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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INFLUENCE OF PHYSICAL AND  SOCIAL CAUSES.     517
not developed here, the cause is not owing to the inability of
man to contend with nature.
2.   Soil.—This is important in its political relations, from its
determining in a degree the occupations of the people.    Yet
many wild tribes make hunting or even fishing their occupa-
tion, when the soil which they control might yield them a
rich variety of products.    The soil supplies motives to indus-
try where exchange with neighbors can be carried on, and
determines thus in part whether a people shall be nomadic or
agricultural in its pursuits.    The mode of life in turn deter-
mines in great part the political condition.    A nomadic peo-
ple is composed generally of tribes with no compact union,
and has no incitements to a higher kind of civilization, unless
some man unites them together by his superior genius.    Then
the desire of conquest, for which their roving habits fit them,
may bring them into new conditions of life and effect a change
in their political capacity.    It is probable that the Slavic and
Germanic tribes were principally nomads, and it may have
been causes not arising from their state of life at home that
led to their change of abode and ultimately to the alteration
in their political and industrial habits.
3.   Situation.—This is a cause which renders a certain kind
of life easy or difficult;  which stimulates or represses the
curiosity and the hopes of men ; which opens the way into
city life, or makes intercourse with remote parts almost im-
possible in the early periods of human culture; and which
thus indirectly has more influence on political institutions
than almost any other physical condition.   A navigable river,
the presence of the sea with convenient bays and harbors,
such a sea as the Mediterranean, thrusting itself into the heart
of continents and furnishing access along thousands of miles
of coasts; or, on the other hand, interior table-lands, high
mountain  chains,   forbidding  colonists   from   scaling  their
heights, have vast power to quicken or retard knowledge, inter-
course, and the motives to increased production, and to lead
to or prevent higher political organizations.    Yet a certain
degree of knowledge—the beginning of the art of ship-build-