not
by natural features but by the mutual repulsion and rivalry
characterizing the stage of development, and whose limit of population
is reduced by their low economic status.

[Sidenote: Extra-territorial relations.]

There is a great difference between those states whose inhabitants
subsist exclusively from the products of their own country and those
which rely more or less upon other lands. Great industrial states, like
England and Germany, which derive only a portion of their food and raw
material from their own territory, supply their dense populations
through international trade. Interruption of such foreign commerce is
disastrous to the population at home; hence the state by a navy protects
the lines of communication with those far-away lands of wheat fields and
cattle ranch. This is no purely modern development. Athens in the time
of Pericles used her navy not only to secure her political domination in
the Aegean, but also her connections with the colonial wheat lands
about the Euxine.

The modern state strives to render this circle of trade both large and
permanent by means of commercial treaties, customs-unions, trading-posts
and colonies. Thus while society at home is multiplying its relations
with its own land, the state is enabling it to multiply also its
relations with the whole producing world. While at home the nation is
becoming more closely knit together through the common bond of the
fatherland, in the world at large humanity is evolving a brotherhood of
man by the union of each with all through the common growing bond of the
earth. Hence we cannot avoid the question: Are we in process of evolving
a social idea vaster than that underlying nationality? Do the Socialists
hint to us the geographic basis of this new development, when they
describe themselves as an international political party?

[Sidenote: Geography in the philosophy of history.]

It is natural that the old philosophy of history should have fixed its
attention upon the geographic basis of historical events. Searching for
the permanent and common in the outwardly mutable, it found always at
the bottom of changing events the same solid earth. Biology has had the
same experience. The history of the life forms of the world leads always
back to the land on which that life arose, spread, and struggled for
existence. The philosophy of history was superior to early sociology, in
that its method was one of historical comparison, which inevitably
guided it back to the land as the material for the first generalization.
Thus it happens that the importance of the land factor in history was
approached first from the philosophical side. Montesquieu and Herder had
no intention of solving sociological and geographical problems, when
they considered the relation of peoples and states to their soil; they
wished to understand the purpose and destiny of man as an inhabitant of
the earth.

[Sidenote: Theory of progress from the standpoint of geography.]

The study of history is always, from one standpoint, a study of
progress. Yet after all the century-long investigation of the history of
every people working out its destiny in its given environment,
struggling against the difficulties of its habitat, progressing when it
overcame them and retrograding when it failed, advancing when it made
the most of its opportunities and declining when it made less or
succumbed to an invader armed with better economic or political methods
to exploit the land, it is amazing how little the land, in which all
activities finally root, has been taken into account in the discussion
of progress. Nevertheless, for a theory of progress it offers a solid
basis. From the standpoint of the land social and political
organizations, in successive stages of development, embrace ever
increasing areas, and make them support ever denser populations; and in
this concentration of population and intensification of economic
development they assume ever higher forms. It does not suffice that a
people, in order to progress, should extend and multiply only its local
relations to its land. This would eventuate in arrested development,
such as Japan showed at the time of Perry's visit. The ideal basis of
progress is the expansion of the world relations of a people, the
extension of its field of activity and sphere of influence far beyond
the limits of its own territory, by which it exchanges commodities and
ideas with various countries of the world. Universal history shows us
that, as the geographical horizon of the known world has widened from
gray antiquity to the present, societies and states have expanded their
territorial and economic scope; that they have grown not only in the
number of their square miles and in the geographical range of their
international intercourse, but in national efficiency, power, and
permanence, and especially in that intellectual force which feeds upon
the nutritious food of wide comparisons. Every great movement which has
widened the geographical outlook of a people, such as the Crusades in
the Middle Ages, or the colonization of the Americas, has applied an
intellectual and economic stimulus. The expanding field of advancing
history has therefore been an essential concomitant and at the same time
a driving force in the progress of every people and of the world.

[Sidenote: Man's increasing dependence upon nature.]

Since progress in civilization involves an increasing exploitation of
natural advantages and the development of closer relations between a
land and its people, it is an erroneous idea that man tends to
emancipate himself more and more from the control of the natural
conditions forming at once the foundation and environment of his
activities. On the contrary, he multiplies his dependencies upon
nature;[124] but while increasing their sum total, he diminishes the
force of each. There lies the gist of the matter. As his bonds become
more numerous, they become also more elastic. Civilization has
lengthened his leash and padded his collar, so that it does not gall;
but the leash is never slipped. The Delaware Indians depended upon the
forests alone for fuel. A citizen of Pennsylvania, occupying the former
Delaware tract, has the choice of wood, hard or soft coal, coke,
petroleum, natural gas, or manufactured gas. Does this mean
emancipation? By no means. For while fuel was a necessity to the Indian
only for warmth and cooking, and incidentally for the pleasureable
excitement of burning an enemy at the stake, it enters into the
manufacture of almost every article that the Pennsylvanian uses in his
daily life. His dependence upon nature has become more far-reaching,
though less conspicuous and especially less arbitrary.

[Sidenote: Increase in kind and amount.]

These dependencies increase enormously both in variety and amount. Great
Britain, with its twenty thousand merchant ships aggregating over ten
million tons, and its immense import and export trade, finds its harbors
vastly more important to-day for the national welfare than in Cromwell's
time, when they were used by a scanty mercantile fleet. Since the
generation of electricity by water-power and its application to
industry, the plunging falls of the Scandinavian Mountains, of the Alps
of Switzerland, France, and Italy, of the Southern Appalachians and the
Cascade Range, are geographical features representing new and
unsuspected forms of national capital, and therefore new bonds between
land and people in these localities. Russia since 1844 has built 35,572
miles (57,374 kilometers) of railroad in her European territory, and
thereby derived a new benefit from her level plains, which so facilitate
the construction and cheap operation of railroads, that they have become
in this aspect alone a new feature in her national economy. On the other
hand, the galling restrictions of Russia's meager and strategically
confined coasts, which tie her hand in any wide maritime policy, work a
greater hardship to-day than they did a hundred years ago, since her
growing population creates a more insistent demand for international
trade. In contrast to Russia, Norway, with its paucity of arable soil
and of other natural resources, finds its long indented coastline and
the coast-bred seamanship of its people a progressively important
national asset. Hence as ocean-carriers the Norwegians have developed a
merchant marine nearly half as large again as that of Russia and Finland
combined--1,569,646 tons[125] as against 1,084,165 tons.

This growing dependence of a civilized people upon its land is
characterized by intelligence and self-help. Man forms a partnership
with nature, contributing brains and labor, while she provides the
capital or raw material in ever more abundant and varied forms. As a
result of this coöperation, held by the terms of the contract, he
secures a better living than the savage who, like a mendicant, accepts
what nature is pleased to dole out, and lives under the tyranny of her


[79] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 196. London, 1904.

[80] Gardner, Atlas of English History, Map 29. New York, 1905.

[81] Hereford George, Historical Geography of Great Britain, pp. 58-60.
London, 1904.

[82] Lewis Morgan, Ancient Society, p. 62. New York, 1878.

[83] Franklin H. Giddings, Elements of Sociology, p. 247. New York,

[84] Schoolcraft, The Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. I, pp.
198-200, 224. Philadelphia, 1853.

[85] _Ibid._, Vol. I, pp. 231-232, 241.

[86] Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 70-73, 88. New
York, 1895.

[87] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 392-393, 408, Vol.
XIX, of _History of North America_, edited by Francis W. Thorpe,
Philadelphia, 1905. _Eleventh Census Report on the Indians_, p. 51.
Washington, 1894.

[88] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, pp. 249-250. New York,

[89] Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, pp.
13-15. London, 1904.

[90] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 126. London, 1896-1898.

[91] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 24. Stuttgart,

[92] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 131. London, 1896-1898.

[93] Paul Ehrenreich, _Die Einteilung und Verbreitung der Völkerstämme
Brasiliens_, Peterman's _Geographische Mittheilungen_, Vol. XXXVII, p.
85. Gotha, 1891.

[94] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 26, Note 5.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[95] _Ibid._, p. 27.

[96] Albert Niblack, The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern
British Columbia, pp. 298-299, 304, 337-339. Washington, 1888.

[97] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 173. London, 1896-1898.

[98] _Ibid._, Vol. III. pp. 173-174.

[99] Sven Hedin, Central Asia and Tibet, Vol. I, p. 184. New York and
London, 1903.

[100] John de Plano Carpini, Journey in 1246, p. 130. _Hakluyt Society_,
London, 1904.

[101] Journey of William de Rubruquis in 1253, p. 188. _Hakluyt
Society_, London, 1903.

[102] Volney, quoted in Malthus, Principles of Population, Chap. VII, p.
60. London, 1878.

[103] Genesis, Chap. XIII, 1-12.

[104] Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology, Vol. I. p. 457. New

[105] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. I, pp. 202-204. Leipzig,

[106] E.C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic Conditions, pp.
206-207. Boston, 1903.

[107] Roscher, _Grundlagen des National-Oekonomik_, Book VI.
_Bevölkerung_, p. 694, Note 5. Stuttgart, 1886.

[108] Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
I, p. 303-313. Oxford and New York, 1892.

[109] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, pp. 31, 52.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[110] _Ibid._, p. 56, Note 5.

[111] For these and other averages, Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times,
pp. 593-595. New York, 1872.

[112] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, pp. 79-80, p. 81,
Note 7. Stuttgart, 1888. William I. Thomas, Source Book for Social
Origins, pp. 96-112. Chicago, 1909.

[113] Capt. J. Forsyth, The Highlands of Central India, pp. 101-107,
168. London, 1889.

[114] Tacitus, _Germania_, III.

[115] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 32, Note 15 on p.
36. Stuttgart, 1888.

[116] E. Huntington, The Pulse of Asia, pp. 202, 203, 212, 213, 236-237.
Boston, 1907.

[117] Sheldon Jackson, Introduction of Domesticated Reindeer into
Alaska, pp. 20, 25-29, 127-129. Washington, 1894.

[118] Quoted in Alexander von Humboldt, Aspects of Nature in Different
Lands, pp. 62, 139. Philadelphia, 1849.

[119] Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
I, pp. 311-321. 333-354, 364-366. New York, 1892.

[120] Prescott, Conquest of Peru, Vol. I, p. 47. New York, 1848.

[121] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, Vol. XIX, pp.
151-161, of _The History of North America_, edited by Francis W. Thorpe,
Philadelphia, 1905.

[122] Ratzel, _Anthropo-geographie_, Vol. II, pp. 264-265.

[123] Malthus, Principles of Population, Chapters V and VII. London,

[124] Nathaniel Shaler, Nature and Man in America, pp. 147-151. W.Z.
Ripley, Races of Europe, Chap. I, New York, 1899.

[125] Justus Perthes, _Taschen-Atlas_, pp. 44, 47. Gotha, 1910.



[Sidenote: Universality of these movements.]

The ethnic and political boundaries of Europe to-day are the residuum of
countless racial, national, tribal and individual movements reaching
back into an unrecorded past. The very names of Turkey, Bulgaria,
England, Scotland and France are borrowed from intruding peoples. New
England, New France, New Scotland or Nova Scotia and many more on the
American continents register the Trans-Atlantic nativity of their first
white settlers. The provinces of Galicia in Spain, Lombardy in Italy,
Brittany in France, Essex and Sussex in England record in their names
streams of humanity diverted from the great currents of the
Völkerwanderung. The Romance group of languages, from Portugal to
Roumania, testify to the sweep of expanding Rome, just as the wide
distribution of the Aryan linguistic family points to many roads and
long migrations from some unplaced birthplace. Names like Cis-Alpine and
Trans-Alpine Gaul in the Roman Empire, Trans-Caucasia, Trans-Caspia and
Trans-Baikalia in the Russian Empire, the Transvaal and Transkei in
South Africa, indicate the direction whence the advancing people have

[Sidenote: Stratification of races]

Ethnology reveals an east and west stratification of linguistic groups
in Europe, a north and south stratification of races, and another
stratification by altitude, which reappears in all parts of the world,
and shows certain invading dominant races occupying the lowlands and
other displaced ones the highlands. This definite arrangement points to
successive arrivals, a crowding forward, an intrusion of the strong into
fertile, accessible valleys and plains, and a dislodgment of the weak
into the rough but safe keeping of mountain range or barren peninsula,
where they are brought to bay. Ethnic fragments, linguistic survivals,
or merely place names, dropped like discarded baggage along the march
of a retreating army, bear witness everywhere to tragic recessionals.

[Sidenote: The name Historical Movement.]

Every country whose history we examine proves the recipient of
successive streams of humanity. Even sea-girt England has received
various intruding peoples from the Roman occupation to the recent influx
of Russian Jews. In prehistoric times it combined several elements in
its population, as the discovery of the "long barrow" men and "round
barrow" men by archaeologists, and the identification of a surviving
Iberian or Mediterranean strain by ethnologists go to prove.[126] Egypt,
Mesopotamia, and India tell the same story, whether in their recorded or
unrecorded history. Tropical Africa lacks a history; but all that has
been pieced together by ethnologists and anthropologists, in an effort
to reconstruct its past, shows incessant movement,--growth, expansion
and short-lived conquest, followed by shrinkage, expulsion or absorption
by another invader.[127] To this constant shifting of races and peoples
the name of historical movement has been given, because it underlies
most of written history, and constitutes the major part of unwritten
history, especially that of savage and nomadic tribes. Two things are
vital in the history of every people, its ethnic composition and the
wars it wages in defense or extension of its boundaries. Both rest upon
historical movements,--intrusions, whether peaceful or hostile, into its
own land, and encroachments upon neighboring territory necessitated by
growth. Back of all such movements is natural increase of population
beyond local means of subsistence, and the development of the war spirit
in the effort to secure more abundant subsistence either by raid or
conquest of territory.

[Sidenote: Evolution of the Historical Movement.]

Among primitive peoples this movement is simple and monotonous. It
involves all members of the tribe, either in pursuit of game, or
following the herd over the tribal territory, or in migrations seeking
more and better land. Among civilized peoples it assumes various forms,
and especially is differentiated for different members of the social
group. The civilized state develops specialized frontiersmen, armies,
explorers, maritime traders, colonists, and missionaries, who keep a
part of the people constantly moving and directing external expansion,
while the mass of the population converts the force once expended in the
migrant food-quest into internal activity. Here we come upon a paradox.
The nation as a whole, with the development of sedentary life, increases
its population and therewith its need for external movements; it widens
its national area and its circle of contact with other lands, enlarges
its geographical horizon, and improves its internal communication over a
growing territory; it evolves a greater mobility within and without,
which attaches, however, to certain classes of society, not to the
entire social group. This mobility becomes the outward expression of a
whole complex of economic wants, intellectual needs, and political
ambitions. It is embodied in the conquests which build up empires, in
the colonization which develops new lands, in the world-wide exchange of
commodities and ideas which lifts the level of civilization, till this
movement of peoples becomes a fundamental fact of history.

[Sidenote: Nature of primitive movements.]

This movement is and has been universal and varied. When most
unobtrusive in its operation, it has produced its greatest effects. To
seize upon a few conspicuous migrations, like the _Völkerwanderung_ and
the irruption of the Turks into Europe, made dramatic by their relation
to the declining empires of Rome and Constantinople, and to ignore the
vast sum of lesser but more normal movements which by slow increments
produce greater and more lasting results, leads to wrong conclusions
both in ethnology and history. Here, as in geology, great effects do not
necessarily presuppose vast forces, but rather the steady operation of
small ones. It is often assumed that the world was peopled by a series
of migrations; whereas everything indicates that humanity spread over
the earth little by little, much as the imported gypsy moth is gradually
occupying New England or the water hyacinth the rivers of Florida. Louis
Agassiz observed in 1853 that "the boundaries within which the different
natural combinations of animals are known to be circumscribed upon the
surface of the earth, coincide with the natural range of distinct types
of man."[128] The close parallelism between Australian race and flora,
Eskimo race and Arctic fauna, points to a similar manner of dispersion.
Wallace, in describing how the Russian frontier of settlement slowly
creeps forward along the Volga, encroaching upon the Finnish and Tartar
areas, and permeating them with Slav blood and civilization, adds that
this is probably the normal method of expansion.[129] Thucydides describes
the same process of encroachment, displacement, and migration in ancient
Hellas.[130] Strabo quotes Posidonius as saying that the emigration of the
Cimbrians and other kindred tribes from their native seats was gradual
and by no means sudden.[131] The traditions of the Delaware Indians show
their advance from their early home in central Canada southward to the
Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay to have been a slow zigzag movement,
interrupted by frequent long halts, leaving behind one laggard group
here and sending out an offshoot there, who formed new tribes and
thereby diversified the stock.[132] It was an aimless wandering, without
destination and purpose other than to find a pleasanter habitat. The
Vandals appear first as "a loose aggregation of restless tribes who must
not be too definitely assigned to any precise district on the map,"
somewhere in central or eastern Prussia.[133] Far-reaching migrations
aiming at a distant goal, like the Gothic and Hunnish conquests of
Italy, demand both a geographical knowledge and an organization too high
for primitive peoples, and therefore belong to a later period of

[Sidenote: Number and range.]

The long list of recorded migrations has been supplemented by the
researches of ethnologists, which have revealed a multitude of
prehistoric movements. These are disclosed in greater number and range
with successive investigation. The prehistoric wanderings of the
Polynesians assume far more significance to-day than a hundred years
ago, when their scope was supposed to have its western limit at Fiji and
the Ellice group. They have now been traced to almost every island of
Melanesia; vestiges of their influence have been detected in the
languages of Australia, and the culture of the distant coasts of Alaska
and British Columbia. The western pioneers of America knew the Shoshone
Indians as small bands of savages, constantly moving about in search of
food in the barren region west of the Rocky Mountains, and occasionally
venturing eastward to hunt buffalo on the plains. Recent investigation
has identified as offshoots of this retarded Shoshonean stock the
sedentary agriculturalists of the Moqui Pueblo, and the advanced
populations of ancient Mexico and Central America.[135] Here was a great
human current which through the centuries slowly drifted from the
present frontier of Canada to the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Powell's map
of the distribution of the linguistic stocks of American Indians is
intelligible only in the light of constant mobility. Haebler's map of
the South American stocks reveals the same restless past. This
cartographical presentation of the facts, giving only the final results,
suggests tribal excursions of the nature of migrations; but ethnologists
see them as the sum total of countless small movements which are more or
less part of the normal activity of an unrooted savage people. [Map page

Otis Mason finds that the life of a social group involves a variety of
movements characterized by different ranges or scopes. I. The daily
round from bed to bed. II. The annual round from year to year, like that
of the Tunguse Orochon of Siberia who in pursuit of various fish and
game change their residence within their territory from month to month,
or the pastoral nomads who move with the seasons from pasture to
pasture. III. Less systematic outside movements covering the tribal
sphere of influence, such as journeys or voyages to remote hunting or
fishing grounds, forays or piratical descents upon neighboring lands
eventuating usually in conquest, expansion into border regions for
occasional occupation or colonization. IV. Participation in streams of
barter or commerce. V. And at a higher stage in the great currents of
human intercourse, experience, and ideas, which finally compass the
world.[136] In all this series the narrower movement prepares for the
broader, of which it constitutes at once an impulse and a part.

[Sidenote: Importance of such movements in history.]

The real character and importance of these movements have been
appreciated by broad-minded historians. Thucydides elucidates the
conditions leading up to the Peloponnesian War by a description of the
semi-migratory population of Hellas, the exposure of the more fertile
districts to incursions, and the influence of these movements in
differentiating Dorian from Ionian Greece.[137] Johannes von Muller, in
the introduction to his history of Switzerland, assigns to federations
and migrations a conspicuous rôle in historical development. Edward A.
Ross sees in such movements a thorough-going selective process which
weeds out the unfit, or rather spares only the highly fit. He lays down
the principle that repeated migrations tend to the creation of energetic
races of men. He adds, "This principle may account for the fact that
those branches of a race achieve the most brilliant success which have
wandered the farthest from their ancestral home.... The Arabs and Moors
that skirted Africa and won a home in far-away Spain, developed the most
brilliant of the Saracen civilizations. Hebrews, Dorians, Quirites,
Rajputs, Hovas were far invaders. No communities in classic times
flourished like the cities of Asia created by the overflow from Greece.
Nowhere under the Czar are there such vigorous, progressive communities
as in Siberia."[138] Brinton distinguishes the associative and dispersive
elements in ethnography. The latter is favored by the physical
adaptability of the human race to all climates and external conditions;
it is stimulated by the food-quest, the pressure of foes, and the
resultant restlessness of an unstable primitive society.[139]

The earth's surface is at once factor and basis in these movements. In
an active way it directs them; but they in turn clothe the passive earth
with a mantle of humanity. This mantle is of varied weave and thickness,
showing here the simple pattern of a primitive society, there the
intricate design of advanced civilization; here a closely woven or a
gauzy texture, there disclosing a great rent where a rocky peak or the
ice-wrapped poles protrude through the warm human covering. This is the
magic web whereof man is at once woof and weaver, and the flying shuttle
that never rests. Given a region, what is its living envelope, asks
anthropo-geography. Whence and how did it get there? What is the
material of warp and woof? Will new threads enter to vary the color and
design? If so, from what source? Or will the local pattern repeat itself
over and over with dull uniformity?

[Sidenote: Geographical interpretation of historical movement.]

It was the great intellectual service of Copernicus that he conceived of
a world in motion instead of a world at rest. So anthropo-geography must
see its world in motion, whether it is considering English colonization,
or the westward expansion of the Southern slave power in search of
unexhausted land, or the counter expansion of the free-soil movement, or
the early advance of the trappers westward to the Rockies after the
retreating game, or the withdrawal thither of the declining Indian
tribes before the protruding line of white settlement, and their
ultimate confinement to ever shrinking reservations. In studying
increase of population, it sees in Switzerland chalet and farm creeping
higher up the Alp, as the lapping of a rising tide of humanity below; it
sees movement in the projection of a new dike in Holland to reclaim from
the sea the land for another thousand inhabitants, movement in Japan's
doubling of its territory by conquest, in order to house and feed its
redundant millions.

The whole complex relation of unresting man to the earth is the subject
matter of anthropo-geography. The science traces his movements on the
earth's surface, measures their velocity, range, and recurrence,
determines their nature by the way they utilize the land, notes their
transformation at different stages of economic development and under
different environments. Just as an understanding of animal and plant
geography requires a previous knowledge of the various means of
dispersal, active and passive, possessed by these lower forms of life,
so anthropo-geography must start with a study of the movements of

[Sidenote: Mobility of primitive peoples.]

First of all is to be noted an evolution in the mobility of peoples. In
the lower stages of culture mobility is great. It is favored by the
persistent food-quest over wide areas incident to retarded economic
methods, and by the loose attachment of society to the soil. The small
social groups peculiar to these stages and their innate tendency to
fission help the movements to ramify. The consequent scattered
distribution of the population offers wide interstices between
encampments or villages, and into these vacant spaces other wandering
tribes easily penetrate. The rapid decline of the Indian race in America
before the advancing whites was due chiefly to the division of the
savages into small groups, scattered sparsely over a wide territory.
Hunter and pastoral peoples need far more land than they can occupy at
any one time. Hence the temporarily vacant spots invite incursion.
Moreover, the slight impedimenta carried by primitive folk minimize the
natural physical obstacles which they meet when on the march. The
lightly equipped war parties of the Shawnee Indians used gorges and gaps
for the passage of the Allegheny Mountains which were prohibitive to all
white pioneers except the lonely trapper. Finally, this mobility gets
into the primitive mind. The _Wanderlust_ is strong. Long residence in
one territory is irksome, attachment is weak. Therefore a small cause
suffices to start the whole or part of the social body moving. A
temporary failure of the food supply, cruelty or excessive exaction of
tribute on the part of the chief, occasions an exodus. The history of
every negro tribe in Africa gives instances of such secessions, which
often leave whole districts empty and exposed to the next wandering
occupant. Methods of preventing such withdrawals, and therewith the
diminution of his treasury receipts and his fighting force, belong to
the policy of every negro chieftain.

[Sidenote: Natural barriers to movement.]

The checks to this native mobility of primitive peoples are two:
physical and mental. In addition to the usual barriers of mountains,
deserts, and seas before the invention of boats, primeval forests have
always offered serious obstacles to man armed only with stone or bronze
axe, and they rebuffed even man of the iron age. War and hunting parties
had to move along the natural clearings of the rivers, the tracks of
animals, or the few trails beaten out in time by the natives themselves.
Primitive agriculture has never battled successfully against the phalanx
of the trees. Forests balked the expansion of the Inca civilization on
the rainy slope of the Andes, and in Central Africa the negro invaded
only their edges for his yam fields and plantain groves. The earliest
settlements in ancient Britain were confined to the natural clearings of
the chalk downs and oolitic uplands; and here population was chiefly
concentrated even at the close of the Roman occupation. Only gradually,
as the valley woodlands were cleared, did the richer soil of the
alluvial basins attract men from the high, poor ground where tillage
required no preliminary work. But after four centuries of Roman rule and
Roman roads, the clearings along the river valleys were still mere
strips of culture mid an encompassing wilderness of woods. When the
Germanic invaders came, they too appropriated the treeless downs and
were blocked by the forests.[140] On the other hand, grasslands and
savannahs have developed the most mobile people whom we know, steppe
hunters like the Sioux Indians and Patagonians. Thus while the forest
dweller, confined to the highway of the stream, devised only canoe and
dugout boat in various forms for purposes of transportation, steppe
peoples of the Old World introduced the use of draft and pack animals,
and invented the sledge and cart.

[Sidenote: Effect of geographical horizon.]

Primitive peoples carry a drag upon their migrations in their restricted
geographical outlook; ignorance robs them of definite goals. The
evolution of the historical movement is accelerated by every expansion
of the geographical horizon. It progresses most rapidly where the
knowledge of outlying or remote lands travels fastest, as along rivers
and thalassic coasts. Rome's location as toll-gate keeper of the Tiber
gave her knowledge of the upstream country and directed her conquest of
its valley; and the movement thus started gathered momentum as it
advanced. Cæsar's occupation of Gaul meant to his generation simply the
command of the roads leading from the Mediterranean to the northern
sources of tin and amber, and the establishment of frontier outposts to
protect the land boundaries of Italy; this represented a bold policy of
inland expansion for that day. The modern historian sees in that step
the momentous advance of history beyond the narrow limits of the
Mediterranean basin, and its gradual inclusion of all the Atlantic
countries of Europe, through whose maritime enterprise the historical
horizon was stretched to include America. In the same way, mediæval
trade with the Orient, which had familiarized Europe with distant India
and Cathay, developed its full historico-geographical importance when it
started the maritime discoveries of the fifteenth century. The expansion
of the geographical horizon in 1512 to embrace the earth inaugurated a
widespread historical movement, which has resulted in the
Europeanization of the world.

[Sidenote: Civilization and mobility.]

Civilized man is at once more and less mobile than his primitive
brother. Every advance in civilization multiplies and tightens the bonds
uniting him with his soil; makes him a sedentary instead of a migratory
being. On the other hand every advance in civilization is attended by
the rapid clearing of the forests, by the construction of bridges and
interlacing roads, the invention of more effective vehicles for
transportation whereby intercourse increases, and the improvement of
navigation to the same end. Civilized man progressively modifies the
land which he occupies, removes or reduces obstacles to intercourse, and
thereby approximates it to the open plain. Thus far he facilitates
movements. But while doing this he also places upon the land a dense
population, closely attached to the soil, strong to resist incursion,
and for economic reasons inhospitable to any marked accession of
population from without. Herein lies the great difference between
migration in empty or sparsely inhabited regions, such as predominated
when the world was young, and in the densely populated countries of our
era. As the earth grew old and humanity multiplied, peoples themselves
became the greatest barriers to any massive migrations, till in certain
countries of Europe and Asia the historical movement has been reduced to
a continual pressure, resulting in compression of population here,
repression there. Hence, though political boundaries may shift, ethnic
boundaries scarcely budge. The greatest wars of modern Europe have
hardly left a trace upon the distribution of its peoples. Only in the
Balkan Peninsula, as the frontiers of the Turkish Empire have been
forced back from the Danube, the alien Turks have withdrawn to the
shrinking territory of the Sultan and especially to Asia Minor.

[Sidenote: Diffusion of culture.]

Where a population too great to be dislodged occupies the land, conquest
results in the eventual absorption of the victors and their civilization
by the native folk, as happened to the Lombards in Italy, the Vandals in
Africa and the Normans in England. Where the invaders are markedly
superior in culture though numerically weak, conquest results in the
gradual permeation of the conquered with the religion, economic methods,
language, and customs of the new-comers.[141] The latter process, too, is
always attended by some intermixture of blood, where no race repulsion
exists, but this is small in comparison to the diffusion of
civilization. This was the method by which Greek traders and colonists
Hellenized the countries about the eastern Mediterranean, and spread
their culture far back from the shores which their settlements had
appropriated. In this way Saracen armies soon after the death of
Mohammed Arabized the whole eastern and southern sides of the
Mediterranean from Syria to Spain, and Arab merchants set the stamp of
their language and religion on the coasts of East Africa as far as
Moçambique. The handful of Spanish adventurers who came upon the
relatively dense populations of Mexico and Peru left among them a
civilization essentially European, but only a thin strain of Castilian
blood. Thus the immigration of small bands of people sufficed to
influence the culture of that big territory known as Latin America.

[Sidenote: Ethnic intermixture.]

That vast sum of migrations, great and small, which we group under the
general term of historical movement has involved an endless mingling of
races and cultures. As Professor Petrie has remarked, the prevalent
notion that in prehistoric times races were pure and unmixed is without
foundation. An examination of the various forms of the historical
movement reveals the extent and complexity of this mingling process.

In the first place, no migration is ever simple; it involves a number
of secondary movements, each of which in turn occasions a new
combination of tribal or racial elements. The transference of a whole
people from its native or adopted seat to a new habitat, as in the
_Völkerwanderungen_, empties the original district, which then becomes
a catchment basin for various streams of people about its rim; and in
the new territory it dislodges a few or all of the occupants, and
thereby starts up a fresh movement as the original one comes to rest.

Nor is this all. A torrent that issues from its source in the mountains
is not the river which reaches the sea. On its long journey from
highland to lowland it receives now the milky waters of a glacier-fed
stream, now a muddy tributary from agricultural lands, now the clear
waters from a limestone plateau, while all the time its racing current
bears a burden of soil torn from its own banks. Now it rests in a lake,
where it lays down its weight of silt, then goes on, perhaps across an
arid stretch where its water is sucked up by the thirsty air or
diverted to irrigate fields of grain. So with those rivers of men which
we call migrations. The ethnic stream may start comparatively pure, but
it becomes mixed on the way. From time to time it leaves behind laggard
elements which in turn make a new racial blend where they stop. Such
were the six thousand Aduatici whom Cæsar found in Belgian Gaul. These
were a detachment of the migrating Cimbri, left there in charge of
surplus cattle and baggage while the main body went on to Italy.[142]

[Sidenote: Complex currents of migration.]

A migration rarely involves a single people even at the start. It
becomes contagious either by example or by the subjection of several
neighboring tribes to the same impelling force, by reason of which all
start at or near the same time. We find the Cimbri and Teutons combined
with Celts from the island of Batavia[143] in the first Germanic invasion
of the Roman Empire. Jutes, Saxons and Angles started in close
succession for Britain, and the Saxon group included Frisians.[144] An
unavoidable concomitant of great migrations, especially those of nomads,
is their tendency to sweep into the vortex of their movement any people
whom they brush on the way. Both individuals and tribes are thus caught
up by the current. The general convergence of the central German tribes
towards the Danube frontier of the Roman Empire during the Marcomannic
War drew in its train the Lombards from the lower Elbe down to the
middle Danube and Theiss.[145] The force of the Lombards invading Italy
in 568 included twenty thousand Saxons from Swabia, Gepidae from the
middle Danube, Bulgarians, Slavs from the Russian Ukraine, together with
various tribes from the Alpine district of Noricum and the fluvial
plains of Pannonia. Two centuries later the names of these non-Lombard
tribes still survived in certain villages of Italy which had formed
their centers.[146] The army which Attila the Hun brought into Gaul was a
motley crowd, comprising peoples of probable Slav origin from the
Russian steppes, Teutonic Ostrogoths and Gepidae, and numerous German
tribes, besides the Huns themselves. When this horde withdrew after the
death of Attila, Gepidae and Ostrogoths settled along the middle Danube,
and the Slavonic contingent along the Alpine courses of the Drave and
Save Rivers.[147] The Vandal migration which in 409 invaded Spain
included the Turanian Alans and the German Suevi. The Alans found a
temporary home in Portugal, which they later abandoned to join the
Vandal invasion of North Africa, while the Suevi settled permanently in
the northwestern mountains of Spain. The Vandals occupied in Spain two
widely separated districts, one in the mountain region of Galicia next
to the Suevi, and the other in the fertile valley of Andalusia in the
south, while the northeastern part of the peninsula was occupied by
intruding Visigoths.[148] Add to these the original Iberian and Celtic
stocks of the peninsula and the Roman strain previously introduced, and
the various elements which have entered into the Spanish people become

[Sidenote: Cultural modification during migration.]

The absorption of foreign elements is not confined to large groups whose
names come down in history, nor is the ensuing modification one of blood
alone. Every land migration or expansion of a people passes by or
through the territories of other peoples; by these it is inevitably
influenced in point of civilization, and from them individuals are
absorbed into the wandering throng by marriage or adoption, or a score
of ways. This assimilation of blood and local culture is facilitated by
the fact that the vast majority of historical movements are slow, a
leisurely drift. Even the great _Völkerwanderung_, which history has
shown us generally in the moment of swift, final descent upon the
imperial city, in reality consisted of a succession of advances with
long halts between. The Vandals, whose original seats were probably in
central or eastern Prussia, drifted southward with the general movement
of the German barbarians toward the borders of the Empire late in the
second century, and, after the Marcomannic War (175 A.D.), settled in
Dacia north of the lower Danube under the Roman sway. In 271 they were
located on the middle Danube, and sixty years afterwards in Moravia.
Later they settled for seventy years in Pannonia within the Empire,
where they assimilated Roman civilization and adopted the Arian form of
Christianity from their Gothic neighbors.[150] In Spain, as we have seen,
they occupied Galicia and Andalusia for a time before passing over into
Africa in 429. Here was a migration lasting two centuries and a half,
reaching from the Baltic to the southern shores of the Mediterranean,
starting on the bleak sterile plains of the north amid barbarous
neighbors, ending in the sunny grain fields and rich cities of Roman
Africa. The picture which we get of the victorious Vandals parceling out
the estates of Roman nobles, and, from the standpoint of their more
liberal faith, profiting by the dissensions of the two Catholic sects of
Africa, shows us a people greatly modified by their long sweep through
the civilized outskirts of the Empire. So it was with the Lombards and
Goths who invaded Italy.

Among primitive tribes, who move in smaller groups and must conform
closely to the dictates of their environment, the modifying effects of
people and land through which they pass are conspicuous. Ratzel
describes the gradual withdrawal of a Hottentot people from western Cape
Colony far into the arid interior before the advance of Kaffirs and
Europeans by saying: "The stock and name of the Namaquas wandered
northward, acquiring new elements, and in course of time filling the old
mold with new contents."[151] This is the typical result of such
primitive movements. The migration of the Delaware Indians from an early
home somewhere northwest of the Great Lakes to their historical habitat
between the Hudson and Potomac Rivers was a slow progress, which
somewhere brought them into contact with maize-growing tribes, and gave
them their start in agriculture.[152] The transit lands through which
these great race journeys pass exercise a modifying effect chiefly
through their culture and their peoples, less through their physical
features and climate. For that the stay of the visitants is generally
too brief.

[Sidenote: Effect of early maritime migration.]

Even early maritime migrants did not keep their strains pure. The
untried navigator sailing from island to headland, hugging the coast and
putting ashore for water, came into contact with the natives. Cross
currents of migration can be traced in Polynesian waters, where certain
islands are nodal points which have given and received of races and
culture through centuries of movement. The original white population of
Uruguay differed widely from that of the other Spanish republics of
South America. Its nucleus was a large immigration of Canary Islanders.
These were descendants of Spaniards and the native Guanches of the
Canaries, mingled also with Norman, Flemish and Moorish blood.[153] The
Norse on their way to Iceland may have picked up a Celtic element in the
islands north of Scotland; but from the Faroe group onward they found
only empty Iceland and Greenland. This was an exceptional experience.
Early navigation, owing to its limitations, purposely restricted itself
to the known. Men voyaged where men had voyaged before and were to be
found. Journeys into the untenanted parts of the world were rare.
However, the probable eastward expansion of the Eskimo along the Arctic
rim of North America belongs in this class, so that this northern folk
has suffered no modification from contact with others, except where
Alaska approaches Asia.

[Sidenote: The transit land.]

The land traversed by a migrating horde is not to be pictured as a dead
road beneath their feet, but rather as a wide region of transit and
transition, potent to influence them by its geography and people, and to
modify them in the course of their passage. The route which they follow
is a succession of habitats, in which they linger and domicile
themselves for a while, though not long enough to lose wholly the habits
of life and thought acquired in their previous dwelling place. Although
nature in many places, by means of valleys, low plains, mountain passes
or oasis lines, points out the way of these race movements, it is safer
to think and speak of this way as a transit land, not as a path or road.
Even where the district of migration has been the sea, as among the
Caribs of the Antilles Islands, the Moros of the Philippines, and the
Polynesians of the Pacific, man sends his roots like a water plant down
into the restless element beneath, and reflects its influence in all his
thought and activities.

[Sidenote: War as a form of the historical movement.]

Every aggressive historical movement, whether bold migration or forcible
extension of the home territory, involves displacement or passive
movement of other peoples (except in those rare occupations of vacant
lands), who in turn are forced to encroach upon the lands of others.
These conditions involve war, which is an important form of the
historical movement, contributing to new social contacts and fusion of
racial stocks. Raids and piratical descents are often the preliminary
of great historical movements. They first expand the geographical
horizon, and end in permanent settlements, which involve finally
considerable transfers of population, summoned to strengthen the
position of the interloper. Such was the history of the Germanic
invasions of Britain, the Scandinavian settlements on the shores of
Iceland, Britain, and France, and the incursions of Saharan tribes into
the Sudanese states. Among pastoral nomads war is the rule; the tribe, a
mobilized nation, is always on a war footing with its neighbors. The
scant supply of wells and pasturage, inadequate in the dry season,
involves rivalry and conflict for their possession as agricultural lands
do not. Failure of water or grass is followed by the decline of the
herds, and then by marauding expeditions into the river valleys to
supply the temporary want of food. When population increases beyond the
limits of subsistence in the needy steppes, such raids become the rule
and end in the conquest of the more favored lands, with resulting
amalgamation of race and culture.[154]

[Sidenote: Primitive war.]

The wars of savage and pastoral peoples affect the whole tribe. All the
able-bodied men are combatants, and all the women and children
constitute the spoils of war in case of defeat. This fact is important,
since the purpose of primitive conflicts is to enslave and pillage,
rather than to acquire land. The result is that a whole district may be
laid waste, but when the devastators withdraw, it is gradually
repopulated by bordering tribes, who make new ethnic combinations. After
the destruction of the Eries by the Iroquois in 1655, Ohio was left
practically uninhabited for a hundred and fifty years. Then the
Iroquoian Wyandots extended their settlements into northwestern Ohio
from their base in southern Michigan, while the Miami Confederacy along
the southern shore of Lake Michigan pushed their borders into the
western part. The Muskingum Valley in the eastern portion was occupied
about 1750 by Delawares from eastern Pennsylvania, the Scioto by
Shawnees, and the northeast corner of the territory by detachments of
Iroquois, chiefly Senecas.[155] The long wars between the Algonquin
Indians of the north and the Appalachian tribes of the south kept the
district of Kentucky a No Man's Land, in convenient vacancy for
occupation by the white settlers, when they began the westward
movement.[156] [Map page 156.]

[Sidenote: Slavery as form of historical movement.]

This desolation is produced partly by killing, but chiefly by
enslavement of prisoners and the flight of the conquered. Both
constitute compulsory migrations of far-reaching effect in the fusion of
races and the blending of civilizations. The thousands of Greek slaves
who were brought to ancient Rome contributed to its refinement and
polish. All the nations of the known world, from Briton to Syrian and
Jew, were represented in the slave markets of the imperial capital, and
contributed their elements to the final composition of the Roman people.
When we read of ninety-seven thousand Hebrews whom Titus sold into
bondage after the fall of Jerusalem, of forty thousand Greeks sold by
Lucullus after one victory, and the auction _sub corona_ of whole tribes
in Gaul by Cæsar, the scale of this forcible transfer becomes apparent,
and its power as an agent of race amalgamation. Senator Sam Houston of
Texas, speaking of the Comanche Indians, in the United States Senate,
December 31, 1854, said: "There are not less than two thousand prisoners
(whites) in the hands of the Comanches, four hundred in one band in my
own state.... They take no prisoners but women and boys."[157] It was
customary among the Indians to use captured women as concubines and to
adopt into the tribe such boys as survived the cruel treatment to which
they were subjected. Since the Comanches in 1847 were variously
estimated to number from nine to twelve thousand,[158] so large a
proportion of captives would modify the native stock.

In Africa slavery has been intimately associated with agriculture as a
source of wealth, and therefore has lent motive to intertribal wars.
Captives were enslaved and then gradually absorbed into the tribe of
their masters. Thus war and slavery contributed greatly to that
widespread blending of races which characterizes negro Africa. Slaves
became a medium of exchange and an article of commerce with other
continents. The negro slave trade had its chief importance in the eyes
of ethnologists and historians because, in distributing the black races
in white continents, it has given a "negro question" to the United
States, superseded the native Indian stock of the Antilles by negroes,
and left a broad negro strain in the blood of Colombia, Venezuela, and
Brazil. This particular historical movement, which during the two
centuries of its greatest activity involved larger numbers than the
Tartar invasion of Russia or the Turkish invasion of Europe, for a long
period gave to black Africa the only historical importance which it
possessed for the rest of the world.[159]

[Sidenote: Fusion by deported and military colonies.]

In higher stages of political development, war aiming at the subjugation
of large territories finds another means to fuse the subject peoples and
assimilate them to a common standard of civilization. The purpose is
unification and the obliteration of local differences. These are also
the unconscious ends of evolution by historical movement. With this
object, conquerors the world over have used a system of tribal and
racial exchanges. It was the policy of the Incas of ancient Peru to
remove conquered tribes to distant parts of the realm, and supply their
places with colonists from other districts who had long been subjected
and were more or less assimilated.[160] In 722 B.C. the Assyrian king,
Sargon, overran Samaria, carried away the Ten Tribes of Israel beyond
the Tigris and scattered them among the cities of Media, where they
probably merged with the local population. To the country left vacant by
their wholesale deportation he transplanted people from Babylon and
other Mesopotamian cities.[161] The descendants of these, mingled with
the poorer class of Jews still left there, formed the despised
Samaritans of the time of Christ. The Kingdom of Judah later was
despoiled by Nebuchadnezzar of much of its population, which was carried
off to Babylon.

This plan of partial deportation and colonization characterized the
Roman method of Romanization. Removal of the conquered from their native
environment facilitated the process, while it weakened the spirit and
power of revolt. The Romans met bitter opposition from the mountain
tribes when trying to open up the northern passes of the Apennines.
Consequently they removed the Ligurian tribe of the Apuanians,
forty-seven thousand in number, far south to Samnium. When in 15 B.C.
the region of the Rhaetian Alps was joined to the Empire, forty
thousand of the inhabitants were transplanted from the mountains to the
plain. The same method was used with the Scordisci and Dacians of the
Danube. More often the mortality of war so thinned the population, that
the settlement of Roman military colonies among them sufficed to keep
down revolt and to Romanize the surviving fragment. The large area of
Romance speech found in Roumania and eastern Hungary, despite the
controversy about its origin,[162] seems to have had its chief source in
the extensive Roman colonies planted by the Emperor Trajan in conquered
Dacia.[163] In Iberian Spain, which bitterly resisted Romanization, the
process was facilitated by the presence of large garrisons of soldiers.
Between 196 and 169 B.C. the troops amounted to one hundred and fifty
thousand, and many of them remained in the country as colonists.[164]
Compare the settlement of Scotch troops in French Canada by land grants
after 1763, resulting in the survival to-day of sandy hair, blue eyes,
and highland names among the French-speaking _habitants_ of Murray Bay
and other districts. The Turks in the fifteenth century brought large
bodies of Moslem converts from Asia Minor to garrison Macedonia and
Thessaly, thereby robbing the Anatolian Plateau of half its original
population. Into the vacuum thus formed a current of nomads from inner
Asia has poured ever since.[165]

[Sidenote: Withdrawal and flight.]

Every active historical movement which enters an already populated
country gives rise there to passive movements, either compression of the
native folk followed by amalgamation, or displacement and withdrawal.
The latter in some degree attends every territorial encroachment. Only
where there is an abundance of free land can a people retire as a whole
before the onslaught, and maintain their national or racial solidarity.
Thus the Slavs seem largely to have withdrawn before the Germans in the
Baltic plains of Europe. The Indians of North and South America retired
westward before the advance of the whites from the Atlantic coast. The
Cherokee nation, who once had a broad belt of country extending from the
Tennessee Valley through South Carolina to the ocean,[166] first
retracted their frontier to the Appalachian Mountains; in 1816 they were
confined to an ever shrinking territory on the middle Tennessee and the
southern end of the highlands; in 1818 they began to retire beyond the
Mississippi, and in 1828 beyond the western boundary of Arkansas.[167]
The story of the Shawnees and Delawares is a replica of this.[168] In the
same way Hottentots and Kaffirs in South Africa are withdrawing
northward and westward into the desert before the protruding frontier of
white settlement, as the Boers before the English treked farther into
the veldt. [See map page 105.]

Where the people attacked or displaced is small or a broken remnant, it
often takes refuge among a neighboring or kindred tribe. The small
Siouan tribes of the Carolinas, reduced to fragments by repeated
Iroquois raids, combined with their Siouan kinsmen the Catawbas, who
consequently in 1743 included twenty dialects among their little
band.[169] The Iroquoian Tuscaroras of North Carolina, defeated and
weakened by the whites in 1711, fled north to the Iroquois of New York,
where they formed the Sixth Nation of the Confederation. The Yamese
Indians, who shifted back and forth between the borders of Florida and
South Carolina, defeated first by the whites and then by the Creeks,
found a refuge for the remnant of their tribe among the Seminoles, in
whom they merged and disappeared as a distinct tribe[170]--the fate of
most of these fragmentary peoples. [See map page 54.]

[Sidenote: Dispersal in flight.]

When the fugitive body is large, it is forced to split up in order to
escape. Hence every fugitive movement tends to assume the character of a
dispersal, all the more as organization and leadership vanish in the
catastrophe. The fissile character of primitive societies especially
contributes to this end, so that almost every story of Indian and native
African warfare tells of shattered remnants fleeing in several
directions. Among civilized peoples, the dispersal is that of
individuals and has far-reaching historical effects. After the
destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were scattered over the earth, the
debris of a nation. The religious wars of France during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries caused Huguenots to flee to Switzerland,
Germany, Holland, England, and South Carolina; they even tried to
establish a colony on the coast of Brazil. Everywhere they contributed a
valuable element to the economic and social life of the community which
they joined. The great schism in the Russian Church became an agent of
emigration and colonization. It helped to spread the Russian nationality
over remote frontier regions of the empire which previously had been
almost exclusively Asiatic; and distributed groups of dissenters in the
neighboring provinces of Turkey, Roumania, Austria, Poland and

[Sidenote: Natural regions of retreat.]

The hope of safety from pursuit drives fugitive peoples into isolated
and barren places that are scarcely accessible or habitable, and thereby
extends the inhabited area of the earth long before mere pressure of
population would have stretched it to such limits. We find these refugee
folk living in pile villages built over the water, in deserts, in
swamps, mangrove thickets, very high mountains, marshy deltas, and
remote or barren islands, all which can be classified as regions of
retreat. Fugitives try to place between themselves and their pursuers a
barrier of sea or desert or mountains, and in doing this have themselves
surmounted some of the greatest obstacles to the spread of the human

Districts of refuge located centrally to several natural regions of
migration receive immigrants from many sides, and are therefore often
characterized by a bizarre grouping of populations. The cluster of
marshy islands at the head of the Adriatic received fugitives from a
long semi-circle of north Italian cities during the barbarian invasions.
Each refugee colony occupied a separate island, and finally all
coalesced to form the city of Venice. Central mountain districts like
the Alps and Caucasus contain "the sweepings of the plains." The
Caucasus particularly, on the border between Europe and Asia, contains
every physical type and representative of every linguistic family of
Eurasia, except pure Aryan. Nowhere else in the world probably is there
such a heterogeneous lot of peoples, languages and religions. Ripley
calls the Caucasus "a grave of peoples, of languages, of customs and
physical types."[172] Its base, north and south, and the longitudinal
groove through its center from east to west have been swept by various
racial currents, which have cast up their flotsam into its valleys. The
pueblos of our arid Southwest, essentially an area of asylum, are
inhabited by Indians of four distinct stocks, and only one of them, the
Moquis, show clearly kinship to another tribe outside this
territory,[173] so that they are survivals. The twenty-eight different
Indian stocks huddled together in small and diverse linguistic groups
between the Pacific Ocean and the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and
Cascade Range[174] leave the impression that these protected valleys,
similar to the Caucasus in their ethnic diversity, were an asylum for
remnants of depleted stocks who had fled to the western highlands before
the great Indian migrations of the interior.[175] Making their way
painfully and at great cost of life through a region of mountain and
desert, they came out in diminished bands to survive in the protection
of the great barrier. Of the twenty-one Indian linguistic stocks which
have become extinct since the arrival of the white man, fifteen belong
to this transmontane strip of the Pacific slope[176]--evidence of the
fragmentary character of these stocks and their consequently small power
of resistance, [See map page 54.]

[Sidenote: Emigration and colonization.]

Advance to a completely sedentary life, as we see it among modern
civilized nations, prohibits the migration of whole peoples, or even of
large groups when maintaining their political organization. On the other
hand, however, sedentary life and advanced civilization bring rapid
increase of population, improved methods of communication, and an
enlarged geographical horizon. These conditions encourage and facilitate
emigration and colonization, forms of historical movement which have
characterized the great commercial peoples of antiquity and the
overcrowded nations of modern times. These forms do not involve a whole
people, but only individuals and small groups, though in time the total
result may represent a considerable proportion of the original
population. The United States in 1890 contained 980,938 immigrants from
Canada and Newfoundland,[177] or just one-fifth the total population of
the Dominion in that same year. Germany since 1820 has contributed at
least five million citizens to non-European lands. Ireland since 1841
has seen nearly four millions of its inhabitants drawn off to other
countries,[178] an amount only little less than its present population.
It is estimated that since 1851 emigration has carried off from County
Clare and Kerry seventy-two per cent. of the average population; and yet
those counties are still crowded.[179] Among those who abandon their
homes in search of easier conditions of living, certain ages and certain
social and industrial classes predominate. A typical emigrant group to
America represents largely the lower walks of life, includes an abnormal
proportion of men and adults, and about three-fourths of it are
unskilled laborers and agriculturists.[180]

Colonization, the most potent instrument of organized expansion, has in
recent centuries changed the relative significance of the great colonial
nations of Europe. It raised England from a small insular country to the
center of a world power. It gave sudden though temporary preëminence to
Spain and Portugal, a new lease of life to little Holland, and ominous
importance to Russia. Germany, who entered the colonial field only in
1880, found little desirable land left; and yet it was especially
Germany who needed an outlet for her redundant population. With all
these states, as with ancient Phoenicia, Greece and Yemen, the initial
purpose was commerce or in some form the exploitation of the new
territory. Colonies were originally trading stations established as safe
termini for trade routes.[181] Colonial government, as administered by
the mother country, originally had an eye single for the profits of
trade: witness the experience of the Thirteen Colonies with Great
Britain. Colonial wars have largely meant the rivalry of competing
nations seeking the same markets, as the history of the Portuguese and
Dutch in the East Indies, and the English and French in America prove.
The first Punic War had a like commercial origin--rivalry for the trade
of _Magna Græcia_ between Rome and Carthage, the dominant colonial
powers of the western Mediterranean. Such wars result in expansion for
the victor.

[Sidenote: Commerce.]

Commerce, which so largely underlies colonization, is itself a form of
historical movement. It both causes and stimulates great movements of
peoples, yet it differs from these fundamentally in its relation to the
land. Commerce traverses the land to reach its destination, but takes
account of natural features only as these affect transportation and
travel. It has to do with systems of routes and goals, which it aims to
reach as quickly as possible. It reduces its cortege to essentials;
eliminates women and children. Therefore it surmounts natural barriers
which block the advance of other forms of the historical movement.
Merchant caravans are constantly crossing the desert, but not so
peoples. Traders with loaded yaks or ponies push across the Karakorum
Mountains by passes where a migrating horde would starve and freeze. The
northern limit of the Mediterranean race in Spain lies sharply defined
along the crest of the Pyrenees, whose long unbroken wall forms one of
the most pronounced boundaries in Europe;[182] yet traders and smugglers
have pushed their way through from time immemorial. Long after Etruscan
merchants had crossed northward over the Alps, Roman expansion and
colonization made a detour around the mountains westward into Gaul, with
the result that the Germans received Roman civilization not straight
from the south, but secondhand through their Gallic neighbors west of
the Rhine.

[Sidenote: Commerce a guide to various movements.]

Commerce, though differing from other historical movements, may give to
these direction and destination. The trader is frequently the herald of
soldier and settler. He becomes their guide, takes them along the trail
which he has blazed, and gives them his own definiteness of aim. The
earliest Roman conquest of the Alpine tribes was made for the purpose of
opening the passes for traders and abolishing the heavy transit duties
imposed by the mountaineers.[183] Fur-traders inaugurated French
expansion to the far west of Canada, and the Russian advance into
Siberia. The ancient amber route across Russia from the Baltic to the
Euxine probably guided the Goths in their migration from their northern
seats to the fertile lands in southern Russia, where they first appear
in history as the Ostrogoths.[184] The caravan trade across the Sahara
from the Niger to the Mediterranean coast has itself embodied an
historical movement, by bringing out enough negro slaves appreciably to
modify the ethnic composition of the population in many parts of North
Africa.[185] It was this trade which also suggested to Prince Henry of
Portugal in 1415, when campaigning in Morocco, the plan of reaching the
Guinea Coast by sea and diverting its gold dust and slaves to the port
of Lisbon, a movement which resulted in the Portuguese circumnavigation
of Africa.[186]

Every staple place and trading station is a center of geographical
information; it therefore gives an impulse to expansion by widening the
geographical horizon. The Lewis and Clark Expedition found the Mandan
villages at the northern bend of the Missouri River the center of a
trade which extended west to the Pacific, through the agency of the Crow
and Paunch Indians of the upper Yellowstone, and far north to the
Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Rivers. Here in conversation with British
and French fur-traders of the Northwest Company's posts, they secured
information about the western country they were to explore.[187]
Similarly the trade of the early Jesuit missions at La Pointe near the
west end of Lake Superior annually drew the Indians from a wide circle
sweeping from Green Bay and the Fox River in the south, across the
Mississippi around to the Lake of the Woods and far north of Lake
Superior.[188] Here Marquette first heard of the great river destined to
carry French dominion to the Gulf of Mexico.

[Sidenote: Movements due to religion.]

Trade often finds in religion an associate and coadjutor in directing
and stimulating the historical movement. China regards modern Christian
missions as effective European agencies for the spread of commercial and
political power. Jesuit and fur-trader plunged together into the wilds
of colonial Canada; Spanish priest and gold-seeker into Mexico and Peru.
American missionary pressed close upon the heels of fur-trader into the
Oregon country. Jason Lee, having established a Methodist mission on the
Willamette in 1834, himself experienced sudden conversion from
religionist to colonizer. He undertook a temporary mission back to the
settled States, where he preached a stirring propaganda for the
settlement and appropriation of the disputed Oregon country, before the
British should fasten their grip upon it. The United States owes Hawaii
to the expansionist spirit of American missionaries. Thirty years after
their arrival in the islands, they held all the important offices under
the native government, and had secured valuable tracts of lands, laying
the foundation of the landed aristocracy of planters established there
to-day. Their sons and grandsons took the lead in the Revolution of
1893, and in the movement for annexation to the United States. Thus
sometimes do the meek inherit the earth.

[Sidenote: Religious pilgrimages.]

The famous pilgrimages of the world, in which the commercial element has
been more or less conspicuous,[189] have contributed greatly to the
circulation of peoples and ideas, especially as they involve multitudes
and draw from a large circle of lands. Their economic, intellectual and
political effects rank them as one phase of the historical movement.
Herodotus tells of seven hundred thousand Egyptians flocking to the city
of Bubastis from all parts of Egypt for the festival of Diana.[190] The
worship of Ashtoreth in Bambyce in Syria drew votaries from all the
Semitic peoples except the Jews. As early as 386 A.D. Christian
pilgrims flocked to Jerusalem from Armenia, Persia, India, Ethiopia, and
even from Gaul and Britain. Jerusalem gave rise to those armed
pilgrimages, the Crusades, with all their far-reaching results. The
pilgrimages to Rome, which in the Jubilee of 1300 brought two hundred
thousand worshipers to the sacred city, did much to consolidate papal
supremacy over Latin Christendom.[191] As the roads to Rome took the
pious wayfarers through Milan, Venice, Genoa, Florence, Bologna, and
other great cities of Italy, they were so many channels for the
distribution of Italian art and culture over the more untutored lands of
western Europe.

Though Mecca is visited annually by only seventy or eighty thousand
pilgrims, it puts into motion a far greater number over the whole
Mohammedan world, from westernmost Africa to Chinese Turkestan.[192]
Yearly a great pilgrimage, numbering in 1905 eighty thousand souls,
moves across Africa eastward through the Sudan on its way to the Red Sea
and Mecca. Many traders join the caravans of the devout both for
protection and profit, and the devout themselves travel with herds of
cattle to trade in on the way. The merchants are prone to drop out and
settle in any attractive country, and few get beyond the populous
markets of Wadai. The British and French governments in the Sudan aid
and protect these pilgrimages; they recognize them as a political force,
because they spread the story of the security and order of European
rule.[193] The markets of western Tibet, recently opened to Indian
merchants by the British expedition to Lhassa, promote intercourse
between the two countries especially because of the sacred lakes and
mountains in their vicinity, which are goals of pilgrimage alike to
Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist. They offer an opportunity to acquire merit
and profit at the same time, an irresistible combination to the needy,
pious Hindu. Therefore across the rugged passes of the Himalayas he
drives his yaks laden with English merchandise, an unconscious
instrument for the spread of English influence, English civilization and
the extension of the English market, as the Colonial Office well

[Sidenote: Historical movement and race distribution.]

The forms which have been assumed by the historical movement are varied,
but all have contributed to the spread of man over the habitable globe.
The yellow, white and red races have become adapted to every zone; the
black race, whether in Africa, Australia or Melanesia, is confined
chiefly to the Tropics. A like conservatism as to habitat tends to
characterize all sub-races, peoples, and tribes of the human family. The
fact which strikes one in studying the migrations of these smaller
groups is their adherence each to a certain zone or heat belt defined by
certain isothermal lines (see map chap. XVII.), their reluctance to
protrude beyond its limits, and the restricted range and small numerical
strength of such protrusions as occur. This seems to be the conservatism
of the mature race type, which has lost some of its plasticity and shuns
or succumbs to the ordeal of adaptation to contrasted climatic
conditions, except when civilization enables it partially to neutralize
their effects.

_History of the World_. By permission of Dodd, Mead & Co.)]

[Sidenote: Migrations in relation to zones and heat belts.]

In South America, Caribs and Arawaks showed a strictly tropical
distribution from Hayti to the southern watershed of the Amazon. The
Tupis, moving down the Parana-La Plata system, made a short excursion
beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, though not beyond the hot belt, then
turned equator-ward again along the coast.[195] In North America we find
some exceptions to the rule. For instance, though the main area of the
Athapascan stock is found in the frigid belt of Canada and Alaska, north
of the annual isotherm of 0°C. (32°F.) small residual fragments of
these people are scattered also along the Pacific coast of Oregon and
California, marking the old line of march of a large group which drifted
southward into Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and the northern part of
Mexico. The Shoshone stock, which originally occupied the Great Basin
and western intermontane plateau up to the borders of Canada, sent out
offshoots which developed into the ancient civilized tribes of tropical
Mexico and Central America. Both these emigrations to more southern
zones were part of the great southward trend characterizing all
movements on the Pacific side of the continent, probably from an
original ethnic port of entry near Bering Strait; and part also of the
general southward drift in search of more genial climate, which landed
the van of northern Siouan, Algonquin and Iroquoian stocks in the
present area of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana, while the base of their territory stretched out to its
greatest width in southern Canada and contiguous parts of the United
States. [See map page 54.][196]


[Illustration: ETHNOGRAPHICAL MAP OF ASIA. Vertical Shading in the
North is Slav.]

[Sidenote: Range of movements in Asia.]

If we turn to the eastern hemisphere, we find the Malays and
Malayo-Polynesians, differentiated offshoots of the Mongolian stock,
restricted to the Tropics, except where Polynesians have spread to
outlying New Zealand. The Chinese draw their political boundary nearly
along the Tropic of Cancer, but they have freely lapped over this
frontier into Indo-China as far as Singapore.[197] Combined with this
expansion was the early infiltration of the Chinese into the
Philippines, Borneo, and the western Sunda Isles, all distinctly
tropical. The fact that the Chinese show a physical capacity for
acclimatization found in no other race explains in part their presence
into the Tropics. In contrast, the Aryan folk of India, whether in their
pure type as found in the Punjab and Rajputana Desert, or mingled with
the earlier Dravidian races belong to the hot belt but scarcely reach
the Tropic of Cancer,[198] though their language has far overshot this
line both in the Deccan and the Ganges Delta. One spore of Aryan stock,
in about 450 B.C., moved by sea from the Bay of Cambay to Ceylon;
mingling there with the Tamil natives, they became the progenitors of
the Singhalese, forming a hybrid tropical offshoot.

Europe, except for its small sub-arctic area, has received immigrants,
according to the testimony of history and ethnology, only from the
temperate parts of Asia and Africa, with the one exception of the
Saracens of Arabia, whose original home lay wholly within the hot
climate belt of 20°C. (68°F.). Saracen expansion, in covering Persia,
Syria, and Egypt, still kept to this hot belt; only in the Barbary Coast
of Africa and in Spain did it protrude into the temperate belt. Though
this last territory was extra-tropical, it was essentially semi-arid and
sub-tropical in temperature, like the dry trade-wind belt whence the
Saracens had sprung.


[Sidenote: Range of movements in Africa.]

The Semitic folk of Arabia and the desert Hamites of northern Africa,
bred by their hot, dry environment to a nomadic life, have been drawn
southward over the Sahara across the Tropic into the grasslands of the
Sudan, permeating a wide zone of negro folk with the political control,
religion, civilization and blood of the Mediterranean north. Here
similar though better conditions of life, a climate hotter though less
arid, attracted Hamitic invasion, while the relatively dense native
population in a lower stage of economic development presented to the
commercial Semites the attraction of lucrative trade. South of the
equator the native Bantu Kaffirs, essentially a tropical people, spread
beyond their zonal border to the south coast of Africa at 33° S.L.,
and displaced the yellow Hottentots[199] before the arrival of the Dutch
in 1602; while in the early nineteenth century we hear of the Makololo,
a division of this same Kaffir stock, leaving their native seats near
the southern sources of the Vaal River at 28° S.L. and moving some nine
hundred miles northward to the Barotse territory on the upper Zambesi at
15° S.L.[200] This again was a movement of a pastoral people across a
tropic to other grasslands, to climatic conditions scarcely different
from those which they had left.

[Sidenote: Colonization and latitude.]

The modern colonial movements which have been genuine race expansions
have shown a tendency not only to adhere to their zone, but to follow
parallels of latitude or isotherms. The stratification of European
peoples in the Americas, excepting Spanish and Portuguese, coincides
with heat zones. Internal colonization in the United States reveals the
same principle.[201] Russian settlements in Asia stretch across Siberia
chiefly between the fiftieth and fifty-fifth parallels; these same lines
include the ancient Slav territory in Germany between the Vistula and
Weser. The great efflux of home-seekers, as opposed to the smaller
contingent of mere conquerors and exploiters, which has poured forth
from Europe since the fifteenth century, has found its destinations
largely in the temperate parts of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand,
and South Africa. Even the Spanish overlords in Mexico and Peru
domiciled themselves chiefly in the highlands, where altitude in part
counteracts tropical latitude. European immigration into South America
to-day greatly predominates in the temperate portions,--in Argentine,
Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Brazil and southern Chile. While Argentine's
population includes over one million white foreigners, who comprise
twenty per cent. of the total,[202] Venezuela has no genuine white
immigration. Its population, which comprises only one per cent. of pure
whites, consists chiefly of negroes, mulattoes, and Sambos, hybrids of
negro and Indian race. In British Guiana, negroes and East Indian
coolies, both importations from other tropical lands, comprise
eighty-one per cent. of the population.[203]

The movement of Europeans into the tropical regions of Asia,
Australasia, Africa and America, like the American advance into the
Philippines, represents commercial and political, not genuine ethnic
expansion. Except where it resorts to hybridization, it seeks not new
homesteads, but the profits of tropical trade and the markets for
European manufactures found in retarded populations. These it secures
either by a small but permanently domiciled ruling class, as formerly in
Spanish and Portuguese America, or by a body of European officials,
clerks, agents and soldiers, sent out for a term of years. Such are the
seventy-six thousand Britishers who manage the affairs of commerce and
state in British India, and the smaller number of Dutch who perform the
same functions in the Dutch East India islands. The basis of this system
is exploitation. It represents neither a high economic, ethical, nor
social ideal, and therefore lacks the stamp of geographic finality.

[Sidenote: Movement to like geographic conditions.]

A migrating or expanding people, when free to choose, is prone to seek a
new home with like geographic conditions to the old. Hence the stamp
once given by an environment tends to perpetuate itself. All people,
especially those in the lower stages of culture, are conservative in
their fundamental activities. Agriculture is intolerable to pastoral
nomads, hunting has little attraction for a genuine fisher folk.
Therefore such peoples in expansion seek an environment in which the
national aptitudes, slowly evolved in their native seats, find a ready
field. Thus arise natural provinces of distribution, whose location,
climate, physical features, and size reflect the social and economic
adaptation of the inhabitants to a certain type of environment. A
shepherd folk, when breaking off from its parent stock like Abraham's
family from their Mesopotamian kinsmen, seeks a land rich in open
pastures and large enough to support its wasteful nomadic economy. A
seafaring people absorb an ever longer strip of seaboard, like the
Eskimo of Arctic America, or throw out their settlements from inlet to
inlet or island to island, as did Malays and Polynesians in the Pacific,
ancient Greeks and Phoenicians in the subtropical Mediterranean, and the
Norse in the northern seas. The Dutch, bred to the national profession
of diking and draining, appear in their element in the water-logged
coast of Sumatra and Guiana,[204] where they cultivate lands reclaimed
from the sea; or as colonists in the Vistula lowlands, whither Prussia
imported them to do their ancestral task, just as the English employed
their Dutch prisoners after the wars with Holland in the seventeenth
century to dike and drain the fens of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
Moreover, the commercial talent of the Dutch, trained by their
advantageous situation on the North Sea about the Rhine mouths, guided
their early traders to similar locations elsewhere, like the Hudson and
Delaware Rivers, or planted them on islands either furnishing or
commanding extensive trade, such as Ceylon, Mauritius, the East Indies,
or the Dutch holdings in the Antilles.

Much farther down in the cultural scale we find the fisher tribes of
Central Africa extending their villages from point to point along the
equatorial streams, and the river Indians of South America gradually
spreading from headwaters to estuary, and thence to the related
environment of the coast. The Tupis, essentially a water race, have left
traces of their occupation only where river or coast enabled them to
live by their inherited aptitudes.[205] The distribution of the ancient
mounds in North America shows their builders to have sought with few
exceptions protected sites near alluvial lowlands, commanding rich soil
for cultivation and the fish supply from the nearby river. Mountaineer
folk often move from one upland district to another, as did the Lombards
of Alpine Pannonia in their conquest of Lombardy and Apennine Italy,
where all their four duchies were restricted to the highlands of the
peninsula.[206] The conquests of the ancient Incas and the spread of
their race covered one Andean valley after another for a stretch of one
thousand five hundred miles, wherever climatic and physical conditions
were favorable to their irrigated tillage and highland herds of llamas.
They found it easier to climb pass after pass and mount to ever higher
altitudes, rather than descend to the suffocating coasts where neither
man nor beast could long survive, though they pushed the political
boundary finally to the seaboard. [Map page 101.]

[Sidenote: Movement to better geographic conditions.]

The search for better land, milder climate, and easier conditions of
living starts many a movement of peoples which, in view of their
purpose, necessarily leads them into an environment sharply contrasted
to their original habitat. Such has been the radial outflow of the
Mongoloid tribes down from the rugged highlands of central Asia to the
fertile river lowlands of the peripheral lands; the descent of the Iran
pastors upon the agricultural folk of the Indus, Ganges and Mesopotamian
valleys, and the swoop of desert-born conquerors upon the unresisting
tillers of well-watered fields in all times, from the ancient Hyksos of
the Nile to the modern Fulbe of the Niger Valley.

[Sidenote: Southward and westward drifts in the northern hemisphere.]

The attraction of a milder climate has caused in the northern hemisphere
a constantly recurring migration from north to south. In primitive North
America, along the whole broad Atlantic slope, the predominant direction
of Indian migrations was from north to south, accompanied by a drift
from west to east.[207] On the Pacific side of the continent also the
trend was southward. This is generally conceded regardless of theory as
to whether the Indians first found entrance to the continent at its
northeast or northwest corner. It was a movement toward milder
climates.[208] Study of the _Völkerwanderungen_ in Europe reveals two
currents or drifts in varied combination, one from north to south and
the other from east to west, but both of them aimed at regions of better
climate; for the milder temperature and more abundant rainfall of
western Europe made a country as alluring to the Goths, Huns, Alans,
Slavs, Bulgars and Tartars of Asiatic deserts and Russian steppes, as
were the sunny Mediterranean peninsulas to the dwellers of the bleak
Baltic coasts. This is one geographic fact back of the conspicuous
westward movement formulated into an historical principle: "Westward the
star of empire takes its course." The establishment of European colonies
on the western side of the Atlantic, their extension thence to the
Pacific and ever westward, till European culture was transplanted to the
Philippines by Spain and more recently by the United States, constitute
the most remarkable sustained movement made by any one race.

[Sidenote: Eastward movements.]

But westward movements are not the only ones. On the Pacific slope of
Asia the star has moved eastward. From highland Mongolia issued the
throng which originally populated the lowlands of China; and ever
since, one nomad conqueror after the other has descended thence to rule
the fruitful plains of Chili and the teeming populations of the Yangtze
Valley.[209] Russia, blocked in its hoped for expansion to the west by
the strong powers of central Europe, stretched its dominion eastward to
the Pacific and for a short time over to Alaska. The chief expansion of
the German people and the German Empire in historical times has also
been from west to east; but this eastward advance is probably only
retracing the steps taken by many primitive Teutonic tribes as they
drifted Rhineward from an earlier habitat along the Vistula.

[Sidenote: Return movements.]

Since the world is small, it frequently happens that a people after an
interval of generations, armed with a higher civilization, will reënter
a region which it once left when too crude and untutored to develop the
possibilities of the land, but which its better equipment later enables
it to exploit. Thus we find a backward expansion of the Chinese westward
to the foot of the Pamir, and an internal colonization of the empire to
the Ili feeder of Lake Balkash. The expansion of the Japanese into Korea
and Saghalin is undoubtedly such a return current, after an interval
long enough to work a complete transformation in the primitive
Mongolians who found their way to that island home. Sometimes the return
represents the ebbing of the tide, rather than the back water of a
stream in flood. Such was the retreat of the Moors from Spain to the
Berber districts of North Africa, whither they carried echoes of the
brilliant Saracen civilization in the Iberian Peninsula. Such has been
the gradual withdrawal of the Turks from Europe back to their native
Asia, and slow expulsion of the Tartar tribes from Russia to the barren
Asiatic limits of their former territory. [See map page 225.]

[Sidenote: Regions of attraction and repulsion.]

Voluntary historical movements, seeking congenial or choice regions of
the earth, have left its less favored spots undisturbed. Paucity of
resources and isolation have generally insured to a region a peaceful
history; natural wealth has always brought the conqueror. In ancient
Greece the fruitful plains of Thessaly, Boeotia, Elis and Laconia had a
fatal attraction for every migrating horde; Attica's rugged surface,
poor soil, and side-tracked location off the main line of travel
between Hellas and the Peloponnesus saved it from many a rough
visitant,[210] and hence left the Athenians, according to Thucydides, an
indigenous race. The fertility of the Rhine Valley has always attracted
invasion, the barren Black Forest range has repelled and obstructed it.

The security of such unproductive highlands lies more in their failure
to attract than in their power to resist conquest. When to abundant
natural resources, a single spot adds a reputation for wealth,
magnificence, an exceptional position for the control of territory or
commerce, it becomes a geographical magnet. Such was Delphi for the
Gauls of the Balkan Peninsula in the third century, Rome for the
Germanic and Hunnish tribes of the _Völkerwanderung_, Constantinople for
the Normans, Turks and Russians, Venice for land-locked Austria, the
Mississippi highway and the outlet at New Orleans for our
Trans-Allegheny pioneers.

[Sidenote: Psychical influences in certain movements.]

Sometimes the goal is fabulous or mythical, but potent to lure, like the
land of El Dorado, abounding in gold and jewels, which for two centuries
spurred on Spanish exploration in America. Other than purely material
motives may initiate or maintain such a movement, an ideal or a dream of
good, like the fountain of eternal youth which brought Ponce de Leon to
Florida, the search for the Islands of the Blessed, or the spirit of
religious propaganda which stimulated the spread of the Spanish in
Mexico and the French in Canada, or the hope of religious toleration
which has drawn Quaker, Puritan, Huguenot, and Jew to America. It was an
idea of purely spiritual import which directed the century-long movement
of the Crusades toward Jerusalem, half Latinized the Levant, and widened
the intellectual horizon of Europe. A national or racial sentiment which
enhaloes a certain spot may be pregnant with historical results, because
at any moment it may start some band of enthusiasts on a path of
migration or conquest. The Zionist agitation for the return of oppressed
Jews to Palestine, and the establishment of the Liberian Republic for
the negroes in Africa rest upon such a sentiment. The reverence of the
Christian world for Rome as a goal of pilgrimages materially enhanced
the influence of Italy as a school of culture during the Middle Ages.
The spiritual and ethnic association of the Mohammedan world with Mecca
is always fraught with possible political results. The dominant tribes
of the Sudan, followers of Islam, who proudly trace back a fictitious
line of ancestry to the Arabs of Yemen, are readily incited to support a
new prophet sprung from the race of Mecca.[211] The pilgrimages which the
Buddhists of the Asiatic highlands make to the sacred city of Lhassa
ensure China's control over the restless nomads through the
instrumentality of the Grand Lama of Tibet.

[Sidenote: Results of historical movement.]

Historical movements are varied as to motive, direction, numerical
strength, and character, but their final results are two,
differentiation and assimilation. Both are important phases of the
process of evolution, but the latter gains force with the progress of
history and the increase of the world's population.

[Sidenote: Differentiation and area.]

A people or race which, in its process of numerical growth, spreads over
a large territory subjects itself to a widening range of geographic
conditions, and therefore of differentiation. The broad expansion of the
Teutonic race in Europe, America, Australia and South Africa has brought
it into every variety of habitat. If the territory has a monotonous
relief like Russia, nevertheless, its mere extent involves diversity of
climate and location. The diversity of climate incident to large area
involves in turn different animal and plant life, different crops,
different economic activities. Even in lowlands the relief, geologic
structure, and soil are prone to vary over wide districts. The
monotonous surface of Holland shows such contrasts. So do the North
German lowlands; here the sandy barren flats of the "geest" alternate
with stretches of fertile silt deposited by the rivers or the sea,[212]
and support different types of communities, which have been admirably
described by Gustav Frenssen in his great novel of Jön Uhl. The flat
surface of southern Illinois shows in small compass the teeming
fertility of the famous "American bottom," the poor clay soil of "Egypt"
with its backward population, and the rich prairie land just to the
north with its prosperous and progressive farmer class.

When the relief includes mountains, the character not only of the land
but of the climate changes, and therewith the type of community. Hence
neighboring districts may produce strongly contrasted types of society.
Madison County of Kentucky, lying on the eastern margin of the Bluegrass
region, contains the rich landed estates, negro laboring class and
aristocratic society characteristic of the "planter" communities of the
old South; and only twenty miles southeast of Richmond, the center of
this wealth and refinement, it includes also the rough barren hill
country of the Cumberland Plateau, where are found one-room cabins,
moonshine stills, feuds, and a backward population sprung from the same
pure English stock as the Bluegrass people.

[Sidenote: Contrasted environments.]

Here is differentiation due to the immediate influences of environment.
The phenomenon reappears in every part of the world, in every race and
every age. The contrast between the ancient Greeks of the mountains,
coasts and alluvial valleys shows the power of environment to direct
economic activities and to modify culture and social organization. So
does the differences between the coast, steppe, and forest Indians of
Guiana,[213] the Kirghis of the Pamir pastures and the Irtysh River
valley, the agricultural Berbers of the Atlas Mountains and the Berber
nomads of the Sahara, the Swiss of the high, lonely Engadine and those
of the crowded Aar valley.

Contrasted environments effect a natural selection in another way and
thereby greatly stimulate differentiation, whenever an intruding people
contest the ownership of the territory with the inhabitants. The
struggle for land means a struggle also for the best land, which
therefore falls to the share of the strongest peoples. Weaklings must
content themselves with poor soils, inaccessible regions of mountain,
swamp or desert. There they deteriorate, or at best strike a slower pace
of increase or progress. The difference between the people of the
highlands and plains of Great Britain or of France is therefore in part
a distinction of race due to this geographical selection,[214] in part a
distinction of economic development and culture due to geographic
influences. Therefore the piedmont belts of the world, except in arid
lands, are cultural, ethnic and often political lines of cleavage,
showing marked differentiation on either side. Isotherms are other such
cleavage lines, marking the limits beyond which an aggressive people did
not desire to expand because of an uncongenial climate. The distinction
between Anglo-Saxon and Latin America is one of zone as well as race.
Everywhere in North America the English stock has dominated or displaced
French and Spanish competitors down to the Mexican frontier.

As the great process of European colonization has permeated the earth
and multiplied its population, not only the best land but the amount of
this has commenced to differentiate the history of various European
nations, and that in a way whose end cannot yet be definitely predicted.
The best lands have fallen to the first-comers strong enough to hold
them. People who early develop powers of expansion, like the English, or
who, like the French and Russians, formulate and execute vast
territorial policies, secure for their future growth a wide base which
will for all time distinguish them from late-comers into the colonial
field, like Germany and Italy. These countries see the fecundity of
their people redounding to the benefit of alien colonial lands, which
have been acquired by enterprising rivals in the choice sections of the
temperate zone. German and Italian colonies in torrid, unhealthy, or
barren tropical lands, fail to attract emigrants from the mother
country, and therefore to enhance national growth.

[Sidenote: Two-type populations.]

When colonizers or conquerors appropriate the land of a lower race, we
find a territory occupied at least for a time by two types of
population, constituting an ethnic, social and often economic
differentiation. The separation may be made geographical also. The
Indians in the United States have been confined to reservations, like
the Hottentots to the twenty or more "locations" in Cape Colony. This is
the simplest arrangement. Whether the second or lower type survives
depends upon their economic and social utility, into which again
geographic conditions enter. The Indians of Canada are a distinct
economic factor in that country as trappers for the Hudson Bay Company,
and they will so remain till the hunting grounds of the far north are
exhausted. The native agriculturists in the Tropics are indispensable to
the unacclimated whites. The negroes of the South, introduced for an
economic purpose, find their natural habitat in the Black Belt. Here we
have an ethnic division of labor for geographical reasons. Castes or
social classes, often distinguished by shades of color as in Brahman
India, survive as differentiations indicating old lines of race
cleavage. There is abundant evidence that the upper classes in Germany,
France, Austria, and the British Isles are distinctly lighter of hair
and eyes than the peasantry.[215] The high-class Japanese are taller and
fairer than the masses. Nearly all the African tribes of the Sudan and
bordering Sahara include two distinct classes, one of lighter and one of
darker shade. Many Fulbe tribes distinguish these classes by the names
of "Blacks" and "Whites."[216] The two-type people are the result of
historical movements.

[Sidenote: Differentiation and isolation.]

Differentiation results not only from contrasted geographic conditions,
but also from segregation. A moving or expanding throng in search of
more and better lands drops off one group to occupy a fertile valley or
plain, while the main body goes on its way, till it reaches a
satisfactory destination or destinations. The tendency to split and
divide, characteristic of primitive peoples, is thus stimulated by
migration and expansion. Each offshoot, detached from the main body,
tends to diverge from the stock type. If it reaches a naturally isolated
region, where its contact without is practically cut off, it grows from
its own loins, emphasizes its group characteristic by close in-breeding,
and tends to show a development related to biological divergence under
conditions of isolation. Since man is essentially a gregarious animal,
the size of every such migrating band will always prevent the evolution
of any sharply defined variety, according to the standard of biology.
Nevertheless, the divergent types of men and societies developed in
segregated regions are an echo of the formation of new species under
conditions of isolation which is now generally acknowledged by
biological science. Isolation was recognized by Darwin as an occasional
factor in the origin of species and especially of divergence; in
combination with migration it was made the basis of a theory of
evolution by Moritz Wagner in 1873;[217] and in recent years has come to
be regarded as an essential in the explanation of divergence of types,
as opposed to differentiation.[218]

[Sidenote: Differentiation and digression.]

The traditions of the Delaware Indians and Sioux in the north of the
United States territory, and of the Creeks in the south, commence with
each stock group as a united body, which, as it migrates, splits into
tribes and sends out offshoots developing different dialects. Here was
tribal differentiation after entry into the general stock area, the
process going on during migration as well as after the tribes had become
established in their respective habitats. Culture, however, made little
progress till after they became sedentary and took up agriculture to
supplement the chase.[219] Tribes sometimes wander far beyond the limits
of their stock, like the Iroquoian Cherokees of East Tennessee and North
Carolina or the Athapascan Navajos and Apaches of arid New Mexico and
Arizona, who had placed twenty or thirty degrees of latitude between
themselves and their brethren in the basins of the Yukon and Mackenzie
rivers. Such inevitably come into contrasted climatic conditions, which
further modify the immigrants. [See map page 54.]

Wide digressions differentiate them still further from the parent stock
by landing them amid different ethnic and social groups, by contact with
whom they are inevitably modified. The Namaqua Hottentots, living on the
southern margin of the Hottentot country near the frontier of the
European settlements in Cape Colony, acquired some elements of
civilization, together with a strain of Boer and English blood, and in
some cases even the Dutch vernacular. They were therefore differentiated
from their nomadic and warlike kinsmen in the grasslands north of the
Orange River, which formed the center of the Hottentot area.[220] A view
of the ancient Germans during the first five or six centuries after
Christ reveals differentiation by various contacts in process along all
the ragged borders of the Germanic area. The offshoots who pushed
westward across the Rhine into Belgian Gaul were rapidly Celticized,
abandoning their semi-nomadic life for sedentary agriculture,
assimilating the superior civilization which they found there, and
steadily merging with the native population. They became _Belgae_,
though still conscious of their Teutonic origin.[221] The Batavians, an
offshoot of the ancient Chatti living near the Thuringian Forest,
appropriated the river island between the Rhine and the Waal. There in
the seclusion of their swamps, they became a distinct national unit,
retaining their backward German culture and primitive type of German
speech, which the Chatti themselves lost by contact with the High
Germans.[222] Far away on the southeastern margin of the Teutonic area
the same process of assimilation to a foreign civilization went on a
little later when the Visigoths, after a century of residence on the
lower Danube in contact with the Eastern Empire, adopted the Arian form
of Christianity which had arisen in the Greek peninsula.[223] The border
regions of the world show the typical results of the historical
movement--differentiation from the core or central group through
assimilation to a new group which meets and blends with it along the

[Sidenote: Geographic conditions of heterogeneity and homogeneity.]

Entrance into a naturally isolated district, from which subsequent
incursions are debarred, gives conditions for divergence and the
creation of a new type. On the other hand, where few physical barriers
are present to form these natural pockets, the process of assimilation
goes on over a wide field. Europe is peculiar among the family of
continents for its "much divided" geography, commented upon by Strabo.
Hence its islands, peninsulas and mountain-rimmed basins have produced a
variegated assemblage of peoples, languages and culture. Only where it
runs off into the monotonous immensity of Russia do we find a people who
in their physical traits, language, and civilization reflect the
uniformity of their environment.[224]

Africa's smooth outline, its plateau surface rimmed with mountains which
enclose but fail to divide, and its monotonous configuration have
produced a racial and cultural uniformity as striking as Europe's
heterogeneity. Constant movements and commixture, migration and
conquest, have been the history of the black races, varied by victorious
incursions of the Hamitic and Semitic whites from the north, which,
however, have resulted in the amalgamation of the two races after
conquest.[225] Constant fusion has leveled also the social and political
relations of the people to one type; it has eliminated primordial
groups, except where the dwarf hunters have taken refuge in the
equatorial forests and the Bushmen in the southwestern deserts, just as
it has thwarted the development of higher social groups by failure to
segregate and protect. It has sown the Bantu speech broadcast over the
immense area of Central Africa, and is disseminating the Hausa language
through the agency of a highly mixed commercial folk over a wide tract
of the western Sudan. The long east-and-west stretch of the Sudan
grasslands presents an unobstructed zone between the thousand-mile belt
of desert to the north and the dense equatorial forests to the south,
between hunger and thirst on one side, heat and fever and impenetrable
forests on the other. Hence the Sudan in all history has been the
crowded Broadway of Africa. Here pass commercial caravans, hybrid
merchant tribes like the Hausa, throngs of pilgrims, streams of peoples,
herds of cattle moving to busy markets, rude incursive shoppers or
looters from the desert, coming to buy or rob or rule in this highway
belt. [See map page 105.]

[Sidenote: Differentiation versus assimilation.]

Historical development advances by means of differentiation and
assimilation. A change of environment stimulates variation. Primitive
culture is loath to change; its inertia is deep-seated. Only a sharp
prod will start it moving or accelerate its speed; such a prod is found
in new geographic conditions or new social contacts. Divergence in a
segregated spot may be overdone. Progress crawls among a people too long
isolated, though incipient civilization thrives for a time in seclusion.
But in general, accessibility, exposure to some measure of ethnic
amalgamation and social contact is essential to sustained progress.[226]
As the world has become more closely populated and means of
communication have improved, geographical segregation is increasingly
rare. The earth has lost its "corners." All parts are being drawn into
the circle of intercourse. Therefore differentiation, the first effect
of the historical movement, abates; the second effect, assimilation,
takes the lead.

[Sidenote: Elimination by historical movement.]

The ceaseless human movements making for new combinations have
stimulated development. They have lifted the level of culture, and
worked towards homogeneity of race and civilization on a higher plane.
Since the period of the great discoveries inaugurated by Columbus
enabled the historical movement to compass the world, whole continents,
like North America and Australia, have been reclaimed to civilization by
colonization. The process of assimilation is often ruthless in its
method. Hence it has been attended by a marked reduction in the number
of different ethnic stocks, tribes, languages, dialects, social and
cultural types through wide-spread elimination of the weak, backward or
unfit.[227] These have been wiped out, either by extermination or the
slower process of absorption. The Indian linguistic stocks in the United
States have been reduced from fifty-three to thirty-two; and of those
thirty-two, many survive as a single tribe or the shrinking remnant of
one.[228] In Africa the slave trade has caused the annihilation of many
small tribes.[229] The history of the Hottentots, who have been passive
before the active advance of the English, Dutch and Kaffirs about them,
shows a race undergoing a widespread process of hybridization[230] and

Strong peoples, like the English, French, Russians and Chinese, occupy
ever larger areas. Where an adverse climate precludes genuine
colonization, as it did for the Spanish in Central and South America,
and for the English and Dutch in the Indies, they make their
civilization, if not their race, permeate the acquired territory, and
gradually impose on it their language and economic methods. The Poles,
who once boasted a large and distinguished nationality, are being
Germanized and Russified to their final national extinction. The Finns,
whose Scandinavian offshoot has been almost absorbed in Sweden,[232] are
being forcibly dissolved in the Muscovite dominion by powerful reägents,
by Russian schoolmasters, a Russian priesthood, Russian military

[Sidenote: No new ethnic types.]

No new types of races have been developed either by amalgamation or by
transfer to new climatic and economic conditions in historic times.
Contrasted geographic conditions long ago lost their power to work
radical physical changes in the race type, because man even with the
beginnings of civilization learned to protect himself against extremes
of climate. He therefore preserved his race type, which consequently in
the course of ages lost much of its plasticity and therewith its
capacity to evolve new varieties.[233] Where ethnic amalgamations on a
large scale have occurred as a result of the historical movement, as in
Mexico, the Sudan and Central Africa, the local race, being numerically
stronger than the intruders and better adapted to the environment, has
succeeded in maintaining its type, though slightly modified, side by
side with the intruders. The great historical movements of modern times,
however, have been the expansion of European peoples over the retarded
regions of the world. These peoples, coming into contact with inferior
races, and armed generally with a race pride which was antagonistic to
hybrid marriages, preserved their blood from extensive intermixture.
Hybridism, where it existed, was an ephemeral feature restricted to
pioneer days, when white women were scarce, or to regions of extreme
heat or cold, where white women and children could with difficulty
survive. Even in Spanish America, where ethnic blendings were most
extensive, something of the old Spanish pride of race has reasserted

[Sidenote: Checks to differentiation.]

Improved communication maintains or increases the ranks of the intruders
from the home supply. The negroes in North America, imported as they
were _en masse_, then steadily recruited by two centuries of the slave
trade, while their race integrity was somewhat protected by social
ostracism, have not been seriously modified physically by several
generations of residence in a temperate land. Their changes have been
chiefly cultural. The Englishman has altered only superficially in the
various British colonial lands. Constant intercourse and the progress of
inventions have enabled him to maintain in diverse regions approximate
uniformity of physical well-being, similar social and political ideals.
The changed environment modifies him in details of thought, manner, and
speech, but not in fundamentals.

Moreover, civilized man spreading everywhere and turning all parts of
the earth's surface to his uses, has succeeded to some extent in
reducing its physical differences. The earth as modified by human action
is a conspicuous fact of historical development.[234] Irrigation,
drainage, fertilization of soils, terrace agriculture, denudation of
forests and forestration of prairies have all combined to diminish the
contrasts between diverse environments, while the acclimatization of
plants, animals and men works even more plainly to the same end of
uniformity. The unity of the human race, varied only by superficial
differences, reflects the unity of the spherical earth, whose
diversities of geographical feature nowhere depart greatly from the mean
except in point of climate. Differentiation due to geography, therefore,
early reached its limits. For assimilation no limit can be forseen.

[Sidenote: Geographical origins.]

In view of this constant differentiation on the one hand, and
assimilation on the other, the historical movement has made it difficult
to trace race types to their origin; and yet this is a task in which
geography must have a hand. Borrowed civilizations and purloined
languages are often so many disguises which conceal the truth of ethnic
relationships. A long migration to a radically different habitat, into
an outskirt or detached location protected from the swamping effects of
cross-breeding, results eventually in a divergence great enough to
obliterate almost every cue to the ancient kinship. The long-headed
Teutonic race of northern Europe is regarded now by ethnologists as an
offshoot of the long-headed brunette Mediterranean race of African
origin, which became bleached out under the pale suns of Scandinavian
skies. The present distribution of the various Teutonic stocks is a
geographical fact; their supposed cradle in the Mediterranean basin is a
geographical hypothesis. The connecting links must also be geographical.
They must prove the former presence of the migrating folk in the
intervening territory. A dolichocephalic substratum of population, with
a negroid type of skull, has in fact been traced by archaeologists all
over Europe through the early and late Stone Ages. The remains of these
aboriginal inhabitants are marked in France, even in sparsely tenanted
districts like the Auvergne Plateau, which is now occupied by the
broad-headed Alpine race; and they are found to underlie, in point of
time, other brachycephalic areas, like the Po Valley, Bavaria and

The origin of a people can be investigated and stated only in terms of
geography. The problem of origin can be solved only by tracing a people
from its present habitat, through the country over which it has
migrated, back to its original seat. Here are three geographical
entities which can be laid down upon a map, though seldom with sharply
defined boundaries. They represent three successive geographic
locations, all embodying geographic conditions potent to influence the
people and their movement. Hence the geographical element emerges in
every investigation as to origins; whether in ethnology, history,
philology, mythology or religion. The transit land, the course between
start and finish, is of supreme importance. Especially is this true for
religion, which is transformed by travel. Christianity did not conquer
the world in the form in which it issued from the cramped and isolated
environment of Palestine, but only after it had been remodelled in Asia
Minor, Egypt, Greece and Rome, and cosmopolized in the wide contact of
the Mediterranean basin. The Roman speech and civilization, which spread
through the Romance speaking peoples of Europe, were variously diluted
and alloyed before being transplanted by French, Spaniard and Portuguese
to American shores, there to be further transformed.

[Sidenote: Large centers of dispersion.]

In view of the countless springs and tributaries that combine to swell
the current of every historical movement, anthropo-geography looks for
the origin of a people not in a narrowly defined area, but in a broad,
ill-defined center of dispersion, from which many streams simultaneously
and successively flow out as from a low-rimmed basin, and which has been
filled from many remoter sources. Autochthones, aborigines are therefore
merely scientific tropes, indicating the limit beyond which the movement
of people cannot be traced in the gray light of an uncertain dawn. The
vaguer and more complex these movements on account of their historical
remoteness, the wider their probable range. The question as to the
geographical origin of the Aryan linguistic family of peoples brings us
to speculative sources, more or less scientifically based, reaching from
Scandinavia and Lithuania to the Hindu Kush Mountains and northern
Africa.[236] The sum total of all these conjectural cradles, amounting
to a large geographical area, would more nearly approximate the truth as
to Aryan origins. For the study of the historical movement makes it
clear that a large, highly differentiated ethnic or linguistic family
presupposes a big center end a long period of dispersion, protracted
wanderings, and a diversified area both for their migrations and
successive settlements.

[Sidenote: Small centers.]

The slighter the inner differences in an ethnic stock, whether in
culture, language or physical traits, the smaller was their center of
distribution and the more rapid their dispersal. The small initial
habitat restricts the chances of variation through isolation and
contrasted geographic conditions, as does also the short duration of
their subsequent separation. The amazing uniformity of the Eskimo type
from Bering Strait to eastern Greenland can only thus be explained, even
after making allowance for the monotony of their geographic conditions
and remoteness from outside influences. The distribution of the Bantu
dialects over so wide a region in Central Africa and with such slight
divergences presupposes narrow limits both of space and time for their
origin, and a short period since their dispersal.[237]

Small centers of dispersion are generally natural districts with fixed
boundaries, favored by their geographical location or natural resources
or by both for the development of a relatively dense population. When
this increases beyond the local limits of subsistence, there follows an
emigration in point of number and duration out of all proportion to the
small area whence it issues. Ancient Phoenicia, Crete, Samos, mediæval
Norway, Venice, Yemen, modern Malta, Gilbert Islands, England and Japan
furnish examples. Such small favored areas, when they embody also strong
political power, may get the start in the occupation of colonial lands.
This gives them a permanent advantage, if their colonies are chosen with
a view to settlement in congenial climates, as were those of the
English, rather than the more ephemeral advantage of trade, as were
those of the Dutch and Portuguese in the Tropics. It seems also
essential to these centers of dispersion, that, to be effective, they
must command the wide choice of outlet and destination afforded by the
mighty common of the sea. Only the Inca Empire in South America gives
us an example of the extensive political expansion of a small mountain

[Sidenote: Tests of origin.]

The question arises whether any single rule can as yet be formulated for
identifying the original seats of existing peoples. By some ethnologists
and historians such homes have been sought where the people are
distributed in the largest area, as the Athapascan and Algonquin Indians
are assigned to a northern source, because their territories attained
their greatest continuous extent in Canada, but were intermittent or
attenuated farther south. The fact that colonial peoples often multiply
inordinately in new lands, and there occupy a territory vastly greater
than that of the mother country, points to the danger in such a
generalization. Of the ten millions of Jews in the world, only a handful
remain in the ancient center of dispersion in Palestine, while about
eight millions are found in Poland and the contiguous territories of
western Russia, Roumania, Austria-Hungary and eastern Germany. Moreover,
history and the German element in the "Yiddish" speech of the Russian
Jews point to a secondary center of dispersion in the Rhine cities and
Franconia, whither the Jews were drawn by the trade route up the Rhone
Valley in the third century.[238]

A more scientific procedure is to look for the early home of a race in
the locality around which its people or family of peoples centers in
modern times. Therefore we place the cradle of the negro race in Africa,
rather than Melanesia. Density often supplies a test, because colonial
lands are generally more sparsely inhabited than the mother country. But
even this conclusion fails always to apply, as in the case of Samos,
which has a population vastly more dense than any section of the Grecian
mainland. The largest compact area including at once the greatest
density of population and the greatest purity of race would more nearly
indicate the center of dispersion; because purity of race is
incompatible with long migrations, as we have seen, though in the native
seat it may be affected by intrusive elements. When this purity of race
is combined with archaic forms of language and culture, as among the
Lithuanians of Aryan speech among the Baltic swamps, it may indicate
that the locality formed a segregated corner of the early center of
dispersion. It seems essential to such an original seat that, whether
large or small, it should be marked by some degree of isolation, as the
condition for the development of specific racial characteristics.

The complexity of this question of ethnic origins is typical of
anthropo-geographic problems, typical also in the warning which it gives
against any rigidly systematic method of solution. The whole science of
anthropo-geography is as yet too young for hard-and-fast rules, and its
subject matter too complex for formulas.


[126] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 179-187. London,
1904. W.Z. Ripley, The Races of Europe, pp. 306-310, 319-326. New York,

[127] Compare observations of Georg Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa,
Vol. I, pp. 312-313. London, 1873.

[128] Nott and Gliddon, Types of Mankind, p. lvii. Philadelphia, 1868.

[129] D.M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 151-155. New York, 1904.

[130] Thucydides, Book I, chap. II.

[131] Strabo, Book II, chap. III, 7.

[132] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 408-414, Vol. XIX
of _History of North America_, edited by T.N. Thorpe. Philadelphia,

[133] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, p. 214. Oxford, 1892.

[134] Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, p. 587. New York, 1872.

[135] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 116-119. Philadelphia, 1901.

[136] O.T. Mason, Primitive Travel and Transportation, pp. 249-250.
_Smithsonian Report_, Washington, 1896.

[137] Thucydides, Book I, chap. II.

[138] Edward A. Boss, Foundations of Sociology, pp. 359-363, 386-389.
New York, 1905.

[139] D.G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 73-75. Philadelphia, 1901.

[140] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 9-11,
45-46, 52-54, 57, 62. London, 1904.

[141] James Bryce, The Migration of the Races of Men Considered
Historically, _Scottish Geographical Magazine_, Vol. VIII, pp. 400-421,
and _Smithsonian Report_ for 1893, pp. 567-588.

[142] Cæsar, _De Bello Gallico_, Book II, chap. 29.

[143] Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, Vol. I, p. 5. New York, 1883.

[144] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, p. 46. London,

[145] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. V, pp. 99-101. Oxford,

[146] _Ibid._, Vol. V, pp. 156-157.

[147] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, pp. 107, 195. Oxford,

[148] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 219-223, 230.

[149] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 276-277. New York, 1899.

[150] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, pp. 214-219. Oxford,

[151] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 296. London, 1896-1898.

[152] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 408-412, Vol. XIX
of _History of North America._ Philadelphia, 1905.

[153] Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, p. 858. New York, 1902.

[154] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues,_ pp. 44-48.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[155] Cyrus Thomas, The Indians of North America in Historical Times, p.
261. Vol. II of _History of North America,_ Philadelphia, 1903.

[156] Roosevelt, Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 134-135, 250. New
York, 1895. Justin Winsor, The Westward Movement, p. 16. Boston, 1899.

[157] Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, p. 54. Washington, 1894.

[158] _Ibid._, p. 531.

[159] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, p. 411. New York,

[160] Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
II, pp. 57-58. Oxford, 1899.

[161] _II Kings_, Chap. XVII, 6-24.

[162] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 432-434. New York, 1899.

[163] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. V, pp. 353-354. New York,

[164] _Ibid._, Vol. VI, p. 15.

[165] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, p. 247. London, 1902.

[166] Roosevelt, Winning of the West, Vol. I, p. 248. New York, 1895.

[167] C.C. Royce, The Cherokee Nation of Indians, pp. 130-131. Maps VIII
and IX. _Fifth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology_, Washington, 1887.

[168] Albert Gallatin, Report on the Indians in 1836, reprinted in
Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, p. 33. Washington, 1894.

[169] Cyrus Thomas, Indians of North America in Historical Times, pp.
94, 96. Vol. II of _History of North America_, Philadelphia, 1903.

[170] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 100-101.

[171] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. III, pp.
333-334. New York, 1902.

[172] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 437-438. New York, 1899.

[173] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 115-116. Philadelphia, 1901.

[174] H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. III, pp. 559, 635-638. San
Francisco, 1886.

[175] Cyrus Thomas, Indians of North America in Historical Times, pp.
381-382, Vol. II of _History of North America_. Philadelphia, 1903.

[176] Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, p. 35. Washington, 1894.

[177] Eleventh Census, _Report on Population_, Vol. I, p. cxxxviii.
Washington, 1894.

[178] Justus Perthes, _Taschen Atlas_, p. 38. Gotha, 1905.

[179] Richmond Mayo-Smith, Emigration and Immigration, p. 24. New York.

[180] _Ibid._, pp. 79-80, 113-115.

[181] Capt. A.T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 27-28.
Boston, 1902.

[182] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 247, 272-274. New York, 1899.

[183] Cæsar, _Bella Gallico_, Book III, chap. I.

[184] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. I, Part I, pp. 34-43.
Oxford, 1892.

[185] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 242, 245, 250, 257.
London, 1896-1898.

[186] John Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, pp. 316-317. Boston,

[187] Elliott Coues, History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Vol. I.
pp. 193-198, 203-212, 240. New York, 1893.

[188] Francis Parkman, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, pp.
39-40, Note 2. Boston, 1904.

[189] George G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 56-57. London, 1904.

[190] Herodotus, Book II, 60.

[191] Encyclopædia Britanica, Article Pilgrimages.

[192] E. Huntington, The Pulse of Asia, p. 88. Boston, 1907.

[193] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. II, pp. 3-7.
London, 1907.

[194] C.A. Sherring, Western Tibet and the British Borderland, pp. 3-4,
144-145, 280-284. London, 1906.

[195] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191. Map p.
190. New York and London, 1902-1906.

[196] J.W. Powell, Map of Linguistic Stocks of American Indians, Annual
Report of Bureau of Ethnology, Vol. VII.

[197] Archibald Little, The Far East, Ethnological Map, p. 8. Oxford,

[198] Census of India, 1901, General Report by H.H. Risley and E.A.
Gait, Vol. I, Part I, pp. 500-504; and Ethnographic Appendices by H.H.
Risley, Vol. I, map, p. 60. Calcutta, 1903. P. Vidal de la Blache, _Le
Peuple de l'Inde, d'après la série des recensements_, pp. 431-434,
_Annales de Géographie_, Vol. XV. Paris, 1906.

[199] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, pp. 422, 424,
434-436. New York, 1902-1906.

[200] D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 97-102. New York, 1858.

[201] James Bryce, Migrations of the Races of Men Considered
Historically, _Scottish Geographical Magazine_, Vol. VIII, pp. 400-421,
May, 1892.

[202] Justus Perthes, _Taschen Atlas_, p. 78. Gotha, 1905.

[203] _Ibid._, p. 80.

[204] Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, p. 878. New York, 1902.

[205] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191. New York,

[206] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. VI, pp. 23-27, 38-42, 63-68,
83-87. Oxford, 1896.

[207] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, Chap. XXI, Vol. XIX
of _History of North America_, Philadelphia, 1905.

[208] _Ibid._, pp. 83, 87, Map of Migrations, p. 3.

[209] Archibald Little, The Far East, pp. 34-38. Oxford, 1905.

[210] Strabo, Book VIII, chap. I, 2.

[211] Heinrich Barth, Travels in North and Central Africa, Vol. II, p.
548. New York, 1857.

[212] Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 104-105. London, 1903.

[213] E.F. im Thurn, Among the Indians of Guiana, pp. 167-171, 202-207.
London, 1883.

[214] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 237. New York, 1899.

[215] _Ibid._, p. 469.

[216] H. Barth, Human Society in Northern Central Africa, _Journal of
the Royal Geog. Society_, Vol. XXX, p. 116. London, 1860.

[217] Moritz Wagner, _Die Entstehung der Arten durch räumliche
Sonderung_. Basel, 1889.

[218] H.W. Conn, The Method of Evolution, pp. 282-295. New York, 1900.

[219] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 418, 424, Vol.
XIX of _History of North America_. Philadelphia, 1905.

[220] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 280-283. London,

[221] Cæsar, _Bella Gallico_, Book II, chap. IV.

[222] H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. VI, pp. 32-33. New York,

[223] Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. I, Part I, pp. 75, 81, 82.
Oxford, 1895.

[224] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 34, 341-342. New York, 1899.

[225] H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, pp. 400, 417, New
York, 1902-1906.

[226] A.C. Haddon, The Study of Man, p. xix. New York and London, 1898.

[227] James Bryce, Migrations of the Races of Men Considered
Historically, _Scottish Geographical Magazine_, Vol. VIII, pp. 400-421.
May, 1892.

[228] Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, pp. 34-35. Washington,

[229] H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, p. 42. New York,

[230] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 279-283, London, 1896-98.

[231] Jerome Dowd, The Negro Races, Vol. I, pp. 47-48, 61-62. New York,

[232] Sweden, Its People and Its Industries, p. 93. Edited by G.
Sundbärg, Stockholm, 1904.

[233] Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, pp. 589-593. New York, 1872.

[234] G.P. Marsh, The Earth as Modified by Human Action, New York, 1877.

[235] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 261-267. New York, 1899.

[236] _Ibid._, pp. 475-485.

[237] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 402-405. London,

[238] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 371-372. Map, p. 374. New York.



[Sidenote: Importance of geographical location.]

The location of a country or people is always the supreme geographical
fact in its history. It outweighs every other single geographic force.
All that has been said of Russia's vast area, of her steppes and tundra
wastes, of her impotent seaboard on land-locked basins or ice-bound
coasts, of her poverty of mountains and wealth of rivers, fades into the
background before her location on the border of Asia. From her defeat by
the Tartar hordes in 1224 to her attack upon the Mongolian rulers of the
Bosporus in 1877, and her recent struggle with Japan, most of her wars
have been waged against Asiatics. Location made her the bulwark of
Central Europe against Asiatic invasion and the apostle of Western
civilization to the heart of Asia. If this position on the outskirts of
Europe, remote from its great centers of development, has made Russia
only partially accessible to European culture and, furthermore, has
subjected her to the retarding ethnic and social influences emanating
from her Asiatic neighbors,[239] and if the rough tasks imposed by her
frontier situation have hampered her progress, these are all the
limitations of her geographical location, limitations which not even the
advantage of her vast area has been able to outweigh.

Area itself, important as it is, must yield to location. Location may
mean only a single spot, and yet from this spot powerful influences may
radiate. No one thinks of size when mention is made of Rome or Athens,
of Jerusalem or Mecca, of Gibraltar or Port Arthur. Iceland and
Greenland guided early Norse ships to the continent of America, as the
Canaries and Antilles did those of Spain; but the location of the
smaller islands in sub-tropical latitudes and in the course of the
northeast trade-winds made them determine the first permanent path
across the western seas.

The historical significance of many small peoples, and the historical
insignificance of many big ones even to the _nil_ point, is merely the
expression of the preponderant importance of location over area. The
Phoenicians, from their narrow strip of coast at the foot of Mount
Lebanon, were disseminators of culture over the whole Mediterranean.
Holland owed her commercial and maritime supremacy, from the thirteenth
to the middle of the seventeenth century, to her exceptional position at
the mouth of the great Rhine highway and at the southern angle of the
North Sea near the entrance to the unexploited regions of the Baltic.
The Iroquois tribes, located where the Mohawk Valley opened a way
through the Appalachian barrier between the Hudson River and Lake
Ontario, occupied both in the French wars and in the Revolution a
strategic position which gave them a power and importance out of all
proportion to their numbers.

Location often assumes a fictitious political value, due to a
combination of political interests. The Turkish power owes its survival
on the soil of Europe to-day wholly to its position on the Bosporus.
Holland owes the integrity of her kingdom, and Roumania that of hers, to
their respective locations at the mouths of the Rhine and the Danube,
because the interest of western Europe demands that these two important
arteries of commerce should be held by powers too weak ever to tie them
up. The same principle has guaranteed the neutrality of Switzerland,
whose position puts it in control of the passes of the Central Alps from
Savoy to the Tyrol; and, more recently, that of the young state of
Panama, through which the Isthmian Canal is to pass.

[Sidenote: Content of the term location.]

Geographical location necessarily includes the idea of the size and form
of a country. Even the most general statement of the zonal and
interoceanic situation of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the
Russian Empire, indicates the area and contour of their territories.
This is still more conspicuously the case with naturally defined
regions, such as island and peninsula countries. But location includes a
complex of yet larger and more potent relations which go with mere
attachment to this or that continent, or to one or another side of a
continent. Every part of the world gives to its lands and its people
some of its own qualities; and so again every part of this part.
Arabia, India and Farther India, spurs of the Asiatic land-mass, have
had and will always have a radically different ethnic and political
history from Greece, Italy and Spain, the corresponding peninsulas of
Europe, because the histories of these two groups are bound up in their
respective continents. The idea of a European state has a different
content from that of an Asiatic, or North American or African state; it
includes a different race or combination of races, different social and
economic development, different political ideals. Location, therefore,
means climate and plant life at one end of the scale, civilization and
political status at the other.

[Sidenote: Intercontinental location.]

This larger conception of location brings a correspondingly larger
conception of environment, which affords the solution of many otherwise
hopeless problems of anthropo-geography. It is embodied in the law that
the influences of a land upon its people spring not only from the
physical features of the land itself, but also from a wide circle of
lands into which it has been grouped by virtue of its location. Almost
every geographical interpretation of the ancient and modern history of
Greece has been inadequate, because it has failed sufficiently to
emphasize the most essential factor in this history, namely, Greece's
location at the threshold of the Orient. This location has given to
Greek history a strong Asiatic color. It comes out in the accessibility
of Greece to ancient Oriental civilization and commerce, and is
conspicuous in every period from the Argonautic Expedition to the
achievement of independence in 1832 and the recent efforts for the
liberation of Crete. This outpost location before the Mediterranean
portals of the vast and arid plains of southwestern Asia, exposed to
every tide of migration or conquest sent out by those hungry lands, had
in it always an element of weakness. In comparison with the shadow of
Asia, which constantly overhung the Greek people and from 1401 to 1832
enveloped them, only secondary importance can be attributed to
advantageous local conditions as factors in Greek history.

It is a similar intercontinental location in the isthmian region between
the Mediterranean on the west and the ancient maritime routes of the
Red Sea and Persian Gulf on the east, which gave to Phoenicia the office
of middleman between the Orient and Occident,[240] and predestined its
conquest, now by the various Asiatic powers of Mesopotamia, now by the
Pharaohs of Egypt, now by European Greeks and Romans, now by a
succession of Asiatic peoples, till to-day we find it incorporated in
the Asiatic-European Empire of Turkey. Proximity to Africa has closely
allied Spain to the southern continent in flora, fauna, and ethnic
stock. The long-headed, brunette Mediterranean race occupies the Iberian
Peninsula and the Berber territory of northwest Africa.[241] This
community of race is also reflected in the political union of the two
districts for long periods, first under the Carthaginians, then the
Romans, who secured Hispania by a victory on African soil, and finally
by the Saracens. This same African note in Spanish history recurs to-day
in Spain's interest in Morocco and the influence in Moroccan affairs
yielded her by France and Germany at the Algeciras convention in 1905,
and in her ownership of Ceuta and five smaller _presidios_ on the
Moroccan coast. Compare Portugal's former ownership of Tangier.

In contradistinction to continental and intercontinental location,
anthropo-geography recognizes two other narrower meanings of the term.
The innate mobility of the human race, due primarily to the eternal
food-quest and increase of numbers, leads a people to spread out over a
territory till they reach the barriers which nature has set up, or meet
the frontiers of other tribes and nations. Their habitat or their
specific geographic location is thus defined by natural features of
mountain, desert and sea, or by the neighbors whom they are unable to
displace, or more often by both.

[Sidenote: Natural versus vicinal location.]

A people has, therefore, a twofold location, an immediate one, based
upon their actual territory, and a mediate or vicinal one, growing out
of its relations to the countries nearest them. The first is a question
of the land under their feet; the other, of the neighbors about them.
The first or natural location embodies the complex of local geographic
conditions which furnish the basis for their tribal or national
existence. This basis may be a peninsula, island, archipelago, an oasis,
an arid steppe, a mountain system, or a fertile lowland. The stronger
the vicinal location, the more dependent is the people upon the
neighboring states, but the more potent the influence which it can,
under certain circumstances, exert upon them. Witness Germany in
relation to Holland, France, Austria and Poland. The stronger the
natural location, on the other hand, the more independent is the people
and the more strongly marked is the national character. This is
exemplified in the people of mountain lands like Switzerland, Abyssinia
and Nepal; of peninsulas like Korea, Spain and Scandinavia; and of
islands like England and Japan. To-day we stand amazed at that strong
primordial brand of the Japanese character which nothing can blur or

[Sidenote: Naturally defined location.]

Clearly defined natural locations, in which barriers of mountains and
sea draw the boundaries and guarantee some degree of isolation, tend to
hold their people in a calm embrace, to guard them against outside
interference and infusion of foreign blood, and thus to make them
develop the national genius in such direction as the local geographic
conditions permit. In the unceasing movements which have made up most of
the historic and prehistoric life of the human race, in their migrations
and counter-migrations, their incursions, retreats, and expansions over
the face of the earth, vast unfenced areas, like the open lowlands of
Russia and the grasslands of Africa, present the picture of a great
thoroughfare swept by pressing throngs. Other regions, more secluded,
appear as quiet nooks, made for a temporary halt or a permanent rest.
Here some part of the passing human flow is caught as in a vessel and
held till it crystallizes into a nation. These are the conspicuous areas
of race characterization. The development of the various ethnic and
political offspring of the Roman Empire in the naturally defined areas
of Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, and France illustrates the process of
national differentiation which goes on in such secluded locations.

A marked influence upon this development is generally ascribed to the
protection afforded by such segregated districts. But protection alone
is only a negative force in the life of a people; it leaves them free to
develop in their own way, but does not say what that way shall be. On
the other hand, the fact that such a district embraces a certain number
of geographic features, and encompasses them by obstructive boundaries,
is of immense historical importance; because this restriction leads to
the concentration of the national powers, to the more thorough
utilization of natural advantages, both racial and geographical, and
thereby to the growth of an historical individuality. Nothing robs the
historical process of so much of its greatness or weakens so much its
effects as its dispersion over a wide, boundless area. This was the
disintegrating force which sapped the strength of the French colonies in
America. The endless valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi and
the alluring fur trade tempted them to an expansion that was their
political and economic undoing. Russia's history illustrates the curse
of a distant horizon. On the other hand, out of a restricted
geographical base, with its power to concentrate and intensify the
national forces, grew Rome and Greece, England and Japan, ancient Peru
and the Thirteen Colonies of America.

[Sidenote: Vicinal location.]

If even the most detached and isolated of these natural locations be
examined, its people will, nevertheless, reveal a transitional
character, intermediate between those of its neighbors, because from
these it has borrowed both ethnic stock and culture, Great Britain is an
island, but its vicinal location groups it with the North Sea family of
people. Even in historic times it has derived ancient Belgian stock,
Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Danish and Scandinavian from the long semi-circle of
nearby continental lands, which have likewise contributed so much to the
civilization of the island. Similarly, Japan traces the sources of its
population to the north of Asia by way of the island of Sakhalin, to the
west through Korea, and to the Malay district of the south, whence the
Kuro Siwa has swept stragglers to the shores of Kiu-siu. Like England,
Japan also has drawn its civilization from its neighbors, and then,
under the isolating influence of its local environment, has
individualized both race and culture. Here we have the interplay of the
forces of natural and vicinal location.

A people situated between two other peoples form an ethnic and cultural
link between the two. The transitional type is as familiar in
anthropo-geography as in biology. The only exception is found in the
young intrusion of a migrating or conquering people, like that of the
Hungarians and Turks in southeastern Europe, and of the Berger Tuaregs
and Fulbes among the negroes of western Sudan; or of a colonizing
people, like that of the Russians in Mongolian Siberia and of Europeans
among the aborigines of South Africa. Even in these instances race
amalgamation tends to take place along the frontiers, as was the case in
Latin America and as occurs to-day in Alaska and northern Canada, where
the "squaw man" is no rarity. The assimilation of culture, at least in a
superficial sense, may be yet more rapid, especially where hard climatic
conditions force the interloper to imitate the life of the native. The
industrial and commercial Hollander, when transplanted to the dry
grasslands of South Africa, became pastoral like the native Kaffirs. The
French voyageur of Canada could scarcely be distinguished from the
Indian trapper; occupation, food, dress, and spouse were the same. Only
a lighter tint of skin distinguished the half-breed children of the
Frenchman. The settlers of the early Trans-Allegheny commonwealths, at
least for a generation or two, showed little outward difference in mode
of life from that of the savage community among which they dwelt.[242]

[Sidenote: Vicinal groups of similar or diverse race and culture.]

The more alike the components of such a vicinal group of people, the
easier, freer and more effective will be the mediating function of the
central one. Germany has demonstrated this in her long history as
intermediary between the nations of southeastern and western Europe. The
people of Poland, occupying a portion of the Baltic slope of northern
Europe, fended by no natural barriers from their eastern and western
neighbors, long constituted a transition form between the two. Though
affiliated with Russia in point of language, the Poles are Occidental in
their religion; and their head-form resembles that of northern Germany
rather than that of Russia.[243] The country belongs to western Europe in
the density of its population (74 to the square kilometer or 190 to the
square mile), which is quadruple that of remaining European Russia, and
also in its industrial and social development. The partition of Poland
among the three neighboring powers was the final expression of its
intermediate location and character.[244] One part was joined politically
to the Slav-German western border of Russia, and another to the
German-Slav border of Germany, while the portion that fell to the
Austrian Empire simply extended the northern Slav area of that country
found in Bohemia, Moravia, and the Slovak border of Hungary. [Map page

If the intermediate people greatly differs in race or civilization from
both neighbors, it exercises and receives slight influence. The Mongols
of Central Asia, between China on one side and Persia and India on the
other, have been poor vehicles for the exchange of culture between these
two great districts. The Hungarians, located between the Roumanians and
Germans on the east and west, Slovaks and Croatians on the north and
south, have helped little to reconcile race differences in the great
empire of the Danube.

[Sidenote: Thalassic vicinal location.]

The unifying effect of vicinal location is greatly enhanced if the
neighboring people are grouped about an enclosed sea which affords an
easy highway for communication. The integrating force of such a basin
will often overcome the disintegrating force of race antagonisms. The
Roman Empire in the Mediterranean was able to evolve an effective
centralized government and to spread one culture over the neighboring
shores, despite great variety of nationality and language and every
degree of cultural development. A certain similarity of natural
conditions, climatic and otherwise, from the Iberian Peninsula to the
borders of the Syrian desert, also aided in the process of amalgamation.

Where similarity of race already forms a basis for congeniality, such
circumthalassic groups display the highest degree of interactive
influence. These contribute to a further blending of population and
unification of culture, by which the whole circle of the enclosing lands
tends to approach one standard of civilization. This was the history of
the Baltic coast from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, when
the German Hansa distributed the material products of Europe's highest
civilization from Russian Novgorod to Norway. The North Sea group,
first under the leadership of Holland, later under England's guidance,
became a single community of advancing culture, which was a later
reflection of the early community of race stretching from the Faroe and
Shetland Islands to the Rhine and the Elbe. This same process has been
going on for ages about the marginal basins of eastern Asia, the Yellow
and Japan Seas. Community of race and culture stamps China, Korea and
Japan. A general advance in civilization under the leadership of Japan,
the England of the East, now inaugurates the elevation of the whole

[Sidenote: Complementary locations.]

An even closer connection exists between adjoining peoples who are
united by ties of blood and are further made economically dependent upon
one another, because of a contrast in the physical conditions and,
therefore, in the products of their respective territories. Numerous
coast and inland tribes, pastoral and agricultural tribes are united
because they are mutually necessary. In British Columbia and Alaska the
fishing Indians of the seaboard long held a definite commercial relation
to the hunting tribes of the interior, selling them the products and
wares of the coast, while monopolizing their market for the inland furs.
Such was the position of the Ugalentz tribe of Tlingits near the mouth
of the Copper River in relation to the up-stream Athapascans; of the
Kinik tribe at the head of Cook's Inlet in relation to the inland
Atnas,[245] of the Chilcats of Chilkoot Inlet to the mountain Tinnehs.
Similarly, the hunting folk of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa
attach themselves to influential tribesmen of the adjacent Bechuana
grasslands, in order to exchange the skins of the desert animals for
spears, knives, and tobacco.[246] Fertile agricultural lands adjoining
pastoral regions of deserts and steppes have in all times drawn to their
border markets the mounted plainsmen, bringing the products of their
herds to exchange for grain; and in all times the abundance of their
green fields has tempted their ill-fed neighbors to conquest, so that
the economic bond becomes a preliminary to a political bond and an
ethnic amalgamation growing out of this strong vicinal location. The
forest lands of Great Russia supplement the grain-bearing Black Lands
of Little Russia; the two are united through geographico-economic
conditions, which would not permit an independent existence to the
smaller, weaker section of the south, ever open to hostile invasion from

[Sidenote: Types of location.]

Leaving now the ethnic and economic ties which may strengthen the
cohesive power of such vicinal grouping, and considering only its purely
geographic aspects, we distinguish the following types:

     I. Central location. Examples: The Magyars in the Danube Valley;
     the Iroquois Indians on the Mohawk River and the Finger Lakes;
     Russia from the 10th to the 18th century; Poland from 1000 to its
     final partition in 1795; Bolivia, Switzerland, and Afghanistan.

     II. Peripheral location: Ancient Phoenicia; Greek colonies in Asia
     Minor and southern Italy; the Roman Empire at the accession of
     Augustus; the Thirteen Colonies in 1750; island and peninsula

     III. Scattered location: English and French settlements in America
     prior to 1700; Indians in the United States and the Kaffirs in
     South Africa; Portuguese holdings in the Orient, and French in

     IV. Location in a related series: Oasis states grouped along desert
     routes; islands along great marine routes.

[Sidenote: Continuous and scattered location.]

All peoples in their geographical distribution tend to follow a social
and political law of gravitation, in accordance with which members of
the same tribe or race gather around a common center or occupy a
continuous stretch of territory, as compactly as their own economic
status, and the physical conditions of climate and soil will permit.
This is characteristic of all mature and historically significant
peoples who have risen to sedentary life, maintained their hold on a
given territory, and, with increase of population, have widened their
boundaries. The nucleus of such a people may be situated somewhere in
the interior of a continent, and with growing strength it may expand in
every direction; or it may originate on some advantageous inlet of the
sea and spread thence up and down the coast, till the people have
possessed themselves of a long-drawn hem of land and used this
peripheral location to intercept the trade between their back country
and the sea.

These are the two types of continuous location. In contrast to them, a
discontinuous or scattered location characterizes the sparse
distribution of primitive hunting and pastoral tribes; or the shattered
fragments of a conquered people, whose territory has been honeycombed by
the land appropriation of the victors; or a declining, moribund people,
who, owing to bad government, poor economic methods, and excessive
competition in the struggle for existence, have shrunk to mere patches.
As a favorable symptom, scattered location regularly marks the healthy
growth of an expanding people, who throw out here and there detached
centers of settlement far beyond the compact frontier, and fix these as
the goal for the advance of their boundary. It is also a familiar
feature of maritime commercial expansion, which is guided by no
territorial ambition but merely aims to secure widely distributed
trading stations at favorable coast points, in order to make the circle
of commerce as ample and resourceful as possible. But this latter form
of scattered location is not permanently sound. Back of it lies the
short-sighted policy of the middleman nation, which makes wholly
inadequate estimate of the value of land, and is content with an
ephemeral prosperity.

[Sidenote: Central versus peripheral location.]

A broad territorial base and security of possession are the guarantees
of national survival. The geographic conditions which favor one often
operate against the other. Peripheral location means a narrow base but a
protected frontier along the sea; central location means opportunity for
widening the territory, but it also means danger. A state embedded in
the heart of a continent has, if strong, every prospect of radial
expansion and the exercise of widespread influence; but if weak, its
very existence is imperilled, because it is exposed to encroachments on
every side. A central location minus the bulwark of natural boundaries
enabled the kingdom of Poland to be devoured piecemeal by its voracious
neighbors. The kingdom of Burgundy, always a state of fluctuating
boundaries and shifting allegiances, fell at last a victim to its
central location, and saw its name obliterated from the map. Hungary,
which, in the year 1000, occupied a restricted inland location on the
middle Danube, by the 14th century broke through the barriers of its
close-hugging neighbors, and stretched its boundaries from the Adriatic
to the Euxine; two hundred years later its territory contracted to a
fragment before the encroachments of the Turks, but afterwards recovered
in part its old dimensions. Germany has, in common with the little
Sudanese state of Wadai, an influential and dangerous position. A
central location in the Sudan has made Wadai accessible to the rich
caravan trade from Tripoli and Barca on the north, from the great market
town of Kano in Sokoto on the west, and from the Nile Valley and Red Sea
on the east. But the little state has had to fight for its life against
the aggressions of its western rival Bornu and its eastern neighbor
Darfur. And now more formidable enemies menace it in the French, who
have occupied the territory between it and Bornu, and the English, who
have already caught Darfur in the dragnet of the Egyptian Sudan.[248]

[Sidenote: Danger of central location.]

Germany, crowded in among three powerful neighbors like France, Russia,
and Austria, has had no choice about maintaining a strong standing army
and impregnable frontier defenses. The location of the Central European
states between the Baltic and the Balkans has exposed them to all the
limitations and dangers arising from a narrow circle of land neighbors.
Moreover, the diversified character of the area, its complex mountain
systems, and diverging river courses have acted as disintegrating forces
which have prevented the political concentration necessary to repel
interference from without. The Muscovite power, which had its beginning
in a modest central location about the sources of the Dwina, Dnieper and
Volga, was aided by the physical unity of its unobstructed plains, which
facilitated political combination. Hence, on every side it burst through
its encompassing neighbors and stretched its boundaries to the
untenanted frontier of the sea. Central location was the undoing of the
Transvaal Republic. Its efforts to expand to the Indian Ocean were
blocked by its powerful British rival at every point--at Delagoa Bay in
1875 by treaty with Portugal, at Santa Lucia Bay in 1884, and through
Swaziland in 1894. The Orange Free State was maimed in the same way
when, in 1868, she tried to stretch out an arm through Basutoland to the
sea.[249] Here even weak neighbors were effective to curtail the seaward
growth of these inland states, because they were made the tools of one
strong, rapacious neighbor. A central position teaches always the lesson
of vigilance and preparedness for hostilities, as the Boer equipment in
1899, the military organization of Germany, and the bristling fortresses
on the Swiss Alpine passes prove.

[Sidenote: Mutual relations between center and periphery.]

How intimate and necessary are the relations between central and
peripheral location is shown by the fact that all states strive to
combine the two. In countries like Norway, France, Spain, Japan, Korea
and Chile, peripheral location predominates, and therefore confers upon
them at once the security and commercial accessibility which result from
contact with the sea. Other countries, like Russia, Germany and
Austro-Hungary, chiefly central in location, have the strategic and even
the commercial value of their coasts reduced by the long, tortuous
course which connects them with the open ocean. Therefore, we find
Russia planning to make a great port at Ekaterina Harbor on the
northernmost point of her Lapland coast, where an out-runner from the
Gulf Stream ensures an ice-free port on the open sea.[250] An admirable
combination of central and peripheral location is seen in the United
States. Here the value of periphery is greatly enhanced by the
interoceanic location of the country; and the danger of entanglements
arising from a marked central location is reduced by the simplicity of
the political neighborhood. But our country has paid for this security
by an historical aloofness and poverty of influence. Civilized countries
which are wholly central in their location are very few, only nine in
all. Six of these are mountain or plateau states, like Switzerland and
Abyssinia, which have used the fortress character of their land to
resist conquest, and have preferred independence to the commercial
advantages to be gained only by affiliation with their peripheral

[Sidenote: Inland and coastward expansion.]

Central and peripheral location presuppose and supplement one another.
One people inhabits the interior of an island or continent whose rim is
occupied by another. The first suffers from exclusion from the sea and
therefore strives to get a strip of coast. The coast people feel the
drawback of their narrow foothold upon the land, want a broader base in
order to exploit fully the advantages of their maritime location, fear
the pressure of their hinterland when the great forces there imprisoned
shall begin to move; so they tend to expand inland to strengthen
themselves and weaken the neighbor in their rear. The English colonies
of America, prior to 1763, held a long cordon of coast, hemmed in
between the Appalachian Mountains and the sea. Despite threats of French
encroachments from the interior, they expanded from this narrow
peripheral base into the heart of the continent, and after the
Revolution reached the Mississippi River and the northern boundary of
the Spanish Floridas. They now held a central location in relation to
the long Spanish periphery of the Gulf of Mexico. True to the instincts
of that location, they began to throw the weight of their vast
hinterland against the weak coastal barrier. This gave way, either to
forcible appropriation of territory or diplomacy or war, till the United
States had incorporated in her own territory the peripheral lands of the
Gulf from Florida Strait to the Rio Grande. [See map page 156.]

[Sidenote: Russian expansion in Asia.]

In Asia this same process has been perennial and on a far greater scale.
The big arid core of that continent, containing many million square
miles, has been charged with an expansive force. From the appearance of
the Aryans in the Indus Valley and the Scythians on the borders of
Macedonia, it has sent out hordes to overwhelm the peripheral lands from
the Yellow Sea to the Black, and from the Indian Ocean to the White
Sea.[251] To-day Russia is making history there on the pattern set by
geographic conditions. From her most southerly province in Trans-Caspia,
conquered a short twenty-five years ago, she is heading towards the
Indian Ocean. The Anglo-Russian convention of August 31st, 1907,
yielding to Russia all northern Persia as her sphere of influence,
enables her to advance half way to the Persian Gulf, though British
statesmen regard it as a check upon her ambition, because England has
secured right to the littoral. But Russia by this great stride toward
her goal is working with causes, satisfied to let the effects follow at
their leisure. She has gained the best portion of Persia, comprising
the six largest cities and the most important lines of communication
radiating from the capital.[252] This country will make a solid base for
her further advance to the Persian Gulf; and, when developed by Russian
enterprise in railroad building and commerce, it will make a heavy
weight bearing down upon the coast. The Muscovite area which is pressing
upon England's Persian littoral reaches from Ispahan and Yezd to the
far-away shores of the Arctic Ocean.

[Sidenote: Periphery as goal of expansion.]

In the essentially complementary character of interior and periphery are
rooted all these coastward and landward movements of expansion. Where an
equilibrium seems to have been reached, the peoples who have accepted
either the one or the other one-sided location have generally for the
time being ceased to grow. Such a location has therefore a passive
character. But the surprising elasticity of many nations may start up an
unexpected activity which will upset this equilibrium. Where the central
location is that of small mountain states, which are handicapped by
limited resources and population, like Nepal and Afghanistan, or
overshadowed by far more powerful neighbors, like Switzerland, the
passive character is plain enough. In the case of larger states, like
Servia, Abyssinia, and Bolivia, which offer the material and
geographical base for larger populations than they now support, it is
often difficult to say whether progression or retrogression is to be
their fate. As a rule, however, the expulsion of a people from a
peripheral point of advantage and their confinement in the interior
gives the sign of national decay, as did Poland's loss of her Baltic
seaboard. Russia's loss of her Manchurian port and the resignation of
her ambition on the Chinese coasts is at least a serious check. On the
other hand, if an inland country enclosed by neighbors succeeds in
somewhere getting a maritime outlet, the sign is hopeful. The
century-old political slogan of Hungary, "To the sea, Magyars!" has
borne fruit in the Adriatic harbor of Fiume, which is to-day the pride
of the nation and in no small degree a basis for its hope of autonomy.
The history of Montenegro took on a new phase when from its mountain
seclusion it recently secured the short strip of seaboard which it had
won and lost so often. Such peripheral holdings are the lungs through
which states breathe.

[Sidenote: Reaction between center and periphery.]

History and the study of race distribution reveal a mass of facts which
represent the contrast and reaction between interior and periphery. The
marginal lands of Asia, from northern Japan, where climatic conditions
first make historical development possible, around the whole fringe of
islands, peninsulas and border lowlands to the Aegean coast of Asia
Minor, present a picture of culture and progress as compared with the
high, mountain-rimmed core of the continent, condemned by its remoteness
and inaccessibility to eternal retardation. Europe shows the same
contrast, though in less pronounced form. Its ragged periphery, all the
way from the Balkan Gibraltar at Constantinople to the far northern
projections of Scandinavia and Finland, shows the value of a seaward
outlook both in culture and climate. Germany beyond the Elbe and Austria
beyond the Danube begin to feel the shadow of the continental mass
behind them; and from their eastern borders on through Russia the
benumbing influence of a central location grows, till beyond the Volga
the climatic, economic, social and political conditions of Asia prevail.
Africa is all core: contour and relief have combined to reduce its
periphery to a narrow coastal hem, offering at best a few vantage points
for exploitation to the great maritime merchant peoples of the world.
Egypt, embedded in an endless stretch of desert like a jewel in its
matrix, was powerless to shake off the influence of its continental
environment. Its location was predominantly central; its culture bore
the stamp of isolation and finally of arrested development. Australia,
the classic ground of retardation, where only shades of savagery can be
distinguished, offered the natives of its northern coast some faint
stimuli in the visits of Malay seamen from the nearby Sunda Islands; but
its central tribes, shielded by geographic segregation from external
influences, have retained the most primitive customs and beliefs.[253]

Expanding Europe has long been wrestling with Africa, but it can not get
a grip, owing to the form of its antagonist; it finds no limb by which
the giant can be tripped and thrown. Asia presents a wide border of
marginal lands, some of them like Arabia and India being almost
continental in their proportions. Since Europe began her career of
maritime and colonial expansion in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, she has seized upon these peripheral projections as if they
were the handles on a pilot wheel, and by them she has steered the
course of Asia ever since. These semi-detached outlyers of the continent
have enabled her to stretch a girdle of European influences around the
central core. Such influences, through the avenues of commerce, railway
concessions, missionary propaganda, or political dominion, have
permeated the accessible periphery and are slowly spreading thence into
the interior. China and Persia have felt these influences not less than
India and Tongking; Japan, which has most effectually preserved its
political autonomy, has profited by them most.

This historical contrast between center and periphery of continents
reappears in smaller land masses, such as peninsulas and islands. The
principle holds good regardless of size. The whole fringe of Arabia,
from Antioch to Aden and from Mocha to Mascat, has been the scene of
incoming and outgoing activities, has developed live bases of trade,
maritime growth, and culture, while the inert, somnolent interior has
drowsed away its long eventless existence. The rugged, inaccessible
heart of little Sardinia repeats the story of central Arabia in its
aloofness, its impregnability, backwardness, and in the purity of its
race. Its accessible coast, forming a convenient way-station on the
maritime crossroads of the western Mediterranean, has received a
succession of conquerors and an intermittent influx of every ethnic
strain known in the great basin.

[Sidenote: Periphery of colonization.]

The story of discovery and colonization, from the days of ancient Greek
enterprise in the Mediterranean to the recent German expansion along the
Gulf of Guinea, shows the appropriation first of the rims of islands and
continents, and later that of the interior. A difference of race and
culture between inland and peripheral inhabitants meets us almost
everywhere in retarded colonial lands. In the Philippines, the wild
people of Luzon, Mindoro and the Visayas are confined almost entirely
to the interior, while civilized or Christianized Malays occupy the
whole seaboard, except where the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains, fronting
the Pacific in Luzon, harbor a sparse population of primitive
Negritos.[254] For centuries Arabs held the coast of East Africa, where
their narrow zone of settlement bordered on that of native blacks, with
whom they traded. Even ancient Greece showed a wide difference in type
of character and culture between the inland and maritime states. The
Greek landsman was courageous and steadfast, but crude, illiterate,
unenterprising, showing sterility of imagination and intellect; while
his brother of the seaboard was active, daring, mercurial, imaginative,
open to all the influences of a refining civilization.[255] To-day the
distribution of the Greeks along the rim of the Balkan peninsula and
Asia Minor, in contrast to the Turks and Slavs of the interior, is
distinctly a peripheral phenomenon.[256]

The rapid inland advance from the coast of oversea colonists is part of
that restless activity which is fostered by contact with the sea and
supported by the command of abundant resources conferred by maritime
superiority. The Anglo-Saxon invasion of England, as later the English
colonization of America, seized the rim of the land, and promptly pushed
up the rivers in sea-going boats far into the interior. But periphery
may give to central region something more than conquerors and colonists.
From its active markets and cosmopolitan exchanges there steadily filter
into the interior culture and commodities, carried by peaceful merchant
and missionary, who, however, are often only the harbingers of the
conqueror. The accessibility of the periphery tends to raise it in
culture, wealth, density of population, and often in political
importance, far in advance of the center.

[Illustration: PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. Distribution of Civilized and Wild

[Sidenote: Dominant historical side.]

The maritime periphery of a country receives a variety of oversea
influences, blends and assimilates these to its own culture, Hellenizes,
Americanizes or Japanizes them, as the case may be, and then passes them
on into the interior. Here no one foreign influence prevails. On the
land boundaries the case is different. Each inland frontier has to
reckon with a different neighbor and its undiluted influence. A
predominant central location means a succession of such neighbors, on
all sides friction which may polish or rub sore. The distinction
between a many-sided and a one-sided historical development depends upon
the contact of a people with its neighbors. Consider the multiplicity of
influences which have flowed in upon Austria from all sides. But not all
such influences are similar in kind or in degree. The most powerful
neighbor will chiefly determine on which boundary of a country its
dominant historical processes are to work themselves out in a given
epoch. Therefore, it is of supreme importance to the character of a
peopled history on which side this most powerful neighbor is located.
Russia had for several centuries such a neighbor in the Tartar hordes
along its southeastern frontier, and therefore its history received an
Asiatic stamp; so, too, did that of Austria and Hungary in the long
resistance to Turkish invasion. All three states suffered in consequence
a retardation of development on their western sides. After the turmoil
on the Asiatic frontier had subsided, the great centers of European
culture and commerce in Italy, Germany and the Baltic lands began to
assert their powers of attraction. The young Roman Republic drew up its
forces to face the threatening power of Carthage in the south, and
thereby was forced into rapid maritime development; the Roman Empire
faced north to meet the inroads of the barbarians, and thereby was drawn
into inland expansion. All these instances show that a vital historical
turning-point is reached in the development of every country, when the
scene of its great historical happenings shifts from one side to

[Sidenote: The Mediterranean side of Europe.]

In addition to the aggressive neighbor, there is often a more sustained
force that may draw the activities of a people toward one or another
boundary of their territory. This may be the abundance of land and
unexploited resources lying on a colonial frontier and attracting the
unemployed energies of the people, such as existed till recently in the
United States,[257] and such as is now transferring the most active
scenes of Russian history to far-away Siberia. But a stronger attraction
is that of a higher civilization and dominant economic interests. So
long as the known world was confined to the temperate regions of Europe,
Asia and Africa, together with the tropical districts of the Indian
Ocean, the necessities of trade between Orient and Occident and the
historical prestige of the lands bordering on the Mediterranean placed
in this basin the center of gravity of the cultural, commercial and
political life of Europe. The continent was dominated by its Asiatic
corner; its every country took on an historical significance
proportionate to its proximity and accessibility to this center. The
Papacy was a Mediterranean power. The Crusades were Mediterranean wars.
Athens, Rome, Constantinople, Venice, and Genoa held in turn the focal
positions in this Asiatic-European sea; they were on the sunny side of
the continent, while Portugal and England lay in shadow. Only that
portion of Britain facing France felt the cultural influences of the
southern lands. The estuaries of the Mersey and Clyde were marshy
solitudes, echoing to the cry of the bittern and the ripple of Celtic

[Sidenote: Change of historical front.]

After the year 1492 inaugurated the Atlantic period of history, the
western front of Europe superseded the Mediterranean side in the
historical leadership of the continent. The Breton coast of France waked
up, the southern seaboard dozed. The old centers in the Aegean and
Adriatic became drowsy corners. The busy traffic of the Mediterranean
was transferred to the open ocean, where, from Trafalger to Norway, the
western states of Europe held the choice location on the world's new
highway. Liverpool, Plymouth, Glasgow, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp,
Cherbourg, Lisbon and Cadiz were shifted from shadowy margin to
illuminated center, and became the foci of the new activity. Theirs was
a new continental location, maintaining relations of trade and
colonization with two hemispheres. Their neighbors were now found on the
Atlantic shores of the Americas and the peripheral lands of Asia. These
cities became the exponents of the intensity with which their respective
states exploited the natural advantages of this location.

The experience of Germany was typical of the change of front. From the
tenth to the middle of the sixteenth century, this heir of the old Roman
Empire was drawn toward Italy by every tie of culture, commerce, and
political ideal. This concentration of interest in its southern neighbor
made it ignore a fact so important as the maritime development of the
Hanse Towns, wherein lay the real promise of its future, the hope of its
commercial and colonial expansion. The shifting of its historical center
of gravity to the Atlantic seaboard therefore came late, further
retarded by lack of national unity and national purposes. But the
present wide circle of Germany's transoceanic commerce incident upon its
recent industrial development, the phenomenal increase of its merchant
marine, the growth of Hamburg and Bremen, the construction of ship
canals to that short North Sea coast, and the enormous utilization of
Dutch ports for German commerce, all point to the attraction of distant
economic interests, even when meagerly supported by colonial

Location, therefore, while it is the most important single geographic
factor, is at the same time the one most subject to the vicissitudes
attending the anthropo-geographical evolution of the earth. Its value
changes with the transfer of the seats of the higher civilizations from
sub-tropical to temperate lands; from the margin of enclosed sea to the
hem of the open ocean; from small, naturally defined territories to
large, elastic areas; from mere periphery to a combination of periphery
and interior, commanding at once the freedom of the sea and the
resources of a wide hinterland.

[Sidenote: Contrasted historical sides.]

Even in Europe, however, where the Atlantic leaning of all the states is
so marked as to suggest a certain dependence, the strength of this
one-sided attraction is weakened by the complexity and closeness of the
vicinal grouping of the several nations. Germany's reliance upon the
neighboring grain fields of Russia and Hungary and the leather of the
southern steppes counteracts somewhat the far-off magnet of America's
wheat and cattle. England experienced a radical change of geographic
front with the sailing of the Cabots; but the enormous tonnage entering
and passing from the North Sea and Channel ports for her European
trade[258] show the attraction of the nearby Continent. Oftentimes we
find two sides of a country each playing simultaneously a different, yet
an equally important historical part, and thus distributing the
historical activities, while diversifying the historical development of
the people. The young United States were profoundly influenced as to
national ideals and their eventual territorial career by the free, eager
life and the untrammeled enterprise of its wilderness frontier beyond
the Alleghenies, while through the Atlantic seaboard it was kept in
steadying contact with England and the inherited ideals of the race.
Russia is subjected to different influences on its various fronts; it is
progressive, industrial, socialistic on its European side in Poland;
expansive and radical in a different way in colonial Siberia; aggressive
in the south, bending its energies toward political expansion along the
Mediterranean and Persian Gulf seaboards. In all such countries there is
a constant shifting and readjustment of extra-territorial influences.

[Sidenote: One-sided historical relations.]

It is otherwise in states of very simple vicinal grouping, coupled with
only a single country or at best two. Spain, from the time Hamilcar
Barca made it a colony of ancient Carthage, down to the decline of its
Saracen conquerors, was historically linked with Africa. Freeman calls
attention to "the general law by which, in almost all periods of
history, either the masters of Spain have borne rule in Africa or the
masters of Africa have borne rule in Spain." The history of such simply
located countries tends to have a correspondingly one-sided character.
Portugal's development has been under the exclusive influence of Spain,
except for the oversea stimuli brought to it by the Atlantic. England's
long southern face close to the French coast had for centuries the
effect of interweaving its history with that of its southern neighbor.
The conspicuous fact in the foreign history of Japan has been its
intimate connection with Korea above all the other states.[259] Egypt,
which projects as an alluvial peninsula into an ocean of desert from
southwestern Asia, has seen its history, from the time of the Shepherd
Kings to that of Napoleon, repeatedly linked with Palestine and Syria.
Every Asiatic or European conquest of these two countries has eventually
been extended to the valley of the Nile; and Egypt's one great period of
expansion saw this eastern coast of the Mediterranean as far as the
Euphrates united to the dominion of the Pharaohs. Here is a one-sided
geographical location in an exaggerated form, emphasized by the
physical and political barrenness of the adjacent regions of Africa and
the strategic importance of the isthmian district between the
Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.

[Sidenote: Scattered location due to geographic conditions.]

The forms of vicinal location thus far considered presuppose a compact
or continuous distribution, such as characterizes the more fertile and
populous areas of the earth. Desert regions, whether due to Arctic cold
or extreme aridity, distribute their sparse population in small groups
at a few favored points, and thus from physical causes give rise to the
anthropo-geographical phenomenon of scattered location. Districts of
intense cold, which sustain life only in contact with marine supplies of
food, necessitate an intermittent distribution along the seaboard, with
long, unoccupied stretches between. This is the location we are familiar
with among the Eskimo of Greenland and Alaska, among the Norse and Lapps
in the rugged Norwegian province of Finmarken, where over two-thirds of
the population live by fishing. In the interior districts of this
province about Karasjok and Kantokeino, the reindeer Lapps show a
corresponding scattered grouping here and there on the inhospitable
slopes of the mountains.[260] In that one-half of Switzerland lying above
the altitude where agriculture is possible, population is sprinkled at
wide intervals over the sterile surface of the highlands.

A somewhat similar scattered location is found in arid deserts, where
population is restricted to the oases dropped here and there at wide
intervals amid the waste of sand. But unlike those fragments of human
life on the frozen outskirts of the habitable world, the oasis states
usually constitute links in a chain of connection across the desert
between the fertile lands on either side, and therefore form part of a
series, in which the members maintain firm and necessary economic
relations. Every caravan route across the Sahara is dotted by a series
of larger or smaller tribal settlements. Tripoli, Sokna, Murzuk, Bilma
and Bornu form one such chain; Algiers, El Golea, Twat, the salt mines
of Taudeni, Arawan and Timbuctoo, another. Bagdad, Hayil, Boreyda and
Mecca trace the road of pilgrim and merchant starting from the Moslem
land of the Euphrates to the shrine of Mohammed.[261]


[Sidenote: Island way station on maritime routes.]

Not unlike this serial grouping of oasis states along caravan routes
through the desert are the island way stations that rise out of the
waste of the sea and are connected by the great maritime routes of
trade. Such are the Portuguese Madeiras, Bissagos, and San Thomé on the
line between Lisbon and Portuguese Loanda in West Africa; and their
other series of the Madeiras, Cape Verde, and Fernando, which
facilitated communication with Pernambuco when Brazil was a Portuguese
colony. The classic example of this serial grouping is found in the line
of islands, physical or political, which trace England's artery of
communication with India--Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Perim, Aden,
Sokotra, and Ceylon, besides her dominant position at Suez.

[Sidenote: Scattered location of primitive tribes.]

Quite different from this scattered distribution, due to physical
conditions, in an otherwise uninhabited waste is that wide dispersal of
a people in small detached groups which is the rule in lower stages of
culture, and which bespeaks the necessity of relatively large
territorial reserves for the uneconomic method of land utilization
characteristic of hunting, fishing, pastoral nomadism, and primitive
agriculture. A distribution which claims large areas, without, however,
maintaining exclusive possession or complete occupation, indicates among
advanced peoples an unfinished process,[262] especially unfinished
expansion, such as marked the early French and English colonies in
America and the recent Russian occupation of Siberia. Among primitive
peoples it is the normal condition, belongs to the stage of
civilization, not to any one land or any one race, though it has been
called the American form of distribution.

Not only are villages and encampments widely dispersed, but also the
tribal territories. The Tupis were found by the Portuguese explorers
along the coast of eastern Brazil and in the interior from the mouth of
the La Plata to the lower Amazon, while two distant tribes of the Tupis
were dropped down amid a prevailing Arawak population far away among the
foothills of the Andes in two separate localities on the western
Amazon.[263] [See map page 101.] The Athapascans, from their great
compact northern area between Hudson Bay, the Saskatchewan River, and
the Eskimo shores of the Arctic Ocean sent southward a detached offshoot
comprising the Navajos, Apaches and Lipans, who were found along the Rio
Grande from its source almost to its mouth; and several smaller
fragments westward who were scattered along the Pacific seaboard from
Puget Sound to northern California.[264] The Cherokees of the southern
Appalachians and the Tuscaroras of eastern North Carolina were detached
groups of the Iroquois, who had their chief seat about the lower Great
Lakes and the St. Lawrence. Virginia and North Carolina harbored also
several tribes of Sioux,[265] who were also represented in southern
Mississippi by the small Biloxi nation, though the chief Sioux area lay
between the Arkansas and Saskatchewan rivers. Similarly the Caddoes of
Louisiana and eastern Texas had one remote offshoot on the Platte River
and another, the Arikaras, on the upper Missouri near its great bend.
[See map page 54.] But the territory of the Caddoes, in turn, was
sprinkled with Choctaws, who belonged properly east of the Mississippi,
but who in 1803 were found scattered in fixed villages or wandering
groups near the Bayou Teche, on the Red River, the Washita, and the
Arkansas.[266] Their villages were frequently interspersed with others of
the Biloxi Sioux.

This fragmentary distribution appears in Africa among people in parallel
stages of civilization. Dr. Junker found it as a universal phenomenon in
Central Africa along the watershed between the White Nile and the
Welle-Congo. Here the territory of the dominant Zandeh harbored a motley
collection of shattered tribes, remnants of peoples, and intruding or
refugee colonies from neighboring districts.[267] The few weak bonds
between people and soil characterizing retarded races are insufficient
to secure permanent residence in the face of a diminished game supply,
as in the case of the Choctaws above cited, or of political disturbance
or oppression, or merely the desire for greater independence, as in that
of so many African tribes.


[Sidenote: Ethnic islands of expansion.]

A scattered location results in all stages of civilization when an
expanding or intruding people begins to appropriate the territory of a
different race. Any long continued infiltration, whether peaceful or
aggressive, results in race islands or archipelagoes distributed through
a sea of aborigines. Semitic immigration from southern Arabia has in
this way striped and polka-dotted the surface of Hamitic Abyssinia.[268]
Groups of pure German stock are to-day scattered through the Baltic and
Polish provinces of Russia.[269] [See map page 223.] In ancient times the
advance guard of Teutonic migration crossed the Rhenish border of Gaul,
selected choice sites here and there, after the manner of Ariovistus,
and appeared as enclaves in the encompassing Gallic population. While
the Anahuac plateau of Mexico formed the center of the Aztec or Nahuatl
group of Indians, outlying colonies of this stock occurred among the
Maya people of the Tehuantepec region, and in Guatemala and

Such detached fragments or rather spores of settlement characterize all
young geographical boundaries, where ethnic and political frontiers are
still in the making. The early French, English, Dutch, and Swedish
settlements in America took the form of archipelagoes in a surrounding
sea of Indian-owned forest land; and in 1800, beyond the frontier of
continuous settlement in the United States long slender peninsulas and
remote outlying islands of white occupation indicated American advance
at the cost of the native. Similarly the Portuguese, at the end of the
sixteenth century, seized and fortified detached points along the coast
of East Africa at Sofala, Malindi, Mombassa, Kilwa, Lamu, Zanzibar and
Barava, which served as way stations for Portuguese ships bound for
India, and were outposts of expansion from their Moçambique
territory.[271] The snow-muffled forests of northern Siberia have their
solitudes broken at wide intervals by Russian villages, located only
along the streams for fishing, gold-washing and trading with the native.
These lonely clearings are outposts of the broad band of Muscovite
settlement which stretches across southern Siberia from the Ural
Mountains to the Angara River.[272] [See map page 103.]

[Sidenote: Political islands of expansion.]

The most exaggerated example of scattered political location existing
to-day is found in the bizarre arrangement of European holdings on the
west coast of Africa between the Senegal and Congo rivers. Here in each
case a handful of governing whites is dropped down in the midst of a
dark-skinned population in several districts along the coast. The six
detached seaboard colonies of the French run back in the interior into a
common French-owned hinterland formed by the Sahara and western Sudan,
which since 1894 link the Guinea Coast colonies with French Algeria and
Tunis; but the various British holdings have no territorial cohesion at
any point, nor have the Spanish or Portuguese or German. The scattered
location of these different European possessions is for the most part
the expression of a young colonizing activity, developed in the past
fifty years, and signalized by the vigorous intrusion of the French and
Germans into the field. To the anthropo-geographer the map of western
Africa presents the picture of a political situation wholly immature,
even embryonic. The history of similar scattered outposts of political
expansion in America, India and South Africa teaches us to look for
extensive consolidation.

[Sidenote: Ethnic islands of survival.]

Race islands occur also when a land is so inundated by a tide of
invasion or continuous colonization that the original inhabitants
survive only as detached remnants, where protecting natural conditions,
such as forests, jungles, mountains or swamps, provide an asylum, or
where a sterile soil or rugged plateau has failed to attract the
cupidity of the conqueror. The dismembered race, especially one in a
lower status of civilization, can be recognized as such islands of
survival by their divided distribution in less favored localities, into
which they have fled, and in which seldom can they increase and
recombine to recover their lost heritage. In Central Africa, between the
watersheds of the Nile, Congo and Zambesi, there is scarcely a large
native state that does not shelter in its forests scattered groups of
dwarf hunter folk variously known as Watwa, Batwa, and Akka.[273] They
serve the agricultural tribes as auxiliaries in war, and trade with them
in meat and ivory, but also rob their banana groves and manioc patches.
The local dispersion of these pygmies in small isolated groups among
stronger peoples points to them as survivals of a once wide-spread
aboriginal race, another branch of which, as Schweinfurth suggested, is
probably found in the dwarfed Bushmen and Hottentots of South
Africa.[274] [See map page 105.]

Similar in distribution and in mode of life are the aborigines of the
Philippines, the dwarf Negritos, who are still found inhabiting the
forests in various localities. They are dispersed through eight
provinces of Luzon and in several other islands, generally in the
interior, whither they have been driven by the invading Malays.[275] [See
map page 147.] But the Negritos crop out again in the mountain interior
of Formosa and Borneo, in the eastern peninsula of Celebes, and in
various islands of the Malay Archipelago as far east as Ceram and
Flores, amid a prevailing Malay stock. Toward the west they come to the
surface in the central highland of Malacca, in the Nicobar and Andaman
Islands, and in several mountain and jungle districts of India. Here
again is the typical geographic distribution of a moribund aboriginal
race, whose shrivelled patches merely dot the surface of their once wide
territory.[276] The aboriginal Kolarian tribes of India are found under
the names of Bhils, Kols and Santals scattered about in the fastnesses
of the Central Indian jungles, the Vindhyan Range, and in the Rajputana
Desert, within the area covered by Indo-Aryan occupation.[277] [See map
page 103.]

[Sidenote: Discontinuous distribution.]

Such broad, intermittent dispersal is the anthropological prototype of
the "discontinuous distribution" of biologists. By this they mean that
certain types of plants and animals occur in widely separated regions,
without the presence of any living representatives in the intermediate
area. But they point to the rock records to show that the type once
occupied the whole territory, till extensive elimination occurred, owing
to changes in climatic or geologic conditions or to sharpened
competition in the struggle for existence, with the result that the type
survived only in detached localities offering a favorable
environment.[278] In animal and plant life, the ice invasion of the
Glacial Age explains most of these islands of survival; in human life,
the invasion of stronger peoples. The Finnish race, which in the ninth
century covered nearly a third of European Russia, has been shattered by
the blows of Slav expansion into numerous fragments which lie scattered
about within the old ethnic boundary from the Arctic Ocean to the
Don-Volga watershed.[279] The encroachments of the whites upon the red
men of America early resulted in their geographical dispersion. The map
showing the distribution of population in 1830 reveals large detached
areas of Indian occupancy embedded in the prevailing white
territory.[280] The rapid compression of the tribal lands and the
introduction of the reservation system resulted in the present
arrangement of yet smaller and more widely scattered groups. Such
islands of survival tend constantly to contract and diminish in number
with the growing progress, density, and land hunger of the surrounding
race. The Kaffir islands and the Hottentot "locations" in South Africa,
large as they now are, will repeat the history of the American Indian
lands, a history of gradual shrinkage and disappearance as territorial

[Sidenote: Contrasted location.]

Every land contains in close juxtaposition areas of sharply contrasted
cultural, economic and political development, due to the influence of
diverse natural locations emphasizing lines of ethnic cleavage made
perhaps by some great historical struggle. In mountainous countries the
conquered people withdraw to the less accessible heights and leave the
fertile valleys to the victorious intruders. The two races are thus held
apart, and the difference in their respective modes of life forced upon
them by contrasted geographic conditions tends still farther for a time
to accentuate their diversity. The contrasted location of the dislodged
Alpine race, surviving in all the mountains and highlands of western
Europe over against the Teutonic victors settled in the plains,[281] has
its parallel in many parts of Asia and Africa; it is almost always
coupled with a corresponding contrast in mode of life, which is at least
in part geographically determined. In Algeria, the Arab conquerors, who
form the larger part of the population, are found in the plains where
they live the life of nomads in their tents; the Berbers, who were the
original inhabitants, driven back into the fastnesses of the Atlas
ranges, form now an industrious, sedentary farmer class, living in stone
houses, raising stock, and tilling their fields as if they were market
gardeners.[282] In the Andean states of South America, the eastern slopes
of the Cordilleras, which are densely forested owing to their position
in the course of the trade-winds, harbor wild, nomadic tribes of hunting
and fishing Indians who differ in stock and culture from the Inca
Indians settled in the drier Andean basins.[283] [See map page 101.]

[Sidenote: Geographical polarity.]

Every geographical region of strongly marked character possesses a
certain polarity, by reason of which it attracts certain racial or
economic elements of population, and repels others. The predatory tribes
of the desert are constantly reinforced by refugee outlaws from the
settled agricultural communities along its borders.[284] The mountains
which offer a welcome asylum for the persecuted Waldenses have no lure
for the money-making Jew, who is therefore rarely found there. The
negroes of the United States are more and more congregating in the Gulf
States, making the "Black Belt" blacker. The fertile tidewater plains
of ante-bellum Virginia and Maryland had a rich, aristocratic white
population of slave-holding planters; the mountain backwoods of the
Appalachian ranges, whose conditions of soil and relief were ill adapted
for slave cultivation, had attracted a poorer democratic farmer class,
who tilled their small holdings by their own labor and consequently
entertained little sympathy for the social and economic system of the
tidewater country. This is the contrast between mountain and plain which
is as old as humanity. It presented problems to the legislation of
Solon, and caused West Virginia to split off from the mother State
during the Civil War.[285]

Each contrasted district has its own polarity; but with this it attracts
not one but many of the disruptive forces which are pent up in every
people or state. Certain conditions of climate, soil, and tillable area
in the Southern States of the Union made slave labor remunerative, while
opposite conditions in the North combined eventually to exclude it
thence. Slave labor in the South brought with it in turn a whole train
of social and economic consequences, notably the repulsion of foreign
white immigration and the development of shiftless or wasteful
industrial methods, which further sharpened the contrast between the two
sections. The same contrast occurs in Italian territory between Sicily
and Lombardy. Here location at the two extremities of the peninsula has
involved a striking difference in ethnic infusions in the two districts,
different historical careers owing to different vicinal grouping, and
dissimilar geographic conditions. These effects operating together and
attracting other minor elements of divergence, have conspired to
emphasize the already strong contrast between northern and southern

[Sidenote: Geographical marks of growth.]

In geographical location can be read the signs of growth or decay. There
are racial and national areas whose form is indicative of development,
expansion, while others show the symptoms of decline. The growing people
seize all the geographic advantages within their reach, whether lying
inside their boundaries or beyond. In the latter case, they promptly
extend their frontiers to include the object of their desire, as the
young United States did in the case of the Mississippi River and the
Gulf coast. European peoples, like the Russians in Asia, all strive to
reach the sea; and when they have got there, they proceed to embrace as
big a strip of coast as possible. Therefore the whole colonization
movement of western and central Europe was in the earlier periods
restricted to coasts, although not to such an excessive degree as that
of the Phoenicians and Greeks. Their own maritime location had
instructed them as to the value of seaboards, and at the same time made
this form of expansion the simplest and easiest.

[Sidenote: Marks of inland expansion.]

On the other hand, that growing people which finds its coastward advance
blocked, and is therefore restricted to landward expansion, seizes upon
every natural feature that will aid its purpose. It utilizes every
valley highway and navigable river, as the Russians did in the case of
the Dnieper, Don, Volga, Kama and Northern Dwina in their radial
expansion from the Muscovite center at Moscow, and as later they used
the icy streams of Siberia in their progress toward the Pacific; or as
the Americans in their trans-continental advance used the Ohio,
Tennessee, the Great Lakes, and the Missouri. They reach out toward
every mountain pass leading to some choice ultramontane highway. Bulges
or projecting angles of their frontier indicate the path they plan to
follow, and always include or aim at some natural feature which will
facilitate their territorial growth. The acquisition of the province of
Ticino in 1512 gave the Swiss Confederation a foothold upon Lake
Maggiore, perhaps the most important waterway of northern Italy, and the
possession of the Val Leventina, which now carries the St. Gotthard
Railroad down to the plains of the Po. Every bulge of Russia's Asiatic
frontier, whether in the Trans-Caucasus toward the Mesopotamian basin
and the Persian Gulf, or up the Murghab and Tedjend rivers toward the
gates of Herat, is directed at some mountain pass and an outlet seaward

If this process of growth bring a people to the borders of a desert,
there they halt perhaps for a time, but only, as it were, to take breath
for a stride across the sand to the nearest oasis. The ancient
Egyptians advanced by a chain of oases--Siwa, Angila, Sella and Sokna,
across the Libyan Desert to the Syrtis Minor. The Russians in the last
twenty-five years have spread across the arid wastes of Turkestan by way
of the fertile spots of Khiva, Bukhara and Merv to the irrigated slopes
of the Hindu Kush and Tian Shan Mountains. The French extended the
boundaries of Algiers southward into the desert to include the caravan
routes focusing at the great oases of Twat and Tidekelt, years before
their recent appropriation of the western Sahara.

[Sidenote: Marks of decline.]

As territorial expansion is the mark of growth, so the sign of decline
is the relinquishment of land that is valuable or necessary to a
people's well-being. The gradual retreat of the Tartars and in part also
of the Kirghis tribes from their best pasture lands along the Volga into
the desert or steppes indicates their decrease of power, just as the
withdrawal of the Indians from their hunting grounds in forest and
prairie was the beginning of their decay. Bolivia maimed herself for all
time when in 1884 she relinquished to Chile her one hundred and eighty
miles of coast between the Rio Lao and the twenty-fourth parallel. Her
repeated efforts later to recover at least one seaport on the Pacific
indicate her own estimate of the loss by which she was limited to an
inland location, and deprived of her maritime periphery.[286]

[Sidenote: Interpretation of scattered and marginal location.]

The habits of a people and the consequent demands which they make upon
their environment must be taken into account in judging whether or not a
restricted geographical location is indicative of a retrograde process.
The narrow marginal distribution of the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshean
Indians on the islands and coastal strips of northwestern America means
simply the selection of sites most congenial to those inveterate fisher
tribes. The fact that the English in the vicinity of the Newfoundland
Banks settled on a narrow rim of coast in order to exploit the
fisheries, while the French peasants penetrated into the interior
forests and farmlands of Canada, was no sign of territorial decline.
English and French were both on the forward march, each in their own
way. The scattered peripheral location of the Phoenician trading
stations and later of the Greek colonies on the shores of the
Mediterranean was the expression of the trading and maritime activity of
those two peoples. Centuries later a similar distribution of Arab posts
along the coast of East Africa, Madagascar and the western islands of
the Sunda Archipelago indicated the great commercial expansion of the
Mohammedan traders of Oman and Yemen. The lack came when this
distribution, normal as a preliminary form, bore no fruit in the
occupation of wide territorial bases. [See map page 251.]

[Sidenote: Prevalence of ethnic islands of decline.]

In general, however, any piecemeal or marginal location of a people
justifies the question as to whether it results from encroachment,
dismemberment, and consequently national or racial decline. This
inference as a rule strikes the truth. The abundance of such ethnic
islands and reefs--some scarcely distinguishable above the flood of the
surrounding population--is due to the fact that when the area of
distribution of any life form, whether racial or merely animal, is for
any cause reduced, it does not merely contract but breaks up into
detached fragments. These isolated groups often give the impression of
being emigrants from the original home who, in some earlier period of
expansion, had occupied this outlying territory. At the dawn of western
European history, Gaul was the largest and most compact area of Celtic
speech. For this reason it has been regarded as the land whence sprang
the Celts of Britain, the Iberian Peninsula, the Alps and northern
Italy. Freeman thinks that the Gauls of the Danube and Po valleys were
detachments which had been left behind in the great Celtic migration
toward the west;[287] but does not consider the possibility of a once far
more extensive Celtic area, which, as a matter of fact, once reached
eastward to the Weser River and the Sudetes Mountains and was later
dismembered.[288] The islands of Celtic speech which now mark the western
flank of Great Britain and Ireland are shrunken fragments of a Celtic
linguistic area which, as place-names indicate, once comprised the whole
country.[289] Similarly, all over Russia Finnic place-names testify to
the former occupation of the country by a people now submerged by the
immigrant Slavs, except where they emerge in ethnic islands in the far
north and about the elbow of the Volga.[290] [See map page 225.] Beyond
the compact area of the Melanesian race occupying New Guinea and the
islands eastward to the Fiji and Loyalty groups, are found scattered
patches of negroid folk far to the westward, relegated to the interiors
of islands and peninsulas. The dispersed and fragmentary distribution of
this negroid stock has suggested that it formed the older and primitive
race of a wide region extending from India to Fiji and possibly even

[Sidenote: Contrast between ethnic islands of growth and decline.]

Ethnic or political islands of decline can be distinguished from islands
of expansion by various marks. When survivals of an inferior people,
they are generally characterized by inaccessible or unfavorable
geographic location. When remnants of former large colonial possessions
of modern civilized nations, they are characterized by good or even
excellent location, but lack a big compact territory nearby to which
they stand in the relation of outpost. Such are the Portuguese fragments
on the west coast of India at Goa, Damaon, and Diu Island, and the
Portuguese half of the island of Timor with the islet of Kambing in the
East Indies. Such also are the remnants of the French empire in India,
founded by the genius of François Dupleix, which are located on the
seaboard at Chandarnagar, Carical, Pondicherry, Yanaon and Mahe. They
tell the geographer a far different story from that of the small
detached French holding of Kwang-chan Bay and Nao-chan Island on the
southern coast of China, which are outposts of the vigorous French
colony of Tongking.

The scattered islands of an intrusive people, bent upon conquest or
colonization, are distinguished by a choice of sites favorable to growth
and consolidation, and by the rapid extension of their boundaries until
that consolidation is achieved; while the people themselves give signs
of the rapid differentiation incident to adaptation to a new


[239] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I. pp.
98-101. New York. 1893.

[240] George Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp.
5-8, 12, 13, 19-28, 37. New York, 1897.

[241] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 272-273. New York, 1899.

[242] Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi, Vol. II, chap.
I. 1846.

[243] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 336, 334. Map. p. 53. New York,

[244] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 137. London, 1903.

[245] Eleventh Census, Report for Alaska, pp. 66, 67, 70. Washington,

[246] Livingstone, Travels in South Africa, p. 56. New York, 1858.

[247] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol I, pp. 36,
108. New York, 1893.

[248] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. II, pp. 127-130,
170. London, 1907.

[249] James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 147, 150, 170-173.
New York, 1897.

[250] Alexander P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North, pp. 135,
140-147, 165, 170. Translated from the Russian. London, 1899.

[251] For full and able discussion, see H. J. Mackinder, The
Geographical Pivot of History, in the _Geographical Journal_, April,
1904. London.

[252] The Anglo-Russian Agreement, with map, in _The Independent_,
October, 10, 1907.

[253] Spencer and Gillen, The Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p.
xii. London, 1904.

[254] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, p. 526; Vol II, pp.
34-35, 50-52 and map. Washington, 1903.

[255] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. II, pp. 225-226. New York, 1859.

[256] W.Z. Ripley, The Races of Europe, pp. 402-410, map. New York,

[257] Frederick J. Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American
History, in the _Annual Report of the American Historical Association_
for 1893, pp. 199-227. Washington, 1894.

[258] Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, pp. 150-152. New York,

[259] W.E. Griffis, The Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, pp. 75, 83. New York,
1903. Henry Dyer, Dai Nippon, pp. 59, 69. New York, 1904.

[260] Norway, Official Publication, pp. 4, 83, 99, and map. Christiania,

[261] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 221-224, map. London, 1902.

[262] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. I, p. 224. Leipzig, 1897.

[263] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191. New York,

[264] Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, pp. 36-37. Washington,

[265] John Fiske, Old Virginia and her Neighbors, Vol. II, p. 299.
Boston, 1897.

[266] Eleventh Census, _Report on the Indians_, pp. 30-31. Washington,

[267] Dr. William Junker, Travels in Africa, 1882-1886, pp. 30, 31, 34,
37, 44, 50-54, 64, 94-95, 140, 145-148. London, 1892.

[268] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 193-195. London,

[269] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, pp. 124-129.
Hew York, 1893.

[270] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 266. Philadelphia, 1901.

[271] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, pp. 484, 485. New York,

[272] Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, p. 291. New York, 1882.

[273] H.M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, Vol. II, pp. 100-103,
218. In Darkest Africa, Vol. I, pp. 208, 261, 374-375; Vol. II, pp.

[274] Georg Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, Vol. II, chap. XI, 3rd
edition, London.

[275] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 411, 436, 532, 533.
Washington, 1903.

[276] Quatrefages, The Pygmies, pp. 24-51. New York, 1895.

[277] Sir T.H. Holdich, India, pp. 202-203, map. London, 1905.

[278] Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. II, chap. XII. New York, 1895.

[279] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, pp.
66-70, maps facing pp. 64 and 80. New York, 1893.

[280] Eleventh Census of the United States, _Report on Population_, Part
I, map p. 23. Washington, 1894.

[281] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, Chapters 7, 8, 11. New York, 1899.

[282] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 910. New York, 1902.

[283] _Ibid._, pp. 832, 836.

[284] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 175, 257. London,

[285] E.C. Semple, American History and its Geographic Conditions, pp.
280-287. Boston, 1903.

[286] C.E. Akers, History of South America, 1854-1894, pp. 501-502,
556-562. New York, 1904.

[287] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 14. London, 1882.

[288] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. VI, pp. 125-132, map. New
York, 1902-1906. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 274, 297, 308, 472-473.
New York, 1899.

[289] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 183-191. London,

[290] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 26, 353, 361-365. Map. New York,

[291] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, 214-218. London, 1896-1898.



[Sidenote: The size of the earth.]

Every consideration of geographical area must take as its starting point
the 199,000,000 square miles (510,000,000 square kilometers) of the
earth's surface. Though some 8,000,000 square miles (21,000,000 square
kilometers) about the poles remain unexplored, and only the twenty-eight
per cent. of the total constituting the land area is the actual habitat
of man, still the earth as a whole is his planet. Its surface fixes the
limits of his possible dwelling place, the range of his voyages and
migrations, the distribution of animals and plants on which he must
depend. These conditions he has shared with all forms of life from the
amoeba to the civilized nation. The earth's superficial area is the
primal and immutable condition of earth-born, earth-bound man; it is the
common soil whence is sprung our common humanity. Nations belong to
countries and races to continents, but humanity belongs to the whole
world. Naught but the united forces of the whole earth could have
produced this single species of a single genus which we call Man.

[Sidenote: Relation of area to life.]

The relation of life to the earth's area is a fundamental question of
bio-geography. The amount of that area available for terrestrial life,
the proportion of land and water, the reduction or enlargement of the
available surface by the operation of great cosmic forces, all enter
into this problem, which changes from one geologic period to another.
The present limited plant life of the Arctic regions is the impoverished
successor of a vegetation abundant enough at the eighty-third parallel
to produce coal. That was in the Genial Period, when the northern
hemisphere with its broad land-masses presented a far larger area for
the support of life than to-day. Then the Glacial Period spread an
ice-sheet from the North Pole to approximately the fiftieth parallel,
forced back life to the lower latitudes, and confined the bio-sphere to
the smaller land-masses of the southern hemisphere and a girdle north of
the equator. The sum total of life on the globe was greatly reduced at
the height of glaciation, and since the retreat of the ice has probably
never regained the abundance of the Middle Tertiary; so that our period
is probably one of relative impoverishment and faulty adjustment both
of life to life and of life to physical environment.[292] The continent of
North America contained a small vital area during the Later Cretaceous
Period, when a notable encroachment of the sea submerged the Atlantic
coastal plain, large sections of the Pacific coast, the Great Plains,
Texas and the adjacent Gulf plain up the Mississippi Valley to the mouth
of the Ohio.[293]

The task of estimating the area supporting terrestrial life which the
earth presented at any given time is an important one, not only because
the amount of life depends upon this area, but because every increase of
available area tends to multiply conditions favorable to variation.
Darwin shows that largeness of area, more than anything else, affords
the best conditions for rapid and improved variation through natural
selection; because a large area supports a larger number of individuals
in whom chance variations, advantageous in the struggle for existence,
appear oftener than in a small group. This position is maintained also
by the most recent evolutionists.[294]

On purely geographical grounds, also, a large area stimulates
differentiation by presenting a greater diversity of natural conditions,
each of which tends to produce its appropriate species or variety.[295]
Consider the different environments found in a vast and varied continent
like Eurasia, which extends from the equator far beyond the Arctic
Circle, as compared with a small land-mass like Australia, relatively
monotonous in its geographic conditions; and observe how much farther
evolution has progressed in the one than in the other, in point of
animal forms, races and civilization. If we hold with Moritz Wagner and
others that isolation in naturally defined regions, alternating with
periods of migration, offers the necessary condition for the rapid
evolution of type forms, and thus go farther than Darwin, who regards
isolation merely as a fortunate contributory circumstance, we find that
for the evolution of mankind it is large areas like Eurasia which afford
the greatest number and variety of these naturally segregated habitats,
and at the same time the best opportunity for vast historical movements.

[Sidenote: The struggle for space.]

Evolution needs room but finds the earth's surface limited. Everywhere
old and new forms of life live side by side in deadly competition; but
the later improved variety multiplies and spreads at the cost of less
favored types. The struggle for existence means a struggle for space.[296]
This is true of man and the lower animals. A superior people, invading
the territory of its weaker savage neighbors, robs them of their land,
forces them back into corners too small for their support, and continues
to encroach even upon this meager possession, till the weaker finally
loses the last remnant of its domain, is literally crowded off the
earth, becomes extinct as the Tasmanians and so many Indian tribes have
done.[297] The superiority of such expansionists consists primarily in
their greater ability to appropriate, thoroughly utilize and populate a
territory. Hence this is the faculty by which they hasten the extinction
of the weaker; and since this superiority is peculiar to the higher
stages of civilization, the higher stages inevitably supplant the lower.

[Sidenote: Area an index of social and political development.]

The successive stages of social development--savage, pastoral nomadic,
agricultural, and industrial--represent increasing density of
population, increasing numerical strength of the social group, and
finally increasing geographical area, resulting in a vastly enlarged
social group or state. Increase in the population of a given land is
accompanied by a decrease in the share which each individual can claim
as his own. This progressive readjustment to a smaller proportion of
land brings in its train the evolution of all economic and social
processes, reacting again favorably on density of population and
resulting eventually in the greatly increased social group and enlarged
territory of the modern civilized state. Hence we may lay down the rule
that change in areal relations, both of the individual to his decreasing
quota of land, and of the state to its increasing quota of the earth's
surface is an important index of social and political evolution.
Therefore the rise and decline not only of peoples but of whole
civilizations have depended upon their relations to area. Therefore
problems of area, such as the expansion of a small territory, the
economic and political mastery of a large one, dominate all history.

[Sidenote: The Oikoumene.]

Humanity's area of distribution and historical movement call the
Oikoumene. It forms a girdle around the earth between the two polar
regions, and embraces the Tropics, the Temperate Zones, and a part of
the North Frigid, in all, five-sixths of the earth's surface. This area
of distribution is unusually large. Few other living species so nearly
permeate the whole vital area, and many of these have reached their wide
expansion only in the company of man. Only about 49,000,000 square miles
(125,000,000 square kilometers) of the Oikoumene is land and therefore
constitutes properly the habitat of man. But just as we cannot
understand a nation from the study of its own country alone, but must
take into consideration the wider area of its spreading activities, so
we cannot understand mankind without including in his world not only his
habitat but also the vastly larger sphere of his activities, which is
almost identical with the earth itself. The most progressive peoples
to-day find their scientific, economic, religious and political
interests embracing the earth.

[Sidenote: Unity of the human species in the relation to the earth.]

Mankind has in common with all other forms of life the tendency toward
expansion. The more adaptable and mobile an organism is, the wider the
distribution which it attains and the greater the rapidity with which it
displaces its weaker kin. In the most favored cases it embraces the
whole vital area of the earth, leaving no space free for the development
of diversity of forms, and itself showing everywhere only superficial
distinctions. Mankind has achieved such wide distribution. Before his
persistent intrusions and his mobility, the earth has no longer any
really segregated districts where a strongly divergent type of the man
animal might develop. Hence mankind shows only superficial distinctions
of hair, color, head-form and stature between its different groups. It
has got beyond the point of forming species, and is restricted to the
slighter variations of races. Even these are few in comparison with the
area of the earth's surface, and their list tends to decrease. The
Guanches and Tasmanians have vanished, the Australians are on the road
to extinction; and when they shall have disappeared, there will be one
variety the less in humanity. So the process of assimilation advances,
here by the simple elimination of weaker divergent types of men, there
by amalgamation and absorption into the stock of the stronger.

This unity of the human species has been achieved in spite of the fact
that, owing to the three-fold predominance of the water surface of the
globe, the land surface appears as detached fragments which rise as
islands from the surrounding ocean. Among these fragments we have every
gradation in size, from the continuous continental mass of
Eurasia-Africa with its 31,000,000 square miles, the Americas with
15,000,000, Australia with nearly 3,000,000, Madagascar with 230,000,
and New Zealand with 104,000, down to Guam with its 199 square miles,
Ascension with 58, Tristan da Cunha with 45, and the rocky Islet of
Helgoland with its scant 150 acres. All these down to the smallest
constitute separate vital districts.

[Sidenote: Isolation and differentiation.]

Small, naturally defined areas, whether their boundaries are drawn by
mountains, sea, or by both, always harbor small but markedly individual
peoples, as also peculiar or endemic animal forms, whose differentiation
varies with the degree of isolation. Such peoples can be found over and
over again in islands, peninsulas, confined mountain valleys, or
desert-rimmed oases. The cause lies in the barriers to expansion and to
accessions of population from without which confront such peoples on
every side. Broad, uniform continental areas, on the other hand, where
nature has erected no such obstacles are the habitats of wide-spread
peoples, monotonous in type. The long stretch of coastal lowlands
encircling the Arctic Ocean and running back into the wide plains of
North America and Eurasia show a remarkable uniformity of animal and
plant forms[298] and a striking similarity of race through the Lapps, the
Samoyedes of northern Russia, the various Mongolian tribes of Arctic
Siberia to Bering Strait, and the Eskimo, that curiously transitional
race, formerly classified as Mongolian and more recently as a divergent
Indian stock; for the Eskimos are similar to the Siberians in stature,
features, coloring, mode of life, in everything but head-form, though
even the cephalic indices approach on the opposite shores of Bering
Sea.[299] Where geography draws no dividing line, ethnology finds it
difficult to do so. Where the continental land-masses converge is found
similarity or even identity of race, easy gradations from one type to
another; where they diverge most widely in the peninsular extremities of
South America, South Africa and Australia, they show the greatest
dissimilarity in their native races, and a corresponding diversity in
their animal life.[300] Geographical proximity combined with accessibility
results in similarity of human and animal occupants, while a
corresponding dissimilarity is the attendant of remoteness or of
segregation. Therefore, despite the distribution of mankind over the
total habitable area of the earth, his penetration into its detached
regions and hidden corners has maintained such variations as still exist
in the human family.

[Sidenote: Monotonous race type of small area.]

If the distribution of the several races be examined in the light of
this conclusion, it becomes apparent that the races who have succeeded
in appropriating only limited portions of the earth's surface, though
each may be a marked variant of the human family, are characterized by
few inner diversities, either of physical features or culture. Their
subdivisions feel only in a slight degree the differentiating effects of
geographic remoteness, which in a small area operates with weakened
force; and they enjoy few of those diversities of environment which
stimulate variation. They form close and distinct ethnic unities also
because their scant numbers restrict the appearance of variations. The
habitat of the negro race in Africa south of the Sahara, relatively
small, limited in its zonal location almost wholly to the Tropics,
poorly diversified both in relief and contour, has produced only a
retarded and monotonous social development based upon tropical
agriculture or a low type of pastoral life. The still smaller, still
less varied habitat of the Australian race, again tropical or
sub-tropical in location, has produced over its whole extent only one
grade of civilization and that the lowest, one physical, mental and
moral type.[301]

[Sidenote: Wide race distribution and inner diversities.]

The Mongoloid area of distribution, on the other hand, is so large that
it necessarily includes a great range of climates and variety of
geographic conditions. [Maps pages 103 and 225.] Representatives of this
race, reflecting their diversified habitats, show many ethnic
differentiations. They reveal also every stage and phase of cultural
development from the industrialism of Japan, with its artistic and
literary concomitants, to the savage economy and retarded intellectual
life of the Chukches fisher tribes or the Giljak hunters of Sakhalin.
The white race, identified primarily with Europe, that choice and
diversified continent, comprised also a large area of southwestern Asia
and the northern third of Africa. It thus extended from the Arctic
Circle well within the Tropics. Its area included every variety of
geographic condition and originally every degree of cultural
development; but the rapid expansion in recent centuries of the most
advanced peoples of this race has made them the apostles of civilization
to the whole world. It has also given them, through the occupation of
Australia and the Americas, the widest distribution and the most varied
habitats. As agents of the modern historical movement, however, they are
subjected to all its assimilating effects, which tend to counteract the
diversities born of geographic segregation, and to raise all branches of
the white race to one superior cosmopolitan type. On the other hand, the
vast international division of labor and specialization of production,
geographically based and entailed by advancing economic development,
besides the differences of traditions and ideals reaching far back into
an historic past and rooted in the land, will serve to maintain many
subtle inner differences between even the most progressive nations.

[Sidenote: Area and language.]

Hence the wide area which Darwin found to be most favorable to
improved variation and rapid evolution in animals, operates to the
same end in human development, and its influence becomes a law of
anthropo-geography. It permeates the higher aspects of life. The wide,
varied area occupied by the Germanic tribes of Europe permitted the
evolution of the many dialects which finally made the richness of
modern German speech. English has gained in vocabulary and idiom with
every expansion of its area. New territories mean to a people new
pursuits, new relations, new wants; and all these become reflected in
their speech. Languages, like peoples, cease to grow with national
stagnation.[302] To such stagnation movement or expansion is the
surest antidote. America will in time make its contribution to the
English tongue. The rich crop of slang that springs up on the frontier
is not wholly to be deplored. The crudeness and vigor of cowboy speech
are marks of youth: they are also promises of growth. Language can not
live by dictionary alone. It tends to form new variants with every
change of habitat. The French of the Canadian _habitant_ has absorbed
Indian and English words, and adapted old terms to new uses;[303] but
it is otherwise a survival of seventeenth century French. Boer speech
in South Africa shows the same thing--absorption of new Kaffir and
English words, coupled with marks of retardation due to isolation.
Religion in the same way gains by wide dispersal. Christianity is one
thing in St. Petersburg, another among the Copts of Cairo, another in
Rome, another in London, and yet another in Boston. Buddhism takes on
a different color in Ceylon, Tibet, China and Japan. In religion as in
other phases of human development, differentiation must mean eventual
enrichment, a larger content of the religious idea, to which each
faith makes its contribution.

[Sidenote: Large area a guarantee of racial or national permanence.]

The larger the area occupied by a race or people, other geographic
conditions being equal, the surer the guarantee of their permanence, and
the less the chance of their repression or annihilation. A broad
geographic base means generally abundant command of the resources of
life and growth. Though for a growing people of wide possessions, like
the Russians, the significance of the land may not be obvious, it
becomes apparent enough in national decline and decay; for these even in
their incipiency betray themselves in a loss of territory. A people
which, voluntarily or otherwise, renounces its hold upon its land is on
the downward path. Nothing else could show so plainly the national
vitality of Japan as her tenacious purpose to get back Port Arthur taken
from her by the Shimonoseki treaty in 1895. A people may decrease in
numbers without serious consequences if it still retains its land; for
herein lies its resources by which it may again hope to grow. The
recurring loss of millions of lives in China from the wide-sweeping
floods of the Hoangho is a passing episode, forgotten as soon as the
mighty stream is re-embanked and the flooded plains reclaimed. The
Civil War in the United States involved a temporary diminution of
population and check to progress, but no lasting national weakness
because no loss of territory. But the expulsion of the American Indians
from their well-stocked hunting grounds in the Mississippi Valley and
Atlantic plain to more restricted and barren lands in the far West, and
the withdrawal of the Australian natives from the fertile coasts to the
desert interior have meant racial renunciation of the sources of life.

Hence a people who are conquered and dislodged from their territory, as
were the ancient Britons by the Saxons, the Slavs from the land between
the Elbe and the Niemen by the mediæval Germans, and the Kaffirs in
South Africa by the Dutch and English, the Ainos from Hondo by the
Japanese, and the whole original Alpine race by the later coming Teutons
from the fertile valleys and plains into the more barren highlands of
western Europe, have little or no chance of regaining their own. When
conquest results not in dislodgement, but only in the subjection of an
undisturbed native population to a new ruling class, the vanquished
retain their hold, only slightly impaired, perhaps, upon their
strength-giving fields, recover themselves, and sooner or later conquer
their conquerors either by absorption or revolution. This was the
history of ancient Egypt with its Shepherd Kings, of England with its
Norman lords, of Mexico and Peru with their Spanish victors.

[Sidenote: Weakness of small states.]

A large area throws around all the life forms which it supports the
protection of its mere distances, which facilitate defense in
competition with other forms, render attack difficult, and afford room
for retreat under pursuit. On the other hand, the small area is easily
compassed by the invaders, and its inhabitants soon brought to bay.
Since there is a general correspondence between size of area and number
of inhabitants, where physical conditions and economic development are
similar, a small area involves a further handicap of numerical weakness
of population. Greece has always suffered from the small size of the
peninsula and the further political dismemberment entailed by its
geographic subdivisions. Despite superior civilization and national
heroism, it has fallen a victim to almost every invader. Belgium,
Holland, Switzerland exist as distinct nations only on sufferance.
Finland's history since 1900 shows that the day for the national
existence of small peoples is passing.[304] The fragmentary political
geography of the Danube basin gives the geographer the impression of an
artist's crayon studies of details, destined later to be incorporated in
a finished picture. Their small areas promise short-lived autonomy. The
recent absorption of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria indicates the
destiny of these Danubian states as fixed by the law of increasing
territorial aggregates.

What is true of states is true also of peoples. The extinction of the
retarded "provisional peoples" of the earth progresses more rapidly in
small groups than in large, and in small islands more quickly than in
continental areas. Of the twenty-one Indian stocks or families which
have died out in the United States, fifteen belonged to the small bands
once found in the Pacific coast states, and four more were similar
fragments found on the lower Mississippi and its bayous.[305] [See map
page 54.] The native Gaunches of Teneriffe Island disappeared long ago.
The last Tasmanian died in 1876. New Zealand, whose area is four times
that of Tasmania, and therefore gives some respite before the
encroachments of the whites, still harbors 47,835 Maoris, or little over
one-third the native population of the island in 1840.[306] But these
compete for the land with nearly one million English colonists, and in
the limited area of the islands they will eventually find no place of
retreat before the relentless white advance.

To the Australians, on the other hand, much inferior to the Maoris, the
larger area of their continent affords extensive deserts and steppes
into which the natives have withdrawn and whither the whites do not care
to follow. Hence mere area, robbed of every other favorable geographical
circumstance, has contributed to the survival of the 230,000 natives in
Australia. Similarly the Arawaks were early wiped out on the island of
Cuba and the Caribs on San Domingo and the smaller Antilles by the
truculent methods of the Spanish conquerors, while both stocks survive
on the continent of South America. Even the truculent methods of the
Spanish conquerors could make little impression upon the relatively
massive populations of Mexico and Peru, whose survival and latter-day
recovery of independence can be ascribed largely though not solely to
their ample territorial base. So the vast area of the United States and
Canada has afforded a hinterland of asylum to the retreating Indians,
whose moribund condition, especially in the United States, is betrayed
by their scattered distribution in small, unfavorable localities. On the
other hand, the vast extent of Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada, combined
with the adverse climatic conditions of the region, will guarantee the
northern Indians a longer survival. In Tierra del Fuego, the
encroachments of sheep-farmers and gold-miners from Patagonia twenty
years ago, by fencing off the land and killing off the wild guanaco,
threatened the existence of this animal and of the Onas natives of the
island. These, soon brought to bay in that natural enclosure, attacked
the farmers, whose reprisals between 1890 and 1900 reduced the number of
the Onas from 2,000 to 800 souls.[307]

[Sidenote: Contrast of large and small areas in bio-geography.]

The same law holds good in bio-geography; here, too, area gives strength
and a small territorial foothold means weakness. The native flora and
fauna of New Zealand seem involved in the same process of extinction as
the native race. The Maoris themselves have observed this fact and
applied the principle to their own obvious fate. They have seen hardy
imported English grasses offering deadly competition to the indigenous
vegetation; the Norway rat, entering by European ships, extirpating the
native variety; the European house fly, purposely imported and
distributed to destroy the noxious indigenous species.[308] The same
unequal combat between imported plants and animals, equipped by the
fierce Iliads of continental areas, and the local flora and fauna has
taken place on the little island of St. Helena, to the threatened
destruction of the native forms.[309]

The preponderant migration of animals from the northern to the southern
hemisphere is attributed by Darwin to the greater extent of land in the
north, whereby the northern types have existed in greater numbers and
have been so perfected through natural selection and competition, that
they have surpassed the southern forms in dominating power and therefore
have encroached successfully.[310] Also the races and nations of the
northern continents have seriously invaded the southern land-masses and
are still expanding. It is the largest continent, Eurasia, which has
been the chief center of dispersal.

[Sidenote: Political domination of large areas.]

The Temperate Zone of North America will always harbor a more powerful
people than the corresponding zone of South America, because the latter
continent begins to contract and tapers off to a point where the other
at the northern Tropic begins to spread out. Therefore North America
possesses more abundantly all the advantages accruing to a continent
from a location in the Temperate Zone. The wide basis of the North Slavs
in Russia and Siberia has given them a natural leadership in the whole
Slav family, just as the broad unbroken area of ever expanding Prussia
gave that state the ascendency in the German Empire over the
geographically partitioned and politically dismembered surface of
southern Germany. English domination of the United Kingdom is based not
only upon race, location, geographical features and resources, but also
on the larger size of England. So in the United States, abolitionist
statesmen adopted the most effective means of fighting slavery when they
limited its area by law, while permitting free states to go on
multiplying in the new territory of the vast Northwest.

In a peninsula political ascendency often falls to the broad base
connecting it with the continent, because this part alone has the area
to support a large population, and moreover commands a large hinterland,
whence it continually draws new and invigorating blood. The geographical
basis of the Aryan and later the Mongol supremacy in India was the wide
zone of lowlands between the Indus and the Brahmaputra. [See map page
103.] The only ancient Greek state ever able to dominate the Balkan
Peninsula was non-Hellenic Macedonia, after it had extended its
boundaries to the Euxine and the Adriatic. To-day a much larger area in
this same peninsular base harbors the widespread southern Slavs, who
numerically and economically far outweigh Albanians and Greeks, and who
could with ease achieve political domination over the small Turkish
minority, were it not for the European fear of a Slavic Bosporus, and
its union with Russia. The Cisalpine Gauls of the wide Po basin
repeatedly threatened the existence of the smaller but more civilized
Etruscan and Latin tribes. The latter, maturing their civilization under
the concentrating influences of a limited area, at last dominated the
larger Celtic district to the north. But in the nineteenth century this
district took the lead in the movement for a United Italy, and now
exercises the strong influence in Italian affairs which belongs to it by
reason of its superior area, location, and more vigorous race. [See map
of Italy's population, Chap. XVI.]

The broad territorial base of the Anglo-Saxon race, Slavs, Germans and
Chinese promises a long ethnic life, whereas the narrow foothold, of the
Danes, Dutch, Greeks, and the Turks in Europe carries with it the
persistent risk of conquest and absorption by a larger neighbor. Such a
fate repeatedly threatens these people, but has thus far been warded
off, now by the protection of an isolating environment, now by the
diplomatic intervention of some not disinterested power. The scattered
fragments of Osman stock in European Turkey, which constitute only about
ten per cent. of the total population, and are almost lost in the
surrounding mass of Slavs and Greeks, provide a poor guarantee for the
duration of the race and their empire on European soil. On the other
hand, the Osmani who are compactly spread over the whole interior of
Asia Minor have a better prospect of national survival.

[Sidenote: Area and literature.]

An important factor in the preservation of national consciousness and
the spread of national influence is always a national language and
literature. This principle is recognized by the government of the Czar
in its Russification of Finland,[311] Poland, and the German centers in
the Baltic provinces, when it substitutes Russian for the local language
in education, law courts and all public offices, and restricts the
publication of local literature. The survival of a language and its
literature is intimately connected with area and the population which
that area can support. The extinction of small, weak peoples has its
counterpart in the gradual elimination of dialects and languages having
restricted territorial sway, whose fate is foreshadowed by the unequal
competition of their literatures with those of numerically stronger
peoples. An author writing in a language like the Danish, intelligible
to only a small public, can expect only small returns for his labor in
either influence, fame, or fortune. The return may be so small that it
is prohibitive. Hence we find the Danish Hans Christian Andersen and the
Norwegian Ibsen writing in German, as do also many Scandinavian
scientists. Georg Brandes abandons his native Danish and seeks a larger
public by making English the language of his books. The incentive to
follow a literary career, especially if it includes making a living, is
relatively weak among a people of only two or three millions, but gains
enormously among large and cultivated peoples, like the seventy million
German-speaking folk of Europe, or the one hundred and thirty millions
of English speech scattered over the world. The common literature which
represents the response to this incentive forms a bond of union among
the various branches of these peoples, and may be eventually productive
of political results.

[Sidenote: Small geographic base of primitive societies.]

Growth has been the law of human societies since the birth of man's
gregarious instinct. It has manifested itself in the formation of ever
larger social groups, appropriating ever larger areas. It has registered
itself geographically in the protrusion of ethnic boundaries,
economically in more intensive utilization of the land, socially in
increasing density of population, and politically in the formation of
ever larger national territorial aggregates. The lowest stages of
culture reveal small tribes, growing very slowly or at times not at all,
disseminated over areas small in themselves but large for the number of
their inhabitants, hence sparsely populated. The size of these primitive
holdings depends upon the natural food supply yielded by the region.
They assume wide dimensions but support groups of only a few families on
the chill rocky coasts of Tierra del Fuego or the sterile plains of
central Australia; and they contract to smaller areas dotted with fairly
populous villages in the fertile districts of the middle Congo or
bordering the rich coast fishing grounds of southern Alaska and British
Columbia. But always land is abundant, and is drawn upon in widening
circles when the food supply becomes inadequate or precarious.

[Sidenote: Influence of small confined areas.]

Where nature presents barriers to far-ranging food-quests, man is forced
to advance from the natural to the artificial basis of subsistence; he
leaves the chase for the sedentary life of agriculture. Extensive
activities are replaced by intensive ones, wide dispersal of tribal
energies by concentration. The extensive forests and grassy plains of
the Americas supported abundant animal life and therefore afforded
conditions for the long survival of the hunting tribes; nature put no
pressure upon man to coerce him to progress, except in the small
mountain-walled valleys of Peru and Mexico, and in the restricted
districts of isthmian Central America. Here game was soon exhausted.
Agriculture became an increasing source of subsistence and was forced by
limited area out of its migratory or _essartage_ stage of development
into the sedentary. As fields become fixed in such enclosed areas, so do
the cultivators. Here first population becomes relatively dense, and
thereby necessitates more elaborate social and political organization in
order to prevent inner friction.

The geographically enclosed district has the further advantage that its
inhabitants soon come to know it out to its boundaries, understand its
possibilities, exploit to the utmost its resources, and because of the
closeness of their relationship to it and to each other come to develop
a conscious national spirit. The population, since it cannot easily
spread beyond the nature-set limits, increases in density. The members
of the compact society react constantly upon one another and exchange
the elements of civilization. Thus the small territory is characterized
by the early maturity of a highly individualized civilization, which
then, with inherent power of expansion, proceeds to overleap its narrow
borders and conquer for itself a wide sphere of influence. Hand in hand
with this process goes political concentration, which aids the
subsequent expansion. Therefore islands, oases, slender coastal strips
and mountain valleys repeatedly show us small peoples who, in their
seclusion, have developed a tribal or national consciousness akin in
its intensity to clan feeling. This national feeling is conspicuous in
the English, Japanese, Swiss and Dutch, as it was in the ancient
city-states of Greece. The accompanying civilization, once brought to
maturity in its narrow breeding place, spreads under favorable
geographic conditions over a much larger space, which the accumulated
race energy takes for its field of activity. The flower which thus early
blooms may soon fade and decay; nevertheless the geographically evolved
national consciousness persists and retains a certain power of renewal.
This has been demonstrated in the Italians and modern Greeks, in the
Danes and the Icelanders. In the Jews it has resisted exile from their
native land, complete political dissolution, and dispersal over the
habitable world. Long and often as Italy had to submit to foreign
dominion, the idea of the national unity of the peninsula was never

[Sidenote: The process of territorial growth.]

In vast unobstructed territories, on the other hand, the evil of wide,
sparse dispersal is checked only by natural increase of population and
the impinging of one growing people upon another, which restricts the
territory of either. When the boundary waste between the small scattered
tribal groups has been occupied, encroachment from the side of the
stronger follows; then comes war, incorporation of territory,
amalgamation of race and coalescence, or the extinction of the weaker.
The larger people, commanding its larger area, expands numerically and
territorially, and continues to throw out wider frontiers, till it meets
insurmountable natural obstacles or the confines of a people strong as
itself. After a pause, during which the existing area is outgrown and
population begins to press harder upon the limits of subsistence, the
weight of a nation is thrown against the barrier, be it physical or
political. In consequence, the old boundaries are enlarged, either by
successful encroachment upon a neighbor, or, in case of defeat, by
incorporation in the antagonist's territory. But even defeat brings
participation in a larger geographic base, wider coöperation, a greater
sum total of common national interests, and especially the protection of
the larger social group. The Transvaal and the Orange Free State find
compensation for the loss of independence by their incorporation in the
British Empire, even if gradual absorption be the destiny of the Boer

[Sidenote: Area and growth.]

Of adjacent areas equally advanced in civilization and in density of
population but of unequal size, the larger must dominate because its
people have the resistance and aggressive force inherent in the larger
mass. This is the explanation of the absorption of so many colonies and
conquerors by the native races, when no great cultural abyss or race
antagonism separates the two. The long rule of the Scandinavians in the
Hebrides ended in their absorption by the local Gaelic stock, simply
because their settlements were too small and the number of their women
too few. The lowlands on the eastern coasts of Scotland accommodated
larger bands of Norse, who even to-day can be distinguished from the
neighboring Scotch of the Highlands; but on the rugged western coast,
where only small and widely separated deltas at the heads of the fiords
offered a narrow foothold to the invaders, their scattered ethnic
islands were soon inundated by the contiguous population.[312] The
Teutonic elements, both English and Norwegian, which for centuries
filtered into Ireland, have been swallowed up in the native Celtic
stock, except where religious antagonisms served to keep the two apart.
So the dominant Anglo-Saxon population of England was a solvent for the
Norman French, and the densely packed humanity of China for their Manchu

On the other hand, extensive areas, like early North America and
Australia, sparsely inhabited by small scattered groups who have only an
attenuated connection with their soil and therefore only a feeble hold
upon their land, cannot compete with small areas, if these have the
dense and evenly distributed population which ensures a firm tenure of
the land. Small, geographically confined areas foster this compact and
systematic occupation on the part of their inhabitants, since they put
barriers in the way of precipitate and disintegrating expansion; and
this characteristic compensates in some degree and for a period at least
for the weakness otherwise inherent in the narrow territorial base.

[Sidenote: Historical advance from small to large areas.]

Every race, people, and state has had the history of progress from a
small to a large area. All have been small in their youth. The bit of
land covered by Roma Quadrata has given language, customs, laws,
culture, and a faint strain of Latin blood to nations now occupying half
a million square miles of Europe. The Arab inundation, which flooded the
vast domain of the Caliphs, traced back to that spring of ethnic and
religious energy which welled up in the arid plain of Mecca and the
Arabian oases. The world-wide maritime expansion of the English-speaking
people had its starting point in the lowlands of the Elbe. The makers of
empire in northern China were cradled in the small highland valley of
the Wei River. The little principality of Moscow was the nucleus of the
Russian Empire.

Penetration into a people's remote past comes always upon some limited
spot which has nurtured the young nation, and reveals the fact that
territorial expansion is the incontestible feature of their history.
This advance from small to large characterizes their political area, the
scope of their trade relations, their spheres of activity, the size of
their known world, and finally the sway of their religions. Every
religion in its early stages of development bears the stamp of a narrow
origin, traceable to the circumscribed habitat of the primitive social
group, or back of that to the small circle of lands constituting the
known world whence it sprang. First it is tribal, and makes a
distinction between my God and thy God; but even when it has expanded to
embody a universal system, it still retains vestigial forms of its
narrow past. Jerusalem, Mecca and Rome remain the sacred goal of
pilgrimages, while the vaster import of a monotheistic faith and the
higher ethical teaching of the brotherhood of man have encircled the

When religion, language and race have spread, in their wake comes the
growing state. Everywhere the political area tends gradually to embrace
the whole linguistic area of which it forms a part, and finally the yet
larger race area. Only the diplomacy of united Europe has availed to
prevent France from absorbing French-speaking Belgium, or Russia from
incorporating into her domain that vast Slav region extending from the
Drave and Danube almost to the Gulf of Corinth, now parcelled out among
seven different states, but bound to the Muscovite empire by ties of
related speech, by race and religion. The detachment of the various
Danubian principalities from the uncongenial dominion of the Turks,
though a dismemberment of a large political territory and a seeming
backward step, can be regarded only as a leisurely preliminary for a new
territorial alignment. History's movements are unhurried; the backward
step may prepare for the longer leap forward. It is impossible to resist
the conclusion that the vigorous, reorganized German Empire will one day
try to incorporate the Germanic areas found in Austria, Switzerland and

[Sidenote: Gradations in area and in development.]

Throughout the life of any people, from its foetal period in some small
locality to its well rounded adult era marked by the occupation and
organization of a wide national territory, gradations in area mark
gradations of development. And this is true whether we consider the
compass of their commercial exchanges, the scope of their maritime
ventures, the extent of their linguistic area, the measure of their
territorial ambitions, or the range of their intellectual interests and
human sympathies. From land to ethics, the rule holds good. Peoples in
the lower stages of civilization have contracted spacial ideas, desire
and need at a given time only a limited territory, though they may
change that territory often; they think in small linear terms, have a
small horizon, a small circle of contact with others, a small range of
influence, only tribal sympathies; they have an exaggerated conception
of their own size and importance, because their basis of comparison is
fatally limited. With a mature, widespread people like the English or
French, all this is different; they have made the earth their own, so
far as possible.

Just because of this universal tendency towards the occupation of ever
larger areas and the formation of vaster political aggregates, in making
a sociological or political estimate of different peoples, we should
never lose sight of the fact that all racial and national
characteristics which operate towards the absorption of more land and
impel to political expansion are of fundamental value. A ship of state
manned by such a crew has its sails set to catch the winds of the world.

[Sidenote: Preliminaries to ethnic and political expansion.]

Territorial expansion is always preceded by an extension of the circle
of influence which a people exerts through its traders, its deep-sea
fishermen, its picturesque marauders and more respectable missionaries,
and earlier still by a widening of its mere geographical horizon through
fortuitous or systematic exploration. The Northmen visited the coasts of
Britain and France first as pirates, then as settlers. Norman and Breton
fishermen were drawing in their nets on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland
thirty years before Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence. Japanese fishing
boats preceded Japanese colonists to the coasts of Yezo. Trading fleets
were the forerunners of the Greek colonies along the Black Sea and
Mediterranean, and of Phoenician settlements in North Africa, Sicily and
Spain. It was in the wake of trapper and fur trader that English and
American pioneer advanced across our continent to the Pacific; just as
in French Canada Jesuit priest and voyageur opened the way for the
settler. Religious propaganda was yoked with greed of conquest in the
campaigns of Cortez and Pizarro. Modern statesmen pushing a policy of
expansion are alive to the diplomatic possibilities of missionaries
endangered or their property destroyed. They find a still better asset
to be realized on territorially in enterprising capitalists settled
among a weaker people, by whom their property is threatened or
overtaxed, or their trade interfered with. The British acquisition of
Hongkong in 1842 followed a war with China to prevent the exclusion of
the English opium trade from the Celestial Empire. The annexation of the
Transvaal resulted from the expansion of English capitalists to the Rand
mines, much as the advance of the United States flag to the Hawaiian
Islands followed American sugar planters thither. American capital in
the Caribbean states of South America has repeatedly tried to embroil
those countries with the United States government; and its increasing
presence in Cuba is undoubtedly ominous for the independence of the
island, because with capital go men and influence.

When the foreign investor is not a corporation but a government, the
expanding commercial influence looks still more surely to tangible
political results; because such national enterprises have at bottom a
political motive, however much overlaid by an economic exterior. When
the British government secured a working majority of the Suez Canal
stock, it sealed the fate of Egypt to become ultimately a province of
the British Empire. Russian railroads in Manchuria were the
well-selected tool for the Russification and final annexation of the
province. The weight of American national enterprise in the Panama Canal
Zone sufficed to split off from the Colombian federation a peripheral
state, whose detachment is obviously a preliminary for eventual
incorporation into United States domain. The efforts of the German
government to secure from the Sultan of Turkey railroad concessions
through Asia Minor for German capitalists has aroused jealousy in
financial and political circles in St. Petersburg, and prompted a demand
from the Russian Foreign Office upon Turkey for the privilege of
constructing railroads through eastern Asia Minor.[313]

[Sidenote: Significance of sphere of activity or influence.]

Beyond the home of a people lies its sphere of influence or activities,
which in the last analysis may be taken as a protest against the
narrowness of the domestic habitat. It represents the larger area which
the people wants and which in course of time it might advantageously
occupy or annex. It embodies the effort to embrace more varied and
generous natural conditions, whereby the struggle for subsistence may be
made less hard. Finally, it is an expression of the law that for peoples
and races the struggle for existence is at bottom a struggle for space.
Geography sees various forms of the historical movement as the struggle
for space in which humanity has forever been engaged. In this struggle
the stronger peoples have absorbed ever larger portions of the earth's
surface. Hence, through continual subjection to new conditions here or
there and to a greater sum total of various conditions, they gain in
power by improved variation, as well as numerically by the enlargement
of their geographic base. The Anglo-Saxon branch of the Teutonic stock
has, by its phenomenal increase, overspread sections of whole
continents, drawn from their varied soils nourishment for its finest
efflorescence, and thereby has far out-grown the Germanic branch by
which, at the start, it was overshadowed. The fact that the British
Empire comprises 28,615,000 square kilometers or exactly one-fifth of
the total land area of the earth, and that the Russian Empire contains
over one-seventh, are full of encouragement for Anglo-Saxon and Slav,
but contain a warning to the other peoples of the world.

[Sidenote: Nature of expansion in new and old countries.]

The large area which misleads a primitive folk into excessive dispersion
and the dissipation of their tribal powers, offers to an advanced
people, who in some circumscribed habitat have learned the value of
land, the freest conditions for their development. A wide, unobstructed
territory, occupied by a sparse population of wandering tribes capable
of little resistance to conquest or encroachment, affords the most
favorable conditions to an intruding superior race. Such conditions the
Chinese found in Mongolia and Manchuria, the Russians in Siberia, and
European colonists in the Americas, Australia and Africa. Almost
unlimited space and undeveloped resources met their land hunger and
their commercial ambition. Their numerical growth was rapid, both by the
natural increase reflecting an abundant food supply, and by accessions
from the home countries. Expansion advanced by strides. In contrast to
this care-free, easy development in a new land, growth in old countries
like Europe and the more civilized parts of Asia means a slow protrusion
of the frontier, made at the cost of blood; it means either the
absorption of the native people, because there are no unoccupied corners
into which they can be driven, or the imposition upon them of an
unwelcome rule exercised by alien officials. Witness the advance of the
Russians into Poland and Finland, of the Germans into Poland and
Alsace-Lorraine, of the Japanese into Korea, and of the English into
crowded India.

The rapid unfolding of the geographical horizon in a young land
communicates to an expanding people new springs of mobility, new motives
for movement out and beyond the old confines, new goals holding out new
and undreamt of benefits. Life becomes fresh, young, hopeful. Old checks
to natural increase of population are removed. Emigrant bands beat out
new trails radiating from the old home. They go on individual initiative
or state-directed enterprises; but no matter which, the manifold life
in the far-away periphery reacts upon the center to vivify and
rejuvenate it.

[Sidenote: Relation of ethnic to political expansion.]

The laws of the territorial growth of peoples and of states are in
general the same. The main differences between the two lies in the fact
that ethnic expansion, since it depends upon natural increase, is slow,
steady, and among civilized peoples is subject to slight fluctuations;
while the frontiers of a state, after a long period of permanence, can
suddenly be advanced by conquest far beyond the ethnic boundaries,
often, however, only to be as quickly lost again. Therefore the
important law may be laid down, that the more closely the territorial
growth of a state keeps pace with that of its people, and the more
nearly the political area coincides with the ethnic, the greater is the
strength and stability of the state. This is the explanation of the
vigor and permanence of the early English colonies in America. The slow
westward protrusion of their frontier of continuous settlement within
the boundaries of the Allegheny Mountains formed a marked contrast to
the wide sweep of French voyageur camp and lonely trading-station in the
Canadian forests, and even more to the handful of priests and soldiers
who for three centuries kept an unsteady hold upon the Spanish empire in
the Western Hemisphere. The political advance of the United States
across the continent from the Alleghenies to the Mississippi, thence to
the Rocky Mountains, and thence to the Pacific was always preceded by
bands of enterprising settlers, who planted themselves beyond the
frontier and beckoned to the flag to follow. The great empires of
antiquity were enlarged mechanically by conquest and annexation. They
were mosaics, not growths. The cohesive power of a common ethnic bond
was lacking; so was the modern substitute for this to be found in close
economic interdependence maintained by improved methods of
communication. Hence these empires soon broke up again along lines of
old geographic and ethnic cleavage. For Rome, the cementing power of the
Mediterranean and the fairly unified civilization which this enclosed
sea had been evolving since the dawn of Cretan and Phoenician trade,
compensated in part for the lack of common speech and national ideals
throughout the political domain. But the Empire proved in the end to be
merely a mosaic, easily broken.

[Sidenote: Relation of people and state to political boundary.]

The second point of difference between the expansion of peoples and of
states lies in their respective relation to the political frontier. This
confines the state like a stockade, fixing the territorial limits of its
administrative functions; but for the subjects of the state it is an
imaginary line, powerless to check the range of their activities, except
when a military or tariff war is going on. The state boundary, if it
coincides with a strong natural barrier, may for decades or even
centuries succeed in confining a growing people, if these, by
intelligent economy, increase the productivity of the soil whose area
they are unable to extend. Yet the time comes even for these when they
must break through the barriers and secure more land, either by foreign
conquest or colonization. The classic example of the confinement of a
people within its political boundaries is the long isolation of Japan
from 1624 to 1854. The pent-up forces there accumulated, in a population
which had doubled itself in the interval and which by hard schooling was
made receptive to every improved economic method, manifest themselves in
the insistent demand for more land which has permeated all the recent
policy of Japan. But the history of Japan is exceptional. The rule is
that the growing people slowly but continually overflow their political
boundary, which then advances to cover the successive flood plains of
the national inundation, or yet farther to anticipate the next rise.
This has been the history of Germany in its progress eastward across the
Elbe, the Oder, the Vistula and the Niemen. The dream of a greater
empire embraces all the German-speaking people from Switzerland, Tyrol
and Steiermark to those outlying groups in the Baltic provinces of
Russia and the related offshoot in Holland.[314] [See map page 223.]

Though political boundaries, especially where they coincide with natural
barriers, may restrict the territorial growth of a people, on the other
hand, political expansion is always a stimulus to racial expansion,
because it opens up more land and makes the conditions of life easier
for an increasing people, by relieving congestion in the older areas.
More than this, it materially aids while guiding and focusing the
out-going streams of population. Thus it keeps them concentrated for the
reinforcement of the nation in the form of colonies, and tends to reduce
the political evil of indiscriminate emigration, by which the streams
are dissipated and diverted to strengthen other nations. Witness the
active internal colonization practiced by Germany in her Polish
territory,[315] by Russia in Siberia, in an effort to make the ethnic
boundary hurry after and overtake the political frontier.

[Sidenote: Expansion of civilization.]

Just as the development of a people and state is marked by advance from
small to ever larger areas, so is that of a civilization. It may
originate in a small district; but more mobile than humanity itself, it
does not remain confined to one spot, but passes on from individual to
individual and from people to people. Greece served only as a garden in
which the flowers of Oriental and Egyptian civilization were temporarily
transplanted. As soon as they were modified and adapted to their new
conditions, their seed spread over all Europe. The narrow area of
ancient Greece, which caused the early dissemination of its people over
the Mediterranean basin, and thereby weakened the political force of the
country at home, was an important factor in the wide distribution of its
culture. Commerce, colonization and war are vehicles of civilization,
where favorable geographic conditions open the way for trade in the wake
of the victorious army. The imposition of Roman dominion meant
everywhere the gift of Roman civilization. The Crusaders brought back
from Syria more than their scars and their trophies. Every European
factory in China, every Hudson Bay Company post in the wilds of northern
Canada, every Arab settlement in savage Africa is surrounded by a sphere
of trade; and this in turn is enclosed in a wider sphere of influence
through which its civilization, though much diluted, has filtered. The
higher the civilization, the wider the area which it masters. The
manifold activities of a civilized people demand a large sphere of
influence, and include, furthermore, improved means of communication
which enable it to control such a sphere.

Even a relatively low civilization may spread over a vast area if
carried by a highly mobile people. Mohammedanism, which embodies a
cultural system as well as a religion, found its vehicles of dispersal
in the pastoral nomads occupying the arid land of northern Africa and
western Asia, and thus spread from the Senegal River to Chinese
Turkestan. It was carried by the maritime Arabs of Oman and Yemen to
Malacca and Sumatra, where it was communicated to the seafaring Malays.
These island folk, who approximate the most highly civilized peoples in
their nautical efficiency, distributed the meager elements of Mohammedan
civilization over the Malay Archipelago. [See map of the Religions of
the Eastern Hemisphere, in chapter XIV.]

[Sidenote: Cultural advantages of large political area.]

The larger the area which a civilized nation occupies, the more numerous
are its points of contact with other peoples, and the less likely is
there to be a premature crystallization of its civilization from
isolation. Extension of area on a large scale means eventually extension
of the seaboard and access to those multiform international relations
which the ocean highway confers. The world wide expansion of the British
Empire has given it at every outward step wider oceanic contact and
eventually a cosmopolitan civilization. The same thing is true of the
other great colonial empires of history, whether Portuguese, Spanish,
Dutch or French; and even of the great continental empires, like Russia
and the United States. The Russian advance across Siberia, like the
American advance across the Rockies, meant access to the Pacific, and a
modification of its civilization on those remote shores.

A large area means varied vicinal locations and hence differentiation of
civilization, at least along the frontier. How rapidly the vivifying
influences of this contact will penetrate into the bulk of the interior
depends upon size, location as scattered or compact, and general
geographic conditions like navigable rivers or mountains, which
facilitate or bar intercourse with that interior. The Russian Empire has
eleven different nations, speaking even more different languages, on its
western and southern frontiers. Its long line of Asiatic contact will
inevitably give to the European civilization transplanted hither in
Russian colonies a new and perhaps not unfruitful development. The
Siberian citizen of future centuries may compare favorably with his
brother in Moscow. Japan, even while impressing its civilization upon
the reluctant Koreans, will see itself modified by the contact and its
culture differentiated by the transplanting; but the content of Japanese
civilization will be increased by every new variant thus formed.

[Sidenote: Politico-economic advantages.]

The larger the area brought under one political control, the less the
handicap of internal friction and the greater its economic independence.
Vast territory has enabled the United States to maintain with advantage
a protective tariff, chiefly because the free trade within its own
borders was extensive. The natural law of the territorial growth of
states and peoples means an extension of the areas in which peace and
coöperation are preserved, a relative reduction of frontiers and of the
military forces necessary to defend them,[316] diminution in the sum
total of conflicts, and a wider removal of the border battle fields. In
place of the continual warfare between petty tribes which prevailed in
North America four hundred years ago, we have to-day the peaceful
competition of the three great nations which have divided the continent
among them. The political unification of the Mediterranean basin under
the Roman Empire restricted wars to the remote land frontiers. The
foreign wars of Russia, China, and the United States in the past century
have been almost wholly confined to the outskirts of their big domains,
merely scratching the rim and leaving the great interior sound and
undisturbed. Russia's immense area is the military ally on which she can
most surely count. The long road to Moscow converted Napoleon's victory
into a defeat; and the resistless advance of the Japanese from Port
Arthur to the Sungari River led only to a peace robbed of the chief
fruits of victory. The numerous wars of the British Empire have been
limited to this or that corner, and have scarcely affected the
prosperity of the great remainder, so that their costs have been readily
borne and their wounds rapidly healed.

[Sidenote: Political area and the national horizon.]

The territorial expansion of peoples and states is attended by an
evolution of their spacial conceptions and ideals. Primitive peoples,
accustomed to dismemberment in small tribal groups, bear all the marks
of territorial contraction. Their geographical horizon is usually fixed
by the radius of a few days' march. Inter-tribal trade and intercourse
reach only rudimentary development, under the prevailing conditions of
mutual antagonism and isolation, and hence contribute little to the
expansion of the horizon. Knowing only their little world, such
primitive groups overestimate the size and importance of their own
territory, and are incapable of controlling an extensive area. This is
the testimony of all travellers who have observed native African states.
Though the race or stock distribution may be wide, like that of the
Athapascan and Algonquin Indians, and their war paths long, like the
campaigns of the Iroquois against the Cherokees of the Tennessee River,
yet the unit of tribal territory permanently occupied is never large.

[Sidenote: National estimates of area.]

Small naturally defined regions, which take the lead in historical
development because they counteract the primitive tendency towards
excessive dispersal, are in danger of teaching too well their lesson of
concentration. In course of time geographic enclosure begins to betray
its limitations. The extent of a people's territory influences their
estimate of area _per se_, determines how far land shall be made the
basis of their national purposes, fixes the territorial scale of their
conquests and their political expansion. This is a conspicuous
psychological effect of a narrow local environment. A people embedded
for centuries in a small district measure area with a short yardstick.
The ancient Greeks devised a philosophic basis for the advantages of the
small state, which is extolled in the writings of Plato and
Aristotle.[317] Aristotle wanted it small enough, "to be comprehended at
one glance of the statesman's eye." Plato's ideal democracy, by rigid
laws limiting the procreative period of women and men and providing for
the death of children born out of this period or out of wedlock,
restricted its free citizens to 5,040 heads of families,[318] all living
within reach of the agora, and all able to judge from personal knowledge
of a candidate's fitness for office. This condition was possible only
in dwarf commonwealths like the city-states of the Hellenic world. The
failure of the Greeks to build up a political structure on a territorial
scale commensurate with their cultural achievements and with the wide
sphere of their cultural influence can be ascribed chiefly to their
inability to discard the contracted territorial ideas engendered by
geographic and political dismemberment. The little Judean plateau, which
gave birth to a universal religion, clung with provincial bigotry to the
narrow tribal creed and repudiated the larger faith of Christ, which
found its appropriate field in Mediterranean Europe.

[Sidenote: Estimates of area in small maritime states.]

Maritime peoples of small geographic base have a characteristic method
of expansion which reflects their low valuation of area. Their limited
amount of arable soil necessitates reliance upon foreign sources of
supply, which are secured by commerce. Hence they found trading stations
or towns among alien peoples on distant coasts, selecting points like
capes or inshore islets which can be easily defended and which at the
same time command inland or maritime routes of trade. The prime
geographic consideration is location, natural and vicinal. The area of
the trading settlement is kept as small as possible to answer its
immediate purpose, because it can be more easily defended.[319] Such were
the colonies of the ancient Phoenicians and Greeks in the Mediterranean,
of the Medieval Arabs and the Portuguese on the east coast of Africa and
in India. This method reached its ultimate expression in point of small
area, seclusion, and local autonomy, perhaps, in the Hanse factories in
Norway and Russia.[320] But all these widespread nuclei of expansion
remained barren of permanent national result, because they were designed
for a commercial end, and ignored the larger national mission and surer
economic base found in acquisition of territory. Hence they were
short-lived, succumbing to attack or abandoned on the failure of local
resources, which were ruthlessly exploited.

[Sidenote: Limitations of small territorial conceptions.]

That precocious development characteristic of small naturally defined
areas shows its inherent weakness in the tendency to accept the enclosed
area as a nature-made standard of national territory. The earlier a
state fixes its frontier without allowance for growth, the earlier comes
the cessation of its development. Therefore the geographical nurseries
of civilization were infected with germs of decay. Such was the history
of Egypt, of Yemen, of Greece, Crete, and Phoenicia. These are the
regions which, as Carl Ritter says, have given the whole fruit of their
existence to the world for its future use, have conferred upon the world
the trust which they once held, afterward to recede, as it were, from
view.[321] They were great in the past, and now they belong to those
immortal dead whose greatness has been incorporated in the world's
life--"the choir invisible" of the nations.

[Sidenote: Evolution of territorial policies.]

The advance from a small, self-dependent community to interdependent
relations with other peoples, then to ethnic expansion or union of
groups to form a state or empire is a great turning point in any
history. Thereby the clan or tribe discards the old paralyzing seclusion
of the primitive society and the narrow habitat, and joins that march of
ethnic, political and cultural progress which has covered larger and
larger areas, and by increase of common purpose has cemented together
ever greater aggregates.

Nothing is more significant in the history of the English in America
than the rapid evolution of their spacial ideals, their abandonment of
the small territorial conception brought with them from the mother
country and embodied, for example, in that munificent land grant, fifty
by a hundred miles in extent, of the first Virginia charter in 1606, and
their progress to schemes of continental expansion. Every accession of
territory to the Thirteen Colonies and to the Republic gave an impulse
to growth. Expansion kept pace with opportunity. Only in small and
isolated New England did the contracted provincial point of view
persist. It manifested itself in a narrow policy of concentration and
curtailment, which acquiesced in the occlusion of the Mississippi River
to the Trans-Allegheny settlements by Spain in 1787, and which later
opposed the purchase of the Louisiana territory[322] and the acquisition
of the Philippines.

All peoples who have achieved wide expansion have developed in the
process vast territorial policies. This is true of the pastoral nomads
who in different epochs have inundated Europe, northern Africa and the
peripheral lands of Asia, and of the great colonial nations who in a few
decades have brought continents under their dominion. In nomadic hordes
it is based upon habitual mobility and the possession of herds, which
are at once incentive and means for extending the geographical horizon;
but it suffers from the evanescent character of nomadic political
organization, and the tendency toward dismemberment bred in all pastoral
life by dispersal over scattered grazing grounds. Hence the empires set
up by nomad conquerors like the Saracens and Tartars soon fall apart.

[Sidenote: Colonial expansion.]

Among highly civilized agricultural and industrial peoples, on the other
hand, a vast territorial policy is at once cause and effect of national
growth; it is at once an innate tendency and a conscious purpose
tenaciously followed. It makes use of trade and diplomacy, of scientific
invention and technical improvement, to achieve its aims. It becomes an
accepted mark of political vigor and an ideal even among peoples who
have failed to enlarge their narrow base. The model of Russian expansion
on the Pacific was quickly followed by awakened Japan, stirred out of
her insular complacence by the threat of Muscovite encroachment. Germany
and Italy, each strengthened and enlarged as to national outlook by
recent political unification, have elbowed their way into the crowded
colonial field. The French, though not expansionists as individuals,
have an excellent capacity for collective action when directed by
government. The officials whom Louis XIV sent to Canada in the
seventeenth century executed large schemes of empire reflecting the
dilation of French frontiers in Europe. These ideals of expansion seem
to have been communicated by the power of example, or the threat of
danger in them, to the English colonists in Virginia and Pennsylvania,
and later to Washington and Jefferson.

[Sidenote: The mind of colonials.]

The best type of colonial expansion is found among the English-speaking
people of America, Australia and South Africa. Their spacial ideas are
built on a big scale. Distances do not daunt them. The man who could
conceive a Cape-to-Cairo railroad, with all the schemes of territorial
aggrandizement therein implied, had a mind that took continents for its
units of measure; and he found a fitting monument in a province of
imperial proportions whereon was inscribed his name. Bryce tells us that
in South Africa the social circle of "the best people" includes
Pretoria, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Cape Town--a social
circle with a diameter of a thousand miles![323]

The spirit of our western frontier, so long as there was a frontier, was
the spirit of movement, of the conquest of space. It found its
expression in the history of the Wilderness Road and the Oregon Trail.
When the center of population in the United States still lingered on the
shore of Chesapeake Bay, and the frontier of continuous settlement had
not advanced beyond the present western boundary of Virginia and
Pennsylvania, the spacious mind of Thomas Jefferson foresaw the
Mississippi Valley as the inevitable and necessary possession of the
American people, and looked upon the trade of the far-off Columbia River
as a natural feeder of the Mississippi commerce.[324]

Emerson's statement that the vast size of the United States is reflected
in the big views of its people applies not only to political policy,
which in the Monroe Doctrine for the first time in history has embraced
a hemisphere; nor is it confined to the big scale of their economic
processes. Emerson had in mind rather their whole conception of national
mission and national life, especially their legislation,[325] for which
he anticipated larger and more Catholic aims than obtain in Europe,
hampered as it is by countless political and linguistic boundaries and
barred thereby from any far-reaching unity of purpose and action.

Canada, British South Africa, Australia and the United States, though
widely separated, have in common a certain wide outlook upon life, a
continental element in the national mind, bred in their people by their
generous territories. The American recognizes his kinship of mind with
these colonial Englishmen as something over and above mere kinship of
race. It consists in their deep-seated common democracy, the democracy
born in men who till fields and clear forests, not as plowmen and
wood-cutters, but as makers of nations. It consists in identical
interests and points of view in regard to identical problems growing out
of the occupation and development of new and almost boundless
territories. Race questions, paucity of labor, highways and railroads,
immigration, combinations of capital, excessive land holdings, and
illegal appropriation of land on a large scale, are problems that meet
them all. The monopolistic policy of the United States in regard to
American soil as embodied in the Monroe Doctrine, and the expectation
lurking in the mental background of every American that his country may
eventually embrace the northern continent, find their echo in
Australia's plans for wider empire in the Pacific. The Commonwealth of
Australia has succeeded in getting into its own hands the administration
of British New Guinea (90,500 square miles.) It has also secured from
the imperial government the unusual privilege of settling the relations
between itself and the islands of the Pacific, because it regards the
Pacific question as the one question of foreign policy in which its
interests are profoundly involved. In the same way the British in South
Africa, sparsely scattered though they are, feel an imperative need of
further expansion, if their far-reaching schemes of commerce and empire
are to be realized.

[Sidenote: Colonials as road builders.]

The effort to annihilate space by improved means of communication has
absorbed the best intellects and energies of expanding peoples. The
ancient Roman, like the Incas of Peru, built highways over every part of
the empire, undaunted by natural obstacles like the Alps and Andes.
Modern expansionists are railroad builders. Witness the long list of
strategic lines, constructed or subsidized by various governments during
the past half century--the Union Pacific, Central Pacific, Canadian
Pacific, Trans-Siberian, Cairo-Khartoum, Cape Town-Zambesi, and now the
proposed Trans-Saharan road, designed to unite the Mediterranean and
Guinea colonies of French Africa. The equipment of the American roads,
with their heavy rails, giant locomotives, and enormous freight cars,
reveals adaptation to a commerce that covers long distances between
strongly differentiated areas of production, and that reflects the vast
enterprises of this continental country. The same story comes out in the
ocean vessels which serve the trade of the Great Lakes, and in the acres
of coal barges in a single fleet which are towed down the Ohio and
Mississippi by one mammoth steel tug.

[Sidenote: Practical bent of colonials.]

The abundant natural resources awaiting development in such big new
countries give to the mind of the people an essentially practical bent.
The rewards of labor are so great that the stimulus to effort is
irresistible. Economic questions take precedence of all others, divide
political parties, and consume a large portion of national legislation;
while purely political questions sink into the background. Civilization
takes on a material stamp, becomes that "dollar civilization" which is
the scorn of the placid, paralyzed Oriental or the old world European.
The genius of colonials is essentially practical. Impatience of
obstacles, short cuts aiming at quick returns, wastefulness of land, of
forests, of fuel, of everything but labor, have long characterized
American activities. The problem of an inadequate labor supply attended
the sudden accession of territory opened for European occupation by the
discovery of America, and caused a sudden recrudescence of slavery,
which as an industrial system had long been outgrown by Europe. It has
also given immense stimulus to invention, and to the formation of labor
unions, which in the newest colonial fields, like Australia and New
Zealand, have dominated the government and given a Utopian stamp to

Yet underlying and permeating this materialism is a youthful idealism.
Transplanted to conditions of greater opportunity, the race becomes
rejuvenated, abandons outgrown customs and outworn standards,
experiences an enlargement of vision and of hope, gathers courage and
energy equal to its task, manages somehow to hitch its wagon to a star.


[292] Chamberlain and Salisbury, Geology, Vol. III, pp. 483-485. New
York, 1906.

[293] _Ibid._, p. 137 and map p. 138.

[294] Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. I, chap. IV, pp. 124-132; Vol. II,
chap; XII, p. 134. New York, 1895. H. W. Conn, The Method of Evolution,
p. 54. London and New York, 1900.

[295] _Ibid._, pp. 194-197, 226-227, 239-242, 342-350.

[296] Ratzel, _Der Lebensraum, eine bio-geographische Studie_, p. 51.
Tubingen, 1901.

[297] D. G, Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 271, 293-295. Philadelphia,

[298] A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, pp. 57-61.
London, 1894.

[299] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 39, maps pp. 43, 78. New York,

[300] Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. II, chap. XII, pp. 130-131. New
York, 1895.

[301] Richard Semon, In the Australian Bush, p. 211. London, 1899.

[302] J.H.W. Stuckenburg, Sociology, Vol. I, p. 324. New York and
London, 1903.

[303] E. G. Semple, The Influences of Geographic Environment on the
Lower St. Lawrence. Bulletin American Geographical Society, Vol. XXXVI,
pp. 464-465. 1904.

[304] B. Limedorfer, Finland's Plight, _Forum_, Vol. XXXII, pp. 85-93.

[305] Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, p. 35. Washington, 1894.

[306] A.B. Wallace, Australasia, Vol. I, p. 454. London, 1893.

[307] W.S. Barclay, Life in Terra del Fuego, _The Nineteenth Century_,
Vol. 55, p. 97. January, 1904.

[308] A.E. Wallace, Australasia, Vol. I, pp. 454-455. London, 1893.

[309] Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. II, chap. XIII, p. 178. New York,

[310] _Ibid._, Vol. II, chap. XII, p. 167-168.

[311] Nesbit Bain, Finland and the Tsar, _Fortnightly Review_, Vol. 71,
p. 735. E. Limedorfer, Finland's Plight, _Forum_, Vol. 32, pp. 85-93.

[312] Archibald Geikie, The Scenery of Scotland, pp. 398-399. London,

[313] Railways in Asia Minor, _Littell's Living Age_, Vol. 225, p. 196.

[314] J. Ellis Barker, Modern Germany, pp. 38-66. London, 1907.

[315] The Polish Danger in Prussia, _Westminster Review_, Vol. 155, p.

[316] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. I, pp. 223-224. Leipzig,

[317] Plato, Critias, 112. Aristotle, Politics, Book II, chap. VII; Book
IV, chap. IV; Book VII, chap. IV.

[318] Plato, _De Legibus_, Book V, chaps. 8, 9, 10, 11.

[319] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses_,
pp. 180-187. Stuttgart, 1899.

[320] Blanqui, History of Political Economy, pp. 150-152. New York,

[321] Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, p. 63. New York, 1865.

[322] E. C. Semple, American History and its Geographic Conditions, pp.
42-43, 109, 110. Boston, 1903.

[323] James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 405-6. New York,

[324] P. L. Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. VIII. Letter to
John Bacon, April 30, 1803; and Confidential Message to Congress on the
Expedition to the Pacific, January 18, 1803.

[325] Emerson, The Young American, in Nature Addresses and Lectures, pp.
369-371. Centenary Edition, Boston.



[Sidenote: The boundary zone in nature.]

Nature abhors fixed boundary lines and sudden transitions; all her
forces combine against them. Everywhere she keeps her borders melting,
wavering, advancing, retreating. If by some cataclysm sharp lines of
demarcation are drawn, she straightway begins to blur them by creating
intermediate forms, and thus establishes the boundary zone which
characterizes the inanimate and animate world. A stratum of limestone or
sandstone, when brought into contact with a glowing mass of igneous
rock, undergoes various changes due to the penetrating heat of the
volcanic outflow, so that its surface is metamorphosed as far as that
heat reaches. The granite cliff slowly deposits at its base a rock-waste
slope to soften the sudden transition from its perpendicular surface to
the level plain at its feet. The line where a land-born river meets the
sea tends to become a sandbar or a delta, created by the river-borne
silt and the wash of the waves, a form intermediate between land and
sea, bearing the stamp of each, fluid in its outlines, ever growing by
the persistent accumulation of mud, though ever subject to inundation
and destruction by the waters which made it. The alluvial coastal hems
that edge all shallow seas are such border zones, reflecting in their
flat, low surfaces the dead level of the ocean, in their composition the
solid substance of the land; but in the miniature waves imprinted on the
sands and the billows of heaped-up boulders, the master workman of the
deep leaves his mark. [See map page 243.]

Under examination, even our familiar term coastline proves to be only an
abstraction with no corresponding reality in nature. Everywhere, whether
on margin of lake or gulf, the actual phenomenon is a coast zone,
alternately covered and abandoned by the waters, varying in width from a
few inches to a few miles, according to the slope of the land, the range
of the tide and the direction of the wind. It has one breadth at the
minimum or neap tide, but increases often two or three fold at spring
tide, when the distance between ebb and flood is at its maximum. At the
mouth of Cook's Inlet on the southern Alaskan coast, where the range of
tides is only eight feet, the zone is comparatively narrow, but widens
rapidly towards the head of the inlet, where the tide rises twenty-three
feet above the ebb line, and even to sixty-five feet under the influence
of a heavy southwest storm. On flat coasts we are familiar with the wide
frontier of salt marshes, that witness the border warfare of land and
sea, alternate invasion and retreat. In low-shored estuaries like those
of northern Brittany and northwestern Alaska, this amphibian girdle of
the land expands to a width of four miles, while on precipitous coasts
of tideless sea basins it contracts to a few inches. Hence this boundary
zone changes with every impulse of the mobile sea and with every varying
configuration of the shore. Movement and external conditions are the
factors in its creation. They make something that is only partially akin
to the two contiguous forms. Here on their outer margins land and ocean
compromise their physical differences, and this by a law which runs
through animate and inanimate nature. Wherever one body moves in
constant contact with another, it is subjected to modifying influences
which differentiate its periphery from its interior, lend it a
transitional character, make of it a penumbra between light and shadow.
The modifying process goes on persistently with varying force, and
creates a shifting, changing border zone which, from its nature, cannot
be delimited. For convenience' sake, we adopt the abstraction of a
boundary line; but the reality behind this abstraction is the important
thing in anthropo-geography.

[Sidenote: Gradations in the boundary zone.]

All so-called boundary lines with which geography has to do have this
same character,--coastlines, river margins, ice or snow lines, limits of
vegetation, boundaries of races or religions or civilizations, frontiers
of states. They are all the same, stamped by the eternal flux of nature.
Beyond the solid ice-pack which surrounds the North Pole is a wide
girdle of almost unbroken drift ice, and beyond this is an irregular
concentric zone of scattered icebergs which varies in breadth with
season, wind and local current; a persistent decrease in continuity from
solid pack to open sea. The line of perpetual snow on high mountains
advances or retreats from season to season, from year to year; it drops
low on chilly northern slopes and recedes to higher altitudes on a
southern exposure; sends down long icy tongues in dark gorges, and
leaves outlying patches of old snow in shaded spots or beneath a
covering of rock waste far below the margin of the snow fields.

In the struggle for existence in the vegetable world, the tree line
pushes as far up the mountain as conditions of climate and soil will
permit. Then comes a season of fiercer storms, intenser cold and
invading ice upon the peaks. Havoc is wrought, and the forest drops back
across a zone of border warfare--for war belongs to borders--leaving
behind it here and there a dwarfed pine or gnarled and twisted juniper
which has survived the onslaught of the enemy, Now these are stragglers
in the retreat, but are destined later in milder years to serve as
outposts in the advance of the forest to recover its lost ground. Here
we have a border scene which is typical in nature--the belt of unbroken
forest, growing thinner and more stunted toward its upper edge,
succeeded by a zone of scattered trees, which may form a cluster perhaps
in some sheltered gulch where soil has collected and north winds are
excluded, and higher still the whitened skeleton of a tree to show how
far the forest once invaded the domain of the waste.

[Sidenote: Oscillating boundaries]

The habitable area of the earth everywhere shows its boundaries to be
peripheral zones of varying width, now occupied and now deserted,
protruding or receding according to external conditions of climate and
soil, and subject to seasonal change. The distribution of human life
becomes sparser from the temperate regions toward the Arctic Circle,
foreshadowing the unpeopled wastes of the ice-fields beyond. The outward
movement from the Tropics poleward halts where life conditions
disappear, and there finds its boundary; but as life conditions advance
or retreat with the seasons, so does that boundary. On the west coast of
Greenland the Eskimo village of Etah, at about the seventy-eighth
parallel, marks the northern limit of permanent or winter settlement;
but in summer the Eskimo, in his kayak, follows the musk-ox and seal
much farther north and there leaves his igloo to testify to the wide
range of his poleward migration. Numerous relics of the Eskimo and their
summer encampments have been found along Lady Franklin Bay in northern
Grinnell Land (81° 50' N. L.), but in the interior, on the outlet
streams of Lake Hazen, explorers have discovered remains of habitations
which had evidently, in previous ages, been permanently occupied.[326] The
Murman Coast of the Kola Peninsula has in summer a large population of
Russian fishermen and forty or more fishing stations; but when the catch
is over at the end of August, and the Arctic winter approaches, the
stations are closed, and the three thousand fishermen return to their
permanent homes on the shores of the White Sea.[327] Farther east along
this polar fringe of Russia, the little village of Charbarova, located
on the Jugor Strait, is inhabited in summer by a number of Samoyedes,
who pasture their reindeer over on Vaygats Island, and by some Russians
and Finns, who come from the White Sea towns to trade with the Samoyedes
and incidentally to hunt and fish. But in the fall, when a new ice
bridge across the Strait releases the reindeer from their enclosed
pasture on the island, the Samoyedes withdraw southward, and the
merchants with their wares to Archangel and other points. This has gone
on for centuries.[328] On the Briochov Islands at the head of the Yenisei
estuary Nordenskiold found a small group of houses which formed a summer
fishing post in 1875, but which was deserted by the end of August.[329]

[Sidenote: Altitude boundary zones.]

An altitude of about five thousand feet marks the limit of village life
in the Alps; but during the three warm months of the year, the summer
pastures at eight thousand feet or more are alive with herds and their
keepers. The boundary line of human life moves up the mountains in the
wake of spring and later hurries down again before the advance of
winter. The Himalayan and Karakorum ranges show whole villages of
temporary occupation, like the summer trading town of Gartok at 15,000
feet on the caravan route from Leh to Lhassa, or Shahidula (3,285 meters
or 10,925 feet) on the road between Leh and Yarkand;[330] but the boundary
of permanent habitation lies several thousand feet below. Comparable to
these are the big hotels that serve summer stage-coach travel over the
Alps and Rockies, but which are deserted when the first snow closes the
passes. Here a zone of altitude, as in the polar regions a zone of
latitude, marks the limits of the habitable area.

[Sidenote: "Wallace's Line" a typical boundary zone.]

The distribution of animals and races shows the limit of their movements
or expansion. Any boundary defining the limits of such movements can not
from its nature be fixed, and hence can not be a line. It is always a
zone. Yet "Wallace's Line," dividing the Oriental from the Australian
zoological realm, and running through Macassar Strait southward between
Bali and Lombok, is a generally accepted dictum. The details of
Wallace's investigation, however, reveal the fact that this boundary is
not a line, but a zone of considerable and variable width, enclosing the
line on either side with a marginal belt of mixed character. Though
Celebes, lying to the east of Macassar Strait, is included in the
Australian realm, it has lost so large a proportion of Australian types
of animals, and contains so many Oriental types from the west, that
Wallace finds it almost impossible to decide on which side of the line
it belongs.[331] The Oriental admixture extends yet farther east over the
Moluccas and Timor. Birds of Javan or Oriental origin, to the extent of
thirty genera, have spread eastward well across Wallace's Line; some of
these stop short at Flores, and some reach even to Timor,[332] while
Australian cockatoos, in turn, have been seen on the west coast of Bali
but not in Java, Heilprin avoids the unscientific term line, because he
finds his zoological realms divided by "transition regions," which are
intermediate in animal types as they are in geographical location.[333]
Wallace notes a similar "debatable land" in the Rajputana Desert east of
the Indus, which is the border district between the Oriental and
Ethiopian realms.[334]

[Sidenote: Boundaries as limits of movements or expansion.]

Such boundaries mark the limits of that movement which is common to all
animate things. Every living form spreads until it meets natural
conditions in which it can no longer survive, or until it is checked by
the opposing expansion of some competing form. If there is a change
either in the life conditions or in the strength of the competing forms,
the boundary shifts. In the propitious climate of the Genial Period,
plants and animals lived nearer to the North Pole than at present; then
they fell back before the advance of the ice sheet. The restless
surface of the ocean denies to man a dwelling place; every century,
however, the Dutch are pushing forward their northern boundary by
reclamation of land from the sea; but repeatedly they have had to drop
back for a time when the water has again overwhelmed their hand-made

[Sidenote: Peoples as barriers.]

The boundaries of race and state which are subjected to greatest
fluctuations are those determined by the resistance of other peoples.
The westward sweep of the Slavs prior to eighth century carried them
beyond the Elbe into contact with the Germans; but as these increased in
numbers, outgrew their narrow territories and inaugurated a
counter-movement eastward, the Slavs began falling back to the Oder, to
the Vistula, and finally to the Niemen. Though the Mohawk Valley opened
an easy avenue of expansion westward for the early colonists of New
York, the advance of settlements up this valley for several decades went
on at only a snail's pace, because of the compact body of Iroquois
tribes holding this territory. In the unoccupied land farther south
between the Cumberland and Ohio rivers the frontier went forward with
leaps and bounds, pushed on by the expanding power of the young
Republic. [See map page 156.]

Anything which increases the expanding force of a people--the
establishment of a more satisfactory government by which the national
consciousness is developed, as in the American and French revolutions,
the prosecution of a successful war by which popular energies are
released from an old restraint, mere increase of population, or an
impulse communicated by some hostile and irresistible force behind--all
are registered in an advance of the boundary of the people in question
and a corresponding retrusion of their neighbor's frontier.

[Sidenote: Boundary zone as index of growth or decline.]

The border district is the periphery of the growing or declining race or
state. It runs the more irregularly, the greater are the variations in
the external conditions as represented by climate, soil, barriers, and
natural openings, according as these facilitate or obstruct advance.
When it is contiguous with the border of another state or race, the two
form a zone in which ascendency from one side or the other is being
established. The boundary fluctuates, for equilibrium of the contending
forces is established rarely and for only short periods. The more
aggressive people throws out across this debatable zone, along the lines
of least resistance or greatest attraction, long streamers of
occupation; so that the frontier takes on the form of a fringe of
settlement, whose interstices are occupied by a corresponding fringe of
the displaced people. Such was its aspect in early colonial America,
where population spread up every fertile river valley across a zone of
Indian land; and such it is in northern Russia to-day, where long narrow
Slav bands run out from the area of continuous Slav settlement across a
wide belt of Mongoloid territory to the shores of the White Sea and
Arctic Ocean.[335] [See maps pages 103 and 225.]

The border zone is further broadened by the formation of ethnic islands
beyond the base line of continuous settlement, which then advances more
or less rapidly, if expansion is unchecked, till it coalesces with these
outposts, just as the forest line on the mountains may reach, under
advantageous conditions, its farthest outlying tree. Such ethnic
peninsulas and islands we see in the early western frontiers of the
United States from 1790 to 1840, when that frontier was daily moving
westward.[336] [See map page 156.]

[Sidenote: Breadth of the boundary zone.]

The breadth of the frontier zone is indicative of the activity of growth
on the one side and the corresponding decline on the other, because
extensive encroachment in the same degree disintegrates the territory of
the neighbor at whose cost such encroachment is made. A straight, narrow
race boundary, especially if it is nearly coincident with a political
boundary, points to an equilibrium of forces which means, for the time
being at least, a cessation of growth. Such boundaries are found in old,
thickly populated countries, while the wide, ragged border zone belongs
to new, and especially to colonial peoples. In the oldest and most
densely populated seats of the Germans, where they are found in the
Rhine Valley, the boundaries of race and empire are straight and simple;
but the younger, eastern border, which for centuries has been steadily
advancing at the cost of the unequally matched Slavs, has the ragged
outline and sparse population of a true colonial frontier. Between two
peoples who have had a long period of growth behind them, the
oscillations of the boundary decrease in amplitude, as it were, and
finally approach a state of rest. Each people tends to fill out its area
evenly; every advance in civilization, every increase of population,
increases the stability of their tenure, and hence the equilibrium of
the pressure upon the boundary. Therefore, in such countries, racial,
linguistic and cultural boundaries tend to become simpler and

[Sidenote: The broad frontier zone of active expansion.]

The growth is more apparent, or, in other words, the border zone is
widest and most irregular, where a superior people intrudes upon the
territory of an interior race. Such was the broad zone of thinly
scattered farms and villages amid a prevailing wilderness and hostile
Indian tribes which, in 1810 and 1820, surrounded our Trans-Allegheny
area of continuous settlement in a one to two hundred mile wide girdle.
Such has been the wide, mobile frontier of the Russian advance in
Siberia and until recently in Manchuria, which aimed to include within a
dotted line of widely separated railway-guard stations, Cossack
barracks, and penal colonies, the vast territory which later generations
were fully to occupy. Similar, too, is the frontier of the Dutch and
English settlements in South Africa, which has been pushed forward into
the Kaffir country--a broad belt of scattered cattle ranches and
isolated mining hives, dropped down amid Kaffir hunting and grazing
lands. Broader still was that shadowy belt of American occupation which
for four decades immediately succeeding the purchase of Louisiana
stretched in the form of isolated fur-stations, lonely trappers' camps,
and shifting traders' _rendezvous_ from the Mississippi to the western
slope of the Rockies and the northern watershed of the Missouri, where
it met the corresponding nebulous outskirts of the far-away Canadian
state on the St. Lawrence River.

The same process with the same geographical character has been going on
in the Sahara, as the French since 1890 have been expanding southward
from the foot of the Atlas Mountains in Algeria toward Timbuctoo at the
cost of the nomad Tuaregs. Territory is first subdued and administered
by the military till it is fully pacified. Then it is handed over to the
civil government. Hence the advancing frontier consists of a military
zone of administration, with a civil zone behind it, and a weaker
wavering zone of exploration and scout work before it.[337] Lord Curzon
in his Romanes lecture describes the northwest frontier of India as just
such a three-ply border.

[Sidenote: Economic factors in expanding frontiers.]

The untouched resources of such new countries tempt to the widespread
superficial exploitation, which finds its geographical expression in a
broad, dilating frontier. Here the man-dust which is to form the future
political planet is thinly disseminated, swept outward by a centrifugal
force. Furthermore, the absence of natural barriers which might block
this movement, the presence of open plains and river highways to
facilitate it, and the predominance of harsh conditions of climate or
soil rendering necessary a savage, extensive exploitation of the slender
resources, often combine still further to widen the frontier zone. This
was the case in French Canada and till recent decades in Siberia, where
intense cold and abundant river highways stimulated the fur trade to the
practical exclusion of all other activities, and substituted for the
closely grouped, sedentary farmers with their growing families the
wide-ranging trader with his Indian or Tunguse wife and his half-breed
offspring. Under harsh climatic conditions, the fur trade alone afforded
those large profits which every infant colony must command in order to
survive; and the fur trade meant a wide frontier zone of scattered posts
amid a prevailing wilderness. The French in particular, by the
possession of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi rivers, the greatest
systems in America, were lured into the danger of excessive expansion,
attenuated their ethnic element, and failed to raise the economic status
of their wide border district, which could therefore offer only slight
resistance to the spread of solid English settlement.[338] Yet more
recently, the chief weakness of the Russians in Siberia and
Manchuria--apart from the corruption of the national government--was the
weakness of a too remote and too sparsely populated frontier, and of a
people whose inner development had not kept pace with their rate of

[Sidenote: Value of barrier boundaries.]

Wasteful exploitation of a big territory is easier than the economical
development of a small district. This is one line of least resistance
which civilized man as well as savage instinctively follows, and which
explains the tendency toward excessive expansion characteristic of all
primitive and nascent peoples. For such peoples natural barriers which
set bounds to this expansion are of vastly greater importance than they
are for mature or fully developed peoples. The reason is this: the
boundary is only the expression of the outward movement or growth, which
is nourished from the same stock of race energy as is the inner
development. Either carried to an excess weakens or retards the other.
If population begins to press upon the limits of subsistence, the
acquisition of a new bit of territory obviates the necessity of applying
more work and more intelligence to the old area, to make it yield
subsistence for the growing number of mouths; the stimulus to adopt
better economic methods is lost. Therefore, natural boundaries drawn by
mountain, sea and desert, serving as barriers to the easy appropriation
of new territory, have for such peoples a far deeper significance than
the mere determination of their political frontiers by physical
features, or the benefit of protection.

The land with the most effective geographical boundaries is a naturally
defined region like Korea, Japan, China, Egypt, Italy, Spain, France or
Great Britain--a land characterized not only by exclusion from without
through its encircling barriers, but also by the inclusion within itself
of a certain compact group of geographic conditions, to whose combined
influences the inhabitants are subjected and from which they cannot
readily escape. This aspect is far more important than the mere
protection which such boundaries afford. They are not absolutely
necessary for the development of a people, but they give it an early
start, accelerate the process, and bring the people to an early
maturity; they stimulate the exploitation of all the local geographic
advantages and resources, the formation of a vivid tribal or national
consciousness and purpose, and concentrate the national energies when
the people is ready to overleap the old barriers. The early development
of island and peninsula peoples and their attainment of a finished
ethnic and political character are commonplaces of history. The stories
of Egypt, Crete and Greece, of Great Britain and Japan, illustrate the
stimulus to maturity which emanates from such confining boundaries. The
wall of the Appalachians narrowed the westward horizon of the early
English colonies in America, guarded them against the excessive
expansion which was undermining the French dominion in the interior of
the continent, set a most wholesome limit to their aims, and thereby
intensified their utilization of the narrow land between mountains and
sea. France, with its limits of growth indicated by the Mediterranean,
Pyrenees, Atlantic, Channel, Vosges, Jura and Western Alps, found its
period of adolescence shortened and, like Great Britain, early reached
its maturity. Nature itself set the goal of its territorial expansion,
and by crystallizing the political ideal of the people, made that goal
easier to reach, just as the dream of "United Italy" realized in 1870
had been prefigured in contours drawn by Alpine range and Mediterranean

[Sidenote: The sea as the absolute boundary]

The area which a race or people occupies is the resultant of the
expansive force within and the obstacles without, either physical or
human. Insurmountable physical obstacles are met where all life
conditions disappear, as on the borders of the habitable world, where
man is barred from the unpeopled wastes of polar ice-fields and
unsustaining oceans. The frozen rim of arctic lands, the coastline of
the continents, the outermost arable strip on the confines of the
desert, the barren or ice-capped ridge of high mountain range, are all
such natural boundaries which set more or less effective limits to the
movement of peoples and the territorial growth of states. The sea is the
only absolute boundary, because it alone blocks the continuous, unbroken
expansion of a people. When the Saxons of the lower Elbe spread to the
island of Britain, a zone of unpeopled sea separated their new
settlements from their native villages on the mainland. Even the most
pronounced land barriers, like the Himalayas and Hindu Kush, have their
passways and favored spots for short summer habitation, where the people
from the opposite slopes meet and mingle for a season. Sandy wastes are
hospitable at times. When the spring rains on the mountains of Abyssinia
start a wave of moisture lapping over the edges of the Nubian desert,
it is immediately followed by a tide of Arabs with their camels and
herds, who make a wide zone of temporary occupation spread over the
newly created grassland, but who retire in a few weeks before the
desiccating heat of summer.[339]

[Sidenote: Natural boundaries as bases of ethnic and political

Nevertheless, all natural features of the earth's surface which serve to
check, retard or weaken the expansion of peoples, and therefore hold
them apart, tend to become racial or political boundaries; and all
present a zone-like character. The wide ice-field of the Scandinavian
Alps was an unpeopled waste long before the political boundary was drawn
along it. "It has not in reality been a definite natural _line_ that has
divided Norway from her neighbour on the east; it has been a _band_ of
desert land, up to hundreds of miles in width. So utterly desolate and
apart from the area of continuous habitation has this been, that the
greater part of it, the district north of Trondhjem, was looked upon
even as recently as the last century as a common district. Only nomadic
Lapps wandered about in it, sometimes taxed by all three countries. A
parcelling out of this desert common district was not made toward Russia
until 1826. Toward Sweden it was made in 1751."[340] In former centuries
the Bourtanger Moor west of the River Ems used to be a natural desert
borderland separating East and West Friesland, despite the similarity of
race, speech and country on either side of it. It undoubtedly
contributed to the division of Germany and the Netherlands along the
present frontier line, which has been drawn the length of this moor for
a hundred kilometers.[341]

[Sidenote: Primitive waste boundaries.]

Any geographical feature which, like this, presents a practically
uninhabitable area, forms a scientific boundary, not only because it
holds apart the two neighboring peoples and thereby reduces the contact
and friction which might be provocative of hostilities, but also because
it lends protection against attack. This motive, as also the zone
character of all boundaries, comes out conspicuously in the artificial
border wastes surrounding primitive tribes and states in the lower
status of civilization. The early German tribes depopulated their
borders in a wide girdle, and in this wilderness permitted no neighbors
to reside. The width of this zone indicated the valor and glory of the
state, but was also valued as a means of protection against unexpected
attack.[342] Cæsar learned that between the Suevi and Cherusci tribes
dwelling near the Rhine "_silvam esse ibi, infinita magnitudine quae
appelletur Bacenis; hanc longe introrsus pertinere et pro nativo muro
objectam Cheruscos ab Suevis Suevosque ab Cheruscis injuriis
incursionibusque prohibere_."[343] The same device appears among the
Huns. When Attila was pressing upon the frontier of the Eastern Empire
in 448 A.D., his envoys sent to Constantinople demanded that the Romans
should not cultivate a belt of territory, a hundred miles wide and three
hundred miles long, south of the Danube, but maintain this as a
March.[344] When King Alfonso I. (751-764 A.D.) of mountain Asturias
began the reconquest of Spain from the Saracens, he adopted the same
method of holding the foe at arm's length. He seized Old Castile as far
as the River Duoro, but the rest of the province south of that stream he
converted into a waste boundary by transporting the Christians thence to
the north side, and driving the Mohammedans yet farther southward.[345]
Similarly Xenophon found that the Armenian side of the River Kentrites,
which formed the boundary between the Armenian plains and the highlands
of Karduchia, was unpeopled and destitute of villages for a breadth of
fifteen miles, from fear of the marauding Kurds.[346] In the eastern
Sudan, especially in that wide territory along the Nile-Congo watershed
occupied by the Zandeh, Junker found the frontier wilderness a regular
institution owing to the exposure of the border districts in the
perennial intertribal feuds.[347] The same testimony comes from
Barth,[348] Boyd Alexander,[349] Speke,[350] and other explorers in the
Sudan and the neighboring parts of equatorial Africa.

[Sidenote: Border wastes of Indian lands.]

The vast and fertile region defined by the Ohio and Tennessee rivers,
lay as a debatable border between the Algonquin Indians of the north
and the Appalachians of the south. Both claimed it, both used it for
hunting, but neither dared dwell therein.[351] Similarly the Cherokees
had no definite understanding with their savage neighbors as to the
limits of their respective territories The effectiveness of their claim
to any particular tract of country usually diminished with every
increase of its distance from their villages. The consequence was that a
considerable strip of territory between the settlements of two tribes,
Cherokees and Creeks for instance, though claimed by both, was
practically considered neutral ground and the common hunting ground of
both.[352] The Creeks, whose most western villages from 1771 to 1798 were
located along the Coosa and upper Alabama rivers,[353] were separated by
300 miles of wilderness from the Chickasaws to the northwest, and by a
150-mile zone from the Choctaws. The most northern Choctaw towns, in
turn, lay 160 miles to the south of the Chickasaw nation, whose compact
settlements were located on the watershed between the western sources of
the Tombigby and the head stream of the Yazoo.[354] The wide intervening
zone of forest and canebrake was hunted upon by both nations.[355]

Sometimes the border is preserved as a wilderness by formal agreement. A
classic example of this case is found in the belt of untenanted land,
fifty to ninety kilometers wide, which China and Korea once maintained
as their boundary. No settler from either side was allowed to enter, and
all travel across the border had to use a single passway, where three
times annually a market was held.[356] On the Russo-Mongolian border
south of Lake Baikal, the town of Kiakhta, which was established in 1688
as an entrepôt of trade between the two countries, is occupied in its
northern half by Russian factories and in its southern by the
Mongolian-Chinese quarters, while between the two is a neutral space
devoted to commerce.[357]

[Sidenote: Alien intrusions into border wastes.]

These border wastes do not always remain empty, however, even when their
integrity is respected by the two neighbors whom they serve to divide;
alien races often intrude into their unoccupied reaches. The boundary
wilderness between the Sudanese states of Wadai and Dar Fur harbors
several semi-independent states whose insignificance is a guarantee of
their safety from conquest.[358] Similarly in the wide border district
between the Creeks on the east and the Choctaws on the west were found
typical small, detached tribes--the Chatots and Thomez of forty huts
each on the Mobile River, the Tensas tribe with a hundred huts on the
Tensas River, and the Mobilians near the confluence of the Tombigby and
Alabama.[359] Along the desolate highland separating Norway and Sweden
the nomadic Lapps, with their reindeer herds, have penetrated southward
to 62° North Latitude, reinforcing the natural barrier by another
barrier of alien race. From this point southward, the coniferous forests
begin and continue the border waste in the form of a zone some sixty
miles wide; this was unoccupied till about 1600, when into it slowly
filtered an immigration of Finns, whose descendants to-day constitute an
important part of the still thin population along the frontier to the
heights back of Christiania. Only thirty miles from the coast does the
border zone between Norway and Sweden, peopled chiefly by intruding
foreign stocks, Lapps and Finns, contract and finally merge into the
denser Scandinavian settlements.[360]

Where the border waste offers favorable conditions of life and the
intruding race has reached a higher status of civilization, it
multiplies in this unpeopled tract and soon spreads at the cost of its
less advanced neighbors. The old No Man's Land between the Ohio and
Tennessee was a line of least resistance for the expanding Colonies, who
here poured in a tide of settlement between the northern and southern
Indians, just as later other pioneers filtered into the vague border
territory of weak tenure between the Choctaws and Creeks, and there on
the Tombigby, Mobile and Tensas rivers, formed the nucleus of the State
of Alabama.[361]

[Sidenote: Politico-economic significance of the waste boundary.]

This untenanted hem of territory surrounding so many savage and
barbarous peoples reflects their superficial and unsystematic
utilization of their soil, by reason of which the importance of the land
itself and the proportion of population to area are greatly reduced. It
is a part of that uneconomic and extravagant use of the land, that
appropriation of wide territories by small tribal groups, which
characterizes the lower stages of civilization, as opposed to the
exploitation of every square foot for the support of a teeming humanity,
which marks the most advanced states. Each stage puts its own valuation
upon the land according to the return from it which each expects to
get. The low valuation is expressed in the border wilderness, by which a
third or even a half of the whole area is wasted; and also in the
readiness with which savages often sell their best territory for a song.

For the same reason they leave their boundaries undefined; a mile nearer
or farther, what does it matter? Moreover, their fitful or nomadic
occupation of the land leads to oscillations of the frontiers with every
attack from without and every variation of the tribal strength within.
Their unstable states rarely last long enough in a given form or size to
develop fixed boundaries; hence, the vagueness as to the extent of
tribal domains among all savage peoples, and the conflicting land claims
which are the abiding source of war. Owing to these overlapping
boundaries--border districts claimed but not occupied--the American
colonists met with difficulties in their purchase of land from the
Indians, often paying twice for the same strip.

[Sidenote: Common boundary districts.]

Even civilized peoples may adopt a waste boundary where the motive for
protection is peculiarly strong, as in the half-mile neutral zone of
lowland which ties the rock of Gibraltar to Spain. On a sparsely
populated frontier, where the abundance of land reduces its value, they
may throw the boundary into the form of a common district, as in the
vast, disputed Oregon country, accepted provisionally as a district of
joint occupancy between the United States and Canada from 1818 to 1846,
or that wide highland border which Norway so long shared with Russia and
Sweden. In South America, where land is abundant and population sparse,
this common boundary belt is not rare. It suggests a device giving that
leeway for expansion desired by all growing states. By the treaty of
1866, the frontier between Chile and Bolivia crossed the Atacama desert
at 24° South Latitude; but the zone between 23° and 25° was left under
the common jurisdiction of the two states, for exploitation of the guano
deposits and mineral wealth.[362] A common border district on a much
larger scale is found between Brazil and the eastern frontier of French
Guiana. It includes a belt 185 miles (300 kilometers) wide between the
Oyapok and Arawary rivers, and is left as a neutral district till its
fate is decided by arbitration.[363] All these instances are only
temporary phases in the evolution of a political frontier from wide,
neutral border to the mathematically determined boundary line required
by modern civilized states.

[Sidenote: Tariff free zones.]

Even when the boundary line has been surveyed and the boundary pillars
set up, the frontier is prone to assert its old zonal nature, simply
because it marks the limits of human movements. Rarely, for instance,
does a customs boundary coincide with a political frontier, even in the
most advanced states of Europe, except on the coasts. The student of
Baedecker finds a gap of several miles on the same railroad between the
customs frontier of Germany and France, or France and Italy. Where the
border district is formed by a high and rugged mountain range, the
custom houses recede farther and farther from the common political line
upon the ridge, and drop down the slope to convenient points, leaving
between them a wide neutral tariff zone, like that in Haute Savoie along
the massive Mont Blanc Range between France and Italy.

Allied to this phase, yet differing from it, is the "Zona Libre" or Free
Zone, 12 miles broad and 1,833 miles long, which forms the northern hem
of Mexico from the Gulf to the Pacific. Here foreign goods pay only
18-1/2 per cent., formerly only 2-1/2 per cent., of the usual federal
duties. Goods going on into the interior pay the rest of the tariff at
the inner margin of the Zone. This arrangement was adopted in 1858 to
establish some sort of commercial equilibrium between the Mexican towns
of the Rio Grande Valley, which were burdened by excessive taxation on
internal trade, and the Texas towns across the river, which at this time
enjoyed a specially low tariff. Consequently prices of food and
manufactured goods were twice or four times as high on the Mexican as on
the American side. The result was persistent smuggling, extensive
emigration from the southern to the northern bank, and the commercial
decline of the frontier states of Mexico, till the Zona Libre adjusted
the commercial discrepancy.[364] Since 1816 a tariff free zone a league
wide has formed the border of French Savoy along the Canton and Lake of
Geneva, thus uniting this canton by a free passway with the Swiss
territory at the upper end of the lake.[365]

[Sidenote: Boundary zones of mingled race elements.]

When the political boundary has evolved by a system of contraction out
of the wide waste zone to the nicely determined line, that line,
nevertheless, is always encased, as it were, in a zone of contact
wherein are mingled the elements of either side. The zone includes the
peripheries of the two contiguous racial or national bodies, and in it
each is modified and assimilated to the other. On its edges it is
strongly marked by the characteristics of the adjacent sides, but its
medial band shows a mingling of the two in ever-varying proportions; it
changes from day to day and shifts backward and forward, according as
one side or the other exercises in it more potent economic, religious,
racial, or political influences.

Its peripheral character comes out strongly in the mingling of
contiguous ethnic elements found in every frontier district. Here is
that zone of transitional form which we have seen prevails so widely in
nature. The northern borderland of the United States is in no small
degree Canadian, and the southern is strongly Mexican. In the Rio Grande
counties of Texas, Mexicans constituted in 1890 from 27 to 55 per cent.
of the total population, and they were distributed in considerable
numbers also in the second tier of counties. A broad band of French and
English Canadians overlaps the northern hem of United States territory
from Maine to North Dakota.[366] In the New York and New England counties
bordering on the old French province of Quebec, they constitute from 11
to 22 per cent. of the total population, except in two or three western
counties of Maine which have evidently been mere passways for a tide of
_habitants_ moving on to more attractive conditions of life in the
counties just to the south.[367] But even these large figures do not
adequately represent the British-American element within our boundaries,
because they leave out of account the native-born of Canadian parents
who have been crossing our borders for over a generation.

[Sidenote: Ethnic border zones in the Alps.]

If we turn to northern Italy, where a mountain barrier might have been
expected to segregate the long-headed Mediterranean stock from the
broad-headed Alpine stock, we find as a matter of fact that the ethnic
type throughout the Po basin is markedly brachycephalic and becomes more
pronounced along the northern boundary in the Alps, till it culminates
in Piedmont along the frontier of France, where it becomes identical
with the broad-headed Savoyards.[368] More than this, Provençal French is
spoken in the Dora Baltea Valley of Piedmont; and along the upper Dora
Riparia and in the neighboring valleys of the Chisone and Pellice are
the villages of the refugee Waldenses, who speak an idiom allied to the
Provençal. More than this, the whole Piedmontese Italian is
characterized by its approach to the French, and the idiom of Turin
sounds very much like Provençal.[369] To the north there is a similar
exchange between Italy and Switzerland with the adjacent Austrian
province of the Tyrol. In the rugged highlands of the Swiss Grisons
bordering upon Italy, we find a pure Alpine stock, known to the ancients
as the Rhaetians, speaking a degenerate Latin tongue called Romansch,
which still persists also under the names of Ladino and Frioulian in the
Alpine regions of the Tyrol and Italy. In fact, the map of linguistic
boundaries in the Grisons shows the dovetailing of German, Italian, and
Romansch in a broad zone.[370] The traveller in the southern Tyrol
becomes accustomed in the natives to the combination of Italian
coloring, German speech, and Alpine head form; whereas, if on reaching
Italy he visits the hills back of Vicenza, he finds the German
settlements of Tredici and Sette Communi, where German customs,
folklore, language, and German types of faces still persist, survivals
from the days of German infiltration across the Brenner Pass.[371]


[Sidenote: The Slav-German boundary.]

Where Slavs and Teutons come together in Central Europe, their race
border is a zone lying approximately between 14 and 24 degrees East
Longitude; it is crossed by alternate peninsulas of predominant Germans
and Austrians from the one side, Czechs and Poles from the other, the
whole spattered over by a sprinkling of the two elements. Rarely, and
then only for short stretches, do political and ethnic boundaries
coincide. The northern frontier hem of East Prussia lying between the
River Niemen and the political line of demarcation is quite as much
Lithuanian as German, while German stock dots the whole surface of the
Baltic provinces of Russia as far as St. Petersburg, The eastern rim of
the Kaiser's empire as far south as the Carpathians presents a broad
band of the Polish race, averaging about fifty kilometers (30 miles) in
width, sparsely sprinkled with German settlements; these are found
farther east also as an ethnic archipelago dotting the wide Slav area of
Poland. The enclosed basin of Bohemia, protected on three sides by
mountain walls and readily accessible to the Slav stock at the sources
of the Vistula, enabled the Czechs to penetrate far westward and there
maintain themselves; but in spite of encompassing mountains, the inner
or Bohemian slopes of the Boehmer Wald, Erz, and Sudetes ranges
constitute a broad girdle of almost solid German population.[372] In the
Austrian provinces of Moravia and Silesia, which form the southeastward
continuation of this Slav-German boundary zone, 60 per cent. of the
population are Czechs, 33 per cent. are German, and 7 per cent., found
in the eastern part of Silesia, are Poles.[373]

An ethnic map of the western Muscovite Empire in Europe shows a marked
infiltration into White and Little Russia of West Slavs from Poland,
and in the province of Bessarabia alternate areas of Russians and
Roumanians. The latter in places form an unbroken ethnic expansion
from the home kingdom west of the Pruth, extending in solid bands as
far as the Dniester, and throwing out ethnic islands between this
stream and the Bug.

MONGOLOID: Kalmucks, Kirghis, Nogai, Tartars, Bashkirs, Voguls,
Ostiaks, Samoyedes.
ZIRIAN: Mingled Mongoloid and Finnish.]

[Sidenote: Assimilation of culture in boundary zones.]

In the northern provinces of Russia, in the broad zone shared by the
aboriginal Finns and the later-coming Slavs, Wallace found villages in
every stage of Russification. "In one everything seemed thoroughly
Finnish; the inhabitants had a reddish-olive skin, very high cheek
bones, obliquely set eyes, and a peculiar costume; none of the women and
very few of the men could understand Russian and any Russian who visited
the place was regarded as a foreigner. In the second, there were already
some Russian inhabitants; the others had lost something of their purely
Finnish type, many of the men had discarded the old costume and spoke
Russian fluently, and a Russian visitor was no longer shunned. In a
third, the Finnish type was still further weakened; all the men spoke
Russian, and nearly all the women understood it; the old male costume
had entirely disappeared and the old female was rapidly following it;
and intermarriage with the Russian population was no longer rare. In a
fourth, intermarriage had almost completely done its work, and the old
Finnish element could be detected merely in certain peculiarities of
physiognomy and accent." This amalgamation extends to their
religions--prayers wholly pagan devoutly uttered under the shadow of a
strange cross, next the Finnish god Yumak sharing honors equally with
the Virgin, finally a Christianity pure in doctrine and outward forms
except for the survival of old pagan ceremonies in connection with the

At the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers, this boundary zone of
Russians and Finns meets the borderland of the Asiatic Mongols; and here
is found an intermingling of races, languages, religions, and customs
scarcely to be equalled elsewhere. Finns are infused with Tartar as well
as Russian blood, and Russians show Tartar as well as Finnish traits.
The Bashkirs, who constitute an ethnic peninsula running from the solid
Mongolian mass of Asia, show every type of the mongrel.[375] [See map
page 225.]

[Sidenote: Boundary zones of assimilation in Asia.]

If we turn to Asia and examine the western race boundary of the
expanding Chinese, we find that a wide belt of mingled ethnic elements,
hybrid languages, and antagonistic civilizations marks the transition
from Chinese to Mongolian and Tibetan areas. The eastern and southern
frontiers of Mongolia, formerly marked by the Great Wall, are now
difficult to define, owing to the steady encroachment of the
agricultural Chinese on the fertile edges of the plateau, where they
have converted the best-watered pastures of the Mongols into millet
fields and vegetable gardens, leaving for the nomad's herds the more
sterile patches between.[376] Every line of least resistance--climatic,
industrial, commercial--sees the Chinese widening this transitional
zone. He sprinkles his crops over the "Land of Grass," invades the trade
of the caravan towns, sets up his fishing station on the great northern
bend of the Hoangho in the Ordos country, three hundred miles beyond the
Wall, to exploit the fishing neglected by the Mongols.[377] The
well-watered regions of the Nan-Shan ranges has enabled him to drive a
long, narrow ethnic wedge, represented by the westward projection of
Kansu Province between Mongolia and Tibet, into the heart of the Central
Plateau. [See map page 103.] Here the nomad Si Fan tribes dwell side by
side with Chinese farmers,[378] who themselves show a strong infusion of
the Mongolian and Tibetan blood to the north and south, and whose
language is a medley of all three tongues.[379]

[Sidenote: Boundary zones of mountain Tibet.]

In easternmost Tibet, in the elevated province of Minjak (2,600 meters
or 8,500 feet), M. Hue found in 1846 a great number of Chinese from the
neighboring Sze-Chuan and Yun-nan districts keeping shops and following
the primary trades and agriculture. The language of the Tibetan natives
showed the effect of foreign intercourse; it was not the pure speech of
Lhassa, but was closely assimilated to the idiom of the neighboring Si
Fan speech of Sze-Chuan and contained many Chinese expressions. He found
also a modification of manners, customs, and costumes in this peripheral
Tibet; the natives showed more of the polish, cunning, and covetousness
of the Chinese, less of the rudeness, frankness, and strong religious
feeling characteristic of the western plateau man.[380] Just across the
political boundary in Chinese territory, the border zone of assimilation
shows predominance of the Chinese element with a strong Tibetan
admixture both in race and civilization.[381] Here Tibetan traders with
their yak caravans are met on the roads or encamped in their tents by
the hundred about the frontier towns, whither they have brought the
wool, sheep, horses, hides and medicinal roots of the rough highland
across that "wild borderland which is neither Chinese nor Tibetan." The
Chinese population consists of hardy mountaineers, who eat millet and
maize instead of rice. The prevailing architecture is Tibetan and the
priests on the highways are the red and yellow lamas from the Buddhist
monasteries of the plateau. "The Country is a cross between China and

Even the high wall of the Himalayas does not suffice to prevent similar
exchanges of ethnic elements and culture between southern Tibet and
northern India. Lhassa and Giamda harbor many emigrants from the
neighboring Himalayan state of Bhutan, allow them to monopolize the
metal industry, in which they excel, and to practise undisturbed their
Indian form of Buddhism.[383] The southern side of this zone of
transition is occupied by a Tibetan stock of people inhabiting the
Himalayan frontiers of India and practising the Hindu religion.[384] In
the hill country of northern Bengal natives are to be seen with the
Chinese queue hanging below a Hindu turban, or wearing the Hindu caste
mark on their broad Mongolian faces. With these are mingled genuine
Tibetans who have come across the border to work in the tea plantations
of this region.[385] [See map page 102.]

[Sidenote: Relation of ethnic and cultural assimilation.]

The assimilation of culture within a boundary zone is in some respects
the result of race amalgamation, as, for instance, in costume, religion,
manners and language; but in economic points it is often the result of
identical geographic influences to which both races are alike subjected.
For example, scarcity of food on the arid plateau of Central Asia makes
the Chinese of western Kansu eat butter and curds as freely as do the
pastoral Mongols, though such a diet is obnoxious to the purely
agricultural Chinese of the lowlands.[386] The English pioneer in the
Trans-Allegheny wilderness shared with the Indians an environment of
trackless forests and savage neighbors; he was forced to discard for a
time many essentials of civilization, both material and moral. Despite a
minimum of race intermixture, the men of the Cumberland and Kentucky
settlements became assimilated to the life of the red man; they borrowed
his scalping knife and tomahawk, adopted his method of ambush and
extermination in war; like him they lived in great part by the chase,
dressed in furs and buckskin, and wore the noiseless moccasin. Here the
mere fact of geographical location on a remote frontier, and of almost
complete isolation from the centers of English life on the Atlantic
slope, and the further fact of persistent contact with a lower status of
civilization, resulted in a temporary return to primitive methods of
existence, till the settlements secured an increase of population
adequate for higher industrial development and for defence.

A race boundary involves almost inevitably a cultural boundary, often,
too, a linguistic and religionary, occasionally a political boundary.
The last three are subject to wide fluctuation, frequently overstepping
all barriers of race and contrasted civilizations. Though one often
accompanies another, it is necessary to distinguish the different kinds
of boundaries and to estimate their relative importance in the history
of a people or state. We may lay down the rule that the greater, more
permanent, and deep-seated the contrasts on the two sides of a border,
the greater is its significance; and that, on this basis, boundaries
rank in importance, with few exceptions, in the following order: racial,
cultural, linguistic, and political. The less marked the contrasts, in
general, the more rapid and complete the process of assimilation in the
belt of borderland.

[Sidenote: The boundary zone in political expansion.]

The significance of the border zone of assimilation for political
expansion lies in the fact that it prepares the way for the advance of
the state boundary from either side; in it the sharp edge of racial and
cultural antagonism is removed, or for this antagonism a new affinity
may be substituted. The zone of American settlement, industry, and
commerce which in 1836 projected beyond the political boundary of the
Sabine River over the eastern part of Mexican Texas facilitated the
later incorporation of the State into the Union, just as a few years
earlier the Baton Rouge District of Spanish West Florida had gravitated
to the United States by reason of the predominant American element
there, and thus extended the boundary of Louisiana to the Pearl River.
When the political boundary of Siberia was fixed at the Amur River, the
Muscovite government began extending the border zone of assimilation far
to the south of that stream by the systematic Russification of
Manchuria, with a view to its ultimate annexation. Schleswig-Holstein
and Alsace-Lorraine, by reason of their large German population, have
been readily incorporated into the German Empire. Only in Lorraine has a
considerable French element retarded the process. The considerable
sprinkling of Germans over the Baltic provinces of Russia and Poland
west of the Vistula, and a certain Teutonic stamp of civilization which
these districts have received, would greatly facilitate the eastward
extension of the German Empire; while their common religions, both
Protestant and Roman Catholic, would help obliterate the old political
fissure. Thus the borderland of a country, so markedly differentiated
from its interior, performs a certain historical function, and becomes,
as it were, an organ of the living, growing race or state.

[Sidenote: Tendency toward defection along political frontiers.]

Location on a frontier involves remoteness from the center of national,
cultural, and political activities; these reach their greatest intensity
in the core of the nation and exercise only an attenuated influence on
the far-away borders, unless excellent means of communication keep up a
circulation of men, commodities, and ideas between center and periphery.
For the frontier, therefore, the centripetal force is weakened; the
centrifugal is strengthened often by the attraction of some neighboring
state or tribe, which has established bonds of marriage, trade, and
friendly intercourse with the outlying community. Moreover, the mere
infusion of foreign blood, customs, and ideas, especially a foreign
religion, which is characteristic of a border zone, invades the national
solidarity. Hence we find that a tendency to political defection
constantly manifests itself along the periphery. A long reach weakens
the arm of authority, especially where serious geographical barriers
intervene; hence border uprisings are usually successful, at least for a
time. When accomplished, they involve that shrinkage of the frontiers
which we have found to be the unmistakable symptom of national decline.

This defection shows itself most promptly in conquered border tribes of
different blood, who lack the bond of ethnic affinity, and whose
remoteness emboldens them to throw off the political yoke. The decay of
the Roman Empire, after its last display of energy under Trajan, was
registered in the revolt of its peripheral districts beyond the
Euphrates, Danube, and Rhine, as also in the rapid Teutonization of
eastern Gaul, which here prepared the way for the assertion of
independence. The border satraps of the ancient Persian Empire were
constantly revolting, as the history of Asia Minor shows. Aragon, Old
Castile, and Portugal were the first kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula
to throw off Saracen dominion. Mountain ranges and weary stretches of
desert roads enabled the rebellions in Chinese Turkestan and the border
districts of Sungaria in 1863 to be maintained for several years.[387]

[Sidenote: Centrifugal forces on the frontier.]

A feeble grasp upon remote peripheral possessions is often further
weakened by the resistance of an immigrant population from beyond the
boundary, which brings with it new ideas of government. This was the
geographical history of the Texan revolt. A location on the far northern
outskirts of Mexican territory, some twelve hundred miles from the
capital, rendered impossible intelligent government control, the
enforcement of the laws, and prompt defence against the Indians.
Remoteness weakened the political cohesion. More than this, the American
ethnic boundary lapped far over eastern Texas, forming that border zone
of two-fold race which we have come to know. This alien stock,
antagonistic to the national ideals emanating from the City of Mexico,
dominant over the native population by reason of its intelligence,
energy, and wealth, ruptured the feeble political bond and asserted the
independence of Texas. Quite similar was the history of the "Independent
State of Acre," which in 1899 grew up just within the Bolivian frontier
under the leadership of Brazilian caoutchouc gatherers, resisted the
collection of taxes by the Bolivian government, and four years later
secured annexation to Brazil.[388]

Even when no alien elements are present to weaken the race bond, if
natural barriers intervene to obstruct and retard communications between
center and periphery, the frontier community is likely to develop the
spirit of defection, especially if its local geographic, and hence
social, conditions are markedly different from those of the governing
center. This is the explanation of that demand for independent statehood
which was rife in our Trans-Allegheny settlements from 1785 to 1795, and
of that separatist movement which advocated political alliance with
either the British colonies to the north or the Spanish to the west,
because these were nearer and offered easier access to the sea. A
frontier location and an intervening mountain barrier were important
factors in the Whisky Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, just as similar
conditions later suggested the secession of the Pacific States from the
Union. Disaffection from the government was manifested by the Trek Boers
of early South Africa, "especially by those who dwelt in the outlying
districts where the Government had exerted and could exert little
control." In 1795 the people of Graaf-Reinet, a frontier settlement of
that time, revolted against the Dutch South African Company and set up a
miniature republic.[389]

[Sidenote: The spirit of colonial frontiers.]

The spirit of the colonial frontier is the spirit of freedom, the spirit
of men who have traveled far, who are surcharged with energy, enterprise
and self-reliance, often with impatience of restraint. A severe process
of elimination culls out for the frontier a population strikingly
differentiated from the citizens of the old inhabited centers. Then
remoteness of location and abundance of opportunity proceed to emphasize
the qualities which have squeezed through the sieve of natural and
social selection. This is the type bred upon our own frontier, which,
West beyond West, has crossed the continent from the backwoods of the
Allegheny Mountains to the Pacific. The Siberian frontier develops much
the same type on the eastern edge of the Russian Empire. Here army
officers find a compensation for their rough surrounding in the escape
from the excessive bureaucracy of the capitals. Here is to be noted the
independence, self-reliance and self-respect characteristic of other
colonial frontiers. The Russian of the Asiatic border is proud to call
himself a Siberian: he is already differentiated in his own
consciousness. The force of Moscow tradition and discipline is faint
when it reaches him, it has traveled so far. Even the elaborate
observances of the orthodox Greek Church tend to become simplified on
the frontier. The question naturally arises whether in the Russian
Empire, as in the United States, the political periphery will in time,
react upon the center, infuse it with the spirit of progress and

[Sidenote: Free border states as political survivals.]

When to a border situation is added a geographic location affording
conditions of long-established isolation, this tendency to maintain
political autonomy becomes very pronounced. This is the explanation of
so many frontier mountain states that have retained complete or partial
independence, such as Nepal, Bhutan, the Asturias, which successfully
withstood Saracen attack, and Montenegro, which has repelled alike
Venetian, Servian, and Turkish dominion. Europe especially has numerous
examples of these unabsorbed border states, whose independence
represents the equilibrium of the conflicting political attractions
about them. But all these smallest fragments of political territory have
either some commercial or semi-political union with one or another of
their neighbors. The little independent principality of Liechtenstein,
wedged in between Switzerland and the Tyrol, is included in the customs
union of Austro-Hungary. The small, independent duchy of Luxemburg,
which has been attached in turn to all the great states which have grown
up along its borders, is included in the _Zollverein_ of Germany. The
republic of Andorra, far up in a lofty valley of the Pyrenees, which has
maintained its freedom for a thousand years, acknowledges certain rights
of suzerainty exercised by France and the Spanish bishopric of

[Sidenote: Guardians of the marches.]

Oftentimes a state gains by recognizing this freedom-loving spirit of
the frontier, and by turning it to account for national defence along an
exposed boundary. In consequence of the long wars between Scotland and
England, to the Scotch barons having estates near the Border were given
the Wardenships of the Marches, offices of great power and dignity; and
their clans, accustomed only to the imperfect military organization
demanded by the irregular but persistent hostilities of the time and
place, developed a lawless spirit. Prohibited from agriculture by their
exposed location, they left their fields waste, and lived by pillage and
cattle-lifting from their English and even their Scotch neighbors. The
valor of these southern clans, these "reivers of the Border," was the
bulwark of Scotland against the English, but their mutinous spirit
resisted the authority of the king and led them often to erect
semi-independent principalities.[392]

[Sidenote: Border nomads as frontier police.]

China has fringed her western boundaries with quasi-independent tribes
whose autonomy is assured and whose love of freedom is a guarantee of
guerilla warfare against any invader from Central Asia. The Mantze
tribes in the mountain borders of Sze-Chuan province have their own
rulers and customs, and only pay tribute to China.[393] The highlands of
Kansu are sprinkled with such independent tribes. Sometimes a definite
bargain is entered into--a self-governing military organization and a
yearly sum of money in return for defence of the frontier. The Mongol
tribes of the Charkar country or "Borderland" just outside the Great
Wall northwest of Pekin constitute a paid army of the Emperor to guard
the frontier against the Khalkhas of northern Mongolia, the tribe of
Genghis Khan.[394] Similarly, semi-independent military communities for
centuries made a continuous line of barriers against the raids of the
steppe nomads along the southern and southeastern frontiers of Russia,
from the Dnieper to the Ural rivers. There were the "Free Cossacks,"
located on the debatable ground between the fortified frontier of the
agricultural steppe and marauding Crimean Tartars. Nominally subjects of
the Czar, they obeyed him when it suited them, and on provocation rose
in open revolt. The Cossacks of the Dnieper, who to the middle of the
seventeenth century formed Poland's border defence against Tartar
invasion, were jealous of any interference with their freedom. They lent
their services on occasions to the Sultan of Turkey, and even to the
Crimean Khan; and finally, in 1681, attached themselves and their
territory to Russia.[395] Here speaks that spirit of defection which is
the natural product of the remoteness and independence of frontier life.
The Russians also attached to themselves the Kalmucks located between
the lower Volga and Don, and used them as a frontier defence against
their Tartar and Kirghis neighbors.[396] In this case, as in that of the
Cossacks and the Charkars of eastern Mongolia, we have a large body of
men living in the same arid grassland, leading the same pastoral life,
and carrying on the same kind of warfare as the nomadic marauders whose
pillaging, cattle-lifting raids they aim to suppress. The imperial
orders to the Charkars limit them strictly to the life of herdmen, with
the purpose of maintaining their mobility and military efficiency. So in
olden times, for the Don Cossacks agriculture was prohibited on pain of
death, lest they should lose their taste for the live-stock booty of a
punitive raid. A still earlier instance of this utilization of border
nomads is found in the first century after Christ, when the Romans made
the Arabian tribe of Beni Jafre, dwelling on the frontier of Syria, the
warders of the eastern marches of the Empire.[397]

[Sidenote: Lawless citizens deported to frontiers.]

The advancing frontier of an expanding people often carries them into a
sparsely settled country where the unruly members of society can with
advantage be utilized as colonists. After centralized and civilized
Russia began to encroach with the plow upon the pastures of the steppe
Cossacks, and finally suppressed these military republics, the more
turbulent and obstinate remnants of them she colonized along the Kuban
and Terek rivers, to serve as bulwarks against the incursions of the
Caucasus tribes and as the vanguard of the advance southward.[398]

This is one principle underlying the transportation of criminals to the
frontier. They serve to hold the new country. There these waste elements
of civilization are converted into a useful by-product. They may be only
political radicals or religious dissenters: if so, so much the better
colonial material. The Russian government formerly transported the
rebellious sect of the Molokans or Unitarians to the outskirts of the
Empire, where the danger of contagion was reduced. Hence they are to be
found to-day scattered in the Volga province of Samara, on the border of
the Kirghis steppe, in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Siberia, still
faithful and still persecuted.[399] Since 1709 the Russian advance into
Siberia has planted its milestones in settlements formed of prisoners of
war, political exiles, and worse offenders.[400] Penal colonists located
on the shores of Kamchatka helped build and man the crazy boats which
set out for Alaska at the end of the eighteenth century. China settles
its thieves and cheats among the villages of its own border provinces of
Shensi[401] and Kansu; but its worst criminals it transports far away to
the Hi country on the western frontier of the Empire, where they have
doubtless contributed to the spirit of revolt that has there manifested

[Sidenote: Drift of lawless elements to the frontiers.]

The abundance of opportunity and lack of competition in a new frontier
community, its remoteness from the center of authority, and its
imperfect civil government serve to attract thither the vicious, as well
as the sturdy and enterprising. The society of the early Trans-Allegheny
frontier included both elements. The lawless who drifted to the border
formed gangs of horse thieves, highwaymen, and murderers, who called
forth from the others the summary methods of lynch law.[403] North
Carolina, which in its early history formed the southern frontier of
Virginia, swarmed with ruffians who had fled thither to escape
imprisonment or hanging, and whose general attitude was to resist all
regular authority and especially to pay no taxes.[404] Similarly, that
wide belt of mountain forest which forms the waste boundary between
Korea and Manchuria is the resort of bandits, who have harried both
sides of the border ever since this neutral district was established in
the thirteenth century.[405] The frontier communities of the Russian
Cossacks in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were regular
asylums for runaway serfs and peasants who were fleeing from taxation;
their hetmans were repeatedly fugitive criminals. The eastern border of
Russia formed by the Volga basin in 1775 was described as "an asylum for
malcontents and vagabonds of all kinds, ruined nobles, disfrocked monks,
military deserters, fugitive serfs, highwaymen, and Volga
pirates"--disorderly elements which contributed greatly to the
insurrection led by the Ural Cossacks in that year.[406] "The Debatable
Land," a tract between the Esk and Sark rivers, formerly claimed by both
England and Scotland, was long the haunt of thieves, outlaws and
vagabonds, as indeed was the whole Border, subject as it was to the
regular jurisdiction of neither side.[407]

[Sidenote: Asylums beyond the border.]

Just beyond the political boundary, where police authority comes to an
end and where pursuit is cut short or retarded, the fleeing criminal
finds his natural asylum. Hence all border districts tend to harbor
undesirable refugees from the other side. Deserters and outlaws from
China proper sprinkle the eastern districts of Mongolia.[408] Marauding
bands of Apaches and Sioux, after successful depredations on American
ranches, for years fled across the line into Mexico and Canada before
the hammering hoof-beats of Texas Ranger and United States cavalry,
until a treaty with Mexico in 1882, authorizing such armed pursuit to
cross the boundary, cut off at least one asylum.[409] Our country
exchanges other undesirable citizens with its northern and southern
neighbors in cases where no extradition treaty provides for their
return; and the borders of the individual states are crossed and
recrossed by shifty gentlemen seeking to dodge the arm of the law. The
fact that so many State boundaries fall in the Southern Appalachians,
where illicit distilling and feud murders provide most of the cases on
the docket, has materially retarded the suppression of these crimes by
increasing the difficulty both of apprehending the offender and of
subpoenaing the reluctant witness.

[Sidenote: Border refugees and ethnic mingling.]

Dissatisfied, oppressed, or persecuted members of a political community
are prone to seek an asylum across the nearest border, where happier or
freer conditions of life are promised. There they contribute to that
mixture of race which characterizes every boundary zone, though as an
embittered people they may also help to emphasize any existing political
or religious antagonism. The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685
was followed by an exodus of Huguenots from France to the Protestant
states of Switzerland, the Palatinate of the Rhine, and Holland, as also
across the Channel into southern England; just as in recent years the
Slav borderland of eastern Germany has received a large immigration of
Polish Jews from Russia. When the Polish king in 1571 executed the
leader of the Dnieper Cossacks, thousands of these bold borderers left
their country and joined the community of the Don; and in 1722 after the
Dnieper community had been crushed by Peter the Great, a similar exodus
took place across the southern boundary into the Crimea, whereby the
Tartar horde was strengthened, just as a few years before, during an
unsuccessful revolt of the Don Cossacks, some two thousand of the
malcontents crossed the southern frontier to the Kuban River in
Circassia.[410] The establishment of American independence in 1783 saw an
exodus of loyalists from the United States into the contiguous districts
of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Spanish Florida, Five years later
discontent with the Federal Government for its dilatory opposition to
the occlusion of the Mississippi and the lure of commercial betterment
sent many citizens of the early Trans-Allegheny commonwealths to the
Spanish side of the Mississippi,[411] while the Natchez District on the
east bank of the river contained a sprinkling of French who had become
dissatisfied with Spanish rule in Louisiana and changed their domicile.

These are some of the movements of individuals and groups which
contribute to the blending of races along every frontier, and make of
the boundary a variable zone, as opposed to the rigid artificial line in
terms of which we speak.


[326] A.W. Greely, Report of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, Vol. I,
pp. 28-33, 236. Misc. Doc. No. 393. Washington, 1888.

[327] A.P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North, pp. 123-130.
Translated from the Russian. London, 1899.

[328] Nordenskiold, Voyage of the Vega, pp. 60-62. New York, 1882.

[329] _Ibid._, pp. 146, 161.

[330] Col. F.E. Younghusband, The Heart of a Continent, pp. 194-199.
London, 1904.

[331] A.R. Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, Vol. I, pp.
387-389, 426-431, 436-438. London, 1876.

[332] _Ibid._, 409, 424.

[333] A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, pp. 105-108.
London, 1894.

[334] A.R. Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, Vol. I, pp.
313, 321-322. London, 1876.

[335] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I,
ethnographical map. New York, 1893.

[336] Eleventh Census of the United States, _Population_, Part I., maps
on pp. xviii-xxiii.

[337] L. March Phillipps, In the Desert, pp. 64-68, 77. London, 1905.

[338] Fully treated in E.C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic
Conditions, pp. 22-31. Boston, 1903.

[339] Sir S.W. Baker, The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, pp. 88,
128-129, 135. Hartford, 1868.

[340] Norway, Official Publication for the Paris Exhibition, pp. 3-4 and
map. Christiania, 1900.

[341] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 297. London, 1903.

[342] Cæsar, _Bello Gallico_, Book IV, chap. 3 and Book VI, chap. 23.

[343] _Ibid._, Book VI, chap. 10.

[344] T. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, p. 56, Note I.
Oxford, 1892.

[345] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. IV, p. 510. New York,

[346] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. IX, chap. 70, pp. 99, 115. New
York, 1859.

[347] Dr. Wilhelm Junker, Travels in Africa, pp. 18, 45, 79, 87, 115,
117, 138, 191, 192, 200, 308, 312, 325, 332. Translated from the German.
London, 1892.

[348] H. Barth, Human Society in North Central Africa, _Journal Royal
Geographical Society_, Vol. XXX, pp. 123-124. London, 1860.

[349] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. II, pp. 163-164.
London, 1907.

[350] John H. Speke, Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, pp. 74, 89,
91, 94, 95, 173, 176-177, 197. New York, 1868.

[351] Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 50, 70,
135. New York, 1895.

[352] C. C. Royce, The Cherokee Nations of Indians, p. 140. _Fifth
Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology_. Washington, 1884.

[353] Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 79-89, 113-115, 1851.
Reprint, Birmingham, 1900. James Adair, History of the American Indians,
p. 257. London, 1775.

[354] _Ibid._, pp. 252-3, 282.

[355] Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 133-135. 1851. Reprint,
Birmingham, 1900.

[356] Archibald Little, The Far East, p. 249. Oxford, 1905.

[357] M. Huc, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I,
p. 74. Translated from the French. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[358] Nachtigal, _Sahara und Sudan_, Vol. I, pp. 102, 448; Vol. III, pp.
203-205, 314. Leipzig, 1889. Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile,
Vol. II, p. 170. London, 1907.

[359] Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 118-119. 1851. Reprint,
Birmingham, 1900.

[360] Norway, Official Publication for the Paris Exhibition, pp. 5,
83-84. Christiania, 1900.

[361] Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 416, 417, 461, 467.
1857. Reprint, Birmingham, 1900.

[362] C.E. Akers, History of South America, 1854-1904, p. 435. New
York, 1904.

[363] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 883. New York, 1902.

[364] Matias Romero, Mexico and the United States, pp. 433-441. New
York, 1898.

[365] E. Hertslet, The Map of Europe by Treaty, 1814-1875, Vol. I, pp.
422, 425, 426; Vol. II, p. 1430.

[366] Eleventh Census of the United States, _Population_, Part I., map
No. 10 and p. cxliii.

[367] _Ibid._ Based on comparison of Tables 15 and 33 for the States

[368] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 250-253. New York, 1899.

[369] W. Deecke, Italy, pp. 325, 347, 349. Translated from the German.
London, 1904.

[370] Sydow-Wagner, _Methodischer Schul-Atlas, Völker und
Sprachenkarten_, No. 13. Gotha, 1905. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp.
282-284. New York, 1899.

[371] _Ibid._, pp. 255-257. W. Deecke, Italy, p. 357. London, 1904.

[372] Sydow-Wagner, _Methodischer Schul-Atlas, Völker und
Sprachenkarten_ No, 13. Gotha, 1905.

[373] Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, p. 309. New York, 1902.

[374] D.M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 151-155. New York, 1904.

[375] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 362. New York, 1899.

[376] Archibald Little, The Far East. Map p. 8 and pp. 171-172. Oxford,
1905. M. Huc, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846. Vol. I,
pp. 2-4, 21, 197-201, 284. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[377] _Ibid._, Vol. I, pp. 166-170.

[378] _Ibid._, Vol II, p. 23.

[379] _Ibid._, Vol. I, 312-313.

[380] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 319-322, 327.

[381] M. Huc, Journey through the Chinese Empire, Vol. I, p. 36. New
York, 1871.

[382] Isabella Bird Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. II, pp.
70-71, 88, 91, 92, 104-109, 113, 117, 133, 134, 155, 194, 195. London,

[383] M. Huc, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. II,
pp. 155-156, 264. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[384] C.A. Sherring, Western Tibet and the British Borderland, pp. 60,
65-73, 205, 347-358. London, 1906. Statistical Atlas of India, pp.
61-62, maps. Calcutta, 1895. _Imperial Gazetteer of India_, Vol. I, p.
295-296. Oxford, 1907.

[385] Eliza E. Scidmore, Winter India, pp. 106-108. New York, 1903.

[386] M. Huc, Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I,
pp. 312-313. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[387] Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 174-175. New York, 1899.

[388] Charles E. Akers, History of South America, 1854-1904, p. 562. New
York, 1904.

[389] James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 108-109. New York,

[390] O.P. Crosby, Tibet and Turkestan, pp. 15-20.

[391] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 378. New York, 1902. H.
Spencer, A Visit to Andorra, _Fortnightly Review_, Vol. 67, pp. 44-60.

[392] Wm. Robertson, History of Scotland, pp. 19-20. New York, 1831. The
Scotch Borderers, _Littell's Living Age_, Vol 40, p. 180.

[393] Isabella Bird Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. II, pp.
209-210. London, 1900.

[394] M. Huc, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I,
pp. 41, 42, 97. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[395] D.M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 352-356. New York, 1904. Article on
Cossacks in Encyclopedia Britannica.

[396] Pallas, Travels in Southern Russia, Vol. I, pp. 126-129; 442; Vol.
II, pp. 330-331. London, 1812.

[397] G. Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, p. 9. New
York, 1897.

[398] D.M. Wallace, Russia, p. 358. New York, 1904. Walter K. Kelly,
History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 394-395. London, 1881.

[399] D.M. Wallace, Russia, p. 298. New York, 1904.

[400] Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 43, 53. New York, 1899.

[401] Francis H. Nichol, Through Hidden Shensi, pp. 139-140. New York,

[402] M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I,
p. 23. Reprint, Chicago, 1898.

[403] Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 130-132.
New York, 1895.

[404] John Fiske, Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, Vol. II, pp. 311,
315-321. Boston, 1897.

[405] Archibald Little, The Far East, p. 249. Oxford, 1905.

[406] Alfred Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 45, 199-200.
Boston, 1886.

[407] Malcolm Lang, History of Scotland, Vol. I, pp. 42-43. London,
1800. The Scotch Borderland, _Gentleman's Magazine_, Vol. CCLX, p. 191.

[408] Friedrich Ratel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 175, London,

[409] A.B. Hart, Foundations of American Foreign Policy, pp. 81-82. New
York, 1901.

[410] Alfred Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 45, 50. Boston,

[411] Justin Winsor, The Westward Movement, p. 366. Boston, 1899.



[Sidenote: The coast a zone of transition.]

Of all geographical boundaries, the most important is that between land
and sea. The coast, in its physical nature, is a zone of transition
between these two dominant forms of the earth's surface; it bears the
mark of their contending forces, varying in its width with every
stronger onslaught of the unresting sea, and with every degree of
passive resistance made by granite or sandy shore. So too in an
anthropo-geographical sense, it is a zone of transition. Now the
life-supporting forces of the land are weak in it, and it becomes merely
the rim of the sea; for its inhabitants the sea means food, clothes,
shelter, fuel, commerce, highway, and opportunity. Now the coast is
dominated by the exuberant forces of a productive soil, so that the
ocean beyond is only a turbulent waste and a long-drawn barrier: the
coast is the hem of the land. Neither influence can wholly exclude the
other in this amphibian belt, for the coast remains the intermediary
between the habitable expanse of the land and the international highway
of the sea. The break of the waves and the dash of the spray draw the
line beyond which human dwellings cannot spread; for these the shore is
the outermost limit, as for ages also in the long infancy of the races,
before the invention of boat and sail, it drew the absolute boundary to
human expansion. In historical order, its first effect has been that of
a barrier, and for the majority of peoples this it has remained; but
with the development of navigation and the spread of human activities
from the land over sea to other countries, it became the gateway both of
land and sea--at once the outlet for exploration, colonization, and
trade, and the open door through which a continent or island receives
contributions of men or races or ideas from transoceanic shores. Barrier
and threshold: these are the _rôles_ which coasts have always played in
history. To-day we see them side by side. But in spite of the immense
proportions assumed by transmarine intercourse, the fact remains that
the greater part of the coasts of the earth are for their inhabitants
only a barrier and not an outlet, or at best only a base for timorous
ventures seaward that rarely lose sight of the shore.


[Sidenote: Width of coastal zones.]

As intermediary belt between land and sea, the coast becomes a peculiar
habitat which leaves its mark upon its people. We speak of coast strips,
coastal plains, "tidewater country," coast cities; of coast tribes,
coast peoples, maritime colonies; and each word brings up a picture of a
land or race or settlement permeated by the influences of the sea. The
old term of "coastline" has no application to such an intermediary belt,
for it is a zone of measurable width; and this width varies with the
relief of the land, the articulation of the coast according as it is
uniform or complex, with the successive stages of civilization and the
development of navigation among the people who inhabit it.

Along highly articulated coasts, showing the interpenetration of sea and
land in a broad band of capes and islands separated by tidal channels
and inlets, or on shores deeply incised by river estuaries, or on low
shelving beaches which screen brackish lagoons and salt marshes behind
sand reefs and dune ramparts, and which thus form an indeterminate
boundary of alternate land and water, the zone character of the coast in
a physical sense becomes conspicuous. In an anthropological sense the
zone character is clearly indicated by the different uses of its inner
and outer edge made by man in different localities and in different
periods of history.

[Sidenote: The inner edge.]

The old German maritime cities of the North Sea and the Baltic were
located on rivers from 6 to 60 miles from the open sea, always on the
inner edge of the coastal belt. Though primarily trading towns, linked
together once in the sovereign confederacy of the Hanseatic League, they
fixed their sites on the last spurs of firm ground running out into the
soft, yielding alluvium, which was constantly exposed to inundation.
Land high enough to be above the ever threatening flood of river and
storm-driven tide on this flat coast, and solid enough to be built upon,
could not be found immediately on the sea. The slight elevations of
sandy "geest" or detrital spurs were limited in area and in time
outgrown. Hence the older part of all these river towns, from Bremen to
Königsberg, rests upon hills, while in every case the newer and lower
part is built on piles or artificially raised ground on the alluvium.[412]
So Utrecht, the Ultrajectum of the Romans, selected for its site a long
raised spur running out from the solid ground of older and higher land
into the water-soaked alluvium of the Netherlands. It was the most
important town of all this region before the arts of civilization began
the conquest by dike and ditch of the amphibian coastal belt which now
comprises one-fourth of the area and holds one-half the population of
the Netherlands.[413] So ancient London marked the solid ground at the
inner edge of the tidal flats and desolate marshes which lined the
Thames estuary, as the Roman Camulodunum and its successor Colchester on
its steep rise or _dun_ overlooked the marshes of the Stour inlet.[414]
Farther north about the Wash, which in Roman days extended far inland
over an area of fens and tidal channels, Cambridge on the River Cam,
Huntingdon and Stamford on the Nen, and Lincoln on the Witham--all river
seaports--defined the firm inner edge of this wide low coast. In the
same way the landward rim of the tidal waters and salt marshes of the
Humber inlet was described by a semicircle of British and Roman
towns--Doncaster, Castleford, Todcaster, and York.[415] On the flat or
rolling West African coastland, which lines the long shores of the Gulf
of Guinea with a band 30 to 100 miles wide, the sandy, swampy tracts
immediately on the sea are often left uninhabited; native population is
distributed most frequently at the limit of deep water, and here at head
of ship-navigation the trading towns are found.[416]

[Sidenote: Inner edge as head of sea navigation.]

While, on low coasts at any rate, the inner edge tends to mark the limit
of settlement advancing from the interior, as the head of sea navigation
on river and inlet it has also been the goal of immigrant settlers from
oversea lands. The history of modern maritime colonization, especially
in America, shows that the aim of regular colonists, as opposed to mere
traders, has been to penetrate as far as possible into the land while
retaining communication with the sea, and thereby with the mother
country. The small boats in use till the introduction of steam
navigation fixed this line far inland and gave the coastal zone a
greater breadth than it has at present, and a more regular contour. In
colonial America this inner edge coincided with the "fall-line" of the
Atlantic rivers, which was indicated by a series of seaport towns; or
with the inland limit of the tides, which on the St. Lawrence fell above
Quebec, and on the Hudson just below Albany.

[Sidenote: Shifting of the inner edge.]

With the recent increase in the size of vessels, two contrary effects
are noticed. In the vast majority of cases, the inner edge, as marked by
ports, moves seaward into deeper water, and the zone narrows. The days
when almost every tobacco plantation in tidewater Virginia had its own
wharf are long since past, and the leaf is now exported by way of
Norfolk and Baltimore. Seville has lost practically all its sea trade to
Cadiz, Rouen to Havre, and Dordrecht to Rotterdam. In other cases the
zone preserves its original width by the creation of secondary ports on
or near the outer edge, reserved only for the largest vessels, while the
inner harbor, by dredging its channel, improves its communication with
the sea. Thus arises the phenomenon of twin ports like Bremen and
Bremerhaven, Dantzig and Neufahrwasser, Stettin and Swinemünde, Bordeaux
and Pauillac, London and Tilbury. Or the original harbor seeks to
preserve its advantage by canalizing the shallow approach by river,
lagoon, or bay, as St. Petersburg by the Pantiloff canal through the
shallow reaches of Kronstadt Bay; or Königsberg by its ship canal,
carried for 25 miles across the Frisches Haff to the Baltic;[417] or
Nantes by the Loire ship canal, which in 1892 was built to regain for
the old town the West Indian trade recently intercepted by the rising
outer port of St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire estuary.[418] In
northern latitudes, however, the outer ports on enclosed sea basins like
the Baltic become dominant in the winter, when the inner ports are
ice-bound. Otherwise the outer port sinks with every improvement in the
channel between the inner port and the sea. Hamburg has so constantly
deepened the Elbe passage that its outport of Cuxhaven has had little
chance to rise, and serves only as an emergency harbor; while on the
Weser, maritime leadership has oscillated between Bremen and
Bremerhaven.[419] So the whole German coast and the Russian Baltic have
seen a more or less irregular shifting backward and forward of maritime
importance between the inner and the outer edges.

[Sidenote: Artificial extension of inner edge.]

The width of the coast zone is not only prevented from contracting by
dredging and canaling, but it is even increased. By deepening the
channel, the chief port of the St. Lawrence River has been removed from
Quebec 180 miles upstream to Montreal, and that of the Clyde from Port
Glasgow 16 miles to Glasgow itself, so that now the largest ocean
steamers come to dock where fifty years ago children waded across the
stream at ebb tide. Such artificial modifications, however, are rare,
for they are made only where peculiarly rich resources or superior lines
of communication with the hinterland justify the expenditures; but they
find their logical conclusion in still farther extensions of sea
navigation into the interior by means of ship canals, where previously
no waterway existed. Instances are found in the Manchester ship canal
and the Welland, which, by means of the St. Lawrence and the Great
Lakes, makes Chicago accessible to ocean vessels. Though man
distinguishes between sea and inland navigation in his definitions, in
his practice he is bound by no formula and recognizes no fundamental
difference where rivers, lakes, and canals are deep enough to admit his
sea-going craft.

Such deep landward protrusions of the head of marine navigation at
certain favored points, as opposed to its recent coastward trend in most
inlets and rivers, increase the irregularity of the inner edge of the
coast zone by the marked discrepancy between its maximum and minimum
width. They are limited, however, to a few highly civilized countries,
and to a few points in those countries. But their presence testifies to
the fact that the evolution of the coast zone with the development of
civilization shows the persistent importance of this inner edge.

[Sidenote: Outer edge in original settlement.]

The outer edge finds its greatest significance, which is for the most
part ephemeral, in the earlier stages of navigation, maritime
colonization, and in some cases of original settlement. But this
importance persists only on steep coasts furnishing little or no level
ground for cultivation and barred from interior hunting or grazing land;
on many coral and volcanic islands of the Pacific Ocean whose outer rim
has the most fertile soil and furnishes the most abundant growth of coco
palms, and whose limited area only half suffices to support the
population; and in polar and sub-polar districts, where harsh climatic
conditions set a low limit to economic development. In all these regions
the sea must provide most of the food of the inhabitants, who can
therefore never lose contact with its waters. In mountainous Tierra del
Fuego, whose impenetrably forested slopes rise directly from the sea,
with only here and there a scanty stretch of stony beach, the natives of
the southern and western coasts keep close to the shore. The straits and
channels yield them all their food, and are the highways for all their
restless, hungry wanderings.[420] The steep slopes and dense forests
preclude travel by land, and force the wretched inhabitants to live as
much in their canoes as in their huts. The Tlingit and Haida Indians of
the mountainous coast of southern Alaska locate their villages on some
smooth sheltered beach, with their houses in a single row facing the
water, and the ever-ready canoe drawn up on shore in front. They select
their sites with a view to food supply, and to protection in case of
attack. On the treeless shores of Kadiak Island and of the long narrow
Alaska Peninsula near by, the Eskimo choose their village location for
an accumulation of driftwood, for proximity to their food supply, and a
landing-place for their kayaks and bidarkas. Hence they prefer a point
of land or gravel spit extending out into the sea, or a sand reef
separating a salt-water lagoon from the open sea. The Aleutian Islanders
regard only accessibility to the shell-fish on the beach and their
pelagic hunting and fishing; and this consideration has influenced the
Eskimo tribes of the wide Kuskokwin estuary to such an extent, that they
place their huts only a few feet above ordinary high tide, where they
are constantly exposed to overflow from the sea.[421] Only among the
great tidal channels of the Yukon delta are they distributed over the
whole wide coastal zone, even to its inner edge.

The coast Chukches of northeastern Siberia locate their tent villages on
the sand ramparts between the Arctic Ocean and the freshwater lagoons
which line this low tundra shore. Here they are conveniently situated
for fishing and hunting marine animals, while protected against the
summer inundations of the Arctic rivers.[422] The whole western side of
Greenland, from far northern Upernivik south to Cape Farewell, shows
both Eskimo and Danish settlements almost without exception on
projecting points of peninsulas or islands, where the stronger effect of
the warm ocean current, as well as proximity to the food supply, serve
to fix their habitations; although the remains of the old Norse
settlements in general are found in sheltered valleys with summer
vegetation, striking off from the fiords some 20 miles back from the
outer coast.[423] Cæsar found that the ancient Veneti, an immigrant
people of the southern coast of Brittany, built their towns on the
points of capes and promontories, sites which gave them ready contact
with the sea and protection against attack from the land side, because
every rise of the tide submerged the intervening lowlands.[424] Here a
sterile plateau hinterland drove them for part of their subsistence to
the water, and the continuous intertribal warfare of small primitive
states to the sea-girt asylums of the capes.

[Sidenote: Outer edge in early navigation.]

In the early history of navigation and exploration, striking features of
this outer coast edge, like headlands and capes, became important sea
marks. The promontory of Mount Athos, rising 6,400 feet above the sea
between the Hellespont and the Thessalian coast, and casting its shadow
as far as the market-place of Lemnos, was a guiding point for mariners
in the whole northern Aegean.[425] For the ancient Greeks Cape Malia was
long the boundary stone to the unknown wastes of the western
Mediterranean, just as later the Pillars of Hercules marked the portals
to the _mare tenebrosum_ of the stormy Atlantic. So the Sacred
Promontory (Cape St. Vincent) of the Iberian Peninsula defined for
Greeks and Romans the southwestern limit of the habitable world.[426]
Centuries later the Portuguese marked their advance down the west coast
of Africa, first by Cape Non, which so long said "No!" to the struggling
mariner, then by Cape Bojador, and finally by Cape Verde.

In coastwise navigation, minor headlands and inshore islands were points
to steer by; and in that early maritime colonization, which had chiefly
a commercial aim, they formed the favorite spots for trading stations.
The Phoenicians in their home country fixed their settlements by
preference on small capes, like Sidon and Berytus, or on inshore
islets, like Tyre and Aradus,[427] and for their colonies and trading
stations they chose similar sites, whether on the coast of Sicily,[428]
Spain, or Morocco.[429] Carthage was located on a small hill-crowned cape
projecting out into the Bay of Carthage. The two promontories embracing
this inlet were edged with settlements, especially the northern arm,
which held Utica and Hippo,[430] the latter on the site of the modern
French naval station of Bizerta.


[Sidenote: Outer edge and piracy.]

In this early Hellenic world, when Greek sea-power was in its infancy,
owing to the fear of piracy, cities were placed a few miles back from
the coast; but with the partial cessation of this evil, sites on shore
and peninsula were preferred as being more accessible to commerce,[431]
and such of the older towns as were in comparatively easy reach of the
seaboard established there each its own port. Thus we find the ancient
urban pairs of Argos and Nauplia, Troezene and Pogon, Mycenæ and
Eiones, Corinth commanding its Aegean port of Cenchreæ 8 miles away on
the Saronic Gulf to catch the Asiatic trade, and connected by a walled
thoroughfare a mile and a half long with Lechæum, a second harbor on
the Corinthian Gulf which served the Italian commerce.[432] In the same
group belonged Athens and its Piræus, Megara and Pegæ, Pergamus and
Elaæ in western Asia Minor.[433] These ancient twin cities may be taken
to mark the two borders of the coast zone. Like the modern ones which we
have considered above, their historical development has shown an advance
from the inner toward the outer edge, though owing to different causes.
However, the retired location of the Baltic and North Sea towns of
Germany served as a partial protection against the pirates who, in the
Middle Ages, scoured these coasts.[434] Lubeck, originally located nearer
the sea than at present, and frequently demolished by them, was finally
rebuilt farther inland up the Trave River.[435] Later the port of
Travemünde grew up at the mouth of the little estuary.

[Sidenote: Outer edge in colonization.]

The early history of maritime colonization shows in general two
geographic phases: first, the appropriation of the islet and headland
outskirts of the seaboard, and later--it may be much later--an advance
toward the inner edge of the coast, or yet farther into the interior.
Progress from the earlier to the maturer phase depends upon the social
and economic development of the colonizers, as reflected in their
valuation of territorial area. The first phase, the outcome of a low
estimate of the value of land, is best represented by the Phoenician and
earliest Greek colonies, whose purposes were chiefly commercial, and who
sought merely such readily accessible coastal points as furnished the
best trading stations on the highway of the Mediterranean and the
adjacent seas. The earlier Greek colonies, like those of the Triopium
promontory forming the south-western angle of Asia Minor, Chalcidice,
the Thracian Chersonesus, Calchedon, Byzantium, the Pontic Heraclea, and
Sinope, were situated on peninsulas or headlands, that would afford a
convenient anchor ground; or, like Syracuse and Mitylene, on small
inshore islets, which were soon outgrown, and from which the towns then
spread to the mainland near by. The advantages of such sites lay in
their accessibility to commerce, and in their natural protection against
the attack of strange or hostile mainland tribes. For a nation of
merchants, satisfied with the large returns but also with the ephemeral
power of middlemen, these considerations sufficed. While the Phoenician
trading posts in Africa dotted the outer rim of the coast, the inner
edge of the zone was indicated by Libyan or Ethiopian towns, where the
inhabitants of the interior bartered their ivory and skins for the
products of Tyre.[436] So that commercial expansion of the Arabs down the
east coast of Africa in the first and again in the tenth century seized
upon the offshore islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia, the small
inshore islets like Mombasa and Lamu, and the whole outer rim of the
coast from the equator southward to the Rovuma River.[437] The Sultan of
Zanzibar, heir to this coastal strip, had not expanded it a decade ago,
when he had to relinquish the long thread of his continental

[Sidenote: Inland advance of colonies.]

But when a people has advanced to a higher conception of colonization as
an outlet for national as well as commercial expansion, and when it sees
that the permanent prosperity of both race and trade in the new locality
depends upon the occupation of larger tracts of territory and the
development of local resources as a basis for exchanges, their
settlements spread from the outer rim of the coasts to its inner edge
and yet beyond, if alluvial plains and river highways are present to
tempt inland expansion. Such was the history of many later colonies of
the Greeks[438] and Carthaginians, and especially of most modern colonial
movements, for these have been dominated by a higher estimate of the
value of land.

After the long Atlantic journey, the outposts of the American coast were
welcome resting-places to the early European voyagers, but, owing to
their restricted area and therefore limited productivity, they were soon
abandoned, or became mere bases for inland expansion. The little island
of Cuttyhunk, off southern Massachusetts, was the site of Gosnold's
abortive attempt at colonization in 1602, like Raleigh's attempt on
Roanoke Island in 1585, and the later one of Popham on the eastern
headland of Casco Bay. The Pilgrims paused at the extremity of Cape Cod,
and again on Clark's Island, before fixing their settlement on Plymouth
Bay. Monhegan Island, off the Maine coast, was the site of an early
English trading post, which, however, lasted only from 1623 to 1626;[439]
and the same dates fix the beginning and end of a fishing and trading
station established on Cape Ann, and removed later to Salem harbor. The
Swedes made their first settlement in America on Cape Henlopen, at the
entrance of Delaware Bay; but their next, only seven years later, they
located well up the estuary of the Delaware River. Thus for the modern
colonist the outer edge of the coast is merely the gateway of the land.
From it he passes rapidly to the settlement of the interior, wherever
fertile soil and abundant resources promise a due return upon his labor.

[Sidenote: Interpenetration of land and sea.]

Since it is from the land, as the inhabited portion of the earth's
surface, that all maritime movements emanate, and to the land that all
oversea migrations are directed, the reciprocal relations between land
and sea are largely determined by the degree of accessibility existing
between the two. This depends primarily upon the articulation of a
land-mass, whether it presents an unbroken contour like Africa and
India, or whether, like Europe and Norway, it drops a fringe of
peninsulas and a shower of islands into the bordering ocean. Mere
distance from the sea bars a country from its vivifying contact; every
protrusion of an ocean artery into the heart of a continent makes that
heart feel the pulse of life on far-off, unseen shores. The Baltic inlet
which makes a seaport of St. Petersburg 800 miles (1,300 kilometers)
back from the western rim of Europe, brings Atlantic civilization to
this half-Asiatic side of the continent. The solid front presented by
the Iberian Peninsula and Africa to the Atlantic has a narrow crack at
Gibraltar, whence the Mediterranean penetrates inland 2,300 miles (3,700
kilometers), and converts the western foot of the Caucasus and the roots
of the Lebanon Mountains into a seaboard. By means of the Arabian Sea,
the Indian Ocean runs northward 1,300 miles (2,200 kilometers) from Cape
Comorin to meet the Indus delta; and then turns westward 700 miles
farther through the Oman and Persian gulfs to receive the boats from the
Tigris and Euphrates. Such marine inlets create islands and peninsulas;
which are characterized by proximity to the sea on all or many sides;
and in the interior of the continents they produce every degree of
nearness, shading off into inaccessible remoteness from the watery
highway of the deep.

The success with which such indentations open up the interior of the
continents depends upon the length of the inlets and the size of the
land-mass in question. Africa's huge area and unbroken contour combine
to hold the sea at arm's length, Europe's deep-running inlets open that
small continent so effectively that Kazan, Russia's most eastern city of
considerable size, is only 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) distant from the
nearest White Sea, Baltic, and Azof ports. Asia, the largest of all the
continents, despite a succession of big indentations that invade its
periphery from Sinai peninsula to East Cape, has a vast inland area
hopelessly far from the surrounding oceans.

[Sidenote: Ratio of shoreline to area.]

In order to determine the coast articulation of any country or
continent, Carl Ritter and his followers divided area by shoreline, the
latter a purely mathematical line representing the total contour length.
By this method Europe's ratio is one linear mile of coast to 174 square
miles of area, Australia's 1:224, Asia's 1:490, and Africa's 1:700. This
means that Europe's proportion of coast is three times that of Asia and
four times that of Africa; that a country like Norway, with a shoreline
of 12,000 miles traced in and out along the fiords and around the larger
islands,[440] has only 10 square miles of area for every mile of
seaboard, while Germany, with every detail of its littoral included in
the measurement, has only 1,515 miles of shoreline and a ratio of one
mile of coast to every 159 square miles of area.

The criticism has been made against this method that it compares two
unlike measures, square and linear, which moreover increase or decrease
in markedly different degrees, according as larger or smaller units are
used. But for the purposes of anthropo-geography the method is valid,
inasmuch as it shows the amount of area dependent for its marine outline
upon each mile of littoral. A coast, like every other boundary, performs
the important function of intermediary in the intercourse of a land with
its neighbors; hence the length of this sea boundary materially affects
this function. Area and coastline are not dead mathematical quantities,
but like organs of one body stand in close reciprocal activity, and can
be understood only in the light of their persistent mutual relations.
The division of the area of a land by the length of its coastline yields
a quotient which to the anthropo-geographer is not a dry figure, but an
index to the possible relations between seaboard and interior. A
comparison of some of these ratios will illustrate this fact.

Germany's shoreline, traced in contour without including details,
measures 787 miles; this is just one-fifth that of Italy and two-fifths
that of France, so that it is short. But since Germany's area is nearly
twice Italy's and a little larger than that of France, it has 267 square
miles of territory for every mile of coast, while Italy has only 28
square miles, and France 106. Germany has towns that are 434 miles from
the nearest seaboard, but in Italy the most inland point is only 148
miles from the Mediterranean.[441] If we turn now to the United States
and adopt Mendenhall's estimate of its general or contour coastline as
5,705 miles, we find that our country has 530 square miles of area
dependent for its outlet upon each mile of seaboard. This means that our
coast has a heavy task imposed upon it, and that its commercial and
political importance is correspondingly enhanced; that the extension of
our Gulf of Mexico littoral by the purchase of Florida and the
annexation of Texas were measures of self-preservation, and that the
unbroken contour and mountain-walled face of our Pacific littoral is a
serious national handicap.

[Sidenote: Criticism of this formula.]

But this method is open to the legitimate and fundamental criticism
that, starting from the conception of a coast as a mere line instead of
a zone, it ignores all those features which belong to every littoral as
a strip of the earth's surface--location, geologic structure, relief,
area, accessibility to the sea in front and to the land behind, all
which vary from one part of the world's seaboard to another, and serve
to differentiate the human history of every littoral. Moreover, of all
parts of the earth's surface, the coast as the hem of the sea and land,
combining the characters of each, is most complex. It is the coast as a
human habitat that primarily concerns anthropo-geography. A careful
analysis of the multifarious influences modifying one another in this
mingled environment of land and water reveals an intricate interplay of
geographic forces, varying from inland basin to marginal sea, from
marginal sea to open ocean, and changing from one historical period to
another--an interplay so mercurial that it could find only a most
inadequate expression in the rigid mathematical formula of Carl Ritter.

[Sidenote: Accessibility of coasts from hinterland.]

As the coast, then, is the border zone between the solid, inhabited land
and the mobile, untenanted deep, two important factors in its history
are the accessibility of its back country on the one hand, and the
accessibility of the sea on the other. A littoral population barred from
its hinterland by mountain range or steep plateau escarpment or desert
tract feels little influence from the land; level or fertile soil is too
limited in amount to draw inland the growing people, intercourse is too
difficult and infrequent, transportation too slow and costly. Hence the
inhabitants of such a coast are forced to look seaward for their racial
and commercial expansion, even if a paucity of good harbors limits the
accessibility of the sea; they must lead a somewhat detached and
independent existence, so far as the territory behind them is concerned.
Here the coast, as a peripheral organ of the interior, as the outlet
for its products, the market for its foreign exchanges, and the medium
for intercourse with its maritime neighbors, sees its special function
impaired. But it takes advantage of its isolation and the protection of
a long sea boundary to detach itself politically from its hinterland, as
the histories of Phoenicia, the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, Dalmatia,
the republics of Amalfi, Venice, and Genoa, the county of Barcelona, and
Portugal abundantly prove. At the same time it profits by its seaboard
location to utilize the more varied fields of maritime enterprise before
it, in lieu of the more or less forbidden territory behind it. The
height and width of the landward barrier, the number and practicability
of the passways across it, and especially the value of the hinterland's
products in relation to their bulk, determine the amount of intercourse
between that hinterland and its mountain or desert barred littoral.

[Sidenote: Mountain-barred hinterlands.]

The interior is most effectively cut off from the periphery, where a
mountain range or a plateau escarpment traces the inner line of the
coastland, as in the province of Liguria in northern Italy, Dalmatia,
the western or Malabar coast of India, most parts of Africa, and long
stretches of the Pacific littoral of the Americas. The highland that
backs the Norwegian coast is crossed by only one railroad, that passing
through the Trondhjem depression; and this barrier has served to keep
Norway's historical connection with Sweden far less intimate than with
Denmark. The long inlet of the Adriatic, bringing the sea well into the
heart of Southern Europe, has seen nevertheless a relatively small
maritime development, owing to the wall of mountains that everywhere
shuts out the hinterland of its coasts. The greatness of Venice was
intimately connected with the Brenner Pass over the Alps on the one
hand, and the trade of the eastern Mediterranean on the other. Despite
Austro-Hungary's crucial interest in the northeast corner of the
Adriatic as a maritime outlet for this vast inland empire, and its
herculean efforts at Trieste and Fiume to create harbors and to connect
them by transmontane railroads with the valley of the Danube, the
maritime development of this coast is still restricted, and much of
Austria's trade goes out northward by German ports.[442] Farther south
along the Dalmatian and Albanian coasts, the deep and sheltered bays
between the half-submerged roots of the Dinaric Alps have developed only
local importance, because they lack practicable connection with the
interior. This was their history too in early Greek and Roman days, for
they found only scant support in the few caravans that crossed by the
Roman road to Dyrrachium to exchange the merchandise of the Aegean for
the products of the Ionian Isles. Spain has always suffered from the
fact that her bare, arid, and unproductive tableland almost everywhere
rises steeply from her fertile and densely populated coasts; and
therefore that the two have been unable to coöperate either for the
production of a large maritime commerce or for national political unity.
Here the diverse conditions of the littoral and the wall of the great
central terrace of the country have emphasized that tendency to
defection that belongs to every periphery, and therefore necessitated a
strong centralized government to consolidate the restive maritime
provinces with their diverse Galician, Basque, Catalonian, and
Andalusian folk into one nation with the Castilians of the plateau.[443]

[Sidenote: Accessible hinterlands.]

Where mountain systems run out endwise into the sea, the longitudinal
valleys with their drainage streams open natural highways from the
interior to the coast. This structure has made the Atlantic side of the
Iberian Peninsula far more open than its Mediterranean front, and
therefore contributed to its leadership in maritime affairs since 1450.
So from the shores of Thrace to the southern point of the Peloponnesus,
all the valleys of Greece open out on the eastern or Asiatic side. Here
every mountain-flanked bay has had its own small hinterland to draw
upon, and every such interior has been accessible to the civilization of
the Aegean; here was concentrated the maritime and cultural life of
Hellas.[444] The northern half of Andean Colombia, by way of the parallel
Atrato, Rio Cauco, and Magdalena valleys, has supported the activities
of its Caribbean littoral, and through these avenues has received such
foreign influences as might penetrate to inland Bogota. In like manner,
the mountain-ridged peninsula of Farther India keeps its interior in
touch with its leading ports through its intermontane valleys of the
Irawadi, Salwin, Menam, and Mekong rivers.

Low coasts rising by easy gradients to wide plains, like those of
northern France, Germany, southern Russia, and the Gulf seaboard of the
United States, profit by an accessible and extensive hinterland.
Occasionally, however, this advantage is curtailed by a political
boundary reinforced by a high protective tariff, as Holland, Belgium,
and East Prussia[445] know to their sorrow.

These low hems of the land, however, often meet physical obstructions to
ready communications with the interior in the silted inlets, shallow
lagoons, marshes, or mangrove swamps of the littoral itself. Here the
larger drainage streams give access across this amphibian belt to the
solid land behind. Where they flow into a tide-swept bay like the North
Sea or the English Channel, they scour out their beds and preserve the
connection between sea and land;[446] but debouchment into a tideless
basin like the Caspian or the Gulf of Mexico, even for such mighty
streams as the Volga and the Mississippi, sees the slow silting up of
their mouths and the restriction of their agency in opening up the
hinterland. Thus the character of the bordering sea may help to
determine the accessibility of the coast from the land side.

[Sidenote: Accessibility of coasts from the sea.]

Its accessibility from the sea depends primarily upon its degree of
articulation; and this articulation depends upon whether the littoral
belt has suffered elevation or subsidence. When the inshore sea rests
upon an uplifted bottom, the contour of the coast is smooth and
unbroken, because most of the irregularities of surface have been
overlaid by a deposit of waste from the land; so it offers no harbor
except here and there a silted river mouth, while it shelves off through
a broad amphibian belt of tidal marsh, lagoon, and sand reef to a
shallow sea. Such is the coast of New Jersey, most of the Gulf seaboard
of the United States and Mexico, the Coromandel coast of India, and the
long, low littoral of Upper Guinea. Such coasts harbor a population of
fishermen living along the strands of their placid lagoons,[447] and
stimulate a timid inshore navigation which sometimes develops to
extensive coastwise intercourse, where a network of lagoons and deltaic
channels forms a long inshore passage, as in Upper Guinea, but which
fears the break of the surf outside.[448]

The rivers draining these low uplifted lands are deflected from their
straight path to the sea by coastwise deposits, and idly trail along for
miles just inside the outer beach; or they are split up into numerous
offshoots among the silt beds of a delta, to find their way by shallow,
tortuous channels to the ocean, so that they abate their value as
highways between sea and land. The silted mouths of the Nile excluded
the larger vessels even of Augustus Cæsar's time and admitted only their
lighters,[449] just as to-day the lower Rufigi River loses much of its
value to German East Africa because of its scant hospitality to vessels
coming from the sea.

[Sidenote: Embayed coasts.]

The effect of subsidence, even on a low coastal plain, is to increase
accessibility from the sea by flooding the previous river valleys and
transforming them into a succession of long shallow inlets, alternating
with low or hilly tongues of land. Such embayed coasts form our Atlantic
seaboard from Delaware Bay, through Chesapeake Bay to Pamlico Sound, the
North Sea face of England, the funnel-shaped "förden" or firths on the
eastern side of Jutland and Schleswig-Holstein, and the ragged sounds or
"Bodden" that indent the Baltic shore of Germany from the Bay of Lubeck
to the mouth of the Oder River.[450] Although the shallowness of the
bordering sea and the sand-bars and sand reefs which characterize all
flat coasts here also exclude the largest vessels, such coasts have
nevertheless ample contact with both land and sea. They tend to develop,
therefore, the activities appropriate to both. A fertile soil and
abundant local resources, as in tidewater Maryland and Virginia, make
the land more attractive than the sea; the inhabitants become farmers
rather than sailors. On the other hand, an embayed coastland promising
little return to the labor of tillage, but with abundant fisheries and a
superior location for maritime trade, is sure to profit by the
accessible sea, and achieve the predominant maritime activity which
characterized the mediæval Hanse Towns of northern Germany and colonial
New England.

[Sidenote: Maritime activity on steep embayed coasts.]

Subsidence that brings the beat of the surf against the bolder reliefs
of the land produces a ragged, indented coast, deep-water inlets
penetrating far into the country, hilly or mountainous tongues of land
running far out into the sea and breaking up into a swarm of islands and
rocks, whose outer limits indicate approximately the old prediluvial
line of shore.[451] Such are the fiord regions of Norway, southern
Alaska, British Columbia, Greenland, and southern Chile; the Rias or
submerged river valley coast of northwestern Spain; and the deeply
sunken mountain flank of Dalmatia, whose every lateral valley has become
a bay or a strait between mainland and island. All these coasts are
characterized by a close succession of inlets, a limited amount of level
country for settlement or cultivation, and in their rear a steep slope
impeding communication with their hinterland. Inaccessibility from the
land, a high degree of accessibility from the sea, and a paucity of
local resources unite to thrust the inhabitants of such coasts out upon
the deep, to make of them fishermen, seamen, and ocean carriers. The
same result follows where no barrier on the land side exists, but where
a granitic or glaciated soil in the interior discourages agriculture and
landward expansion, as in Brittany, Maine, and Newfoundland. In all
these the land repels and the sea attracts. Brittany furnishes one-fifth
of all the sailors in France's merchant marine,[452] and its pelagic
fishermen sweep the seas from Newfoundland to Iceland. Three-fifths of
the maritime activity of the whole Austrian Empire is confined to the
ragged coast of Dalmatia, which furnishes to-day most of the sailors for
the imperial marine, just as in Roman days it manned the Adriatic fleet
of the Cæsars.[453] The Haida, Tsimshean, and Tlingit Indians of the
ragged western coast of British Columbia and southern Alaska spread
their villages on the narrow tide-swept hem of the land, and subsist
chiefly by the generosity of the deep. They are poor landsmen, but
excellent boat-makers and seamen, venturing sometimes twenty-five miles
out to sea to gather birds' eggs from the outermost fringe of rocks.

[Sidenote: Contrasted coastal belts.]

As areas of elevation or subsidence are, as a rule, extensive, it
follows that coasts usually present long stretches of smooth simple
shoreline, or a long succession of alternating inlet and headland.
Therefore different littoral belts show marked contrasts in their degree
of accessibility to the sea, and their harbors appear in extensive
groups of one type--fiords, river estuaries, sand or coral reef lagoons,
and embayed mountain roots. A sudden change in relief or in geologic
history sees one of these types immediately succeeded by a long-drawn
group of a different type. Such a contrast is found between the Baltic
and North Sea ports of Denmark and Germany, the eastern and southern
seaboards of England, the eastern and western sides of Scotland, and the
Pacific littoral of North America north and south of Juan de Fuca
Strait, attended by a contrasted history.

A common morphological history, marked by mountain uplift, glaciation,
and subsidence, has given an historical development similar in not a few
respects to the fiord coasts of New England, Norway, Iceland, Greenland,
the Alaskan "panhandle," and southern Chile. Large subsidence areas on
the Mediterranean coasts from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Bosporus
have in essential features duplicated each other's histories, just as
the low infertile shores of the Baltic from Finland to the Skager Rack
have had much in common in their past development.

Where, however, a purely local subsidence, as in Kamerun Bay and Old
Calabar on the elsewhere low monotonous stretch of the Upper Guinea
coast,[454] or a single great river estuary, as in the La Plata and the
Columbia, affords a protected anchorage on an otherwise portless shore,
such inlets assume increased importance. In the long unbroken reach of
our Pacific seaboard, San Francisco Bay and the Columbia estuary are of
inestimable value; while, by the treaty of 1848 with Mexico, the
international boundary line was made to bend slightly south of west from
the mouth of the Gila River to the coast, in order to include in the
United States territory the excellent harbor of San Diego. The mere
nicks in the rim of Southwest Africa constituting Walfish Bay and Angra
Pequena assume considerable value as trading stations and places of
refuge along that 1,200-mile reach of inhospitable coast extending from
Cape Town north to Great Fish Bay.[455] It is worthy of notice in passing
that, though both of these small inlets lie within the territory of
German Southwest Africa, Walfish Bay with 20 miles of coast on either
side is a British possession, and that two tiny islets which commands
the entrance to the harbor of Angra Pequena, also belong to Great
Britain. On the uniform coast of East Africa, the single considerable
indentation formed by Delagoa Bay assumes immense importance, which,
however, is due in part to the mineral wealth of its Transvaal
hinterland. From this point northward for 35 degrees of latitude, a
river mouth, like that fixing the site of Beira, or an inshore islet
affording protected harborage, like that of Mombasa, serves as the
single ocean gateway of a vast territory, and forms the terminus of a
railroad--proof of its importance.

[Sidenote: Evolution of ports.]

The maritime evolution of all amply embayed coasts, except in Arctic and
sub-Arctic regions inimical to all historical development, shows in its
highest stage the gradual elimination of minor ports, and the
concentration of maritime activity in a few favored ones, which have the
deepest and most capacious harbors and the best river, canal, or
railroad connection with the interior. The earlier stages are marked by
a multiplicity of ports, showing in general activity nearly similar in
amount and in kind. England's merchant marine in the fourteenth century
was distributed in a large group of small but important ports on the
southern coast, all which, owing to their favorable location, were
engaged in the French and Flemish trade; and in another group on the
east coast, reaching from Hull to Colchester, which participated in the
Flemish, Norwegian, and Baltic trade.[456] Most of these have now
declined before the overpowering competition of a few such seaboard
marts as London, Hull, and Southampton. The introduction of steam
trawlers into the fishing fleets has in like manner led to the
concentration of the fishermen in a few large ports with good railroad
facilities, such as Aberdeen and Grimsby, while the fishing villages
that fringed the whole eastern and southern coasts have been gradually
depopulated.[457] So in colonial days, when New England was little more
than a cordon of settlements along that rock-bound littoral, almost
every inlet had its port actively engaged in coastwise and foreign
commerce in the West Indies and the Guinea Coast, in cod and mackerel
fisheries, in whaling and shipbuilding, and this with only slight local
variations. This widespread homogeneity of maritime activity has been
succeeded by strict localization and differentiation, and reduction from
many to few ports. So, for the whole Atlantic seaboard of the United
States, evolution of seaports has been marked by increase of size
attended by decrease of numbers.

[Sidenote: Offshore islands.]

A well dissected coast, giving ample contact with the sea, often fails
nevertheless to achieve historical importance, unless outlying islands
are present to ease the transition from inshore to pelagic navigation,
and to tempt to wider maritime enterprise. The long sweep of the
European coast from northern Norway to Brittany has played out a
significant part of its history in that procession of islands formed by
Iceland, the Faroes, Shetland, Orkneys, Great Britain, Ireland and the
Channel Isles, whether it was the navigator of ancient Armorica steering
his leather-sailed boat to the shores of Cæsar's Britain, or the modern
Breton fisherman pulling in his nets off the coasts of distant Iceland.
The dim outline of mountainous Cyprus, seen against a far-away horizon
from the slopes of Lebanon, beckoned the Phoenician ship-master thither
to trade and to colonize, just as the early Etruscan merchants passed
from their busy ironworks on the island of Elba over the narrow strait
to visible Corsica.[458] It was on the eastern side of Greece, with its
deep embayments, its valleys opening out to the Aegean, with its 483
islands scattered thickly as stars in the sky, and its Milky Way of the
Cyclades leading to the deep, rich soils of the Asia Minor coast, with
its sea-made contact with all the stimulating influences and dangers
emanating from the Asiatic littoral, that Hellenic history played its
impressive drama. Here was developed the spirit of enterprise that
carried colonies to far western Sicily and Italy, while the western or
rear side had a confined succession of local events, scarce worthy the
name of history. Neither mountain-walled Epirus nor Corcyra had an
Hellenic settlement in 735 B.C., at a date when the eastern Greeks had
reached the Ionian coast of the Aegean and had set up a lonely group of
colonies even on the Bay of Naples. Turning to America, we find that the
Antilles received their population from the only two tribes, first the
Arawaks and later the Caribs, who ever reached the indented northern
coast of South America between the Isthmus of Panama and the mouth of
the Orinoco. Here the small islands of the Venezuelan coast, often in
sight, lured these peoples of river and shore to open-sea navigation,
and drew them first to the Windward Isles, then northward step by step
or island by island, to Hayti and Cuba.[459]

[Sidenote: Offshore islands as vestibules of the mainland.]

In all these instances, offshore islands tempt to expansion and thereby
add to the historical importance of the nearby coast. Frequently,
however, they achieve the same result by offering advantageous footholds
to enterprising voyagers from remote lands, and become the medium for
infusing life into hitherto dead coasts. The long monotonous littoral of
East Africa from Cape Guadafui to the Cape of Good Hope, before the
planting here of Portuguese way-stations on the road to India in the
sixteenth century, was destitute of historical significance, except that
stretch opposite the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, which Arab merchants
in the tenth century appropriated as the basis for their slave and ivory
trade. The East Indies and Ceylon have been so many offshore stations
whence, first through the Portuguese, and later through the Dutch and
English, European influences percolated into southeastern Asia. Asia,
with its island-strewn shores, has diffused its influences over a broad
zone of the western Pacific, and through the agency of its active
restless Malays, even halfway across that ocean. In contrast, the
western coast of the Americas, a stretch nearly 10,000 miles from Tierra
del Fuego to the Aleutian chain, has seen its aboriginal inhabitants
barred from seaward expansion by the lack of offshore islands, and its
entrance upon the historical stage delayed till recent times.

In general it can be said that islandless seas attain a later historical
development than those whose expanse is rendered less forbidding by
hospitable fragments of land. This factor, as well as its location
remote from the old and stimulating civilization of Syria and Asia
Minor, operated to retard the development of the western Mediterranean
long after the eastern basin had reached its zenith.

[Sidenote: Previous habitat of coast-dwellers.]

Coast-dwelling peoples exhibit every degree of intimacy with the water,
from the amphibian life of many Malay tribes who love the wash of the
waves beneath their pile-built villages, to the Nama Bushmen who inhabit
the dune-walled coast of Southwest Africa, and know nothing of the sea.
In the resulting nautical development the natural talents and habits of
the people are of immense influence; but these in turn have been largely
determined by the geographical environment of their previous habitat,
whether inland or coastal, and by the duration in time, as well as the
degree and necessity, of their contact with the sea. The Phoenicians,
who, according to their traditions as variously interpreted, came to the
coast of Lebanon either from the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea,[460]
brought to their favorable maritime location a different endowment from
that of the land-trading Philistines, who moved up from the south to
occupy the sand-choked shores of Palestine,[461] or from that of the
Jews, bred to the grasslands of Mesopotamia and the gardens of Judea,
who only at rare periods in their history forced their way to the
sea.[462] The unindented coast stretching from Cape Carmel south to the
Nile delta never produced a maritime people and never achieved maritime
importance, till a race of experienced mariners like the Greeks planted
their colonies and built their harbor moles on the shores of Sharon and
Philistia.[463] So on the west face of Africa, from the Senegal southward
along the whole Guinea Coast to Benguela, all evidences of kinship and
tradition among the local tribes point to an origin on the interior
plains and a recent migration seaward,[464] so that no previous schooling
enabled them to exploit the numerous harbors along this littoral, as did
later the sea-bred Portuguese and English.

[Sidenote: Habitability of coasts as factor in maritime development.]

Not only the accessibility of the coast from the sea, but also its
habitability enters as a factor into its historical importance. A sandy
desert coast, like that of Southwest Africa and much of the Peruvian
littoral, or a sterile mountain face, like that of Lower California,
excludes the people of the country from the sea. Saldanha Bay, the one
good natural harbor on the west coast of Cape Colony, is worthless even
to the enterprising English, because it has no supply of fresh
water.[465] The slowness of the ancient Egyptians to take the short step
forward from river to marine navigation can undoubtedly be traced to the
fact that the sour swamps, barren sand-dunes, and pestilential marshes
on the seaward side of the Nile delta must have always been sparsely
populated as they are to-day,[466] and that a broad stretch of sandy waste
formed their Red Sea littoral.

On the other hand, where the hem of the continents is fertile enough to
support a dense population, a large number of people are brought into
contact with the sea, even where no elaborate articulation lengthens the
shoreline. When this teeming humanity of a garden littoral is barred
from landward expansion by desert or mountain, or by the already
overcrowded population of its own hinterland, it wells over the brim of
its home country, no matter how large, and overflows to other lands
across the seas. The congested population of the fertile and indented
coast of southern China, though not strictly speaking a sea-faring
people, found an outlet for their redundant humanity and their commerce
in the tropical Sunda Islands. By the sixth century their trading junks
were doing an active business in the harbors of Java, Sumatra, and
Malacca; they had even reached Ceylon and the Persian Gulf, and a little
later were visiting the great focal market of Aden at the entrance of
the Red Sea.[467] A strong infusion of Chinese blood improved the Malay
stock in the Sunda Islands, and later in North Borneo and certain of the
Philippines, whither their traders and emigrants turned in the
fourteenth century, when they found their opportunities curtailed in the
archipelago to the south by the spread of Islam.[468] Now the "yellow
peril" threatens the whole circle of these islands from Luzon to

Similarly India, first from its eastern, later from its western coast,
sent a stream of traders, Buddhist priests, and colonists to the Sunda
Islands, and especially to Java, as early as the fifth century of our
era, whence Indian civilization, religion, and elements of the Sanskrit
tongue spread to Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, Lombok, and even to some
smaller islands among the Molucca group.[469] The Hindus became the
dominant commercial nation of the Indian Ocean long before the great
development of Arabian sea power, and later shared the trade of the East
African coast with the merchants of Oman and Yemen.[470] To-day they form
a considerable mercantile class in the ports of Mascat, Aden, Zanzibar,
Pemba, and Natal.

[Sidenote: Geographic conditions for brilliant maritime development.]

On the coasts of large fertile areas like China and India, however,
maritime activity comes not as an early, but as an eventual development,
assumes not a dominant, but an incidental historical importance. The
coastlands appearing early on the maritime stage of history, and playing
a brilliant part in the drama of the sea, have been habitable, but their
tillable fields have been limited either in fertility, as in New
England, or in amount, as in Greece, or in both respects, as in Norway.
But if blessed with advantageous location for international trade and
many or even a few fairly good harbors, such coasts tend to develop wide
maritime dominion and colonial expansion.[471]

Great fertility in a narrow coastal belt barred from the interior serves
to concentrate and energize the maritime activities of the nation. The
20-mile wide plain stretching along the foot of the Lebanon range from
Antioch to Cape Carmel is even now the garden of Syria.[472] In ancient
Phoenician days its abundant crops and vines supported luxuriant cities
and a teeming population, which sailed and traded and colonized to the
Atlantic outskirts of Europe and Africa. Moreover, their maritime
ventures had a wide sweep as early as 1100 B. C. Quite similar to the
Phoenician littoral and almost duplicating its history, is the Oman
seaboard of eastern Arabia. Here again a fertile coastal plain sprinkled
with its "hundred villages," edged with a few tolerable harbors, and
backed by a high mountain wall with an expanse of desert beyond,
produced a race of bold and skilful navigators,[473] who in the Middle
Ages used their location between the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea to
make themselves the dominant maritime power of the Indian ocean. With
them maritime expansion was typically wide in its sweep and rapid in its
development. Even before Mohammed's time they had reached India; but
under the energizing influences of Islam, by 758 they had established a
flourishing trade with China, for which they set up way stations or
staple-points in Canton and the Sunda Islands.[474] First as voyagers and
merchants, then as colonists, they came, bringing their wares and their
religion to these distant shores. Marco Polo, visiting Sumatra in 1260,
tells us the coast population was "Saracen," but this was probably more
in religion than in blood.[475] Oman ventures, seconded by those of
Yemen, reached as far south as east. The trading stations of Madisha and
Barawa were established on the Somali coast of East Africa in 908, and
Kilwa 750 miles further south in 925. In the seventeenth century the
Oman Arabs dislodged the intruding Portuguese from all this coast belt
down to the present northern boundary of Portuguese East Africa. Even so
late as 1850 their capital, Mascat, sent out fine merchantmen that did
an extensive carrying trade, and might be seen loading in the ports of
British India, in Singapore, Java, and Mauritius.

[Sidenote: Soil of coastlands as factor.]

Brittany's active part in the maritime history of France is due not only
to its ragged contour, its inshore and offshore islands, its forward
location on the Atlantic which brought it near to the fisheries of
Newfoundland and the trade of the West Indies, but also to the fact that
the "Golden Belt," which, with but few interruptions, forms a band of
fertility along the coast, has supported a denser population than the
sterile granitic soils of the interior,[476] while the sea near by varied
and enriched the diet of the inhabitants by its abundance of fish, and
in its limy seaweed yielded a valuable fertilizer for their gardens.[477]
The small but countless alluvial deposits at the fiord heads in Norway,
aided by the products of the sea, are able to support a considerable
number of people. Hence the narrow coastal rim of that country shows
always a density of population double or quadruple that of the next
density belt toward the mountainous interior, and contains seventeen out
of Norway's nineteen towns having more than 5,000 inhabitants.[478] It is
this relative fertility of the coastal regions, as opposed to the
sterile interior, that has brought so large a part of Norway's people
in contact with the Atlantic and helped give them a prominent place in
maritime history.

[Sidenote: Barren coast of fertile hinterland.]

Occasionally an infertile and sparsely inhabited littoral bordering a
limited zone of singular productivity, especially if favorably located
for international trade, will develop marked maritime activity, both in
trade and commercial colonization. Such was Arabian Yemen, the home of
the ancient Sabæans on the Red Sea, stretching from the Straits of
Bab-el-Mandeb north-westward for 500 miles. Here a mountain range,
rising to 10,000 feet and bordering the plateau desert of central
Arabia, condenses the vapors of the summer monsoon and creates a
long-drawn oasis, where terraced coffee gardens and orchards blossom in
the irrigated soil; but the arid coastal strip at its feet, harboring a
sparse population only along its tricking streams, developed a series of
considerable ports as outlets for the abundant products and crowded
population of the highlands.[479] A location on the busy sea lane leading
from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, near the meeting place of
three continents, made the merchants of the Yemen coast, like the Oman
Arabs to the north, middlemen in the trade of Europe with eastern Africa
and India.[480] Therefore, even in the second century these Sabæans had
their trading stations scattered along the east coast of Africa as far
south as Zanzibar.[481] In 1502 Vasco da Gama found Arabs, either of
Oman or Yemen, yet farther south in Sofala, the port for the ivory and
gold trade. Some of them he employed as pilots to steer his course to

History makes one fact very plain: a people who dwell by the sea, and
to whom nature applies some lash to drive them out upon the deep,
command opportunity for practically unlimited expansion. In this way
small and apparently ill-favored strips of the earth's surface have
become the seats of wide maritime supremacy and colonial empire. The
scattered but extensive seaboard possession of little Venice and Genoa
in the latter centuries of the Middle Ages are paralleled in modern
times by the large oversea dominions of the English and Dutch.

Seaward expansions of peoples are always of great moment and generally
of vast extent, whether they are the coastward movements of inland
peoples to get a foothold upon the great oceanic highway of trade and
civilization, as has been the case with the Russians notably since the
early eighteenth century, and with numerous interior tribes of West
Africa since the opening of the slave trade; or whether they represent
the more rapid and extensive coastwise and oversea expansions of
maritime nations like the English, Dutch, and Portuguese. In either
event they give rise to widespread displacements of peoples and a
bizarre arrangement of race elements along the coast. When these two
contrary movements meet, the shock of battle follows, as the recent
history of the Russians and Japanese in Manchuria and Korea illustrates,
the wars of Swedes and Russians for the possession of the eastern Baltic
littoral, and the numerous minor conflicts that have occurred in Upper
Guinea between European commercial powers and the would-be trading
tribes of the bordering hinterland.

[Sidenote: Ethnic contrast between coast and interior peoples.]

A coast region is a peculiar habitat, inasmuch as it is more or less
dominated by the sea. It is exposed to inundation by tidal wave and to
occupation by immigrant fleets. It may be the base for out-going
maritime enterprise or the goal of some oversea movement, the dispenser
or the recipient of colonists. The contrast between coast-dwellers and
the nearby inland people which exists so widely can be traced not only
to a difference of environment, but often to a fundamental difference of
race or tribe caused by immigration to accessible shores. The Greeks,
crowded in their narrow peninsula of limited fertility, wove an Hellenic
border on the skirts of the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean lands,
just as the Carthaginians added a fringe of aliens to North Africa,
where the Punic people of the coast presented a marked contrast to the
Berbers of the interior. [See map page 251.]

An ethnographical map of Russia to-day shows a narrow but almost
continuous rim of Germans stretching from the River Niemen north through
the Baltic coast of Courland, Livland, and Esthland, as far as Revel;
and again, a similar band of Swedes along the seaboard of Finland, from
a point east of Helsingfors on the south around to Uleaborg on the
north,[483] dating from the time when Finland was a political dependency
of Sweden, and influenced by the fact that the frozen Gulf of Bothnia
every winter makes a bridge of ice between the two shores. [See map page

[Sidenote: Ethnic contrasts in the Pacific islands.]

Everywhere in the Melanesian archipelago, where Papuans and Malays dwell
side by side, the latter as the new-comers are always found in
possession of the coast, while the darker aborigines have withdrawn into
the interior. So in the Philippines, the aboriginal Negritos, pure or
more often mixed with Malayan blood, as in the Mangyan tribe of central
Mindoro, are found crowded back into the interior by the successive
invasions of Malays who have encircled the coasts. [See map page 147.]
The Zamboanga peninsula of Mindanao has an inland pagan population of
primitive Malayan race called Subanon, who have been displaced from the
littoral by the seafaring Samal Moros, Mohammedanized Malays from the
east shores of Sumatra and the adjacent islands, who spread northward
about 1300 under the energizing impulse of their new religion.[484] Even
at so late a date as the arrival of Magellan, the Subanon seem to have
still occupied some points of the coast,[485] just as the savage Ainos of
the Island of Yezo touched the sea about Sapporo only forty years ago,
though they are now surrounded by a seaboard rim of Japanese.[486]

[Sidenote: Ethnic contrasts in the Americas.]

If we turn to South America, we find that warlike Tupi, at the time of
the discovery, occupied the whole Brazilian coast from the southern
tropic north to eastern Guiana, while the highlands of eastern Brazil
immediately in their rear were populated by tribes of Ges, who had been
displaced by the coastwise expansion of the Tupi canoemen.[487] [See map
page 101.] And to-day this same belt of coastland has been appropriated
by a foreign population of Europeans and Negroes, while the vast
interior of Brazil shows a predominance of native Indian stocks, only
broken here and there by a lonely _enclave_ of Portuguese settlement.
The early English and French territories in America presented this same
contrast of coast and inland people--the colonists planting themselves
on the hem of the continent to preserve maritime connection with the
home countries, the aborigines forced back beyond reach of the tide.

Wherever an energetic seafaring people with marked commercial or
colonizing bent make a highway of the deep, they give rise to this
distinction of coast and inland people on whatever shores they touch.
The expanding Angles and Saxons did it in the North Sea and the Channel,
where they stretched their _litus Saxonicum_ faintly along the coast of
the continent to the apex of Brittany, and firmly along the hem of
England from Southampton Water to the Firth of Forth;[488] the sea-bred
Scandinavians did it farther north in the Teutonic fringe of settlements
which they placed on the shores of Celtic Scotland and Ireland.[489]

[Sidenote: Older ethnic stock in coastlands.]

As a rule it is the new-comers who hold the coast, but occasionally the
coast-dwellers represent the older ethnic stock. In the Balkan Peninsula
to-day the descendants of the ancient Hellenes are, with few exceptions,
confined to the coast. The reason is to be found in the fact that the
Slavs and other northern races who have intruded by successive invasions
from the plains of southern Russia are primarily inland peoples, and
therefore have occupied the core of the peninsula, forcing the original
Greek population before them to the edge of the sea.[490] This is the
same anthropo-geographical process which makes so many peninsulas the
last halting-place of a dislodged earlier race. But the Greeks who line
the northern and western shores of Asiatic Turkey are such only in
language and religion, because their prevailing broad head-form shows
them to be Turks and Armenians in race stock.[491]

Sometimes the distinction of race between coast and interior is
obliterated so far as language and civilization are concerned, but
survives less conspicuously in head-form and pigmentation. The outermost
fringe of the Norwegian coast, from the extreme south to the latitude of
Trondhjem in the north, is occupied by a broad-headed, round-faced,
rather dark people of only medium height, who show decided affinities
with the Alpine race of Central Europe, and who present a marked
contrast to the tall narrow-headed blondes of pure Teutonic type,
constituting the prevailing population from the inner edge of the coast
eastward into Sweden. This brachycephalic, un-Germanic stock of the
Norwegian seaboard seems to represent the last stand made by that once
wide-spread Alpine race, which here has been shoved along to the rocky
capes and islands of the outer edge by a later Teutonic immigration
coming from Sweden.[492] So the largest continuous area of Negrito stock
in the Philippines is found in the Sierra Madre mountains defining the
eastern coast of northern Luzon.[493] Facing the neighborless wastes of
the Pacific, whence no new settler could come, turned away from the
sources of Malay immigration to the southwest, its location made it a
retreat, rather than a gateway to incoming races. [See map page 147.]

[Sidenote: Ethnic amalgamations in coastlands.]

Where an immigrant population from oversea lands occupies the coastal
hem of a country, rarely do they preserve the purity of their race.
Coming at first with marauding or trading intent, they bring no women
with them, but institute their trading stations or colonies by marriage
with the women of the country. The ethnic character of the resultant
population depends upon the proportion of the two constituent elements,
the nearness or remoteness of their previous kinship, and the degree of
innate race antagonism. The ancient Greek elements which crossed the
Aegean from different sections of the peninsula to colonize the Ionian
coast of Asia Minor mingled with the native Carian, Cretan, Lydian,
Pelasgian, and Phoenician populations which they found there.[494] On all
the barbarian shores where the Greeks established themselves, there
arose a mixed race--in Celtic Massilia, in Libyan Barca, and in Scythian
Crimea--but always a race Hellenized, born interpreters and mercantile

A maritime people, engrossed chiefly with the idea of trade, moves in
small groups and intermittently; hence it modifies the original coastal
population less than does a genuine colonizing nation, especially as it
prefers the smallest possible territorial base for its operations. The
Arab element in the coast population of East Africa is strongly
represented, but not so strongly as one might expect after a thousand
years of intercourse, because it was scattered in detached seaboard
points, only a few of which were really stable. The native population of
Zanzibar and Pemba and the fringe of coast tribes on the mainland
opposite are clearly tinged with Arab blood. These Swahili, as they are
called, are a highly mixed race, as their negro element has been derived
not only from the local coast peoples, but also from the slaves who for
centuries have been halting here on their seaward journey from the
interior of Africa.[496] [See map page 105.]

[Sidenote: Multiplicity of race elements on coasts.]

Coast peoples tend to show something more than the hybridism resulting
from the mingling of two stocks. So soon as the art of navigation
developed beyond its initial phase of mere coastwise travel, and began
to strike out across the deep, all coast peoples bordered upon each
other, and the sea became a common waste boundary between. Unlike a land
boundary, which is in general accessible from only two sides and tends
to show, therefore, only two constituent elements in its border
population, a sea boundary is accessible from many directions with
almost equal ease; it therefore draws from many lands, and gives its
population a variety of ethnic elements and a cosmopolitan stamp. This,
however, is most marked in great seaports, but from them it penetrates
into the surrounding country. The whole southern and eastern coast
population of England, from Cornwall to the Wash, received during
Elizabeth's reign valuable accessions of industrious Flemings and
Huguenots, refugees from Catholic persecution in the Netherlands and
France.[497] Our North Atlantic States, whose population is more than
half (50.9 per cent.) made up of aliens and natives born of foreign
parents,[498] have drawn these elements from almost the whole circle of
Atlantic shores, from Norway to Argentine and from Argentine to
Newfoundland. Even the Southern States, so long unattractive to
immigrants on account of the low status of labor, show a fringe of
various foreign elements along the Gulf coast, the deeper tint of which
on the census maps fades off rapidly toward the interior. The same
phenomenon appears with Asiatic and Australian elements in our Pacific
seaboard states.[499] The cosmopolitan population of New York, with its
"Chinatown," its "Little Italy," its Russian and Hungarian quarters, has
its counterpart in the mixed population of Mascat, peopled by Hindu,
Arabs, Persians, Kurds, Afghans, and Baluchis, settled here for purposes
of trade; or in the equally mongrel inhabitants of Aden and Zanzibar, of
Marseilles, Constantinople, Alexandria, Port Said, and other
Mediterranean ports.

[Sidenote: Lingua franca of coasts.]

The cosmopolitanism and the commercial activity that characterize so
many seaboards are reflected in the fact that, with rare exceptions, it
is the coast regions of the world that give rise to a _lingua franca_ or
_lingua geral_. The original _lingua franca_ arose on the coast of the
Levant during the period of Italian commercial supremacy there. It
consisted of an Italian stock, on which were grafted Greek, Arabic, and
Turkish words, and was the regular language of trade for French,
Spanish, and Italians.[500] It is still spoken in many Mediterranean
ports, especially in Smyrna, and in the early part of the nineteenth
century was in use from Madagascar to the Philippines.[501] From the
coastal strip of the Zanzibar Arabs, recently transferred to German East
Africa, the speech of the Swahili has become a means of communication
over a great part of East Africa, from the coast to the Congo and the
sources of the Nile. It is a Bantu dialect permeated with Arabic and
Hindu terms, and sparsely sprinkled even with English and German
words.[502] "Pidgin English" (business English) performs the function of
a _lingua franca_ in the ports of China and the Far East. It is a jargon
of corrupted English with a slight mixture of Chinese, Malay, and
Portuguese words, arranged according to the Chinese idiom. Another
mongrel English does service on the coast of New Guinea. The "Nigger
English" of the West African trade is a regular dialect among the
natives of the Sierra Leone coast. Farther east, along the Upper Guinea
littoral, the Eboe family of tribes who extend across the Niger delta
from Lagos to Old Calabar have furnished a language of trade in one of
their dialects.[503] The Tupi speech of the Brazilian coast Indians, with
whom the explorers first came into contact, became, in the mouth of
Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries, the _lingua geral_ or medium
of communication between the whites and the various Indian tribes
throughout Brazil.[504] The Chinook Indians, located on our Pacific coast
north and south of the Columbia River, have furnished a jargon of
Indian, French, and English words which serves as a language of trade
throughout a long stretch of the northwest Pacific coast, not only
between whites and Indians, but also between Indians of different
linguistic stocks.[505]

[Sidenote: Coast-dwellers as middlemen.]

The coast is the natural habitat of the middleman. One strip of seaboard
produces a middleman people, and then sends them out to appropriate
other littorals, if geographic conditions are favorable; otherwise it is
content with the transit trade of its own locality. It breeds
essentially a race of merchants, shunning varied production, nursing
monopoly by secrecy and every method to crush competition. The profits
of trade attract all the free citizens, and the laboring class is small
or slave. Expansion landward has no attraction in comparison with the
seaward expansion of commerce. The result is often a relative dearth of
local land-grown food stuffs. King Hiram of Tyre, in his letter to King
Solomon, promised to send him trees of cedar and cypress, made into
rafts and conveyed to the coast of Philistia, and asked in return for
grain, "which we stand in need of because we inhabit an island." The pay
came in the form of wheat, oil, and wine. But Solomon furnished a
considerable part of the laborers--30,000 of them--who were sent, 10,000
at a time, to Mount Lebanon to cut the timber, apparently under the
direction of the more skilful Sidonian foresters.[506] A type of true
coast traders is found in the Duallas of the German Kamerun, at the
inner angle of the Gulf of Guinea. Located along the lower course and
delta of the Mungo River where it flows into the Kamerun estuary, they
command a good route through a mountainous country into the interior.
This they guard jealously, excluding all competition, monopolizing the
trade, and imposing a transit duty on all articles going to and from the
interior. They avoid agriculture so far as possible. Their women and
slaves produce an inadequate supply of bananas and yams, but crops
needing much labor are wholly neglected, so that their coasts have a
reputation for dearness of provisions.[507]

Along the 4,500 miles of West African coast between the Senegal and the
Kunene rivers the negro's natural talent for trade has developed special
tribes, who act as intermediaries between the interior and the European
stations on the seaboard. Among these we find the Bihenos and Banda of
Portuguese Benguela, who fit out whole caravans for the back country;
the Portuguese of Loanda rely on the Ambaquistas and the Mbunda
middlemen. The slave trade particularly brought a sinister and abnormal
activity to these seaboard tribes,[508] just as it did to the East Coast
tribes, and stimulated both in the exploitation of their geographic
position as middlemen.[509]

[Sidenote: Monopoly of trade with the hinterland.]

The Alaskan coast shows the same development. The Kinik Indians at the
head of Cook's Inlet buy skins of land animals from the inland
Athapascans at the sources of the Copper River, and then make a good
profit by selling them to the American traders of the coast. These same
Athapascans for a long time found a similar body of middlemen in the
Ugalentz at the mouth of the Copper River, till the Americans there
encouraged the inland hunters to bring their skins to the fur station on
the coast.[510] The Chilcats at the head of Lynn Canal long monopolized
the fur trade with the Athapascan Indians about Chilkoot Pass; these
they would meet on the divide and buy their skins, which they would
carry to the Hudson Bay Company agents on the coast. They guarded their
monopoly jealously, and for fifty years were able to exclude all traders
and miners from the passes leading to the Yukon.[511]

The same policy of monopoly and exclusion has been pursued by the Moro
coast dwellers of Mindanao in relation to the pagan tribes of the
interior. They buy at low prices the forest and agriculture products of
the inland Malays, whom they do not permit to approach either rivers or
seaboard, for fear they may come into contact with the Chinese merchants
along the coast. So fiercely is their monopoly guarded by this middleman
race, that the American Government in the Philippines will be able to
break it only by military interference.[512]

[Sidenote: Differentiation of coast from inland people.]

Differences of occupation, of food supply, and of climate often further
operate to differentiate the coast from the inland people near by, and
to emphasize the ethnic difference which is almost invariably present,
either inconspicuously from a slight infusion of alien blood, or
plainly as in an immigrant race. Sometimes the contrast is in physique.
In Finisterre province of western Brittany, the people along the more
fertile coastal strip are on the average an inch taller than the
inhabitants of the barren, granitic interior. Their more generous food
supply, further enriched by the abundant fisheries at their doors, would
account for this increased stature; but this must also be attributed in
part to intermixture of the local Celts with a tall Teutonic stock which
brushed along these shores, but did not penetrate into the unattractive
interior.[513] So the negroes of the Guinea Coast, though not immune
from fevers, are better nourished on the alluvial lowlands near the
abundant fish of the lagoons, and hence are often stronger and better
looking than the plateau interior tribes near by. But here, again, an
advantageous blending of races can not be excluded as a contributing
cause.[514] Sometimes the advantage in physique falls to the inland
people, especially in tropical countries when a highland interior is
contrasted with a low coast belt. The wild Igorotes, inhabiting the
mountainous interior of northern Luzon, enjoy a cooler climate than the
lowlands, and this has resulted in developing in them a decidedly better
physique and more industrious habits than are found in the civilized
people of the coasts encircling them.[515]

[Sidenote: Early civilization of coasts.]

Where a coast people is an immigrant stock from some remote oversea
point, it brings to its new home a surplus of energy which was perhaps
the basis of selection in the exodus from the mother country. Such a
people is therefore characterized by greater initiative, enterprise, and
endurance than the sedentary population which it left behind or that to
which it comes; and these qualities are often further stimulated by the
transfer to a new environment rich in opportunities. Sea-born in their
origin, sea-borne in their migration, they cling to the zone of
littoral, because here they find the conditions which they best know how
to exploit. Dwelling on the highway of the ocean, living in easy
intercourse with distant countries, which would have been far more
difficult of access by land-travel over territories inhabited by hostile
races, exchanging with these both commodities and ideas, food-stuffs and
religions, they become the children of civilization, and their
sun-burned seamen the sturdy apostles of progress. Therefore it may be
laid down as a general proposition, that the coasts of a country are
the first part of it to develop, not an indigenous or local
civilization, but a cosmopolitan culture, which later spreads inland
from the seaboard.

[Sidenote: Retarded coastal peoples.]

Exceptions to this rule are found in barren or inaccessible coasts like
the Pacific littoral of Peru and Mexico, and on shores like those of
California, western Africa and eastern Luzon, which occupy an adverse
geographic location facing a neighborless expanse of ocean and remote
from the world's earlier foci of civilization. Therefore the descent
from the equatorial plateau of Africa down to the Atlantic littoral
means a drop in culture also, because the various elements of
civilization which for ages have uninterruptedly filtered into Sudan
from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, have rarely penetrated to the
western rim of the highland, and hence never reached the coast.
Moreover, this steaming lowland, from the Senegal River to the Kamerun
Mountains, has been a last asylum for dislodged tribes who have been
driven out by expanding peoples of the plateau. They have descended in
their flight upon the original coast dwellers, adding to the general
condition of political disruption, multiplying the number of small weak
tribes, increasing the occasions for intertribal wars, and furthering
the prevailing degradation. The seaboard lowlands of Sierra Leone,
Liberia and the Ivory Coast have all suffered thus In historic
times.[516] All this region was the original home of the low, typical
"Guinea Nigger" of the Southern plantation. The coasts of Oregon and
California showed a parallel to this in their fragmentary native tribes
of retarded development, whose level of culture, low at best, sank
rapidly from the interior toward the seaboard. They seem to have been
intruders from the central highlands, who further deteriorated in their
weakness and isolation after reaching the coast. They bore every mark of
degradation in their short stature, linguistic and tribal dismemberment,
their low morals and culture, which ranked them little above the brutes.
In contrast, all the large and superior Indian groups of North America
belonged to the interior of the continent.[517]

[Sidenote: Cultural contrast of coast and interior.]

The long, indented coast of the Mediterranean has in all ages up to
modern times presented the contrast of a littoral more advanced in
civilization than the inland districts. The only exception was ancient
Egypt before Psammeticus began to exploit his mud-choked seaboard. This
contrast was apparent, not only wherever Phoenicians or Greeks had
appropriated the remote coast of an alien and retarded people, but even
in near-by Thrace the savage habits of the interior tribes were softened
only where these dwelt in close proximity to the Ionian colonies along
the coast, a fact as noticeable in the time of Tacitus as in that of
Herodotus five hundred years before.[518] The ancient philosophers of
Greece were awake to the deep-rooted differences between an inland and a
maritime city, especially in respect to receptivity of ideas, activity
of intellect, and affinity for culture.[519]

If we turn to the Philippines, we find that 65 per cent. of the
Christian or civilized population of the islands live on or near the
coast; and of the remaining 35 per cent. dwelling inland, by far the
greater part represents simply the landward extension of the area of
Christian civilization which had Manila Bay for a nucleus.[520]
Otherwise, all the interior districts are occupied by wild or pagan
tribes. Mohammedanism, too, a religion of civilization, rims the
southernmost islands which face the eastern distributing point of the
faith in Java; it is confined to the coasts, except for its one inland
area of expansion along the lake and river system of the Rio Grande of
Mindanao, which afforded an inland extension of sea navigation for the
small Moro boat. Even the Fiji Islands show different shades of savagery
between coasts and interior.[521]

[Sidenote: Progress from thalassic to oceanic coasts.]

Coasts are areas of out-going and in-coming maritime influences. The
nature and amount of these influences depend upon the sea or ocean whose
rim the coast in question helps to form, and the relations of that coast
to its other tide-washed shores. Our land-made point of view dominates
us so completely, that we are prone to consider a coast as margin of its
land, and not also as margin of its sea, whence, moreover, it receives
the most important contributions to its development. The geographic
location of a coast as part of a thalassic or of an oceanic rim is a
basic factor in its history; more potent than local conditions of
fertility, irregular contour, or accessibility from sea and hinterland.
Everything that can be said about the different degrees of historical
importance attaching to inland seas and open oceans in successive ages
applies equally to the countries and peoples along their shores; and
everything that enhances or diminishes the cultural possibilities of a
sea--its size, zonal location, its relation to the oceans and
continents--finds its expression in the life along its coasts.

The anthropo-geographical evolution which has passed from small to large
states and from small to large seas as fields of maritime activity has
been attended by a continuous change in the value of coasts, according
as these were located on enclosed basins like the Mediterranean, Red,
and Baltic; on marginal ones like the China and North seas; or on the
open ocean. In the earlier periods of the world's history, a location on
a relatively small enclosed sea gave a maritime horizon wide enough to
lure, but not so wide as to intimidate; and by its seclusion led to a
concentration and intensification of historical development, which in
many of its phases left models for subsequent ages to wonder at and
imitate. This formative period and formative environment outgrown,
historical development was transferred to locations on the open oceans,
according to the law of human advance from small to large areas. The
historical importance of the Mediterranean and the Baltic shores was
transitory, a prelude to the larger importance of the Atlantic littoral
of Europe, just as this in turn was to attain its full significance only
when the circumnavigation of Africa and South America linked the
Atlantic to the World Ocean. Thus that gradual expansion of the
geographic horizon which has accompanied the progress of history has
seen a slow evolution in the value of seaboard locations, the transfer
of maritime leadership from small to large basins, from thalassic to
oceanic ports, from Lubeck to Hamburg, from Venice to Genoa, as earlier
from the Piræus to Ostia, and later from England's little _Cinque Ports_
to Liverpool and the Clyde.

[Sidenote: Geographic location of coasts.]

Though the articulations of a coast determine the ease with which
maritime influences are communicated to the land, nevertheless history
shows repeated instances where an exceptional location, combined with
restricted area, has raised a poorly indented seaboard to maritime and
cultural preeminence. Phoenicia's brilliant history rose superior to the
limitation of indifferent harbors, owing to a position on the Arabian
isthmus between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean at the meeting
place of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Moreover, the advantages of this
particular location have in various times and in various degrees brought
into prominence all parts of the Syrian and Egyptian coasts from Antioch
to Alexandria. So the whole stretch of coast around the head of the
Adriatic, marking the conjunction of a busy sea-route with various
land-routes over the encircling mountains from Central Europe, has seen
during the ages a long succession of thriving maritime cities, in spite
of fast-silting harbors and impeded connection with the hinterland. Here
in turn have ruled with maritime sway Spina, Ravenna, Aquileia,[522]
Venice, and Trieste. On the other side of the Italian peninsula, the
location on the northernmost inlet of the western Mediterranean and at
the seaward base of the Ligurian Apennines, just where this range opens
two passes of only 1,800 feet elevation to the upper Po Valley, made an
active maritime town of Genoa from Strabo's day to the present. In its
incipiency it relied upon one mediocre harbor on an otherwise harborless
coast, a local supply of timber for its ships, and a road northward
across the mountains.[523] The maritime ascendency in the Middle Ages of
Genoa, Pisa, Venice, and Barcelona proves that no long indented coast is
necessary, but only one tolerable harbor coupled with an advantageous

[Sidenote: Intermediate location between contrasted coasts.]

Owing to the ease and cheapness of water transportation, a seaboard
position between two other coasts of contrasted products due to a
difference either of zonal location or of economic development or of
both combined, insures commercial exchanges and the inevitable
activities of the middleman. The position of Carthage near the center of
the Mediterranean enabled her to fatten on the trade between the highly
developed eastern basin and the retarded western one. Midway between the
teeming industrial towns of medieval Flanders, Holland, and western
Germany, and the new unexploited districts of retarded Russia, Poland,
and Scandinavia, lay the long line of the German Hanseatic towns--Kiel,
Lubeck, Wiemar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifswald, Anclam, Stettin, and
Colberg, the _civitates maritimæ_. For three centuries or more they made
themselves the dominant commercial and maritime power of the Baltic by
exchanging Flemish fabrics, German hardware, and Spanish wines for the
furs and wax of Russian forests, tallow and hides from Polish pastures,
and crude metals from Swedish mines.[524] So Portugal by its
geographical location became a staple place where the tropical products
from the East Indies were transferred to the vessels of Dutch merchants,
and by them distributed to northern Europe. Later New England, by a
parallel location, became the middleman in the exchanges of the tropical
products of the West Indies, the tobacco of Virginia, and the wheat of
Maryland for the manufactured wares of England and the fish of

[Sidenote: Historical decline of certain coasts.]

Primitive or early maritime commerce has always been characterized by
the short beat, a succession of middlemen coasts, and a close series of
staple-places, such as served the early Indian Ocean trade in Oman,
Malabar Coast, Ceylon, Coromandel Coast, Malacca, and Java. Therefore,
many a littoral admirably situated for middleman trade loses this
advantage so soon as commerce matures enough to extend the sweep of its
voyages, and to bring into direct contact the two nations for which that
coast was intermediary. This is only another aspect of the
anthropo-geographic evolution from small to large areas. The decline of
the Mediterranean coasts followed close upon the discovery of the
sea-route to India; nor was their local importance restored by the Suez
Canal. Portugal declined when the Dutch, excluded from the Tagus mouth
on the union of Portugal with Spain, found their way to the Spice Isles.
Ceylon, though still the chief port of call in the Indian Ocean, has
lost its preëminence as chief market for all the lands between Africa
and China, which it enjoyed in the sixth century, owing to the "long
haul" of modern oceanic commerce.

[Sidenote: Political factors in this decline.]

Not only that far-reaching readjustment of maritime ascendency which in
the sixteenth century followed the advance from thalassic to oceanic
fields of commerce, but also purely local political events may for a
time produce striking changes in the use or importance of coasts. The
Piræus, which had been the heart of ancient Athens, almost wholly lost
its value in the checkered political history of the country during the
Middle Ages, when naval power and merchant marine almost vanished; but
with the restoration of Grecian independence in 1832, much of its
pristine activity was restored. Up to the beginning of the seventeenth
century, Japan had exploited her advantageous location and her richly
indented coast to develop a maritime trade which extended from Kamchatka
to India; but in 1624 an imperial order withdrew every Japanese vessel
from the high seas, and for over two hundred years robbed her busy
littoral of all its historical significance. The real life of the
Pacific coast of the United States began only with its incorporation
into the territory of the Republic, but it failed to attain its full
importance until our acquisition of Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
So the coast of the Persian Gulf has had periods of activity alternating
with periods of deathlike quiet. Its conquest by the Saracens in the
seventh century inaugurated an era of intense maritime enterprise along
its drowsy shores. What new awakening may it experience, if it should
one day become a Russian littoral!

[Sidenote: Physical causes of decline.]

Sometimes the decline in historical importance is due to physical
modifications in the coast itself, especially when, the mud transported
by a great river to the sea is constantly pushing forward the outer
shoreline. The control of the Adriatic passed in turn from Spina to
Adria, Ravenna, Aquileia, Venice, and Trieste, owing to a steady silting
up of the coast.[525] Strabo records that Spina, originally a port, was
in his time 90 stadia, or 10 miles, from the sea.[526] Bruges, once the
great _entrepôt_ of the Hanseatic League, was originally on an arm of
the sea, with which it was later connected by canal, and which has been
silted up since 1432, so that its commerce, disturbed too by local wars,
was transferred to Antwerp on the Scheldt.[527] Many early English
ports on the coast of Kent and on the old solid rim of the Fenland
marshes now lie miles inland from the Channel and the Wash.

A people never utilizes all parts of its coast with equal intensity, or
any part with equal intensity in all periods of its development; but,
according to the law of differentiation, it gradually concentrates its
energies in a few favored ports, whose maritime business tends to become
specialized. Then every extension of the subsidiary territory and
intensification of production with advancing civilization increases the
mass of men and wares passing through these ocean gateways. The shores
of New York, Delaware, and Chesapeake bays are more important to the
country now than they were in early colonial days, when their back
country extended only to the watershed of the Appalachian system. Our
Gulf coast has gained in activity with the South's economic advance from
slave to free labor, and from almost exclusive cotton planting to
diversified production combined with industries; and it will come into
its own, in a maritime sense, when the opening of the Panama Canal will
divert from the Atlantic outlets those products of the Mississippi basin
which will be seeking Trans-Pacific markets.

[Sidenote: Interplay of geographic factors in coastlands.]

A careful analysis of the life of coast peoples in relation to all the
factors of their land and sea environment shows that these are
multiform, and that none are negligible; it takes into consideration the
extent, fertility, and relief of the littoral, its accessibility from
the land as well as from the sea, and its location in regard to outlying
islands and to opposite shores, whether near or far; it holds in view
not only the small articulations that give the littoral ready contact
with the sea, but the relation of the seaboard to the larger continental
articulations, whether it lies on an outrunning spur of a continental
mass, like the Malacca, Yemen, or Peloponnesian coast, or upon a
retiring inlet that brings it far into the heart of a continent, and
provides it with an extensive hinterland; and, finally, it never ignores
the nature of the bordering sea, which furnishes the school of
seamanship and fixes the scope of maritime enterprise.

All these various elements of coastal environment are further
differentiated in their use and their influence according to the
purposes of those who come to tenant such tide-washed rims of the land.
Pirates seek intricate channels and hidden inlets for their lairs; a
merchant people select populous harbors and navigable river mouths;
would-be colonists settle upon fertile valleys opening into quiet bays,
till their fields, and use their coasts for placid maritime trade with
the mother country; interior peoples, pushed or pushing out to the tidal
periphery of their continent, with no maritime history behind them,
build their fishing villages on protected lagoons, and, unless the
shadowy form of some outlying island lure them farther, there they
tarry, deaf to the siren song of the sea.


[412] Rudolph Reinhard, _Die Wichtigsten Deutschen Seehandelstädte_, pp.
24, 25. Stuttgart, 1901. Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, p. 291. London,

[413] _Ibid_, p. 301.

[414] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 51-54;
maps, pp. 36 and 54. London, 1904.

[415] _Ibid_, Vol. I, pp. 12, 63; maps pp. xxii and 54.

[416] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 98, 139. London,

[417] Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 284-288. London, 1903.

[418] H.B. Mill, International Geography, p. 251. New York, 1902.

[419] Rudolph Reinhard, _Die Wichtigsten Deutschen Seehandelstädte_, pp.
21-22. Stuttgart, 1901.

[420] Fitz-Roy and Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, Vol. II, pp. 140, 178;
Vol. III, pp. 231-236. London, 1839.

[421] Eleventh Census, Population and Resources of Alaska, pp. 166-171.
Washington, 1893.

[422] Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, pp. 327, 334, 335, 365, 366,
412, 416, 459, 467. New York, 1882.

[423] G. Frederick Wright, Greenland Icefields, pp. 68-70, 100, 105. New
York, 1896. For Eskimo of Hudson Bay and Baffin Land, see F. Boas, The
Central Eskimo, pp. 419, 420, 460-462. _Sixth Annual Report of the
Bureau of Ethnology_. Washington, 1888.

[424] _Bella Gallico_, Book III, chap. 12.

[425] Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, p, 15. New York.

[426] Strabo's Geography, Book II, chap. V, 4. Book III, chap. I, 4.

[427] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III, pp. 266-267. New York, 1857.

[428] Thucydides, Book VI, 2.

[429] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III, p. 273. New York, 1857.

[430] Strabo's Geography, Book XVII, chap. III, 13, 14.

[431] Thucydides, Book I, 5, 7, 8.

[432] Strabo, Book VIII, chap. VI, 2, 4, 13, 14, 22.

[433] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III, pp. 4, 191. New York, 1857.

[434] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 291. London, 1903.

[435] Rudolph Reinhard, _Die Wichtigsten Deutschen Seehandelstädte_, p.
23. Stuttgart, 1901.

[436] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III, p. 273. New York, 1857.

[437] Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. II, pp. 452-454, 610.
London, 1883. Duarte Barbosa, East Africa and Malabar Coasts in the
Sixteenth Century, p. 3-16. Hakluyt Society, London, 1866.

[438] Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 433-434. New York.

[439] W.B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England, Vol. I,
p. 93. Boston, 1899.

[440] Norway, Official Publication, p. 1. Christiania, 1900.

[441] Ratzel, _Deutschland_, pp. 150-151. Leipzig, 1898.

[442] J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 227-230. London, 1903.

[443] Elisée Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants; Europe, Vol. 1, pp.
370-372. New York, 1886.

[444] Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 15-20. New York.

[445] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. 1, p. 215. Leipzig, 1897.

[446] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 35, 40. London,

[447] William Morris Davis, Physical Geography, pp. 115-122. Boston,

[448] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 95. London, 1896-1898.

[449] Strabo, Book XVII, chap. I, 18. Diodorus Siculus, Book I, chap.
III, p. 36. London, 1814.

[450] J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 96-98. London, 1903. Ratzel,
_Deutschland_, pp. 143-144. Leipzig, 1898.

[451] For geomorphology of coasts, see William Morris Davis, Physical
Geography, pp. 112-136, 347-383. Boston, 1899.

[452] Elisée Reclus, Europe, Vol. II, p, 252. New York, 1886.

[453] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 231. London, 1903.

[454] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 44, 446. London, 1904.

[455] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 1012. New York, 1902.
Hereford George, Historical Geography of the British Empire, pp.
278-279. London, 1904.

[456] J.E. Thorold Rogers, Six Centuries of Work and Wages, pp. 123-124.
New York, 1884.

[457] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 148. New York, 1902.

[458] Diodorus Siculus, Book V, chap. I, p. 304. London, 1814. Strabo,
Book V, chap. VI, 6, 7.

[459] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 188-189, 193-195. New
York, 1902-1906.

[460] Strabo, Book XVI, chap. III, 4, 27. Herodotus, Book I, chap. I;
Book VII, chap. 89. J.T. Brent, The Bahrein Islands of the Persian Gulf,
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XII, pp. 13-16.
London, 1890.

[461] George Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp.
169-170. New York, 1897.

[462] _Ibid._, pp. 179, 185, 286.

[463] _Ibid._, pp. 127-131.

[464] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 100-102, 132-145.
London, 1896-1898.

[465] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 985. New York, 1902.

[466] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 84, 166. London, 1902.

[467] J. Naken, _Die Provinz Kwangtung und ihre Bevölkerung, Petermanns
Geographische Mittheilungen_, Vol. 24, pp. 409, 420. 1878. Ferdinand von
Richthofen, _China_, Vol. I, pp. 568-569. Berlin, 1877. Cathay and the
Way Thither, Vol. I, p. lxxviii. Hakluyt Society, London, 1866.

[468] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 397. London, 1896-1898.
Philippine Census, Vol. I, pp. 438, 481-491. Washington, 1905.

[469] Stanford's Australasia, Vol. II, pp. 103, 121, 126-135, 196.
London, 1894. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, p. 547. New York,

[470] _Ibid._, Vol. III, pp. 431, 434. Vol. II, p. 603.

[471] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses_, pp.
78-79, 99-100. Stuttgart, 1899. Capt. A.T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power
upon History, pp. 26-28. Boston, 1902.

[472] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 111-112, 152. London, 1902.

[473] _Ibid._, pp. 73-74, 139, 267.

[474] Cathay and the Way Thither, Vol. I, p. LXXX. Hakluyt Society.
London, 1866. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, p. 548. New York,

[475] The Book of Ser Marco Polo, edited by Sir Henry Yule, Vol. II,
Book III, pp. 284, 288, 303. New York, 1903.

[476] P. Vidal de la Blache, _Géographie de la France_, pp. 335-337.
Paris, 1903.

[477] Elisée Reclus, Europe, Vol. II, p. 252. New York, 1882.

[478] Norway, Official Publication, pp. 89-91, map p. 4. Christiania,

[479] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 114, 140, 163-164, 202, 267.
London, 1902.

[480] H.F. Tozer, History of Ancient Geography, pp. 276-280. Cambridge,
1897. Strabo, Book XVI, chap. IV, 2, 19.

[481] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, p. 433. New York,

[482] James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 78-82, 99. New York,

[483] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, map p.
80. New York, 1893.

[484] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 412-413, 481, 464,
562., Washington, 1905.

[485] _Ibid._, Vol. I, p. 416.

[486] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 449. London, 1896-1898.

[487] P. Ehrenreich, _Die Eintheilung und Verbreitung der Völkerstämme
Brasiliens, Petermanns Mittheilungen_, Vol. 37, pp. 88-89. Gotha, 1891.
Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, p. 185, map p. 189. New York,

[488] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, chap. I.
London, 1904.

[489] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 189. London,
1904. W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 312-315, map. New York, 1899.

[490] D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, p. 152. London, 1902. W. Z.
Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 402, 404, map. New York, 1899.

[491] _Ibid._, pp. 117, 404-405, 409-419.

[492] _Ibid._, pp. 206-208, 210-212. Norway, Official Publication, pp.
80-81. Christiania, 1900.

[493] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. II, p. 52, map p. 50.
Washington, 1905.

[494] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III, pp. 175-176, 186-189. New
York, 1857.

[495] Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 492-493. New York.

[496] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 530-533. London,

[497] H.D. Trail, Social England, Vol. III, pp. 367-368. London and New
York, 1895.

[498] Twelfth Census, Bulletin No. 103, table 23. Washington, 1902.

[499] E.C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic Conditions, pp.
314-328. Boston, 1903.

[500] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 58. London, 1904.

[501] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses_, p.
85, Note 18. Stuttgart, 1899.

[502] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 533. London, 1896-1898.

[503] _Ibid._, Vol. III, pp. 139, 145.

[504] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 869. New York, 1902.

[505] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 107. Philadelphia, 1901. H.H.
Bancroft, The Native Races, p. 239, footnote p. 274. San Francisco,

[506] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book VIII, chap. II, 6, 7, 9.

[507] J. Scott Keltie, The Partition of Africa, p. 327. London, 1895.
Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 121-122. London, 1896-1898.

[508] _Ibid._, Vol. III, pp. 121, 132-133.

[509] _Ibid._, Vol. II, p. 239.

[510] Eleventh Census, Report on Alaska, p. 70. Washington, 1893.

[511] _Ibid._, p. 156. E.R. Scidmore, Guidebook to Alaska, p. 94. New;
York, 1897.

[512] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 556-561, 575,
581-583. Washington, 1905.

[513] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 85-86, 99-101, map pp. 151-152.
New York, 1899.

[514] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 97, 106. New York,

[515] Henry Gannett, The Peoples of the Philippines, in Report of the
Eighth International Geographic Congress, p. 673. Washington, 1904.

[516] A.H. Keane, Africa, Stanford's Compendium, pp. 372-376, 385-388.
London, 1895. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. III, pp. 402, 456-457,
462. New York, 1902-1906.

[517] H.H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 440-441; Vol. III,
pp. 325, 362. San Francisco, 1886. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North
America, pp. 37-38, 78, 88-89, 95-98. Vol. XIX of History of North
America. Philadelphia, 1905.

[518] Grote, History of Greece, Vol. IV, p. 22. New York, 1857.

[519] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 225, 226.

[520] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. II, pp. 34, 35. Washington,

[521] Williams and Calvert, Fiji and the Fijians, pp. 81-82. New York,

[522] Strabo, Book V, chap. I, 7, 8.

[523] Strabo, Book IV, chap. VI, 1, 2; Book V, chap. I, 11.

[524] Dietrich Schäfer, _Die Hansestädte und König Waldemar von
Dänemark_, pp. 184, 189. Jena, 1879.

[525] W. Deecke, Italy, pp. 89-91. London, 1904.

[526] Strabo, Book III, chap. I, 2.

[527] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses_, p.
93, Note 1. Stuttgart, 1899.



The water of the earth's surface, viewed from the standpoint of
anthropo-geography, is one, whether it appears as atmospheric moisture,
spring, river, lake, brackish lagoon, enclosed sea-basin or open ocean.
Its universal circulation, from the falling of the dews to the vast
sweep of ocean current, causes this inviolable unity. Variations in the
geographical forms of water are superficial and constantly changing;
they pass into one another by almost imperceptible gradations, shift
their unstable outlines at the bidding of the mobile, restless element.
In contrast to the land, which is marked by diversity of geologic
structure and geographic form, the world of water is everywhere
approximately the same, excepting only the difference in the mineral
composition of sea water as opposed to that of spring and stream.
Therefore, whenever man has touched it, it has moulded him in much the
same way, given the same direction to his activities, dictated the use
of the same implements and methods of navigation. As maritime trader or
colonist, he has sailed to remote, unknown, yet familiar coasts, and
found himself as much at home as on his native shores. He has built up
maritime empires, the centre of whose dominion, race and commerce, falls
somewhere in the dividing yet uniting sea.

[Sidenote: The water a factor in man's mobility.]

Man must be grouped with the air and water as part of the mobile
envelope of the earth's surface. The mobility which maintains the unity
of air and water has caused the unity of the human race. Abundant
facilities of dispersal often give animal forms a wide or cosmopolitan
distribution. Man, by appropriating the mobile forces in the air and
water to increase his own powers of locomotion, has become a
cosmopolitan being, and made the human race reflect the unity of
atmosphere and hydrosphere.

Always the eternal unrest of the moving waters has knocked at the door
of human inertia to arouse the sleeper within; always the flow of stream
and the ebb of tide have sooner or later stirred the curiosity of the
land-born barbarian about the unseen destination of these marching
waters. Rivers by the mere force of gravity have carried him to the
shores of their common ocean, and placed him on this highway of the
world. Then from his sea-girt home, whether island or continent, he has
timidly or involuntarily followed the track which headland-dotted coast,
or ocean current, or monsoon, or trade wind marked out for him across
the pathless waters, so that at the gray dawn of history he appears as
a cosmopolite, occupying every part of the habitable earth.

These sporadic oversea wanderings, with intervals of centuries or
milleniums between, opened to his occupancy strange and remote lands, in
whose isolation and new environment he developed fresh variations of
mind, body and cultural achievements, to arm him with new weapons in the
struggle for existence. The sea which brought him bars him for a few
ages from his old home, till the tradition of his coming even is lost.
Then with higher nautical development, the sea loses its barrier nature;
movements of people, and trade recross its surface to unite those who
have been long severed and much differentiated in their mutual
remoteness. The ensuing friction and mingling weed out the less fit
variations of each, and combine in the new race the qualities able to
fortify a higher type of man. Not only seas and oceans, but also
mountains and deserts serve to isolate the migrant people who once has
crossed them; but wastes of water raise up the most effective barriers.

[Sidenote: Oceans and seas in universal history.]

The transformation of the ocean into a highway by the development of
navigation is a late occurrence in the history of man and is perhaps the
highest phase of his adaptation to environment, because an adaptation
which has placed at his disposal that vast water area constituting
three-fourths of the earth's surface from which he had previously been
excluded. Moreover, it was adaptation to an alien and hostile element,
whose violent displays of power recurrently stimulated the human
adjustment between attack and defense.

Because adaptation to the sea has been vastly more difficult than to the
land, commensurate with the harder struggle it has brought greater
intellectual and material rewards. This conquest of the sea is entitled
to a peculiarly high place in history, because it has contributed to the
union of the various peoples of the world, has formed a significant part
of the history of man, whether that history is economic, social,
political or intellectual. Hence history has always staged its most
dramatic acts upon the margin of seas and oceans; here always the plot
thickens and gives promise of striking development. Rome of the seven
hills pales before England of the "Seven Seas."

[Sidenote: The sea in universal history.]

Universal history loses half its import, remains an aggregate of parts,
fails to yield its significance as a whole, if it does not continually
take into account the unifying factor of the seas. Indeed, no history is
entitled to the name of universal unless it includes a record of human
movements and activities on the ocean, side by side with those on the
land. Our school text-books in geography present a deplorable hiatus,
because they fail to make a definite study of the oceans over which man
explores and colonizes and trades, as well as the land on which he
plants and builds and sleeps.

The striking fact about the great World Ocean to-day is the manifold
relations which it has established between the dwellers on its various
coasts. Marine cables, steamer and sailing routes combine to form a
network of paths across the vast commons of the deep. Over these the
commercial, political, intellectual, or even purely migrant activities
of human life move from continent to continent. The distinctive value of
the sea is that it promotes many-sided relations as opposed to the
one-sided relation of the land. France on her eastern frontier comes
into contact with people of kindred stock, living under similar
conditions of climate and soil to her own; on her maritime border she is
open to intermittent intercourse with all continents and climes and
races of the world. To this sea border must be ascribed the share that
France has taken in the history of North and South America, the West
Indies, North and Equatorial Africa, India, China and the South Seas. So
we find the great maritime peoples of the world, from the Phoenicians to
the English, each figuring in the history of the world of its day, and
helping weave into a web of universal history the stories of its various

[Sidenote: Origin of navigation.]

Man's normal contact with the sea is registered in his nautical
achievements. The invention of the first primitive means of navigation,
suggested by a floating log or bloated body of a dead animal, must have
been an early achievement, of a great many peoples who lived near the
water, or who in the course of their wanderings found their progress
obstructed by rivers; it belongs to a large class of similar discoveries
which answer urgent and constantly recurring needs. It was, in all
probability, often made and as often lost again, until a growing habit
of venturing beyond shore or river bank in search of better fishing, or
of using the easy open waterways through the thick tangle of a primeval
forest to reach fresh hunting grounds, established it as a permanent

[Sidenote: Primitive forms.]

The first devices were simply floats or rafts, made of light wood,
reeds, or the hollow stems of plants woven together and often buoyed up
by the inflated skins of animals. Floats of this character still survive
among various peoples, especially in poorly timbered lands. The skin
rafts which for ages have been the chief means of downstream traffic on
the rivers of Mesopotamia, consist of a square frame-work of interwoven
reeds and branches, supported by the inflated skins of sheep and
goats;[528] they are guided by oars and poles down or across the current.
These were the primitive means by which Layard transported his winged
bull from the ruins of Nineveh down to the Persian Gulf, and they were
the same which he found on the bas-reliefs of the ancient capital,
showing the methods of navigation three thousand years ago.[529] Similar
skin rafts serve as ferry boats on the Sutlej, Shajok and other head
streams of the Indus.[530] They reappear in Africa as the only form of
ferry used by the Moors on the River Morbeya in Morocco; on the Nile,
where the inflated skins are supplanted by earthen pots;[531] and on the
Yo River of semi-arid Sudan, where the platform is made of reeds and is
buoyed up by calabashes fastened beneath.[532]

[Sidenote: Primitive craft in arid lands.]

In treeless lands, reeds growing on the margins of streams and lakes are
utilized for the construction of boats. The Buduma islanders of Lake
Chad use clumsy skiffs eighteen feet long, made of hollow reeds tied
into bundles and then lashed together in a way to form a slight cavity
on top.[533] In the earliest period of Egyptian history this type of boat
with slight variations was used in the papyrus marshes of the Nile,[534]
and it reappears as the ambatch boat which Schweinfurth observed on the
upper White Nile.[535] It is in use far away among the Sayads or Fowlers,
who inhabit the reed-grown rim of the Sistan Lake in arid Persia.[536] As
the Peruvian balsa, it has been the regular means of water travel on
Lake Titicaca since the time of the Incas, and in more primitive form it
appears among the Shoshone Indians of the Snake River Valley of Idaho,
who used this device in their treeless land to cross the streams, when
the water was too cold for swimming.[537] Still cruder rafts of reeds,
without approach to boat form, were the sole vehicles of navigation
among the backward Indians of San Francisco Bay, and were the prevailing
craft among the coast Indians farther south and about the Gulf of Lower
California.[538] Trees abounded; but these remnant tribes of low
intelligence, probably recent arrivals on the coast from the interior,
equipped only with instruments of bone and stone, found the difficulty
of working with wood prohibitive.

The second step in the elaboration of water conveyance was made when
mere flotation was succeeded by various devices to secure displacement.
The evolution is obvious. The primitive raftsman of the Mesopotamian
rivers wove his willow boughs and osiers into a large, round basket
form, covered it with closely sewn skins to render it water-tight, and
in it floated with his merchandise down the swift current from Armenia
to Babylon. These were the boats which Herodotus saw on the
Euphrates,[539] and which survive to-day.[540] According to Pliny, the
ancient Britons used a similar craft, framed of wicker-work and covered
with hide, in which they crossed the English and Irish channels to visit
their kinsfolk on the opposite shores. This skin boat or coracle or
currach still survives on the rivers of Wales and the west coast of
Ireland, where it is used by the fishermen and considered the safest
craft for stormy weather.[541] It recalls the "bull-skin boat" used in
pioneer days on the rivers of our western plains, and the skiffs serving
as passenger ferries to-day on the rivers of eastern Tibet.[542] It
reappears among the Arikara Indians of the upper Missouri,[543] and the
South American tribes of the Gran Chaco.[544] The first wooden boat was
made of a tree trunk, hollowed out either by fire or axe. The wide
geographical distribution of the dug-out and its survival in isolated
regions of highly civilized lands point it out as one of those necessary
and obvious inventions that must have been made independently in
various parts of the world.

[Sidenote: Relation of the river to marine navigation.]

The quieter water of rivers and lakes offered the most favorable
conditions for the feeble beginnings of navigation, but the step from
inland to marine navigation was not always taken. The Egyptians, who had
well-constructed river and marine boats, resigned their maritime
commerce to Phoenicians and Greeks, probably, as has been shown, because
the silted channels and swamps of the outer Nile delta held them at
arm's length from the sea. Similarly the equatorial lakes of Central
Africa have proved fair schools of navigation, where the art has passed
the initial stages of development. The kingdom of Uganda on Victoria
Nyanza, at the time of Stanley's visit, could muster a war fleet of 325
boats, a hundred of them measuring from fifty to seventy feet in length;
the largest were manned by a crew of sixty-four paddlers and could carry
as many more fighting men.[545] The long plateau course of the mighty
Congo has bred a race of river navigators, issuing from their riparian
villages to attack the traveler in big flotillas of canoes ranging from
fifty to eighty-five feet in length, the largest of them driven through
the water by eighty paddlers and steered by eight more paddles in the
stern.[546] But the Congo and lake boats are barred from the coast by a
series of cataracts, which mark the passage of the drainage streams down
the escarpment of the plateau.

[Sidenote: Retarded navigation.]

There are peoples without boats or rafts of any description. Among this
class are the Central Australians, Bushmen, navigation. Hottentots and
Kaffirs of arid South Africa,[547] and with few exceptions also the
Damaras. Even the coast members of these tribes only wade out into the
shallow water on the beach to spear fish. The traveler moving northward
from Cape Town through South Africa, across its few scant rivers, goes
all the way to Ngami Lake before he sees anything resembling a canoe,
and then only a rude dugout. Still greater is the number of people who,
though inhabiting well indented coasts, make little use of contact with
the sea. Navigation, unknown to many Australian coast tribes, is limited
to miserable rafts of mangrove branches on the northwest seaboard, and
to imperfect bark canoes with short paddles on the south; only in the
north where Malayan influences are apparent does the hollowed tree-stem
with outrigger appear.[548] This retardation is not due to fear, because
the South Australian native, like the Fuegian, ventures several miles
out to sea in his frail canoe; it is due to that deep-seated inertia
which characterizes all primitive races, and for which the remote,
outlying location of peninsular South America, Southern Africa and
Australia, before the arrival of the Europeans, afforded no antidote in
the form of stimulating contact with other peoples. But the Irish, who
started abreast of the other northern Celts in nautical efficiency, who
had advantages of proximity to other shores, and in the early centuries
of their history sailed to the far-away Faroes and even to Iceland,
peopled southern Scotland by an oversea emigration, made piratical
descents upon the English coast, and in turn received colonies of bold
Scandinavian mariners, suffered an arrested development in navigation,
and failed to become a sea-faring folk.

[Sidenote: Regions of advanced navigation.]

Turning from these regions of merely rudimentary navigation and
inquiring where the highest efficiency in the art was obtained before
the spread of Mediterranean and European civilization, we find that this
distinction belongs to the great island world of the Pacific and to the
neighboring lands of the Indian Ocean. Sailing vessels and outrigger
boats of native design and construction characterize the whole
sea-washed area of Indo-Malaysian civilization from Malacca to the
outermost isles of the Pacific. The eastern rim of Asia, also, belongs
to this wide domain of nautical efficiency, and the coast Indians of
southern Alaska and British Columbia may possibly represent an eastern
spur of the same,[549] thrown out in very remote times and maintained by
the advantageous geographic conditions of that indented, mountainous
coast. Adjoining this area on the north is the long-drawn Arctic
seaboard of the Eskimo, who unaided have developed in their sealskin
kayak and bidarka sea-going craft unsurpassed for the purposes of marine
hunting and fishing, and who display a fearlessness and endurance born
of long and enforced intimacy with the deep. Driven by the frozen
deserts of his home to seek his food chiefly in the water, the Eskimo,
nevertheless, finds his access to the sea barred for long months of
winter by the jagged ice-pack along the shore.

[Sidenote: Geographic conditions in Polynesia.]

The highest degree of intimacy is developed in that vast island-strewn
stretch of the Pacific constituting Oceanica.[550] Here where a mild
climate enables the boatman race to make a companion of the deep, where
every landscape is a seascape, where every diplomatic visit or war
campaign, every trading journey or search for new coco-palm plantation
means a voyage beyond the narrow confines of the home island, there
dwells a race whose splendid chest and arm muscles were developed in the
gymnasium of the sea; who, living on a paltry 515,000 square miles
(1,320,300 square kilometers) of scattered fragments of land, but
roaming over an ocean area of twenty-five million square miles, are not
more at home in their palm-wreathed islets than on the encompassing
deep. Migrations, voluntary and involuntary, make up their history.
Their trained sense of locality, enabling them to make voyages several
hundred miles from home, has been mentioned by various explorers in
Polynesia. The Marshall Islanders set down their geographical knowledge
in maps which are fairly correct as to bearings but not as to distances.
The Ralick Islanders of this group make charts which include islands,
routes and currents.[551] Captain Cook was impressed by the geographical
knowledge of the people of the South Seas. A native Tahitian made for
him a chart containing seventy-four islands, and gave an account of
nearly sixty more.[552] Information and directions supplied by natives
have aided white explorers to many discoveries in these waters. Quiros,
visiting the Duff Islands in 1606, learned the location of Ticopia, one
of the New Hebrides group, three hundred miles away. Not only the
excellent seamanship and the related pelagic fishing of the Polynesians
bear the stamp of their predominant water environment; their mythology,
their conception of a future state, the germs of their astronomical
science, are all born of the sea.

Though the people living on the uttermost boundaries of this island
world are 6,000 miles (or 10,000 kilometers) apart, and might be
expected to be differentiated by the isolation of their island
habitats, nevertheless they all have the same fundamental
characteristics of physique, language and culture from Guam to Easter
Isle, reflecting in their unity the oneness of the encompassing ocean
over which they circulate.[553]

[Sidenote: Mediterranean versus Atlantic seamanship.]

Midway between these semi-aquatic Polynesians and those Arctic tribes
who are forced out upon the deep, to struggle with it rather than
associate with it, we find the inhabitants of the Mediterranean islands
and peninsulas, who are favored by the mild climate and the tideless,
fogless, stormless character of their sea. While such a body of water
invites intimacy, it does not breed a hardy or bold race of navigators;
it is a nursery, scarcely a training school. Therefore, except for the
far-famed Dalmatian sailors, who for centuries have faced the storms
sweeping down from the Dinaric Alps over the turbulent surface of the
Adriatic, Mediterranean seamanship does not command general confidence
on the high seas. Therefore it is the German, English and Dutch
steamship lines that are to-day the chief ocean carriers from Italian
ports to East Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, despite
the presence of native lines running from Genoa to Buenos Ayres.
Montevideo and New York; just as it was the Atlantic states of Europe,
and only these and all of these, except Germany, who, trained to venture
out into the fogs and storms and unmarked paths of the _mare
tenebrosum_, participated in the early voyages to the Americas. One
after the other they came--Norwegians, Spaniards, Portuguese, English,
French, Dutch, Swedes and Danes. The anthropo-geographical principle is
not invalidated by the fact that Spain and England were guided in their
initial trans-Atlantic voyages by Italian navigators, like Columbus,
Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci. The long maritime experience of Italy and
its commercial relations with the Orient, reaching back into ancient
times, furnished abundant material for the researches and speculations
of such practical theorists; but Italy's location fixed the shores of
the Mediterranean as her natural horizon, narrowed her vision to its
shorter radius. Her obvious interest in the preservation of the old
routes to the Orient made her turn a deaf ear to plans aiming to divert
European commerce to trans-Atlantic routes. Italy's entrance upon the
high seas was, therefore, reluctant and late, retarded by the necessity
of outgrowing the old circumscribed outlook of the enclosed basin before
adopting the wider vision of the open ocean. Venice and Genoa were
crippled not only by the discovery of the sea route to India, but also
by their adherence to old thalassic means and methods of navigation
inadequate for the high seas.[554] However, these Mediterranean sea folk
are being gradually drawn out of their seclusion, as is proved by the
increase of Italian oceanic lines and the recent installation of an
Hellenic steamship line between Piræus and New York.

[Sidenote: Three geographic stages of maritime development.]

The size of a sea or ocean is a definite factor in its power to attract
or repel maritime ventures, especially in the earlier stages of nautical
development. A broken, indented coast means not only a longer and
broader zone of contact between the inhabitants and the sea; it means
also the breaking up of the adjacent expanse of water into so many
alcoves, in which fisherman, trader and colonist may become at home, and
prepare for maritime ventures farther afield. The enclosed or marginal
sea tempts earlier because it can be compassed by coastwise navigation;
then by the proximity of its opposite shores and its usual generous
equipment with islands, the next step to crosswise navigation is
encouraged. For the earliest stages of maritime development, only the
smaller articulations of the coast and the inshore fringe of sea inlets
count. This is shown in the primitive voyages of the Greeks, before they
had ventured into the Euxine or west of the forbidding Cape Malia; and
in the "inside passage" navigation of the Indians of southern Alaska,
British Columbia, and Chile, who have never stretched their nautical
ventures beyond the outermost rocks of their skerry-walled coast.

[Sidenote: Influence of enclosed seas upon navigation.]

A second stage is reached when an enclosed basin is at, hand to widen
the maritime horizon, and when this larger field is exploited in all its
commercial, colonial and industrial possibilities, as was done by the
Phoenicians and Greeks in the Mediterranean, the Hanse Towns in the
Baltic, the Dutch and English in the North Sea. The third and final
stage is reached when the nursery of the inshore estuary or gulf and the
elementary school of the enclosed basin are in turn outgrown, and the
larger maritime spirit moves on to the open ocean for its field of
operation. It is a significant fact that the Norse, bred to the water in
their fiords and channels behind their protecting "skerry-wall," then
trained in the stormy basins of the North and Irish Seas, were naturally
the first people of Europe to cross the Atlantic, because the Atlantic
of their shores, narrowing like all oceans and seas toward the north,
assumes almost the character of an enclosed basin. The distance from
Norway to Greenland is only 1,800 miles, little more than that across
the Arabian Sea between Africa and India. We trace, therefore, a certain
analogy between the physical subdivisions of the world of water into
inlet, marginal sea and ocean, and the anthropo-geographical gradations
in maritime development.

The enclosed or marginal sea seems a necessary condition for the advance
beyond coastwise navigation and the much later step to the open ocean.
Continents without them, like Africa, except for its frontage upon the
Mediterranean and the Red Sea, have shown no native initiative in
maritime enterprise. Africa was further cursed by the mockery of desert
coasts along most of her scant thalassic shores. In the Americas, we
find the native races compassing a wide maritime field only in the
Arctic, where the fragmentary character of the continent breaks up the
ocean into Hudson's Bay, Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, Gulf of Boothia,
Melville Sound and Bering Sea; and in the American Mediterranean of the
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The excellent seamanship developed in
the archipelagoes of southern Alaska and Chile remained abortive for
maritime expansion, despite a paucity of local resources and the spur of
hunger, owing to the lack of a marginal sea; but in the Caribbean basin,
the Arawaks and later the Caribs spread from the southern mainland as
far as Cuba.[555] [See map page 101.]

[Sidenote: Enclosed seas as areas of ethnic and cultural assimilation.]

Enclosed or marginal seas were historically the most important sections
of the ocean prior to 1492. Apart from the widening of the maritime
horizon which they give to their bordering people, each has the further
advantage of constituting an area of close vicinal grouping and constant
interchange of cultural achievements, by which the civilization of the
whole basin tends to become elevated and unified. This unification
frequently extends to race also, owing to the rapidity of maritime
expansion and the tendency to ethnic amalgamation characteristic of all
coast regions. We recognize an area of Mediterranean civilization from
the Isthmus of Suez to the Sacred Promontory of Portugal, and in this
area a long-headed, brunette Mediterranean race, clearly unified as to
stock, despite local differentiations of culture, languages and nations
in the various islands, peninsulas and other segregated coastal regions
of this sea.[556] The basin appears therefore as an historical whole; for
in it a certain group of peoples concentrated their common efforts,
which crossed and criss-crossed from shore to shore. Phoenicia's trade
ranged westward to the outer coasts of Spain, and later Barcelona's
maritime enterprises reached east to the Levant. Greece's commercial and
colonial relations embraced the Crimea and the mouth of the Rhone, and
Genoa's extended east to the Crimea again. The Saracens, on reaching the
Mediterranean edge of the Arabian peninsula, swept the southern coasts
and islands, swung up the western rim of the basin to the foot of the
Pyrenees, and taught the sluggish Spaniards the art of irrigation
practiced on the garden slopes of Yemen. The ships of the Crusaders from
Venice, Genoa and Marseilles anchored in the ports of Mohammedanized
Syria, brought the symbol of the cross back to its birthplace In
Jerusalem, but carried away with them countless suggestions from the
finished industries of the East. Here was give and take, expansion and
counter-expansion, conquest and expulsion, all together making up a
great sum of reciprocal relations embracing the whole basin, the outcome
of that close geographical connection which every sharply defined sea
establishes between the coasts which it washes.

[Sidenote: North Sea and Baltic basins.]

The same thing has come to pass in the North Sea. Originally Celtic on
its western or British side, as opposed to its eastern or Germanic
coast, it has been wholly Teutonized on that flank also from the Strait
of Dover to the Firth of Tay, and sprinkled with Scandinavian settlers
from the Firth of Tay northward to Caithness.[557] The eleventh century
saw this ethnic unification achieved, and the end of the Middle Ages
witnessed the diffusion of the elements of a common civilization through
the agency of commerce from Bruges to Bergen. The Baltic, originally
Teutonic only on its northern and western shores, has in historical
times become almost wholly Teutonic, including even the seaboard of
Finland and much of the coast provinces of Russia.[558] Unification of
civilization attended this unification of race. In its period of
greatest historical significance from the twelfth to the seventeenth
century, the Baltic played the rôle of a northern Mediterranean.[559] The
countless shuttles of the Hanse ships wove a web of commercial
intercourse between its remotest shores. Novgorod and Abö were in
constant communication with Lübeck and Stralsund;[560] and Wisby, on the
island of Gotland at the great crossroads of the Baltic,[561] had the
focal significance of the Piræus in ancient Aegean trade.

[Sidenote: Bering Sea.]

If we turn to Asia, we find that even the unfavorable Arctic location of
Bering Sea has been unable to rob it entirely of historical
significance. This is the one spot where a native American race has
transplanted itself by its natural expansion to Asiatic shores. The
circular rim and island-dotted surface have guided Eskimo emigrants to
the coast of the Chukchian Peninsula, where they have become partly
assimilated in dress and language to the local Chukches.[562] The same
conditions also facilitated the passage of a few Chukches across Bering
Strait to the Alaskan side. At Pak (or Peck) on East Cape and on Diomed
Island, situated in the narrowest part of Bering Strait, are the great
intercontinental markets of the polar tribes. Here American furs have
for many decades been exchanged for the reindeer skins of northern
Siberia and Russian goods from far-away Moscow.[563] Only the enclosed
character of the sea, reported by the Danish explorer Vitus Bering,
tempted the land-bred Russians, who reached the northeastern coast of
Siberia at the middle of the eighteenth century, to launch their leaky
boats of unseasoned timber, push across to the American continent, and
make this whole Bering basin a Russian sea;[564] just as a few decades
before, when land exploration of Kamchatka had revealed the enclosed
character of the Sea of Okhotsk, the Russian pioneers took a straight
course across the water to their Pacific outpost of Petropavlovsk near
the southern end of the peninsula. But even before the coming of the
Slavs to its shores, the Sea of Okhotsk seems to have been an area of
native commercial and ethnic intercourse from the Amur River in Siberia
in a half circle to the east, through Sakhalin, Yezo, the Kurile Islands
and southern Kamchatka,[565] noticeably where the rim of the basin
presented the scantiest supply of land and where, therefore, its meager
resources had to be eked out by fisheries and trade on the sea.

[Sidenote: Red Sea basin.]

On the southwest margin of Asia, the Red Sea, despite its desert shores,
has maintained the influence of its intercontinental location and linked
the neighboring elements of Africa and Asia. Identity of climatic
conditions on both sides of this long rift valley has facilitated ethnic
exchanges, and made it the center of what Ratzel calls the "Red Sea
group of peoples," related in race and culture.[566] The great ethnic
solvent here has been Semitic. Under the spur of Islam, the Arabs by
1514 had made the Red Sea an Arabian and Mohammedan sea. They had their
towns or trading stations at Zeila on the African side of the Strait of
Bab-el-Mandeb, at Dalaqua, the port of Abyssinia, at Massowa, Suakin,
and other towns, so that this coast too was called Arabia Felix.[567]

[Sidenote: Assimilation facilitated by ethnic kinship.]

Vicinal location about an enclosed basin produces more rapidly a
unification of race and culture, when some ethnic relationship and
affinity already exists among the peoples inhabiting its shores. As in
the ancient and medieval Mediterranean, so in the Yellow Sea of Asia,
the working of this principle is apparent. The presence along its coasts
of divergent but kindred peoples like the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese,
allowed these to be easily assimilated to a Yellow Sea race and to
absorb quickly any later infusion, like that of the Tatars and Manchus.
China, by reason of its larger area, long-drawn coast, massive
population, and early civilization, was the dominant factor in this
basin; Korea and Japan were its culture colonies-a fact that justifies
the phrase calling "China the Rome of the Far East." Historical Japan
began on the island of Kiu-sui, facing the Yellow Sea. Like Korea, it
derived its writing, its fantastic medical notions, its industrial
methods, some features of its government administration, its Buddhism
and its religion of Confucius from the people about the lower
Hoangho.[568] Three centuries ago Japan had its colony on Korean soil at
Fusan, the Calais of the East.[569] For purposes of piracy and smuggling
Japanese penetrated far up the rivers of China. Korea has kept in touch
with China by an active trade and diplomatic relations through the

But to-day China is going to school to Japan. Since Japan renounced
her policy of seclusion in 1868 along with her antiquated form of
government, and since Korea has been forced out of her hermit life,
the potency of vicinal location around this enclosed sea has been
suddenly restored. The enforced opening of the treaty ports of Japan,
Korea and China simply prepared the way for this basin to reassert its
power to unite, and to unite now more closely and effectively than
ever before, under the law of increasing territorial areas. The
stimulus was first communicated to the basin from without, from the
trading nations of the Occident and that new-born Orient rising from
the sea on the California shores. Japan has responded most promptly
and most actively to these over-sea stimuli, just as England has, of
all Europe, felt most strongly the reflex influences from
trans-Atlantic lands. The awakening of this basin has started,
therefore, from its seaward rim; its star has risen in the east. It is
in the small countries of the world that such stars rise. The
compressed energies of Japan, stirred by over-sea contact and an
improved government at home, have overleaped the old barriers and are
following the lines of slight resistance which this land-bound sea
affords. Helped by the bonds of geographical conditions and of race,
she has begun to convert China and Korea into her culture colonies.
The on-looking world feels that the ultimate welfare of China and
Korea can be best nurtured by Japan, which will thus pay its old debt
to the Middle Kingdom.

[Sidenote: Chinese expansion seaward.]

Despite the fact that China's history has always had a decidedly inland
character, that its political expansion has been landward, that it has
practiced most extensively and successively internal colonization, and
that its policy of exclusion has tended to deaden its outlook toward the
Pacific, nevertheless China's direct intercourse with the west and its
westward-directed influence have never, in point of significance, been
comparable with that toward the east and south. Here a succession of
marginal seas offered easy water-paths, dotted with way stations, to
their outermost rim in Japan, the Philippines and remote Australia.
About the South China Sea, the Gulf of Siam, the Sulu, Celebes, and Java
Seas, the coastal regions of the outlying islands have for centuries
received Chinese goods and culture, and a blend of that obstinately
assertive Chinese blood.

The strength of these influences has decreased with every increase of
distance from the indented coasts and teeming, seafaring population of
South China, and with every decrease in race affinity. They have left
only faint traces on the alien shores of far-away Australia. The
divergent ethnic stock of the widespread Malay world has been little
susceptible to these influences, which are therefore weak in the remoter
islands, but clearly discernible on the coasts of the Philippines,[570]
Borneo, the nearer Sunda Islands, and the peninsula of Malacca, where
the Chinese have had trading colonies for centuries.[571] But in the
eastern half of Farther India, which is grouped with China by land as
well as by sea, and whose race stock is largely if not purely Mongolian,
these influences are very marked, so that the whole continental rim of
the South China Sea, from Formosa to the Isthmus of Malacca, is strongly
assimilated in race and culture. Tongking, exposed to those modifying
influences which characterize all land frontiers, as well as to
coastwise intercourse, is in its people and civilization merely a
transcript of China. The coast districts and islands of Annam are
occupied by Chinese as far as the hills of Cambodia, and the name of
Cochin China points to the origin of its predominant population.
One-sixth of the inhabitants of Siam are Chinese, some of whom have
filtered through the northern border; Bangkok, the capital, has a large
Chinese quarter. The whole economic life and no small part of the
intellectual life of the eastern face of Farther India south to
Singapore is centered in the activity of the Chinese.[572]

[Sidenote: Importance of zonal and continental location.]

The historical significance of an enclosed sea basin depends upon its
zonal location and its position in relation to the surrounding lands. We
observe a steady decrease of historical importance from south to north
through the connected series of the Yellow, Japan, Okhotsk, Bering Seas
and the Arctic basin, miscalled ocean. The far-northern location of the
Baltic, with its long winters of ice-bound ports and its glaciated
lands, retarded its inclusion in the field of history, curtailed its
important historical period, and reduced the intensity of its historical
life, despite the brave, eager activity of the Hanseatic League. The
Mediterranean had the advantage, not only of a more favorable zonal
situation, but of a location at the meeting place of three continents
and on the line of maritime traffic across the eastern hemisphere from
the Atlantic to the Pacific.

[Sidenote: Thalassic character of the Indian Ocean.]

These advantages it shares in some degree with the Indian Ocean, which,
as Ratzel justly argues, is not a true ocean, at best only half an
ocean. North of the equator, where it is narrowed and enclosed like an
inland sea, it loses the hydrospheric and atmospheric characteristics of
a genuine ocean. Currents and winds are disorganized by the
close-hugging lands. Here the steady northeast trade wind is replaced by
the alternating air currents of the northeast and southwest monsoons,
which at a very early date[573] enabled merchant vessels to break away
from their previous slow, coastwise path, and to strike a straight
course on their voyage between Arabia or the east coast of Africa and
India.[574] Moreover, this northern half of the Indian Ocean looks like a
larger Mediterranean with its southern coast removed. It has the same
east and west series of peninsulas harboring differentiated
nationalities, the same northward running recesses, but all on a larger
scale. It has linked together the history of Asia and Africa; and by the
Red Sea and Persian Gulf, it has drawn Europe and the Mediterranean
into its sphere of influence. At the western corner of the Indian Ocean
a Semitic people, the Arabs of Oman and Yemen, here first developed
brilliant maritime activity, like their Phoenician kinsmen of the
Lebanon seaboard. Similar geographic conditions in their home lands and
a nearly similar intercontinental location combined to make them the
middlemen of three continents. Just as the Phoenicians, by way of the
Mediterranean, reached and roused slumberous North Africa into
historical activity and became the medium for the distribution of
Egypt's culture, so these Semites of the Arabian shores knocked at the
long-closed doors of East Africa facing on the Indian basin, and drew
this region into the history of southern Asia. Thus the Africa of the
enclosed seas was awakened to some measure of historical life, while the
Africa of the wide Atlantic slept on.

[Sidenote: The sea route to the Orient.]

From the dawn of history the northern Indian Ocean was a thoroughfare.
Alexander the Great's rediscovery of the old sea route to the Orient
sounds like a modern event in relation to the gray ages behind it. Along
this thoroughfare Indian colonists, traders, and priests carried the
elements of Indian civilization to the easternmost Sunda Isles; and
Oriental wares, sciences and religions moved westward to the margin of
Europe and Africa. The Indian Ocean produced a civilization of its own,
with which it colored a vast semi-circle of land reaching from Java to
Abyssinia, and more faintly, owing to the wider divergence of race, the
further stretch from Abyssinia to Mozambique.

Thus the northern Indian Ocean, owing to its form, its location in the
angle between Asia and Africa and the latitude where, round the whole
earth, "the zone of greatest historical density" begins, and especially
its location just southeast of the Mediterranean as the eastern
extension of that maritime track of ancient and modern times between
Europe and China, has been involved in a long series of historical
events. From the historical standpoint, prior to 1492 it takes a far
higher place than the Atlantic and Pacific, owing to its nature as an
enclosed sea.[575] But like all such basins, this northern Indian Ocean
attained its zenith of historical importance in early times. In the
sixteenth century it suffered a partial eclipse, which passed only with
the opening of the Suez Canal. During this interval, however, the
Portuguese. Dutch and English had rounded the Cape of Good Hope and
entered this basin on its open or oceanic side. By their trading
stations, which soon traced the outlines of its coasts from Sofala in
South Africa around to Java, they made this ocean an alcove of the
Atlantic, and embodied its events in the Atlantic period of history. It
is this open or oceanic side which differentiates the Indian Ocean
physically, and therefore historically, from a genuine enclosed sea.

[Sidenote: Limitation of small area in enclosed seas.]

The limitation of every enclosed or marginal sea lies in its small area
and in the relatively restricted circle of its bordering lands. Only
small peninsulas and islands can break its surface, and short stretches
of coast combine to form its shores. It affords, therefore, only limited
territories as goals for expansion, restricted resources and populations
to furnish the supply and demand of trade. What lands could the
Mediterranean present to the colonial outlook of the Greeks comparable
to the North America of the expanding English or the Brazil of the
Portuguese? Yet the Mediterranean as a colonial field had great
advantages in point of size over the Baltic, which is only one-sixth as
large (2,509,500 and 431,000 square kilometers respectively), and
especially over the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, whose effective areas were
greatly reduced by the aridity of their surrounding lands. But the
precocious development and early cessation of growth marking all
Mediterranean national life have given to this basin a variegated
history; and in every period and every geographical region of it, from
ancient Phoenicia to modern Spain and Italy, the early exhaustion of
resources and dwarfing of political ideals which characterize most small
areas become increasingly conspicuous. The history of Sweden, Denmark,
and the Hanse Towns in the Baltic tells the same story, the story of a
hothouse plant, forced in germination and growth, then stifled in the
close air.

[Sidenote: Successive maritime periods in history.]

Growth demands space. Therefore, the progress of history has been
attended by an advance from smaller to larger marine areas, with a
constant increase in those manifold relations between peoples and lands
which the water is able to establish. Every great epoch of history has
had its own sea, and every succeeding epoch has enlarged its maritime
field. The Greek had the Aegean, the Roman the whole Mediterranean, to
which the Middle Ages made an addition in the North Sea and Baltic. The
modern period has had the Atlantic, and the twentieth century is now
entering upon the final epoch of the World Ocean. The gradual inclusion
of this World Ocean in the widened scope of history has been due to the
expansion of European peoples, who, for the past twenty centuries, have
been the most far-reaching agents in the making of universal history.
Owing to the location and structure of their continent, they have always
found the larger outlet in a western sea. In the south the field widened
from the Phoenician Sea to the Aegean, then to the Mediterranean, on to
the Atlantic, and across it to its western shores; in the north it moved
from the quiet Baltic to the tide-swept North Sea and across the North
Atlantic. Only the South Atlantic brought European ships to the great
world highway of the South Seas, and gave them the choice of an eastern
or western route to the Pacific. Every new voyage in the age of
discovery expanded the historical horizon; and every improvement in the
technique of navigation has helped to eliminate distance and reduced
intercourse on the World Ocean to the time-scale of the ancient

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that the larger oceanic
horizon has meant a corresponding increase in the relative content and
importance of history for the known world of each period. Such an
intense, concentrated national life as occurred in those little
Mediterranean countries in ancient times is not duplicated now, unless
we find a parallel in Japan's recent career in the Yellow Sea basin.
There was something as cosmic in the colonial ventures of the Greeks to
the wind-swept shores of the Crimea or barbarous wilds of Massilia, as
in the establishment of English settlements on the brimming rivers of
Virginia or the torrid coast of Malacca. Alexander's conquest of the
Asiatic rim of the Mediterranean and Rome's political unification of the
basin had a significance for ancient times comparable with the
Russification of northern Asia and the establishment of the British
Empire for our day.

The ocean has always performed one function in the evolution of history;
it has provided the outlet for the exercise of redundant national
powers. The abundance of opportunity which it presents to these
disengaged energies depends upon the size, location and other geographic
conditions of the bordering lands. These opportunities are limited in an
enclosed basin, larger in the oceans, and largest in the northern halves
of the oceans, owing to the widening of all land-masses towards the
north and the consequent contraction of the oceans and seas in the same

[Sidenote: Contrasted historical rôles of northern and southern

A result of this grouping is the abundance of land in the northern
hemisphere, and the vast predominance of water in the southern, by
reason of which these two hemispheres have each assumed a distinct rôle
in history. The northern hemisphere offers the largest advantages for
the habitation of man, and significantly enough, contains a population
five times that of the southern hemisphere. The latter, on the other
hand, with its vast, unbroken water areas, has been the great oceanic
highway for circum-mundane exploration and trade. This great water
girdle of the South Seas had to be discovered before the spherical form
of the earth could be proven. In the wide territory of the northern
hemisphere civilization has experienced an uninterrupted development,
first in the Old World, because this offered in its large area north of
the equator the fundamental conditions for rapid evolution; then it was
transplanted with greatest success to North America. The northern
hemisphere contains, therefore, "the zone of greatest historical
density," from which the track of the South Seas is inconveniently
remote. Hence we find in recent decades a reversion to the old east-west
path along the southern rim of Eurasia, now perfected by the Suez Canal,
and to be extended in the near future around the world by the union of
the Pacific with the Caribbean Sea at Panama; so that finally the
northern hemisphere will have its own circum-mundane waterway, along the
line of greatest intercontinental intercourse.

[Sidenote: Size of the oceans]

The size of the ocean as a whole is so enormous, and yet its various
subdivisions are so uniform in their physical aspect, that their
differences of size produce less conspicuous historical effects than
their diversity of area would lead one to expect. A voyage across the
177,000 square miles (453,500 square kilometers) of the Black Sea does
not differ materially from one across the 979,000 square miles
(2,509,500 square kilometers) of the Mediterranean; or a voyage across
the 213,000 square miles (547,600 square kilometers) of the North Sea,
from one across the three-hundredfold larger area of the Pacific. The
ocean does not, like the land, wear upon its surface the evidences and
effects of its size; it wraps itself in the same garment of blue waves
or sullen swell, wherever it appears; but the outward cloak of the land
varies from zone to zone. The significant anthropo-geographical
influence of the size of the oceans, as opposed to that of the smaller
seas, comes from the larger circle of lands which the former open to
maritime enterprise. For primitive navigation, when the sailor crept
from headland to headland and from island to island, the small enclosed
basin with its close-hugging shores did indeed offer the best
conditions. To-day, only the great tonnage of ocean-going vessels may
reflect in some degree the vast areas they traverse between continent
and continent. Coasting craft and ships designed for local traffic in
enclosed seas are in general smaller, as in the Baltic, though the
enormous commerce of the Great Lakes, which constitute in effect an
inland sea, demands immense vessels.

[Sidenote: Neutrality of the seas, its evolution.]

The vast size of the oceans has been the basis of their neutrality. The
neutrality of the seas is a recent idea in political history. The
principle arose in connection with the oceans, and from them was
extended to the smaller basins, which previously tended to be regarded
as private political domains. Their limited area, which enabled them to
be compassed, enabled them also to be appropriated, controlled and
policed. The Greek excluded the Phoenician from the Aegean and made it
an Hellenic sea. Carthage and Tarentum tried to draw the dead line for
Roman merchantmen at the Lacinian Cape, the doorway into the Ionian
Sea, and thereby involved themselves in the famous Punic Wars. The whole
Mediterranean became a Roman sea, the _mare nostrum_. Pompey's fleet was
able to police it effectively and to exterminate the pirates in a few
months, as Cicero tells us in his oration for the Manilian Law. Venice,
by the conquest of the Dalmatian pirates in 991 prepared to make herself
_dominatrix Adriatici maris_, as she was later called. By the thirteenth
century she had secured full command of the sea, spoke of it as "the
Gulf," in her desire to stamp it as a _mare clausum_, maintained in it a
powerful patrol fleet under a _Capitan in Golfo_, whose duty it was to
police the sea for pirates and to seize all ships laden with contraband
goods. She claimed and enforced the right of search of foreign vessels,
and compelled them to discharge two-thirds of their cargo at Venice,
which thus became the clearing house of the whole Adriatic. She even
appealed to the Pope for confirmation of her dominion over the sea.[576]
Sweden and Denmark strove for a _dominum maris Baltici_; but the Hanse
Towns of northern Germany secured the maritime supremacy in the basin,
kept a toll-gate at its entrance, and levied toll or excluded merchant
ships at their pleasure, a right which after the fall of the Hanseatic
power was assumed by Denmark and maintained till 1857. "The Narrow Seas"
over which England claimed sovereignty from 1299 to 1805, and on which
she exacted a salute from every foreign vessel, included the North Sea
as far as Stadland Cape in Norway, the English Channel, and the Bay of
Biscay down to Cape Finisterre in northern Spain.[577]

At the beginning of the sixteenth century the Indian Ocean was a
Portuguese sea. Spain was trying to monopolize the Caribbean and even
the Pacific Ocean. But the immense areas of these pelagic fields of
enterprise, and the rapid intrusion into them of other colonial powers
soon rendered obsolete in practice the principle of the _mare clausum_,
and introduced that of the _mare liberum_. The political theory of the
freedom of the seas seems to have needed vigorous support even toward
the end of the seventeenth century. At this time we find writers like
Salmasius and Hugo Grotius invoking it to combat Portuguese monopoly of
the Indian Ocean as a _mare clausum_. Grotius in a lengthy dissertation
upholds the thesis that "_Jure gentium quibusvis ad quosvis liberam
esse navigationem_," and supports it by an elaborate argument and
quotations from the ancient poets, philosophers, orators and
historians.[578] This principle was not finally acknowledged by England
as applicable to "The Narrow Seas" till 1805. Now, by international
agreement, political domain extends only to one marine league from shore
or within cannon range. The rest of the vast water area remains the
unobstructed highway of the world.


[528] S.M. Zwemer, Arabia the Cradle of Islam, p. 135. New York, 1900.

[529] A.H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, Vol. I, p. 277; Vol. II,
79-81. New York, 1849.

[530] E.F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, pp. 257, 261. London, 1897.

[531] Col. Lane Fox, Early Modes of Navigation, _Journal of
Anthropological Institute_, Vol. IV, p. 423.

[532] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. I, p. 167.
London; 1907.

[533] _Ibid._, Vol. I, p. 324.

[534] James H. Breasted, History of Egypt, pp. 89, 91, 97. New York,
1905. Col. Lane Fox, Early Modes of Navigation, _Journal of
Anthropological Institute_, Vol. IV, pp. 414-417.

[535] G. Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, Vol. I, p. 77. London, 1873.

[536] E. Huntington, The Depression of Sistan in Eastern Persia,
_Bulletin of the American Geographical Society_, Vol. 37, No. 5. 1905.

[537] Schoolcraft, The Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. I, p.
214. Philadelphia, 1853.

[538] H.H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 382-383, 408, 564.
San Francisco, 1886. D. G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 110, 112.
Philadelphia, 1901.

[539] Herodotus, Book 1, Chap. 194.

[540] S.M. Zwemer, Arabia the Cradle of Islam, p. 135. New York, 1900.

[541] Cotterill and Little, Ships and Sailors, pp. ix-x, 38, London,

[542] M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China in 1846, Vol. II, p.
251. Chicago, 1898.

[543] Elliott Coues, History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Vol. I,
p. 159. New York, 1893.

[544] Col. Lane Fox, Early Modes of Navigation, _Journal of
Anthropological Institute_, Vol. IV, pp. 423-425.

[545] H.M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, Vol. I, pp. 313-314. New
York, 1879.

[546] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 184, 219-220, 270-272, 300.

[547] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 288. London, 1896-1898.

[548] _Ibid._, Vol I, pp. 358-359. Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes
of Central Australia, pp. 679-680. London, 1904.

[549] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 153-154; Vol. II, pp. 91,
100. London, 1896-1898.

[550] _Ibid._, Vol. I, pp. 166-170.

[551] Captain Winkler, Sea Charts Formerly Used in the Marshall Islands,
Smithsonian Report for 1899, translated from the _Marine Rundschau_.
Berlin, 1898.

[552] Captain James Cook, Journal of First Voyage Round the World, pp.
70, 105, 119, 221, 230. Edited by W.J.L. Wharton. London, 1893.

[553] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 161, 174. London,

[554] The Commercial and Fiscal Policy of the Venetian Republic,
_Edinburgh Review_, Vol. 200, pp. 352-353. 1904.

[555] H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 188-189, 193-195.
New York, 1902-1906.

[556] G. Sergi, The Mediterranean Race, pp. 29-37. New York, 1901. W.Z.
Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 128-130, 270-273, 387-390, 407, 444, 448.
New York, 1899.

[557] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 189-190. London,

[558] Sydow-Wagner _Schul-Atlas, Völker und Sprachenkarten_, No. 13.
Gotha, 1905. A. Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, map p. 80. New
York, 1897.

[559] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. VI, pp. 5-17. New York,

[560] E.C. Semple, The Development of the Hanse Towns in Relation to
their Geographical Environment, _Bulletin American Geographical
Society_, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, 1899.

[561] Helen Zimmern, The Hansa Towns, pp. 24-25, 54-55. New York, 1895.

[562] Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, pp. 365, 588, 591. New York,

[563] _Ibid._, pp. 375, 403, 405, 487, 563.

[564] Agnes Laut, The Vikings of the Pacific, pp. 62-105. New York,

[565] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 446, 449-450. London,

[566] _Ibid._, Vol. III, pp. 180-195.

[567] Duarte Barbosa, The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar, pp. 17-18.
Hakluyt Society Publications. London, 1866.

[568] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 443-444. London,

[569] Angus Hamilton, Korea, pp. 130-135. New York, 1904.

[570] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 318-320, 478,
481-495. Washington, 1903.

[571] Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, pp. 544-545. New
York, 1902-1906.

[572] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 407-412. London,

[573] Pliny, Natural History, Book VI, chap. 26.

[574] Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. II, pp. 351, 417-418,
470, 471. London, 1883.

[575] For full discussion of Indian Ocean, see Helmolt, History of the
World, Vol. II, pp. 580-584, 602-610. New York, 1902-1906. Duarte
Barbosa, The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar, pp. 26-28, 41-42, 59-60,
67, 75, 79-80, 83, 166, 170, 174, 179, 184, 191-194, Hakluyt Society.
London, 1866.

[576] Pompeo Molmenti, Venice in the Middle Ages, Vol. I, pp. 117,
121-123, 130. Chicago, 1906. The Commercial and Fiscal Policy of the
Venetian Republic, _Edinburgh Review_, Vol. 200, pp. 341-344, 347. 1904.

[577] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 24, note. London,

[578] Hugonis Grotii, _Mare Liberum sive de jure quod Batavis competit
ad Indicana commercia dissertatio_, contained in his _De Jure Belli et
Pacis. Hagae Comitis_, 1680.



Despite the extensive use which man makes of the water highways of the
world, they remain to him highways, places for his passing and
repassing, not for his abiding. Essentially a terrestrial animal, he
makes his sojourn upon the deep only temporary, even when as a fisherman
he is kept upon the sea for months during the long season of the catch,
or when, as whaler, year-long voyages are necessitated by the
remoteness and expanse of his field of operations. Yet even this rule
has its exceptions. The Moro Bajan are sea gypsies of the southern
Philippines and the Sulu archipelago, of whom Gannett says "their home
is in their boats from the cradle to the grave, and they know no art but
that of fishing." Subsisting almost exclusively on sea food, they wander
about from shore to shore, one family to a boat, in little fleets of
half a dozen sail; every floating community has its own headman called
the Captain Bajan, who embodies all their slender political
organization. When occasionally they abandon their rude boats for a
time, they do not abandon the sea, but raise their huts on piles above
the water on some shelving beach. Like the ancient lake-dwellers of
Switzerland and Italy, only in death do they acknowledge their ultimate
connection with the solid land. They never bury their dead at sea, but
always on a particular island, to which the funeral cortege of rude
outrigged boats moves to the music of the paddle's dip.[579]

[Sidenote: Protection of a water frontier.]

The margin of river, lake and sea has always attracted the first
settlements of man because it offered a ready food supply in its animal
life and an easy highway for communication. Moreover, a water front made
a comparatively safe frontier for the small, isolated communities which
constituted primitive societies. The motive of protection, dominant in
the savage when selecting sites for his villages, led him to place them
on the pear-shaped peninsula formed by a river loop, or on an island in
the stream or off the coast; or to sever his connection with the solid
land, whence attack might come, and provide himself with a boundary
waste of water by raising his hut on piles above the surface of lake,
river or sheltered seacoast, within easy reach of the shore. In this
location the occupant of the pile dwelling has found all his needs
answered--fishing grounds beneath and about his hut, fields a few
hundred feet away on shore, easily reached by his dug-out canoe, and a
place of retreat from a land enemy, whether man or wild beast.

[Sidenote: Ancient pile villages.]

Such pile dwellings, answering the primary need of protection, have had
wide distribution, especially in the Tropics, and persist into our own
times among retarded peoples living in small, isolated groups too weak
for effective defence. They were numerous in the lakes of Switzerland[580]
and northern Italy down to the first century of our era, and existed
later in slightly modified form in Ireland, Scotland, England and
southern Wales.[581] In ancient Ireland they were constructed on
artificial islands, raised in shallow spots of lakes or morasses by
means of fascines weighted down with gravel and clay, and moored to the
bottom by stakes driven through the mass. Such groups of dwellings were
called _Crannogs_; they existed in Ireland from the earliest historical
period and continued in use down to the time of Queen Elizabeth. In the
turbulent twelfth century, the warring lords of the soil adopted them as
places of refuge and residence.[582] Herodotus describes a pile village of
the ancient Thracians in Lake Prasias near the Hellespont, built quite
after the Swiss type, with trap doors in the floor for fishing or
throwing out refuse. Its inhabitants escaped conquest by the Persians
under King Darius, and avoided the fate of their fellow tribesmen on
land, who were subdued and removed as colonists to Asia.[583]

[Sidenote: Present distribution.]

Among Europeans such pile villages belong to primitive stages of
development, chiefly to the Stone, Bronze, and early Iron Ages. They are
widely distributed in modern times among retarded peoples, who in this
way seek compensation for their social and economic weakness. In South
America, the small timid tribe of the native Warraus till quite recently
built their dwellings on platforms over the water in the river network
of the Orinoco delta and along the swamp coast as far as the Essequibo.
These pile villages, "_fondata sopra l'acqua come Venezia_," as
Vespuccius says, suggested to him the name of Venezuela or little Venice
for this coast.[584] A pile village in Jull Lake, a lacustrine expansion
in a tributary of the upper Salwin River, is inhabited by the Inthas,
apparently an alien colony in Burma. They have added a detail in their
floating gardens, rafts covered with soil, on which they raise tomatoes,
watermelons and gourds.[585]

In little Lake Mohrya, located near the upper Lualaba River, a southern
headstream of the Congo, Cameron found numerous pile dwellings, whose
owners moved about in dug-out canoes and cultivated fields on land,[586]
as did their Swiss confrères of twenty centuries ago. Livingstone, in
descending from Lake Nyassa by the Shire River, found in the lakelet of
Pamalombe, into which the stream widened, similar water huts inhabited
by a number of Manganja families, who had been driven from their homes
by slave raiders. The slender reeds of the papyrus thicket, lining the
shore in a broad band, served as piles, number compensating for the lack
of strength; the reeds, bent downward and fastened together into a mat,
did indeed support their light dwellings, but heaved like thin ice when
the savages moved from hut to hut. The dense forest of papyrus left
standing between village and shore effectually screened their retreat,
and the abundant fish in the lake provided them with food.[587]

[Sidenote: Malayan pile dwellings.]

In the vast island world of Indonesia, where constant contact with the
sea has bred the amphibian Malay race, we are not surprised to find that
the typical Malay house is built on piles above the water; and that when
the coast Malay is driven inland by new-comers of his own stock and
forced to abandon his favorite occupations of trade, piracy and fishing,
he takes to agriculture but still retains his sea-born architecture and
raises his hut on poles above the ground, beyond the reach of an enemy's
spear-thrust. The Moro Samal Laut of the southern Sulu Archipelago avoid
the large volcanic islands of the group, and place their big villages
over the sea on low coral reefs. The sandy beaches of the shore hold
their coco-palms, whose nuts by their milk eke out the scanty supply of
drinking water, and whose fronds shade the tombs of the dead.[588] The
sea-faring Malays of the Sunda Islands, in thickly populated points of
the coast, often dwell in permanently inhabited rafts moored near the
pile dwellings. Palembang on the lower swampy course of the River Musi
has a floating suburb of this sort. It is called the "Venice of
Sumatra," just as Banjarmasin, a vast complex of pile and raft
dwellings, is called the "Venice of Borneo," and Brunei to the north is
the "Venice of the East."[589] Both these towns are the chief commercial
centers of their respective islands. The little town of Kilwaru,
situated on a sandbank off the eastern end of Ceram, seems to float on
the sea, so completely has it surrounded and enveloped with pile-built
houses the few acres of dry land which form its nucleus. It is a place
of busy traffic, the emporium for commerce between the Malay Archipelago
and New Guinea.[590]

[Sidenote: In Melanesia.]

Farther east in Melanesia, whose coast regions are more or less
permeated by Malayan stock and influences, pile dwellings, both over
water and on land form a characteristic feature of the scenery. The
village of Sowek in Geelvink Bay, on the northern coast of Dutch New
Guinea, consists of thirty houses raised on piles above the water,
connected with each other by tree trunks but having only boat connection
with the shore. Similar villages are found hovering over the lapping
waves of Humboldt Bay, all of them recalling with surprising fidelity
the prehistoric lake-dwellings of Switzerland.[591] The Papuan part of
Port Moresby, on the southern coast of British New Guinea, covers the
whole water-front of the town with pile dwellings. In the vicinity are
similar native pile villages, such as Tanobada, Hanuabada, Elevara and
Hula, the latter consisting of pile dwellings scattered about over the
water in a circuit of several miles and containing about a thousand
inhabitants. Here, too, the motive is protection against the attacks of
inland mountain tribes, with whom the coast people are in constant

The Malay fisherman, trader and pirate, with the love of the sea in his
blood, by these pile dwellings combines security from his foe and
proximity to his familiar field of activity. The same objects are
achieved by white traders on the west coast of Africa by setting up
their dwellings and warehouses on the old hulks of dismasted vessels,
which are anchored for this purpose in the river mouths. They afford
some protection against both fever and hostile native, and at the same
time occupy the natural focus of local trade seeking foreign exchanges.

[Sidenote: River dwellers in populous lands.]

When advancing civilization has eliminated the need for this form of
protection, water-dwellers may survive or reappear in old and
relatively over-populated countries, as we find them universally on the
rivers of China and less often in Farther India. Here they present the
phenomenon of human life overflowing from the land to the streams of the
country; because these, as highways of commerce, afford a means of
livelihood, even apart from the food supply in their fish, and offer an
unclaimed bit of the earth's surface for a floating home. Canton has
250,000 inhabitants living on boats and rafts moored in the river, and
finding occupation in the vast inland navigation of the Empire, or in
the trade which it brings to this port of the Si-kiang. Some of the
boats accommodate large families, together with modest poultry farms,
crowded together under their low bamboo sheds. Others are handsome
wooden residences ornamented with plants, and yet others are pleasure
resorts with their professional singing girls.[593] In the lakes and
swamp-bordered rivers of southern Shantung, a considerable fishing
population is found living in boats, while the land shows few
inhabitants. This population enjoys freedom from taxation and
unrestricted use of the rivers and fisheries. To vary their scant and
monotonous diet, they construct floating gardens on rafts of bamboo
covered with earth, on which they plant onions and garlic and which they
tow behind their boats. They also raise hundreds of ducks, which are
trained to go into the water to feed and return at a signal,[594] thus
expanding the resources of their river life. Bangkok has all its
business district afloat on the Menam River--shops, lumber yards,
eating-houses and merchants' dwellings. Even the street vendor's cart is
a small boat, paddled in and out among the larger junks.[595]

A far more modern type of river-dwellers is found in the "shanty-boat"
people of the western rivers of the United States. They are the gypsies
of our streams, nomads who float downstream with the current, tying up
at intervals along the bank of some wooded island or city waterfront,
then paying a tug to draw their house-boat upstream. The river furnishes
them with fish for their table and driftwood for their cooking-stove,
and above all is the highway for the gratification of their nomad
instincts. There is no question here of trade and overpopulation.

[Sidenote: Reclamation of land from the sea.]

Pile dwellings and house-boats are a paltry form of encroachment upon
the water in comparison with that extensive reclamation of river swamps
and coastal marshes which in certain parts of the world has so increased
the area available for human habitation. The water which is a necessity
to man may become his enemy unless it is controlled. The alluvium which
a river deposits in its flood-plain, whether in some flat stretch of its
middle course or near the retarding level of the sea, attracts
settlement because of its fertility and proximity to a natural highway;
but it must be protected by dikes against the very element which created
it. Such deposits are most extensive on low coasts at or near the
river's mouth, just where the junction of an inland and oceanic waterway
offers the best conditions for commerce. Here then is a location
destined to attract and support a large population, for which place can
be made only by steady encroachment upon the water of both river and
sea. Diking is necessitated not only by the demand for more land for the
growing population, but also by the constant silting up of the drainage
outfalls, which increases the danger of inundation while at the same
time contributing to the upbuilding of the land. Conditions here
institute an incessant struggle between man and nature;[596] but the
rewards of victory are too great to count the cost. The construction of
sea-walls, embankment of rivers, reclamation of marshes, the cutting of
canals for drains and passways in a water-soaked land, the conversion of
lakes into meadow, the rectification of tortuous streams for the greater
economy of this silt-made soil, all together constitute the greatest
geographical transformation that man has brought about on the earth's

[Sidenote: The struggle with the water.]

Though the North Sea lowland of Europe has suffered from the serious
encroachment of the sea from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century,
when the Zuyder Zee, the Dollart and Jade Bay were formed, nevertheless
the counter encroachment of the land upon the water, accomplished
through the energy and intelligence of the inhabitants, has more than
made good the loss. Between the Elbe and Scheldt more than 2,000 square
miles (5,000 square kilometers) have been reclaimed from river and sea
in the past three hundred years. Holland's success in draining her large
inland waters, like the Haarlem Meer (70 square miles or 180 square
kilometers) and the Lake of Ij, has inspired an attempt to recover 800
square miles (2,050 square kilometers) of fertile soil from the borders
of the Zuyder Zee and reduce that basin to nearly one-third of its
present size.[598] One-fourth of the Netherlands lies below the average
of high tides, and in 1844 necessitated 9,000 windmills to pump the
waste water into the drainage canals.[599]

The Netherlands, with all its external features of man's war against the
water, has its smaller counterpart in the 1,200 square miles of
reclaimed soil about the head of the Wash, which constitute the Fenland
of England. Here too are successive lines of sea-wall, the earliest of
them attributed to the Romans, straightened and embanked rivers,
drainage canals, windmills and steam pumps, dikes serving as roads,
lines of willows and low moist pastures dotted with grazing cattle. No
feature of the Netherlands is omitted. The low southern part of
Lincolnshire is even called Holland, and Dutch prisoners from a naval
battle of 1652 were employed there on the work of reclamation, which was
begun on a large scale about this time.[600] In the medieval period, the
increase of population necessitated measures to improve the drainage and
extend the acreage; but there was little co-operation among the land
owners, and the maintenance of river dikes and sea-walls was neglected,
till a succession of disasters from flooding streams and invading tides
in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries led to severe measures
against defaulters. One culprit was placed alive in a breach which his
own neglect or criminal cutting had caused, and was built in, by way of
educating the Fenlanders to a sense of common responsibility.[601]

The fight against the water on the coast begins later than that against
rivers and swamps in the interior of the land; it demands greater
enterprise and courage, because it combats two enemies instead of one;
but its rewards are correspondingly greater. The Netherlands by their
struggle have acquired not only territory for an additional half
million population, but have secured to themselves a strategic position
in the maritime trade of the world.

[Sidenote: Mound villages in river flood-plains.]

The abundant fertility of river flood-plains inevitably attracts
population and necessitates some kind of artificial protection against
inundation. The most primitive form of this protection is obvious and
widespread, restricted in neither locality nor race. When the flood
season converts the flat plain of the White Nile below Gondokora (7° N.
Lat.) into an extensive marsh, countless hills of the white ant emerge
over the waters. During the dry season, the ants build up their hills to
about ten feet, and then live in safety in the upper section during the
flood. They greatly surpass in intelligence and constructive ability the
human occupants of the valley, the low and wretched Kytch tribe of the
Dinka Negroes, who like the ants are attracted by the natural vegetation
of the flood-plain, and who use the ant-hills as refuge stations for
themselves and their cattle during the flood.[602] Elsewhere in Africa
the natives are more intelligent, for flood-plain villages built on
artificial mounds have existed from the earliest times. Diodorus Siculus
tells us that those of ancient Egypt, when the Nile was high, looked
like the Cyclades Islands.[603] Similar ones are constructed by the
Barotse tribe on the upper Zambesi.[604] The Niger River, rising in the
Foota Jallon and Kong Mountains which form a region of heavy rainfall
from February to July, inundates a plain of several thousand square
miles for a distance of 250 miles above Timbuctoo. Here again the
villages of the agricultural Song-hoi duplicate those of Egypt, built on
the same clay mounds, wreathed in the same feathery palms, and
communicating with one another only by small boats.[605] The same picture
is presented by the Yangtze Kiang plain during the summer overflow--low
artificial hills rising from the expanse of muddy water and topped with
trees and villages, while sampans moored to their base show the means of
communication.[606] In the broad flood-plain of the lower Mississippi
River, the chronicles of the De Soto expedition state that the Indian
villages visited stood "on mounds made by art." The Yazoo River Indians,
at the commencement of the eighteenth century, had their cabins
dispersed over the low deltaic land on earthen mounds made by their own
hands. There is also strong evidence that some of the works of the
Mound-builders in the "bottoms" of the middle and lower Mississippi
served as protected sites for the dwellings of their chiefs.[607]

[Sidenote: Diking of rivers.]

Such meager provisions against inundation suffice for the sparse
population characterizing the lower stages of civilization, but they
must be supplemented for the increasing density of higher stages by the
embankment of the stream, to protect also the adjacent fields. Hence the
process of confining rivers within dikes goes back into gray antiquity.
Those of the Po and its tributaries were begun before the political
history of the Lombardy plains commenced. Strabo mentions the canals and
dikes of Venetia, whereby a part of the country was drained and rendered
tillable.[608] The main Po has been embanked for centuries as far up as
Cremona, a distance of 600 miles, and the Adige to Verona.[609] But the
most gigantic dike system in the world is that of the Hoangho, by which
a territory the size of England is won from the water for
cultivation.[610] The cost of protecting the far spread crops against the
autumn floods has been a large annual expenditure and unceasing
watchfulness; and this the Chinese have paid for two thousand years, but
have not always purchased immunity. Year by year the Yellow River mounts
higher and higher on its silted bed above the surrounding lowlands,
increasing the strain on the banks and the area of destruction, when its
fury is uncaged. The flood of 1887 covered an area estimated at 50,000
square miles, wiped out of existence a million people, and left a
greater number a prey to famine.[611] So the fertile Chengtu plain of the
Min River, supporting four millions of people on its 2,500 square miles
of area, owes its prosperity to the embanking and irrigating works of
the engineer heroes, Li Ping and his son, who lived before the Christian
era. On the temple in their honor in the city of Kuan Hsien is Li Ping's
motto, incised in gold: "Dig the bed deep, keep the banks low." For
twenty-one centuries these instructions have been carried out. The stone
dikes are kept low to permit a judicious amount of flooding for
fertilization, and every year five to six feet of silt are removed from
the artificial channel of the Min. To this work the whole population of
the Chengtu plain contributes.[612] [See map page 8.]

[Sidenote: Social gain by control of the water.]

In such organized struggles to reduce the domain of the water and extend
that of the dry land, the material gain is not all: more significant by
far is the power to co-operate that is developed in a people by a
prolonged war against overwhelming sea or river. A common natural
danger, constantly and even regularly recurring, necessitates for its
resistance a strong and sustained union, that draws men out of the
barren individualism of a primitive people, and forces them without halt
along the path of civilization. It brings a realizing sense of the
superiority of common interests over individual preferences, strengthens
the national bond, and encourages voluntary subservience to law.

This is the social or political gain; but this is not all. The danger
emanating from natural phenomena has its discoverable laws, and
therefore leads to a first empirical study of winds, currents, seasonal
rainfall and the whole science of hydraulics. With deep national
insight, the Greeks embodied in their mythology the story of Perseus and
his destruction of the sea monster who ravaged the coast, and Hercules'
killing of the many-headed serpent who issued from the Lernean Marshes
to lay waste the country of Argos. Even so early a writer as Strabo
states that yet earlier authorities interpreted Hercules' victory over
the river god of the Achelous as the embankment of that stream and the
draining of its inundated delta tract by the national benefactor.[613] So
the Chinese, whose land abounds in swamps and devastating rivers, have a
long list of engineer heroes who embanked and drained for the salvation
and benefit of mankind. It is highly probable that the communal work
involved in the construction of dikes and canals for the control of the
Hoangho floods cemented the Chinese nationality of that vast lowland
plain, and supplied the cohesive force that developed here at a very
remote period a regularly organized state and an advancing civilization.

[Sidenote: Control of water as factor in early civilizations of arid

The history of Egypt shows a similar effect of the yearly inundation of
the Nile Valley. Here, as in all rainless countries where irrigation
must be practiced, the water becomes a potent factor of political union
and civilization. Its scarcity necessitates common effort in the
construction and maintenance of irrigation works, and a central control
to secure fair distribution of the water to the fields of the
inhabitants. A stimulus to progress is found in the presence of a
problem, perennial as the yearly threatenings of the Hoangho, which
demands the application of human intelligence and concerted labor for
its solution. Additional arable land for the growing population can be
secured only by the wider distribution of the fructifying water; this in
turn depends upon corporate effort wisely directed and ably controlled.
Every lapse in governmental efficiency means an encroachment of the
desert upon the alluvial fields and finally to the river bank, as to-day
in Mesopotamia.

The fact that the earliest civilizations have originated in the
sub-tropical rainless districts of the world has been ascribed solely to
the regular and abundant returns to tillage under irrigation, as opposed
to the uncertain crops under variable meteorological conditions; to the
consequent accumulation of wealth, and the emancipation of man for other
and higher activities, which follows his escape from the agricultural
vicissitudes of an uncertain climate. When Draper says: "Civilization
depends on climate and agriculture," and "the civilization of Egypt
depended for its commencement on the sameness and stability of the
African climate," and again, "agriculture is certain in Egypt and there
man first became civilized,"[614] he seizes upon the conspicuous fact of
a stable food supply as the basis of progress, failing to detect those
potent underlying social effects of the inundations--social and
political union to secure the most effective distribution of the Nile's
blessings and to augment by human devices the area accessible to them,
the development of an intelligent water economy, which ultimately
produced a long series of intellectual achievements.[615]

[Sidenote: Cultural areas in primitive America.]

This unifying and stimulating national task of utilizing and
controlling the water was the same task which in various forms prompted
the early civilization of the Hoangho and Yangtze basins, India,
Mesopotamia, Persia, Peru, Mexico, and that impressive region of
prehistoric irrigation canals found in the Salt, Gila River, and upper
Rio Grande valleys.[616] Here the arid plateaus of the Cordilleras
between the Pueblo district and Central America had no forests in which
game might be found; so that the Indian hunter had to turn to
agriculture and a sedentary life beside his narrow irrigated fields.
Here native civilization reached its highest grade in North America.
Here desert agriculture achieved something more than a reliable food
supply. It laid the foundation of the first steady integration of
wandering Indian hordes into a stable, permanently organized society.
Elsewhere throughout the North American continent, we see only shifting
groups of hunter and fisher folk, practising here and there a half
nomadic agriculture to supplement the chase.

The primitive American civilization that arose among the Pueblo Indians
of New Mexico and Arizona, the only strictly sedentary tribes relying
exclusively on agriculture north of the Mexican plateau, was primarily a
result of the pressure put upon these people by a restricted water
supply.[617] Though chiefly offshoots of the wild Indians of the northern
plains, they have been markedly differentiated from their wandering
Shoshone and Kiowa kindred by local environment.[618] Scarcity of water
in those arid highlands and paucity of arable land forced them to a
carefully organized community life, made them invest their labor in
irrigation ditches, terraced gardens and walled orchards, whereby they
were as firmly rooted in their scant but fertile fields as were their
cotton plants and melon vines;[619] while the towering mesas protected
their homes against marauding Ute, Navajo and Apache.[620] This thread of
a deep underlying connection between civilization and the control of
water can be traced through all prehistoric America, as well as through
the earliest cultural achievements in North Africa and Asia.

[Sidenote: Economy of the water: fisheries.]

The economy of the water is not confined to its artificial distribution
over arid fields, but includes also the exploitation of the mineral and
animal resources of the vast world of waters, whether the production of
salt from the sea, salt lakes and brine springs, the cultivation of
oyster beds, or the whole range of pelagic fisheries. The animal life of
the water is important to man owing not only to its great abundance, but
also to its distribution over the coldest regions of the globe. It
furnishes the chief food supply of polar and sub-polar peoples, and
therefore is accountable for the far-northern expansion of the habitable
world. Even the reindeer tribes of Arctic Eurasia could hardly subsist
without the sea food they get by barter from the fishermen of the coast.
Norway, where civilization has achieved its utmost in exploiting the
limited means of subsistence, shows a steady increase from south to
north in the proportion of the population dependent upon the harvest of
the deep. Thus the fisheries engross 44 per cent. of the rural
population in Nordland province, which is bisected by the Arctic Circle;
over 50 per cent. in Tromso, and about 70 per cent. in Finmarken. If the
towns also be included, the percentages rise, because here fishing
interests are especially prominent.[621] Proximity to the generous larder
of the ocean has determined the selection of village sites, as we have
seen among the coast Indians of British Columbia and southern Alaska,
among all the Eskimo, and numerous other peoples of Arctic lands. [See
map page 153.]

[Sidenote: Fisheries as factors in maritime expansion.]

Not only in polar but also in temperate regions, the presence of
abundant fishing grounds draws the people of the nearest coast to their
wholesale exploitation, especially if the land resources are scant.
Fisheries then become the starting point or permanent basis of a
subsequent wide maritime development, by expanding the geographical
horizon. It was the search for the purple-yielding _murex_ that first
familiarized the Phoenicians with the commercial and colonial
possibilities of the eastern Mediterranean coasts.[622] The royal dye of
this marine product has through all the ages seemed to color with
sumptuous magnificence the sordid dealings of those Tyrian traders, and
constituted them an aristocracy of merchants. The shoals of tunny fish,
arriving every spring in the Bosporus, from the north, drew the early
Greeks and Phoenicians after them into the cold and misty Euxine, and
furnished the original impulse to both these peoples for the
establishment of fishing and trading stations on its uncongenial
shores.[623] To the fisheries of the Baltic and especially to the summer
catch of the migratory herring, which in vast numbers visited the shores
of Pomerania and southern Sweden to spawn, the Hanse Towns of Germany
owed much of their prosperity. Salt herring, even in the twelfth
century, was the chief single article of their exchanges with Catholic
Europe, which made a strong demand for the fish, owing to the numerous
fast days. When, in 1425, by one of those unexplained vagaries of animal
life, the herring abandoned the Baltic and selected the North Sea for
its summer destination, a new support was given to the wealth of the
Netherlands.[624] There is a considerable amount of truth in the saying
that Amsterdam was built on herrings. New England, with an unproductive
soil at home, but near by in the sea a long line of piscine feeding
grounds in the submarine banks stretching from Cape Cod to Cape Race and
beyond, found her fisheries the starting point and base of her long
round of exchanges, a constant factor in her commercial and industrial

[Sidenote: Fisheries as nurseries of seamen.]

Fisheries have always been the nurseries of seamen, and hence have been
encouraged and protected by governments as providing an important
element of national strength. The Newfoundland Banks were the training
school which supplied the merchant marine and later the Revolutionary
navy of colonial New England;[626] ever since the establishment of the
Republic, they have been forced into prominence in our international
negotiations with the United Kingdom, with the object of securing
special privileges, because the government has recognized them as a
factor in the American navy. The causal connection between fisheries and
naval efficiency was recognized in England in the early years of
Elizabeth's reign, by an act aiming to encourage fisheries by the
remission of custom duties to native fishermen, by the imposition of a
high tariff on the importation of foreign fish in foreign vessels, and
finally by a legislative enforcement of fasts to increase the demand for
fish, although any belief in the religious efficacy of fasts was frankly
disclaimed. Thus an artificial demand for fish was created, with the
result that a report on the success of the Fishery Acts stated that a
thousand additional men had been attracted to the fishing trade, and
were consequently "ready to serve in Her Majesty's ships."[627]

The fishing of the North Sea, especially on the Dogger Bank, is
participated in by all the bordering countries, England, the
Netherlands, Germany and Belgium; and is valued equally on account of
the food supply which it yields and as a school of seamen.[628] The
Pomors or "coasters" of Arctic Russia, who dwell along the shores of the
White Sea and live wholly by fisheries, have all their taxes remitted
and receive free wood from the crown forests for the construction of
their ships, on the condition that they serve on call in the imperial
navy.[629] The history of Japan affords the most striking illustration of
the power of fisheries alone to maintain maritime efficiency; for when
by the seclusion act of 1624 all merchant vessels were destroyed, the
marine restricted to small fishing and coasting vessels, and intercourse
confined to Japan's narrow island world, the fisheries nevertheless kept
alive that intimacy with the sea and preserved the nautical efficiency
that was destined to be a decisive factor in the development of awakened

[Sidenote: Anthropo-geographic importance of navigation.]

The resources of the sea first tempted man to trust himself to its
dangerous surface; but their rewards were slight in comparison with the
wealth of experiences and influences to which he fell heir, after he
learned to convert the barrier of the untrod waste into a highway for
his sail-borne keel. It is therefore true, as many anthropologists
maintain, that after the discovery of fire the next most important step
in the progress of the human race was the invention of the boat. No
other has had such far-reaching results. Since water covers
three-fourths of the earth's surface and permits the land-masses to rise
only as islands here and there, it presents to man for his nautical
ventures three times the area that he commands for his terrestrial
habitat. On every side, the break of the waves and the swell of the
tides block his wanderings, unless he has learned to make the water
carry him to his distant goal. Spacially, therefore, the problem and the
task of navigation is the most widespread and persistent in the history
of mankind. The numerous coaling-stations which England has scattered
over the world are mute witnesses to this spacial supremacy of the
water, to the length of ocean voyages, and the power of the ocean to
divide and unite. But had the proportion of land and water been
reversed, the world would have been poorer, deprived of all these
possibilities of segregation and differentiation, of stimulus to
exchange and far-reaching intercourse, and of ingenious inventions which
the isolating ocean has caused. Without this ramifying barrier between
the different branches of the human family, these would have resembled
each other more closely, but at the cost of development. The mere
multiplicity of races and sub-races has sharpened the struggle for
existence and endowed the survivors with higher qualities. But it was
navigation that released primitive man from the seclusion of his own
island or continent, stimulated and facilitated the intercourse of
peoples, and enabled the human race to establish itself in every
habitable part of the world.


[579] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 465, 563-567, 573.
Washington, 1905.

[580] Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, pp. 173-223. New York, 1872.

[581] Ferdinand Keller, Lake Dwellings, Vol. I, pp. 2-7, 576. London,
1876. English Lake Dwellings, _Westminster Review_, pp. 337-347. 1887.

[582] P.W. Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, Vol. II, pp.
65-66. London, 1903.

[583] Herodotus, V. 16.

[584] Alexander von Humboldt, Aspects of Nature, pp. 148-149. Translated
by Mrs. Sabine, Philadelphia, 1849. E.F. im Thurn, Among the Indians of
Guiana, p. 203. London, 1883.

[585] Sir Thomas Holdich, India, p. 184. London, 1905.

[586] Verney L. Cameron, Across Africa, pp. 332-334. London, 1885.

[587] David and Charles Livingstone, Narrative of Expedition to the
Zambezi, p. 414. New York, 1866.

[588] Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 464-466, 565.
Washington, 1905.

[589] Stanford's Australasia, Vol. II, pp. 256-257. London, 1894.

[590] A.R. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, pp. 368, 381. New York, 1869.

[591] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 262-263, 344. London,

[592] Richard Semon, In the Australian Bush, pp. 340-342, 347. London,

[593] John L. Stoddard, Lectures, Vol. III, p. 311. Boston, 1903.

[594] John Barrows, Travels in China, pp. 377-379. Philadelphia, 1805.

[595] William M. Wood, Fankwei, pp. 169-174. New York, 1859.

[596] Edmondo de Amicis, Holland and Its People, pp. 4-13. New York,

[597] G.P. Marsh, The Earth as Modified by Human Action, chap. IV, pp.
330-352. New York, 1871.

[598] J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 106-108. London, 1903.

[599] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues_, p. 127, Note 1.
Stuttgart, 1888.

[600] Elisée Reclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 222-223. New York, 1886.
Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland, Past and Present, pp. 7-9. London,

[601] _Ibid._, pp. 145-147.

[602] Sir Samuel W. Baker, The Albert Nyanza, Great Basin of the Nile,
pp. 49-50. London and Philadelphia, 1866.

[603] Diodorus Siculus, Book I, chap. III, p. 41. Translated by G.
Booth. London, 1814.

[604] David Livingstone, Missionary Travels in Africa, pp. 234-236, 239,
272. New York, 1858.

[605] Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 51-55, 145. New York, 1896.

[606] Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond., Vol. I, pp. 8,
10, 97. London and New York, 1900.

[607] Cyrus Thomas, Mound Explorations, pp. 626, 650-653. Twelfth Annual
Report Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894.

[608] Strabo, Book V, chap. I, 4.

[609] W. Deecke, Italy, pp. 88-89. London, 1904.

[610] John Barrows, Travels in China, p. 349. Philadelphia, 1805.

[611] Meredith Townsend, Asia and Europe, pp. 278-284. New York, 1904.

[612] Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. II, pp.
72-73 76-81. New York and London, 1900. For the future of land
reclamation, see N.S. Shaler, Man and the Earth, chap. V. New York, 1906.

[613] Strabo, Book X, chap. II, 19.

[614] John W. Draper, Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. I, pp.
84-86. New York, 1876.

[615] Winwood Reade, The Martyrdom of Man, pp. 9-17. Eighth Edition, New

[616] Irrigation, Thirteenth Report of the U.S. Geological Survey, Part
III, pp. 133-135. Washington, 1895. J.W. Powell, Twenty-third Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, pp. XII, XIII. Washington, 1904.
Cosmos Mindeleff, Aboriginal Remains in the Verde Valley, Arizona, pp.
187, 192-194, 238-245. Thirteenth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology.
Washington, 1896. V. Mindeleff, Pueblo Architecture, pp. 80, 216-217.
Eighth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology. Washington, 1891. F. W.
Hodge, Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona, _American Anthropologist_,
July, 1893.

[617] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 105-106, 113,
118, 120-144, 478. Philadelphia, 1905.

[618] Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, pp. 49, 161, 415.
Washington, 1894. D.G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 116-117.
Philadelphia, 1901.

[619] _Ibid._, pp. 161, 181, 182, 188, 191, 193, 198, 410, 441-445. M.C.
Stevenson, The Zuni Indians, pp. 351-354. Twenty-third Annual Report of
Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1904.

[620] _Ibid._, pp. 13-14. H.H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp.
539-547. San Francisco, 1886.

[621] Norway, Official Publication, pp. 99-100. Christiania, 1900.

[622] Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 49-50. New York.

[623] _Ibid._, Vol. I, p. 440.

[624] Dietrich Schaefer, _Die Hansestädte und König Waldemar von
Dänemark_, pp. 255-257. Jena, 1879. Helen Zimmern, Story of the Hansa
Towns, pp. 26-27. New York, 1895.

[625] W.B. Weeden, Social and Economic History of New England, Vol. I,
pp. 17, 18, 90, 91, 128-135, 139. Boston, 1899.

[626] _Ibid._, Vol. I, p. 245.

[627] H.D. Traill, Social England, Vol. III, pp. 363-364, 540. London
and New York, 1895.

[628] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 311. London, 1903.

[629] Alexander P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North, pp.
54-71. From the Russian. London, 1899.



[Sidenote: Rivers as intermediaries between land and sea.]

To a large view, rivers appear in two aspects. They are either part of
the general water envelope of the earth, extensions of seas and
estuaries back into the up-hill reaches of the land, feeders of the
ocean, roots which it spreads out over the surface of the continents,
not only to gather its nourishment from ultimate sources in spring and
glacier, but also to bring down to the coast the land-born products of
the interior to feed a sea-born commerce; or rivers are one of the land
forms, merely water filling valley channels, serving to drain the fields
and turn the mills of men. In the first aspect their historical
importance has been both akin and linked to that of the ocean, despite
the freshness and smaller volume of their waters and the unvarying
direction of their currents. The ocean draws them and their trade to its
vast basin by the force of gravity. It unites with its own the history
of every log-stream in Laurentian or Himalayan forest, as it formerly
linked the beaver-dammed brooks of wintry Canada with the current of
trade following the Gulf Stream to Europe.

Where sea and river meet, Nature draws no sharp dividing line. Here the
indeterminate boundary zone is conspicuous. The fresh water stream
merges into brackish estuary, estuary into saltier inlet and inlet into
briny ocean. Closely confined sea basins like the Black and Baltic,
located in cool regions of slight evaporation and fed from a large
catchment basin, approach in their reduced salinity the fresh water
lakes and coastal lagoons in which rivers stretch out to rest on their
way to the ocean. The muddy current of the Yangtze Kiang colors the
Yellow Sea, and warns incoming Chinese junks of the proximity of land
many hours before the low-lying shores can be discerned.[630] Columbus,
sailing along the Caribbean coast of South America off the Orinoco
mouth, found the ocean waters brackish and surmised the presence of a
large river and therefore a large continent on his left.[631]

The transitional form between stream and pelagic inlet found in every
river mouth is emphasized where strong tidal currents carry the sea far
into these channels of the land. The tides move up the St. Lawrence
River 430 miles (700 kilometers) or half way between Montreal and
Quebec, and up the Amazon 600 miles (1,000 kilometers). Owing to their
resemblance to pelagic channels, the estuaries of the American rivers
with their salty tide were repeatedly mistaken, in the period of
discoveries, for the Northwest Passage to the Pacific. Newport in 1608
explored the broad sluggish course of the James River in his search for
a western ocean. Henry Hudson ascended the Hudson River almost as far as
Albany, before he discovered that this was no maritime pathway, like the
Bosporus or Dardanelles, leading to an ulterior sea. The long tidal
course of the St. Lawrence westward into the heart of the continent fed
La Salle's dream of finding here a water route to the Pacific, and fixed
his village of "La Chine" above the rapids at Montreal as a signpost
pointing the way to the Indies and Cathay. In the same way a tidal river
at the head of Cook's Inlet on the Alaskan coast was mistaken for a
Northeast Passage, not by Captain Cook but by his fellow officers, on
his Pacific voyage of 1776-1780; and it was followed for several days
before its character as a river was established.[632]

[Sidenote: Sea navigation merges into river navigation.]

Rivers have always been the great intermediaries between land and sea,
for in the ocean all find their common destination. Until the
construction of giant steamers in recent years, sea navigation has
always passed without break into river navigation. Sailing vessels are
carried by the trade wind 600 miles up the Orinoco to San Fernando.
Alexander's discovery of the Indus River led by almost inevitable
sequence to the rediscovery of the Eastern sea route, which in turn ran
from India through the Strait of Oman and the Persian Gulf up the
navigable course of the Euphrates to the elbow of the river at
Thapsacus. Enterprising sea folk have always used rivers as natural
continuations of the marine highway into the land. The Humber estuary
and its radiating group of streams led the invading Angles in the sixth
century into the heart of Britain.[633] The long navigable courses of the
rivers of France exposed that whole country to the depredations of the
piratical Northmen in the ninth and tenth centuries. Up every river they
came, up the Scheldt into Flanders, the Seine to Paris and the Marne to
Meaux; up the Loire to Orleans, the Garonne to Toulouse and the Rhone to
Valence.[634] So the Atlantic rivers of North America formed the lines of
European exploration and settlement. The St. Lawrence brought the French
from the ocean into the Great Lakes basin, whose low, swampy watershed
they readily crossed in their light canoes to the tributaries of the
Mississippi; and scarcely had they reached the "Father of Waters" before
they were planting the flag of France on the Gulf of Mexico at its
mouth. The Tupi Indians of South America, a genuine water-race, moved
from their original home on the Paraguay headstream of the La Plata down
to its mouth, then expanded northward along the coast of Brazil in their
small canoes to the estuary of the Amazon, thence up its southern
tributary, the Tapajos, and in smaller numbers up the main stream to the
foot of the Andes, where detached groups of the race are still found.[635]
So the migrations of the Carib river tribes led them from their native
seats in eastern Brazil down the Xingu to the Amazon, thence out to sea
and along the northern coast of South America, thence inland once more,
up the Orinoco to the foot of the Andes, into the lagoon of Maracaibo
and up the Magdalena. Meanwhile their settlements at the mouth of the
Orinoco threw off spores of pirate colonies to the adjacent islands and
finally, in the time of Columbus, to Porto Rico and Haiti.[636] [See map
page 101.]

[Sidenote: Historical importance of seas and oceans influenced by their
debouching streams.]

So intimate is this connection between marine and inland waterways, that
the historical and economic importance of seas and oceans is noticeably
influenced by the size of their drainage basins and the navigability of
their debouching rivers. This is especially true of enclosed seas. The
only historical importance attached to the Caspian's inland basin is
that inherent in the Volga's mighty stream. The Mediterranean has always
suffered from its paucity of long river highways to open for it a wide
hinterland. This lack checked the spread of its cultural influences and
finally helped to arrest its historical development. If we compare the
record of the Adriatic and the Black seas, the first a sharply walled
_cul de sac_, the second a center of long radiating streams, sending out
the Danube to tap the back country of the Adriatic and the Dnieper to
draw on that of the Baltic, we find that the smaller sea has had a
limited range of influence, a concentrated brilliant history, precocious
and short-lived as is that of all limited areas; that the Euxine has
exercised more far-reaching influences, despite a slow and still
unfinished development. The Black Sea rivers in ancient times opened
their countries to such elements of Hellenic culture as might penetrate
from the Greek trading colonies at their mouths, especially the Greek
forms of Christianity. It was the Danube that in the fourth century
carried Arianism, born of the philosophic niceties of Greek thought, to
the barbarians of southern Germany, and made Unitarians of the
Burgundians and Visigoths of southern Gaul.[637] The Dnieper carried the
religion of the Greek Church to the Russian princes at Kief, Smolensk,
and Moscow. Owing to the southward course of its great rivers, Russia
has found the crux of her politics in the Black Sea, ever since the
tenth century when the barbarians from Kiev first appeared before
Constantinople. This sea has had for her a higher economic importance
than the Baltic, despite the latter's location near the cultural center
of western Europe.

[Sidenote: Baltic and White Sea rivers.]

In other seas, too, rivers play the same part of extending their
tributary areas and therefore enhancing their historical significance.
The disadvantages of the Baltic's smaller size and far-northern
location, as compared with the Mediterranean, were largely compensated
for by the series of big streams draining into it from the south, and
bringing out from a vast hinterland the bulky necessaries of life. Hence
the Hanseatic League of the Middle Ages, which had its origin among the
southern coast towns of the Baltic from Lubeck to Riga, throve on the
combined trade of sea and river.[638] The mouths of the Scheldt, Rhine,
Weser, Elbe and Thames long concentrated in themselves the economic,
cultural and historical development of the North Sea basin. So the White
Sea, despite its sub-polar location, is valuable to Russia for two
reasons; it affords a politically open port, and it receives the
Northern Dwina, which is navigable for river steamers from Archangel
south to Vologda, a distance of six hundred miles, and carries the
export trade of a large territory.[639] Similarly in recent years, Bering
Sea has gained unwonted commercial activity because the Yukon River
serves as a waterway 1,370 miles long to the Klondike gold fields.

[Sidenote: Atlantic and Pacific rivers.]

If we compare the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in respect to their
rivers, we find that the narrow Atlantic has a drainage basin of over
19,000,000 square miles as opposed to the 8,660,000 square miles of
drainage area commanded by the vastly larger Pacific. The Pacific is for
the most part rimmed by mountains, discharging into the ocean only mad
torrents or rapid-broken streams. The Atlantic, bordered by gently
sloping plains of wide extent, receives rivers that for the most part
pursue a long and leisurely course to the sea. Therefore, the commercial
and cultural influences of the Atlantic extend from the Rockies and
Andes almost to the heart of Russia, and by the Nile highway they even
invade the seclusion of Africa. Through the long reach of its rivers,
therefore, the Atlantic commands a land area twice as great as that of
the Pacific; and by reason of this fundamental geographic advantage, it
will retain the historical preëminence that it so early secured. The
development of the World Ocean will mean the exploitation of the Pacific
trade from the basis of the Atlantic, the domination of the larger ocean
by the historic peoples of the smaller, because these peoples have wider
and more accessible lands as the base of their maritime operations.

[Sidenote: Lack of coast articulations supplied by rivers.]

The geographic influence of abundant rivers navigable from the sea is
closely akin to that of highly articulated coasts. The effect of the
Hardanger or Sogne Fiord, admitting ocean steamers a hundred miles into
the interior of Norway, is similar to that of the Elbe and Weser
estuaries, which admit the largest vessels sixty miles upstream to
Hamburg and Bremen. Since river inlets can, to a certain extent, supply
the place of marine inlets, from the standpoint of anthropo-geographic
theory and of human practice, a land dissected by navigable rivers can
be grouped with one dissected by arms of the sea. South America and
Africa are alike in the unbroken contour of their coasts, but strongly
contrasted in the character of their rivers. Hence the two continents
present the extremes of accessibility and inaccessibility. South
America, most richly endowed of all the continents with navigable
streams, receiving ocean vessels three thousand miles up the Amazon as
far as Tabatinga in Peru, and smaller steamers up the Orinoco to the
spurs of the Andes, was known in its main features to explorers fifty
years after its discovery. Africa, historically the oldest of
continents, but cursed with a mesa form which converts nearly every
river into a plunging torrent on its approach to the sea, kept its vast
interior till the last century wrapped in utmost gloom. China, amply
supplied with smaller littoral indentations but characterized by a
paucity of larger inlets, finds compensation in the long navigable
course of the Yangtze Kiang. This river extends the landward reach of
the Yellow Sea 630 miles inland to Hanchow, where ocean-going vessels
take on cargoes of tea and silk for Europe and America,[640] and pay for
them in Mexican dollars, the coin of the coast. Hence it is lined with
free ports all the way from Shanghai at its mouth to Ichang, a thousand
miles up its course.[641]

[Sidenote: River highways as basis of commercial preeminence.]

Navigable rivers opening passages directly from the sea are obviously
nature-made gates and paths into wholly new countries; but the
accessibility with which they endow a land becomes later a permanent
factor in its cultural and economic development, a factor that remains
constantly though less conspicuously operative when railroads have done
their utmost to supplant water transportation. The importance of inland
waterways for local and foreign trade and intercourse has everywhere
been recognized. The peoples who have long maintained preëminence among
the commercial and maritime nations of the world have owed this in no
small part to the command of these natural highways, which have served
to give the broad land basis necessary for permanent commercial
ascendency. This has been the history of England, Holland, France and
the recent record of Germany. The medieval League of the Rhine Cities
flourished by reason of the Rhone-Rhine highway across western Europe.
The Hanseatic League, from Bruges all the way east to Russian Novgorod,
owed their brilliant commercial career, not only to the favorable
maritime field in the enclosed sea basins in front of them, but also to
the series of long navigable rivers behind them from the Scheldt to the
Neva and Volchov. Wherefore we find the League, originally confined to
coast towns, drawing into the federation numerous cities located far up
these rivers, such as Ghent, Cologne, Magdeburg, Breslau, Cracow, Pskof
and Novgorod.[642]

[Sidenote: Importance of rivers in large countries.]

In countries of large area, where commerce and intercourse must cover
great distances, these natural and therefore cheap highways assume
paramount importance, especially in the forest and agricultural stages
of development, when the products of the land are bulky in proportion to
their value. Small countries with deeply indented coasts, like Greece,
Norway, Scotland, New England, Chile, and Japan, can forego the
advantage of big river systems; but in Russia, Siberia, China, India,
Canada, the United States, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentine, the history
of the country, economic and political, is indissolubly connected with
that of its great rivers. The storm center of the French and English
wars in America was located on the upper Hudson, because this stream
enabled the English colonies to tap the fur trade of the Great Lakes,
and because it commanded the Mohawk Valley, the easiest and most obvious
path for expansion into the interior of the continent. The Spanish,
otherwise confining their activities in South America to the Caribbean
district and the civilized regions of the Andean highlands, established
settlements at the mouth of the La Plata River, because this stream
afforded an approach from the Atlantic side toward the Potosi mines on
the Bolivian Plateau. The Yangtze Kiang, that great waterway leading
from the sea across the breadth of China and the one valuable river
adjunct of maritime trade in the whole Orient, was early appropriated by
the discerning English as the British "sphere of influence."

[Sidenote: Rivers as highways of expansion.]

No other equally large area of the earth is so generously equipped by
nature for the production and distribution of the articles of commerce
as southern Canada and that part of the United States lying east of the
Rocky Mountains. The simple build of the North American continent,
consisting of a broad central trough between distant mountain ranges,
and characterized by gentle slopes to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of
Mexico, has generated great and small rivers with easy-going currents,
that everywhere opened up the land to explorer, trader and settler. The
rate of expansion from the "Europe-fronting shore" of the continent was
everywhere in direct proportion to the length of the rivers first
appropriated by the colonists. North of Chesapeake Bay the lure to
landward advance was the fur trade. The Atlantic rivers of the coast
pre-empted by the English were cut short by the Appalachian wall. They
opened up only restricted fur fields which were soon exhausted, so that
the migrant trapper was here early converted into the agricultural
settler, his shifting camp fire into the hearthstone of the farmhouse.
Expansion was slow but solid. The relatively small area rendered
accessible by their streams became compactly filled by the swelling tide
of immigrants and the rapid natural increase of population. In sharp
contrast to this development, the long waterway of the St. Lawrence and
the Great Lakes leading to the still vaster river system of the
Mississippi betrayed the fur-trading French into excessive expansion,
and enabled them to appropriate but not to hold a vast extent of
territory. A hundred years after the arrival of Champlain at Montreal,
they were planting their fur stations on Lake Superior and the
Mississippi, 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) back from the coast, at a
time when the English settlements had advanced little beyond tide-water.
And when after 1770 the westward movement swept the backwoodsmen of the
English colonies over the Appalachian barrier to the Ohio, Cumberland
and Tennessee, these long westward flowing streams carried them rapidly
on to the Mississippi, communicated the mobility and restlessness of
their own currents to the eager pioneer, and their capacity to master
great distances; so that in forty short years, by 1810, settlements were
creeping up the western tributaries of the Mississippi. The abundant
water communication in the Mississippi Valley, which even for present
large river craft contains 15,410 miles of navigable streams and which
had therefore a far greater mileage in the day of canoe and flatboat,
afforded outlet for bulky, backwoods produce to the sea at New Orleans.
When the English acquired Canada in 1763, they straightway fell under
the sway of its harsh climate and long river systems, taking up the
life of the fur trader; they followed the now scarcer pelts from the
streams of Superior westward by Lake Winnipeg and along the path of the
Saskatchewan River straight to the foot of the Rockies.

[Sidenote: Siberian rivers and Russian expansion.]

Rivers have played the same part in expediting Russian expansion across
the wide extent of Siberia. Here again a severe climate necessitated
reliance on furs, the chief natural product of the country, as the basis
of trade. These, as the outcome of savage economy, were gathered in from
wide areas which only rivers could open up. Therefore, where the
Siberian streams flatten out their upper courses east and west against
the northern face of the Asiatic plateau, with low watersheds between,
the Russian explorer and sable hunter struck their eastward water trail
toward the Pacific. The advance, which under Yermak crossed the Ural
Mountains in 1579, reached the Yenisei River in 1610 and planted there
the town of Turuchansk as a sort of milestone, almost on the Arctic
Circle opposite the mouth of the Lower Tunguska, a long eastern
tributary. Up this they passed to the Lena in 1627, thence to Bering Sea
by the Kolima and Anadyr rivers, because these arctic fields yielded
sable, beaver and fox skins in greatest quantity.[643] The Lena
especially, from its source down to its eastern elbow at Yakutsk, that
great rendezvous of Siberian fur traders, was a highway for trapper and
Cossack tribute-gatherer.[644] From the sources of the Yenisei in Lake
Baikal to the navigable course of the Amur was a short step, taken in
1658, though the control of the river, which was claimed by China, was
not secured till two hundred years later.[645] [See map page 103.]

As the only highways in new countries, rivers constitute lines of least
resistance for colonial peoples encroaching upon the territory of
inferior races. They are therefore the geographic basis of those
streamers of settlement which we found making a fringe of civilization
across the boundary zone of savagery or barbarism on the typical
colonial frontier. Ethnic islands of the expanding people cluster along
them like iron filings on a magnetized wire. Therefore in all countries
where navigable rivers have fixed the lines of expansion, as in the
United States, the northern part of the Russian Empire, and the eastern
or colonial border of Germany and Austria, there is a strong
anthropo-geographic resemblance in the frontiers of successive decades
or centuries. But in arid or semi-arid regions like South Africa, the
western plains of North America, the steppes of Russian and Chinese
Turkestan, the river highway _motif_ in expansion is lost in a variety
of other geographic and geologic factors, though the water of the
streams still attracts trail and settlement.

[Sidenote: Determinants of routes in arid or semi-arid lands.]

A river like the Nile, lower Volga, Irtysh or Indus, rising in highlands
of abundant rainfall but traversing an arid or desert land, acquires
added importance because it furnishes the sole means of water travel and
of irrigation. The Nile has for ages constituted the main line of
intercourse between the Mediterranean and Equatorial Africa. The Tigris,
Euphrates, Indus, and the Niger where it makes its great northern bend
into the Sahara near Timbuctoo,[646] attest the value to local fertility
and commerce inherent in these rivers of the deserts and steppes. Such
rivers are always oasis-makers, whether on their way to the sea they
periodically cover a narrow flood-plain like that of the Nile, or one
ninety miles wide, like that of the Niger's inland delta above
Timbuctoo;[647] or whether they emerge into a silent sea of sand, like
the Murghab of Russian Turkestan, which spreads itself out to water the
gardens of Merv.

Even where such rivers have a volume too scanty to float a raft, they
yet point the highway, because they alone supply water for man and beast
across the desert tract. The Oxus and Sir Daria have from time
immemorial determined the great trade routes through Turkestan to
Central Asia. The Platte, Arkansas, Cimarron and Canadian rivers fixed
the course of our early western trails across the arid plains to the
foot of the Rockies; and beyond this barrier the California Trail
followed the long-drawn oasis formed by the Humboldt River across the
Nevada Desert, the Gila River guided the first American fur-trapping
explorers across the burning deserts of Arizona to the Pacific, and the
succession of water-holes in the dry bed of the Mohave River gave
direction to the Spanish Trail across the Mohave Desert towards Los
Angeles. In the same way, Livingstone's route from the Orange River in
South Africa to Lake Ngami, under the direction of native guides, ran
along the margin of the Kalahari Desert up the dry bed of the Mokoko
River, which still retained an irregular succession of permanent

[Sidenote: Wadi routes in arid lands.]

In the trade-wind regions of the world, which are characterized by
seasons of intense drought, we find rivers carrying a scant and variable
amount of water but an abundance of gravel and sand; they are known in
different localities as wadis, fiumares and arroyos. Their beds, dry for
long periods of the year, become natural roads, paved with the gravel
which the stream regularly deposits in the wet season. Local travel in
Sicily, Italy[649] and other Mediterranean countries uses such natural
roads extensively. Trade routes across the plateau of Judea and Samaria
follow the wadis, because these give the best gradient and the best
footing for the ascent.[650] Wadis also determine the line of caravan
routes across the highlands of the Sahara. In the desert of Southwest
Africa, the Khiuseb Is the first river north of the Orange to reach the
Atlantic through the barrier dunes of the coast. Hence it has drawn to
its valley the trade routes from a wide circle of inland points from
Ottawe to Windhoek and Rehobeth, and given added importance to the
British coast of Walfish Bay, into which it debouches.[651] But just to the
north, the broad dry bed of the Swakop offered a natural wagon route
into the interior, and has been utilized for the railroad of German
Southwest Africa.

[Sidenote: Increasing historical importance from source to mouth.]

The historical importance of a river increases from its source toward
its mouth. Its head springs, gushing from the ground, and the ramifying
brooks of its highland course yield a widely distributed water supply
and thereby exercise a strong influence in locating the dwellings of
men; but they play no part in the great movements and larger activities
of peoples. Only when minor affluents unite to form the main stream,
enlarge it in its lower course by an increasing tribute of water, and
extend constantly its tributary area, does a river assume real
historical importance. It reaches its fullest significance at its mouth,
where it joins the world's highway of the ocean. Here are combined the
best geographical advantages--participation in the cosmopolitan
civilization characteristic of coastal regions, opportunity for inland
and maritime commerce, and a fertile alluvial soil yielding support for
dense populations. The predominant importance of the debouchment stretch
of a river is indicated by the presence of such cities as London,
Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremen, Bordeaux, Odessa, Alexandria, Calcutta,
Rangoon, Bangkok, Hongkong, Canton, Nanking and Shanghai, Montreal and
Quebec, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Buenos Ayres and
Montevideo. This debouchment stretch gains in practical value and hence
in permanent historical importance if it is swept by a scouring tide,
which enables the junction of inland and maritime routes to penetrate
into the land. Even Strabo recognized this value of tidal reaches.[652]
Hence in tideless basins like the Baltic and Caribbean, the great river
ports have to advance coastward to meet the sea; and the lower course of
even mighty streams like the Volga and Nile achieve a restricted

The control of a river mouth becomes a desideratum or necessity to the
upstream people. Otherwise they may be bottled up. Though history shows
us countless instances of upstream expansion, nevertheless owing to the
ease of downstream navigation and this increasing historical importance
from source to mouth, the direction of a river's flow has often
determined the course of commerce and of political expansion.

[Sidenote: Location at hydrographic centers.]

The possibility of radial expansion, which we have found to be the chief
advantage of a central location, is greatly enhanced if that central
location coincides with a hydrographic center of low relief. The tenth
century nucleus of the Russian Empire was found about the low nodal
watershed formed by the Valdai Hills, whence radiated the rivers later
embodied in the Muscovite domain. Here In Novgorod at the head of the
Volchov-Ladoga-Neva system, Pskof on the Velikaya, Tver at the head of
the navigable Volga, Moscow on the Oka, Smolensk on the Dnieper, and
Vitebsk on the Duna, were gathered the Russians destined to displace the
primitive Finnish population and appropriate the wide plains of eastern
Europe. Everywhere their conquests, colonization, and commercial
relations have followed the downstream course of their rivers. The
Dnieper carried the Rus of Smolensk and Kief to the Euxine, into contact
with the Byzantine world, and brought thence religion, art, and
architecture for the untutored empire of the north. The influence of the
Volga has been irresistible. Down its current Novgorod traders in the
twelfth century sought the commerce of the Caspian and the Orient; and
later the Muscovite princes pushed their conquest of the Tartar hordes
from Asia. The Northern Dwina, Onega, Mesen and Petchora have carried
long narrow bands of Slav settlement northward to the Arctic Ocean. [See
map page 225.] Medieval Russian trade from Hanseatic Pskof and Novgorod,
and later Russian dominion followed the Narva and Neva to the Baltic.
"The Dnieper made Russia Byzantine, the Volga made It Asiatic. It was
for the Neva to make it European."[654]

In the same way, when the early French explorers and traders of Canada
reached the hydrographic center of the continent about Lakes Superior
and Michigan, they quickly crossed the low rim of these basins southward
to the Mississippi, and northward to the Rainy Lake and Winnipeg system
draining to Hudson Bay.[655] While it took them from 1608 to 1659 and
1662 to penetrate upstream from Quebec to this central watershed, only
nine years elapsed from the time (1673) Marquette reached the westward
flowing Wisconsin River to 1682, when La Salle reached the mouth of the

[Sidenote: Effect of current upon trade and expansion.]

The effect of mere current upon the course of trade and political
expansion was conspicuous in the early history of the Mississippi
Valley, before steam navigation began to modify the geographic
influence of a river's flow. The wide forest-grown barrier of the
Appalachian Mountains placed the western pioneers under the geographic
control of the western waters. The bulkiness of their field and forest
products, fitted only for water transportation, and the immense mass of
downstream commerce called loudly for a maritime outlet and the
acquisition from Spain of some port at the Mississippi mouth. For twenty
years the politics of this transmontane country centered about the
"Island of New Orleans," and in 1803 saw its dream realized by the
Louisiana Purchase.

For the western trader, the Mississippi and Ohio were preeminently
downstream paths. Gravity did the work. Only small boats, laden with
fine commodities of small bulk and large value, occasionally made the
forty day upstream voyage from New Orleans to Louisville. Flat boats and
barges that were constructed at Pittsburg for the river traffic were
regularly broken up for lumber at downstream points like Louisville and
New Orleans; for the traders returned overland by the old Chickasaw
Trail to the Cumberland and Ohio River settlements, carrying their
profits in the form of gold. The same thing happens today, as it also
happened two thousand years ago, on the Tigris and Euphrates. The
highlander of Armenia or northern Mesopotamia floats down the current in
his skin boat or on his brushwood raft, to sell his goods and the wood
forming the frame-work of his primitive craft in timberless Bagdad and
Busra, as formerly in treeless Babylon. He dries out his skins, loads
them on his shoulders or on a mule brought down for the purpose, and
returns on foot to his highland village.[656] The same preponderance of
downstream traffic appears to-day in eastern Siberia. Pedlers on the
Amur start in the spring from Stretensk, 2025 miles up the river, with
their wares in barges, and drift down with the current, selling at the
villages _en route_, to the river's mouth at Nikolaievsk. Here they
dispose of their remaining stock and also of their barges, the lumber of
which is utilized for sidewalks, and they themselves return upstream by
steamer. The grain barges of western Siberia, like the coal barges of
the Mississippi, even within recent decades, are similarly disposed of
at the journey's end.[657] The tonnage of downstream traffic on the Ohio
and Mississippi to-day greatly exceeds that upstream. The fleet of 56
coal boats, carrying about 70,000 tons, which the great towboat Sprague
takes in a single trip from Louisville down to New Orleans, all return
empty. Of the 15,226,805 net tons of freight shipped in 1906 on the Ohio
system, 13,980,368 tons of coal, stone, sand and lumber were carried in
unrigged craft, fitted chiefly for downstream traffic.[658]

[Sidenote: Importance of mouth to upstream people.]

Owing to the strong pull exerted by a river's mouth upon all its basin,
current, commerce and people alike tend to reach the ocean. For a nation
holding the terrestrial course of a stream, the political fate of its
tidal course or mouth must always be a matter of great concern. To the
early westerner of the United States, before the acquisition of the
Louisiana country, it was of vital importance whether belligerent France
or more amenable Spain or the Republic itself should own the mouth of
the Mississippi. Germany, which holds 240 miles (400 kilometers) of the
navigable Danube,[659] can never be indifferent to the political
ownership of its mouth, or to the fact that a great power like Russia
has edged forward, by the acquisition of Bessarabia in 1878, to the
northern or Kilia debouchment channel.[660] Such interest shows itself in
sustained efforts either to gain political control of the mouth, or to
secure the neutrality of the stream by having it declared an
international waterway, and thus partially to deprive the state holding
its mouth of the advantages of its transit location.

The only satisfactory solution is undivided political ownership. After
France pushed eastward to the Rhine in 1648, she warred for three
centuries to acquire its mouth. Napoleon laid claim to Belgium and
Holland on the ground that their soil had been built up by the alluvium
of French rivers. Germany's conquest of Schleswig-Holstein in 1864 was
significant chiefly because it dislodged Denmark from the right bank of
the lower Elbe, and secured undivided control of this important estuary.
The Rhine, which traverses the Empire from north to south and
constitutes its greatest single trade route, gives to Germany a more
vital interest in Holland than ever France had. Her most important iron
and coal mines and manufacturing industries are located on this
waterway or its tributaries, the Ruhr, Mosel, Saar and Main. Hence the
Rhine is the great artery of German trade and outlet for her enormous
exports, which chiefly reach the sea through the ports of Belgium and
Holland. These two countries therefore fatten on German commerce and
reduce German profits. Hence the Empire, by the construction of the
Emden-Dortmund canal, aims to divert its trade from Rotterdam and
Antwerp to a German port, and possibly thereby put the screw on Holland
to draw her into some kind of a commercial union with Germany.[661]
Heinrich von Treitschke, in his "_Politik_," deplores the fact that the
most valuable part of the great German river has fallen into alien
hands, and he declares it to be an imperative task of German policy to
recover the mouth of that stream, "either by a commercial or political
union." "We need the entrance of Holland into our customs union as we
need our daily bread."[662]

[Sidenote: Prevention of monopoly of river mouth.]

When the middle and upper course of a river system are shared by several
nations, their common interest demands that the control of the mouth be
divided, as in the case of the La Plata between Argentine and Uruguay;
or held by a small state, like Holland, too weak to force the monopoly
of the tidal course. The Treaty of Paris in 1856 extended the territory
of Moldavia at the cost of Russia, to keep the Russian frontier away
from the Danube.[663] Her very presence was ominous. The temptation to
giant powers to gobble up these exquisite morsels of territory is
irresistible. Hence the advisability of neutralizing small states
holding such locations, as in the case of Roumania; and making their
rivers international waterways, as in the case of the Orinoco,[664]
Scheldt, Waal, Rhine and Danube.[665] The Yangtze Kiang mouth, where
already the treaty ports cluster thick, will probably be the first part
of China to be declared neutral ground, and as such to be placed under
the protection of the combined commercial powers,[666] as is even now
foreshadowed by the International Conservancy Board of 1910.[667] The
United States, by her treaty with Mexico in 1848, secured the right of
free navigation on the lower or Mexican course of the Colorado River and
the Gulf of California. The Franco-British convention, which in 1898
confirmed the western Sudan to France, also conceded the principle of
making the Niger, the sole outlet of this vast and isolated territory,
an international waterway, and created two French _enclaves_ in British
Nigeria to serve as river ports.[668]

[Sidenote: Motive for canals in lower course.]

The mouth of a large river system is the converging point of many lines
of inland and maritime navigation. The interests of commerce, especially
in its earlier periods of development, demand that the contact here of
river and sea be extensive as possible. Nature suggests the way to
fulfill this requirement. The sluggish lowland current of a river, on
approaching sea level, throws out distributaries that reach the coast at
various points and form a network of channels, which can be deepened and
rendered permanent by canalization. In such regions the opportunity for
the improvement and extension of waterways has been utilized from the
earliest times. The ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, East Indians, and the
Gauls of the lower Po for thousands of years canaled the waters of their
deltas and coastal lowlands for the combined purpose of irrigation,
drainage, and navigation. The great canal system of China, constructed
in the seventh century primarily to facilitate Inland intercourse
between the northern and central sections of the Empire, extends from
the sea at Hangchow 700 miles northward through the coastal alluvium of
the Yangtze Kiang, Hoang-ho and Pie-ho to Tientsin, the port of Peking.
Only the canal system of the center, important both for the irrigation
of the fertile but porous loess and for the transportation of crops, is
still in repair. Here the meshes of the canal network are little more
than half a mile wide; farmers dig canals to their barns and bring in
their produce in barges instead of hay wagons.[669] Holland, where the
ancient Romans constructed channels in the Rhine delta and where the
debouchment courses of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt present a labyrinth
of waterways, has to-day 1903 miles (3069 kilometers) of canals, which
together with the navigable rivers, have been important geographic
factors in the historical preëminence of Dutch foreign commerce. So on
the lower Mississippi, in the greatest alluvial area of the United
States, the government has expended large sums for the improvement of
the passes and bayous of the river. The Barataria, Atchafalaya,
Terrebonne, Black, Teche and Lafourche bayous have been rendered
navigable, and New Orleans has been given canal outlets to the sea
through Lakes Salvador, Pontchartrain and Borgne.

[Sidenote: Watershed canals.]

As the dividing channels of the lower course point to the feasibility of
amplifying the connection with the ocean highway, so the spreading
branches of a river's source, which approach other head waters on a low
divide, suggest the extension of inland navigation by the union of two
such drainage systems through canals. Where the rivers of a country
radiate from a relatively low central watershed, as from the Central
Plateau of France and the Valdai Hills of Russia, nature offers
conditions for extensive linking of inland waterways. Hence we find a
continuous passway through Russia from the Caspian Sea to the Baltic by
the canal uniting the Volga and Neva rivers; another from the Black Sea
up the Dnieper, which by canals finds three different outlets to the
Baltic through the Vistula, Niemen and Duna.[670] The Northern Dwina,
linked, by canals, with the Neva through Lakes Onega and Ladoga, unites
the White Sea with the Baltic.[671] Sully, the great minister of Henry
IV. of France, saw that the relief of the country would permit the
linking of the Loire, Seine, Meuse, Saône and Rhine, and the
Mediterranean with the Garonne. All his plans were carried out by his
successors, but he himself, at the end of the sixteenth century, began
the construction of the Briare Canal between the Loire near Orleans and
the Seine at Fontainebleau.[672] Similarly in the eastern half of the
United States, the long, low watershed separating the drainage basin of
the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes from that of the Mississippi and the
Hudson made feasible the succession of canals completing the "Great
Belt" of inland navigation from St. Lawrence and New York bays to the
Gulf. Albert Gallatin's famous report of 1808[673] pointed out the
adaptation of the three low divides to canal communication; but long
before this, every line of possible canoe travel by river and portage
over swamp or lake-dotted watershed had been used by savages, white
explorers and French voyageurs, from Lake Champlain to Lake Winnebago,
so that the canal engineer had only to select from the numerous portage
paths already beaten out by the moccasined feet of Indian or fur-trader.

[Sidenote: Rivers and railroads.]

The cheapness and ease of river travel have tended to check or delay the
construction of highroads and railways, where facilities for inland
navigation have been abundant, and later to regulate railway freight
charges. Conversely, riverless lands have everywhere experienced an
exaggerated and precocious railroad development, and have suffered from
its monopoly of transportation. Even canals have in most lands had a far
earlier date than paved highroads. This has been true of Spain, France,
Holland, and England.[674] In the Hoang-ho Valley of northern China where
waterways are restricted, owing to the rapid current and shallowness of
this river, highroads are comparatively common; but they are very rare
in central and southern China where navigable rivers and canals
abound.[675] New England, owing to its lack of inland navigation, was the
first part of the United States to develop a complete system of
turnpikes and later of railroads. On the other hand, the great river
valleys of America have generally slighted the highroad phase of
communication, and slowly passed to that of railroads. The abundance of
natural waterways in Russia--51,800 miles including canals--has
contributed to the retardation of railroad construction.[676] The same
thing is true in the Netherlands, where 4875 miles (7863 kilometers) of
navigable waterways[677] in an area of only 12,870 square miles (33,000
square kilometers) have kept the railroads down to a paltry 1818 miles
(2931 kilometers); but smaller Belgium, commanding only 1375 miles (3314
kilometers) of waterway and stimulated further by a remarkable
industrial and commercial development, has constructed 4228 miles (6819
kilometers) of railroad.

[Sidenote: Relation of rivers to railroads in recent colonial lands.]

If we compare the countries of Central and South America, where
railroads are still mere adjuncts of river and coastwise routes, a stage
of development prevalent in the United States till 1858, we find an
unmistakable relation between navigable waterways and railroad mileage.
The countries with ample or considerable river communication, like
Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Paraguay, are all relatively slow in
laying railroads as compared with Mexico and Argentine, even when
allowance is made for differences of zonal location, economic
development, and degree of European elements in their respective
populations. Mexico and Argentine, having each an area only about
one-fourth that of Brazil but a railroad mileage nearly one-fourth
greater, have been pushed to this development primarily by a common lack
of inland navigation. Similarly South Africa, stricken with poverty of
water communication south of the Zambesi, has constructed 7500 miles of
railroads[678] in spite of the youth of the country and the sparsity of
its white population. Similar geographic conditions have forced the
mileage of Australian railways up to twice that of South Africa, in a
country which is still in the pastoral and agricultural stage of
development, and whose most densely populated province Victoria has only
fourteen inhabitants to the square mile. In the almost unpeopled wastes
of Trans-Caspia, where two decades ago the camel was the only carrier,
the Russian railroad has worked a commercial revolution by stimulating
production and affording an outlet for the irrigated districts of the
encircling mountains.[679] In our own Trans-Missouri country, where the
scanty volume of the streams eliminated all but the Missouri itself as a
dependable waterway, even for the canoe travel of the early western
trappers, railroads have developed unchecked by the competition of river
transportation.[680] With no rival nearer than the Straits of Magellan
and the Isthmus of Panama for transportation between the Mississippi and
the Pacific coast, they have fixed their own charges on a monopoly
basis, and have fought the construction of the Isthmian Canal.

[Sidenote: Unity of a river system.]

A river system is a system of communication. It therefore makes a bond
of union between the people living among its remoter sources and those
settled at its mouth. Every such river system forms geographically an
unbroken whole. Only where a wild, torrent-filled gorge, like the
Brahmaputra's path through the Himalayas, interrupts communication
between the upper and lower course, is human life in the two sections
divorced. But such cases are rare. Even the River Jhelam, which springs
with mad bounds from the lofty Vale of Kashmir through the outer range
of the Himalayas down to its junction with the Indus, carries quantities
of small logs to be used as railway sleepers; and though it shatters a
large per cent. of them, it makes a link between the lumber men of the
Kashmir forests and British railroad engineers in the treeless plains of
the Indus.[681]

[Sidenote: The effect of common water supply in arid lands.]

In arid lands, where the scant and variable streams are useless for
navigation, but invaluable for irrigation, a rival interest in the
limited water supply leads almost inevitably to conflict, and often to
the political union of the peoples holding the upper and lower courses,
in order to secure adjustment of their respective claims. The ancient
Salassi of the upper Doria Baltea Valley in the Alps drew off all the
water of the stream for washing gold, and thus deprived the agricultural
people lower down the valley of the water necessary for irrigation. The
result was frequent wars between the two tribes.[682] The offensive is
taken by the downstream people, whose fields and gardens suffer from
every extension of tillage or increase of population in the settlements
above them. Occasionally a formal agreement is a temporary expedient.
The River Firenze and other streams watering southern Trans-Caspia have
their sources in the mountains of northern Persia; hence the Russians,
in the boundary convention with Persia of 1881, stipulated that no new
settlement be established along these streams within Persian territory,
no extension of land under cultivation beyond the present amount, and no
eduction of the water beyond that necessary to irrigate the existing
fields.[683] Russia's designs upon Afghanistan aim not only at access to
India, but also at the control of the upper Murghab River, on whose
water depends the prosperity of the Pendjeh and Merv oases.[684] In such
regions the only logical course is the extension of the political
frontier to the watershed, a principle which Russia is applying in
western Asia, and which California applied in drawing her eastern
boundary to include even Goose Lake.

[Sidenote: Union of opposite river banks.]

Rivers unite. Ancient Rome grew up on both banks of the Tiber, and
extended her commercial and political supremacy up and down stream. Both
sides of the Rhine were originally occupied by the Gallic tribes, whose
villages were in some instances bisected by the river. Cæsar found the
Menapii, a Belgian people on the lower Rhine, with their fields,
farmhouses and villages on both banks.[685] Then the westward advance of
the Teutonic tribes gradually transformed the Rhine into a German river,
from the island of Batavia at its mouth up to the great elbow at the
foot of the Jura Mountains.[686] To the American Indians even the widest
rivers were no barriers. Christopher Gist, exploring the Ohio in 1751,
found a Shawnee village situated on both sides of the river below the
mouth of the Scioto, with about a hundred houses on the north bank and
forty on the south.[687] The small and unique nation of the Mandan
Indians were found by Lewis and Clark near the northern bend of the
Missouri in 1804, in two groups of villages on opposite sides of the
river. They had previously in 1772 occupied nine villages lower down the
stream, two on the east bank and seven on the west.[688] The Connecticut
River settlers of early colonial days laid out all their towns straight
across the valley, utilizing the alluvial meadows on both banks for
tillage, the terraces for residence sites, and the common river for

[Sidenote: Tendency toward ethnic and cultural unity in a river valley.]

Every river tends to become a common artery feeding all the life of its
basin, and gradually obliterating ethnic and cultural differences among
the peoples of its valley. The Nile, with its narrow hem of flood-plain
on either bank and barrier sands beyond, has so linked race and history
in Egypt and Nubia, that the two countries cannot be separated. A common
highway from mountains to sea, a common frontier of trackless desert
have developed here a blended similarity of race, language and culture
from the delta to Kordofan. The Hamitic race seems to have originated in
the south and migrated northward down the Nile towards the delta. Later
the whole valley, north and south, received the same Semitic or Arab
immigration, which spread from Cairo to the old Sudanese capital of
Sennar, while a strain of negro blood has filtered in from the
equatorial black belt and followed the current down to the sea.[690] The
culture of the valley originated in Lower Egypt, and, with that easy
transmissibility which characterizes ideas, it moved upstream into
Ethiopia, which never evolved a culture of its own. Just as noticeable
is the political interplay. The rule of the Pharaohs extended far up the
Nile, at times to the Third Cataract at 20° N.L.; and at one period
Ethiopian kings extended their sway over Egypt. At another, a large body
of mutinous Egyptian soldiers abandoned their country and their wives,
and emigrated along the one line of slight resistance open to them into
Ethiopia, to found there a new state and new families by marriage with
native women, thus contributing to the amalgamation of races in the

[Sidenote: Identity of country with river valley.]

The most pronounced types of the identity of a country with a river
valley are found where strongly marked geographical boundaries, like
deserts and mountains, emphasize the inner unity of the basins by
accentuating their isolation from without. This is especially the case
in high mountain regions; here canton or commune or county coincides
with the river valley. Population hugs the margins of the streams where
alone is soil fit for cultivation, and fairly level land suitable for
dwellings. Above are the unoccupied heights, at once barrier and
boundary. In the Alps, Salzburg is approximately identical with the
valley of the Salzach, Uri with that of the Reuss, the Valais with the
upper Rhone, the Engadine with the upper Inn, Glarus with the Linth,
Graubünden or Grisons with the upper Rhine, Valtellina with the Adda. So
in the great upheaved area of the Himalayas, the state of Kashmir was
originally the valley of the upper Jhelam River, while Assam, in its
correct delimitation, is the valley of the Brahmaputra between the
Himalayan gorge and the swamps of Bengal.[691]

In mountain regions which are also arid, the identity of a district with
a stream basin becomes yet more pronounced, because here population must
gather about the common water supply, must organize to secure its fair
distribution, and cooperate in the construction of irrigation channels
to make the distribution as economical and effective as possible. Thus
in Chinese Turkestan, the districts of Yarkand, Kashgar, Aksu and
Kut-sha are identical with as many mountain tributaries of the Tarim,
whose basin in turn comprises almost the whole of Chinese Turkestan.

[Sidenote: Enclosed river valleys.]

In all such desert and mountain-rimmed valleys, the central stream
attracts to its narrow hem of alluvial soil the majority of the
population, determines the course of the main highroad, and is itself
often the only route through the encompassing barriers. Hence the
importance attached to the river by the inhabitants, an importance
reflected in the fact that the river often gives its name to the whole
district. To the most ancient Greeks _Aigiptos_ meant the river, whose
name was later transferred to the whole land; for the narrow arable
strip which constituted Egypt was "the gift of the Nile." The Aryans,
descending into India through the mountains on its northwest border,
gave the name of _Sindhu_, "the flood" or "the ocean," to the first
great river they met. In the mouth of Persians and Greeks the name was
corrupted into Indus, and then applied to the whole country; but it
still survives in its original form in the local designation of the Sind
province, which comprises the valley of the Indus below the confluence
of the five rivers, which again formed and named the original Punjab.
Significantly enough the western political boundary of the Sind extends
into the barren foothills of Baluchistan only so far as the affluents of
the Indus render the land arable by irrigation; for the Indus performs
for the great province of the Sind, by annual inundation and perennial
irrigation, the same service that the Nile does for Egypt.

The segregation of such districts, and the concentration of their
interests and activities along the central streams have tended to
develop in the population an intense but contracted national
consciousness, and to lend them a distinctive history. Their rivers
become interwoven with their mythology and religion, are gods to be
worshipped or appeased, become goals of pilgrimages, or acquire a
peculiar sanctity. The Nile, Ganges, Jamna, Jordan, Tiber and Po are
such sacred streams, while the Rhine figures in German mythology.

[Sidenote: Rivers as boundaries of races and peoples.]

From the uniting power of rivers it follows that they are poor
boundaries. Only mountains and seas divide sharply enough to form
scientific frontiers. Rivers may serve as political lines of demarcation
and therefore fix political frontiers; but they can never take the place
of natural boundaries. A migrating or expanding people tend always to
occupy both slopes of a river valley. They run their boundary of race or
language across the axis of their river basin, only under exceptional
circumstances along the stream itself. The English-French boundary in
the St. Lawrence Valley crosses the river in a broad transitional zone
of mingled people and speech in and above the city of Montreal. The
French-German linguistic frontier in Switzerland crosses the upper Rhone
Valley just above Sierre, but the whole canton of Valais above the elbow
of the river at Martigny shows fundamental ethnic unity, indicated by
identity of head form, stature and coloring.[692] Where the Elbe flows
through the low plains of North Germany, its whole broad valley is
occupied by a pure Teutonic population--fair, tall, long-headed; a more
brunette type occupies its middle course across the uplands of Saxony,
and speaks German like the downstream folk; but its upper course, hemmed
in by the Erz and Riesen Mountains, shows the short, dark and
broad-headed people of the Bohemian basin, speaking the Czech
language.[693] On the Danube, too, the same thing is true. The upper
stream is German in language and predominantly Alpine in race stock down
to the Austro-Hungarian boundary; from this point to the Drave mouth it
is Hungarian; and from the Drave to the Iron Gate it is Serbo-Croatian
on both banks.[694] Lines of ethnic demarcation, therefore, cut the Elbe
and Danube transversely, not longitudinally. [See map page 223.]

The statements of Cæsar and Pliny that the Seine and Marne formed the
boundary between the Gauls and Belgians, and the Garonne that between
the Gauls and Aquitanians, must be accepted merely as general and
preliminary; for exceptions are noted later in the text. Parisii, for
instance, were represented as holding both banks of the Seine and Marne
at their confluence, and the Gallic Bituriges were found on the
Aquitanian side of the Garonne estuary.

[Sidenote: Scientific river boundaries.]

Only under peculiar conditions do rivers become effective as ethnic,
tribal or political boundaries. Most often it is some physiographic
feature which makes the stream an obstacle to communication, and lends
it the character of a scientific boundary. The division of the Alpine
foreland of southern Germany first into tribal and later into political
provinces by the Iller, Lech, Inn, and Salzach can be ascribed in part
to the tumultuous course of these streams from the mountains to the
Danube, which renders them useless for communication.[695] The lower
Danube forms a well maintained linguistic boundary between the
Bulgarians and Roumanians, except in the northwest corner of Bulgaria,
where the hill country between the Timok River and the Danube has
enticed a small group of Roumanians across to the southern side. From
this point down the stream, a long stretch of low marshy bank on the
northern side, offering village sites only at the few places where the
loess terrace of Roumania comes close to the river, exposed to
overflows, strewn with swamps and lakes, and generally unfit for
settlement, has made the Danube an effective barrier.[696] Similarly, the
broad, sluggish Shannon River, which spreads out to lake breadth at
close intervals in its course across the boggy central plain of Ireland,
has from the earliest times proved a sufficient barrier to divide the
plain into two portions, Connaught and Meath,[697] contrasted in history,
in speech and to some extent even in race elements.[698] A different
cause gave the Thames its unique rôle among the larger English rivers as
a boundary between counties from source to mouth. London's fortified
position at the head of the Thames estuary closed this stream as a line
of invasion to the early Saxons, and forced them to make detours to the
north and south of the river, which therefore became a tribal

Where navigation is peculiarly backward, a river may present a barrier.
An instructive instance is afforded by the River Yo, which flows
eastward through northern Bornu into Lake Chad, and serves at once as
boundary and protection to the agricultural tribes of the Kanuri
against the depredations of the Tibbu robbers living in the Sahara or
the northern grassland. But during the dry season from April to August,
when the trickling stream is sucked up by the thirsty land and thirstier
air, the Tibbu horsemen sweep down on the unprotected Kanuri and retreat
with their booty across the vanished barrier. The primitive navigation
by reed or brushwood rafts, practiced in this almost streamless
district, affords no means of retreat for mounted robbers; so the
raiding season opens with the fall of the river.[700]

[Sidenote: Rivers as political boundaries.]

For political boundaries, which are often adopted with little reference
to race distribution, rivers serve fairly well. They are convenient
lines of demarcation and strategic lines of defense, as is proved by the
military history of the Rhine, Danube, Ebro, Po, and countless other
streams. On the lower Zambesi Livingstone found the territories of the
lesser chiefs defined by the rivulets draining into the main river. The
leader of the Makololo formally adopted the Zambesi as his political and
military frontier, though his people spread and settled beyond the
river.[701] Long established political frontiers may become ethnic
boundaries, more or less distinct, because of protracted political
exclusion. To the Romans, the Danube and Rhine as a northeastern
frontier had the value chiefly of established lines in an imperfectly
explored wilderness, and of strategic positions for the defense of an
oft assailed border; but the long maintenance of this political frontier
resulted in the partial segregation and hence differentiation of the
people dwelling on the opposite banks.

Poor as a scientific boundary, a river is not satisfactory even as a
line of demarcation, because of its tendency to shift its bed in every
level stretch of its course. A political boundary that follows a river,
therefore, is often doomed to frequent surveys. The plantations on the
meanders of the lower Mississippi are connected now with one, now with
the other of the contiguous states, as the great stream straightens its
course after the almost annual overflow.[702] The Rio Grande has proved a
troublesome and expensive boundary between the United States and
Mexico. Almost every rise sees it cutting a new channel for itself, now
through Texas, now through Mexican territory, occasioning endless
controversies as to the ownership of the detached land, and demanding
fresh surveys. Recent changes in the lower course of the Helmund between
Nasralabad and the Sistan Swamp, which was adopted in 1872 as the
boundary between Afghanistan and Persia, have necessitated a new
demarcation of the frontier; and on this task a commission is at present
engaged.[703] In a like manner Strabo tells us that the River Achelous,
forming the boundary between ancient Acarnania and Aetolia in western
Hellas, by overflowing its delta region, constantly obliterated the
boundaries agreed upon by the two neighbors, and thereby gave rise to
disputes that were only settled by force of arms.[704]

[Sidenote: Fluvial settlements and peoples.]

Rivers tend always to be centers of population, not outskirts or
perimeters. They offer advantages that have always attracted
settlement--fertile alluvial soil, a nearby water supply, command of a
natural highway for intercourse with neighbors and access to markets.
Among civilized peoples fluvial settlements have been the nuclei of
broad states, passing rapidly through an embryonic development to a
maturity in which the old center can still be distinguished by a greater
density of population. Only among savages or among civilized people who
have temporarily reverted to primitive conditions in virgin colonial
lands, do we find genuine riverine folk, whose existence is closely
restricted to their bordering streams. The river tribes of the Congo
occupy the banks or the larger islands, while the land only three or
four miles back from the stream is held by different tribes with whom
the riverine people trade their fish. The latter are expert fishermen
and navigators, and good agriculturists, raising a variety of fruits and
vegetables. On the river banks at regular intervals are market greens,
neutral ground, whither people come from up and down stream and from the
interior to trade. Their long riparian villages consist of a single
street, thirty feet wide and often two miles long, on which face perhaps
three hundred long houses,[705] Fisher and canoe people line the Welle,
the great northern tributary of the Congo.[706] The same type appeared
in South America in the aboriginal Caribs and Tupis dwelling along the
southern tributaries of the Amazon and the affluents of the Paraguay.
These were distinctly a water race, having achieved a meager development
only in navigation, fishing and the cultivation of their alluvial
soil.[707] The ancient mound-builders of America located their villages
chiefly, though not exclusively, along the principal watercourses, like
the Mississippi, Illinois, Miami, Wabash, Wisconsin, and Fox,[708] on the
very streams later dotted by the trading posts of the French voyageurs.

[Sidenote: Riparian villages of French Canada.]

The presence of the great waterways of Canada and the demand of the fur
trade for extensive and easy communication made the early French
colonists as distinctly a riverine people as the savage Congo tribes.
Like these, they stretched out their villages in a single line of cabins
and clearings, three or four miles long, facing the river, which was the
King's highway. Such a village was called a _côte_. One côte ran into
the next, for their expansion was always longitudinal, never lateral.
These riparian settlements lined the main watercourses of French Canada,
especially the St. Lawrence, whose shores from Beaupre, fifteen miles
below Quebec, up to Montreal at an early date presented the appearance
of a single street. Along the river passed the stately trading ship from
France with its cargo of wives and merchandise for the colonists, the
pirogue of the _habitant_ farmer carrying his onions and grain to the
Quebec market, the birchbark canoe of the adventurous voyageur bringing
down his winter's hunt of furs from the snow-bound forests of the
interior, and the fleet of Jesuit priests bound to some remote inland


On this water thoroughfare every dwelling faced. Hence land on the river
was at a premium, while that two miles back was to be had for the
taking. The original grants measured generally 766 feet in width and
7,660 in depth inland; but when bequeathed from generation to
generation, they were divided up along lines running back at right
angles to the all important waterway. Hence each _habitant_ farm
measured its precious river-front by the foot and its depth by the mile,
while the cabins were ranged side by side in cosy neighborliness. The
_côte_ type of village, though eminently convenient for the Indian
trade, was ill adapted for government and defense against the savages;
but the need for the communication supplied by the river was so
fundamental, that it nullified all efforts of the authorities to
concentrate the colonists in more compact settlements. Parkman says:
"One could have seen almost every house in Canada by paddling a canoe up
the St. Lawrence and Richelieu."[709] The same type of land-holding can
be traced to-day on the Chaudiere River, where the fences run back from
the stream like the teeth of a comb. It is reproduced on a larger scale
in the long, narrow counties ranged along the lower St. Lawrence, whose
shape points to the old fluvial nuclei of settlement. Similarly the
early Dutch grants on the Hudson gave to the patroons four miles along
the river and an indefinite extension back from the stream. In the early
Connecticut River settlements, the same consideration of a share in the
river and its alluvial bottoms distributed the town lots among the
inhabitants in long narrow strips running back from the banks.[710]

[Sidenote: Boatmen tribes or castes.]

In undeveloped countries, where rivers are the chief highways, we
occasionally see the survival of a distinct race of boatmen amid an
intruding people of different stock, preserved in their purity by their
peculiar occupation, which has given them the aloofness of a caste. In
the Kwang-tung province of southern China are 40,000 Tanka boat people,
who live in boats and pile-dwellings in the Canton River. The Chinese,
from whom they are quite distinct, regard them as a remnant of the
original population, which was dislodged by their invasion and forced to
take refuge on the water. They gradually established intercourse with
the conquerors of the land, but held themselves aloof. They marry only
among themselves, have their own customs, and enjoy a practical monopoly
of carrying passengers and messages between the steamers and the shore
at Macao, Hongkong and Canton.[711] In the same way, the middle Niger
above Gao possesses a distinct aquatic people, the Somnos or Bosos, who
earn their living as fishermen and boatmen on the river. They spread
their villages along the Niger and its tributaries, and occupy separate
quarters in the large towns like Gao and Timbuctoo. They are creatures
of the river rather than of the land, and show great skill and endurance
in paddling and poling their narrow dugouts on their long Niger

Reference has been made before to the large river population of China
who live on boats and rafts, and forward the trade of the vast inland
waterways. These are people, differentiated not in race, but in
occupation and mode of life, constantly recruited from the congested
population of the land. Allied to them are the trackers or towing crews
whose villages form a distinctive feature of the turbulent upper
Yangtze, and who are employed, sometimes three hundred at a time, to
drag junks up the succession of rapids above Ichang.[713] Similarly the
complex of navigable waterways centering about Paris, as far back as the
reign of Tiberius Cæsar, gave rise to the _Nautae Parisii_ or guild of
mariners, from whom the city of Paris derived its present coat of
arms--a vessel under full sail. These Lutetian boatmen handled the river
traffic in all the territory drained by the Seine, Marne, and Oise.
Later, in the reign of Louis the Fat, they were succeeded by the
_Mercatores aquae Parisiaci_, and from them sprang the municipal body
appointed to regulate the river navigation and commerce.[714]

[Sidenote: River islands as protected sites.]

The location of the ancient tribe of the Parisii is typical of many
other weak riverine folk who seek in the islands of a river a protected
position to compensate for their paucity of number. The Parisii, one of
the smallest of the Gallic tribes, ill-matched against their populous
neighbors, took refuge on ten islands and sandbars of the Seine and
there established themselves.[715] Stanley found an island in the Congo
near the second cataract of Stanley Falls occupied by five villages of
the Baswa, who had taken refuge there from the attacks of the
bloodthirsty Bakuma.[716] During the Tartar invasions of Russia in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, bands of refugees from the
surrounding country gathered for mutual defense on the islands of the
Dnieper River, and became the nucleus of the Dnieper Cossacks.[717] The
Huron tribe of American Indians, reduced to a mere fragment by repeated
Iroquois attacks, fled first to the islands of St. Joseph and
Michilimackinac in Lake Huron, and in 1856 to the Isle of Orleans in the
St. Lawrence. But even this location under the guns of their French
allies in Quebec failed to protect them, for the St. Lawrence was a
highway for the war fleets of their implacable foe.[718]

[Sidenote: River and lake islands as robber strongholds.]

A river island not only confers the negative benefit of protection, but
affords a coign of vantage for raids on the surrounding country, being
to some extent proof against punitive attacks. It offers special
facilities for depredations on parties crossing the river; here the
divided current, losing something of its force, is less of an obstacle,
and the island serves as a resting place on the passage. Immunity from
punishment breeds lawlessness. The Ba Toka who, fifty years ago,
inhabited the islands in the great southern bend of the Zambesi,
utilized their location to lure wandering tribes on to their islands,
under the pretext of ferrying them across, and then to rob them, till
Sebituane, the great Makololo chief, cleaned out their fastnesses and
opened the river for trade.[719] The islands in the wide stretches of the
Lualaba River in the Babemba country were described to Livingstone as
harboring a population of marauders and robbers, who felt themselves
safe from attack.[720] The same unenviable reputation attaches to the
Budumas of the Lake Chad islands. A weak, timid, displaced people, they
nevertheless lose no chance of raiding the herds of the Sudanese tribes
inhabiting the shores of the Lake, and carrying off the stolen cattle on
their wretched rafts to their island retreats.[721]

[Sidenote: River peninsulas as protected sites.]

The protection of an island location is almost equalled in the
peninsulas formed by the serpentines or meanders of a river. Hence these
are choice sites for fortress or settlement in primitive communities,
where hostilities are always imminent and rivers the sole means of
communication. The defensive works of the mound-builders in great
numbers occupied such river peninsulas. The neck of the loop was
fortified by a single or double line of ditch and earthen wall,
constructed from bank to bank of the encircling stream.[722] This was
exactly the location of Vesontio, now Besançon, once the ancient
stronghold of the Sequani in eastern Gaul. It was situated in a loop of
the Dubis, so nearly a circle that its course seems to have been
"described by a compass," Cæsar says, while fortifications across the
isthmus made the position of the town almost impregnable.[723] Verona,
lying at the exit of the great martial highway of the Brenner Pass,
occupies just such a loop of the Adige, as does Capua on the Volturno,
and Berne on the Aare. Shrewsbury, in the Middle Ages an important
military point for the preservation of order on the marches of Wales, is
almost encircled by the River Severn, while a castle on the neck of the
peninsula completes the defense on the land side.[724] Graaf Reinett, at
one time an exposed frontier settlement of the Dutch in Cape Colony, had
a natural moat around it in the Sunday River, which here describes
three-fourths of a circle.

[Sidenote: River islands as sites of trading posts and colonies.]

The need of protection felt by all colonists in new countries amid
savage or barbarous people whom encroachment sooner or later makes
hostile, leads them if possible to place their first trading posts and
settlements on river islands, especially at the mouth of the streams,
where a delta often affords the site required, and where the junction of
ocean and river highway offers the best facilities for trade. A river
island fixed the location of the English settlement at Jamestown in
Virginia, the French at Montreal and New Orleans, the Dutch at Manhattan
and Van Renssellær Island in the Hudson, the Swedes at Tinicum Island
in the Delaware River a few miles below the mouth of the Schuylkill.[725]
St. Louis, located on a delta island of the Senegal River, is one of the
oldest European towns in West Africa;[726] and Bathurst, founded in 1618
on a similar site at the mouth of the Gambia, has for centuries now been
the safe outlet for the trade of this stream.[727] Such island
settlements at river mouths are a phenomenon of the outer edge of every
coastal region; but inland stations for trade or military control also
seek the protection of an island site. The Russians in the seventeenth
century secured their downstream conquest of the Amur by a succession of
river island forts,[728] which recall Colonel Byrd's early frontier post
on an island in the Holston River, and George Rogers Clark's military
stockade on Corn Island in the Ohio, which became the nucleus of the
later city of Louisville.

[Sidenote: Swamps as barriers and boundaries.]

More effective than rivers in the protection which they afford are
swamps. Neither solid land nor navigable water, their sluggish, passive
surface raises an obstacle of pure inertia to the movements of mankind.
Hence they form one of those natural boundaries that segregate. In
southern England, Ronmey Marsh, reinforced by the Wealden Forest, fixed
the western boundary of the ancient Saxon kingdom of Kent by blocking
expansion in that direction, just as the bordering swamps of the Lea and
Colne rivers formed the eastern and western boundaries of
Middlesex.[729] The Fenland of the Wash, which extended in Saxon days
from the highland about Lincoln south to Cambridge and Newmarket, served
to hem in the Angles of Norfolk and Suffolk on the west, so that the
occupation of the interior was left to later bands who entered by the
estuaries of the Humber and Forth.[730] In northern Germany, the low
cross valleys of the Spree, Havel and Netze rivers, bordered by alder
swamps, were long a serious obstacle to communication, and therefore
became boundaries of districts,[731] just as the Bourtanger Moor drew
the dividing line between Holland and Hanover.

[Sidenote: Swamps as regions of survival.]

Swamp-bordered regions, as areas of natural isolation, guard and keep
intact the people which they hold. Therefore they are regions of
survival of race and language. The scattered islets of the Fens of
England furnished an asylum to the early British Celts from Teutonic
attacks,[732] and later protected them against dominant infusion of
Teutonic blood. Hence to-day in the Fenland and in the district just to
the south we find a darker, shorter people than in the country to the
east or west.[733] Similarly the White Russians, occupying the poor,
marshy region of uncertain watershed between the sources of the Duna,
Dnieper and Volga, have the purest blood of all the eastern Slavs,
though this distinction is coupled with poverty and retarded
culture,[734] a combination that anthropo-geography often reveals.
Wholly distinct from the Russians and segregated from them by a barrier
of swampy forests, we find the Letto-Lithuanians in the Baltic province
of Courland, speaking the most primitive form of flectional languages
classed as Aryan. The isolation which preserved their archaic speech, of
all European tongues the nearest to the Sanskrit, made them the last
European people to accept Christianity.[735] The great race of the
Slavic Wends, who once occupied all northern Germany between the Vistula
and Elbe, has left only a small and declining remnant of its language in
the swampy forests about the sources of the Spree.[736] [See
ethnographical map, p. 223.] The band of marshlands stretching through
Holland from the shallow Zuyder Zee east to the German frontier, has
given to Friesland and the coast islands of Holland a peculiar
isolation, which has favored the development and survival of the
peculiar Friesian dialect, that speech so nearly allied to Saxon
English, and has preserved here the purest type of the tall, blond
Teuton among the otherwise mixed stock of the Netherlands.[737]

[Sidenote: Swamps as places of refuge.]

Inaccessible to all except those familiar with their treacherous paths
and labyrinthine channels, swamps have always afforded a refuge for
individuals and peoples; and therefore as places of defense they have
played no inconspicuous part in history. What the Dismal Swamp of North
Carolina and the cypress swamps of Louisiana were to the run-away
slaves, that the Everglades of Florida have been to the defeated
Seminoles. In that half-solid, half-fluid area, penetrable only to the
native Indian who poles his canoe along its tortuous channels of liquid
mud, the Seminoles have set up their villages on the scattered hummocks
of solid land, and there maintained themselves, a tribe of 350 souls,
despite all efforts of the United States government to remove them to
the Indian Territory. The swamps of the Nile delta have been the asylum
of Egyptian independence from the time King Amysis took refuge there for
fifty years during an invasion of the Ethiopians,[738] to the retreat
thither of Amyrtaeus, a prince of Sais, after his unsuccessful revolt
against the Persian conqueror Artaxerxes I.[739] The Isle of Athelney
among the marshes of the Parret River afforded a refuge to Alfred the
Great and a band of his followers during the Danish invasion of Wessex
in 878,[740] while the Isle of Ely in the Fenland was another point of
sustained resistance to the invaders. It was the Fenland that two
hundred years later was the last stronghold of Saxon resistance to
William of Normandy. Here on the Isle of Ely the outlawed leader
Hereward maintained Saxon independence, till the Conqueror at last
constructed a long causeway across the marshes to the "Camp of

[Sidenote: The spirit of the marshes.]

The spirit of the marshlands is the spirit of freedom. Therefore these
small and scarcely habitable portions of the land assume an historical
dignity and generate stirring historical events out of all proportion to
their size and population. Their content is ethical rather than
economic. They attract to their fastnesses the vigorous souls protesting
against conquest or oppression, and then by their natural protection
sustain and nourish the spirit of liberty. It was the water-soaked
lowlands of the Rhine that enabled the early Batavians,[742] Ditmarscher
and Frieslanders to assert and to maintain their independence, generated
the love of Independence among the Dutch and helped them defend their
liberty against the Spanish[743] and French. So the Fenland of England
was the center of resistance to the despotism of King John, who
therefore fixed his headquarters for the suppression of the revolt at
Lincoln and his military depôt at Lynn. Later in the conflict of the
barons with Henry III, Simon de Montfort and other disaffected nobles
entrenched themselves in the islands of Ely and Axholm, till the
Provisions of Oxford in 1267 secured them some degree of constitutional
rights.[744] Four centuries later the same spirit sent many Fenlanders
to the support of Cromwell.

[Sidenote: Economic and political importance of lakes.]

A river that spreads out into the indeterminate earthform of a marsh is
an effective barrier; but one that gathers waters into a natural basin
and forms a lake retains the uniting power of a navigable stream and
also, by the extension of its area and elimination of its current,
approaches the nature of an enclosed sea. Mountain rivers, characterized
by small volume and turbulent flow, first become navigable when they
check their impetuosity and gather their store of water in some lake
basin. The whole course of the upper Rhone, from its glacier source on
the slope of Mount Furca to its confluence with the Saône at Lyon, is
unfit for navigation, except where it lingers in Lake Geneva. The same
thing is true of the Reuss in Lake Lucerne, the upper Rhine in Lake
Constance, the Aare in Thun and Brienze, and the Linth in Lake Zurich.
Hence such torrent-fed lakes assume economic and political importance in
mountainous regions, owing to the paucity of navigable waterways. The
lakes of Alpine Switzerland and Italy and of Highland Scotland form so
many centers of intercourse and exchange. Even such small bodies of
water as the Alpine lakes have therefore become goals of expansion, so
that we find the shores of Geneva, Maggiore, Lugano, and Garda, each
shared by two countries. Switzerland, the Austrian Tyrol, and the three
German states of Baden, Wurtemberg and Bavaria, have all managed to
secure a frontage upon Lake Constance. Lake Titicaca, lying 12,661 feet
(3854 meters) above sea level but affording a navigable course 136 miles
(220 kilometers) long, is an important waterway for Peru and Bolivia. In
the central Sudan, where aridity reduces the volume of all streams, even
the variable and indeterminate Lake Chad has been an eagerly sought
objective for expanding boundaries. Twenty years ago it was divided
among the native states of Bornu, Bagirmi and Kanem; today it is shared
by British Nigeria, French Sudan, and German Kamerun. The erratic
northern extension of the German boundary betrays the effort to reach
this goal.

[Sidenote: Lakes as nuclei of states.]

The uniting power of lakes manifests itself in the tendency of such
basins to become the nuclei of states. Attractive to settlement in
primitive times, because of the protected frontier they afford--a motive
finding its most emphatic expression in the pile villages of the early
lake-dwellers--later because of the fertility of their bordering soil
and the opportunity for friendly intercourse, they gradually unite their
shores in a mesh of reciprocal relations, which finds its ultimate
expression in political union. It is a significant fact that the Swiss
Confederation originated in the four forest cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz,
Uri and Unterwalden, which are linked together by the jagged basin of
Lake Lucerne or the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons, as the Swiss
significantly call it, but are otherwise divided by mountain barriers.
So we find that Lake Titicaca was the cradle of the Inca Empire, just as
Lake Tezcoco was that of the Toltecs in Mexico and an island in Lake
Chalco later that of the Aztec domain.[745] The most stable of the
short-lived native states of Africa have apparently found an element of
strength and permanence in a protected lake frontier. Such are the petty
kingdoms of Bornu, Bagirmi and Kanem on Lake Chad, and Uganda on
Victoria Nyanza.

Large lakes, which include in their area islands, peninsulas, tides,
currents, fiords, inlets, deltas, and dunes, and present every
geographical feature of an enclosed sea, approach the latter too in
historical importance. Some of the largest, however, have long borne the
name of seas. The Caspian, which exceeds the Baltic in area, and the
Aral, which outranks Lake Michigan, show the closest physical
resemblance to thalassic basins, because of their size, salinity and
enclosed drainage systems; but their anthropo-geographical significance
is slight. The very salinity which groups them with the sea points to an
arid climate that forever deprives them of the densely populated coasts
characteristic of most enclosed seas, and hence reduces their historical
importance. Their tributary streams, robbed of their water by irrigation
canals, like "the shorn and parcelled Oxus", renounce their function of
highways into the interior. To this rule the Volga is a unique
exception. Finally, cut off from union with the ocean, these salt lakes
lose the supreme historical advantage which is maintained by freshwater
lakes, like Ladoga, Nyassa, Maracaibo and the Great Lakes of North
America, all lying near sea level.

[Sidenote: Lakes as fresh water seas.]

Lakes as part of a system of inland waterways may possess commercial
importance surpassing that of many seas. This depends upon the
productivity, accessibility and extent of their hinterland, and this in
turn depends upon the size and shape of the inland basin. The chain of
the five Great Lakes, which together present a coastline of four
thousand miles and a navigable course as long as the Baltic between the
Skager Rack and the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, constitutes a
freshwater Mediterranean. It has played the part of an enclosed sea in
American history and has enabled the Atlantic trade to penetrate 1400
miles inland to Chicago and Duluth. Its shores have therefore been a
coveted object of territorial expansion. The early Dutch trading posts
headed up the Hudson and Mohawk toward Lake Ontario, as did the English
settlements which succeeded them. The French, from their vantage point
at Montreal, threw out a frail casting-net of fur stations and missions,
which caught and held all the Lakes for a time. Later the American
shores were divided among eight of our states. The northern boundaries
of Indiana and Illinois were fixed by Congress for the express purpose
of giving these commonwealths access to Lake Michigan. Pennsylvania with
great difficulty succeeded in protruding her northwestern frontier to
cover a meager strip of Erie coast, while New York's frontage on the
same lake became during the period of canal and early railroad
construction, a great factor in her development.

In 1901, the tonnage of our merchant vessels on the Great Lakes was half
that of our Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined,[746]
constituting a freshwater fleet greater than the merchant marine of
either France or sea-bred Norway. A remote but by no means faint echo of
this fact is found in the five hundred or more boats, equally available
for trade or war, which Henry M. Stanley saw the Uganda prince muster on
the shore of Victoria Nyanza Lake. Ocean, sea, bay, estuary, river,
swamp, lake: here is Nature's great circle returning upon itself, a
circle faintly notched into arcs, but one in itself and one in man's


[630] Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp.
26-27. New York and London, 1900.

[631] Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, p. 492. Boston, 1892.

[632] Capt. James Cook, Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1776-1780, Vol. II,
pp. 321-332. New York, 1796.

[633] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 63-66,
84-86, 95, 96. London, 1904.

[634] E. Lavisse, _Histoire de France_, Vol. II, Part I, pp. 374-375,
378-379, 381-382, 385-386. Paris, 1903.

[635] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191, map. New York,

[636] _Ibid._, Vol. I, pp. 192-194.

[637] G.W. Kitchen, History of France, Vol. I, pp. 59-60. Oxford, 1892.

[638] Dietrich Schaeffer, _Die Hansestädte und König Waldemar von
Dänemark_, p. 36. Jena, 1879.

[639] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 311. London, 1904.

[640] Capt. A.T. Mahan, The Problem of Asia, pp. 41, 60, 120. New York,

[641] Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp.
97-98. New York and London, 1900.

[642] E.C. Semple, Development of the Hanse Towns in Relation to their
Geographic Environment, Bulletin Amer. Geog. Soc., Vol. 31. No. 3. 1899.

[643] Nordenskiold, Voyage of the Vega, pp. 519-530, 552. New York,
1882. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, Note pp.
278-281. New York, 1902.

[644] Agnes Laut, Voyagers of the Northern Ocean, _Harper's Magazine_,
January, 1906.

[645] Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 21-54. New York, 1899.

[646] Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 198-190, 251-257. New York, 1896.

[647] _Ibid._, p. 38.

[648] D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 71, 177. New York, 1858.

[649] W. Deecke, Italy, p. 87. London, 1904.

[650] G. Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, map facing
p. 167; also pp. 287, 327-328. New York, 1897.

[651] F.M. Stapff, _Karte des unteren Khiusebthal, Petermanns
Mitteilungen_, p. 202. July, 1885.

[652] Strabo, Book III, chap. II, 4.

[653] For full discussion, see Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels
und Gewerbefleisses_. Stuttgart, 1889.

[654] Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. I, pp. 24-28. Boston, 1886.

[655] A.B. Hulbert, Historic Highways of America, Vol. VII, Portage
Paths, pp. 182-183, 187-188. Cleveland, 1903.

[656] Herodotus, Book I, 194. A.H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, Vol.
II, pp. 79-81. New York, 1849.

[657] Charles W. Hawes, The Uttermost East, p. 60. New York, 1904.

[658] Transportation by Water in 1906, Table 30, p. 181. Report of
Department of Commerce and Labor, Washington, 1908.

[659] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 277. London, 1904.

[660] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 466. London.

[661] J. Ellis Barker, Modern Germany, pp. 68-85. London, 1907.

[662] Heinrich von Treitschke, _Politik_, Vol. I, p. 218. Leipzig, 1897.

[663] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 466. London,

[664] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 511. London, 1904.

[665] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 318. London, 1903.

[666] Ratzel, _Politische Geographie_, pp. 739-740. Munich, 1903.

[667] Annual Register for 1901, p. 358. New Series, London and New York,

[668] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 958. New York, 1902.

[669] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, p. 473. London, 1896-1898.

[670] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 406. New York, 1902.

[671] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, map p. 312. London, 1904.

[672] Blanqui, History of Political Economy, pp. 273, 277, 296. New
York, 1880.

[673] Albert Gallatin, American State Papers, Misc. Doc., Vol. I, No.
250. Washington, 1834.

[674] Roscher, _National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses_, pp.
449, 453-454. Stuttgart, 1889.

[675] H.R. Mill, International Geography, pp. 530-531. New York, 1902.

[676] G.G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 310, 312. London, 1904.

[677] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 314. London, 1903.

[678] Statesman's Yearbook for 1907.

[679] Henry Norman, All the Russias, pp. 254-255, 285-292. New York,

[680] E.C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic Conditions, pp.
251-255. Boston, 1903.

[681] E.F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, p. 6. London, 1897.

[682] Strabo, Book IV, chap. VI, 7.

[683] Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 361-362. New York, 1899.

[684] Angus Hamilton, Afghanistan, pp. 137-141. New York and London,
1906. Henry Norman, All the Russias, pp. 276-277. New York, 1902.

[685] _Bella Gallico_, Book IV, chap. IV.

[686] _Ibid._, Book I, chap. XXXI; Book II, chap. III; Book IV, chap. I.

[687] Journals of Dr. Thomas Walker and Christopher Gist, p. 129. Filson
Club Publications, Louisville, 1898.

[688] H.R. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. III,
pp. 248-249. Philadelphia, 1853.

[689] Martha K. Genthe, The Valley Towns of Connecticut, Bull. of Amer.
Geog. Society, Vol. 39, pp. 1-7. New York, 1907.

[690] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. III, pp. 181-182, 192. London,

[691] H.R. Mill, International Geography, p. 495. New York, 1902.

[692] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 284-285. New York, 1899.

[693] _Ibid._, Maps pp. 222, 340, 350.

[694] _Ibid._, Maps pp. 402, 429.

[695] J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 43, 241. London, 1903.

[696] _Ibid._, p. 69. Sydow-Wagner, _Methodischer Schul-Atlas_, compare
maps No. 13 and No. 25.

[697] Elisée Reclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 380, 389-390. New York, 1882.

[698] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 318, map. New York, 1899.

[699] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 202-203. London,

[700] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. I, pp. 168, 169,
232, 306-307. London, 1907.

[701] Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 102, 642. New York, 1858.

[702] See Century Atlas, maps of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas for
boundary line of 1850.

[703] Sir Thomas Holdich, India, p. 57. London, 1905.

[704] Strabo, Book X, chap. II, 19.

[705] Henry M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, Vol. II, pp.
120-124, 155-158, 168, 169, 173, 176, 177, 182, 266-274, 327. New York,

[706] Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. II, pp. 252,
269-270. London, 1907.

[707] Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189, 192-194. New York,

[708] Cyrus Thomas, Mound Explorations, pp. 526-527, 531, 551. Twelfth
Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894.

[709] Parkman, The Old Regime in Canada, pp. 292-303. Boston, 1904. E.C.
Semple, The Influences of Geographic Environment on the Lower St.
Lawrence, Bull. of Amer. Geog. Society, Vol. 36, pp. 449-466. 1904.

[710] Martha Krug Genthe, Valley Towns of Connecticut, pp. 10-12,
figures V. and VI, Bull. of Amer. Geog. Society, Vol. 39, 1907.

[711] J. Nacken, _Die Provinz Kwantung und ihre Bevölkerung, Petermanns
Mitteilungen_, Vol. 24, p. 421, 1878. W.M. Wood, Fankwei, pp. 276-277.
New York, 1859.

[712] Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 19-22, 38. New York, 1896.

[713] Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp.
164, 174-175, 179, 182, 189, 215. London and New York, 1900.

[714] William Walton, Paris, Vol. I, pp. 31-32, 35. Philadelphia, 1899.

[715] Cæsar, _Bella Gallico_, Book VIII, chaps, 57, 58.

[716] Henry M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, Vol. II, pp.
227-228. New York, 1879.

[717] Article, Cossack, Encyclopedia Britannica.

[718] Parkman, The Jesuits in North. America, pp. 292-303, 498-505, 534,
535. Boston, 1904.

[719] Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 100, 102. New York, 1858.

[720] Livingstone, Last Journals, Vol. I, p. 359. London, 1874.

[721] Heinrich Barth, Travels in North and Central Africa, Vol. II, pp.
64, 66, 233. New York, 1857. Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile,
Vol. I, pp. 237, 303-304, 320, 331-336; Vol. II, pp. 54, 56-58, 67-68,
96-99, 104-105. London, 1907.

[722] J.P. McLean, The Mound Builders, p. 20. Cincinnati, 1904. Squier
and Davis, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, pp. 6, 9, 10.
New York, 1848.

[723] Cæsar, _Bello Gallico_, Book I, chaps. 38, 39.

[724] Elisée Reclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 101-102. New York, 1882.

[725] John Fiske, Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, Vol. I, p. 241.

[726] H.E. Mill, International Geography, p. 956. New York, 1902.

[727] H.B. George, Historical Geography of the British Empire, pp.
259-260. London, 1904.

[728] Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 30-33, 50. New York, 1899.

[729] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 198-199. London,

[730] John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 63, 66.
London, 1904.

[731] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 102. London, 1903.

[732] Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 10, 11,
27-30. London, 1878.

[733] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 322-323. Map p. 327. New York,

[734] Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, p. 108.
New York, 1893.

[735] _Ibid._, pp. 104-106. W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 340-342,
352, 365. New York, 1899.

[736] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 135. London, 1903.

[737] _Ibid._, p. 133. W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 294-295. New
York, 1899.

[738] Herodotus, II, 137, 140.

[739] Thucydides, I, 110. Brugsch-Bey, History of Egypt, Vol. II, p.
333. London, 1881.

[740] John Richard Green, History of the English People, Vol. I, chap.
III, p. 71.

[741] Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 83, 101,
104, 107, 108. London, 1878.

[742] Tacitus, History of the Germans, Book VI, chap. VI. Motley, Rise
of the Dutch Republic, Vol. I, pp. 2-5, 13. New York, 1885.

[743] J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 299. London, 1903.

[744] Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 113-114.
London, 1878.

[745] Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
I, pp. 327-328, 502-503. Oxford, 1892. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol.
II, p. 163. London, 1896-1898.

[746] U.S. Report of Commission of Navigation, p. 10. Washington, 1901.



[Sidenote: Insularity of the land-masses.]

The division of the earth's surface into 28 per cent. land and 72 per
cent. water is an all important fact of physical geography and
anthropo-geography. Owing to this proportion, the land-masses, which
alone provide habitats for man, rise as islands out of the three-fold
larger surface of the uninhabitable ocean. Consequently, the human
species, like the other forms of terrestrial life, bears a deeply
ingrained insular character. Moreover, the water causes different
degrees of separation between the land-masses, according as it appears
as inlet, strait, sea, an island-strewn or islandless ocean; it
determines the grouping of the habitable areas and consequently the
geographic basis of the various degrees of ethnic and cultural kinship
between the divisions of land. Finally, since the sea is for man only a
highway to some ulterior shore, this geography of the land-masses in
relation to the encompassing waters points the routes and goals of human

Each fragment of habitable land, large or small, continent or islet,
means a corresponding group or detachment of the vast human family. Its
size fixes the area at the service of the group which occupies it. Its
location, however, may either endow it with a neighborliness like that
subsisting between Africa and Europe and involving an interwoven
history; or remoteness like that of South America from Australia, so
complete that even the close net of intercourse thrown by modern
commerce over the whole world has scarcely sufficed to bring them into
touch. Therefore the highly irregular distribution of the land areas,
here compactly grouped, there remote, deserves especial attention, since
it produces far-reaching results. Finally, continents and islands, by
their zonal situation, their land forms, rainfall, river systems, flora
and fauna, produce for man varied life conditions, which in their turn
are partially dependent upon the size and grouping of the land-masses.

[Sidenote: Classification of land-masses according to size and

A comparison of the large and small land-masses of the from the
standpoint of both physical and anthropological geography yields a
classification based upon size and location on the one hand, and
historical influences on the other. The following table indicates the
relation between the two.

  I. Independent Land-masses.

    A. _Continents_. Independent by reason of size, which enables them
    to support a large number of people and afford the conditions for

      (a) Insular continents, whose primitive and modern development are
      marked by remoteness. Australia.

      (b) Neighboring continents, separated by narrow seas and showing
      community of historical events. Europe and Africa. Asia and North
      America around Bering Sea.

    B. _Islands_. Independent by reason of location.

      (a) Oceanic islands, characterized by greatest remoteness from
      continents and other islands, and also by independent or detached
      history. St. Helena and Iceland.

      (b) Member of a group of oceanic islands, therefore less
      independent. Hawaii, Fayal in the Azores, Tongatabu.

      (c) Large islands, approaching by reason of size the independence
      of continents and thereby finding compensation for a less
      independent location. New Guinea, Borneo, Madagascar; in a cultural
      sense, Great Britain and Japan.

  II. Dependent Land-masses.

    (a) Inshore or coast islands, whose history is intimately connected
    with that of the nearby mainland. Euboea, Long Island, Vancouver,
    Sakhalin, Ceylon.

    (b) Neighboring islands, showing less intimate historical
    relations. Formosa, the Canaries, Ireland in contrast to Great

    (c) Islands of enclosed or marginal seas, contained in a circle of
    lands and exposed to constant intercourse from all sides. Jamaica,
    Java, Crete, Sicily, Zealand, Gotland, St. Lawrence in Bering Sea.

    (d) Island groups not to be considered apart from other groups.
    Samoa, Fiji and Friendly Isles; Philippine, Sulu and Sunda Islands;
    Greater and Lesser Antilles.

[Sidenote: Effect of size of land-masses.]

As the homes of man, these land-masses vary greatly owing to difference
of size. Only the six continents have been large enough to generate
great bodies of people, to produce differentiated branches of the human
family, and to maintain them in such numerical force that alien
intermixtures were powerless essentially to modify the gradually
developing ethnic type. The larger continents are marked by such
diversity of climate, relief and contour, that they have afforded the
varied environments and the area for the development of several great
types or sub-types of mankind. Australia has been just large enough to
produce one distinct native race, the result of a very ancient blend of
Papuan and Malayan stocks. But prevailing aridity has cast a mantle of
monotony over most of the continent, nullifying many local geographic
differences in highland and lowland, curtailing the available area of
its already restricted surface, and hence checking the differentiation
that results either from the competition of large numbers or from a
varied environment. We find Australia characterized above all other
continents by monotony of culture, mode of life, customs, languages, and
a uniform race type from the Murray River to York peninsula.[747] The twin
continents of the Americas developed a race singularly uniform in its
physical traits,[748] if we leave out of account the markedly divergent
Eskimos, but displaying a wide range of political, social and economic
developments, from the small, unorganized groups of wandering savages,
like the desert Shoshones and coast Fuegians, to the large, stable
empire of the Incas, with intensive agriculture, public works, a state
religion and an enlightened government.

Even the largest islands of the world, such as Borneo, New Guinea and
Madagascar, show no such independent ethnic development. This is the
distinguishing characteristic of the largest land-masses. Europe, except
on the basis of its size and peninsula form, has no title to the name of
continent; certainly not on anthropo-geographical grounds. Its
classification as a continent arose in the Mediterranean among the
Greeks, as a geographical expression of the antagonism between
themselves and their Carian, Phoenician and Persian enemies across the
Aegean; the idea had therefore a political origin, and was formed
without knowledge of that vast stretch of plains between the Black Sea
and the Arctic Ocean, where Asia's climate and races lap over into
Europe, and where to-day we find the Muscovite Empire, in point of
geographic conditions, its underlying ethnic stock and form of
government, as much Asiatic as European. The real or western Europe,
which the Roman Empire gradually added to the narrow Europe of the
Greeks, and which is strikingly contrasted to Asia in point of size,
relief, contour, climate and races, only served to maintain the
distinction between the two continents in men's minds. But from a
geographical standpoint the distinction is an error. It has confused the
interpretation of the history of the Greeks and the development of the
Russians. It has brought disorder into the question of the European or
Asiatic origin of the Aryan linguistic family, which the
anthropo-geographer would assign to the single continent of Eurasia. The
independent development that falls to the lot of great world islands
like the Americas and Australia is impossible in a peninsular continent
like Europe, large as it is.

[Sidenote: Independence of location versus independence of size.]

The independence of a land-mass is based not alone on size: there is
also an independence of location. This, owing to the spherical form of
the earth, tends to be neutralized by the independence based upon large
area. The larger a land-mass is, the nearer it approaches to others.
Eurasia, the largest of all the continents, comes into close proximity
and therefore close relations with Africa, North America, and even
Australia; whereas Australia is at once the smallest and the most
isolated of the continents. The remote oceanic islands of the Atlantic
Ocean, measuring only a few square miles in area, have a location so
independent of other inhabited lands, that before the period of the
great discoveries they had never appeared on the horizon of man.

[Sidenote: The case of Asia.]

Asia's size and central location to the other continents were formerly
taken as an argument for its correspondingly significant position in the
creation and history of man. Its central location is reflected in the
hypothesis of the Asiatic origin of the Indo-European linguistic group
of peoples; and though the theory has been justly called into question,
these peoples have undoubtedly been subjected to Asiatic influences.
The same thing is true of the native American race, both as to Asiatic
origin and influences; because the approximation of Siberia to Alaska is
too close to exclude human relations between the two continents. The
Malays, too, were probably sprung from the soil of southeastern Asia and
spread thence over their close-packed Archipelago. Even the native
Australians betray a Malayan and therefore Asiatic element in their
composition,[749] while the same element can be traced yet more distinctly
in the widely scattered Polynesians and the Hovas of Madagascar. This
radiation of races seems to reflect Asia's location at the core of the
land-masses. Yet the capacity to form such centers of ethnic
distribution is not necessarily limited to the largest continents;
history teaches us that small areas which have early achieved a
relatively dense population are prone to scatter far their seeds of

[Sidenote: Location of hemispheres and ethnic kinship.]

The continents harbor the most widely different races where they are
farthest apart; where they converge most nearly, they show the closest
ethnic kinships. The same principle becomes apparent in their plants and
animals. The distribution of the land-masses over the earth is
conspicuous for their convergence in the north and divergence in long
peninsular forms toward the south. The contrasted grouping is reflected
in both, the lower animals and the peoples inhabiting these respectively
vicinal and remote lands. Only where North America and Eurasia stretch
out arms to one another around the polar sea do Eastern and Western
Hemisphere show a community of mammalian forms. These are all strictly
Arctic animals, such as the reindeer, elk, Arctic fox, glutton and
ermine.[750] This is the Boreal sub-region of the Holoarctic zoological
realm, characterized by a very homogeneous and very limited fauna.[751] In
contrast, the portion of the hemispheres lying south of the Tropic of
Cancer is divided into four distinct zoological realms, corresponding to
Central and South America, Africa south of Sahara, the two Indian
peninsulas with the adjacent islands, and Australia.[752] But when we
consider the continental extremities projecting beyond the Tropic of
Capricorn, where geographic divergence reaches a climax, we find their
faunas and floras utterly dissimilar, despite the fact that climate and
physical conditions are very similar.[753] We find also widely divergent
races in the southern sections of Africa, Australia or Tasmania and
South America, while Arctic Eurasia and America come as near meeting
ethnically as they do geographically. Here and here only both Eastern
and Western Hemisphere show a strong affinity of race. The Eskimo, long
classed as Mongoloid, are now regarded as an aberrant variety of the
American race, owing to their narrow headform and linguistic affinity;
though in Alaska even their headform closely approximates the Mongoloid
Siberian type.[754] But in stature, color, oblique eyes, broad flat face,
and high cheek bones, in his temperament and character, artistic
productions and some aspects of his culture, he groups with the Asiatic
Hyperboreans across the narrow sixty miles of water forming Bering
Strait.[755] In the northern part of the earth's land area, the
distribution of floras, faunas, and races shows interdependence,
intercourse; in the southern, separation, isolation.

[Sidenote: Continental convergence and ethnic kinship.]

What is true where the hemispheres come together is true also where
continents converge. The core of the Old World is found in the
Mediterranean basin where Europe, Asia and Africa form a close circle of
lands and where they are inhabited by the one white Mediterranean race.
Contrast their racial unity about this common center with the extremes
of ethnic divergence in their remote peripheries, where Teutons,
Mongols, Malays and Negroes differ widely from the Mediterranean stock
and from each other. Eastern Australia represents the ethnic antipodes
of western Asia, in harmony with the great dividing distance between
them, but the sides of these continents facing each other across the
bridge of the Sunda Islands are sparsely strewn with a common Malay

[Sidenote: Africa's location.]

Africa's early development was never helped by the fact that the
continent lay between Asia and South America. It was subjected to strong
and persistent Asiatic Influences, but apparently to no native American
ones. From that far-off trans-Atlantic shore came no signs of life.
Africa appears in history as an appendage of Asia, a cultural peninsula
of the larger continent. This was due not only to the Suez Isthmus and
the narrowness of the Red Sea rift, but to its one-sided invasion by
Asiatic races and trade from the east, while the western side of the
continent lay buried in sleep, unstirred by any voice from the silent
shores of America. Semitic influences, in successive waves, spread over
the Dark Continent as far as Morocco, the Senegal, Niger, Lake Chad,
Nyanza, Tanganyika and Nyassa, and gave it such light as it had before
the 16th century. Only after the Atlantic gulf was finally crossed did
influences from the American side of the ocean begin to impinge upon the
West African coast, first in the form of the slave and rum trade, then
in the more humane aspect of the Liberian colony. But with the full
development of the Atlantic period in history, we see all kinds of
Atlantic influences, though chiefly from the Atlantic states of Europe,
penetrating eastward into the heart of Africa, and there meeting other
commercial and political activities pressing inland from the Indian

[Sidenote: The Atlantic abyss.]

The long Atlantic rift between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres,
which was such a potent factor in the primitive retardation of Africa
is, from the standpoint of anthropo-geography, the most important
feature in the distribution of the land-masses over the globe. Not till
the discovery of America bridged this abyss did the known world become a
girdle round the earth. Except the Norse ventures to the American
continent by way of Iceland and Greenland between 1000 and 1347, no
account of pre-Columbian intercourse between the two shores of the
Atlantic has ever been substantiated. Columbus found the opposite land
unfamiliar in race as in culture. He described the people as neither
whites nor blacks, the two ethnic types which he knew on the eastern
side of the Atlantic abyss. He and his successors found in the Americas
only a Stone Age culture, a stage already outgrown by Europe and Africa.
These continents from Lapland to the Hottentot country were using iron.
Prior to the voyage of the great Genoese, Europe gave nothing to America
and received nothing from it, except the Gulf Stream's scanty cargo of
driftwood stranded on bleak Icelandic shores. The Tertiary land-bridge
across the North Atlantic between Norway and Greenland may possibly have
guided a pre-Caucasic migration to America and given that continent part
of its aboriginal population.[756] However, no trace of any European
stock remains.

[Sidenote: Atlantic islands uninhabited.]

The collapse of the bridge at the close of the Glacial Epoch left the
Atlantic abyss effectually dividing the two hemispheres. Its islands,
few and far between, were helpless to maintain intercourse between the
opposite shores; this is proven by the fact that all of them from
Greenland to Tristan da Cunha, excepting only the Canaries, were
uninhabited at the time of their discovery. History records when the
first bold voyagers came upon them in that unmarked waste of waters, and
gave them their first occupants. The political upheavals of Norway in
King Harfagr's time (872) sent to the Faroes and Iceland their first
settlers, though these islands were previously known to the Celts of
Ireland. The Norse colonists who went to Greenland in the year 1000 seem
to have been the first regular settlers on those inhospitable coasts.
They found no native inhabitants, but numerous abandoned dwellings,
fragments of boats and stone implements,[757] which doubtless recorded
the intermittent voyages thither of the Eskimo, preliminary to permanent
occupation. The Scandinavians did not encounter natives on the island
till the 12th century, when Greenland probably received its first Eskimo

[Sidenote: Geographical character of the Pacific.]

While the Atlantic thus formed a long north-and-south rift across the
inhabited world at the period of the great discoveries, the Pacific,
strewn with islands and land-rimmed at its northern extremity by the
peninsulas of Alaska and eastern Siberia, spread a nebula of population
from the dense centers of Asia across to the outskirts of America. The
general Mongoloid character of the American Indians as a race, the
stronger Asiatic stamp of the Western Eskimo, the unmistakeable ethnic
and cultural affinities of the Northwest Coast tribes both with southern
Polynesians and Asiatics,[759] all point to America as the great eastern
wing of the Mongoloid or Asiatic area, and therefore as the true Orient
of the world.

Geographic conditions have made this possible or even probable. The
winds and currents of the North Pacific set from Japan straight toward
the American coast. Junks blown out to sea from China or Japan have been
carried by the Kuro Siwo and the prevailing westerlies across the
Pacific to our continent. There is record of a hundred instances of this

[Sidenote: Pacific affinities of North American Indians.]

The broken bridge across Bering Strait formed by East Cape, Cape Prince
of Wales and the Diomede Islands between, and further south the natural
causeway of the Commander and Aleutian Islands leading from the
peninsula of Kamchatka to that of Unalaska, have facilitated intercourse
between Asia and America.[761] Justin Winsor says, "There is hardly a
stronger demonstration of such connection between the two continents
than the physical resemblances of the peoples now living on opposite
sides of the Pacific Ocean in these upper latitudes."[762] This
resemblance is by no means confined to the Eskimo and Chukches, who have
exchanged colonists across Bering Sea. Recent investigations have
revealed a wider kinship. The population of northern Siberia speaks in
general Ural-Altaic languages, but it includes a few scattered tribes
whose singular speech excludes them from this linguistic group, and who
have therefore been placed by ethnologists in a distinct class called
"paleasiatics" or "hyperboreans." This class is composed of the Ostyak
and Kot on the Yenisei River, the Gilyak and Ainos at the mouth of the
Amur and on the Kurile, Sakhalin and Yezo islands, the Kamchadal and
Koryak of Kamchatka, and the Chukches and Yukaghir of extreme
northeastern Siberia. As far back as 1850, the eminent philologist
Robert Latham noted a marked linguistic agreement, both in structure and
verbal affinity, between our Northwest Coast tribes and the peoples of
the islands and peninsulas fringing northeastern Asia. "Koriak is
notably American," he said.[763] The recent Jesup Expedition to the
Northwest Coast of America and the nearby coast of Asia investigated the
Koryak, to determine whether in the past there had been any connection
between the cultures and ethnic types of the Old and New World. These
investigations have proved beyond doubt a kinship of culture,
attributable either to a remote common origin or to former contact, long
and close, between these isolated Siberian tribes and the American
aborigines. They show that the Koryak are one of the Asiatic tribes
standing nearest to the northwestern American Indian.[764] [See map page

[Sidenote: Polynesian affinities.]

W.H. Dall finds the inhabitants of the Pacific slope of North America
conspicuously allied with Oceanica in cultural achievements, whose
origin he therefore assigns to that vast congeries of islands stretching
from Asia toward South America in latitude 25° south. These islands,
closely clustered as far as the Paumota group, straggle along with
widening spaces between, through Easter Isle, which carries the
indestructible memorials of a strange civilization, through
Sala-y-Gomez, San Felix, and St. Ambrose almost to the threshold of the
Peruvian coast. It is to be noted that these islands lie just outside
the westward-bearing Equatorial Current and trade-winds, on the margin
of the South Pacific anti-cyclonic winds and a southern current which
sets towards the Peruvian coast.[765] A more probable avenue for the
introduction of these Polynesian or Malayan elements of culture is found
in O.T. Mason's theory, that primitive mariners of the southwestern
Pacific, led into migration by the eternal food quest, may have skirted
the seaboard of East Asia and Northwest America, passing along a
great-circle route through the succession of marginal seas and
archipelagoes to various ports of entry on the Pacific front of America.
Such a route, favored by the prevailing marine currents and winds from
the southwest, and used repeatedly during long periods of time, might
have introduced trans-Pacific elements of race and culture into the
western side of America.[766]

[Sidenote: The real Orient of the World.]

Moreover, primitive America resembled Oceanica and northern Asia in its
ignorance of iron, in its Stone Age civilization, and its retarded
social and political development. Such affinities as it shows were
predominantly Pacific or trans-Pacific.[767] On its Atlantic side, it
stood out in striking contrast to the contemporaneous civilizations and
races in Europe and Africa; this was its unneighbored shore, lying on
the eastern margin of that broad zone of habitation which stretched
hence westward on and on around the world, to the outermost capes of
Europe and Africa. The Atlantic abyss formed the single gap in this
encircling belt of population, to which Columbus at last affixed the
clasp. The Atlantic face of the Americas formed therefore the drowsy
unstirred Orient of the inhabited world, which westward developed
growing activity--dreaming a civilization in Mexico and Peru, roused to
artistic and maritime achievement in Oceanica and the Malay Archipelago,
to permanent state-making and real cultural development in Asia, and
attaining the highest civilization at last in western Europe. There was
the sunset margin of the inhabited world, the area of achievement, the
adult Occident, facing across the dividing ocean that infant Orient
beyond. Here the Old World, the full-grown world, had accumulated in
Columbus' time the matured forces of a hemisphere; it was searching for
some outlet across the shoreless distances of the Atlantic, waiting for
some call from its voiceless beyond.

[Sidenote: The Atlantic abyss in historic movements of peoples.]

This deep, unbridged chasm of the Atlantic, closed only four hundred
years ago, must be taken into account in all investigations of the
geographical distribution of races, whether in prehistoric or historic
times. The influences of those ages when it formed an impassable gulf
are still operative in directing the movements of the peoples to-day
inhabiting its shores, because that barrier maintained the continents of
America as a vast territorial reserve, sparsely inhabited by a Stone Age
people, and affording a fresh field for the superior, accumulated
energies of Europe.

[Sidenote: Races and continents.]

Australia and the double continent of America show each the coincidence
of an ethnic realm with an isolated continent. In contrast, when we come
to the Old World triad of Europe, Asia and Africa, we find three races,
to be sure, but races whose geographical distribution ignores the
boundaries of the continents. The White race belongs to all three, and
from time immemorial has made the central basin of the Mediterranean the
white man's sea. The Mongolian, though primarily at home in Asia,
stretches along the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic shores of
Norway, and in historical times has penetrated up the Danube to the foot
of the Alps. Nor was the Negroid stock confined to Africa, though Africa
has always been its geographical core. The Indian Peninsula and Malay
Archipelago, once peopled by a primitive Negroid race, but now harboring
only remnants of them in the Deccan, Malacca, the Philippines and
elsewhere, bridge the distance to the other great Negroid center in
Melanesia and the derivative or secondary Negroid area of
Australia.[768] The Negroid race belongs essentially to the long southern
land pendants of the Eastern Hemisphere; and wherever it has bordered on
the lighter northern stocks, it has drawn a typical boundary zone of
mingled tints which never diverges far from the Equator, from the
Atlantic shores of the Sudan to Pacific Fiji.[769] [See map page 105.]

The effort of the old ethnology, as represented by Blumenbach, to make a
five-fold division of the races in agreement with the five continents
was a mistake. To distinguish between the continents is one thing and to
distinguish between the races is another. Neither bio-geography nor
anthropo-geography can adopt the continents as geographical provinces,
although floras, faunas and races the world over give evidence of
partial or temporary restriction to a certain continent, whence they
have overflowed to other lands. A ground-plan for the geographical
classification of races is to be found, as Tylor says, in the fact that
they are not found scattered indiscriminately over the earth's surface,
but that certain races belong to certain regions, in whose peculiar
environment they have developed their type, and whence they have spread
to other lands, undergoing modifications from race intermixture and
successive changes of environment on the way.[770]

[Sidenote: Contrast of the northern and southern continents.]

From this general law of race movements it follows that certain groups
of land-masses, favored by location and large area, play a great
imperial rôle, holding other lands as appanages. The Eastern Hemisphere,
as we have seen, enjoys this advantage over the Western. Still more the
Northern Hemisphere, blessed with an abundance of land and a predominant
Temperate Zone location, is able to lord it over the Southern, so
insular in its poverty of land. The history of the Northern Hemisphere
is marked by far-reaching historical influences and wide control; that
of the Southern, by detachment, aloofness and impotence, due to the
small area and isolation of its land-masses. A subordinate rôle is its
fate. Australia will always follow in the train of Eurasia, whence alone
it has derived its incentives and means of progress. Neither the
southern half of Africa nor South America has ever in historical times
struck out a road to advancement unaided by its northern neighbors.
Primitive South America developed the only independent civilization that
ever blossomed in the Southern Hemisphere, but the Peruvian achievements
in progress were inferior to those of Mexico and Central America.[771]

[Sidenote: Isolation of the southern continents.]

This subordination of the southern continents is partly due to the fact
that they have only one side of contact or neighborhood with any other
land, that is, on the north; yet even here the contact is not close. In
Australia the medium of communication is a long bridge of islands; in
America, a winding island chain and a mountainous isthmus; in Africa, a
broad zone of desert dividing the Mediterranean or Eurasian from the
tropical and Negroid part of the continent. Intercourse was not easy,
and produced clear effects only in the case of Africa. Enlightenment
filtering in here was sadly dimmed as it spread. Moreover it was delayed
till the introduction from Asia of the horse and camel, which were not
native to Africa, and which, as Ratzel points out, alone made possible
the long journey across the Sahara. The opposite or peninsular sides,
running out as great spurs from the compacter land-masses of the north,
look southward into vacant wastes of water, find no neighbors in those
Antarctic seas. Owing to this unfavorable location on the edge of
things, they were historically dead until four centuries ago, when
oceanic navigation opened up the great sea route of the Southern
Hemisphere, and for the first time included them in the world's circle
of communication. But even when lifted by the ensuing Europeanizing
process, they only emphasize the fundamental dependence of the Southern
Hemisphere upon the superior geographical endowments of the Northern.

[Sidenote: Effect of continental structure upon historical development.]

The build of the land-masses influences fundamentally the movements and
hence the development of the races who inhabit them. A simple
continental structure gives to those movements a few simple features and
a wide monotonous distribution which checks differentiation. A manifold,
complex build, varied in relief and ragged in contour, breaks up the
moving streams of peoples, turns each branch into a different channel,
lends it a distinctive character through isolation, finally brings it up
in a _cul de sac_ formed by a peninsula or mountain-rimmed basin, where
further movement is checked and the process of local individualization
begins. Therefore great simplicity of continental build may result in
historical poverty, as in the flat quadrangle of European Russia, the
level plateau of Africa, and the smooth Atlantic slope of North America,
with its neatly trimmed outline. Complexity, abounding in contrasted
environments, tends to produce a varied wealth of historical
development. Africa lies on the surface of the ocean, a huge torso of a
continent, headless, memberless, inert. Here is no diversity of outward
form, no contrast of zonal location, no fructifying variety of
geographic conditions. Humanity has forgotten to grow in its stationary
soil. Only where the Suez Isthmus formed an umbilical cord uniting
ancient Egypt to the mother continent of Asia was Africa vitalized by
the pulse of another life. European influences penetrated little beyond
the northern coast.

Asia, on the other hand, radiating great peninsulas, festooned with
islands, supporting the vast corrugations of its highlands and lowlands,
its snow-capped mountains and steaming valleys, stretching from the
Equator through all the zones to the ice-blocked shores of the Arctic,
knowing drought and deluge, tundra waste and teeming jungle, has offered
the manifold environment and segregated areas for individualized
civilizations, which have produced such far-reaching historical results.
The same fact is true of Europe, and that in an intensified degree. Here
a complex development of mountains and highlands built on diverse axes,
peninsulas which comprise 27 per cent. and Islands which comprise nearly
8 per cent. of the total area,[772] vast thalassic inlets cleaving the
continent to the core, have provided an abundance of those naturally
defined regions which serve as cradles of civilization and, reacting
upon the continent as a whole, endow it with lasting historical
significance.[773] Even Strabo saw this. He begins his description of the
inhabited world with Europe, because, as he says, it has such a
"polymorphous formation" and is the region most favorable to the mental
and social ennoblement of man.[774]

[Sidenote: Structure of North and South America.]

In North and South America, great simplicity of continental build gave
rise to a corresponding simplicity of native ethnic and cultural
condition. There is only one marked contrast throughout the length of
this double continent, that between its Atlantic and Pacific slopes. On
the Atlantic side of the Cordilleras, a vast trough extends through both
land-masses from the Arctic Ocean to Patagonia; this has given to
migration in each a longitudinal direction and therefore constantly
tended to nullify the diversities arising from contrasted zonal
conditions. On the Pacific side of North America, there has been an
unmistakeable migration southward along the accessible coast from Alaska
to the Columbia River, and down the great intermontane valleys of the
western highlands from, the Great Basin to Honduras;[775] while South
America shows the same meridional movement for 2,000 miles along the
Pacific coast and longitudinal valleys of the Andes system. There was
little encouragement to cut across the grain of the continents. The
eastern range of the Cordilleras drew in general a dividing line between
the eastern and western tribes.[776] Though Athapascans from the east
overstepped it at a few points in North America, the Great Divide has
served effectually to isolate the two groups from one another and to
draw that line of linguistic cleavage which Major Powell has set down in
Ms map of Indian linguistic stocks. Consequently, Americanists recognize
a distinct resemblance among the members of the North Atlantic group of
Indians, as among those of the South Atlantic group; but they note an
equally distinct contrast between each of them and its corresponding
Pacific group. Nor is this contrast superficial; it extends to physical
traits, temperament and culture,[777] and appears in the use of the
vigesimal system of enumeration in primitive Mexico, Central America,
among the Tlingits of the Northwest coast and the Eskimo as also among
the Chukches and Ainus of Asia, while in the Atlantic section of North
America the decimal system, with one doubtful exception, was alone in

[Sidenote: Cultural superiority of the Pacific slope Indians.]

To the anthropo-geographer, the significant fact is that all the higher
phases of native civilization are confined to the Pacific slope group of
Indians, which includes the Mexican and Isthmian tribes. From the
elongated center of advanced culture stretching from the Bolivian
highlands northward to the Anahuac Plateau, the same type shades off by
easy transitions through northern Mexico and the Pueblo country,
vanishes among the lower intrusive stocks of Oregon and California, only
to reappear among the Haidas and Tlingits of British Columbia and
Alaska, whose cultural achievements show affinity to those of the Mayas
in Yucatan.[779] Dall found certain distinguishing customs or
characteristics spread north and south along the western slope of the
continent in a natural geographical line of migration. They included
labretifery, tattooing the chin of adult women, certain uses of masks, a
certain style of conventionalizing natural objects, the use of
conventional signs as hieroglyphics, a peculiar facility in carving wood
and stone, a similarity of angular designs on their pottery and
basketry, and of artistic representations connected with their common
religious or mythological ideas. Many singular forms of carvings and the
method of superimposing figures of animals one upon another in their
totem poles are found from Alaska to Panama, except in California. These
distinguishing features of an incipient culture are found nowhere else
in North America, even sporadically. Dall therefore concludes that "they
have been impressed upon the American aboriginal world from without,"
and on the ground of affinities, attributes their origin to

Cyrus Thomas, on the basis of the character and distribution of the
archeological remains in North America, concurs in this opinion. He
finds that these remains fall into two classes, one east of the Rocky
Mountain watershed and the other west. "When those of the Pacific slope
as a whole are compared with those of the Atlantic slope, there is a
dissimilarity which marks them as the products of different races or as
the result of different race influences." He emphasizes the resemblance
of the customs, arts and archeological remains of the west coast to
those of the opposite shores and islands of the Pacific, and notes the
lack of any resemblance to those of the Atlantic; and finally leans to
the conclusion that the continent was peopled from two sources, one
incoming stream distributing itself over the Atlantic slope, and the
other over the Pacific, the two becoming gradually fused into a
comparatively homogeneous race by long continental isolation. Yet these
two sources may not necessarily include a trans-Atlantic origin for one
of the contributing streams; ethnic evidence is against such a
supposition, because the characteristics of the American race and of the
archeological remains point exclusively to affinity with the people of
the Pacific.[781] John Edward Payne also reaches the same conclusion,
though on other grounds.[782]

[Sidenote: Lack of segregated districts.]

The one strong segregating feature in primitive America was the
Cordilleras, which held east and west apart. In the natural pockets
formed by the high intermontane valleys of the Andes and the Anahuac
Plateau, and in the constricted isthmian region, the continent afforded
a few secluded localities where civilization found favorable conditions
of development. But in general, the paucity of large coast
articulations, and the adverse polar or subpolar location of most of
these, the situation of the large tropical islands along that barren
Atlantic abyss, and the lack of a broken or varied relief, have
prevented the Americas from developing numerous local centers of
civilization, which might eventually have lifted the cultural status of
the continents.[783]

[Sidenote: Coast articulations of continents.]

It is necessary to distinguish two general classes of continental
articulations; first, marginal dependences, like the fringe of European
peninsulas and islands, resulting from a deeply serrated contour; and
second, surface subdivisions of the interior, resulting from differences
of relief or defined often by enclosing mountains or deserts, like the
Tibetan Plateau, the Basin of Bohemia, the Po River trough, or the
sand-rimmed valley of the Nile. The first class is by far the more
important, because of the intense historical activity which results from
the vitalizing contact with the sea. But in considering coast
articulations, anthropo-geography is led astray unless it discriminates
between these on the basis of size and location. Without stopping to
discuss the obvious results of a contrasted zonal location, such as that
between Labrador and Yucatan, the Kola Peninsula and Spain, it is
necessary to keep in mind always the effect of vicinal location. An
outlying coastal dependency like Ireland has had its history
impoverished by excessive isolation, in contrast to the richer
development of England, Jutland, and Zealand in the same latitude,
because these have profited from the closer neighborhood of other
peripheral regions. So from ancient times, Greece has had a similar
advantage over the Crimea, the Tunisian Peninsula of North Africa over
Spain, the Cotentin Peninsula of France over Brittany, and Kent over
Cornwall or Caithness in Great Britain.

[Sidenote: Importance of size in continental articulations.]

Articulations on a vast scale, like the southern peninsulas of Asia,
produce quite different cultural and historical effects from small
physical sub-divisions, like the fiord promontories and "skerries" of
Norway and southern Alaska, or the finger peninsulas of the
Peloponnesus. The significant difference lies in the degree of isolation
which the two types yield. Large continental dependencies of the Asiatic
class resemble small continents in their power to segregate; while
overgrown capes like ancient Attica and Argolis or the more bulky
Peloponnesus have their exclusiveness tempered by the mediating power of
the small marine inlets between them. Small articulations, by making a
coast accessible, tend to counteract the excessive isolation of a large
articulation. They themselves develop in their people only minor or
inner differentiations, which serve to enrich the life of the island or
peninsula as a whole, but do not invade its essential unity. The
contrast in the history of Hellas and the Peloponnesus was due largely
to their separation from one another; yet neither was able to make of
its people anything but Greeks. Wales and Cornwall show in English
history the same contrast and the same underlying unity.

[Sidenote: Historical contrast of large and small peninsulas.]

In discussing continental articulations, therefore, it makes a great
difference whether we draw our deductions from small projections of the
coast, like Wales, the Peloponnesus, Brittany and the Crimea, whose
areas range from 7442 to 10,023 square miles (19,082 to 25,700 square
kilometers); or the four Mediterranean peninsulas, which range in size
from the 58,110 square miles (149,000 square kilometers) of the
Apennine Peninsula to the 197,600 square miles (506,-600 square
kilometers) of Asia Minor and the 227,700 square miles (584,000 square
kilometers) of the Iberian; or the vast continental alcoves of southern
Asia, like Farther India with its 650,000 square miles (1,667,000 square
kilometers), Hither India with 814,320 square miles (2,088,000 square
kilometers) and Arabia with 1,064,700 square miles (2,730,000 square
kilometers).[784] The fact that the large compound peninsula of western
Europe which comprises Spain, Portugal, France, Jutland, Belgium,
Holland, Switzerland, Italy and western Germany, and has its base in the
stricture between the Adriatic and the Baltic, is about the size of
peninsular India, suggests how profound may be the difference in
geographic effects between large and small peripheral divisions. The
three huge extremities which Asia thrusts forward into the Indian Ocean
are geographical entities, which in point of size and individualization
rank just below the continents; and in relation to the solid mass of
Central Asia, they have exhibited in many respects an aloofness and
self-sufficiency, that have resulted in an historical divergence
approximating that of the several continents. India, which has more
productive territory than Australia and a population not much smaller
than that of Europe, becomes to the administrators of its government
"the Continent of India," as it is regularly termed in the Statistical
Atlas published at Calcutta. Farther India has in the long-drawn pendant
of Malacca a sub-peninsula half as large again as Italy. The Deccan has
in Ceylon an insular dependency the size of Tasmania. The whole scale is
continental. It appears again somewhat diminished, in the largest
articulations of Europe, in Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Iberian
and Balkan peninsulas. This continental scale stamps also the
anthropo-geography of such large individualized fields. They are big
enough for each to comprise one or even several nations, and isolated
enough to keep their historical processes for long periods at a time to
a certain extent detached from those of their respective continents.

[Sidenote: Peninsular conditions most favorable to historical

The most favorable conditions for historical development obtain where
the two classes of marginal articulation are combined, and where they
occur in groups, as we find them in the Mediterranean and the North
Sea-Baltic basin. Here the smaller indentations multiply contact with
the sea, and provide the harbors, bays and breakwaters of capes and
promontories which make the coast accessible. The larger articulations,
by their close grouping, break up the sea into the minor thalassic
basins which encourage navigation, and thus insure the exchange of their
respective cultural achievements. In other words, such conditions
present the pre-eminent advantages of vicinal location around an
enclosed sea.

The enormous articulations of southern Asia suffer from their paucity of
small indentations, all the more because of their vast size and
sub-tropical location. The Grecian type of peninsula, with its broken
shoreline, finds here its large-scale homologue only in Farther India,
to which the Sunda Islands have played in history the part of a gigantic
Cyclades. The European type of articulation is found only about the
Yellow-Japan Sea, where the island of Hondo and the peninsulas of
Shangtung and Korea reproduce approximately the proportions of Great
Britain, Jutland and Italy respectively. Arabia and India, like the
angular shoulder of Africa which protrudes into the Indian Ocean,
measure an imposing length of coastline, but this length shrinks in
comparison with the vast area of the peninsulas. The contour of a
peninsula is like the surface of the brain: in both it is convolutions
that count. Southern Asia has had lobes enough but too few convolutions.
For this reason, the northern Indian Ocean, despite its exceptional
location as the eastward extension of the Mediterranean route to the
Orient, found its development constantly arrested till the advent of
European navigators.

[Sidenote: Length of coastline.]

Although the peripheral articulations of a continent differ
anthropo-geographically according to their size, their zonal and vicinal
location, yet large and small, arctic and tropical, are grouped
indiscriminately together in the figures that state the length of
coastlines. For this reason, statistics of continental coastlines have
little value. For instance, the fact that Eurasia has 67,000 miles
(108,000 kilometers) and North America 46,500 miles (75,000 kilometers)
of contact with the ocean is not illuminating; these figures do not
reveal the fact that the former has its greatest coastal length on its
tropical and sub-tropical side, while the latter continent has wasted
inlets and islands innumerable in the long, bleak stretch from
Newfoundland poleward around to Bering Sea.

[Sidenote: The continental base of the peninsulas.]

Peninsulas are accessible from the sea according to the configuration of
their coasts, but from their hinterland, according to the length and
nature of their connection with the same. This determines the degree of
their isolation from the land-mass. If they hang from the continent by a
frayed string, as does the Peloponnesus, Crimea, Malacca, Indian
Gutjerat, and Nova Scotia, they are segregated from the life of the
mainland almost as completely as if they were islands. The same effects
follow where the base of a peninsula is defined by a high mountain
barrier, as in all the Mediterranean peninsulas, in the two Indias, and
in Korea; or by a desert like that which scantily links Arabia to Egypt,
Syria and Mesopotamia; or by a blur of swamps and lakes such as half
detaches Scandinavia, Courland, Estland and Finland from Russia.

Held to their continents by bonds that often fail to bind, subjected by
their outward-facing peripheral location to every centrifugal force,
feeling only slightly the pull of the great central mass behind,
peninsulas are often further detached economically and historically by
their own contrasted local conditions. A sharp transition in geological
formation and therefore in soil, a difference of climate, rainfall,
drainage system, of flora or fauna, serve greatly to emphasize the lack
of community of interests with the continental interior, and therefore
produce an inevitable diversity of historical development.[785] Hence,
many peninsulas insulate their people as completely as islands. It is
hard to say whether the Pyrenean peninsula or Sicily, Scandinavia or
Great Britain, has held itself more aloof from the political history of
remaining Europe; whether Korea is not more entitled to its name of the
Hermit Kingdom than island Japan could ever be; whether the Peloponnesus
or Euboea was more intimately associated with the radiant life of
ancient Hellas. These questions lead to another, namely, whether a high
mountain wall like the Pyrenees, or a narrow strait like that of Messina
is the more effective geographical boundary.

[Sidenote: Continental base a zone of transition.]

Peninsulas not infrequently gain in breadth as they approach the
continent; here they tend to abate their distinctive character as lobes
of the mainland, together with the ethnic and historical marks of
isolation. Here they form a doubtful boundary zone of mingled
continental and peninsular development. Such peninsulas fall naturally,
therefore, into a continental and a peninsular section, and reveal this
segmentation in the differentiated history of the two portions. That
great military geographer Napoleon distinguished the Italy of the Po
basin as _Italie continentale_, and the Apennine section as
_Presqu'ile_. Not only is the former broader, but, expanding like a tree
trunk near the ground, it sends its roots well back into the massive
interior of the continent; it is dominated more by the Alps than by the
Apennines; it contains a lowland and a river of continental proportions,
for which there is no space on the long, narrow spur of southern Italy.
If its geographical character approximates that of the mainland, so does
its ethnic and historical. The Po basin is a well defined area of race
characterization, in which influences have made for intermixture. South
of the crest of the Apennines the Italian language in its purity begins,
in contrast to the Gallo-Italian of the north. This mountain ridge has
also held apart the dark, short dolichocephalic stock of the
Mediterranean race from the fairer, taller, broad-headed Celts, who have
moved down into the Po basin from the Alps, and the Germans and
Illyrians who have entered it from the northeast.[786] Northern Italy is
therefore allied ethnically, as it has often been united politically, to
the neighboring countries abutting upon the Alps, so that it has
experienced only in a partial degree that detachment which has stamped
the history of the Apennine section.

[Sidenote: Historical contrast between base and extremity.]

The Balkan Peninsula tells much the same story of contrasted geographic
conditions and development in its continental and peninsular sections.
Greece proper, in ancient as in modern times, reached its northern
confines where the peninsula suddenly widens its base through Macedonia
and Thrace. In this narrow southern section to-day, especially in
isolated Peloponnesus, Attica, and the high-walled garden of Thessaly,
are found people of the pure, long-headed, Hellenic type, and here the
Greek language prevails.[787] But that broad and alien north, long
excluded from the Amphictyonic Council and a stranger to Aegean culture
in classical times, is occupied to-day by a congeries of Slavs, who form
a southwestern spur of the Slav stock covering eastern Europe. Its
political history shows how often it has been made a Danubian or
continental state, by Alexander of Macedon, by the Romans, Bulgarians,
and Ottoman Turks,[788] as it may be some day by Russia; and also how
often its large and compact form has enabled it to dominate the tapering
peninsular section to the south.

In the same way, the vast Ganges and Indus basins, which constitute the
continental portion of India, have received various Tibetan, Scythian,
Aryan, Pathan, and Mongol-Tartar ingredients from Central Asia; and by
reason of the dense populations supported by these fruitful river
plains, it has been able to dominate politically, religiously and
culturally the protruding triangle of the Deccan. [See maps pages 8 and
102.] The continental side of Arabia, the Mesopotamian valley which ties
the peninsula to the highlands of Persia and Armenia, has received into
its Semitic stock constant infiltrations of Turanian and Aryan peoples
from the core of Asia. This process has been going on from the ancient
Elamite and Persian conquests of Mesopotamia down to the Ottoman
invasion and the present periodic visits of Kurdish shepherds to the
pastures of the upper Tigris.[789] Here we have the same contrast of
geographic conditions as in Italy and India, a wide, populous alluvial
plain occupying the continental section of the peninsula, and a less
attractive highland or mountainous region in the outlying spur of land.

[Sidenote: Continental base a scene of invasion and war.]

These continental sections of peninsulas become therefore strongly
marked as areas of ethnic characterization and differentiated historical
development. Their threshold location, by reason of which they first
catch any outward migration from the core of the continent, and their
fertility, which serves as a perennial lure to new comers, whether
peaceful or warlike, combine to give them intense historical activity.
They catch the come and go between their wide hinterland and the
projection of land beyond, the stimulus of new arrivals and fresh blood.
But tragedy too is theirs. The Po Valley has been called "the cockpit of
Europe." Even the little Eider, which marks the base of Jutland, has
been the scene of war between Danes and Germans since the tenth
century.[790] The Indus Valley has again and again felt the shock of
conflict with invading hordes from the central highlands, and witnessed
the establishment of a succession of empires. Peace at the gates of the
Balkan Peninsula has never been of long duration, and the postern door
of Korea has been stormed often enough.

[Sidenote: Peninsular extremities as areas of isolation.]

In contrast to these continental sections which stand in contact with
the solid land-mass behind, the extremities of the peninsulas are areas
of isolation and therefore generally of ethnic unity. They often
represent the last stand of displaced people pressed outward into these
narrow quarters by expanding races in their rear. The vast triangle of
the Deccan, which forms the essentially peninsular part of India, is
occupied, except in the more exposed northwest corner, by the Dravidian
race which once occupied all India, and afterward was pushed southward
by the influx of more energetic peoples.[791] Here they have preserved
their speech and nationality unmixed and live in almost primitive
simplicity.[792] In the peninsular parts of Great Britain, in northern
Scotland. Wales and Cornwall, we find people of Celtic speech brought to
bay on these remote spurs of the land, affiliating little with the
varied folk which occupied the continental side of the island, and
resisting conquest to the last.[793] The mountainous peninsula of western
Connaught in Ireland has been the rocky nucleus of the largest
Celtic-speaking community in the island.[794] Brittany, with a similar
location, became the last refuge of Celtic speech on the mainland of
Europe,[795] the seat of resistance to Norman and later to English
conquest, finally the stronghold of conservatism in the French

[Sidenote: Ethnic unity of peninsulas.]

The northern wall of the Apennines and the outpost barrier of the Alps
have combined to protect peninsular Italy from extensive ethnic
infusions from the direction of the continent. This portion of the
country shows therefore, as the anthropological maps attest, a striking
uniformity of race. It has been a melting-pot in which foreign elements,
filtering through the breaches of the Apennines or along the southern
coast, have been fused into the general population under the isolating
and cohesive influences of a peninsular environment.[796] The population
of the Iberian Peninsula is even more unified, probably the most
homogeneous in Europe. Here the long-headed Mediterranean race is found
in the same purity as in island Corsica and Sardinia.[797] Spain's short
line of contact with France and its sharp separation by the unbroken
wall of the Pyrenees robs the peninsula of any distinctly continental
section, and consequently of any transitional area of race and culture;
hence the unity of Spain as opposed to that twofold balanced diversity
which we find in Italy and India. The Balkan Peninsula, on the other
hand, owing to the great predominance of its continental section and the
confused relief of the country, has not protected its distinctively
peninsular or Greek section from the southward migrations of Slavs,
Albanians, Wallachians, and other continental peoples.[798] It has been
like a big funnel with a small mouth; the pressure from above has been
very great. Hellas and even the Peloponnesus have had their
peninsularity impaired and their race mixed, owing to the predominant
continental section to the north.

[Sidenote: Peninsulas as intermediaries.]

Peninsulas, so far as they project from their continents, are areas of
isolation; but so far as they extend also toward some land beyond, they
become intermediaries. The isolating and intermediary aspects can be
traced in the anthropo-geographical effects of every peninsula, even
those which, like Brittany and Cornwall, project into the long uncharted
waste of the Atlantic. In the order of historical development, a
peninsula first isolates, until in its secluded environment it has
molded a mature, independent people; then, as that people outgrows its
narrow territory, the peninsula becomes a favorable base for maritime
expansion to distant lands, or becomes a natural avenue for numerous
reciprocal relations with neighboring lands beyond. Korea was the bridge
for Mongolian migration from continental Asia to the Japan islands, and
for the passage thither of Chinese culture, whether intellectual,
esthetic, industrial or religious.[799] It has been the one country
conspicuous in the foreign history of Japan. Conquered by the island
empire in 1592, it paid tribute for nearly three centuries and yielded
to its foreign master the southeastern port of Fusan, the Calais of
Korea.[800] Since the treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 made it subject to
Japan, it has become the avenue of Japanese expansion to the mainland
and the unwilling recipient of the modern civilization thrust upon it by
these English of the East. In like manner the Pyrenean peninsula has
always been the intermediary between Europe and northwest Africa. Its
population, as well as its flora and fauna, group with those of the
southern continent. It has served as transit land between north and
south for the Carthaginians, Vandals and Saracens; and in modern times
it has maintained its character as a link by the Portuguese occupation
of the Tangiers peninsula in the fifteenth century,[801] and the Spanish
possession of Ceuta and various other points along the Moroccan coast
from the year 709 A.D. to the present.[802]

[Sidenote: Peninsulas of intercontinental location.]

This rôle of intermediary is inevitably thrust upon all peninsulas
which, like Spain, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Arabia, Farther India,
Malacca, Chukchian Siberia, and Alaska, occupy an intercontinental
location. Arabia especially in its climate, flora, races and history
shows the haul and pull now of Asia, now of Africa. From it Asiatic
influences have spread over Africa to Morocco and the Niger River on the
west, and to Zanzibar on the south, permeated Abyssinia, and penetrated
to the great Equatorial Lakes, whether in the form of that Mecca-born
worship of Allah, or the creeping caravans and slave-gangs of Arab
trader. Of all such intercontinental peninsulas, Florida alone seems to
have had no rôle as an intermediary. Its native ethnic affinities were
wholly with its own continent. It has given nothing to South America and
received nothing thence. The northward expansion of Arawak and Carib
tribes from Venezuela in historic times ceased at Cuba and Hayti. The
Straits drew a dividing line. Local conditions in Florida itself
probably furnish the explanation of this anomaly. Extensive swamps made
the central and southern portion of the peninsula inhospitable to
colonization from either direction, transformed it from a link into a

[Sidenote: Atlantic peninsulas of Europe]

Peninsulas which conspicuously lack an intercontinental location must
long await their intermediary phase of development, but do not escape
it. The Cornish, Breton and Iberian peninsulas were all prominent in the
trans-Atlantic enterprises of Europe from the end of the fifteenth
century. The first French sailors to reach the new world were Breton and
Norman fishermen. Plymouth, as the chief port of the Cornish peninsula,
figures prominently in the history of English exploration and settlement
in America. It seems scarcely accidental that most of Queen Elizabeth's
great sea captains were natives of this district--Sir Francis Drake, Sir
John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and Sir Walter Raleigh, the latter
holding the office of vice-admiral of Cornwall and Devon. It was the
peninsula-like projection of South America about Cape St. Roque, twenty
degrees farther east than Labrador, that welcomed the ships of Cabral
and Americus Vespucius, and secured to Portugal a foothold in the
Western Hemisphere.


[747] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 336. London, 1896-1898.

[748] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 41. Philadelphia, 1901.

[749] D.G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 239-240. Philadelphia, 1901.
Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 336. London, 1896-1898.

[750] A.E. Wallace, Island Life, p. 14. New York, 1892.

[751] A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, p. 69, map.

[752] _Ibid._, pp. 78, 82, 90, 100.

[753] Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. XII. New York, 1895. A.R.
Wallace, Island Life, p. 6. New York, 1892.

[754] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, Map on p. 43. New York, 1899.

[755] _Ibid._, pp. 39, 50, 80. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp.
100-110. London, 1896-1898.

[756] A.H. Keane, Ethnology, pp. 231-232, 362. Cambridge, 1896.

[757] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 56, Vol. XIX of
History of North America. Philadelphia, 1905.

[758] Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, p. 224. Boston, 1893.

[759] For various Asiatic and Oceanic elements, see Franz Boas, The
Indians of British Columbia, _Bull. of the Amer. Geog. Society_ Vol. 28,
p. 229. The Northwest Coast Tribes, Science, Vol. XII, pp. 194-196.
Niblack, The Indians of the Northwest Coast, p. 385, Washington. H.H.
Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 177, 178, footnote; pp. 210,
225. San Francisco, 1886. W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, map p. 42. New
York, 1899.

[760] T.W. Higginson and William Macdonald, History of the United
States, p. 21. New York and London, 1905.

[761] Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
II, pp. 64-68, 74-77, 305, 388-389. Oxford, 1899.

[762] Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, Vol. I, p. 60.
Boston, 1889.

[763] Cited by E.J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol.
II, p. 292, footnote p. 294. Oxford, 1899.

[764] Waldemar Jochelson, The Mythology of the Koryak, _The American
Anthropologist_, Vol. VI, pp. 415-416, 421-425. 1904.

[765] W.D. Dall, Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs, Third
Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 46-147. Washington, 1884.

[766] O.T. Mason, Migration and the Food Quest, pp. 275-292. Washington,

[767] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 51, 58-82.
Philadelphia, 1905. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 5-7,
145-147, 153-154. London, 1896-1898.

[768] Ripley, Races of Europe, map p. 42, pp. 43-44. New York, 1899.

[769] Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 7. London, 1896-1898.

[770] Tylor, Anthropology, pp. 86-87. New York, 1881.

[771] E.J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol. II, pp.
554-555. Oxford, 1899.

[772] Justus Perthes, _Taschen Atlas_, p. 17. Gotha, 1905.

[773] Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, pp. 188-212. Translated by
W.L. Gage, Philadelphia, 1865. N.S. Shaler, Nature and Man in America,
pp. 11-18, 151-165. New York, 1896.

[774] Strabo, Book II, chap. V. 26.

[775] McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 3, map.
Philadelphia, 1905.

[776] D.G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 248-249. Philadelphia, 1901.

[777] D.G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 58, 103-104. Philadelphia,
1901. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 86.
Philadeladelphia, 1905 Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 5-7,
145-147, 153.

[778] _Ibid._, p. 293. E.J. Payne, History of the New World Called
America, Vol. II, p. 315. Oxford, 1899.

[779] _Ibid._, Vol. II, pp. 412-417. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North
America, pp. 72-75. Philadelphia, 1905.

[780] W.H. Dall, Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs, Third
Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 146-147. Washington, 1884.

[781] Cyrus Thomas, Report of Mound Explorations, pp. 522-523, 722-728.
Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894.

[782] E.J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol. II, pp.
382-383. Oxford, 1899.

[783] N.S. Shaler, Nature and Man in America, pp. 151, 168-173. New
York, 1891.

[784] Justus Perthes, _Taschen Atlas_, p. 9. Gotha, 1905.

[785] Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, pp. 191-192. Translated by W.
L. Gage, Philadelphia, 1865.

[786] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 247-258. New York, 1899.

[787] _Ibid._, pp. 403-409.

[788] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, Atlas, Maps, 34, 49.
London, 1882.

[789] For race elements in Mesopotamia, see D.G. Hogarth, The Nearer
East, Maps, pp. 173 and 176. London, 1903.

[790] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, pp. 201-202,
506-508, 535-536, 541. London, 1882.

[791] Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. I, pp. 293-297. Oxford, 1907.

[792] Sir Thomas Holdich, India, Ethnographical map, p. 201, pp. 202,
213-216. London, 1905. B.H. Baden-Powell, The Indian Village Community,
pp. 111, 116, 119, 161. London, 1896.

[793] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 312-321. New York, 1899. E.
Reclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 73, 83-84. New York, 1882.

[794] H.J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, Ethnographic map, p.
184, and p. 306. London, 1904.

[795] W.Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 22, 23, 150-151. New York, 1899.

[796] _Ibid._, pp. 248, 258, 272.

[797] _Ibid._, pp. 247, 273.

[798] _Ibid._, pp. 403-409, and map.

[799] F. Brinkley, Japan, Vol. I, pp. 38-42, 70, 75-80, 83-84, 126.
Boston and Tokyo, 1901. W.E. Griffis, The Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, pp.
73, 83. New York, 1903.

[800] Henry Dyer, Dai Nippon, pp. 59, 69. New York, 1904.

[801] E.A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 558. London,

[802] _Ibid._, pp. 559, 561. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire, Vol. V, p. 248. New York, 1858.



[Sidenote: Physical relationship between islands and peninsulas.]

The characteristics which mark peninsulas, namely, ample contact with
the sea, small area as compared with that of the continents, peripheral
location, more or less complete isolation, combined, however, with the
function of bridge or passway to yet remoter lands, are all accentuated
in islands. A list of the chief peninsulas of the world, as compared
with the greatest islands, shows a far larger scale of areas for the
former, even if the latter be made to include the vast ice-capped
land-mass of Greenland (2,170,000 square kilometers or 846,000 square
miles). New Guinea, the largest habitable island, has only one-fourth
the area of Arabia, the largest of the peninsulas.[803] Therefore, both
the advantages and disadvantages incident to a restricted area may be
expected to appear in an intensified degree in islands.

Peninsulas are morphologically transition forms between mainland and
islands; by slight geological changes one is converted into the other.
Great Britain was a peninsula at the end of the Tertiary period, before
subsidence and the erosion of Dover Channel combined to sever it from
the continent. It bears to-day in its flora and fauna the evidence of
its former broad connection with the mainland.[804] In Pliocene times,
Sicily and Sardinia were united by a land bridge with the Tunisian
projection of North Africa; and they too, in their animal and plant
life, reveal the old connection with the southern continent.[805]
Sometimes man himself for his own purposes converts a peninsula into an
island. Often he constructs a canal, like that at Kiel or Corinth, to
remove an isthmian obstruction to navigation; but occasionally he
transforms his peninsula into an island for the sake of greater
protection. William of Rubruquis tells us that in 1253 he found the neck
of the Crimea cut through by a ditch from sea to sea by the native
Comanians, who had taken refuge in the peninsula from the Tartar
invaders, and in this way had sought to make their asylum more

The reverse process in nature is quite as common. The Shangtung
Peninsula rises like a mountainous island from the sea-like level of
alluvial plains about it, suggesting that remote time when the plains
were not yet deposited and an arm of the Yellow Sea covered the space
between Shangtung and the highlands of Shansi.[807] The deposition of
silt, aided often by slight local elevation of the coast, is constantly
tying continental islands to the mainland. The Echinades Archipelago off
the southwest coast of ancient Acarnania, opposite the mouth of the
Achelous River, Strabo tells us, was formerly farther from shore than
in his time, and was gradually being cemented to the mainland by
Achelous silt. Some islets had already been absorbed in the advancing
shoreline, and the same fate awaited others.[808] Farther up this western
coast of Greece, the island of Leukas has been converted into a
peninsula by a sickle-shaped sandbar extending across the narrow
channel.[809] Nature is working in its leisurely way to attach Sakhalin to
the Siberian coast. The strong marine current which sets southward from
the Okhotsk Sea through the Strait of Tartary carries silt from the
mouth of the heavy laden Amur River, and deposits it in the "narrows" of
the strait between Capes Luzarev and Pogobi, building up sandbars that
come dangerously near the surface in mid channel.[810] Here the water is
so shallow that occasionally after long prevailing winds, the ground is
left exposed and the island natives can walk over to Asia.[811] The close
proximity of Sakhalin to the mainland and the ice bridge covering the
strait in winter rob the island of much of its insular character and
caused it to pass as a peninsula until 1852. Yet that five-mile wide
stretch of sea on its western coast determined its selection as the
great penal station of the Russian Empire. The fact that peninsular
India accords in so many points of flora, fauna and even primitive
ethnic stock with Madagascar and South Africa, indicates its former
island nature, which has been geographically cloaked by its union with
the continent of Asia.

[Sidenote: Character of insular flora and fauna.]

Islands, because of their relatively limited area and their clearly
defined boundaries, are excellent fields for the study of floral,
faunal, and ethnic distribution. Small area and isolation cause in them
poverty of animal and plant forms and fewer species than are found in an
equal continental area. This is the curse of restricted space which we
have met before. The large island group of New Zealand, with its highly
diversified relief and long zonal stretch, has only a moderate list of
flowering plants, in comparison with the numerous species that adorn
equal areas in South Africa and southwestern Australia.[812] Ascension
possessed originally less than six flowering plants. The four islands of
the Greater Antilles form together a considerable area and have all
possible advantages of climate and soil; but there are probably no
continental areas equally big and equally favored by nature which are so
poor in all the more highly organized groups of animals.[813] Islands
tend to lop off the best branches. Darwin found not a single indubitable
case of terrestrial mammals native to islands situated more than three
hundred miles from the mainland.[814] The impoverishment extends
therefore to quality as well as quantity, to man as well as to brute. In
the island continent of Australia, the native mammalia, excepting some
bats, a few rodents, and a wild dog, all belong to the primitive
marsupial sub-class; its human life, at the time of the discovery, was
restricted to one retarded negroid race, showing in every part of the
island a monotonous, early Stone Age development. The sparsely scattered
oceanic islands of the Atlantic, owing to excessive isolation, were all,
except the near-lying Canaries, uninhabited at the time of their
discovery; and the Canary Islanders showed great retardation as compared
with their parent stock of northern Africa. [See map page 105.]

[Sidenote: Endemic forms.]

Despite this general poverty of species, island life is distinguished by
a great proportion of peculiar or endemic forms, and a tendency toward
divergence, which is the effect of isolation and which becomes marked in
proportion to the duration and effectiveness of isolation. Isolation, by
reducing or preventing the intercrossing which holds the individual true
to the normal type of the species, tends to produce divergences.[815]
Hence island life is more or less differentiated from that of the
nearest mainland, according to the degree of isolation. Continental
islands, lying near the coast, possess generally a flora and fauna to a
large extent identical with that of the mainland, and show few endemic
species and genera; whereas remote oceanic islands, which isolation has
claimed for its own, are marked by intense specialization and a high
percentage of species and even genera found nowhere else.[816] Even a
narrow belt of dividing sea suffices to loosen the bonds of kinship.
Recent as are the British Isles and near the Continent, they show some
biological diversity from the mainland and from each other.[817]

[Sidenote: Paradoxical influences of island habitats upon man.]

The influence of an island habitat upon its human occupants resembles
that upon its flora and fauna, but is less marked. The reason for this
is twofold. The plant and animal life are always the older and therefore
have longer felt the effects of isolation; hence they bear its stamp in
an intensified degree. Man, as a later comer, shows closer affinity to
his kin in the great cosmopolitan areas of the continents. More than
this, by reason of his inventiveness and his increasing skill in
navigation, he finds his sea boundary less strictly drawn, and therefore
evades the full influence of his detached environment, though never able
wholly to counteract it. For man in lowest stages of civilization, as
for plants and animals, the isolating influence is supreme; but with
higher development and advancing nautical efficiency, islands assume
great accessibility because of their location on the common highway of
the ocean. They become points of departure and destination of maritime
navigation, at once center of dispersal and goal, the breeding place of
expansive national forces seeking an outlet, and a place of hospitality
for wanderers passing those shores. Yet all the while, that other
tendency of islands to segregate their people, and in this aloofness to
give them a peculiar and indelible national stamp, much as it
differentiates its plant and animal forms, is persistently operative.

[Sidenote: Conservative and radical tendencies.]

These two antagonistic influences of an island environment may be seen
working simultaneously in the same people, now one, now the other being
dominant; or a period of undisturbed seclusion or exclusion may suddenly
be followed by one of extensive intercourse, receptivity or expansion.
Recall the contrast in the early and later history of the Canaries,
Azores, Malta, England, Mauritius and Hawaii, now a lonely,
half-inhabited waste, now a busy mart or teeming way-station. Consider
the pronounced insular mind of the globe-trotting Englishman, the
deep-seated local conservatism characterizing that world-colonizing
nation, at once the most provincial and cosmopolitan on earth. Emerson
says with truth, "Every one of these islanders is an island himself,
safe, tranquil, incommunicable."[818] Hating innovation, glorifying their
habitudes, always searching for a precedent to justify and countenance
each forward step, they have nevertheless led the world's march of
progress. Scattered by their colonial and commercial enterprises over
every zone, in every clime, subjected to the widest range of modifying
environments, they show in their ideals the dominant influence of the
home country. The trail of the Oxford education can be followed over the
Empire, east to New Zealand and west to Vancouver. Highschool students
of Jamaica take Oxford examinations in botany which are based upon
English plant life and ignore the Caribbean flora! School children in
Ceylon are compelled to study a long and unfamiliar list of errors in
English speech current only in the London streets, in order to identify
and correct them on the Oxford papers, distributed with Olympian
impartiality to all parts of the Empire. Such insularity of mind seems
to justify Bernard Shaw's description of Britain as an island whose
natives regard its manners and customs as laws of nature. Yet these are
the people who in the Nile Valley have become masters of irrigation,
unsurpassed even by the ancient Egyptians; who, in the snow-wrapped
forests of Hudson Bay, are trappers and hunters unequalled by the
Indians; who, in the arid grasslands of Australia, pasture their herds
like nomad shepherd or American cowboy, and in the Tropics loll like the
natives, but somehow manage to do a white man's stint of work.

[Sidenote: The case of Japan.]

In Japan, isolation has excluded or reduced to controllable measure
every foreign force that might break the continuity of the national
development or invade the integrity of the national ideal. Japan has
always borrowed freely from neighboring Asiatic countries and recently
from the whole world; yet everything in Japan bears the stamp of the
indigenous. The introduction of foreign culture into the Empire has been
a process of selection and profound modification to accord with the
national ideals and needs.[819] Buddhism, coming from the continent, was
Japanized by being grafted on to the local stock of religious ideas, so
that Japanese Buddhism is strongly differentiated from the continental
forms of that religion.[820] The seventeenth century Catholicism of the
Jesuits, before it was hospitably received, had to be adapted to
Japanese standards of duty and ritual. Modern Japanese converts to
Christianity wish themselves to conduct the local missions and teach a
national version of the new faith.[821] But all the while, Japanese
religion has experienced no real change of heart. The core of the
national faith is the indigenous Shinto cult, which no later interloper
has been permitted to dislodge or seriously to transform; and this has
survived, wrapped in the national consciousness, wedded to the national
patriotism, lifted above competition. Here is insular conservatism.

Japan's sudden and complete abandonment of a policy of seclusion which
had been rigidly maintained for two hundred and fifty years, and her
entrance upon a career of widespread intercourse synchronously with one
of territorial expansion and extensive emigration, form one of those
apparently irreconcilable contradictions constantly springing from the
isolation and world-wide accessibility of an island environment; yet
underlying Japan's present receptivity of new ideas and her outwardly
indiscriminate adoption of western civilization is to be detected the
deep primal stamp of the Japanese character, and an instinctive
determination to preserve the core of that character intact.

[Sidenote: Islands as nurseries and disseminators of distinctive

It is this marked national individuality, developed by isolation and
accompanied often by a precocious civilization, in combination with the
opposite fact of the imminent possibility of an expansive unfolding, a
brilliant efflorescence followed by a wide dispersal of its seeds of
culture and of empire, which has assigned to islands in all times a
great historical rôle. Rarely do these wholly originate the elements of
civilization. For that their area is too small. But whatever seed ripen
in the wide fields of the continents the islands transplant to their own
forcing houses; there they transform and perfect the flower. Japan
borrowed freely from China and Korea, as England did from continental
Europe; but these two island realms have brought Asiatic and European
civilization to their highest stage of development. Now the borrowers
are making return with generous hand. The islands are reacting upon the
continents. Japanese ideals are leavening the whole Orient from
Manchuria to Ceylon. English civilization is the standard of Europe.
"The Russian in his snows is aiming to be English," says Emerson.
"England has inoculated all nations with her civilization, intelligence
and tastes."[822]

[Sidenote: Ancient Cretan civilization.]

The recent discoveries in Crete show beyond doubt that the school of
Aegean civilization was in that island. Ancient Phoenicia, Argos, even
Mycenæ and Tiryns put off their mask of age and appear as rosy boys
learning none too aptly of their great and elderly master. Borrowing the
seeds of culture from Asia and Egypt,[823] Crete nursed and tended them
through the Neolithic and Bronze Age, transformed them completely, much
as scientific tillage has converted the cotton tree into a low shrub.
The precocity of this civilization is clear. At early as 3000 B.C. it
included an impressive style of architecture and a decorative art
naturalistic and beautiful in treatment as that of modern Japan.[824]
From this date till the zenith of its development in 1450 B.C., Crete
became a great artistic manufacturing and distributing center for stone
carving, frescoes, pottery, delicate porcelain, metal work, and
gems.[825] By 1800 B. C., seven centuries before Phoenician writing is
heard of, the island had matured a linear script out of an earlier
pictographic form.[826] This script, partly indigenous, partly borrowed
from Libya and Egypt, gives Crete the distinction of having invented the
first system of writing ever practised in Europe.[827]

Yet all this wealth of achievement bore the stamp of the indigenous;
nearly every trace of its remote Asiatic or Egyptian origin was
obliterated. Here the isolation of an island environment did thoroughly
its work of differentiation, even on this thalassic isle which
maintained constant intercourse with Egypt, the Cyclades, the Troad and
the Greek peninsula.[828] Minoan art has a freshness, vivacity, and
modernity that distinguishes it fundamentally from the formal products
of its neighbors. "Many of the favorite subjects, like the crocus and
wild goat, are native to the islands.... Even where a motive was
borrowed from Egyptian life, it was treated in a distinctive way," made
tender, dramatic, vital. "In religion, as in art generally, Crete
translated its loans into indigenous terms, and contributed as much as
it received."[829] The curator of Egyptian antiquities in the New York
Metropolitan Art Museum examined five hundred illustrations of second
and third millenium antiquities from Gournia and Vasiliki in Crete, made
by Mrs. Harriet Boyd Hawes during her superintendence of the excavations
there, and pronounced them distinctly un-Egyptian, except one vase,
probably an importation.[830] All this was achieved by a small insular
segment of the Mediterranean race, in their Neolithic and Bronze Age,
before the advent of those northern conquerors who brought in an Aryan
speech and the gift of iron. It was in Crete, therefore, that Aegean
civilization arose. On this island it had a long and brilliant
pre-Hellenic career, and thence it spread to the Greek mainland and
other Aegean shores.[831]

[Sidenote: Limitation of small area in insular history.]

A small cup soon overflows. Islands may not keep; they are forced to
give, live by giving. Here lies their historical significance. They
dispense their gifts of culture in levying upon the resources of other
lands. But finally more often than not, the limitation of too small a
home area steps in to arrest the national development, which then fades
and decays. To this rule Great Britain and Japan are notable exceptions,
owing partly to the unusual size of their insular territory, partly to a
highly advantageous location. Minoan Crete, in that gray antiquity when
Homeric history was still unborn, gave out of its abundance in art,
government, laws and maritime knowledge to the eastern Mediterranean
world, till the springs of inspiration in its own small land were
exhausted, and its small population was unable to resist the flood of
northern invasion. Then the dispenser of gifts had to become an
alms-taker from the younger, larger, more resourceful Hellenic world.

The same story of early but short lived preëminence comes from other
Aegean islands. Before the rise of Athens, Samos under the great despot
Polykrates became "the first of all cities, Hellenic or barbaric," a
center of Ionian manners, luxury, art, science and culture, the seat of
the first great thalassocracy or sea-power after that of Cretan Minos, a
distributing point for commerce and colonies.[832] Much the same history
and distinction attached to the island of Rhodes long before the first
Olympiad,[833] and to the little island of Aegina.[834] If we turn to the
native races of America, we find that the Haida Indians of the Queen
Charlotte Archipelago are markedly superior to their Tlingit and
Tsimshean kinsmen of the nearby Alaskan and British Columbian coast. In
their many and varied arts they have freely borrowed from their
neighbors; but they have developed these loans with such marvelous skill
and independence that they greatly surpass their early masters, and are
accredited with possessing the creative genius of all this coast.[835]
Far away, on the remote southeastern outskirts of the island world of
the Pacific, a parallel is presented by little Easter Isle. Once it was
densely populated and completely tilled by a people who had achieved
singular progress in agriculture, religion, masonry, sculpture in stone
and wood carving, even with obsidian tools, and who alone of all the
Polynesians had devised a form of hieroglyphical writing.[836] Easter
Isle to-day shows only abandoned fields, the silent monuments of its huge
stone idols, and the shrunken remnant of a deteriorated people.[837]

[Sidenote: Sources of ethnic stock of islands.]

Isolation and accessibility are recorded in the ethnic stock of every
island. Like its flora and fauna, its aboriginal population shows an
affinity to that of the nearest mainland, and this generally in
proportion to geographical proximity. The long line of deposit islands,
built of the off-scourings of the land, and fringing the German and
Netherland coast from Texel to Wangeroog, is inhabited by the same
Frisian folk which occupies the nearby shore. The people of the Channel
Isles, though long subject to England, belong to the Franco-Gallic stock
and the _langue d'oïl_ linguistic family of northern France. The native
Canary Islanders, though giving no evidence of previous communication
with any continental land at the time of their discovery, could be
traced, through their physical features, speech, customs and utensils,
to a remote origin in Egypt and the Berber regions of North Africa prior
to the Mohammedan conquest.[838] Sakhalin harbors to-day, besides the
immigrant Russians, five different peoples--Ainos, Gilyaks, Orochons,
Tunguse, and Yakuts, all of them offshoots of tribes now or formerly
found on the Siberian mainland a few miles away.[839]

[Sidenote: Ethnic divergence with increased isolation.]

Where the isolation of the island is more pronounced, owing either to a
broader and more dangerous channel, as in the case of Madagascar and
Formosa, or to the nautical incapacity of the neighboring coast peoples,
as in the case of Tasmania and the Canary Islands, the ethnic influence
of the mainland is weak, and the ethnic divergence of the insular
population therefore more marked, even to the point of total difference
in race. But this is generally a case of survival of a primitive stock
in the protection of an unattractive island offering to a superior
people few allurements to conquest, as illustrated by the ethnic history
of the Andaman and Kurile Isles.

[Sidenote: Differentiation of peoples and civilizations on islands.]

The sea forms the sharpest and broadest boundary; it makes in the island
which it surrounds the conditions for differentiation. Thus while an
insular population is allied in race and civilization to that of the
nearest continent, it nevertheless differs from the same more than the
several sub-groups of its continental kindred differ from each other. In
other words, isolation makes ethnic and cultural divergence more marked
on islands than on continents. The English people, despite their close
kinship and constant communication with the Teutonic peoples of the
European mainland, deviate from them more than any of these Germanic
nations deviate from each other. The Celts of Great Britain and Ireland
are sharply distinguished from the whole body of continental Celts in
physical features, temperament, and cultural development. In Ireland the
primitive Catholic Church underwent a distinctive development. It was
closely bound up in the tribal organization of the Irish people, lacked
the system, order and magnificence of the Latinized Church, had its
peculiar tonsure for monks, and its own date for celebrating Easter for
nearly three hundred years after the coming of St. Patrick.[840] The
Japanese, in their physical and mental characteristics, as in their
whole national spirit, are more strikingly differentiated from the
Chinese than the agricultural Chinese from the nomadic Buriat shepherds
living east of Lake Baikal, though Chinese and Japanese are located much
nearer together and are in the same stage of civilization. The Eskimo,
who form one of the most homogeneous stocks, and display the greatest
uniformity in language and cultural achievements of all the native
American groups, have only one differentiated offshoot, the Aleutian
Islanders. These, under the protection and isolation of their insular
habitat from a very remote period, have developed to a greater extent
than their Eskimo brethren of the mainland. The difference is evident in
their language, religious ceremonies, and in details of their handiwork,
such as embroidery and grass-fiber weaving.[841] The Haidas of the Queen
Charlotte Archipelago show such a divergence in physique and culture
from the related tribes of the mainland, that they have been accredited
with a distinct origin from the other coast Indians.[842]

[Sidenote: Differentiation of language in islands.]

The differentiating influence is conspicuous in the speech of island
people, which tends to form a distinct language or dialect or, in an
archipelago, a group of dialects. The Channel Isles, along with their
distinctive breeds of cattle, has each its own variant of the _langue
d'oïl_.[843] According to Boccaccio's narrative of a Portuguese voyage to
the Canaries in 1341, the natives of one island could not understand
those from another, so different were their languages. The statement was
repeated by a later authority in 1455 in regard to the inhabitants of
Lancerote, Fuerteventura, Gomera and Ferro, who had then been
Christianized. A partial explanation is supplied by the earlier
visitors, who found the Canary Guanches with no means of communication
between the several islands except by swimming.[844] In the Visayan group
of the Philippines, inhabited exclusively by the civilized Visayan
tribes except for the Negritos in the mountainous interior, the people
of Cebu can not understand their brethren in the adjacent islands; in
Cuyos and Calmanianes, dialects of the Visayan are spoken.[845] [See map
page 147.]

The differentiation of language from the nearby continental speech may
be due to a higher development, especially on large islands affording
very advantageous conditions, such as Great Britain and Japan. Japanese
speech has some affinity with the great Altaic linguistic family, but no
close resemblance to any sub-group.[846] It presents marked contrasts to
the Chinese because it has passed beyond the agglutinative stage of
development, just as English has sloughed off more of its inflectional
forms than the continental Teutonic languages.

[Sidenote: Archaic forms of speech in islands.]

More often the difference is due to the survival of archaic forms of
speech. This is especially the case on very small or remote islands,
whose limited area or extreme isolation or both factors in conjunction
present conditions for retardation. The speech of the Sardinians has a
strong resemblance to the ancient Latin, retains many inflectional forms
now obsolete in the continental Romance languages; but it has also been
enlivened by an infusion of Catalan words, which came in by the bridge
of the Balearic Islands during the centuries of Spanish rule in
Sardinia.[847] Again, it is in Minorca and Majorca that this Catalan
speech is found in its greatest purity to-day. On its native soil in
eastern Spain, especially in Barcelona, it is gradually succumbing to
the official Castilian, and probably in a few centuries will be found
surviving only in the protected environment of the Balearic Isles.
Icelandic and the kindred dialects of the Shetland and Faroe Islands had
their origin in the classic Norse of the ninth century, and are
divergent forms of the speech of the Viking explorers.[848] The old
Frisian tongue of Holland, sister speech to Anglo-Saxon, survives to-day
only in West Friesland beyond the great marshlands, and in the
long-drawn belt of coastal islands from Terschelling through Helgoland
to Sylt, as also on the neighboring shores of Schleswig-Holstein.[849]
This region of linguistic survival, insulated partially by the marshes
or completely by the shallow "Wattenmeer" of this lowland coast, reminds
us of the protracted life of the archaic Lithuanian speech within a
circle of sea and swamp in Baltic Russia, and the survival of the Celtic
tongue in peninsular Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, in Ireland, and the
Highlands and islands of Scotland.

[Sidenote: Unification of race in islands.]

Islanders are always coast dwellers with a limited hinterland. Hence
their stock may be differentiated from the mainland race in part for the
same reason that all coastal folk in regions of maritime development are
differentiated from the people of the back country, namely, because
contact with the sea allows an intermittent influx of various foreign
strains, which are gradually assimilated. This occasional ethnic
intercrossing can be proved in greater or less degree of all island
people. Here is accessibility operating against the underlying isolation
of an island habitat. The English to-day represent a mixture of Celts
with various distinct Teutonic elements, which had already diverged from
one another in their separate habitats--Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Danes,
Norse and Norman French. The subsequent detachment of these immigrant
stocks by the English Channel and North Sea from their home people, and
their arrival in necessarily small bands enabled them to be readily
assimilated, a process which was stimulated further by the rapid
increase of population, the intimate interactive life and unification of
culture which characterizes all restricted areas. Hence islands, like
peninsulas, despite ethnic admixtures, tend to show a surprising
unification of race; they hold their people aloof from others and hold
them in a close embrace, shut them off and shut them in, tend to force
the amalgamation of race, culture and speech. Moreover, their relatively
small area precludes effective segregation within their own borders,
except where a mountainous or jungle district affords a temporary refuge
for a displaced and antagonized tribe. Hence there arises a
preponderance of the geographic over the ethnic and linguistic factors
in the historical equation.

The uniformity in cranial type prevailing all over the British Isles is
amazing; it is greater than in either Spain or Scandinavia. The cephalic
indices range chiefly between 77 and 79, a restricted variation as
compared with the ten points which represents the usual range for
Central Europe, and the thirteen between the extremes of 75 and 88 found
in France and Italy.[850] Japan stands in much the same ethnic relation
to Asia as Britain to Europe. She has absorbed Aino, Mongolian, Malay
and perhaps Polynesian elements, but by reason of her isolation has been
left free to digest these at her leisure, so that her population is
fairly well assimilated, though evidences of the old mixture can be
discerned.[851] In Corsica and Sardinia a particularly low cephalic
index, dropping in some communes to 73, and a particularly short stature
point to a rare purity of the Mediterranean race,[852] and indicate the
maintenance here of one ethnic type, despite the intermittent intrusion
of various less pure stocks from the Italian mainland, Africa,
Phoenicia, Arabia, and Spain. The location of the islands off the main
routes of the basin, their remoteness from shore, and the strong spirit
of exclusiveness native to the people,[853] bred doubtless from their
isolation, have combined to reduce the amount of foreign intermixture.

[Sidenote: Remoter sources of island populations.]

Islands do not
necessarily derive their population from the land that lies nearest to
them. A comparatively narrow strait may effectively isolate, if the
opposite shore is inhabited by a nautically inefficient race; whereas a
wide stretch of ocean may fail to bar the immigration of a seafaring
people. Here we find a parallel to the imperfect isolation of oceanic
islands for life forms endowed with superior means of dispersal, such as
marine birds, bats and insects.[854] Iceland, though relatively near
Greenland, was nevertheless peopled by far away Scandinavians. These
bold sailors planted their settlements even in Greenland nearly two
centuries before the Eskimo. England received the numerically dominant
element of its population from across the wide expanse of the North Sea,
from the bare but seaman-breeding coasts of Germany, Denmark and Norway,
rather than from the nearer shores of Gaul. So the Madeira and Cape
Verde Isles had to wait for the coming of the nautical Portuguese to
supply them with a population; and only later, owing to the demand for
slave labor, did they draw upon the human stock of nearby Africa, but
even then by means of Portuguese ships.

[Sidenote: Double sources.]

Owing to the power of navigation to bridge the intervening spaces of
water and hence to emphasize the accessibility rather than the isolation
of these outlying fragments of land, we often find islands facing two or
three ways, as it were, tenanted on different sides by different races,
and this regardless of the width of the intervening seas, where the
remote neighbors excel in nautical skill. Formosa is divided between its
wild Malay aborigines, found on the eastern, mountainous side of the
island, and Chinese settlers who cultivate the wide alluvial plain on
the western side.[855] Fukien Strait, though only eighty miles wide,
sufficed to bar Formosa to the land-loving northern Chinese till 1644,
when the island became an asylum for refugees from the Manchu invaders;
but long before, the wider stretches of sea to the south and north were
mere passways for the sea-faring Malays, who were the first to people
the island, and the Japanese who planted considerable colonies on its
northern coasts at the beginning of the fifteenth century. [See map page

In a similar way Madagascar is divided between the Malayan Hovas, who
occupy the eastern and central part of the island, and the African
Sakalavas who border the western coast. [See map page 105.] This
distribution of the ethnic elements corresponds to that of the insect
life, which is more African on the western side and more Indo-Malayan on
the eastern.[856] Though the population shows every physical type between
Negro and Malayan, and ethnic diversity still predominates over ethnic
unity in this vast island, nevertheless the close intercourse of an
island habitat has even in Madagascar produced unification of language.
Malayan speech of an ancient form prevails everywhere, and though
diversified into dialects, is everywhere so much alike that all
Malagasies can manage to understand one another.[857] The first
inhabitants were probably African; but the wide Mozambique Current (230
miles), with its strong southward flow, was a serious barrier to fresh
accessions from the mainland, especially as the nautical development of
the African tribes was always low. Meanwhile, however, successive relays
of sea-bred Malay-Polynesians crossed the broad stretch of the Indian
Ocean, occupied the island, and finally predominated over the original
Negro stock.[858] Then in historic times came Arabs, Swahilis, and East
Indians to infuse an Asiatic element into the population of the coasts,
while Portuguese, English, Dutch, and French set up short-lived colonies
on its shores. But despite this intermittent foreign immigration, the
fundamental isolation of Madagascar, combined with its large area,
enabled it to go its own slow historical gait, with a minimum of
interference from outside, till France in 1895 began to assume control
of the island.

[Sidenote: Mixed population of small thalassic isles.]

Small thalassic islands, at an early date in their history, lose their
ethnic unity and present a highly mixed population. The reasons for this
are two. The early maritime development characterizing enclosed seas
covers them with a network of marine routes, on which such islands serve
as way stations and mid-sea markets for the surrounding shores. Sailors
and traders, colonists and conquerors flock to them from every side.
Such a nodal location on commercial routes insures to islands a
cosmopolitanism of race, as opposed to the ethnic differentiation and
unity which follows an outlying or oceanic situation. Here the factor of
many-sided accessibility predominates over isolation.

The prevailing small area of such thalassic islands, moreover, involves
a population so small that it is highly susceptible to the effects of
intercrossing. Too restricted to absorb the constant influx of foreign
elements, the inhabitants tend to become a highly mixed, polyglot breed.
This they continue to be by the constant addition of foreign strains, so
long as the islands remain foci of trade or strategic points for the
control of the marine highways. Diomede Island in Bering Strait is the
great market place of the polar tribes. Here Siberian Chukches and
Alaskan Eskimos make their exchanges. The Eskimo of St. Lawrence Island
in Bering Sea, from long intercourse, have adopted certain articles of
dress, the boats and part of the vocabulary of the Chukches.[859]
Kilwauru, located on a sand-bank at the eastern end of Ceram, on the
border between Malayan and Papuan island districts, is the metropolis of
native traders in the Far East. Here gather the _praus_ of the
sea-faring Bugis bringing manufactured goods from Singapore, and boats
laden with the natural products of New Guinea.[860] The smaller these
island marts and the wider their circle of trade, the more mixed is
their population. Thursday Isle, an English coaling-station in Torres
Strait, is a port of call for all steamers bound from Europe or China
for east Australian ports, besides being a center of a big local trade
in pearl shell and tripang. Hence its population of 526 souls comprises
270 Europeans of various nationalities, including British, Germans,
Scandinavians, Danes, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Australians of
European origin, besides 256 South Sea Islanders, Papuans, Africans,
Philippines, Chinese and other Asiatics.[861]

[Sidenote: Mixed population of island markets.]

Antiquity shows the same thing on a smaller scale, which grew, however,
with the expansion of the circle of commerce. Ancient Aegina in the
Saronic Gulf received inhabitants from Crete, Argos, Epidaurus in
eastern Argolis and Athens; it became a central maritime market and its
people sea-traders, whose goods of a certain small kind became known as
"Aegina wares."[862] Delos at the crossroads of the Aegean was the center
of longer radii. It became the inn for travelers and merchants sailing
from Asia and Egypt to Italy and Greece, and hence drew to itself the
trade and people of the whole Mediterranean basin.[863] The northwestern
Indian Ocean had a similar emporium in the ancient Dioscoridis,
(Sokotra) which focused on itself the trade between Arabia and eastern

Ceylon's location made it in ancient and medieval times the common
meeting place for Arab traders from the west and Chinese merchants from
the east; it thus became the Sicily of the semi-enclosed North Indian
Ocean. To-day its capital Colombo is "the Clapham Junction of the Eastern
Seas," where passengers change steamers for China, India and Australia;
a port of call for vessels passing from the Straits of Malacca to the
Persian Gulf or Mediterranean. Hence Ceylon's solid nucleus of
Singhalese and Tamil population, protected against absorption by the
large area of the island (25,365 square miles) is interspersed in the
coastal districts with Arabs, Portuguese, Eurasians dating from the old
Portuguese occupation, and some ten thousand Europeans.[865] The island
of Gotland, located at the crossroads of the Baltic, was early adopted
by the Hanseatic merchants as their maritime base for the exploitation
of Swedish, Finnish, and Russian trade. Here were "peoples of divers
tongues," so the old chronicles say, while the archeological finds of
Byzantine, Cufic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and German coins testify to the
wide circle of trade whose radii focused at this nodal point of the

[Sidenote: Significant location of island way stations.]

The great importance of such islands has been due solely to their
location. Their size and resources are negligible quantities, but their
natural position as way stations lent them preeminence so long as
navigation held to short "laps," and was restricted to enclosed seas. In
the wide expanse of the open ocean, similar sparsely scattered isles,
like Ascension, St. Helena, the Canaries and Hawaii, assumed importance
in proportion to their scarcity. Though never the centers of rife
intercourse like Delos and Gotland, those lying conspicuously in the
track of commerce have succeeded in drawing to themselves the typical
polyglot nodal population. Mauritius, located at the southwestern
entrance of the Indian Ocean about equally distant from Aden, Ceylon,
Bombay, Singapore and West Australia, and possessing the best harbor
within many hundred miles, has been held successively by Dutch, French
and English, and to-day has a dense population of French, English and
Hindus.[867] A situation at the northeast entrance to the Caribbean Sea,
keystone of the vast arch formed by the Greater and Lesser Antilles,
made the island of St. Thomas a natural distributing point for this
whole basin. Facing that much traveled Virgin Passage, and forming the
first objective of vessels bound from Europe to Panama, it became a
great ship rendezvous, and assumed strategic and commercial importance
from early times. We find the same political owners here as in Mauritius
and in the same order--Dutch, French and English, though in 1671 the
island was occupied by the Danes, then from 1807 to 1815 by the English
again, and finally secured by the Danes.[868] The history of the Falkland
Islands is a significant reflection of their location on the south
oceanic trade route, where they command the entrance to the Magellan
Straits and the passage round the Horn, Here on the outskirts of the
world, where they form the only break in the wide blank surface of the
South Atlantic, they have been coveted and held in turn by the chief
European powers having colonies in the Orient,--by France, Spain,
England, Spain again, England again, by Argentine in 1820, and finally
by England since 1833. Their possession was of especial advantage to
Great Britain, which had no other base in this part of the world
intermediate between England and New Zealand.

[Sidenote: Thalassic islands as goals of expansion.]

Islands located in enclosed seas display the transitional character of
border districts. They are outposts of the surrounding shores, and
become therefore the first objective of every expanding movement,
whether commercial or political, setting out from the adjacent coasts.
Such islands are swept by successive waves of conquest or colonization,
and they carry in their people and language evidences of the wrack left
behind on their shores. This has been the history of Aegina, Cyprus,
Rhodes, Crete, Malta, Corfu, Sicily and Sardinia. That of Cyprus is
typical. It was the first island base for the ancient Tyrian fleets, and
had its Phoenician settlements in 1045 B. C. From that time it was one
of the many prizes in the Mediterranean grab-bag for the surrounding
nations. After the decline of Tyre, it was occupied by Greeks, then
passed in turn to Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Saracens,
Byzantines, and in 1191 was seized by the Crusaders. Later it fell to
Egypt again; but in 1373 was taken by Genoa, in 1463 by Venice, in 1571
by the Turks, and finally in 1878 was consigned to England.[869] All
these successive occupants have left their mark upon its people, speech,
culture and architecture. In the same way Sicily, located at the waist
of the Mediterranean, has received the imprint of Greeks, Carthagenians,
Romans, Saracens, Normans, Spaniards and Italians.[870] Its architectural
remains bear the stamp of these successive occupants in every degree of
purity and blending. The Sicilians of to-day are a mixture of all these
intrusive stocks and speak a form of Italian corrupted by the infusion
of Arabic words.[871] In 1071 when the Normans laid siege to Palermo,
five languages were spoken on the island,--Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic
and vulgar Sicilian, evidence enough that it was the meeting ground of
the nations of Europe, Asia and North Africa.[872] Polyglot Malta to-day
tells the same story of successive conquests, the same shuttlecock
history.[873] Almost every language of Europe is spoken here; but the
native Maltese speech is a corrupt form of Arabic mixed with modern
Italian and ancient Phoenician words.[874] The whole island is
ethnographically a border hybrid of Europe and North Africa. The Channel
Isles are to-day the only spot in Europe where French and English survive
side by side as official and commercial languages. French and Italian
meet on equal terms in Corsica. Chinese, Japanese and Malays have
traded and warred and treated on the debatable land of Formosa. The Aru,
Ke, and other small archipelagoes of the Banda Sea link together the
pure Malay and the pure Papuan districts, between which they lie.

From the border character of many islands there follow often
far-reaching historical effects. Like all border regions they are
natural battlegrounds. Their historical episodes are small, often slow
and insidious in their movement, but large in their final content; for
they are prone to end in a sudden dramatic _denouement_ that draws the
startled gaze of all the neighboring world. It was the destiny of Sicily
to make and unmake the fortunes of ancient Carthage. Ceylon, from the
dawn of history, lured traders who enriched and conquerors who oppressed
peninsular India. The advance of Spain to the Canary Isles was the
drowsy prologue to the brilliant drama of American discovery. The island
of Tsushima in the Korean Strait was seized by the forces of Kublai Khan
in 1280 as the base of their attack upon Japan;[875] and when in 1857 the
Russian bear tried to plant a foot on this island, Japan saw danger in
the movement and ordered him off.[876] Now we find Japan newly
established in Sakhalin, the Elliot Islands and Formosa, by means of
which and her own archipelago she blankets the coast of Asia for
twenty-two hundred miles. This geographical situation may be productive
of history.

[Sidenote: Political detachability of islands.]

Islands are detached areas physically and readily detached politically.
Though insularity gives them some measure of protection, their
relatively small size and consequently small populations make them easy
victims for a conquering sea power, and easy to hold in subjection. The
security of an island habitat against aggression therefore, increases
with its size, its efficiency in naval warfare, and its degree of
isolation, the last of which factors depends in turn upon its location
as thalassic or oceanic. Islands of enclosed seas, necessarily small and
never far from the close encircling lands, are engulfed by every tide of
conquest emanating from the nearby shores. Oesel and Dago have been held
in succession by every Baltic power, by the Teutonic Orders, Denmark,
Sweden and Russia. Gotland has acknowledged allegiance to the Hanseatic
League, to Denmark and Sweden. Sardinia, occupying the center of the
western Mediterranean, has figured in a varied series of political
combinations,--with ancient Carthage, Rome, the Saracens of North
Africa, with Sicily, Pisa, Aragon, Piedmont, and finally now with united
Italy.[877] To the land-bred Teutonic hordes which swept over western
Europe in the early centuries of our era, a narrow strip of sea was some
protection for Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Isles.
Hence we find these islands slow in succumbing to their non-maritime
conquerors, and readily regained by the energetic Justinian. Later they
fell victim to the sea-wise Saracens, but again gravitated back to their
closer and more natural European connections.

[Sidenote: Insular weakness due to small area.]

More often the small area of an island facilitates its retention in
bondage, when the large and less isolated continental districts have
thrown off an unwelcome yoke. Athens, with her strong navy, found it an
easy task to whip back into the ranks of the Delian Confederacy her
recalcitrant island subjects like Naxos, Samos and Thasos; but her
mutinous cities in peninsular Chalcidice and isthmian Megara, incited to
revolt and aided by their neighbors,[878] were less at her mercy. This
principle was recognized by Thucydides,[879] and taken advantage of by
the Lacedæmonians during the great war for Spartan supremacy. England
has been able to hold Ireland in a vise. Of all her former French
territory, she retains only the Channel Isles. Cuba and Porto Rico
remained in the crushing grasp of Spain sixty-four years after Mexico
and the continental states of Central and South America, by mutual help
and encouragement, had secured independence. The islands found that the
isolation which confers protection from outside aggression meant for
them detachment from friendly sources of succor on the mainland. The
desultory help of filibuster expeditions, easily checked at the port of
departure or landing, availed little to supplement the inadequate forces
of rebellion pent up on their relatively small areas. By contrast,
Mexico's larger area and population, continually stirred by American
example and encouragement, reinforced by American volunteers and even by
United States army officers, found revolt from 1812 to 1824 a
comparatively easy task.

Cuba suffered from its geographic aloofness. So did little Crete, which
submitted to Turkish oppression sixty years after the continental Greeks
had made good their claim to freedom. Nor was this the first time that
Cretan liberty had suffered from the detachment of an island
environment. Aristotle recognized the principle when he wrote: "The
people of Crete have hitherto submitted to the rule of the leading
families as _Cosmi_, because the insular situation of Crete cuts off the
interference of strangers or foreigners which might stir up rebellion
against the unjust or partial government." And then he adds that this
insular exclusion of outside incitement long rendered the fidelity of
the _Perioeci_ or serf-like peasants of Crete a striking contrast to the
uneasy spirit of the Spartan Helots, who were constantly stirred to
revolt by the free farmers of Argos, Messinia and Arcadia.[880] Thus
ancient like modern Crete missed those beneficient stimuli which
penetrate a land frontier, but are cut off by the absolute boundary of
the sea.

[Sidenote: Island remains of broken empires.]

Island fragments of broken empires are found everywhere. They figure
conspicuously in that scattered location indicative of declining power.
Little St. Pierre and Miquelon are the last geographical evidences of
France's former dominion in Canada. The English Bermudas and Bahamas
point back to the time when Great Britain held the long-drawn opposite
coast. The British, French, Dutch, Danish, as once even Swedish,
holdings in the Lesser Antilles are island monuments to lost continental
domains, as recently were Cuba and Porto Rico to Spain's once vast
American empire. Of Portugal's widespread dominion in the Orient there
remain to her only the island fragments of Timor, Kambing, Macao and
Diu, besides two coastal points on the western face of peninsular India.
All the former continental holdings of the Sultan of Zanzibar have been
absorbed into the neighboring German and British territories, and only
the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba remain to him by the temporary
indulgence of his strong neighbors. The Sheik of the Bahrein Islands
originally held also the large kingdom of El Hasa on the nearby Persian
Gulf littoral of Arabia; but he lost this to the Turks in 1840, and now
retains the Bahrein Islands as the residuum of his former

[Sidenote: Security of such remnants merely passive.]

The insular remnants of empires are tolerated, because their small size,
when unsupported by important location, usually renders them innocuous;
and their geographic isolation removes them from international
entanglements, unless some far-reaching anthropo-geographic readjustment
lends them a new strategic or commercial importance. The construction of
the Suez Canal gave England a motive for the acquisition of Cyprus in
1878, as a nearer base than Malta for the protection of Port Said, just
as the present Panama Canal project led the United States to re-open
negotiations for the purchase of the Danish Isles. One cannot get away
from the impression that the law of political detachability will operate
again to make some new distribution of the parti-colored political
holdings in the Lesser Antilles. The small size of these islands, and
their thalassic location commanding approaches to a large region of only
partially developed resources and to the interoceanic passway across it,
will pitch them into the dice-box on the occasion of every naval war
between their sovereign powers.

The shifting fate of political detachability becomes moderated in
islands of the open ocean, because of their remoteness from the
colonizing or conquering movements emanating from the continents. In
contrast to the changing political connections of thalassic isles,
consider the calm or monotonous political history of outlying islands
like the Shetland, Faroes, Iceland, Canaries, Madeira, Cape Verde,
Azores, St. Helena, Ascension and Hawaii. The Norse colony of Iceland,
as a republic, maintained loose connections with its mother country from
874 to 1264; then for nearly six centuries it followed the political
fate of Norway till 1814, when an oversight left it in the hands of
Denmark on the dissolution of the union of Denmark and Norway. The
Azores have known no history except that which came to them from
Portugal; even their discovery goes back to a Saracen navigator who, in
1147, sailed from the mouth of the Tagus a thousand miles straight into
the sunset.[882] For two hundred years thereafter extreme isolation kept
them outside the pale of history till their rediscovery by Prince
Henry, the Navigator.

[Sidenote: Political autonomy of islands based upon area and location.]

Land-masses, as we have found, are independent by location or
independent by size. Large islands, especially where they occupy an
outskirt location, may long succeed in maintaining an independent
national existence; but to render this permanent, they must supplement
their area by the acquisition of continental lands, according to the law
of increasing territorial aggregates. Great Britain and Japan, though
ethnically and culturally appendages of the nearby mainland, were large
enough, aided by the dividing sea, to maintain political autonomy. They
absorbed all the insular fragments lying about them to extend their
areas, and then each in turn entered upon a career of continental
expansion. To Japan this movement as a determined policy came late, only
when she faced the alternative of absorbing territory or being absorbed
by all-devouring Russia. The isolation of Madagascar resulted in only
slight community of race with Africa, and combined with large area, has
kept the island to a great extent distinct from the political history of
Africa. The impulses which swept the eastern coast of the continent
reached the outlying island with abated force. Arab, Portuguese, Dutch
and English only scratched its rim. The character of its western coasts,
of its vigorous Malayan population, and of the intervening Mozambique
Current rendered conquest difficult from the African shore. Its large
size, with the promise of abundant resources, offered a bait to
conquest, yet put a barrier in its way. Hence we find that not till
1895, when the partition of continental Africa was almost accomplished,
did the French conquest of Madagascar occur.

By contrast, the closely grouped East Indies, long coveted for their
tropical products, suffered a contagion of conquest. The large size of
these islands, so far from granting them immunity, only enabled the
epidemic of Portuguese and Dutch dominion to pass from one to the other
more readily, and that even when the spice and pepper trade languished
from a plethora of products. But even here the size of the islands,
plus the sub-equatorial climate which bars genuine white colonization,
has restricted the effective political dominion of Europeans to the
coasts, and thus favored the survival of the natives undisturbed in the
interior, with all their primitive institutions. The largest islands,
like Borneo and Sumatra, have vast inland tracts still unexplored and
devoted to savagery, thus illustrating the contrast between center and
periphery. When Australia, the largest of all the Pacific island group,
became an object of European expansion, its temperate and sub-tropical
location adapted it for white colonization, and the easy task of
conquering its weak and retarded native tribes encouraged its
appropriation; but the natural autonomy which belongs to large area and
detached location asserted itself in the history of British Australia.
The island continent is now erected into a confederation of states,
enjoying virtual independence. In New Zealand, we find the recent
colonists taking advantage of their isolation to work out undisturbed
certain unique social theories. Here, against a background of arrested
aboriginal development, another race evinces a radical spirit of
progress; and to these contrasted results equally the detached island
environment has contributed its share.

[Sidenote: Historical effects of island isolation; primitive

The historical development of island peoples bears always in greater or
less degree the stamp of isolation; but this isolation may lead to
opposite cultural results. It may mean in one case retardation, in
another accelerated development. Its geographical advantages are
distinctly relative, increasing rapidly with a rising scale of
civilization. Therefore in an island habitat the race factor may operate
with or against the geographic factor in producing a desirable
historical result. If the isolation is almost complete, the cultural
status of the inhabitants low, and therefore their need of stimulation
from without very great, the lack of it will sink them deeper in
barbarism than their kinsmen on the mainland. The negroes of Africa,
taken as a whole, occupy a higher economic and cultural rank than the
black races of Australia and Melanesia; and for this difference one
cause at least is to be found in the difference of their habitats. The
knowledge of iron, stock-raising, and many branches of agriculture were
continental achievements, which belonged to the great eastern land-mass
and spread from Egypt over Africa even to the Hottentot country; the
lack of them among the Australians must be attributed to their
insularity, which barred them from this knowledge, just as the ignorance
of iron and other metals among the native Canary Islanders[883] can only
be ascribed to a sea barrier fifty-two miles wide. The scant
acquaintance of the Balearic Islanders with iron in Roman days[884]
points to insular detachment. The lack of native domesticable animals in
the Pacific archipelagoes illustrates another limitation incident to the
restricted fauna of islands, though this particular lack also retarded
the cultural development of primitive North America.

[Sidenote: Later stimulation of development.]

On the other hand, people who have already secured the fundamental
elements of civilization find the partial seclusion of an island
environment favorable to their further progress, because it permits
their powers to unfold unhindered, protects them from the friction of
border quarrels, from the disturbance and desolation of invading armies,
to which continental peoples are constantly exposed. But even here the
advantage lies in insulation but not in isolation,[885] in a location
like that of England or Japan, near enough to a continent to draw thence
culture, commerce and occasional new strains of blood, but detached by
sea-girt boundaries broad enough to ward off overwhelming aggressions.
Such a location insures enough segregation for protection, but also
opportunity for universal contact over the vast commons of the sea.

[Sidenote: Excessive isolation.]

Excessive isolation may mean impoverishment in purse and progress even
for an advanced race. Ireland has long suffered from its outskirt
location. It lies too much in the shadow of England, and has been barred
by the larger island from many warming rays of immigration, culture and
commerce that would have vitalized its national existence. The "round
barrow" men of the Bronze Age, the Romans, and the Normans never carried
thither their respective contributions to civilization. The
Scandinavians infused into its population only inconsiderable strains of
their vigorous northern blood.[886] In consequence the Irish are to-day
substantially the same race as in Cæsar's time, except for the small,
unassimilated group of antagonistic English and Lowland Scotch, both
Teutonic, in Ulster.[887] Barred by Great Britain from direct contact
with the Continent and all its stimulating influences, suffering from
unfavorable conditions of climate and topography, Ireland's political
evolution progressed at a snail's pace. It tarried in the tribal stage
till after the English conquest, presenting a primitive social
organization such as existed nowhere in continental Europe. Property was
communal till the time of the Tudors, and all law was customary.[888]
Over-protected by excessive isolation, it failed to learn the salutary
lesson of political co-operation and centralization for defense, such as
Scotland learned from England's aggressions, and England from her close
continental neighbors. Great Britain, meanwhile, intercepted the best
that the Continent had to give, both blows and blessings, and found an
advantage in each. The steady prosecution of her continental wars
demanded the gradual erection of a standing army, which weakened the
power of feudalism; and the voting of funds for the conduct of these
same wars put a whip into the hand of Parliament.

[Sidenote: The case of Iceland.]

The history of Iceland illustrates the advantage and subsequently the
drawback of isolation. The energetic spirits who, at the end of the
ninth century, resented the centralization of political power in Norway
and escaped from the turmoil and oppression of the home country to the
remote asylum offered by Iceland, maintained there till 1262 the only
absolutely free republic in the world.[889] They had brought with them
various seeds of culture and progress, which grew and flowered richly in
this peaceful soil. Iceland became the center of brilliant maritime and
colonial achievements, the home of a native literature which surpassed
that of all its contemporaries except Dante's Italy.[890] But after the
decay of the Greenland colonies converted Iceland from a focal into a
remote terminal point, and after the progress of the world became based
upon complex and far-reaching commercial relations, the blight of
extreme isolation settled upon the island; peace became stagnation.

[Sidenote: Protection of an island environment.]

The concomitant of isolation is protection. Though this protection, if
the result of extreme isolation, may mean an early cessation of
development, history shows that in the lower stages of civilization,
when the social organism is small and weak, and its germs of progress
easily blighted, islands offer the sheltered environment in which
imported flowers of culture not only survive but improve; in less
protected fields they deteriorate or disappear. When learning and
Christianity had been almost wiped out on the continent of Europe by the
ravages of barbarian invasion between 450 and 800 A. D., in Ireland they
grew and flourished. In the seventh and eighth centuries, the high
scholarship of the Irish monks and their enthusiastic love of learning
for its own sake drew to their schools students of the noblest rank from
both England and France.[891] It was from Irish teachers that the Picts
of Scotland and the Angles of northern England received their first
lessons in Christianity. These fixed their mission stations again on
islands, on Iona off southwestern Scotland and on Lindisfarne or Holy
Isle near the east coast of Northumbria.[892] It was in the protected
environment of the medieval Iceland that Scandinavian literature reached
its highest development.

Insular protection was undoubtedly a factor in the brilliant cultural
development of Crete. The progress of the early civilization from the
late Stone Age through the Bronze Age was continuous; it bears no trace
of any strong outside influence or sudden transition, no evidence of
disturbance like an invasion or conquest by an alien people till 1200 B.
C. when the latest stage of Minoan art was crushed by barbarian
incursion from the north.[893]

[Sidenote: Factor of protection in Ceylon and Japan.]

The early history of the Singhalese monarchy in Ceylon from 250 B. C. to
416 A. D., when even the narrow moat of Palk Strait discouraged Tamil
invasions from the mainland, shows the brilliant development possible
under even a slight degree of protection.[894] However, in the case of
these Ceylon Aryans, as in that of the Icelandic Norse, we must keep in
mind the fact that the bearers of this culture were picked men, as are
early maritime colonists the world over. The sea selects and then
protects its island folk. But the seclusion of Ceylon was more favorable
to progress than the mainland of India, with its incessant political and
religious upheavals. Japan, in contrast to China's long list of
invasions, shows the peace of an insular location. She never suffered
any overwhelming influx of alien races or any foreign conquest. The
armada sent by Kublai Khan in 1281 to subdue the islands paralleled the
experience of the famous Spanish fleet three centuries later in English
waters. This is the only attempt to invade Japan that recorded history
shows.[895] In the original peopling of the island by Mongolian stock at
the cost of the Aino aborigines, there is evidence of two distinct and
perhaps widely separated immigrations from the mainland, one from Korea
and another from more northern Asia. Thus Japan's population contained
two continental elements, which seem to have held themselves in the
relation of governing and governed class, much as Norman and Saxon did
in England, while the Ainos lingered in the geographical background of
mountain fastness and outlying islands, as the primitive Celts did in
the British Isles.[896] In the case both of England and Japan, the island
location made the occupation by continental races a fitful, piecemeal
process, not an inundation, because only small parties could land from
time to time. The result was gradual or partial amalgamation of the
various stocks, but nowhere annihilation.

[Sidenote: Character of the invaders as factor.]

But island location was not the sole factor in the equation. Similarity
of race and relative parity of civilization between the successive
immigrants and the original population, as well as the small numbers of
the Invaders, made the struggle for the ownership of the island not
wholly one-sided, and was later favorable to amalgamation in England as
in Japan; whereas very small bands of far-coming Spaniards in the
Canaries, Cuba, and Porto Rico resulted in the extinction of the
original inhabitants, by the process operating now in New Zealand and
Australia. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the Antilles, the
conquest of these islands by South American Caribs had resulted in race
intermixture. These sea-marauders brought no women with them in their
small boats from the distant mainland, so they killed off the men and
married the Arawak women of the islands. Here again insular location
plus similarity of race and culture produced amalgamation, as opposed
to extermination of the vanquished by over-sea invaders.

While the insular security of a primitive folk like the Tasmanians,
Hawaiians and Malagasies is only passive, that of a civilized people
like the English and modern Japanese is active, consciously utilized and
reinforced. It is therefore more effective, and productive of more
varied political and cultural results. Such people can allow themselves
extensive contact with other nations, because they know it is in their
power to control or check such contact at will. Japan took refuge in its
medieval period in a policy of seclusion suggested by its island
habitat,[897] relying on the passive protection of isolation. England, on
the other hand, from the time of King Alfred, built up a navy to resist
invasion. The effect, after the political unification of Great Britain,
was a guarantee of protection against foreign attack, the concentration
of the national defenses in a navy,[898] the elimination of the standing
army which despotic monarchs might have used to crush the people, the
consequent release of a large working force from military service, and
the application of these to the development of English Industry.[899]

[Sidenote: Islands as places of refuge.]

Islands, as naturally protected districts, are often sought places of
refuge by the weak or vanquished, and thus are drawn into the field of
historical movement. We find this principle operating also in the animal
world. The fur seals of the North Pacific have fled from the American
coasts and found an asylum on the Pribiloff Islands of Bering Sea, where
their concentration and isolation have enabled them to become wards of
the United States government, though this result they did not foresee.
The last Rhytina or Arctic sea-cow was found on an island in Bering
Strait.[900] So the Veneti of Northern Italy in the fifth century sought
an asylum from the desolating Huns and, a century later, from the
Lombards, in the deposit islands at the head of the Adriatic, and there
found the geographic conditions for a brilliant commercial and cultural
development. Formosa got its first contingent of Chinese settlers in the
thirteenth century in refugees seeking a place of safety from Kublai
Khan's armies; and its second in 1644 in a Chinese chief and his
followers who had refused to submit to the victorious Manchus. In 1637
Formosa was an asylum also for Japanese Christians, who escaped thither
from the persecutions attending the discovery of Jesuit conspiracies
against the government.[901] The Azores, soon after their rediscovery in
1431, were colonized largely by Flemish refugees,[902] just as Iceland
was peopled by rebellious Norwegians. To such voluntary exiles the
dividing sea gives a peculiar sense of security, this by a psychological
law. Hence England owing to its insular location, and also to its free
government, has always been an asylum for the oppressed. The large body
of Huguenot refugees who sought her shores after the revocation of the
Edict of Nantes added a valuable element to her population.

[Sidenote: Convict islands.]

Islands find their populations enriched by the immigration of this
select class who refuse to acquiesce in oppression and injustice. But
the geographic conditions which make islands natural asylums make them
also obvious places of detention for undesirable members of society;
these conditions render segregation complete, escape difficult or
impossible, and control easy. Hence we find that almost all the nations
of the world owning islands have utilized them as penal stations. From
the gray dawn of history the Isles of the Blessed have been balanced by
the isles of the cursed. The radiant Garden of Hesperides has found its
antithesis in the black hell of Norfolk Isle, peopled by the "doubly
condemned" criminals whom not even the depraved convict citizens of
Botany Bay could tolerate.[903] There is scarcely an island of the
Mediterranean without this sinister vein in its history. The
archipelagoes of the ancient Aegean were constantly receiving political
exiles from continental Greece. Augustus Cæsar confined his degenerate
daughter Julia, the wife of Tiberius, on the island of Pandateria, one
of the Ponza group; and banished her paramour, Sempronius Gracchus, to
Cercina in the Syrtis Minor off the African coast.[904] Other Roman
matrons of high degree but low morals and corrupt officials were exiled
to Corsica, Sardinia, Seriphos, Amorgos and other of the Cyclades.[905]
To-day Italy has prisons or penal stations in Ischia, the Ponza group,
Procida, Nisida, Elba, Pantellaria, Lampedusa, Ustica, and especially
in the Lipari Isles, where the convicts are employed in mining sulphur,
alum and pumice from the volcanic cones.[906]

[Sidenote: Penal colonies on uninhabited islands.]

In modern times many remote oceanic islands have gotten their first or
only white settlers from this criminal class. Such are the citizens whom
Chile has sent to Easter Isle twenty-five hundred miles away out in the
Pacific.[907] The inhabitants of Fernando Noronha, 125 miles off the
eastern point of South America, are convicts from Brazil, together with
the warders and troops who guard them.[908] In 1832 Ecuador began to use
the uninhabited Gallapagos Islands, lying 730 miles west of its coast,
as a penal settlement.[909] The history of St. Helena is typical. Its
first inhabitants were some Portuguese deserters who in punishment were
marooned here from a Portuguese ship with a supply of seed and cattle.
They proved industrious and had cultivated a good deal of the land when
four years later they were removed to Portugal. The next inhabitants
were a few slaves of both sexes who escaped from a slave ship that had
stopped here for wood and water. These multiplied, worked and restored
the overgrown plantations of their predecessors, till a Portuguese
vessel about twenty years later was sent to exterminate them. A few
escaped to the woods, however, and were found there in prosperity in
1588.[910] From 1815 till 1821 St. Helena was the prison of Napoleon.

Many of these penal islands seem chosen with a view to their severe or
unhealthy climate, which would forever repel free immigration and
therefore render them useless for any other purpose. This is true of the
French Isles du Salut off the Guiana coast, of Spanish Fernando Po in
the Gulf of Guinea, of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, notoriously
unhealthy, which receive the criminals of British India,[911] and of
numerous others. A bleak climate and unproductive soil have added to the
horror of exile life in Sakhalin, as they overshadowed existence in the
Falkland Islands, when these were a penal colony of Spain and later of

[Sidenote: Island prisons for political offenders.]

In the case of political offenders and incorrigibles, the island prison
is as remote and inaccessible as possible. The classic example is
Napoleon's consignment to Elba and subsequently to St. Helena, whence
escape was impossible. Spain has sent its rebellious subjects, even
university professors of independent views, to Fernando Po in the Gulf
of Guinea and Teneriffe in the Canaries.[913] Russian political
offenders of the most dangerous class are confined first in the
Schlüsselberg prison, situated on a small island in Lake Ladoga near the
effluence of the Neva. There they languish in solitary confinement or
are transferred to far-off Sakhalin, whose very name is taboo in St.
Petersburg.[914] During our Civil War, one of the Dry Tortugas, lying a
hundred miles west of the southern point of Florida and at that time the
most isolated island belonging to the American government, was used as a
prison for dangerous Confederates; and here later three conspirators in
the assassination of President Lincoln were incarcerated.[915] Far away
to the southeast, off the coast of South America, are the Isles du
Salut, a French penal station for criminals of the worst class. The Isle
du Diable, ominous of name, lies farthest out to sea. This was for five
years the prison of Dreyfus. Its other inhabitants are lepers. Isles of
the cursed indeed!

[Sidenote: Islands as places of survival.]

What islands have they tend to hold, to segregate, secrete from meddling
hands, preserve untouched and unaltered. Owing to this power to protect,
islands show a large percentage of rare archaic forms of animal and
plant life. The insular fauna of Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea and
Madagascar display a succession of strange, ancestral forms going back
to the biological infancy of the world. The Canaries in the Atlantic and
Celebes In the Pacific are museums of living antiquities, some of them
dating probably from Miocene times.[916] Such survivals are found
elsewhere only in high mountains, whose inaccessible slopes also offer
protection against excessive competition. Hence some of the antiquated
species of insular Celebes, Formosa, Japan and Hainon occur again on the
Asiatic mainland only in the Himalayas.[917]

For man, too, islands and their sister areas of isolation, mountains,
are areas of survivals. The shrinking remnants of that half-dwarf
Negrito stock which may have formed the aboriginal population of
southern Asia are found to-day only in the mountains of peninsular
India and in island groups like the Andaman and the Philippines. But
even in the Philippines, they are confined either to the mountainous
interiors of the larger islands, or to little coastal islets like
Polillo, Alabat, Jomalig, and others.[918] [See map page 147.] Yezo,
Sakhalin and the Kurile Isles harbor the last feeble remnants of the
Ainos, a primitive people who formerly occupied a long stretch of the
Asiatic coast south of the Amur mouth. The protected environment of
these islands has postponed the doom of extinction toward which the
Ainos are hastening.[919] With insular conservatism they dress, live and
seek their food on the sea to-day, just as depicted in Japanese art and
literature at the dawn of history.[920] [See map page 103.]

[Sidenote: Insular survivals of manners and customs.]

It is chiefly on islands of harsh climatic conditions, like Sakhalin, or
of peculiarly restricted resources and area, like the Andaman, or of
remote, side-tracked location, like Iceland, Sardinia and Cape Breton,
that the stamp of the primitive or antiquated is strongest. Even when
not apparent in race stock, owing to the ubiquitous colonization of
maritime peoples, it marks the language and customs of even these
late-coming occupants, because an island environment asserts always some
power to isolate. This is due not only to the encircling moat of sea,
but also to the restricted insular area, too small to attract to itself
the great currents of human activity which infuse cosmopolitan ideas and
innovations, and too poor to buy the material improvements which
progress offers. If the tourist in Sicily finds the women of Taormina or
Girgenti spinning with a hand spindle, and the express trains moving
only twelve miles an hour, he can take these two facts as the product of
a small, detached area, although this island lies at the crossroads of
the Mediterranean. Corsica and Sardinia, lying off the main routes of
travel in this basin, are two of the most primitive and isolated spots
of Europe. Here the old wooden plow of Roman days is still in common use
as it is in Crete, and feudal institutions of the Middle Ages still
prevail to some extent[921],--a fact which recalls the long survival of
feudalism in Japan. The little Isle of Man, almost in sight of the
English coast, has retained an old Norse form of government. Here
survives the primitive custom of orally proclaiming every new law from
the Tynwald Hill before it can take effect,[922] and the other ancient
usage of holding the court of justice on the same hill under the open
sky. The Faroe Islands and Iceland are museums of Norse antiquities. The
stamp of isolation and therefore conservatism is most marked in the
remoter, northern islands. Surnames are rare in Iceland, and such as
exist are mostly of foreign origin. In their place, Christian names
followed by the patronymic prevail; but in the Faroes, these patronymics
have in a great many cases become recognized as surnames. So again,
while the Faroese women still use a rude spinning-wheel introduced from
Scotland in 1671, in Iceland this spinning-wheel was still an innovation
in 1800, and even to-day competes with spindles. Hand-querns for
grinding wheat, stone hammers for pounding fish and roots, the wooden
weighing-beam of the ancient Northmen, and quaint marriage customs give
the final touch of aloofness and antiquity to life on these remote

[Sidenote: Effects of small area in islands.]

As all island life bears more or less the mark of isolation, so it
betrays the narrow area that has served at its base. Though islands show
a wide variation in size from the 301,000 square miles (771,900 square
kilometers) of New Guinea or the 291,000 square miles (745,950 square
kilometers) of Borneo to the private estates like the Scilly Isles,
Gardiner and Shelter islands off Long Island, or those small, sea-fenced
pastures for sheep and goats near the New England coast and in the
Aegean, yet small islands predominate; the large ones are very few.
Islands comprise a scant seven per cent. of the total land area of the
earth, and their number is very great,--nine hundred, for instance, in
the Philippine group alone. Therefore small area is a conspicuous
feature of islands generally. It produces in island people all those
effects which are characteristic of small, naturally defined areas,
especially early or precocious social, political and cultural
development. The value of islands in this respect belongs to the youth
of the world, as seen in the ancient Mediterranean, or in the
adolescence of modern primitive races; it declines as the limitations
rather than the advantages of restricted territory preponderate in later
historical development.

[Sidenote: Political dominion of small islands.]

This early maturity, combined with the power to expend the concentrated
national or tribal forces in any given direction, often results in the
domination of a very small island over a large group. In the Society
Islands, Cook found little Balabola ruling over Ulietea (Raitea) and
Otaha, the former of these alone being over twice the size of Balabola,
whose name commanded respect as far as Tahiti.[924] The Fiji Archipelago
was ruled in pre-Christian days by the little islet of Mbau, scarcely a
mile long, which lies like a pebble beside massive Viti Levu. It was the
chief center of political power and its supremacy was owned by nearly
all the group. The next important political center was Rewa, no larger
than Mbau, which had for its subject big Mbengga.[925] In the same way,
the Solomon group was ruled by Mongusaie and Simbo, just as tiny New
Lauenberg lorded it over the larger islands of the Bismarck
Archipelago.[926] When the Dutch in 1613 undertook the conquest of the
coveted Spice Isles, they found there two rival sultans seated in the
two minute islets of Ternate and Tidore off the west coast of Gilolo.
Their collective possessions, which the Dutch took, comprised all the
Moluccas, the Ke and Banda groups, the whole of northwestern New Guinea,
and Mindanao of the Philippines.[927]

It was no unusual thing for classic Aegean isles to control and exploit
goodly stretches of the nearest coast, or to exercise dominion over
other islands. Aristotle tells us that Crete's location across the
southern end of the Aegean Sea confirmed to it by nature the early naval
empire of the Hellenic world. Minos conquered some of the islands,
colonized others,[928] and, according to the story of Theseus and the
Minotaur, laid Athens under tribute; but his suppression of piracy in
these waters and his conspicuous leadership in the art of navigation
point to a yet more significant supremacy. So insular Venice ruled and
exploited large dependencies. The island of Zealand, strategically
located at the entrance to the Baltic, has been the heart and head and
strong right arm of the Danish dominion, through all its long history of
fluctuating boundaries. England's insularity has been the strongest
single factor in the growth of her vast colonial empire and in the
maintenance of its loyal allegiance and solidarity. The widely strewn
plantation of her colonies is the result of that teeming island seed-bed
at home; while the very smallness of the mother country is the guarantee
of its supremacy over its dependencies, because it is too small either
to oppress them or to get along without them. Now an Asiatic variant of
English history is promised us by growing Japan.

[Sidenote: Economic limitations of their small area.]

Though political supremacy is possible even to an island of
insignificant size, both the advantages arid the grave disadvantages of
small area are constantly asserting themselves. Some developments
peculiar to large territory are here eliminated at the start. For
instance, robbery and brigandage, which were so long a scourge in
peninsular Greece, were unheard of on the small Aegean islands.
Sheep-raising was at an early date safer in England than on the
Continent, because wolves were earlier exterminated there. Bio-geography
shows an increasing impoverishment in the flora and fauna, of small
islands with distance from the mainland. In the Pacific Ocean, this
progressive impoverishment from west to east has had great influence
upon human life in the islands. In Polynesia, therefore, all influences
of the chase and of pastoral life are wanting, while in Melanesia, with
its larger islands and larger number of land animals, hunting still
plays an important part, and is the chief source of subsistence for many
New Guinea villages.[929] Therefore a corresponding decay of projectile
weapons is to be trace