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THE present book, as originally planned over seven years 
ago, was to be a simplified paraphrase or restatement of the 
principles embodied in Friedrich RatzePs Anthropo-Geog- 
raphie. The German work is difficult reading even for Ger- 
mans. To most English and American students of geogra- 
phic 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 inind." 
The writer undertook, with RatzePs 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- 
gcography on a secure scientific basis. He had his fore- 
runners in Montesquieu, Alexander von Humboldt, Buckle, 
Rittcr, 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 pre- 
decessors 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 al- 
ways 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 re- 
veals 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. RatzePs work needed to be tested, verified. The 
only solution was to go over the whole field from the begin- 
ning, 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 Rittcr or a Pcschcl. 

The writer's own investigation revealed the fact that Rat- 
zePs 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, there- 
for, to work up certain important themes with a thorough- 
ness commensurate with their significance, to reduce the ncalc 
of others, and to fill up certain gaps with original contribu- 
tions 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 atate 
permeates the Anthropo-gtographie, because Ilat^e) frmmi- 


lated 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 edi- 
fice; 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 devel- 
opment, 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 exten- 
sive comparison, the race factor in these problems of two 
unknown quantities was eliminated for certain large classes 
of social and historical phenomena. 

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 grow- 
ing child. The eventual form and scope of the science, the 
definition and organization of its material must evolve grad- 
ually, after long years and many efforts of many workers 
in the field. The eternal flux of Nature runs through an- 
thropo-gcography, and warns against precipitate or rigid 
conclusions. But its laws arc none the less well founded be- 
caxisc 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 determi- 
nant, 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 dur- 
ing his life, and after his death my inspiration. 


January, 1911. 



Man a product of the earth's surface Persistent effect of geo- 
graphic barriers Recurrent influences of nature-made high- 
ways Regions of historical similarity Persistence of 
climatic influences Relation of geography to history Mul- 
tiplicity of geographic factors Evolution of geographic 
relations Interplay of geographic factors Direct and 
indirect effects of environment Indirect effects in differ- 
entiation of colonial peoples General importance of in- 
direct effects Time element Previous habitat Trans- 
planted religions Partial response to environment The 
larger conception of environment Unity ot the earth and 
the human race 1 


Four classes of influences Physical effects of environment Stat- 
ure 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 ef- 
fects In Religion In mind and character In language 
The groat man in history Economic and social effects 
Size of tho social group Effects on movements of peoples 
Segregation and accessibility C&ange of habitat 32 


People and land Political geography Political versus social 
geography Land basis of society Morgan's societas 
Land bowl in primitive hunter tribes Tn fisher tribes In 
pastoral tribes Land and state Strength of the land 
bond in tho state Evolution of land tenure Land and 
food supply Advance from natural to artificial basis of 
subsistence Land basis in relation to agriculture Migra- 
tory and sedentary agriculture Geographic checks to pro- 
gress in economic and social development Native animal 
and plant life as factors in progressDensity of population 
under different cultural and geographic conditions Its 
relation to government Territorial expansion of the state 
Artificial checks to population Extra-territorial rela- 
tionei of state and people Theory of progress from the 
Standpoint of geography Progressive dependence of -man 
upon nature ,..,..**.*. * 51 




Universality of such movements The name Historical Movement 
Its evolution Its importance in history Geographical in- 
terpretation 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 re- 
gions of asylum Emigration and colonization Commerce 
as a form of historical movement Movements due to reli- 
gion Historical movement and race distribution 55onal 
distribution Movements to like or better geographic con- 
ditions Their direction Return movements Regions of 
attraction and repulsion Psychical influences in certain 
movements Two rpsiilts of historical movement Differen- 
tiation and area Differential, ion and isolation Geographic, 
conditions of heterogeneity and homogeneity Assimi- 
lation Elimination of unfit variants through historical 
movement Geographical origins 7 



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 raco and culture 
Thalassic vicinal location Complementary locations C/on- 
timiouB and scattered location Oontrnl versus peripheral 
location Mutual relations between cantor and periphery 
Inland and coastward expansion Rouction between 
center and periphery Periphery in colonization Dominant 
historical side Change of historical front Contrasted 
historical sides One-aided historical location Scattered 
location Duo to adverse geographic, conditions Island 
way stations on maritime routes Scattered location of 
primitive peoples Ethnic, islands of expansion and decline 
Discontinuous distribution (Joutnmted location Geo- 
graphical polarity Geographical murks of growth and de- 
cline Interpretation of etterod and marginal location 
Contrast between ethnic islands of growth and decline,.,. 12 


The size of the earth Relation of area to life Area and differ- 
entiation The struggle for apace* -National area an in* 
dax of social and political development The Otkoumeno 
The unity of the human spexnes in relation to the earth* 
Isolation antl differentiation Monotonous raee. type* of 
small area Wide rnee distribution and inner 


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 so- 
cieties Influence of small, confined areas The process of 
territorial growth Historical advance from small to large 
areas Gradations in area and in development Prelim- 
inaries 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 ex- 
pansion Relation of people and state to political bound- 
ary Expansion of civilization Cultural advantages of 
large political area Politico-economic advantages Polit- 
ical area and the national horizon National estimates of 
area Limitations of small tribal conceptions Evolution 
of territorial policies Colonial expansion The mind of 
colonials 16g 



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 Bound- 
ary 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 po- 
litical boundaries Primitive waste boundaries Alien in- 
trusions into border wastes Politico-economic significance 
of the waste boundary Common boundary districts 
Tariff free zones Boundary zones of mingled race ele- 
ments Assimilation of civilization in boundary zones 
Relation of ethnic and cultural assimilation The border 
zone of assimilation in political expansion Tendency to- 
ward 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 fron- 
tiers Asylums beyond the border 204 


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 
Tntorponetration of land and soa Ratio of shore-line 
to area Criticism of tho formula Accessibility of coasts 
from hinterland Accessibility of coasts from the sea 
Embayed coasts Contrasted coastal belts Evolution of 
portfl -Influence of offshore islands Previous habitat of 


coast- dwellers Habitability of coasts as a factor in mari- 
time 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 civi- 
lization of coasts Progress from thalassic to oceanic 
coasts Importance of geographic location of coasts His- 
torical decline of certain coasts Complex interplay of 
geographic factors in coastlands 2 



The water a factor in man 's mobility Oceans and aeas the fac- 
tor of union in universal history Origin of navigation - 
Primitive forms Relation of river to marine navigation 
Betardcd and advanced navigation Geographic condi- 
tions in Polynesia Mediterranean versus Atlantic seaman- 
shipThree 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 Boas Thalus- 
sic character of the Indian Ocean Limitations of small 
area in enclosed seas Successive maritime periods in his- 
tory Contrasted historical rdlos of northern and southern 
hemispheres Size of the ocean Neutrality of the soaH 
M are clausum and Marv libcrwni , 2i 



The protection of a water frontier Pile villages of ancient times 
Modern pile dwellings Their geographic (Ufltribution 
Bivor- dwellers in old and popular lands Mnn'a encroach- 
ment upon the sea by reclamation of land The atrugglo 
with Mie water Mound villages in river flood.pIainH Social 
and political gain by control of the water A factor in 
early civilization of arid lands The economy of 1;ho water 
Fisheries Factors in maritime expansion PtahorioH a 
nurseries of soamen Anthropo-goographie importance of 
^navigation * . , , 31 


Rivers as intermediaries between land and aoa Hea navigation 
merges into river navigation Historical importance of aaaa 
and oceans influenced by thoir debouching utroanrn T^ack 
of coast articulations supplied by rivetw Hiver highway* 
as basis of commercial preeminence rmportaiwo of r Ivors 
in large countries Kivors as highways of expansion Da- 
of routes in arid or uemi-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 up- 
stream 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 com- 
mon 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 settle- 
ments and peoples Boatman tribes or castes River is- 
lands 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 seas 336 


Insularity of the land-masses Classification of land-masses ac- 
cording 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 Amer- 
ica 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 favor- 
able to historical development The continental base of 
peninsulas Continental base a zone of transition Conti- 
nental base the scene of invasion and war Peninsular ex- 
tremities as areas of isolation Ethnic unity of penin- 
sulas Peninsulas as intermediaries - 380 


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 dis- 
seminatora 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 Bemoter sources of island populations Double 
sources Mixed population of small thalnssie isles Signifi- 
cant 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 is- 
land environment Islands as places of refuge Islands as 
places of survival Effects of small area in islands 
Economic limitations of their small area Dense popula- 
tion 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 Preco- 
cious development of island agriculture Intensive tillage 
Emigration and colonization from islands Kcwcnt eml- 
gration from islands Maritime enterprise as outlet Arti- 
ficial checks to population Polyandry Infanticide JLow 
valuation of human life , 409 



Belief of the sea floor Moan elevations of the continents - 
Distribution of relief Homologous reliefs and homologous 
histories Anthropo-geography of lowlands Kxtonaivo 
plains unfavorable to early development Conditions "for 
fusion in 'plains- "Retardation due to monotonous environ- 
ment Influence of slight geographic foaturofl in plains- 
Plains and political expansion Arid plains Nomadism- 
Pastoral life Pastoral nomads of Arctic plains Histor- 
ical importance of stoppo nomads Mobility of pastoral 
nomucta Reason al migrations M araudhig expeditions 
Forms of defense against nomad depredations Pastoral 
life as a training for soldiers Capacity for political or- 
ganisation and consolidation Central issat ion versus docon- 
traliKation in nomadism Spirit of independence among 
iiomada Tteaistanco to eonqnoflt Curtailment of nomadiftm 
Supplementary agricnlture of pastoral nomadism -Irri- 
gation and horticulture Reant diet of nonwd~~!0flfaotfi ot 
a diminishing water supply Checks to population Trad* 
of nonwds Pastoral nomads a middlemen Oftsnrt mar- 
kets Nomad industries Arid lands as areas of arrested 
development Mental and moral qualities of nomad8~ 
"Religion of pastoral nomads t . , 473 


Man. as part of the mobile envelope of tho earth- 


of mountains Mountains as transit regions Transition 
forms of relief between highlands and lowlands Pied- 
mont 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 move- 
ment Significance of mountain valleys Longitudinal val- 
leys 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 con- 
ditions 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 524 


Zones of altitude Politico-economic value of a varied relief Be- 
lief and climate Altitude zones of economic and cultural 
development Altitude and density belts in tropical high- 
lands Increasing density where altitude confers safety 
Geographic conditions affecting density of mountain popu- 
lation Terrace agriculture Its geographical distribution 
Terrace agriculture in mountainous islands Among sav- 
age peoples Fertilizing terrace lands Economy of level 
land Mountain pastures and stock-raining Life and in- 
dustry of the summer herdsmen Communal ownership of 
mountain pastures TTay making in high mountains - 
Winter industries of mountain peoples Overpopulation 
and emigration Preventive checks to increase of popula- 
tion "Religious colibacy Polyandry Marauding tenden- 
cies in mountaineers Historical consequences of mountain 
raiding Conquent of mountujn regions Political dismem- 
berment of mountain peoples Typos of mountain states 
Significance of their small sizeMountain isolation and 
differentiation Survival of primitive races in mountains 
Diversity of peoples and dialects Constriction of moun- 
tain areas of ethnic survival Isolation and retardation of 
mountain regions Mental and moral qualities of mountain 
people. 557 


Importance of climatic influences Climate in the interplay of 
geographic factors Its direct and indirect effects Cli- 
mate determines the habitable area of the earth tOffoct 
of climate upon relief and hence upon mag, Man's adapta- 
bility to climatic extremes Temperature as modified by 


oceans and winds Rainfall Temperature and zonal loca- 
tion Mutual reactions of contrasted zones Isothermal 
lines in anthropo-geography Historical effects of com- 
pressed isotherms Historical effects of slight climatic dif- 
ferences Their influence upon distribution of immigration 
Temperature and race temperament Complexity of this 
problem Monotonous climatic conditions HJfTocts of Arctic 
cold Effect of monotonous heat The tropics as goals 
of migration The problom of acclimatization Historical 
importance of tho temperate zone Contrast of the seasons 
Duration of the seasons TCDCoct of long w tutors ami 
long summers Zones of culture Temperate zone as cradle 

of civilization 607 

INDEX 639 



























MAN is a product of the earth's surface. This means not Maa a 
merely that he is a child of the earth, dust of her dust; 
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 pas- 
ture to pasture and oasis to oasis, where life knows much hard- 
ship 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. Chew- 
ing over and over the cud of his simple belief as the one food 
of his unfed mind, his faith becomes fanaticism ; his big spacial 


Stability of 
factors in 

effect of 

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 neces- 
sary 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 develop- 
ment, 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 over- 

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

History tends to repeat itself largely owing to this steady, 
unchanging geographic clement 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 main- 
tained a similar independence towards the Holy S<*, both 


have their cause in the remoteness of Britain from the center 
of political or ecclesiastical power in Rome. If the inde- 
pendence 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 charac- 
terized the early Trans-Allegheny commonwealths in their ag- 
gressive 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 reap- 
peared in a spirit of political defection looking toward seces- 
sion from the Union and a new combination with their British 
neighbor on the Great Lakes or the Spanish beyond the Missis- 
sippi, these are all the identical effects of geographical remote- 
ness 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. 

As with geographical remoteness, so it is with geographical Effect of 
proximity. The history of the Greek peninsula and the Greek proximity, 
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 vic- 
tory, and finally swells into a national dirge at the Turkish 
conquest of the peninsula. It comes out in the legendary his- 
tory 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 
murcx and kidnap Greek women. It appears more conspicu^ 
oiiflly in the Asiatic sources of Greek culture ; more dramatic- 
ally in the Persian Wars, in the retreat of Xenophon's Ten 
Thousand, in Alexander's conquest of Asia, and Hellenic domi- 
nation 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 1896 begins the absorption of Greece into the Asiatic em- 

effect of 


pire of the Turks, the long dark eclipse of sunny Hellas, till it 
issues from the shadow in 1832 with the achievement of Greek 

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 Car- 
pathians 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 ad- 
vance 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 bar- 
barians. 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 resis- 
tance 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 
Gorman army crossed the Alpine i^anges. To-day well-made 
highways and railroads converge xipon these valley paths ami 
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 ac- 
coutred 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 firnt overland rail- 
road, excluded all but strong-limbed and ntroug-hcarted 
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. 

As the surface of the earth presents obstacles,, so it offers Persistent 
channels for the easy movement of humanity, grooves whose effect * 
direction determines the destination of aimless, unplanned 
migrations, and whose termini become, therefore, regions of wa ys. 
historical importance. Along these nature-made highways his- 
tory 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 high- 
way, 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 voyagcur's canoe, bring- 
ing out pelts from Lake Superior to the fur market at Mont- 
real, is followed to-day by whalcback steamers with their car- 
goes 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 por- 
tage, 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 Lcnni-Lcnapi In- 
dians ; a little later, the old Dutch road between New Amster- 
dam and the Delaware trading-posts; yet later the King's 
Highway from New York to Philadelphia. In 1888 it be- 
came 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 north- 
western 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 seven- 
teenth century, and doubtless much earlier, it became an estab- 
lished trade route between the sea and the rich cities of the 
upper Ganges. Recently it determined the line of the Raj- 
putana Railroad from the Gulf of Cambay to Delhi. 6 Bary- 
gaza, 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/ 
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 ap- 
proximately into the old banks, seeks first these lines of leash 
resistance, and only when it finds them blocked or pre-empted 
docs it turn to more difficult paths. 

Regions Geographical environment, through the persistence of its 

of histori- influence, acquires peculiar significance. Its effect is not re- 

cal flxmlar- s t r { c ^ cc )[ ^ a gi VO n 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 prc-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 imme- 
morial they have borne and bred tribes of wandering herds- 
men; they have sent out the invading hordes who, in suc- 
cessive 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, or- 
ganizes 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 imperi- 
ous nomads of arid Asia, just as the "hoc-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 
--IlykBOS 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 lands. 

Climatic influences arc persistent, often obdurate in their Climatic 
control. Arid regions permit agriculture and sedentary life luences - 
only through irrigation. The economic prosperity of Egypt 
to-day depends as completely upon the distribution 'of the Nile 





The re- 
lation of 
to history* 

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 isothern of degree C. 
(3S degrees F.) ; and it has had a like effect in the correspond- 
ing 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 mod- 
ern 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. In the 
same way the Tropics are a vast melting-pot. The debili- 
tating effects of heat and humidity, aided by tropical diseases, 
soon reduce intruding peoples to the dead level of economic 
inefficiency characteristic of the native 1 races. Those, as the 
fittest, survive and tend to absorb the new-comers, pointing to 
hybridization as the simplest solution of the problem of 
tropical colonization. 

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 scien- 
tific investigation of the physical conditions of historical events 
is then vindicated. "Which was there first, geography or 
history?" asks Kant. And then conies his answer: "Geog- 
raphy 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-goography studies exist- 
ence in various regions of terrestrial space, But all historical 
development takes place on the earth's surface* ami 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 move- 
ment, 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 geog- 
raphy becomes to-morrow a factor of history. The two sci- 
ences cannot be held apart without doing violence to both, 
without dismembering what is a natural, vital whole. All his- 
torical 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 

The study of physical environment as a factor in history Multi- 
was unfortunately brought into disrepute by extravagant and P^ cit y <* 
11* j j i- * i f .. i_ j/i L- j. /.geographic 

ill-founded generalization, before it became the object of f act ^ r / 

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 geo- 
graphic factor which has been released from dormancy by the 
expansion of the known world, or the progress of invention 
and of human development. 

Evolution These complex geographic influences cannot be analyzed 

or geograpn- an( j jfacir strength estimated except from the standpoint of 
lations 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 bribe 
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 

Owing to the evolution of geographic relations, the physi- 
cal 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, Phumicia, 
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 those small, warm nurseries where Nature could 
cuddle her children, has bred upon its boundless plains a mas- 
sive, 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 develop- 
ment. Consequently, when the Muscovite people, instructed 
by the example of western Europe, nliall have grown up intel- 
lectually, 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. 

This evolution of geographic relations applies not only to Evolution 
the local environment, but also to the wider world relations of f world 
a people. Greeks and Syrians, English and Japanese, take relations - 
a different rank among the nations of the earth to-day from 
that held by their ancestors g,000 years ago, simply because 
the world relations of civilized peoples have been steadily ex- 
panding since those far-back days of Tyrian and Athenian su- 
premacy. 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 Atlan- 
tic. 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 pre- 
eminence to Liibeck and the other JHanse 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 
Liibeck and Stralsund to Amsterdam and Bristol, as the his- 
torical horizon widened. England, prior to this sudden dis- 
location, 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. 

Meanwhile, local geographic advantages in the old basins 
remain the same, although they are dwarfed by the develop- 
ment 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 ab- 
sorb by their considerable merchant fleet a great part of the 
trade of the eastern Mediterranean, 30 just as they did in the 
days of Pericles ; but that youthful Aegean world which once 
constituted so largo 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 com- 


merce 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 read- 
justment and a new interplay after any marked turning point 
in the economic, cultural, or world relations of a people. 
Interplay of Skepticism as to the effect of geographic conditions upon 
geographic human development is apparently justifiable, owing to the 
factors. 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 ele- 
ments in the problem and ignoring the rest. The physical 
environment of a people consists of all the natural conditions 
to which they have boon subjected, not merely a part. Geog- 
raphy admits no single blanket, theory. The slow historical 
development of the Russian folk has been duo to many geo- 
graphic 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 tho most 
part, ice-bound coast which was slowly acquired, an undiversi- 
fied surface, a lack of segregated regions where an infant civil- 
ization might be cradled, and a vast area of unfcnccd plains 
wherein the national energies spread out thin and dissipated 
themselves. The better Baltic aud Black Sea coasts, the fer- 
tility of its Ukraine soil, and location next to wide-awake Ger- 
many along the western frontier have helped to accelerate 
progress, but the slow-moving body carried too heavy a drag. 
The law of the resolutions of forces applies in geography an 
in the movement of planets. Failure to recognize thin fact 
often enables superficial critics of anthropo-gcagraphy to 
make a brave show of argument. The awalywH of thcwe inter- 
acting forces and of their various combination** require** care- 
ful investigation. Let us consider the interplay of the forces 


of land and sea apparent in every country with a maritime Land and 
location. In some cases a small, infertile, niggardly county sea ^co- 
conspires with a beckoning sea to drive its sons out upon the P era lon * 
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 Eng- 
land, 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 com- 
munication 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 live- 
lihood denied by the land. Here both forces worked in the 
same direction. 

In England conditions were much the same, and from the 
sixteenth century produced there a predominant maritime de- 
velopment which was due not solely to a long indented coast- 
line 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 mari- 
time 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 cooperated in its maritime development. 
Land Often the forces of land and sea are directly opposed. If a 

and sea country's geographic conditions are favorable to agriculture 
opposed. an j o g? cr room f or growth O f population, the land forces pre- 
vail, 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 oven in 
Henry VIIFs time. Moreover, in consequence of steady con- 
tinental 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 Knglish and Dutch, but rather 
under the spur of government initiative. They therefore 
achieved far less in maritime trade and colonisation. 110 la 
ancient Palestine, a long stretch of coast, poorly equipped 
with harbors but accessible to the rich Mediterranean trade, 
failed to offset the attraction of tluj gardens and orchards of 
the Jezrcel 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 in- 
coming 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 out- 
weighed 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 di- 
vision of that mountainous country into segregated districts, 
and the other one of political centralization, dictated by the 
necessity for cooperation 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 indi- 
vidual 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. 10 

Every country forms an independent whole, and as such Local 
finds its national history influenced by its local climate, soil, remo e .. 
relief, its location whether inland or maritime, its river high- 
ways, 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 grad- 
ual 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 Volkerwanderung, and thus con- 
tributed 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 them- 
selves 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 navi- 
gators 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, 


Direct and 
effects of 

Dutch, and English populations to that barrier on the Medi- 
terranean 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. 

The geographic factors in history appear now as conspicu- 
ous 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. Those 
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 con- 
nection between environment and development is far from ob- 
vious. They have, therefore, presented pitfalls to the precipi- 
tate thcomer. He has cither interpreted them as the direct 
effect of some geographic cause from which they were wholly 
divorced and thus arrived at conclusions which further investi- 
gation failed to sustain; or seeing no direct and obvious con- 
nection, he has denied the possibility of a generalisation* 

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 imagina- 
tion 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. lie finds, on the other band, 
an early predominance of reason in the inhabitants of a coun- 
try like ancient Greece, where natural features are on a small 
scale, more comprehensible, nearer the measure of man him- 
self. 18 The scientific geographer, grown suspicious of the om- 
nipotence of climate and cautious of predicating immediate 
psychological effects which are eay to assert hut difficult to 
prove, approaches the problem more indirectly and reaehen a 
different solution. He finds that*, geographic conditions have 
condemned India to isolation. On the land side, a great nweep 
of high mountains has restricted intercourse with the interior; 
on the sea side, the deltaic swamps of the InduH and Ganges 
Ilivcrs and an unbroken shoreline, backed by mountains on the 
west of the peninsula and by coastal marshes and lagotniK 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. Ig- 
norance involves the lack of material for comparison, hence a 
restriction of the higher reasoning processes, and an unscien- 
tific attitude of mind which gives imagination free play. In 
contrast, the accessibilty 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 bril- 
liant reason of the Athenian philosopher and the trained 
imagination which produced the masterpieces of Greek art and 

Hcinrich von Treitschke, in his recent "Politik," imitates Indirect 
the direct inference of Buckle when he ascribes the absence mental 
of artistic and poetic development in Switzerland and the Al- effects * 
pine lands to the overwhelming aspect of nature there, its 
majestic sublimity which paralyzes the mind. 10 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 overpower- 
ing, 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, Al- 
pine Provence, the massive eastern Pyrenees, and the Auvergne 
Plateau, together with the barren peninsula of Brittany, are 
singularly lacking in artistic instinct, while art flourishes in 
all the river lowlands of France. Moreover, French men of 
letters, by the distribution of their birthplaces, arc 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 popula- 
tion contains a strong infusion of this supposedly stultifying 
Alpine blood, and the neighboring lowlands and hill country 



effects in 

tion of 

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 arc wealth, 
leisure, contact with many minds, large urban centers whore 
commodities and ideas are exchanged. The two contrasted en- 
vironments produce directly certain economic and social re- 
sults, which, in turn, become the causes of secondary intel- 
lectual and artistic effects. The low mountains of central 
Germany which von Trcitschkc cites as homes of poets and 
artists, owing to abundant and varied mineral wealth, are the 
scats of active industries and dense populations, 2 *' while their 
low reliefs present no serious obstacle to the numerous high- 
ways across them. They, therefore, afford all conditions for 

Let us take a different example. The rapid modification in 
physical and mental constitution of the Knglish transplanted 
to North America, South Africa, Australia and Now Zealand 
has been the result of several geographic causes working 
through the economic and social media; but it has boon 
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 now 
homes.- Kven Natal has not escaped this soft, impeachment. 
But the enterprise of colonials haw cropped out under ahnont 
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, then-fore, cover the ease. Careful 


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 trans- 
portation and bustling steerage agents, made a basis of artifi- 
cial 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 ser- 
geant. 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 

Such colonists in a remote country were necessarily few and Indirect 
could not be readily reinforced from home. Their new and effect 
isolated geographical environment favored variation. Hered- ! i 01 Jf 
ity 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 
arc 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 car king* care, the hopeful attitude of mind 
engendered by the consciousness of an almost unlimited oppor- 
tunity 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, 


of indirect 

produce a social rejuvenation of the race. New conditions 
present new problems which call for prompt and original solu- 
tion, 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 par- 
alysis is age. Hence the energy, initiative, adaptability, and 
receptivity to new ideas all youthful qualities which char- 
acterize the Anglo-Saxon American as well as the English Afri- 
cander, can be traced back to the stimulating influences, not of 
a bracing or variable climate, but of the abundant opportuni- 
ties offered by a great, rich, uncxploited country. Variation 
under new natural conditions, when safe-guarded by isolation, 
tends to produce modification of the colonial typo; this is the 
direct effect of a changed environment. But the new econ- 
omic and social activities of a transplanted people become the 
vehicle of a mass of indirect geographic influences which con- 
tribute to the differentiation of the national character. 

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 thai 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 Htrabo, 
though he recognises the influence of geographic isolation in 
differentiating dialects and customs in Greece, 85 ascribes some 
national characteristics to the nature of the country, especially 
to its climate, and the others to education and institutions. 
lie thinks that the nature of their respective lands had nothing 
to do with making the Athenians cultured, the Hpartarm 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. 8 * 1 But 
here arise the questions, how far custom and education in their 
turn depend upon environment ; to what degree natural condi* 


tions, 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 mathe- 
matics 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. 

Plutarch states in his "Solon" that after the rebellion of Indirect 
Kylon in 612 B.C. the Athenian people were divided into as political 
many political factions as there were physical types of country an m 
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 clamor- 
ous for an oligarchy ; the coast population of the south, inter- 
mediate 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 com- 
merce. New England's opposition to the War of 1812, cul- 
minating in the threat of secession of the Hartford Conven- 
tion, can be traced back through the active maritime trade 
to the broken coastline and unproductive soil of that glaciated 

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 op- 
posed to the tidewater plains of old Virginia, because slave 
labor did not pay on the barren "upright" farms of the Cum- 
berland 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 topog- 
raphy 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 

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

Time The complexity of this problem docs not end here. The 

element. modification of human development by environment is a nat- 
ural process; like all other natural processes, it involves the 
cumulative effects of causes operating imperceptibly but per- 
sistently through vast periods of time. Slowly and deliber- 
ately does geography engrave the sub-titles to a people's his- 
tory* Neglect of this time element in the consideration of 
geographic influences accounts equally for many an exagger- 
ated 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 ge- 
ologists, 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 ques- 
tion whether European colonists in Africa can turn into ne- 
groes, though wo do find the recent amazing statement that 
the Yankee, in his tall, gaunt figure, u thc colour of his skin, 
and the formation of his hair, has begun to differentiate him- 
self from his European kinsman and approach the type of the 
aboriginal Indians."" 8 Involution tells the story of modifica- 
tion by a succession of infinitesimal changes, and emphasises 
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 an monuments to 
the erosive forces which produced thorn. Ho a habitat loaves 
upon man no ephemeral impress; it affects him in one way at 
a low stage of his development, mid differently at a later or 
higher stage, because the man himself and bin relation to hi* 
environment have boon 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 conserva- 
tism 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 can- 
not 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 dic- 
tated 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. 

The importance of this time element for a solution of an- 
thropo-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 resylt^ 
in either case is the same, a new combination, new modificatibjis,) 
superimposed on old modifications. And it is with this &or^f 
case that anthropo-geography most often has to de#F.v So**" 
restless has mankind been, that the testimony of h|j$tp 
ethnology is all against the assumption that a s<& 
has ever been subjected to but one type of envirj^ru^nt 
its long period of development from a primiti^ ( tb^a^c| 
society. Therefore, if we assert that a peor)Ij* $$ th^Safroduct 
of the country which it inhabits at a gh^& <tims^fre $&&*& 
that many different countries which its f/3>$i$&rs occupjwliave 
left their mark on the present race inftji^ form ofc^fcerited 
aptitudes and traditional customs ^oqjifefred in -ti^)? remote 
ancestral habitats. The Moors of' Granada nad 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. Sur- 
vivals 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 moat. They oat chiefly 
sheep and goats, beef very rarely, and swine not at all. 20 
The first two thrive on poor pastures and travel well, so that 
they arc admirably adapted to nomadic life in arid lands; the 
last two, far less so, but on the other hand arc the regular con- 
comitant of agricultural life. The Turk's taste to-day, there- 
fore, is determined by the flocks and herds whidi ho once pas 7 
turcd on the Trans-Caspian plains. The finished lor race 
agriculture and methods of irrigation, which the Saracens 
had learned on the mountain sides of Yemen through a school- 
ing of a thousand years or more, facilitated their economic 
conquest of Spain. Their intelligent exploitation of I he coun- 
try's resources for the support of their growing numbers in 
the favorable climatic conditions which Spain offered was a 
light-hoar tod 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 thou- 
sand years we sec the political impress of this narrow origin 
spreading to the governments of an area of Europe immeasur- 
ably larger than the region that gave it birth. In the United 
States, little New England has been the source of the #tron#" 
est inflxienccs 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? 

j. ^ environment which gavo to its nons energy of character and 

planted ideals. 

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 seed- 
beds 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 reli- 
gious 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 igrport, for instance, of the 
Twenty-third Psalm, that picture of the nomad shepherd 
guiding his flock across parched and tra'ckless plains, to bring 
them at evening, weary, hungry, thirsty, to the fresh pas- 
tures 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 Bud- 
dhism, 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 
xincongcmal soil. But to explain them in terms of their pres- 
ent environment would be indeed impossible. 

A people may present at any given time only a partial re- Partial 
sponse to their environment also for other reasons. This may response 
be either because their arrival has been too recent for the new to eort* 
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 circum- 
stances, 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 them- 
selves. 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 enthusi- 
asm spends itself, or when outside competition is intensified, or 
the material rewards decrease. 

The case An illustration is found in the mediaeval history of Spain. 

of Spain, rpj ao intercontinental location of the Iberian Peninsula ex- 
posed it to the Saracen conquest and to the constant reinforce- 
ments to Islam power furnished by the Mohaiwnedanixed Ber- 
bers 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 gentle- 
man 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 Kuropean states. The release of 
the national energies by the fall of Granada in 149$ 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. Tn 
a few decades the maritime preeminence of the Iberian 
Peninsula began to yield to the competition of the Dutch 
and English, who were, rio 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 com- 
munication with the West Indies. 30 - 

We have a later instance of sporadic development under Sporadic 
the stimulus of new and favorable geographic conditions, with response 
a similar anti-climax. The expansion of the Russians across to * new 
the lowlands of Siberia was quite in harmony with the genius envi * on " 
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 seal- 
skins to the fur-hunting Cossacks determined a sudden mari- 
time 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 Bara- 
nof 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 condi- 
tions 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. 

The history and culture of a people embody the effects of The 
previous habitats and of their final environment; but this krgrcon- 
environmcnt means something more than local geographic cep . on 
conditions. It involves influences emanating from far beyond ment 
the borders. No country, no continent, no sea, mountain or 
river is restricted to itself in the influence which it either exer- 


cises 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 for- 
eign policy with a view to the relative strength of the Sultan 
and the Czar. 

Unity of The earth is an inseparable whole. Each country or sea 

the earth. j s 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. 38 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 re- 
turn voyage, Europe is a part of the Atlantic coast. This is 
a fact so significant that the North Atlantic 1ms become a 
European sea. The United Slates also is a part of the Atlan- 
tic coast: this is the dominant fact of American history* China 
forms a section of the Pacific rinu This is the fact back of 
the geographic distribution of Chinese emigration to Annum, 
Tonkin, Siam, Malacca, the Philippines, East Indies, Borneo, 
Australia, Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific Coast States, British 
Cohunbia, 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 pre- 
historic past. Universal history is not entitled to tho name 
unless it embraces all parts of the earth and all -peoples, 
whether savage or civilised. 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 

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. B. 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 Iloldich, 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. JIT, p. 109. London, 1885. 

9. G. G. Ohisholm, The "Relativity of Geographic Advantages, Scottish 
Geog. Hag., Vol. XIII, No. 9, Sept. 1897. 

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

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

12. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 317-323. Lon- 
don, 1904. 

13. Captain A. T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 
30-38. Boston, 1902. 

14. G. G. Chisholm, Economic Geography, Scottish Qeog. Mag., March, 

15. Captain A. T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History, pp. 37- 
38. Boston, 190& 

16. Boyd Winchester, Tho Swiss Republic, pp. 123, 124, 145-147. 
Philadelphia, 1891. 

17. Montesquieu, Spirit of tho Laws, Book XIV, chap. TV. X 

18. JTenry Buckle, History of Civilization in England, Vol. I, pp.v 


19. Heinrich von Treitschke, Politrt, Vol. T, p. 225. Leipzig, 1897. 
This whole chapter on Land und Leute is suggestive. 

20. W. Z. Ripley, Baces of Europe, pp. 524-525. New York, 1899. 

21. I~bid., 526. 

22. IUd., 517-520, 533-536. 

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

24. W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe, p. 89. New York, 1899. 

25. Strabo, Book VIT, chap. I, 2. 

26. Strabo, Book IT, chap. Ill, '7. 

27. Plutarch, Solon, pp. 13, 2ft, 154. 

28. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, pp. 244-245. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

29. Koscher, National-oeTconomiJc des AcTcerbaues, p. 33, note 3. Stutt- 
gart, 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. T, pp. 298, 628-635. San 

32. Agnes Laut, Vikings of the Pacific, pp. 64-82. New York, 3905. 

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


INTO almost every anthropo-geographical problem the ele- 
ment 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 anal- 
ysis of all the relations between environment and human devel- 
opment, it is advisable to distinguish the various classes of 
geographic influences. 

Four fundamental classes of effects can be distinguished. Physical 

1. The first class includes direct physical effects of environ- effects - 
ment, 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 organ- 
ism to his environment. Many physiological peculiarities of 
man are due to physical effects of environment, which doubt- 
less 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. 

Such modifications have probably been numerous in the Variation 
persistent and unending movements, shif tings, and migrations a^d natural 
which have made up the long prehistoric history of man. If the co ons " 
origin of species is found in variability and inheritance, vari- 
ation is undoubtedly influenced by a change of natural condi- 
tions. 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 sur- 
vive." 1 The variability of man does not mean that every ex- 


ternal 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 out- 
ward 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 sur- 
rounding medium or milieu. 

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. 2 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 rarificd air found at an altitude of 10,000 or 
15,000 feet above sea level. Whether these have boon 
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 aro a serious 
handicap when the Aymara Indian descends to the plains, 
where he cither dies off or leaves descendants with diminishing 
chests. 3 [Sec map page 101.] 

Stature Darwin holds that many slight changes in animals and 

ad en- plants, such as size, color, thickness of skin and hair, have been 
vironment produced through food supply and climate from the external 
conditions under which the forms lived. 4 Paul Khronroioh, 
while regarding the chief race distinctions as permanent Forms, 
not to be explained by external conditions, nevertheless con- 
cedes the slight and slow variation of the 'sub- race under 
changing conditions of food and climate as beyond doubt. 
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 arc k characterized by smaller 
size in general than are corresponding species in the lowlands. 
It is a noticeable fact that dwarfed horses or ponies have origi* 


nated in islands, in Iceland, the Shetlands, Corsica and Sar- 
dinia. This is due either to scanty and unvaried food or to 
excessive inbreeding, or probably to both. The horses intro- 
duced into the Falkland Islands in 176-i 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. 6 On the other 
hand, Mr. Homer Davenport states that the pure-bred Ara- 
bian 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 in- 
dividuals, 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. 7 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." 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 buf- 
falo-hunting tribes of the plains. 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. 

Oftentimes environment modifies the physique of a people Physical 
indirectly by imposing upon them certain predominant activi- ^^J a ^ t 
tics, which may develop one part of the body almost to the activitie8< 
point of deformity. This is the effect of increased use or dis- 
use 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 con- 
stant exercise. 10 Livingstone found these same characteristics 
of broad chests and shoulders with ill-developed legs among 
the Barotse of the upper Zambesi ; 1X and they have been ob- 
served 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 necessi- 
tated sea-faring activities. 12 An identical environment has 
produced a like physical effect upon the canocmcn of Tierra 
del Fuego 13 and the Aleutian Islanders, who often sit in their 
boats twenty hours at a time. 14 These special adaptations 
are temporary in their nature and tend to disappear with 
change of occupation, as, for instance, among the Tlingit In- 
dians, who develop improved leg muscles when employed as 
laborers in the salmon canneries of British Columbia. 
Effects of Both the direct and indirect physical effects of environ- 

climate. ment 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 docs 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 Hitler 
regarded the small, slit eyes and swollen lids of the Turkoman 
as "an obvious effect of the desert upon the organism." Stan- 
hope Smith ascribed the high shoulders and short neck of 
the Tartars of Mongolia to their habit of raising their 
shoulders to protect the ncek 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." 15 These profound influences of 
a severe climate upon physiognomy he finds also amon# the 
Lapps, northern Mongolians, Samoycdcs and Eskimo, 

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 de- 
bilitating climate lost the qualities -which first gave them su- 
premacy, the change which they underwent was primarily a 
physiological one. It can be scientifically described and ex- 
plained therefore only by physiologists and physico-chemists ; 
and upon their investigations the geographer must wait before 
he approaches the problem from the standpoint of geographi- 
cal distribution. Into this sub-class of physical effects come Acclimat- 
all questions of acclimatization. 10 These are important to the Cation, 
anthropo-geographer, just as they are to colonial governments 
like England or France, because they affect the power of na- 
tional or racial expansion, and fix the historical fate of tropical 
lands. The present populations of the earth represent physi- 
cal adaptation to their environments. The intense heat and 
hufnidity of most tropical lands prevent any permanent occu- 
pation by a native-born population of pure whites. The ca- 
tarrhal zone north of the fortieth parallel in America soon 
exterminates the negroes. 17 

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 alti- 
tude, 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 plan- 
tations 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. 18 
Similarly in the high, dry Himalayan valley of the upper 
Indus, over 10,000 feet above sea level, the natives of Ladak 
arc 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. 10 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 

Pigmen- The relation of pigmentation to climate has long interested 

tation geographers as a question of environment; but their spccula- 

and cli- tions on the subject have been barren, because the preliminary 
investigations of the physiologist, physicist and chemist arc 
still incomplete. The general fact of increasing nigrescence 
from temperate towards equatorial regions is conspicuous 
enough, despite some irregularity of the shading." 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, 21 all which 
variations may enter into the problem of the negro's 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 num. Living- 
stone found the bodies of albino negroes in Bechuana Land 
always blistered on exposure to the sun, 22 and a like effect has 
been observed among albino Polynesians, and Molanosiaim of 
Fiji. 23 Paul Ehrcnroich finds that the degree of coloration de- 
pends 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 Sati Francisco 
River in Brazil are fairer than the kindred Kayapo tribe, who 
inhabit the open .campos; and the Arawak of the Purun River 
forests are lighter than their fellows in the central Matto 
Grosso. 24 Sea-faring coast folk, who arc constantly exposed 
to the sun, especially in the Tropics, show a deeper pigmonta- 


tion than their kindred of the wooded interior. 25 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. 26 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. 27 Here 
light, in contradistinction to heat, appears the dominant factor 
in pigmentation. A recent theory, advanced by von Schmae- 
del 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. 28 

Coloration responds to other more obscure influences of en- Pigmenta- 
vironment. A close connection between pigmentation and ele- tio ^ and 
vation above sea level has been established: a high altitude a * e * 
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. 20 Livi, in his treatise 
on military anthropometry, deduced a special action of moun- 
tains upon pigmentation on observing a prevailing increase of 
blondnesR 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. 30 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 popula- 
tion is fair; grey, blue or green eyes are frequent, as is also 
reddish blond or chgstnut hair. 31 Waitz long ago affirmed 
this tendency of mountaineers to lighter coloring from his 
study of primitive peoples. 32 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 defined. 83 


Difficulty Enough has been said to show that the geographer can 

formulate no broad generalization as to the relation of pig- 
ization mentation and climate from the occurrence of the darkest 

skins in the Tropics ; because this fact is weakened by the ap- 
pearance 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 physiolo- 
gists 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 pig- 
mentation. 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. 34 Moreover, owing to the ceaseless move- 
ments 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 deleteri- 
ous in the new habitat. 

Psychical II. More varied and important ai*e the psychical effects of 

effects. geographic environment. As direct effects they are doubtless 
bound up in many physiological modifications ; and as influ- 
ences 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. Blackstonc 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 back- 
bone doth lie in the middle of the fish." 85 The whole mythol- 
ogy 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; 36 the Jew's is a place of eternal fire. Buddha, 
born in the steaming Himalayan piedmont, fighting the lassi- 
tude induced by heat and humidity, pictured his heaven as 
Nirvana, the cessation of all activity and individual life. 

Intellectual effects of environment may appear in the en- Indirect 
richment of a language in one direction to a rare nicety of effect 
expression ; but this may be combined with a meager vocabu- 
lary in all other directions. The greatest cattle-breeders among 
the native Africans, such as the Hereros of western Damara- 
land 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 develop- 
ment. 37 The speech of nomads has an abundance of expres- 
sions 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 Mag- 
yars, 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. 88 While the vocabulary of Malays and Poly- 
nesians is especially rich in nautical terms, the Kirghis shep- 
herd 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 diffi- 
cult, 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. 30 

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 fur- 
nishing the motives for its exercise, give purpose to his activi- 
ties, and determine the direction which they shall take. 40 
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. 

The great What of the great man in this geographical interpretation 
man in O f history ? It seems to take no account of him, or to put him 
history. j n |. ^ e me ltlng-pot with the masses. Both arc to some extent 
true. As a science, anthropo-gcography 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 aggre- 
gate 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 lie is a 
product of the same forces that made his people. lie moves 
with them and is followed by them under a common impulse. 
Daniel Booi^e, that picturesque figure leading the van of the 
westward movement over the Allegheny Mountains, was born 
of his frontier environment and found a mill ti hide of his kind 
in that region of backwoods farms to follow him into the wil- 
derness. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, in tho Louisiana Pur- 
chase, carried out the policy of expansion adumbrated in Gov- 
ernor Spottswood's expedition with the Knights of the Golden 
Horseshoe over the Blue Kidgc 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. Peters- 
burg, usually stigmatised as the act of a despot, was made in 
response to natural conditional offering access to the Baltic 
nations, just as certainly as ten centuries before similar con- 
ditions and identical advantages led the early Russian mer- 


chants to build up a town at nearby Novgorod, in easy water 
connection with the Baltic commerce. 41 

III. Geographic conditions influence the economic and so- Economic 
cial development of a people by the abundance, paucity, or aiwi socia! 
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 en- 
vironment. 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, con- 
demn 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-geog- 

They are especially significant because they determine the Size of 
size of the social group. This must be forever small in areas the 


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 
thivS 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 
Wcstman Isles of Iceland; or a compact, teeming, yet abso- 
lutely 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 arc forever excluded from the historical significance at- 
taching to the large, continuously distributed populations of 
fertile continental lands. 

IV. The next class belongs exclusively to the domain of Effect upon 
geography, because it embraces the influence of the features movements 
of the earth's surface in directing the movements and ultimate peop es 
distribution of mankind. It includes the effect of natural 
barriers, like mountains, deserts, swamps, and seas, in ob- 


structing 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. 

River The lines of expansion followed by the French and English 

routes. j n ^ e se ttlement of America and also the extent of territory 
covered by each were powerfully influenced by geographic con- 
ditions. 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 Mis- 
souri. 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 prcftsc'd against tho western 
barrier, mountain gates opened at Cumberland Gap and 
the Mohawk Valley; the Ohio River and the Great Lake** 
became interior thoroughfares, and the northwestern prairie** 
lines of least resistance to the western settler* Riven* 
played the same part in directing and expediting this forward 
movement, as did the Lena and the Amoor in the Russian ad- 
vance into Siberia, the Humbcr 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. 

The geographical environment of a people may be such as Segrega- 
to segregate them from others, and thereby to preserve or tion and 
even intensify their natural characteristics ; or it may expose accesslbilit y- 
them to extraneous influences, to an infusion of new blood and 
new ideas, till their peculiarities are toned down, their distinct- 
ive features of dialect or national dress or provincial customs 
eliminated, and the people as a whole approach to the com- 
posite type of civilized humanity. A land shut off by moun- 
tains 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 high- 
lands of the Southern Appalachians, which form the "mount- 
ain 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 want- 
ing, 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. 42 

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, Hun- 
garians, 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 Vistula. 

Change of Here are four different classes of geographic influences,, 

habitat. a ll 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 affecb the efficiency of the work- 
man and the general character of production. From these 
a whale complex mass of secondary effects may follow. 

The Aryans and Mongols, lea\ing 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 funda- 
mental changes in the process of adaptation to their new en- 
vironment. 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 rest- 
less, tireless shepherds became a sedentary, agricultural peo- 
ple; the abstemious nomads, spare, sinewy, strangers t,o in- 
dulgence became a race of rulers, revelling in luxury, lor<l- 
ing 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 und til- 


lage 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 agri- 
cultural 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. 

The change from the nomadic to the sedentary life repre- Retro- 
sents an economic advance. Sometimes removal to strongly p 6881011 
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 cen- 
turies 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 Supe- 
rior 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. 43 

The Boers Another pronounced instance of rapid retrogression under 
of South new un f a vorable 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 Nether- 
lands 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. 44 The gregarious instinct, bred 
by the closely-packed population of little Holland, was trans- 
formed to a love of solitude, which in all lands character- 
izes 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 Trails- 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 Tool differs widely 
from the polished speech of Holland ; it preserves some fea- 
tures 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 ab- 
stract ideas, only the concrete ideas of a dull, work-a-day 
world. 45 

The new habitat may eliminate many previously acquired 
characteristics and hence transform a people* an in the case 
of the Boers; or it may intensify tribal or national traitu, an 
in the seafaring propensities of the Angles ancl Saxon when 
transferred to Britain, and of the seventeenth century Kng- 


lish 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 existence. 


1. Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. V, p. 166. New York, 1895. 

2. B. Virchow, Rasseribildung itnd Erblictikert, Bastian Festschrift, 
pp. 14, 43, 44. Berlin, 1896. 

3. Darwin, Descent of Man, pp. 34-35. New York, 1899. 

4. Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. I, pp. 8-9. New York, 1895. 

5. P. Ehren^reieh, Die Urbewohner Brasiliens, p. 30. Braunschweig, 

6. Ratzel, Die Erde und das Leben, Vol. I, pp. 364, 365. Leipzig and 
Vienna, 1901. 

7. W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe, pp. 79-86, 96, 100. New York, 1899. 

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

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

10. Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 33. New York, 1899. 

11. D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 266. New York, 1858. 

12. 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. 

13. Fitz-Boy, Voyage of the Beagle, Vol. II, pp. 130-132, 137, 138. 
London, 1839. 

14. H. Bancroft, Native Baces, Vol. I, pp. 88-89. San Francisco, 

15. S. Stanhope Smith, Essay on the Causes of the Variety of Com- 
plexion and Figure in the Human Species, pp. 103-110. New Brunswick 
and New York, 1810, 

16. For full discussion see A. B. Wallace 's article on acclimatization in 
Encyclopedia Britanica, and W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe. Chap. XXI. 
New York, 1899. 

17. D. Q-. Brinton, Baces and Peoples, pp. 39-41. Philadelphia, 1901. 

18. Darwin, Descent of Man, pp. 34-35. New York, 1899. 

19. E. F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, pp. 137-138. London, 

20. W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe, pp. 58-71, Map. New York, 1899. 

21. Hid., p. 566. D. G. Brinton, Baces and Peoples, pp. 29-30. Phila- 
delphia, 1901. 

22. D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 607. New York, 1858. 

23. Williams and Calvert, Fiji and the Fijians, p. 83. New York, 


24. P. Ehrenreich, Die TJrbewoJiner Brasiliens, p. 32. Braunschweig, 

25. T. Waitz, Anthropology, pp. 46-49. Edited by Collingwood, Lon- 
don, 1863. 

26. Philippine Census, Vol. I, p. 552. Washington, 1903. 

27. F. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 106. London, 1908. 

28. Major Charles E. Woodruff, The Effect of Tropieal Light on the 
White Man, New York, 1905, is a suggestive but not convincing discus- 
sion of the theory. 

29. W. Z. Eipley, Races of Europe, pp. 74-77. New York, 1899. 

30. Quoted in Gr. Sergi, The Mediterranean Race, p. 73. London and 
New York, 1901. 

. 31. Ibid., pp. 63-69, 74-75. 

32. T. Waitz, Anthropology, pp. 44-45. Edited by J. P. Collingwood, 
London, 1863. 

33. W. Z. Bipley, Races of Europe, p. 76. New York, 1899. 

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

35. J. Johnson, Jurisprudence of the Isle of Man, pp. 44, 71. Edin- 
burgh, 1811. 

36. 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, 

37. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. T, p. 35. London, 1896-1898. 

38. Roscher, National-OeTconomilc ties AcTcerbaues, p. 34, note 8. Stutt- 
gart, 1888. 

39. Elisee Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants, Asia, Vol. I, p. 171. 
New York, 1895. 

40. Alfred Hettner, Die Geographic d<>$ Mewtchen, pp. 409-410 in 
Geographische Zeitschrift, Vol. XTIT, No. 8. Leipzig, 1907. 

41. S. B. Boulton, The Russian Empire, pp. 00-64. London, 1HH2, 

42. E. C. Semple, The Anglo-Saxons of the Kentucky MouutaiiiH, The 
Geographical Journal, Vol. XVII, No. 6, pp. 588-023. London, 1901. 

43. E. C. Semple, American History and its Geographic Conditions, pp. 
25-31. Boston, 1903. The Influence of Geographic Knvironmtmt on the 
Lower St. Lawrence, Bull. Amer. Geog. tiociety, Vol. XXXVI, p. 449- 
466. -New York, 1904. 

44. A. R. Colquhoun, Africander Land, pp. 200-201. Naw York, 1000, 

45. Ibid., pp. 140-145. James Bryco, Impressions of South Africa, p. 
398. New York, 1897. 


EVERY clan, tribe, state or nation includes two ideas, a People 
people and its land, the first unthinkable without the other. and 
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 geo- 
graphic 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 navi- 
gation, of agriculture, of trade, as also the theory of popula- 
tion, 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, soci- 
ology and history should be permeated by geography. 

In history, the question of territory, by which is meant Political 
mere area in contrast to specific geographic conditions geography 
has constantly come to the front, because a state obviously ^' 

involved land and boundaries, and assumed as its chief func- 
tion the defence and extension of these. Therefore political 
geography developed early as an offshoot of history. Politi- 
cal 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 in- 
variably 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 ap- 
proximately geographic lines of cleavage; and these make 
themselves apparent at recurring intervals of national up- 
heaval, perhaps with centuries between, like a submarine vol- 
canic rift. In England the southeastern plain and the north- 
western uplands have been repeatedly arrayed against each 
other, from the Roman conquest which embraced the lowlands 
up to about the 500-foot contour line, 1 through the War of 
the Roses and the Civil War, 2 to the struggle for the repeal 
of the Corn Laws and the great Reform Bill of 1882. 8 
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 

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 quar- 
rel 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 institxitions 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 glcbae; 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 

Most systems of sociology treat man as if he were in some Land 
way detached from the earth's surface ; they ignore the land basis f 
basis of society. The anthropo-geographer recognizes the societ y 
various social forces, economic and psychologic, which soci- 
ologists regard as the cement of societies; but he has some- 
thing 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 rela- 
tions 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 ad- 
vantage, 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 inter- 
mittent 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. 


Morgan*s ]y/[ an J n hi s larger activities, as opposed to his mere physi- 

Societas. ological 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 al- 
ways 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 cwitas based 
upon land. 4 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 classi- 
fication 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 habi- 
tat, whose food supply they regard as a monopoly. 5 This 
is true even of migratory hunting tribes. They claim a cer- 
tain area whose boundaries, however, are often ill-defined and 
subject to fluctuations, because the lands are not hold by per- 
manent occupancy and cultivation. An exceptional cac is 
that of the Shoshone Indians, inhabiting the barren Utah 
basin and the upper valleys of the Snake and Salmon Rivera, 
who are accredited with no sense of ownership of the soil, 
In their natural state they roved about in small, totally unor- 
ganized 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 itn poverty 
of game kept its destitute inhabitants constantly on the move 
to gather in the meager food supply, and often restricted tho 
social group to the family. 6 Here the bond between l*n<l 




and tribe, and hence between the members of the tribe, was the 
weakest possible. 

The usual type of tribal ownership was presented by the Land bond 
Comanches, nomadic horse Indians who occupied the grassy ' n hunter 
plains of northern Texas. They held their territory and the " 
game upon it as the common property of the tribe, and jeal- 
ously guarded the integrity of their domain. 7 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 en- 
croachment upon its hunting grounds. Relying mainly on 
the chase and fishing, little on agriculture, for their subsis- 
tence, their relations to their soil were superficial and transi- 
tory, their tribal organization in a high degree unstable. 8 
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 con- 
siderable 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. 9 

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, 10 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 re- 
ligion, for the tribe's spirit ancestors occupied this special 
territory. 11 In a like manner a very definite conception of 
tribal ownership of land prevails among the Bushmen and 
Bcchuanas of South Africa ; and to the pastoral Hereros the 
alienation of their land is inconceivable. 12 [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 
the sexes, and hence no evolution of classes, The 


common economic level of all is reflected in the simple social 
organization, 13 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 exist- 
ences remote from each other. This is the explanation of mul- 
tiplication of dialects among savage tribes. 
land Fishing tribes have their chief occupation determined by 

bond in 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 Switz- 
erland, based upon a concentrated food-supply resulting from 
a systematic and often varied exploitation of the local re- 
sources. The cooperation and submission to a leader necessary 
in pelagic fishing often gives the preliminary training for 
higher political organization. 14 All the primitive stocks of the 
Brazilian Indians, except the mountain Ges, are fishermen and 
agriculturists; hence their annual migrations arc kept within 
narrow limits. Each linguistic group occupies a fixed and 
relatively well defined district. 15 Stanley found along the 
Congo large permanent villages of the natives, who were en- 
gaged 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 thejr arc asso- 
ciated with dense populations and often with advanced po- 
litical organization, as we find it in the feudal monarchy of 
Tonga and the savage Fiji Islands. 16 Fisher tribes, therefore, 
get an early impulse forward in civilization ; 1T and even where 
conditions do not permit the upward step to agriculture, those 
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. 18 

Among pastoral nomads, among whom a systematic use of land 
their territory begins to appear, and therefore a more definite tond in 
relation between land and people, we find a more distinct P*^ ^ 
notion than among wandering hunters of territorial ownership, SOC1C 
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 be- 
longs 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. 19 

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. 20 Sven Hedin 
found on the Tarim River poles set up to mark the boundary 
between the Shah-yar and Kuchar tribal pastures. 21 John 
de Piano Carpini, traveling over southern Russia in 1346, im- 


ical mark 
of low- 
type so- 

mediately after the Tartar conquest, found that the Dnieper, 
Don, Volga and Ural rivers were all boundaries between do- 
mains of the various millionaries or thousands, into which the 
Tartar horde was organized. 22 The population of this vast 
country was distributed according to the different degrees of 
fertility and the size of the pastoral groups. 23 Volney observed 
the same distinction in the distribution of the Bedouins of 
Syria. He found the barren cantons held by small, widely scat- 
tered tribes, as in the Desert of Suez ; but the cultivable can- 
tons, like the Hauran and the Pachalic of Aleppo, closely 
dotted by the encampments of the pastoral owners. 34 

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 neces- 
sary for the annual support of the tribe. Hence any outside 
encroachment upon their territory calls for the united resist- 
ance of the tribe. This joint or social action is dictated by 
their common interest in pastures and herds. The social ad- 
ministration 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. Overcrowd- 
ing 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. Abra- 
ham took the hill pastures of Judca, and Lot the plains of 
Jordan near the settled district of Sodom. 25 

The larger the amount of territory necessary for the sup- 
port 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 Su- 
danese, 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." 26 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-] 

The superiority over this social type of the civilized state Land and 
lies in the highly organized utilization of its whole geographic state, 
basis by the mature community, and in the development of 
government that has followed the increasing density of popu- 
lation 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 com- 
merce. The migratory life presents only limited accumulation 
of capital, and restricts narrowly its forms. Permanent settle- 
ment encourages accumulation in every form, and under grow- 
ing 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. 

The geographic basis of a state embodies a whole complex Strength 
of physical conditions which may influence its historical de- * thc% 
velopment. The most potent of these are its size and zonal ^ n 
location ; its situation, whether continental or insular, inland 
or maritime, on the open ocean or an enclosed sea ; its bounda- 
ries, whether drawn by sea, mountain, desert or the faint de- 
marking 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 


land tenure 
of hunt- 
ing and 

Land and 



taken advantage of all its natural conditions, the land becomes 
a constituent part of the state, 27 modifying the people which 
inhabit it, modified by them in turn, till the connection be- 
tween 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. 

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. 28 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. 20 This was the case of Kursach- 
sen 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 develop- 
ment* Easy-going man needs the prod of a pressing popula- 
tion. [Compare maps pages 8 and 103 for examples.] 

Food is the urgent and recurrent need of individuals and of 
society. It dictates their activities in relation to thoir 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. 

Hunter and fisher folk, relying almost exclusively upon Advance 
what their land produces of itself, need a large area and fr m 
derive from it only an irregular food supply, which in winter mt ^ to 
diminishes to the verge of famine. The transition to the b . ^ 
pastoral stage has meant the substitution of an artificial subsistence, 
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. 80 From the standpoint 
of economics, the forward stride has consisted in the applica- 
tion of capital in the form of flocks and herds to the task of 
feeding the wandering horde ; 81 from the standpoint of alimen- 
tation, 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 subsis- 
tence of a nomad requires 100 to 200 acres of land, for 
that of a skillful farmer from 1 to % acres suffice. 32 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% square miles. 33 

With transition to tthe sedentary life of agriculture, society Land in 
makes a further gain over nomadism in the closer integra- relation to 
tion of its social units, due to permanent residence in larger a S ncultuie ' 
and more complex groups ; in the continuous release of labor 
from the task of mere food-getting for higher activities, re- 
sulting 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 locali- 



checks to 

ties 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.] 

Agriculture . is adopted at first on a small scale as an ad- 
junct to the chase or herding. It tends therefore to partake 
of the same extensive and nomadic character 34 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 un- 
exhausted 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. 35 

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 Ger- 
mans at the beginning of their history. Tacitus says of 
them, Arva per annos mutant et wperest ager 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 be- 
come 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. 37 Often, how- 
ever, 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 o'f the cultivated patches; 
hence agriculture remains subsidiary to the yield of the pas* 
tures. This condition and effect is conspicuous along the 
termini of the streams draining the northern slope of the 
Kuen Lun into the Tarim basin. 88 

The desultory, intermittent, extensive use of the land prac- 
tised by hunters and nomads tends, under the growing pros- 


sure 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 rain- 
fall 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.] 

Adverse conditions of climate and soil are not the only Native 
factors in this retardation. The very unequal native equip- animal and 
ment of the several continents with plant and animal forms &**** Kfe 
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. 39 The buffalo, whose domesti- 
cability 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. 40 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 


Land per 

various cul- 
tural and 

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, 41 as we find it in the Alps. More- 
over, 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 distri- 
bution coincided with that of the llama and alpaca, whose 
chief pasturage it furnished. 42 In contrast, the absence of 
any wild fodder plants in Japan, and the exclusion of all for- 
eign 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 wide- 
spread 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 off ered over most of their area 
conditions of climate and soil highly favorable to agriculture, 
and a fair list of indigenous cereals, tubers, and pulses yield- 
ing goodly crops even to superficial tillage. Maize espe- 
cially was admirably suited for a race of semi-migratory hun- 
ters. 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 prepara- 
tion beyond roasting before it was ready for food/ 8 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. 

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 44 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 WO square miles per capita; in choice dis- 
tricts 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, % 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 Kordof an and Sennar 
districts of eastern Sudan, 10 to 15 to the square mile. Agri- 
culture, undeveloped but combined with some trade and in- 
dustry as in Equatorial Africa, Borneo and most of the Cen- 
tral 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.] 

With every increase of the population inhabiting a given Density of 
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 re- 
duce friction within and to secure to the people the land on 


of the 

Checks to 

which and by which they live. Therefore protection becomes 
a prime function of the state. It wards off outside at- 
tack 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 rail- 
roads, 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 

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 Ap- 
palachian 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 na- 
tional energies, stimulated natural increase of population, 
and attracted immigration, but it eliminated a dangerous 
neighbor in the French, and placed a wide buffer of unten- 
anted land between the United States and the petty aggres- 
sions of the Spanish in Mexico. Rome's expansion into the 
valley of the Po, as later into Trans-Alpine Gaul and Ger- 
many, had for its purpose the protection of the peninsula 
against barbarian inroads. Japan's recent aggression against 
the Russians in the Par East was actuated by the realisation 
that she had to expand into Korea at the cost of Muscovite 
ascendency, or contract later at the cost of her own independ- 

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 in- 
crease 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 sanc- 
tioned murder of the aged and infirm, honorable suicide, poly- 
andry or persistent war, are the social deformities consequent 
upon suppressed growth. Such artificial checks upon popula- 
tion are more conspicuous in natural regions with sharply de- 
fined boundaries, like islands and oases, as Malthus observed ; 45 
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 

There is a great difference between those states whose inhabi- Extra-terri- 
tants subsist exclusively from the products of their own coun- toria f 
try 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 inter- 
national 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 


in the 
of history. 

Theory of 
from the 
of geo- 

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 soci- 
ety 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 be- 
coming 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 

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 out- 
wardly mutable, it found always at the bottom of changing 
events the same solid earth. Biology has had the same x- 
perience. The history of the life forms of the world leads al- 
ways back to the land on which that life arose, spread, and 
struggled for existence. The philosophy of history was supe- 
rior 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. 

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 ib made the most of its op- 
portunities 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 peo- 
ple, in order to progress, should extend and multiply only its 
local relations to its land. This would eventuate in arrested de- 
velopment, such as Japan showed at the time of Perry's visit. 
The ideal basis of progress is the expansion of the world re- 
lations 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 ex- 
panded 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 ex- 
panding field of advancing history has therefore been an essen- 
tial concomitant and at the same time a driving force in the 
progress of every people and of the world. 

Since progress in civilization involves an increasing ex- 
ploitation of natural advantages and the development of closer increasing 
relations between a land and its people, it is an erroneous dependence 
idea that man tends to emancipate himself more and more upon nature, 
from the control of the natural conditions forming at once 


the foundation and environment of his activities. On the con- 
trary, he multiplies his dependencies upon nature ;* tt 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 Penn- 
sylvania, 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 ex- 
citement 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 be- 
come more far-reaching, though less conspicuous and es- 
pecially less arbitrary. 

Increase These dependencies increase enormously both in variety 

in kind and amount. Great Britain, with its twenty thousand mcr- 
an< l chant ships aggregating over ten million tons, and its im- 

amount * mense 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 applica- 
tion to industry, the plunging falls of the Scandinavian Moxin- 
tains, of the Alps of Switzerland, France, and Italy, of the 
Southern Appalachians and the Cascade Range, are geograph- 
ical features representing new and unsuspected forms of na- 
tional capital, and therefore new bonds between land and peo- 
ple in these localities. Russia since 1844 1ms built 35,572 
miles (57,374 kilometers) of railroad in her European terri- 
tory, 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 con- 
fined 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, Nor- 
way, with its paucity of arable soil and of other natural re- 
sources, 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 devel- 
oped a merchant marine nearly half as large again as that of 
Russia and Finland combined 1,569,646 tons 47 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 cooperation, 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 caprices. 


1. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 196. London, 

2. Gardner, Atlas of English History, Map 29. New York, 1905. 

3. Hereford George, Historical Geography of Great Britain, pp. 58-60. 
London, 1904. 

4. Lewis Morgan, Ancient Society, p. 62. New York, 1878. 

5. Franklin H. Giddings, Elements of Sociology, p. 247. New York, 

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

7. ZZncZ., Vol. J, pp. 231-232, 241. 

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

9. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 392-393, 408, 
Vol. XJX, of History of North America, edited by Francis W. Thorpe, 
Philadelphia, 1905. Eleventh Census Report on the Indians, p. 51. 
Washington, 1894. 

10. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. TT, pp. 249-250. New 
York, 1902-1906, 

11. Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, pp. IS- 
IS. London, 1904. 

12. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. 1, p. 126. London, 1896-1898. 

13. Roscher, National-Oclconomik des Ackerbaues, p. 24. Stuttgart, 


14. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 131. London, 1896-3898. 

15. Paul Ehrenreieh, Die Einteilung und Verbreitiing der Volker- 
stamme Brcu>iliens, Peterman's Geographische Mittheilungen, Vol. 
XXXVII, p. 85. Gotha, 1891. 

16. Roscher, National-OeJconomik des Ackerbaues, p. 26, Note 5. 
Stuttgart, 1888. 

17. Ibid., p. 27. 

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

19. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 173. London, 189(3-1898. 

20. Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 173-174. 

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

22. John de Piano Carpini, Journey in 1246, p. 130. Rakluyt Society, 
London, 1904. 

23. Journey of William de Rubruquis in 1253, p. 188. Rakluyt So- 
ciety, London, 1903. 

24. Volney, quoted in Malthus, Principles of Population, Chap. VII, 
p. 60. London, 1878. 

25. Genesis, Chap. XIII, 1-12. 

26. Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 457. Now 

27. Heinrich von Treitschke, Politik, Vol. I, pp. 202-204. Leipzig, 

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

29. Roscher, Grundlagen des National-Oekonomie, Book VL Bcvolfccr- 
ung, p. 694, Note 5. Stuttgart, 1886. 

30. Edward John Payne, History of tho New World (Jailed America, 
Vol. I, p. 303-313. Oxford and New York, 1892. 

31. Roscher, National-OekonomiJc dcs Ackerbaues, pp. 31, 52. Stutt- 
gart, 1888. 

32. Ibid., p. 56, Note 5. 

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

34. Roscher, National-Ockonomik dcs Ackcrbaucs, pp. 70-80, p. 81, 
Note 7. Stuttgart, 1888. William L Thomas, Source Book for Social 
Origins, pp. 96-112. Chicago, 1009. 

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

36. Tacitus, Gcrmania, FIT. 

37. Roscher, National-OckonoiniTs dcs Ackcrbaucs, p, 312, Note 15 on p. 
36. Stuttgart, 1888. 

38. E. Huntington, Tho Pulse of Asia, pp. 202, 203, 212, 213, 23ti-2,lY. 
Boston, 1907. 

39. Sheldon Jackson, TntrodudJoii of Doineflticatod Reindeer into 
Alaska, pp. 20, 25-29, 127-129. Washington, 1804. 

40. Quoted in Alexander von Thimboldt, Aspects of Nature in DiflVrcmt 
Lands, pp. 62, 130. Philadelphia, 1840, 

41. Edward John Payne, Ilintory of the Now World Culled America, 
Vol. T, pp. 311-321, 333-354, 304-300. New York, 1802. 

42. Prcscott, Conquest of Peru, Vol. I, p. 47, New York, 1848, 


43. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, Vol. XIX, pp. 151- 
161, of The History of North America, edited by Francis W. Thorpe, 
Philadelphia, 1905. 

44. Eatzel, Anfhropo-geographie, Vol. II, pp. 264-265. 

45. Malthus, Principles of Population, Chapters V and VII. London, 

46. Nathaniel Shaler, Nature and Man in America, pp. 147-151. "W. 
Z. Eipley, Races of Europe, Chap. I, New York, 1899. 

47. Justus Perthea, Taschen-Atla* r pp. 44, 47. Gotba, 1910. 


ity of 

these move- 

cation of 


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 Volkerwanderung. The Ro- 
mance group of languages, from Portugal to Roumania, tes- 
tify to the sweep of expanding Rome, just as the wide dis- 
tribution 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 Rus- 
sian Empire, the Transvaal and Transkei in South Africa, 
indicate the direction whence the advancing people have come. 

Ethnology reveals an cast and west stratification of lin- 
guistic 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, whore they are brought to bay. Ethnic 
fragments, linguistic survivals, or merely place namca* dropped 


like discarded baggage along the march of a retreating army, 
bear witness everywhere to tragic recessionals. 

Every country whose history we examine proves the re- The 
cipient of successive streams of humanity. Even sea-girt name ^ 
England has received various intruding peoples from the E^ 0110 * 1 
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 bar- 
row" men by archaeologists, and the identification of a surviv- 
ing Iberian or Mediterranean strain by ethnologists go to 
prove. 1 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 ab- 
sorption by another invader. 2 To this constant shifting of 
races and peoples the name of historical movement has been 
given, because it underlies most of written history, and consti- 
tutes 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 his- 
torical movements, intrusions, whether peaceful or hostile, 
into its own land, and encroachments upon neighboring terri- 
tory necessitated by growth. Back of all such movements is 
natural increase of population beyond local means of subsist- 
ence, and the development of the war spirit in the effort to 
secure more abundant subsistence either by raid or conquest 
of territory. 

Among primitive peoples this movement is simple and Evolution 
monotonous. It involves all members of the tribe, either in of ^ e 

pursuit of game, or following the herd over the tribal territory, E^ * 10 * 1 

-4.- i JUJ.J.TJ A J Movement 

or m 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, ex- 
plorers, maritime traders, colonists, and missionaries, who 
keep a part of the people constantly moving and directing 


Nature of 



external expansion, while the mass of the population converts 
the force once expended in the migrant food-quest into in- 
ternal 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, how- 
ever, 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 peo- 
ples becomes a fundamental fact of history. 

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 
Volkerwanderung 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 con- 
clusions 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 gradu- 
ally occupying New England or the water hyacinth the rivers 
of Florida. Louis Agassiz observed in 1868 that "the bounda- 
ries 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/'* 
The close parallelism between Australian race and flora, Es- 
kimo 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, encroach- 
ing upon the Finnish and Tartar areas, and permeating them 
with Slav blood and civilization, adds that this is probably the 
normal method of expansion. 4 Thucydides describes the same 
process of encroachment, displacement, and migration in 
ancient Hellas. 5 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. 6 
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 zig- 
zag 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. 7 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. 8 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 development. 9 

The long list of recorded migrations has been supple- Number 
mcnted 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 west- 
ern 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 occa- 
sionally venturing eastward to hunt buffalo on the plains. Re- 
cent investigation has identified as offshoots of this retarded 



of such 
in history. 

Shoshonean stock the sedentary agriculturalists of the Moqui 
Pueblo, and the advanced populations of ancient Mexico and 
Central America. 10 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 
inormal activity of an unrooted savage people. [Map page 101.] 

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 Tungusc 
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 f rom 
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 oc- 
cupation 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, 11 In all this series the narrower 
movement prepares for the broader, of which it constitutes at 
once an impulse and a part. 

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. 12 Johannes von Muller, in the introduction 
to his history of Switzerland, assigns to federations and migra- 


tions a conspicuous role 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 migra- 
tions tend to the creation of energetic races of men. He adds 9 
"This principle may account for the fact that those branches 
of a race achieve the most brilliant success which have wan- 
dered 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. 18 Brinton distinguishes the associative and disper- 
sive 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. 14 

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 men 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? Geographi* 

It was the great intellectual service of Copernicus that he ^ t ^ Cr "" 
conceived of a world in motion instead of a world at rest. So O f hiatori- 
anthropo-geography must see its world in motion, whether it cal move- 
is considering English colonization, or the westward expansion ment. 


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 dif- 
ferent 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 those lower 
forms of life, so anthropo-geography must start with a study 
of the movements of mankind. 

Mobility First of all is to be noted an evolution in the mobility of 

of primitive p eop } es< j n t h e lower stages of culture mobility is great, 
peop cs ' It is favored by the persistent food-quest over wide areas 
incident! totfctardcd-economic methods, and by the loose attach- 
ment 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 tem- 
porary failure of the food supply, cruelty or excessive exac- 
tion 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 pre- 
venting such withdrawals, and therewith the diminution of his 
treasury receipts and his fighting force, belong to the policy 
of every negro chieftain. 

The checks to this native mobility of primitive peoples are Natural 
two : physical and mental. In addition to the usual barriers barriers to 
of mountains, deserts, and seas before the invention of boats, movemcrl t 
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 Cen- 
tral 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 in- 


Effect of 
cal horizon. 

tion and 

vaders came, they too appropriated the treeless downs and were 
blocked by the forests. 13 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 in- 
vented the sledge and cart. 

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 con- 
quest of its valley; and the movement thus started gathered 
momentum as it advanced. Caesar'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, medieval trade 
with the Orient, which had familiarized Europe with distant 
India and Cathay, developed its full histories-geographical 
importance when it started the maritime discoveries of the 
fifteenth century. The expansion of the geographical horizon 
in 151& to embrace the earth inaugurated a widespread hw- 
torical movement, which has resulted in the Europoauization 
of the world. 

Civilized man is at once more and less mobile than IUH primi- 
tive 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 clear- 
ing of the forests, by the construction of bridges and inter- 
lacing roads, the invention of more effective vehicles for trans- 
portation whereby intercourse increases, and the improvement 
of navigation to the same end. Civilized man progressively 
modifies the land which he occupies, removes or reduces ob- 
stacles 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 

Where a population too great to be dislodged occupies the Diffusion 
land, conquest results in the eventual absorption of the victors o f 
and their civilization by the native folk, as happened to the culture * 
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 per- 
meation of the conquered with the religion, economic methods, 
language, and customs of the new-comers. 10 The latter pro- 
cess, 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 Mediter- 
ranean from Syria to Spain, and Arab merchants set the stamp 
of their language and religion on the coasts of East Africa as 
far as Mo9ambique. 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 immigra- 
tion of small bands of people sufficed to influence the culture 
of that big territory known as Latin America. 

Ethnic That vast sum of migrations, great and small, which we 

intermix- group under the general term of historical movement has in- 
* ure ' volved 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 Volkerwanderungcn, 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 Us 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 Caesar 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. 17 

A migration rarely involves a single people even at the Complex 
start. It becomes contagious either by example or by the c* 1 ** 6 * 1 * 8 
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 18 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. 10 An 
unavoidable concomitant of great migrations, especially *,'* 
those of nomads, is their tendency to sweep into the 
of their movement any people whom they brush on the 
Both individuals and tribes are thus caught up by the < 
The general convergence of the central German tribes to^ 
the Danube frontier of the Roman Empire during tjb^/ti 
comannic War drew in its train the Lombards 
Elbe down to the middle Danube and Theiss. 20 
the Lombards invading Italy in 568 included 
Saxons from Swabia, Gepidae from the m: 
garians, Slavs from the Russian Ukraine, tc^i^er^ftn vari- 
ous tribes from the Alpine district of Noriwlum^an^jirie ij^frial 
plains of Pannonia. Two centuries latgjC^e names ofSthese 
non-Lombard tribes still survived in cQ^ih viUage^jSj Italy 
which had formed their centers. 21 ^jffi^army wl&li Attila 
the Hun brought into Gaul was a i5q!|iey 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 with- 
drew 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. 22 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 set- 
tled 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 in- 
truding Visigoths. 23 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 apparent. 24 

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 migra- 
tion 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 adop- 
tion, 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 Volkerwanderung, 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 scats were prob- 
ably 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 Marcomannie 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 Parmonia 
within the Empire, where they assimilated Roman civilisation 
and adopted the Arlan form of Christianity from their Gothic 
neighbors. 25 In Spain, as we have seen, they occupied Galieia 
and Andalusia for a time before panging over Into Africa in 
Here was a migration lasting two centuries ajul a half. 


reaching from the Baltic to the southern shores of the Mediter- 
ranean, 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 pichure 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 ft 
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 with- 
drawal of a Hottentot people from western Cape Colony far 
into the arid interior before the advance of Kaffitfs 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. 5526 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 his- 
torical 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 agri- 
culture. 27 The transit lands through which these great race 
journeys pass exercise a modifying effect chiefly through thehr 
culture and their peoples, less through their physical features 
and climate. For that the stay of the visitants is generally 
too brief. 

Even early maritime migrants did not keep their strains Effect of 
pure. The untried navigator sailing from island to headland, earl y . 
hugging the coast and putting ashore for water, came into m f n ^ e 
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 popula- 
tion of Uruguay differed widely from that of the other Span- 
is]^ republics of South America, Its nucleus was a lai;ge 






War as a 
form of 
the his- 

immigration of Canary Islanders. These were descendants 
of Spaniards and the native Guanches of the Canaries, mingled 
also with Norman, Flemish and Moorish blood. 28 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. 

The land traversed by a migrating horde is not to be pic- 
tured 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 
Iffe 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. 

Every aggressive historical movement, whether bold migra- 
tion 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 geograph- 
ical 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 Scandi- 
navian 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 neigh- 
bors. 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 1 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. 29 

The wars of savage and pastoral peoples affect the whole Primitive 
tribe. All the able-bodied men arc combatants, and all the war - 
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 Dclawares from eastern Pennsylvania, the Scioto by 
Shawnees, and the northeast corner of the territory by detach- 
ments of Iroquois, chiefly Senccas. 80 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, 



as form of 

in convenient vacancy for occupation by the white settlers, 
when they began the westward rmovement/ 1 [Map page 156.] 

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 repre- 
sented in the slave markets of the imperial capital, and con- 
tributed 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 Caesar, 
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 Cornanche Indians, in the 
United States Senate, December 31, 1854, said: "There arc 
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." Ji ~ It was cus- 
tomary among the Indians to use captured women as concu- 
bines and to adopt into the tribe such boys as survived the 
cruel treatment to which they were subjected. Since the 
Comanches in 184*7 were variously estimated to number from 
nine to twelve thousand, 33 so large a proportion of captives 
would modify the native stock. 

In Africa slavery has been intimately associated with agri- 
culture as a source of wealth, and therefore has lent motive 
to intertribal wars. Captives were enslaved and then gradu- 
ally 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 dis- 
tributing 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 cen- 
turies 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. 34 

In higher stages of political development, war aiming Fusion by 
at the subjugation of large territories finds another means Deported 
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 uncon- 
scious 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 an- 
cient 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. 35 In 72 B. C. the Assyrian king, Sargon, over- 
ran 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 trans- 
planted people from Babylon acnd other Mesopotamian cities. 3 * 
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 charac- 
terized the Roman method of Romanization. Removal of the 
conquered from their native environment facilitated the pro- 
cess, 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. Con- 
sequently 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 trans- 
planted 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, 37 
seems to have had its chief source in the extensive Roman 
colonies planted by the Emperor Trajan in conquered Dacia. 38 
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. 39 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 Mur- 
ray Bay and other districts. The Turks in the fifteenth cen- 
tury brought large bodies of Moslem converts from Asia Minor 
to garrison Macedonia and Thcssaly, 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. 40 

Withdrawal Every active historical movement which enters an already 
and flight. populated country gives rise there to passive movements, 
either compression 1 of the native folk followed by amalgama- 
tion, 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 be- 
fore the Germans in the Baltic plains of Europe. The Indians 
of North and South America retired westward before the ad- 
vance 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, 411 
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 
188 beyond the western boundary of Arkansas. 42 The story 
of the Shawnees and Delawares is a replica of this. 43 In the 
same way Hottentots and Kaffirs in South Africa are with- 
drawing 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 in- 
cluded twenty dialects among their little band. 44 The Iro- 
quoian 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 rem- 
nant of their tribe among the Seminoles, in whom they merged 
and disappeared as a distinct tribe 45 the fate of most of 
these fragmentary peoples. [See map page 54.] 

When the fugitive body is large, it is forced to split up Dispersal 
in order to escape. Hence every fugitive movement tends to i- flight. 
assume the character of a dispersal, all the more as organiza- 
tion and leadership vanish in the catastrophe. The fis- 
sile 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 sev- 
eral 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, Eng- 
land, and South Carolina ; they even tried to establish a colony 
on the coast of Brazil. Everywhere they contributed a val- 
uable element to the economic and social life of the community 


regions of 

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 neighbor- 
ing provinces of Turkey, Roumania, Austria, Poland and 
Prussia. 40 

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 re- 
treat. 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 race. 

Districts of refuge located centrally to several natural re- 
gions 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 son li-ci role 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 repre- 
sentative 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." 47 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 ter- 
ritory, 43 so that they are survivals. The twenty-eight dif- 
ferent Indian stocks huddled together in small and diverse lin- 
guistic groups between the Pacific Ocean and the eastern slope 
of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range 49 leave the impression 
that these protected valleys, similar to the Caucasus in their 
ethnic diversity, were an asylum for remnants of de- 
pleted stocks who had fled to the western highlands before 
the great Indian migrations of the interior. 30 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 trans- 
montane strip of the Pacific slope 51 evidence of the frag- 
mentary character of these stocks and their consequently small 
power of resistance. [See map page 54s.] 

Advance to a completely sedentary life, as we see it among Emigra- 
modern civilized nations, prohibits the migration of whole ^ on ^ 
peoples, or even of large groups when maintaining their politi- ^ omza 
cal organization. On the other hand, however, sedentary life 
and advanced civilization bring rapid increase of population, 
improved methods of communication, and an enlarged geo- 
graphical horizon. These conditions encourage and facilitate 
emigration and colonization, forms of historical movement 
which have characterized the great commercial peoples of an- 
tiquity 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, 52 or just one-fifth the total popu- 
lation 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 mil- 
lions of its inhabitants drawn off to other countries, 58 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. 54 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 repre- 
sents 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.'"' 5 

Colonization, the most potent instrument of organized ex- 
pansion, has in recent centuries changed the relative signifi- 
cance of the great colonial nations of Europe. It raised Eng- 
land from a small insular country to the center of a world 
power. It gave sudden though temporary preeminence 
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 estab- 
lished as safe termini for trade routes. 1 "; 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 (fratcia between Rome and Carthage, the 
dominant colonial powers of the western Mediterranean. Such 
wars result in expansion for the victor. 

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 funda- 
mentally 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 essen- 
tials ; 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 ; 57 
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. 

Commerce, though differing from other historical move- Commerce 
ments, may give to these direction and destination. The a 
trader is frequently the herald of soldier and settler, 
becomes their guide, takes them along the trail which he 
has blazed, and gives them his own defmiteness 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. 58 Fur- 
traders inaugurated French expansion to the far west of Can- 
ada, 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. 59 The caravan 
trade across the Sahara from the Niger to the Mediterranean 
coast has itself embodied an historical movement, by bring- 
ing out enough negro slaves appreciably to modify the ethnic 
composition of the population in many parts of North 
Africa. 00 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 



due to 

which resulted in the Portuguese circumnavigation of 
Africa. 61 

Every staple place and trading station is a center of geo- 
graphical information; it therefore gives an impulse to ex- 
pansion 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 ex- 
tended 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 conversa- 
tion with British and French fur-traders of the Northwest 
Company's posts, they secured information about the western 
country they were to explore. 02 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 sweep- 
ing 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. 011 Here Marquettc first heard of the 
great river destined to carry French dominion to the Gulf of 

Trade often finds in religion an associate and coadjutor 
in directing and stimulating the historical movement. 
China regards modern Christian missions as effective Euro- 
pean 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 Mex- 
ico and Peru. American missionary pressed close upon the 
heels of fur-trader into the Oregon country. Jason Lee, 
haying 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 estab- 


lished there to-day. Their sons and grandsons took the lead 
in the Revolution of 1893, and in the movement for annex- 
ation to the United States. Thus sometimes do the meek 
inherit the earth. 

The famous pilgrimages of the world, in which the commer- Religious 
cial element has been more or less conspicuous, 64 have con- P^S 1 ^ 31 - 
tributed greatly to the circulation of peoples and ideas, es- ages " 
pecially 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 flock- 
ing to the city of Bubastis from all parts of Egypt for the 
festival of Diana. 05 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 Christen- 
dom. 06 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 dis- 
tribution 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. 67 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 pro- 
tection 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 pil- 
grimages; they recognize them as a political force, because 



and race 

in relation 
to zones 
and heat 

they spread the story of the security and order of Euro- 
pean rule. 58 The markets of western Tibet, recently opened to 
Indian merchants by the British expedition to Lhassa, pro- 
mote intercourse between the two countries especially be- 
cause 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 merchan- 
dise, an unconscious instrument for the spread of English 
influence, English civilization and the extension of the Eng- 
lish market, as the Colonial Office well understands. 60 

The forms which have been assumed by the historical move- 
ment 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 (sec 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 par- 
tially to neutralize their effects. 

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. 70 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 C* 


Arrows show direction of race movements 


Ara wak .... 

Tapujos . . , 



(From Helmolt's History of the World. By permission of Dodd, 

Mead & Co,) 



F.) small residud fragments of these people are scat- 
tered 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 oc- 
cupied 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 move- 
ments 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 south- 
ern Canada and contiguous parts of the United States, [Sec 
map page 54. ] 71 

Indo- Aryan 
El Dravidian 

ryo - 1 )rn viclian ~ 
Turco- Dravidian 
Turco -Iranian 




If we turn to the eastern hemisphere, we find the Malays Range of 
and Malayo-Polynesians, differentiated offshoots of the Mon- movements 
golian stock, restricted to the Tropics, except where Poly- 

In Asia. 





Vertical Shading in the Noith is Slav. 

nesians have spread to outlying New Zealand. The Chinese 
draw their political boundary nearly along the Tropic of Can- 


cer, but they have freely lapped over this frontier into Indo- 
China as far as Singapore. 72 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 ac- 
climatization 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 race, 
belong to the hot belt but scarcely reach the Tropic of Can- 
cer, 73 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 

Europe, except for its small sub-arctic area, has received 
immigrants, according to the testimony of history and eth- 
nology, 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. 
Range of The Semitic folk of Arabia and the desert Hamitcs of north- 
movements crn 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, civiliza- 
tion and blood of the Mediterranean north. ll<m similar 
though better conditions of lifo, a climate hotter though less 
arid, attracted Haniitic invasion, while the relatively dense 
native population in a lower stage of economic development 
presented to the commercial Semites the attraction of lucra- 
tive trade. South of the equator the native Bantu Kaffirs, es- 
sentially a tropical people, spread beyond their zonal border 



20 30 1*0 50 


Semitic L J Fulbe 

fHamitic ^^S Sudan Negroes 

| Bantu Negroes jryijiifiijjj Hova Malay 
| Hot ten tot Bill Pygmies 

[ Elng-lish and Dutch 


to the south coast of Africa at 33 S. L., and displaced the 
yellow Hottentots 74 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. 75 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. 

Coloniza- ^ e modern colonial movements which have been genuine 

tion and race expansions have shown a tendency not only to adhere to 
latitude. their zon c, but to follow parallels of latitude or isotherms. 
The stratification of European peoples in the Americas, ex* 
cepting Spanish and Portuguese, coincides with heat zones. 
Internal colonization in the United States reveals the same 
principle. 78 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 ex- 
ploiters, which has poured forth from Europe since the fif- 
teenth century, has found its destinations largely in the "tem- 
perate 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 alti- 
tude in part counteracts tropical latitude. European immi- 
gration into South America to-day greatly predominates in 
the temperate portions, in Argentine, Uruguay, Paraguay, 
southern Brazil and southern Chile. While Argentine's popu- 
lation includes over one million white foreigners, who com- 
prise twenty per cent, of the total, 77 Venezuela has no genuine 
white immigration. Its population, which comprises only one 
per cent, of pure whites, consists chiefly of negroes, mulattoos, 
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. 78 
The movement of Europeans into the tropical regions of 


Asia, Australasia, Africa and America, like the American ad- 
vance into the Philippines, represents commercial and political, 
not genuine ethnic expansion. Except where it resorts to hy- 
bridization, 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 func- 
tions in the Dutch East India islands. The basis of this sys- 
tem is exploitation. It represents neither a high economic, 
ethical, nor social ideal, and therefore lacks the stamp of 
geographic finality. 

A migrating or expanding people, when free to choose, is Movement 
prone to seek a new home with like geographic conditions to 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 activ- 
ities. 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 Meso- 
potamian 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 Poly- 
nesians 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 



to better 

of Sumatra and Guiana, 79 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 com- 
mercial 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 Hud- 
son and Delaware Rivers, or planted them on islands cither 
furnishing or commanding extensive trade, such as Ceylon, 
Mauritius, the East Indies, or the Dutch holdings in the An- 

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. 80 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 up- 
land district to another, as did the Lombards of Alpine Pan- 
no nia in their conquest of Lombardy and Apenniue Italy, 
where all their four duchies were restricted to the highlands of 
the peninsula. 81 The conquests of the andicnt Ineas and the 
spread of their race covered one Andean valley after another 
for a stretch of one thousand five hundred miles, wherever cli- 
matic 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 po- 
litical boundary finally to the seaboard. [Map page 101.J 

The search for better land, milder climate, and easier con- 
ditions of living starts many a movement of peoples which, 


in view of their purpose, necessarily leads them into an en- 
vironment 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 knds ; the descent of the Iran pas- 
tors upon the agricultural folk of the Indus, Ganges and 
Mesopotamian valleys, and the swoop of desert-born conquer- 
ors 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. 

The attraction of a milder climate has caused in the north- Southward 
ern hemisphere a constantly recurring migration from north and ^est- 
to south. In primitive North America, along the whole broad ^^^L ^^ 
Atlantic slope, the predominant direction of Indian migra- northern 
tions was from north to south, accompanied by a drift hemi- 
from west to east. 82 On the Pacific side of the continent also sphere, 
the trend was southward. This is generally conceded regard- 
less 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. 83 Study of the 
Volkerwanderungen 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 Medi- 
terranean 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 Euro- 
pean 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. 

But westward movements are not the only ones. On the Eastward 
Pacific slope of Asia the star has moved eastward. From movements, 
highland Mongolia issued the throng which originally popu- 




of at- 

lated the lowlands of China ; and ever since, one nomad con- 
queror after the -other has descended thence to rule the fruit- 
ful plains of Chili and the teeming populations of the Yangtze 
Valley. 84 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. 

Since the world is small, it frequently happens that a peo- 
ple after an interval of generations, armed with a higher 
civilization, will reenter 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 Hi feeder of Lake Balkash. The expansion t of 
the Japanese into Korea and Saghaliu is undoubtedly such a 
return current, after an interval long enough to work a com- 
plete transformation in the primitive Mongolians who found 
their way to that island home. So mo times the return repre- 
sents the ebbing of the tide, rather than the buck water of u 
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 civilisation iu 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 I he barren 
Asiatic limits of their former territory. | Hoe map page 225. 'j 

Voluntary historical movements, seeking congenial or choice 
regions of the earth, have left its less favored spots undis- 
turbed. 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 fruit- 
ful plains of Thessaly, Bocotia, Klis 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, 83 and hence left the Athenians, ac- 
cording to Thucydides, an indigenous race. The fertility of 
the Rnine 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 con- 
quest. 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 Volkerwanderung, Constantinople 
for the Normans, Turks and Russians, Venice for land-locked 
Austria, the Mississippi highway and the outlet at New Or- 
leans for our Trans-Allegheny pioneers. 

Sometimes the goal is fabulous or mythical, but potent Psychical 

to lure, like the land of El Dorado, abounding in gold and 

jewels, which for two centuries spurred on Spanish explora- , 

tion 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, Puri- 

tan, 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 preg- 

nant with historical results, because at any moment it may 

start some band of enthusiasts on a path of migration or con- 

quest. 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 pil- 

grimages materially enhanced the influence of Italy as a school 

of culture during the Middle Ages. The spiritual and ethnic 



Results of 



and area. 

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. 86 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. 

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 

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 differ- 
entiation. The broad expansion of the Teutonic race in Eu- 
rope, 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 diver- 
sity 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 low- 
lands 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 "gccfct" alternate with stretches 
of fertile silt deposited by the rivers or the sea, 87 and support 
different types of communities, which have been admirably de- 
scribed by Gustav Frcnssen in his great novel of Jon Uhl, 
The flat surface of southern Illinois shows in small compass 
the teeming fertility of the famous "American bottom," the 
poof clay soil of "Egypt" with its backward population, and 
the rich prairie land just to the north with its prosperous and 
progressive fanner 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 re- 
gion, contains the rich landed estates, negro laboring class and 
aristocratic society characteristic of the "planter" communi- 
ties of the old South ; and only twenty miles southeast of Rich- 
mond, 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. 

Here is differentiation due to the immediate influences of Contraated 
environment. The phenomenon reappears in every part of mentg 
the world, in every race and every age. The contrast between 
the ancient Greeks of the mountains, coasts and alluvial val- 
leys shows the power of environment to direct economic activ- 
ities and to modify culture and social organization. So does 
the differences between the coast, steppe, and forest Indians of 
Guiana, 88 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 an- 
other way and thereby greatly stimulate differentiation, when-' 
ever 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 in- 
crease or progress. The difference between the people of the 
highlands and plains of Great Britain or of France is there- 
fore in part a distinction of race due to this geographical se- 
lection, 89 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 differen- 
tiation 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 dis- 
tinction between Anglo-Saxon and Latin America is one of 
zone as well as race. Everywhere in North America the Eng- 
lish stock has dominated or displaced French and Spanish 
competitors down to the Mexican frontier. 

As the great process of European colonization has perme- 
ated 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, Kite Germany and 
Italy. These countries see the fecundity of their people re- 
dounding 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 

Two-type When colonizers or conquerors appropriate the land of a 

populations, 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 trap pern for 
the Hudson Bay Company, and they will HO remain till the 
hunting grounds of the far north arc cxluiusted. The native 
agriculturists in the Tropics are indispensable to the unac- 
climated 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 in- 
dicating old lines of race cleavage. There is abundant evi- 
dence that the upper classes in Germany, France, Austria, 
and the British Isles are distinctly lighter of hair and eyes 
than the peasantry. 90 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 95 and 
"Whites." 91 The two-type people are the result of historical 

Differentiation results not only from contrasted geographic 
conditions, but also from segregation. A moving or expand- 
ing throng in search of more and better lands drops off one isolation, 
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 ex- 
pansion. 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 devel- 
oped in segregated regions are an echo of the formation of new 
species under conditions of isolation which is now generally ac- 
knowledged 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; 02 and in recent years has come to be regarded as an 
essential in the explanation of divergence of types, as op- 
posed to differentiation, 03 


Differen- The traditions of the Delaware Indians and Sioux in the 

jmdm- north of the United States territory, and of the Creeks in the 
gression. south, commence with each stock group as a united body, 
which, as it migrates, splits into tribes and sends out off- 
shoots developing different dialects. Here was tribal dif- 
ferentiation after entry into the general stock area, the pro- 
cess going on during migration as well as after the tribes had 
become established in their respective habitats. Culture, how- 
ever, made little progress till after they became sedentary and 
took up agriculture to supplement the chase. 94 Tribes some- 
times 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 lati- 
tude 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 im- 
migrants. [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 set- 
tlements in Cape Colony, acquired some elements of civiliza- 
tion, 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 cen- 
ter of the Hottentot area. 05 A view of the ancient Germans 
during the first five or six centuries after Christ reveals dif- 
ferentiation 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 Cclticizcd, 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 lielgae, though still conscious of 
their Teutonic origin. 06 The Batavians, an offshoot of the 
ancient Chatti living near the Thuringian Forest, appropri- 


ated the river island between the Rhine and the Waal. There 
in the seclusion of their swamps, they became a distinct na- 
tional unit, retaining their backward German culture and 
primitive type of German speech, which the Chatti themselves 
lost by contact with the High Germans. 97 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. 98 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 frontier. 

Entrance into a naturally isolated district, from which Oeograph- 
subsequent incursions are debarred, gives conditions for ic ; , con " 
divergence and the creation of a new type. On the other jj etero _ 
hand, where few physical barriers are present to form these g en eity 
natural pockets, the process of assimilation goes on over a and homo- 
wide field. Europe is peculiar among the family of continents geneity. 
for its "much divided 95 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." 

Africa's smooth outline, its plateau surface rimmed with 
mountains which enclose but fail to divide, and its monoto- 
nous configuration have produced a racial and cultural uni- 
formity as striking as Europe's heterogeneity. Constant 
movements and commixture, migration and conquest, have 
been the history of the black races, varied by victorious in- 
cursions of the Hamitic and Semitic whites from the north, 
which, however, have resulted in the amalgamation of the two 
races after conquest* 10 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 




tion by 



Bushmen in the southwestern deserts, just as it has thwarted 
the development of higher social groups by failure to segre- 
gate and protect. It has sown the Bantu speech broadcast 
over the immense area of Central Africa, and is disseminat- 
ing 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 pre- 
sents 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 incursivc shoppers or 
looters from the desert, coming to buy or rob or rule in this 
highway belt. [See map page 105.] 

Historical development advances by means of differentia- 
tion 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 segre- 
gated 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, ex- 
posure to some measure of ethnic amalgamation and social 
contact is essential to sustained progress. m As the world 
has become more closely populated and means of commimica- 
tion have improved, geographical segregation is increasingly 
rare. The earth has lost its "corners." All parts are being 
drawn into the circle of intercourse. Therefore differentia- 
tion, the first effect of the historical movement, abates; the 
second effect, assimilation, takes the lead. 

The ceaseless human movements making for new combina- 
tions 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 his- 


torical movement to compass the world, whole continents, like 
North America and Australia, have been reclaimed to civiliza- 
tion 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. 102 
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. 103 In Africa the slave 
trade has caused the annihilation of many small tribes. 104 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 hybridiza- 
tion 105 and extermination. 106 

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, 107 are being forcibly dissolved in the 
Muscovite dominion by powerful reagents, by Russian school- 
masters, a Russian priesthood, Russian military service. 

No new types of races have been developed either by No new 
amalgamation or by transfer to new climatic and economic ethnic 
conditions in historic times. Contrasted geographic condi- 
tions long ago lost their power to work radical physical 
changes in the race type, because man even with the begin- 
nings of civilization learned to protect himself against ex- 
tremes of climate. He therefore preserved his race type, 
which consequently in the course of ages lost much of its plas- 
ticity and therewith its capacity to evolve new varieties. 108 


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 modi- 
fied, side by side with the intruders. The great historical 
movements of modern times, however, have been the expan- 
sion 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 an- 
tagonistic 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 itself. 

Checks to Improved communication maintains or increases the ranks 
differentia- O f J.JJQ intruders from the home supply. The negroes in 
lon ' 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 genera- 
tions 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 progi'css 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,, man- 
ner, 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. 109 Irrigation, drainage, fertilization of soils, 
terrace agriculture, denudation of forests and forestration 
of prairies have all combined to diminish the contrasts be- 


tween 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. 

In view of this constant differentiation on the one hand, Geogra- 
and assimilation on the other, the historical movement has P^* ^ 
made it difficult to trace race types to their origin ; and yet ongms ' 
this is a task in which geography must have a hand. Bor- 
rowed civilizations and purloined languages are often so 
many disguises which conceal the truth of ethnic relation- 
ships. 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 Scandina- 
vian skies. The present distribution of the various Teu- 
tonic 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 in- 
tervening territory. A dolichocephalic substratum of popu- 
lation, 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 Val- 
ley, Bavaria and Russia. uo 

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 lo- 
cations, all embodying geographic conditions potent to in- 
fluence the people and their movement. Hence the geograph- 
ical element emerges in every investigation as to origins, 
whether in ethnology, history, philology, mythology or re- 
ligion. 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 con- 
quer 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 

Large In view of the countless springs and tributaries that com- 

centers of kj nc ^ swc u ^he current of every historical movement, 
spe sion. 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 his- 
torical remoteness, the wider their probable range. The ques- 
tion 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. m 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 and a long period of dispersion, protracted wander- 
ings, and a diversified area both for their migrations and 
successive settlements. 

The slighter the inner differences in an ethnic stock. Small 
whether in culture, language or physical traits, the smaller centers, 
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 subse- 
quent 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 dis- 
persal. 112 

Small centers of dispersion are generally natural dis- 
tricts 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, 
mediaeval 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 advan- 
tage 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 com- 
mon of the sea. Only the Inca Empire in South America gives 


us an example of the extensive political expansion of a small 
mountain state. 

Tests of * The question arises whether any single rule can as yet be 
origin. 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 arc 
assigned to a northern source, because their territories at- 
tained 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 generaliza- 
tion. Of the ten millions of Jews in the world, only a 
handful remain in the ancient center of dispersion in Pal- 
estine, while about eight millions arc found in Poland and 
the contiguous territories of western Russia, Roumania, 
Austria-Hungary and eastern Germany. Moreover, history 
and the German clement in the "Yiddish" speech of the Rus- 
sian 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 cen- 
tury. m 

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 popu- 
lation 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 warn- 
ing 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. 


1. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 179-187. Lon- 
don, 1904. W. Z. Bipley, The Races of Europe, pp. 306-310, 319-326. 
New York, 1899. 

2. Compare observations of G-eorg Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, 
Vol. I, pp. 312-313. London, 1873. 

3. Nott and Gliddon, Types of Mankind, p. Ivii. Philadelphia, 

4. D. M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 151-155. New York, 1904. 

5. Thucydides, Book I, chap. II. 

6. Strabo, Book II, chap. Ill, 7. 

7. MeGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 408-414, Vol. 
XIX of History of North America, edited by T. N. Thorpe. Phila- 
delphia, 1905. 

8. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, p. 214. Oxford, 1892. 

9. Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, p. 587. New York, 1872. 

10. D. G-. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 116-119. Philadelphia, 

11. 0. T. Mason, Primitive Travel and Transportation, pp. 249-250. 
Smithsonian Report, Washington, 1896. 

12. Thucydides, Book I, chap. II. 

13. Edward A. Ross, Foundations of Sociology, pp. 359-363, 386-389. 
New York, 1905. 

14. D. G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 73-75. Philadelphia, 1901. 

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

16. 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. 

17. Caesar, De Bello Gallico, Book II, chap. 29. 

1 8. Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, Vol. I, p. 5. New York, 1883. 
J9, John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, p. 46. 

London, 1904. 


20. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. V, pp. 99-101. Oxford, 

21. Ibid., Vol. V, pp. 156-157. 

22. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, pp. 107, 195. Oxford, 

23. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 219-223, 230. 

24. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 276-277. New York, 1899. 

25. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, pp. 214-219. Oxford, 

26. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 296 London, 1896-1898. 

27. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 408-412, Vol. 
XIX of History of North America. Philadelphia, 1905. 

28. Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, p. 858. New York, 1902, 

29. Roscher, National-Oekonomik des Ackerbaues, pp. 44-48. Stutt- 
gart, 1888. 

30. Cyrus Thomas, The Indians of North America in Historical Times, 
p. 261. Vol. II of History of North America, Philadelphia, 1903, 

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

32. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, p. 54, Washington, 1894. 

33. Ibid., p. 531. 

34. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. Ill, p. 411. New York, 

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

36. II Kings, Chap. XVII, 6-24. 

37. W. Z, Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 432-434. Now York, 1899. 

38. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. V, pp. 353-354. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

39. Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 15. 

40. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, p. 247. London, 1002. 

41. Roosevelt, Winning of the West, Vol. I, p. 248. New York, 

42. 0. C. Royce, The Cherokee Nation of Indians, pp. 130-131, Mapa 
VIII and IX. Fifth Annual Mcport of Bureau of Ethnology, Washing- 
ton, 1887. 

43. Albert Gallatin, Report on the Indiana in 1836, reprinted in 
Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, p. 88. Washington, 1894, 

44. Cyrus Thomas, Indians of North America in HiHtorioal Timwa, pp. 
94, 96. Vol. U of History of North America, Philadelphia, 1903. 

45. Md., Vol. II, pp. 100-101. 

46. Anatole Loroy-Bcaulicu, Tho Empire oi ? the Tsars, Vol. Ill, pp. 
333-334. New York, 1902. 

47. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 437-438. New York, 1890. 

48. D. G. Brinton, Tho American Kace, pp. 115*110. Philadelphia. 

49. H. Bancroft, Tho Native Races, Vol. TIT, pp. 559, 035-038, Han 
Francisco, 1886. 

50. Cyrus Thomas, Indians of North America in Historical Times, pp. 
381-382, Vol. II of History of North America. Philadelphia, 1903, 

51. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, p. 35, Washington, 1894* 

52. Eleventh Census, Report on Population, Vol. I, p. cxxxvlll, 
Washington, 1894. 

53. Justus Perthes, Taschen Alias, p. 38. Gotha, 1905, 


54. Richmond Mayo- Smith, Emigration and Immigration, p. 24. New 

55. Ibid., pp. 79-80, 113-115. 

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

57. W. Z. Eipley, Races of Europe, pp. 247. 272-274. New York, 

58. Caesar, Bella Gallico, Book III, chap. I. 

59. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. I, Part I, pp. 34-43. Ox- 
ford, 1892. 

60. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 242, 245, 250, 257. Lon- 
don, 1896-1898. 

61. John Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, pp. 316-317. Boston, 

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

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

64. George G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 56-57. London, 

65. Herodotus, Book II, 60. 

66. Encyclopaedia Britaniea, Article Pilgrimages. 

67. E. Huntington, The Pulse of Asia, p. 88. Boston, 1907. 

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

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

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

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

72. Archibald Little, The Far East, Ethnological Map, p. 8. Ox- 
ford, 1905. 

73. 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 Blaehe, Le 
Peuple de I'Inde, d'apres la s6rie des recensements, pp. 431-434, Annales 
de Geographic, Vol. XV. Paris, 1906. 

74. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. Ill, pp. 422, 424, 434- 
436. New York, 1902-1906. 

75. IX Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 97-102. New York, 1858. 

76. James Bryce, Migrations of the Races of Men Considered Histor- 
ically, Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. VIII, pp. 400-421, May, 

77. Justus Perthes, Taschen Atlas, p. 78. Gotha, 1905. 

78. Ibid., p. 80. 

79. Hugh R, Mill, International Geography, p. 878. New York, 1902. 

80. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

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

82. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, Chap. XXI, Vol. 
XIX of History of North America, Philadelphia, 1905. 

83. Ibid., pp. 83, 87, Map of Migrations, p. 3. 

84. Archibald Little, The Far East, pp. 34-38. Oxford, 1905, 


85. Strabo, Book YIII, chap. T ; 2. 

86. Heinrich Earth, Travels in North and Central Africa, Vol. II, p. 
548. New York, 1857. 

87. Joseph Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 104-105. London, 1903. 

88. E. P. im Thurn, Among the Indians of Guiana, pp. 167-171, 202- 
207. London, 1883. 

89. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 237. New York, 1899. 

90. Ibid., p. 469, 

91. H. Earth, Human Society in Northern Central Africa, Journal of 
the Royal Geog. Society, Vol. XXX, p. 116. London, 1860. 

92. Moritz Wagner, Die Entstehwng der At ten durch raumliche Sander- 
ung. Basel, 1889. 

93. H. W. Conn, The Method of Evolution, pp. 282-295. New York, 

94. MeGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 418, 424, Vol. 
XIX of History of North America. Philadelphia, 1905. 

95. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 280-283. London, 1896- 

96. Caesar, Bello Galhco, Book II, chap. IV. 

97. H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. VI, pp. 32-33. New Yrr^ 

98. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. I, Part I, pp. 75, 8J, 82. 
Oxford, 1895. 

99. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 34, 341-342. New York, .'89 

100. II. Helmolt, Hisiory of the World, Vol. Ill, pp. 400, 417. NOT 
York, 1902-1906. 

101. A. C. Haddon, The Study of Man, p. xix. New York and Lon- 
don, 1898. 

102. James Eryce, Migrations of the Races of Men Considered II? si or- 
ically, Scottish Geographical Mayazvic, Vol. VIII, pp. 400 41U. MiU, 

103. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, pp. 34-35. Washington, 

104. H. Helmolt, History of tho World, Vol. HI, p. 42. New <nk, 

105. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II. pp. 279-283. Lowdw, 

106. Jerome Dowd, The Negro Races, Vol. J, pp. 4748, 01 02. Now 
York, 1907. 

J07. ISwedon, Its People and Its Industries, p. OX Kditotl by (1 du;iu- 
barg, Stockholm, 1904. 

108. Sir John Lubboek, Prehistoric. Times, pp. 589-503. New Yojrtt, 

109. 0. P. Marsh, The Kartli as Modified 'by Human Action. Kaw 
York, J877. 

110. W, Z. Itiploy, Races of Kuropo, pp, 201.207. Now York. 1899. 

111. IMd., pp. 475-485, 

112. Eatel, History of Mankind, Vol. FT, pp. 402-405. London, 

113. W. Z. Kipley, R,ice of Kuropn, pp. -7l H71i, Map p 374. 
York, 1899. 


THE location of a country or people is always the supreme Importance 
geographical fact in its history. It outweighs every other ?* 
single geographic force. All that has been said of Russia's KS *" 
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 14 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 Cen- 
tral Europe against Asiatic invasion and the apostle of West- 
ern civilization to the heart of Asia. If this position on the 
outskirts of Europe, remote from its great centers of develop- 
ment, 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 neigh- 
bors, 1 and if the rough tasks imposed by her frontier situa- 
tion 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. Lo- 
cation 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 Cana- 
ries 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 impor- 
tance of location over area. The Phoenicians, from their nar- 
row strip of coast at the foot of Mount Lebanon, were dis- 
seminators of culture over the whole Mediterranean. Hol- 
land 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 Revo- 
lution a strategic position which gave them a power and im- 
portance 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 king- 
dom, and Roumania that of hers, to their respective locations 
at the mouths of the Rhine and the Danube, because the in- 
terest 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 neu- 
trality 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. 

Content Geographical location necessarily includes the idea of the 

* ^ size and form of a country. Even the most general state- 

tion " men ^ f the zonal and interoccanic 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 com- 
plex of yet larger and more potent relations which go with 
mere attachment to this or that continent, or to cue 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 
alwaj's 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 Eu- 
ropean 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, civiliza- 
tion and political status at the other. 

This larger conception of location brings a correspond- Intercon- 
ingly larger conception of environment, which affords the tinental 
solution of many otherwise hopeless problems of anthropo- locatlon * 
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 1838 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 183 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 


vicinal lo- 

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, 2 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. 3 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 recognixes two other narrower 
meanings of the term. The innate mobility of the human race, 
due primarily to the eternal food-quest and increase of num- 
bers, 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 fea- 
tures of mountain, desert and sea, or by the neighbors whom 
they arc unable to displace, or more often by both. 

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 oanis, 


an arid steppe, a mountain system, or a fertile lowland. The 
stronger the vicinal location, the more dependent is the peo- 
ple upon the neighboring states, but the more potent the in- 
fluence 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 erase. 

Clearly defined natural locations, in which barriers of Naturally 
mountains and sea draw the boundaries and guarantee some defined 
degree of isolation, tend to hold their people in a calm em- location - 
brace, to guard them against outside interference and infu- 
sion 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 in- 
cursions, 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 thorough- 
fare swept by pressing throngs. Other regions, more se- 
cluded, 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 charac- 
terization. The development of the various ethnic and polit- 
ical 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 dis- 
tricts. 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 obstruc- 
tive boundaries, is of immense historical importance ; because 
this restriction leads to the concentration of the national 
powers, to the more thorough utilization of natural advan- 
tages, both racial and geographical, and thereby to the 
growth of an historical individuality. Nothing robs the his- 
torical 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 inten- 
sify the national forces, grew Rome and Greece, England and 
Japan, ancient Peru and: the Thirteen Colonies of America. 
Vicinal If even the most detached and isolated of these natural lo- 

location. cations 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 con- 
tributed 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 souhh, 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 

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 Tua- 
regs and Fulbes among the negroes of western Sudan; 
or of a colonizing people, like that of the Russians in Mon- 
golian 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 assimila- 
tion 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. 4 

The more alike the components of such a vicinal group of Vicinal 
people, the easier, freer and more effective will be the medi- P"ups of 
ating function of the central one. Germany has demonstrated (ii7erse 
this in her long history as intermediary between the nations racc aad 
of southeastern and western Europe. The people of Po- culture, 
land, 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 be- 
tween 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. 5 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 re- 


maining 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 in- 
termediate location and character. * 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 &3.] 
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 cast and west, Slovaks and 
Croatians on the north and south, have helped little to recon- 
cile race differences in the great empire of the Danube. 
Thalassic The unifying effect of vicinal location is greatly enhanced 

vicinal if the neighboring people are grouped about an enclosed sea 

location. which affords an easy highway for communication. The in- 
tegrating force of such a basin will often overcome the disin- 
tegrating 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 similar- 
ity 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 con- 
geniality, 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 civilisation. Thin 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 Shet- 
land 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 group. 

An even closer connection exists between adjoining pec- Comple- 
who are united by ties of blood and are further made Jnentaj 7 

economically dependent upon one another, because of a con- 
trast 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, 7 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. 8 
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 abun- 
dance of their green fields has tempted their ill-fed neighbors 
to conquest, so that the economic bond becomes a pre- 
liminary to a political bond and an ethnic amalgamation 
growing out of this strong vicinal location. The forest lands 
of Grea't Russia supplement the grain-bearing Black Lands 



Types of 



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 Asia. 

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 lands. 

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

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

All peoples in their geographical distribution tend to fol- 
low 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 characteris- 
tic of all mature and historically significant peoples who have 
risen to sedentary life, maintained their hold on a given ter- 
ritory, 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 appro- 
priation of the victors; or a declining, moribund peo- 
ple, 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, scat- 
tered location regularly marks the healthy growth of an ex- 
panding 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 expan- 
sion, which is guided by no territorial ambition but merely 
aims to secure widely distributed trading stations at favor- 
able 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 con- 
tent with an ephemeral prosperity. 

A broad territorial base and security of possession are the Central 
guarantees of national survival. The geographic conditions versus per 

lo " 

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 wide-spread in- 
fluence ; but if weak, its very existence is imperilled, because 
it is exposed to encroachments on every side. A central loca- 
tion 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-hug- 
ging neighbors, and stretched its boundaries from the Adria- 
tic to the Euxine ; two hundred years later its territory con- 
tracted to a fragment before the encroachments of the Turks, 
but afterwards recovered in part its old dimensions. Ger- 
many 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. 10 

Danger Germany, crowded in among three powerful neighbors 

of central like France, Russia, and Austria, has had no choice about 
location. maintaining a strong standing army and impregnable fron- 
tier 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 pre- 
vented the political concentration necessary to repel inter- 
ference 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 en- 
compassing neighbors and stretched its boundaries to the un- 
tenanted frontier of the sea. Central location was the un- 
doing 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 Por- 
tugal, 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. 11 Here even weak neighbors were ef- 
fective 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 equip- 
ment in 1899, the military organization of Germany, and the 
bristling fortresses on the Swiss Alpine passes prove. 

How intimate and necessary are the relations between cen- Mutual re- 
tral and peripheral location is shown by the fact that all lations fee " 
states strive to combine the two. In countries like Norway, centeran( j 
France, Spain, Japan, Korea and Chile, peripheral loca- periphery, 
tion 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 re- 
duced 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. 12 An ad- 
mirable 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 cen- 
tral 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 neighbors. 

Central and peripheral location presuppose and supple- Inland and 
ment one another. One people inhabits the interior of an coaatwar d 
island or continent whose rim is occupied by another. The expanffl 
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 loca- 
tion, 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 con- 
tinent, 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 ter- 
ritory the peripheral lands of the Gulf from Florida Strait 
to the Rio Grande. [See map page 156.] 

Russian ^ n Asia this same process has been perennial and on a far 

expansion greater scale. The big arid core of that continent, contain- 
in Asia. j n g m any 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. 1S 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 in- 
fluence, enables her to advance half way to the Persian Gulf, 
though British statesmen regard it as a check upon her am- 
bition, 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. 14 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 Eng- 
land's Persian littoral reaches from Ispahan and Yezd to the 
far-away shores of the Arctic Ocean. 

In the essentially complementary character of interior and Periphery 
periphery are rooted all these coastward and landward move- as goa } of 
ments 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 char- 
acter. But the surprising elasticity of many nations may 
start up an unexpected activity which will upset this equili- 
brium. Where the central location is that of small mountain 
states, which are handicapped by limited resources and popu- 
lation, like Nepal and Afghanistan, or overshadowed by far 
more powerful neighbors, like Switzerland, the passive char-* 
acter 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 sup- 
port, it is often difficult to say whether progression or re- 
trogression is to be their fate. As a rule, however, the expul- 
sion 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 am- 
bition on the Chinese coasts is at least a serious check. On 
the other hand, if an inland country enclosed by neighbors suc- 
ceeds 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 


center and 

it had won and lost so often. Such peripheral holdings are 
the lungs through which states breathe. 

History and the study of race distribution reveal a mass of 
facts which represent the contrast and reaction between in- 
terior and periphery. The marginal lands of Asia, from 
northern Japan, where climatic conditions first make histori- 
cal 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 com- 
pared 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 benumb- 
ing 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 environ- 
ment. Its location was predominantly central; its culture 
bore the stamp of isolation and finally of arrested develop- 
ment. 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 ex- 
ternal influences, have retained the most primitive customs 
and beliefs. 15 

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 pro- 
portions. 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 Eu- 
ropean influences around the central core. Such influencesj 
through the avenues of commerce, railway concessions, mis- 
sionary 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 effec- 
tually preserved its political autonomy, has profited by them 

This historical contrast between center and periphery of 
continents reappears in smaller land masses, such as penin- 
sulas 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 in- 
terior 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, back- 
wardness, 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. 

The story of discovery and colonization, from the days of Periphery in 
ancient Greek enterprise in the Mediterranean to the recent colonization. 
German expansion along the Gulf of Guinea, shows the ap- 
propriation 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 Philip- 
pines, the wild people of Luzon, Mindoro and the Visa- 


yas are confined almost entirely to the interior, while civil- 
ized or Christianized Malays occupy the whole seaboard, 
except where the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains, fronting 
the Pacific in Luzon, harbor a sparse population of primi- 
tive Negritos. 16 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 cul- 
ture 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, mer- 
curial, imaginative, open to all the influences of a refining 
civilization. 17 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 per- 
ipheral phenomenon. 18 

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 some- 
thing 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 per- 
iphery tends to raise it in culture, wealth, density of popula- 
tion, and often in political importance, far in advance of 
the center. 

Dominimt The maritime periphery of a country receives a variety of 
historical 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 


Civilized Peoples f~"][ 

Wild Peoples 

Distribution of Civilized and Wild Peoples 



The Medi- 
side of 

a different neighbor and its undiluted influence. A pre- 
dominant central location means a succession of such neigh- 
bors, 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 power- 
ful neighbor will chiefly determine on which boundary of a 
country its dominant historical processes are to work them- 
selves out in a given epoch. Therefore, it is of supreme im- 
portance to the character of a people's 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 com- 
merce 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 develop- 
ment ; 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 an- 

In addition to the aggressive neighbor, there is often a 
more sustained force that may draw the activities of a peo- 
ple toward one or another boundary of their territory. This 
may be the abundance of land and unexploitcd resources 
lying on a colonial frontier and attracting the unemployed 
energies of the people, such as existed till recently in the 
United States, 19 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 domin- 


ant economic interests. So long as the known world was con- 
fined 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 Mediter- 
ranean placed in this basin the center of gravity of the cul- 
tural, 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 Prance 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 fishing-boat. 

After the year 1492 inaugurated the Atlantic period of Change of 
history, the western front of Europe superseded the Medi- historical 
terranean side in the historical leadership of the continent. front ' 
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 Nor- 
way, 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 cen- 
ter, 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 cen- 
tury, 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 At- 
lantic 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 posses- 

Location, therefore, while it is the most important sin- 
gle geographic factor, is at the same time the one most 
subject to the vicissitudes attending the anthropo-geograph- 
ical evolution of the earth. Its value changes with the trans- 
fer 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 terri- 
tories to large, elastic areas ; from mere periphery to a com- 
bination of periphery and interior, commanding at once the 
freedom of the sea and the resources of a wide hinterland. 
Contrasted Even in Europe, however, where the Atlantic leaning of all 
historical 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 ths 
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 20 
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 in- 

It is otherwise in states of very simple vicinal grouping, One-sided 
coupled with only a single country or at best two. Spain* historical 
from the time Hamilcar Barca made it a colony of ancient relationfi * 
Carthage, down to the decline of its Saracen conquerors, 
was historically linked with Africa. Freeman calls at- 
tention 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. Portu- 
gal'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 connec- 
tion with Korea above all the other states. 21 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 con- 
quest of these two countries has eventually been extended to 
the valley of the Nile ; and Egypt's one great period of ex- 



due to 

pansion 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 

The forms of vicinal location thus far considered pre- 
suppose a compact or continuous distribution, such as char- 
acterizes 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 dis- 
tribution 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 Kantokcino, the 
reindeer Lapps show a corresponding scattered grouping 
here and there on the inhospitable slopes of the mountains. 22 
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 Taudeui, 



Norwegian-Russian boundary ^ ++4 . 


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 Mo- 
hammed. 23 

Not unlike this serial grouping of oasis states along cara- Island way 
van routes through the desert are the island way stations . , 
that rise out of the waste of the sea and are connected by the routes . 
great maritime routes of trade. Such are the Portuguese 
Madeiras, Bissagos, and San Thome on the line between Lis- 
bon and Portuguese Loanda in West Africa; and their other 
series of the Madeiras, Cape Verde, and Fernando, which 
facilitated communication with Pcrnambuco 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. 

Scattered Quite different from this scattered distribution, due to 

location physical conditions, in an otherwise uninhabited waste is 
of primi- u^ w y e ^^3^1 O f 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 hunt- 
ing, fishing, pastoral nomadism, and primitive agriculture. 
A distribution which claims large areas, without, however, 
maintaining exclusive possession or complete occupation, in- 
dicates among advanced peoples an unfinished process, 24 es- 
pecially unfinished expansion, such as marked the early 
French and English colonies in America and the recent Rus- 
sian 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. 35 [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. 20 
The Cherokees of the southern Appalachians and the Tus- 
caroras 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,' 7 who were also repre- 
sented 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. 28 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 in- 
truding or refugee colonies from neighboring districts. 2d 
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 op- 
pression, or merely the desire for greater -independence, as 
in that of so many African tribes. 

A scattered location results in all stages of civilization Ethnic 
when an expanding or intruding people begins to appropri- islands of 
ate the territory of a different race. Any long continued in- ex P ansion ' 
filtration, whether peaceful or aggressive, results in race 
islands or archipelagoes distributed through a sea of abori- 
gines. Semitic immigration from southern Arabia has in 
this way striped and polka-dotted the surface of Hamitic 
Abyssinia. 80 Groups of pure German stock are to-day scat- 
tered through the Baltic and Polish provinces of Russia. 31 
[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 
Nicaragua. 32 

Such detached fragments or rather spores of settle- 
ment 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 oc- 
cupation indicated American advance at the cost of the native. 
Similarly the Portuguese, at the end of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, 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 ex- 
pansion from their Mo9ambique territory. 33 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. 34 [See map 
page 103.] 

The most exaggerated example of scattered political loca- Political 
tion existing to-day is found in the bizarre arrangement of island^ of 
European' holdings on the west coast of Africa between the ex P an ^ on 
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 




jglflridg of 


any point, nor have the Spanish or Portuguese or German. 
The scattered location of these different European posses- 
sions is for the most part the expression of a young coloniz- 
ing activity, developed in the past fifty years, and signal- 
ized by the vigorous intrusion of the French and Germans 
into the field. To the anthropo-geographer the map of west- 
ern 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. 

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 pro- 
tecting natural conditions, such as forests, jungles, moun- 
tains 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. 35 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. 36 [See map page 105.] 

Similar in distribution and in mode of life are the abori- 
gines of the Philippines, the dwarf Negritos, who are still 
found inhabiting the forests in various localities. They arc 
dispersed through eight provinces of Luzon and in several 
other islands, generally in the interior, whither they have been 
driven by the invading Malays. 37 [See map page 147.] But 


the Negritos crop out again in the mountain interior of For- 
mosa 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 moun- 
tain 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. 38 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 Vind- 
hyan Range, and in the Rajputana Desert, within the area 
covered by Indo-Aryan occupation. 39 [See map page 103.] 

Such broad, intermittent dispersal is the anthropological Discontinu- 
prototype of the "discontinuous distribution" of biol- ou s <Hs- 
ogists. By this they mean that certain types of plants and tribution - 
animals occur in widely separated regions, without the pres- 
ence 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 oc- 
curred, 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 lo- 
calities offering a favorable environment. 40 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 cen- 
tury covered nearly a third of European Russia, has been 
shattered by the blows of Slav expansion into numerous frag- 
ments which lie scattered about within the old ethnic bound- 
ary from the Arctic Ocean to the Don- Volga watershed. 41 
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. 42 The rapid compression of 
the tribal lands and the introduction of the reservation sys- 
tem 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 surround- 
ing race. The Kaffir islands and the Hottentot "locations" 
in South Africa, large as they now are, will repeat the his- 
tory of the American Indian lands, a history of gradual 
shrinkage and disappearance as territorial entities. 

Every land contains in close juxtaposition areas of 
sharply contrasted cultural, economic and political devel- 
opment, due to the influence of diverse natural locations 
emphasizing lines of ethnic cleavage made perhaps by some 
great historical struggle. In mountainous countries the con- 
quered 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 con- 
ditions tends still farther for a time to accentuate their di- 
versity. The contrasted location of the dislodged Alpine race, 
surviving in all the mountains and highlands of western Eur- 
ope over against the Teutonic victors settled in the plains, 43 
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 Al- 
geria, 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. 44 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 fish- 
ing Indians who differ in stock and culture from the Inca In- 
dians settled in the drier Andean basins.* 5 [Sec map 
page 101.] 

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 con- 
stantly reinforced by refugee outlaws from the settled agricul- 
tural communities along its borders. 46 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 Vir- 
ginia and Maryland had a rich, aristocratic white population 
of slave-holding planters ; the mountain backwoods of the Ap- 
palachian ranges, whose conditions of soil and relief were ill 
adapted for slave cultivation, had attracted a poorer demo- 
cratic 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. 47 

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 condi- 
tions 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 Lom- 
bardy. 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 Italy. marks of 

In geographical location can be read the signs of growth 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 geo- 
graphic advantages within their reach, whether lying inside 
their boundaries or beyond. In the latter case, they prompt- 
ly 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 re- 
stricted 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. 

Marks of On the other hand, that growing people which finds its 

inland coastward advance blocked, and is therefore restricted to 

expansion, 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 ex- 
pansion 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 ad- 
vance 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 Rail- 
road down to the plains of the Pa. 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 Ted j end rivers toward the gates of Herat, is directed 
at some mountain pass and an outlet seaward beyond. 

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 near- 
est 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 Rush 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 appro- 
priation of the western Sahara. 

As territorial expansion is the mark of growth, so the sign Marks of 
of decline is the relinquishment of land that is valuable or decline. 
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. 48 

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 and mar- 
is indicative of a retrograde process. The narrow marginal ginai loca- 
distribution of the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshean Indians on tion ' 
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 pene- 



of ethnic 
islands of 
decline. . 

trated 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, Mada- 
gascar and the western islands of the Sunda Archipelago in- 
dicated the great commercial expansion of the Mohammedan 
traders of Oman and Yemen. The lack came when this distri- 
bution, normal as a preliminary form, bore no fruit in the oc- 
cupation of wide territorial bases. [See map page 51.] 

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 surround- 
ing population is due to the fact that when the area of dis- 
tribution 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 his- 
tory, 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 ; 49 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. 50 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 coun- 


try. 51 Similarly, all over Russia Finnic place-names testify 
to the former occupation of the country by a people now sub- 
merged by the immigrant 'Slavs, except where they emerge in 
ethnic islands in the far north and 'about the elbow of the 
Volga. 52 [See map page 25.] Beyond the compact area 
of the Melanesian race occupying New Guinea and the islands 
eastward to the Fiji and Loyalty groups, are found scat- 
tered 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 sug- 
gested that it formed the older and primitive race of a wide 
region extending from India to Fiji and possibly even 
beyond. 53 

Ethnic or political islands of decline can be distinguished 
from islands of expansion by various marks. When sur- 
vivals of an inferior people, they are generally character- is i ands 
ized by inaccessible or unfavorable geographic location, growth 
When remnants of former large colonial possessions of mod- and de- 
em civilized nations, they are characterized by good or even cline * 
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 Fran9ois Dupleix, which 
are located on the seaboard at Chandarnagar, Carical, Pondi- 
cherry, Yanaon and Mahe. They tell the geographer a far 
different story from that of the small detached French hold- 
ing of Kwang-chan Bay and Nao-chan Island on the south- 
ern 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 environ- 



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

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

3. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 272-273. New York, 1899. 

4:. Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi, Vol. II, chap. 1. 

5. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 336, 334. Map. p. 53. New 
York, 1899. 

6. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 137. London, 1903. 

7. Eleventh Census, Report for Alaska, pp. 66, 67, 70. Washington, 

8. Livingstone, Travels in South Africa, p. 56. New York, 1858. 

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

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

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

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

13. For full and able discussion, see H. J. Mackinder, The Geographical 
Pivot of History, in the Geographical Journal, April, 1904. London. 

14. The Anglo-Russian Agreement, with map, in The Independent, 
October, 10, 1907. 

15. Spencer and Gillen, The Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 
xii. London, 1904. 

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

17. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. II, pp. 225-226. New York, 1859. 

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

19. 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. 

20. Hugh R. MiU, International Geography, pp. 150-152. Now York, 

21. W. E. Griffis, The Mikado 7 s Empire, Vol. I, pp. 75, 83. New York, 
1903. Henry Dyer, Dai Nippon, pp. 59, 69. New York, 1904. 

22. Norway, Official Publication, pp. 4, 83, 99, and map. Christiania, 

23. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 221-224, map. London, 1902. 

24. Heinrich von Treitschke, Politik, Vol. I, p. 224. Leipzig, 1897. 

25. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191. Now York, 

26. Eleventh Census, Eeport on the Indians, pp. 36-37. Washington, 

27. John Fiske, Old Virginia and her Neighbors, Vol. IJ, p. 299, 
Boston, 1897. 


28. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, pp. 30-31. Washington, 

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

30. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 193-195. London, 1896- 

31. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, pp. 124-129. 
New York, 1893. 

32. D. G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 266. Philadelphia, 1901. 

33. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. Ill, pp. 484, 485. New 
York, 1902-06. 

34. Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, p. 291. New York, 1882. 

35. 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. 40-44. 

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

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

38. Quatrefages, The Pygmies, pp. 24-51. New York, 1895. 

39. Sir T. H. Holdich, India, pp. 202-203, map. London, 1905. 

40. Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. II, chap. XII. New York, 1895. 

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

42. Eleventh Census of the United States, Seport on Population, Part 
I, map p. 23. Washington, 1894. 

43. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, Chapters 7, 8, 11. New York, 1899. 

44. H. R. MiU, International Geography, p. 910. New York, 1902. 

45. Ibid., pp. 832, 836. 

46. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 175, 257. London, 1896- 

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

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

49. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 14. London, 

50. 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. 

51. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 183-191. Lon- 
don, 1904. 

52. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 26, 353, 361-365. Map. New 
York, 1899. 

53. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, 214-218. London, 1896-1898. 


The size EVERY consideration of geographical area must take as 

of the its starting point the 199,000,000 square miles (510,000,000 

earth. square kilometers) of the earth's surface. Though some 

8,000,000 square miles (1,000,000 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 ani- 
mals 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. 

Relation The relation of life to the earth's area is a fundamental 

of area to question of bio-geography. The amount of that area avail- 
able 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 con- 
fined 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. 1 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. 2 

The task of estimating the area supporting terrestrial Area and 

life which the earth presented at any given time is an im- d 
portant 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, advanta- 
geous in the struggle for existence, appear oftener than in a 
small group. This position is maintained also by the most 
recent evolutionists. 8 

On purely geographical grounds, also, a large area stimu- 
lates differentiation by presenting a greater diversity of 
natural conditions, each of which tends to produce its appro- 
priate species or variety. 4 Consider the different environ- 
ments 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 migra- 
tion, offers the necessary condition for the rapid evolution 




for space. 

Area an 
indei of 
social and 

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. 

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 multi- 
plies and spreads at the cost of less favored types. The 
struggle for existence means a struggle for space. 5 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 rem- 
nant of its domain, is literally crowded off the earth, becomes 
extinct as the Tasmanians and so many Indian tribes have 
done. 6 The superiority of such expansionists consists prima- 
rily 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. 

The successive stages of social development savage, 
pastoral nomadic, agricultural, and industrial represent in- 
creasing 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 arcal 
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 evolu- 
tion. 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. 

Humanity's area of distribution and historical movement The Oikou- 
we call the Oikoumene. It forms a girdle around the earth mene * 
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 per- 
meate 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 kilo- 
meters) of the Oikoumene is land and therefore constitutes 
properly the habitat of man. But just as we cannot under- 
stand 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 includ- 
ing 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 embrac- 
ing the earth. 

Mankind has in common with all other forms of life the Unity 
tendency toward expansion. The more adaptable and mobile of the 
an organism is, the wider the distribution which it attains human 
and the greater the rapidity with which it displaces its weaker ^^^ 
kin. In the most favored cases it embraces the whole vital the earth, 
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 dis- 
tribution. 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 ad- 
vances, 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 surround- 
ing 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 30,000, 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. 
Isolation Small, naturally defined areas, whether their boundaries 

. . are drawn by mountains, sea, or by both, always harbor 
ferenfcafcon. , i ji j- j i i i T 

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 ex- 
pansion and to accessions of population from without which 
confront such peoples on every side. Broad, uniform con- 
tinental 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 7 and a striking simi- 
larity of race through the Lapps, the Samoyedes of northern 
Russia, the various Mongolian tribes of Arctic Siberia to Ber- 


ing 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 every- 
thing but head-form, though even the cephalic indices ap- 
proach on the opposite shores of Bering Sea. 8 Where geog- 
raphy draws no dividing line, ethnology finds it difficult to do 
so. Where the continental Jand-masses converge is found 
similarity or even identity of race, easy gradations from one 
type to another ; where they diverge most widely in the penin- 
sular extremities of South America, South Africa and Aus- 
tralia, they show the greatest dissimilarity in their native 
races, and a corresponding diversity in their animal life. 9 
Geographical proximity combined with accessibility results 
in similarity of human and animal occupants, while a cor- 
responding 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 in- 
to its detached regions and hidden corners has maintained 
such variations as still exist in the human family. 

If the distribution of the several races be examined in the 
light of this conclusion, it becomes apparent that the races ** r * ce 
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 diversi- 
ties, either of physical features or culture. Their subdi- 
visions 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 Aus- 
tralian race, again tropical or sub-tropical in location, has 



Wide race 
and inner 

Area and 


produced over its whole extent only one grade of civilization 
and that the lowest, one physical, mental and moral type. 10 

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 intel- 
lectual 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 geo- 
graphic 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 counter- 
act 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 interna- 
tional 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. 

Hence the wide area which Darwin found to be most favor- 
able to improved variation and rapid evolution in animals, 
operates to the same end in human development, and its in- 
fluence 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 Ger- 
man 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. 11 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 Ejnglish 
words, and adapted old terms to new uses; 12 but it is other- 
wise 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, an- 
other among the Copts of Cairo, another in Rome, an- 
other 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 devel- 
opment, differentiation must mean eventual enrichment, a 
larger content of the religious idea, to which each faith makes 
its contribution. 

The larger the area occupied by a race or people, other Large area 
geographic conditions being equal, the surer the guarantee a guaran- 

of their permanence, and the less the chance of their repres- ^.^ 

-u -i x- A t. j !, v racial or 

sion or annihilation. A broad geographic base means n^ona! 

generally abundant command of the resources of life and perma- 
growth. Though for a growing people of wide possessions, nence. 
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 other- 
wise, 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 re- 
curring 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 mediaeval 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 revo- 
lution. 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. 

Weakness A large area throws around all the life forms which it sup- 

of small ports the protection of its mere distances, which facilitate 
states. defense in competition with other forms, render attack diffi- 

cult, 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 develop- 
ment 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 sub- 
divisions. Despite superior civilization and national heroism, 
it has fallen a victim to almost every Invader. Belgium, 
Holland, Switzerland exist as distinct nations only on suf- 
ferance. Finland's history since 1900 shows that the day for 
the national existence of small peoples is passing. 13 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 ex- Protection 
tinction of the retarded "provisional peoples" of the earth of large 
progresses more rapidly in small groups than in large, and ar f a > *p 
in small islands more quickly than in continental areas. Of p^p^ 
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. 14 
[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 Tas- 
mania, and therefore gives some respite before the encroach- 
ments of the whites, still harbors 47,835 Maoris, or little over 
one-third the native population of the island in 1840. 15 But 
these compete for the land with nearly one million English 
colonists, and in the limited area of the islands they will even- 
tually find no place of retreat before the relentless white ad- 

To the Australians, on the other hand, much inferior to 
the Maoris, the larger area of their continent affords exten- 


sive 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 circum- 
stance, 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 mori- 
bund 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 be- 
tween 1890 and 1900 reduced the number of the Onas from 
2,000 to 800 souls. 16 

Contrast The same law holds good in bio-geography; here, too, area 

of large gives strength and a small territorial foothold means weak- 
and small ness . The native flora and fauna of New Zealand seem 
bio-gecH involved in the same process of extinction as the native race, 
graphv. 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 Euro- 
pean house fly, purposely imported and distributed to destroy 
the noxious indigenous species. 17 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 threat- 
ened destruction of the native forms. 18 

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 per- 
fected through natural selection and competition, that they 
have surpassed the southern forms in dominating power and 
therefore have encroached successfully. 19 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. 

The Temperate Zone of North America will always harbor Political 
a more powerful people than the corresponding zone of 
South America, because the latter continent begins to con- 
tract 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 accru- 
ing 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, geo- 
graphical features and resources, but also on the larger 
size of England. So in the United States, abolitionist states- 
men 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 

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 Mace- 
donia, after it had extended its boundaries to the Euxine and 
the Adriatic. To-day a much larger area in this same penin- 
sular base harbors the widespread southern Slavs, who nu- 
merically 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 concentrat- 
ing 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 popu- 
lation, 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 

Area and ^ n important factor in the preservation of national con- 

era c * sciousness and the spread of national influence is always a 


national language and literature. This principle is recog- 
nized by the government of the Czar in its Russification of 
Finland, 20 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 elimi- 
nation of dialects and languages having restricted territorial 
sway, whose fate is foreshadowed by the unequal competition 
of their literatures with those of numerically stronger peo- 
ples. 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 scien- 
tists. 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 mil- 
lions 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. 

Growth has been the law of human societies since the birth Small geo- 
of man's gregarious instinct. It has manifested itself in g^P^c 
the formation of ever larger social groups, appropriating -j^^ 
ever larger areas. It has registered itself geographically societies, 
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 




Of small 


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 dimen- 
sions 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. 

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 in- 
tensive ones, wide dispersal of tribal energies by concentra- 
tion. The extensive forests and grassy plains of the Americas 
supported abundant animal life and therefore afforded condi- 
tions 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 se- 
dentary. 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 con- 
scious 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 
mall 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 favor- 
able 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 lost. 

In vast unobstructed territories, on the other hand, the The pro- 
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, amalga- 
mation 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 ob- 
stacles or the confines of a people strong as itself. After a 
pause, during which the existing area is outgrown and popu- 
lation 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 cooperation, 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 grad- 
ual absorption be the destiny of the Boer stock. 

Area Of adjacent areas equally advanced in civilization and 

and in density of population but of unequal size, the larger must 

growth. dominate because its people have the resistance and aggres- 
sive 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 an- 
tagonism separates the two. The long rule of the Scandi- 
navians 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. 21 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 com- 
pact and systematic occupation on the part of their inhabi- 
tants, 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. 

Every race, people, and state has had the history of Historical 
progress from a small to a large area. All have been small advance 
in their youth. The bit of land covered by Roma Quadrata fo ^ 
has given language, customs, laws, culture, and a faint strain areas, 
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 con- 
stituting 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 world. 

When religion, language and race have spread, in their 
wake comes the growing state. Everywhere the political area 



in area 
and in 

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 princi- 
palities 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 prelimin- 
ary 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, Switzer- 
land and Holland. 

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 terri- 
tory, 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 inter- 
ests 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 terri- 
tory 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, wide- 
spread 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 
Qccupation 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. 

Territorial expansion is always preceded by an extension Prelimi- 
of the circle of influence which a people exerts through its o* 1 ^ 8 to 

traders, its deep-sea fishermen, its picturesque marauders j-j-i 
and more respectable missionaries, and earlier still by a widen- 
ing 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 fore- 
runners of the Greek colonies along the Black Sea and Medi- 
terranean, 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. Re- 
ligious 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 184$ 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 



cance of 
sphere of 
activity or 

tried to embroil those countries with the United States gov- 
ernment ; 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 na- 
tional 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 gov- 
ernment to secure from the Sultan of Turkey railroad con- 
cessions 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. 22 

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 strug- 
gle 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 8,615, 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. 

The large area which misleads a primitive folk into exces- Mature of 
sive dispersion and the dissipation of their tribal powers, f*? 81181011 
offers to an advanced people, who in some circumscribed ^ old 
habitat have learned the value of land, the freest conditions countries, 
for their development. A wide, unobstructed territory, occu- 
pied 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 Man- 
churia, 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. Expan- 
sion 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 



of ethnic 
to political 

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, hope- 
ful Old checks to natural increase o"f population are re- 
moved. 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. 

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 west- 
ward 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 Alleghcnies 
to the Mississippi, thence to the Rocky Mountains, and 
thence to the Pacific was always preceded by bands of enter- 
prising 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 an- 
nexation. They were mosaics, not growths. The cohesive 
power of a common ethnic bpnd was lacking; so was the 


modern substitute for this to be found in close economic inter- 
dependence maintained by improved methods of communica- 
tion. 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. 

The second point of difference between the expansion of Relation 
peoples and of states lies in their respective relation to the * people 
political frontier. This confines the state like a stockade, and 
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 bar- 
riers 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 16&4 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 out- 



of civili- 

lying groups in the Baltic provinces of Russia and the related 
offshoot in Holland. 23 [See map page 223.] 

Though political boundaries, especially where they coin- 
cide 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 con- 
centrated for the reinforcement of the nation in the form of 
colonies, and tends to reduce the political evil of indiscrim- 
inate 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, 24 by Russia in Siberia, in an effort to make the 
ethnic boundary hurry after and overtake the political 

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 coun- 
try 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 froir 
Syria more than their scars and their trophies. Every Eu- 
ropean factory in China, every Hudson Bay Company post in 
the wilds of northern Canada, every Arab settlement in sav- 


age 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 

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 sea- 
faring 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 East- 
ern Hemisphere, in chapter XIV.] 

The larger the area which a civilized nation occupies, the Cultural 
more numerous are its points of contact with other peoples, advantages 
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 con- 
tact 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 citi- 
zen of future centuries may compare favorably with his 
brother in Moscow. Japan, even while impressing its civiliza- 
tion upon the reluctant Koreans, will see itself modified by 
the contact and its culture differentiated by the transplant- 
ing ; but the content of Japanese civilization will be increased 
by every new variant thus formed. 

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 ex- 
tensive. The natural law of the territorial growth of states 
and peoples means an extension of the areas in which peace 
and cooperation are preserved, a relative reduction of 
frontiers and of the military forces necessary to defend 
them, 25 diminution in the sum total of conflicts, and a wider 
removal of the border battle fields. In place of the continu- 
al 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 mili- 
tary 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. 

The territorial expansion of peoples and states is attended Political 
by an evolution of their spacial conceptions and ideals. area and 
Primitive peoples, accustomed to dismemberment in small *?* **" 
tribal groups, bear all the marks of territorial contraction, horizon. 
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 condi- 
tions of mutual antagonism and isolation, and hence contri- 
bute 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 ter- 
ritory permanently occupied is never large. 

Small naturally defined regions, which take the lead in National 
historical development because they counteract the primitive estimates 
tendency towards excessive dispersal, are in danger of teach- area * 
ing 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 con- 
quests and their political expansion. This is a conspicuous 
psychological effect of a narrow local environment. A peo- 
ple embedded for centuries in a small district measure area 
with a short yardstick. The ancient Greeks devised a phil- 
osophic basis for the advantages of the small state, which is 
extolled in the writings of Plato and Aristotle. 26 Aristotle 



of area 
in small 

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, 27 all living within reach of the agora, ana 
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 achieve- 
ments and with the wide sphere of their cultural influence 
can be ascribed chiefly to their inability to discard the con- 
tracted territorial ideas engendered by geographic and po- 
litical 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 Medi- 
terranean Europe. 

Maritime peoples of small geographic base have a charac- 
teristic 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. 28 Such were the 
colonies of the ancient Phoenicians and Greeks in the Medi- 
terranean, 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, 29 But all these widespread nuclei of expansion re- 
mained 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. 

That precocious development characteristic of small nat- Limitations 
urally defined areas shows its inherent weakness in the tend- of ^^ 
ency to accept the enclosed area as a nature-made standard ternto 
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. 30 
They were great in the past, and now they belong to 
those immortal dead whose greatness has been incor- 
porated in the world's life "the choir invisible" of the 

The advance from a small, self-dependent community to Evolution 
interdependent relations with other peoples, then to ethnic * terr i~ 
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 com- 
mon purpose has cemented together ever greater aggre- 

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 hun- 
dred 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 Eng- 
land 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 Mis- 
sissippi River to the Trans- Allegheny settlements by Spain 
in 1787, and which later opposed the purchase of the 
Louisiana territory 31 and the acquisition of the Philip- 

All peoples who have achieved wide expansion have de- 
veloped in the process vast territorial policies. This is true 
of the pastoral nomads who in different epochs have inun- 
dated 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 extend- 
ing the geographical horizon ; but it suffers from the evanes- 
cent 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. 

Colonial Among highly civilized agricultural and industrial peoples, 

ex P ansioru on the other hand, a vast territorial policy is at once cause 
and effect of national growth ; it is at once an innate tend- 
ency 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 fol- 
lowed by awakened Japan, stirred out of her insular com- 
placence by the threat of Muscovite encroachment. Germany 
and Italy, each strengthened and enlarged as to national out- 
look by recent political unification, have elbowed their way 
into the crowded colonial field. The French, though not ex- 
pansionists as individuals, have an excellent capacity for 
collective action when directed by government. The officials 
whom Louis XIV sent to Canada in the seventeenth con- 


tury 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 

The best type of colonial expansion is found among the The mind 
English-speaking people of America, Australia and South of colonials. 
Africa. Their spacial ideas are built on a big scale. Dis- 
tances 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 con- 
tinents for its units of measure ; and he found a fitting mon- 
ument 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, Johan- 
nesburg, Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Cape Town a social 
circle with a diameter of a thousand miles ! 32 

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 Wilder- 
ness Road and the Oregon Trail. When the center of popu- 
lation 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 Jef- 
ferson 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. 33 

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 
I ime 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, 34 for which he antici- 
pated larger and more Catholic aims than obtain in Europe, 
hampered as it is by countless political and linguistic bound- 



as road 

aries, 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, immigra- 
tion, 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 back- 
ground 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 arc, feel an 
imperative need of further expansion, if their far-reaching' 
schemes of commerce and empire are to be realized. 

The effort to annihilate space by improved means of com- 
munication 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 ex- 
pansionists are railroad builders. Witness the long list of 


strategic lines, constructed or subsidized by various gov- 
ernments 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 

The abundant natural resources awaiting development in Practical 
such big new countries give to the mind of the people an l>ent of 
essentially practical bent. The rewards of labor are so great colomals ' 
that the stimulus to effort is irresistible. Economic ques- 
tions take precedence of ^all others, divide political parties, 
and consume a large portion of national legislation ; while 
purely political questions sink into the background. Civili-" 
zation 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 Amer- 
ican activities. The problem of an inadequate labor supply at- 
tended the sudden accession of territory opened for Euro- 
pean occupation by the discovery of America, and caused a sud- 
den recrudescence of slavery, which as an industrial system 
had long been outgrown by Europe. It has also given im- 
mense 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 legislation. 

Yet underlying and permeating this materialism is a 
youthful idealism. Transplanted to conditions of greater 


opportunity, the race becomes rejuvenated, abandons out- 
grown customs and outworn standards, experiences an en- 
largement of vision and of hope, gathers courage and energy 
equal to its task, manages somehow to hitch its wagon to 
a star. 


1. Chamberlain and Salisbury, Geology, Vol. Ill, pp. 483-485. New 
York, 1906. 

2. Ibid., p. 137 and map p. 138. 

3. 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 Evo- 
lution, p. 54. London and New York, 1900. 

4. Ibid., pp. 194-197, 226-227, 239-242, 342-350. 

5. Eatzel, Der Lebensraum, eine bio-geograpliische Studie, p. 51. 
Tubingen, 1901. 

6. D. G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 271, 293-295. Philadelphia, 

7. A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, pp. 57-61. 
London, 1894. 

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

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

10. Richard Semon, In the Australian Bush, p. 211. London, 1899. 

11. J. H. W. Stuekenburg, Sociology, Vol. I, p. 324. New York and 
London, 1903. 

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

13. E. Limedorfer, Finland's Plight, Forum, Vol. XXXII, pp. 85-93. 

14. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, p. 35. Washington, 1894. 

15. A. R. Wallace, Australasia, Vol. I, p. 454. London, 1893. 

16. W. S. Barclay, Life in Terra del Fuego, The Nineteenth Century, 
Vol. 55, p. 97. January, 1904. 

17. A. R. Wallace, Australasia, Vol. I, pp. 454-455. London, 1893. 

18. Darwin, Origin of Species, Vol. II, chap. XIII, p. 178. New York, 

19. Ibid., Vol. II, chap. XII, p. 167-168. 

20. Nesbit Bain, Finland and the Tsar, Fortnightly Eeview, Vol. 71, p. 
735. E. Limedorfer, Finland's Plight, Forum, Vol. 82, pp. 85-93. 

/ 21. Archibald Geikie, The Scenery of Scotland, pp. 398-399. London, 

22. Railways in Asia Minor, Litt ell's Living Age, Vol. 225, p. 196. 

23. J. Ellis Barker, Modern Germany, pp. 38-66. London, 1907. 

24. The Polish Danger in Prussia, Westminster Review, Vol. 155, p. 

25. Heinrich von Treitschke, Politik, Vol. I, pp. 223-224. Leipzig, 1897. 


26. Plato, Critias, 112. Aristotle, Polities, Book II. chap. VII: Book 
IV, chap. IV; Book VII, chap. IV. 

27. Plato, De Legibm, Book V, chaps. 8, 9, 10, 11. 

28. Roscher, National-OekonomiJc des Randels und G-ewerbefleisses, pp. 
180-187. Stuttgart, 1899. 

29. Blanqui, History of Political Economy, pp. 150-152. New York, 

30. Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, p. 63. New York, 1865. 

31. E. C. Semple, American Histcry and its Geographic Conditions, pp. 
42-43, 109, 110. Boston, 1903. 

32. James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 405-6. New York, 

33. 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. 

34. Emerson, The Young Ajnerican, in Nature Addresses and JLeetures, 
pp. 369-371. Centenary Edition, Boston. 



zone in 


NATTTEE abhors fixed boundary lines and sudden transi- 
tions; all her forces combine against them. Everywhere 
she keeps her borders melting, wavering, advancing, re- 
treating. 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 perpen- 
dicular 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 inun- 
dation 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 some- 
thing 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 modi- 
fying influences which differentiate its periphery from its in- 
terior, 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, chang- 
ing border zone which, from its nature, cannot be delimited. 
For convenience' sake, we adopt the abstraction of a bound- 
ary line; but the reality behind this abstraction is the im- 
portant thing in anthropo-geography. 

All so-called boundary lines with which geography has to G rada tions 
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 



of the 

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 de- 
crease 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 be- 
neath 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 col- 
lected 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. 

The habitable area of the earth everywhere shows its bound- 
aries to be .peripheral zones of varying width, now occupied 
and now deserted, protruding or receding according to ex- 
ternal 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, fore- 
shadowing 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 docs that 


boundary. On the west coast of Greenland the Eskimo vil- 
lage of Etah, at about the seventy-eighth parallel, marks the 
northern limit of permanent or winter settlement ; but in sum- 
mer 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 habita- 
tions which had evidently, in previous ages, been perma- 
nently occupied. 1 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. 2 
Farther east along this polar fringe of Russia, the little vil- 
lage of Charbarova, located on the Jugor Strait, is in- 
habited in summer by a number of Samoyedes, who pasture 
their reindeer over on Vaygats Island, and by some Rus-^' 
sians and Finns, who come from the White Sea towns to 
with the Samoyedes and incidentally to hunt and fish. But 
the fall, when a new ice bridge across the Strait releases* 
reindeer from their enclosed pasture on the island, the Masqb- * 

*[' , jSji t f j 

yedes withdraw southward, and the merchants wij^jneijr *, 
wares to Archangel and other points. This has 
centuries. 3 On the Briochov Islands at the 
Yenisei estuary Nordenskiold found a small grq 

1 Altitude 

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 



Line" a 

as limits 
of move- 
ments or 

town of Gartok at 15,000 feet on the caravan route from 
Leh to Lhassa, or Shaliidula (3,285 meters or 10,925 feet) 
on the road between Leh and Yarkand; 3 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. 

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. 6 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 Plores, and some reach even 
to Timor, 7 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 inter- 
mediate in animal types as they are in geographical location. 8 
Wallace notes, a similar "debatable land" in the Rajputana 
Desert east of the Indus, which is the border district between 
k the Oriental and Ethiopian realms. 

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 territory* 

The boundaries of race and state which are subjected to Peoples 
greatest fluctuations are those determined by the resistance as 
of other peoples. The westward sweep of the Slavs prior to amers * 
the 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 Val- 
ley 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 Amer- 
ican 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 com- 
municated by some hostile and irresistible force behincl all 
are registered in an advance of the boundary of the people 
in question and a corresponding retrusion of their neighbor's 



zone as 
index of 
growth or 

of the 

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 rep- 
resented by climate, soil, barriers, and natural openings, ac- 
cording 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 resis- 
tance or greatest attraction, long streamers of occupation; 
so that the frontier takes on the form of a fringe of settle- 
ment, 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. 10 [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 un- 
checked, till it coalesces with these outposts s 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 mov- 
ing westward. 11 [See map page 156.] 

The breadth of the frontier zone is indicative of the activ- 
ity of growth on the one side and the corresponding decline 
on the other, because extensive encroachment in the same de- 
gree disintegrates the territory of the neighbor at whose cost 
such encroachment is made. A straight, narrow race bound- 
ary, 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 bound- 
aries 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 Slays, 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. There- 
fore, in such countries, racial, linguistic and cultural bound- 
aries tend to become simpler and straighter. 

The growth is more apparent, or, in other words, the 
border zone is widest and most irregular, where a superior lf oa ? 
people intrudes upon the territory of an inferior race. Such .^^ ^ 
was the broad zone of thinly scattered farms and villages active ex> 
amid a prevailing wilderness and hostile Indian tribes pansion. 
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 sep- 
arated 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 Louisi- 
ana stretched in the form of isolated fur-stations, lonely 
trappers 5 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 corre- 



factors in 

spending 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 Moun- 
tains 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. 12 Lord Curzon in his Romanes lecture describes the 
northwest frontier of India as just such a three-ply border. 

The untouched resources of such new countries tempt to 
the widespread superficial exploitation, which finds its geo- 
graphical 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 con- 
ditions of climate or soil rendering necessary a savage, ex- 
tensive 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, wher 
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. 13 
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 expansion. 

Wasteful exploitation of a big territory is easier than the Value of 
economical development of a small district. This is one line barrier ^ 
of least resistance which civilized man as well as savage boundaries - 
instinctively follows, and which explains the tendency to- 
ward excessive expansion characteristic of all primitive and 
nascent peoples. For such peoples natural barriers which 
set bounds to this expansion are of vastly greater impor- 
tance 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 appropria- 
tion 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 char- 
acterized 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 develop- 
ment 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 advan- 
tages and resources, the formation of a vivid tribal or na- 
tional 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, illus- 
trate the stimulus to maturity which emanates from such 
confining boundaries. The wall of the Appalachians nar- 
rowed 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 indi- 
cated by the Mediterranean, Pyrenees*, Atlantic, Channel, 
Vosges, Jura and Western Alps, found its period of adoles- 
cence shortened and, like Great Britain, early reached its 
maturity. Nature itself set the goal of its territorial expan- 
sion, 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 shore-line. 
The sea The area which a race or people occupies is the resultant 

as the O f tj le 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 un sustaining oceans. The 
frozen rim of arctic lands, the coastline of the continents, the 
outermost arable strip on the confines of the desert, the bar- 
ren or ice-capped ridge of high mountain range, arc 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 settle- 
ments 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 Abys- 
sinia 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 tem- 
porary occupation spread over the newly created grassland, 
but who retire in a few weeks before the desiccating heat of 
summer. 14 

Nevertheless, all natural features of the earth's surface Natural 
which serve to check, retard or weaken the expansion of boulldane8 
peoples, and therefore hold them apart, tend to become ^ c tj m ; c 
racial or political boundaries ; and all present a zone-like g^ political 
character. The wide ice-field of the Scandinavian Alps was boundaries 
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 con- 
tinuous 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 dis- 
trict was not made toward Russia until 1826. Toward Swe- 
den it was made in 1751. 5315 In former centuries the Bour- 
tanger 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. 16 Primitive 

Any geographical feature which, like this, presents a prac- waste 
tically uninhabitable area ? forms a scientific boundary, not boundaries. 


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 bor- 
der wastes surrounding primitive tribes and states in the 
lower status of civilization. The early German tribes de- 
populated their borders in a wide girdle, and in this wilder- 
ness 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. 17 
Caesar learned that between the Suevi and Cherusci tribes dwell- 
ing near the Rhine "silvam esse ibi, infinita magnitudine quae 
appclletur Bacenis; hanc longe introrsus pertinere et pro 
native muro objectam Cheruscos db Suevis Suevosque ab 
CJieruscls mjuriis incur sionibusque prohibere*" 18 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 main- 
tain this as a March. 19 When King Alfonso I. (751-764 
A. D.) of mountain Asturias began the reconqucst 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 Mo- 
hammedans yet farther southward. 20 Similarly Xcnophon 
found that the Armenian side of the River Kentritcs, which 
formed the boundary between the Armenian plains and the 
highlands of Karduchia, was unpeopled and destitute of vil- 
lages for a breadth of fifteen miles, from fear of the maraud- 
ing Kurds. 31 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 in- 
stitution owing to the exposure of the border districts in 
the perennial intertribal feuds. 22 The same testimony comes 
from Barth, 28 Boyd Alexander, 24 Spcke, 25 and other explorers 


in the Sudan and the neighboring parts of equatorial Africa. 

The vast and fertile region defined by the Ohio and Ten- Border 
nessee rivers, lay as a debatable border between the Algonquin wa tes of 
Indians of the north and the Appalachians of the south. 
Both claimed it, both used it for hunting, but neither dared 
dwell therein. 26 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 con- 
sequence was that a considerable strip of territory between 
the settlements of two tribes, Cherokees and Creeks for in- 
stance, though claimed by both, was practically considered 
neutral ground and the common hunting ground of both. 27 
The Creeks, whose most western villages from 1771 to 1798 
were located along the Coosa and upper Alabama rivers, 28 
were separated by 300 miles of wilderness from the Chicka- 
saws 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 com- 
pact settlements were located on the watershed between the 
western sources of the Tombigby and the head stream of the 
Yazoo. 2 * The wide intervening zone of forest and canebrake 
was hunted upon by both nations. 30 

Sometimes the border is preserved as a wilderness by for- 
mal 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. 31 On the Russo- 
Mongolian border south of Lake Baikal, the town of Kiakhta, 
which was established in 1688 as an entrepot of trade between 
the two countries, is occupied in its northern half by Russian 
factories and in its southern by the Mongolian-Chinese quar- 
ters, while between the two is a neutral space devoted to com- 

<to Alien in- 

merce - . trusions 

These border wastes do not always remain empty, however, ^ to t> or< i er 

even when their integrity is respected by the two neighbors wastes. 



of the 

whom they serve to divide; alien races often intrude in- 
to their unoccupied reaches. The boundary wilderness 
between the Sudanese states of Wadai and Dar Fur harbors 
several semi-independent states whose insignificance is a guar- 
antee of their safety from conquest. 33 Similarly in the wide 
border district between the Creeks on the east and the Choc- 
taws 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 Tom- 
bigby and Alabama. 34 Along the desolate highland sepa- 
rating Norway and Sweden the nomadic Lapps, with their 
reindeer herds, have penetrated southward to 6 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. 85 

Where the border waste offers favorable conditions of life 
and the intruding race has reached a higher status of civili- 
zation, 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. 30 

This untcnanted 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 popula/- 


tion to area are greatly reduced. It is a part of that un- 
economic and extravagant use of the land, that appropria- 
tion of wide territories by small tribal groups, which charac- 
terizes the lower stages of civilization, as opposed to the 
exploitation of every square foot for the support of a teem- 
ing 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 oscil- 
lations 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. 

Even civilized peoples may adopt a waste boundary where Common 
the motive for protection is peculiarly strong, as in the half- boundary 
mile neutral zone of lowland which ties the rock of Gibraltar c 
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 dis- 
trict 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 4 


South Latitude; but the zone between 23 and 25 was 
left under the common jurisdiction of the two states, for ex- 
ploitation of the guano deposits and mineral wealth/ 7 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. 38 All these 
instances are only temporary phases in the evolution of a 
political frontier from wide, neutral border to the mathe- 
matically determined boundary line required by modern civ- 
ilized states. 

Tariff free Even when the boundary line has been surveyed and the 

zones. 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 re- 
cede farther and farther from the common political line upon 
the ridge, #nd 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 equilib- 
rium 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 en- 
joyed 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. 30 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 pass- 
way with the Swiss territory at the upper end of the lake. 40 

When the political boundary has evolved by a system of Boundary 
contraction out of the wide waste zone to the nicely deter- z^es of 

mined line, that line, nevertheless, is always encased, as it ^ . 

. . race ele- 

were, in a zone of contact wherein are mingled the elements of men tg. 

either side. The zone includes the peripheries of the two con- 
tiguous 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 pro- 
portions; 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 influ- 

Its peripheral character comes out strongly in the mingling 
of contiguous ethnic elements found in every frontier dis- 
trict. 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 con- 
siderable 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. 41 In the New York and New England counties bor- 
dering on the old French province of Quebec, they constitute 
from 11 to 2 per cent, of the total population, except in 
two or three western counties of Maine which have evidently 
been mere passways for a tid f e of habitants moving on to 
more attractive conditions of life in the counties just to the 


zones in 
the Alps. 

The Slav- 

south. 42 But even these large figures do not adequately 
represent the British- American element within our bound- 
aries, because they leave out of account the native-born of 
Canadian parents who have been crossing our borders for 
over a generation. 

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 AJps, till it 
culminates in Piedmont along the frontier of France, where 
it becomes identical with the broad-headed Savoyards. 43 
More than this, Prove^al French is spoken in the Dora Bal- 
tea 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 Provenfal. More than this, the whole Pied- 
montese Italian is characterized by its approach to the 
French, and the idiom of Turin sounds very much like Pro- 
vensal. 44 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 bound- 
aries in the Grisons shows the dovetailing of German, Italian, 
and Romansch in a broad zone. 45 The traveller in the south- 
ern Tyrol becomes accustomed in the natives to the combina- 
tion 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. 40 

Where Slavs and Teutons come together in Central Eu- 
rope, their race border is a zone lying approximately between 
14 and 4 degrees East Longitude ; it is crossed by alternate 




tion of 
culture in 

peninsulas of predominant Germans and Austrians from the 
one side, Czechs and Poles from the oj;her, 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 demarca- 
tion 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 settle- 
ments; these are found farther east also as an ethnic archi- 
pelago 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. 47 In the Austrian provinces 
of Moravia and Silesia, which form the southeastward con- 
tinuation 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. 48 
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. 

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 co,uld understand Russian and any Russian 




j I Russian 



Jmucks, KIrghis, Nogai, Tar 
ZIEIAN": Mingled Mongoloid and Finnish. 

MONGOLOID: Kalmucks, KIrghis, Nogai, Tartars, Bashkirs, Voguls, Os- 
"tiaks, Samoyedes. 


zones of 
in Asia 

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, inter- 
marriage had almost completely done its work, and the old 
Finnish element could be detected merely in certain peculiar- 
ities of physiognomy and accent." This amalgamation ex- 
tends to their religions prayers wholly pagan devoutly 
uttered under the shadow of a strange cross, next the Finn- 
ish 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 
dead.* 9 

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 Finn- 
ish traits. The Bashkirs, who constitute an ethnic peninsula 
running from the solid Mongolian mass of Asia, show every 
type of the mongrel. 50 [See map page 25.] 

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 civiliza- 
tions marks the transition from Chinese to Mongolian and 
Tibetan areas. The eastern and southern frontiers of Mon- 
golia, formerly marked by the Great Wall, are now difficult 
to define, owing to the steady encroachment of the agricul- 
tural 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 no- 
mad's herds the more sterile patches between. 51 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 north- 
ern bend of the Hoangho in the Ordos country, three hun- 
dred miles beyond the Wall, to exploit the fishing neglected 
by the Mongols. 52 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 Pan tribes 
dwell side by side with Chinese farmers, 33 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. 54 

In easternmost Tibet, in the elevated province of Minjak Boundary 
(,600 meters or 8,500 feet), M. Hue found in 1846 a great zones of 
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 man- 
ners, 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. 55 
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. 56 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 in- 
stead of rice. The prevailing architecture is Tibetan and 



of ethnic 
and cul- 
tural as- 

the priests on the highways are the red and yellow lamas 
from the Buddhist monasteries of the plateau. "The Coun- 
try is a cross between China and Tibet." 57 

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 Hima- 
layan state of Bhutan, allow them to monopolize the metal 
industry, in which they excel, and to practise undisturbed 
their Indian form of Buddhism. 58 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. 59 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. 60 [See map page 102.] 

The assimilation of culture within a boundary zone is in 
some respects the result of race amalgamation, as, for in- 
stance, 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 ex- 
ample, 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 ob- 
noxious to the purely agricultural Chinese of the lowlands. 61 
The English pioneer in the Trans-Allegheny wilderness shared 
with the Indians an environment of trackless forests and sav- 
age neighbors ; he was forced to discard for a time many es- 
sentials 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 con- 
tact 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 indus- 
trial development and for defence. 

A race boundary involves almost inevitably a cultural 
boundary, often, too, a linguistic and religionary, occasion- 
ally 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 con- 
trasts on the two sides of a border, the greater is its signifi- 
cance; 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 assimi- 
lation in the belt of borderland. 

The significance of the border zone of assimilation for The 
political expansion lies in the fact that it prepares the way boun 
for the advance of the state boundary from either side ; in It u^ ca j_ 
the sharp edge of racial and cultural antagonism is removed, expansion 
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 



along polit- 
ical fron- 

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 dis- 
tricts have received, would greatly facilitate the eastward 
extension of the German Empire; while their common reli- 
gions, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, would help 
obliterate the old political fissure. Thus the borderland of a 
country, so markedly differentiated from its interior, per- 
forms a certain historical function, and becomes, as it were, 
an organ of the living, growing race or state. 

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 ex- 
cellent 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 solidar- 
ity. Hence we find that a tendency to political defection con- 
stantly manifests itself along the periphery. A long reach 
weakens the arm of authority, especially where serious geo- 
graphical 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, Dan- 
ube, and Rhine, as also in the rapid Teutonization of eastern 


Gaul, which here prepared the way for the assertion of inde- 
pendence. The border satraps of the ancient Persian Em- 
pire 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 wear}' stretches of desert 
roads enabled the rebellions in Chinese Turkestan and the 
border districts of Sungaria in 1863 to be maintained for 
several years. 62 

A feeble grasp upon remote peripheral possessions is often Centrifugal 
further weakened by the resistance of an immigrant popula- f rces on 
tion 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 intelli- 
gence, 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 se- 
cured annexation to Brazil. 63 

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, espe- 
cially 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 bccession of the Pacific States 
from the Union. Disaffection from the government was mani- 
fested by the Trek Boers of early South Africa, "especially 
by those who dwelt in the outlying districts where the Gov- 
ernment 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. 04 

The spirit The spirit of the colonial frontier is the spirit of freedom, 

of colonial ^ gpj^f. o f men w ^ j^^ traveled far, who are surcharged 
with energy, enterprise and self-reliance, often with impa- 
tience 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 empha- 
size 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 con- 
tinent 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 Rus- 
sian 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 youth. 65 


When to a border situation is added a geographic location Free bor- 
affording conditions of long-established isolation, this ten- <*er states 
dency to maintain political autonomy becomes very pro- M P^* * 1 
nounced. This is the explanation of so many frontier moun- sumvals - 
tain states that have retained complete or partial independ- 
ence, such as Nepal, Bhutan, the Asturias, which successfully 
withstood Saracen attack, and Montenegro, which has re- 
pelled alike Venetian, Servian, and Turkish dominion. Eu- 
rope 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 at- 
tached 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 Urgel. 60 

Oftentimes a state gains by recognizing this freedom-loving Guardians 
spirit of the frontier, and by turning it to account for na- of the 
tional defence along an exposed boun'dary. In consequence marc ^ 
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 dig- 
nity ; and their clans, accustomed only to the imperfect mili- 
tary 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. 67 


Border China has fringed her western boundaries with quasi- 

nomads as independent tribes whose autonomy is assured and whose love 
frontier Q f f ree( j om { s a guarantee of guerilla warfare against any 
^ ce * invader from Central Asia. The Mantze tribes in the moun- 

tain borders of Sze-Chuan province have their own rulers and 
customs, and only pay tribute to China. 68 The highlands of 
Kansu are sprinkled with such independent tribes. Some- 
times 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 Char- 
tar 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. 69 Similarly, semi- 
independent military communities for centuries made a con- 
tinuous line of barriers against the raids of the steppe 
nomads along the southern and southeastern frontiers of Rus- 
sia, 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 maraud- 
ing 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 mid- 
dle of the seventeenth century formed Poland's border de- 
fence against Tartar invasion, were jealous of any inter- 
ference 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. 70 Here speaks that spirit of defection 
which is the natural product of the remoteness and inde- 
pendence 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. 71 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, lead- 
ing 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 pro- 
hibited on pain of death, lest they should lose their taste for 
the live-stock booty of a punitive raid. A still earlier in- 
stance of this utilization of border nomads is found in the 
first century after Christ, when the Romans made the Ara- 
bian tribe of Beni Jafre, dwelling on the frontier of Syria, 
the warders of the eastern marches of the Empire. 72 

The advancing frontier of an expanding people often car- Lawless 
ries them into a sparsely settled country where the unruly citizens 
members of society can with advantage be utilized as colon- 06 * 1 to 
ists. After centralized and civilized Russia began to en- 
croach 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 col- 
onized along the Kuban and Terek rivers, to serve as bul- 
warks against the incursions of the Caucasus tribes and as 
the vanguard of the advance southward. 73 

This is one principle underlying the transportation of 
criminals to the frontier. They serve to hold the new coun- 
try. There these waste elements of civilization are converted 
into a useful by-product. They may be only political rad- 
icals 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 out- 
skirts of the Empire, where the danger of contagion was re- 
duced. 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 faith- 
ful and still persecuted. 74 Since 1709 the Russian advance 
into Siberia has planted its milestones in settlements formed 
of prisoners of war, political exiles, and worse offenders. 75 
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 76 and Kansu ; but its worst criminals it transports 
far away to the Hi country on the western frontier of the 



Drift of 
lawless ele- 
ments to 
the fron- 

the border. 

Empire, where they have doubtless contributed to the spirit 
of revolt that has there manifested itself. 77 

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 at- 
tract 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. 7 * 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, 79 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. 80 The 
frontier communities of the Russian Cossacks in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries were regular asylums for 
runaway serfs and peasants who were fleeing from taxation; 
their hetmans were repeatedly fugitive criminals. The east- 
ern 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. 81 "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, sub- 
ject as it was to the regular jurisdiction of neither side. 82 

Just beyond the political boundary, where police author- 
ity comes to an end and where pursuit is cut short or re- 
tarded, 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. 88 Marauding 


bands of Apaches and Sioux, after >ucce^ful depredations 
on American ranches for yvais tied across the line into Mex- 
ico and Canada before the hammering hoof-beats of Texas 
Ranger and United State* cavalry, until a treaty with Mex- 
ico in 1882, authorizing such armed pursuit to cross the 
boundary, cut off at least one asylum. s4 Our country ex- 
changes other undesirable citizens with its northern and 
southern neighbors in cases where no extradition treaty pro- 
vides for their return; and the borders of the individual 
states are crossed and recrossed by shifty gentlemen seek- 
ing 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. 

Dissatisfied, oppressed, or persecuted members of a polit- Border 
ical community are prone to seek an asylum across the near- re *ug ees 
est 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 em- 
bittered 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 Hu- 
guenots 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 17 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. 85 The 
establishment of American independence in 1783 saw an ex- 


odus 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,* 6 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 fron- 
tier, and make of the boundary a variable zone, as opposed 
to the rigid artificial line in terms of which we speak. 


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

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

3. Nordenskiold, Voyage of the Vega, pp. 60-62. New York, 1882. 

4. Hid., pp. 146, 161. 

5. Col. F. B. Younghusband, The Heart of a Continent, pp. 194-199. 
London, 1904. 

6. A. R. Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, Vol. I, pp. 
38V-389, 426-431, 436-438. London, 1876. 

7. Ibid., 409, 424. 

8. A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, pp. 105-108. 
London, 1894. 

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

10. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I,, ethno- 
graphical map. New York, 1893. 

11. Eleventh Census of the United States, Population, Part I., maps on 
pp. xviii-xxiii. 

12. L. March Phillipps, In the Desert, pp. 64-68, 77. London, 1905. 

13. Fully treated in E. C. Semple, American History and Its Geo- 
graphic Conditions, pp. 22-31. Boston, 1903. 

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

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


16. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p 297. London, 1903. 

17. Csesar, Bello Galileo, Book IV, chap 3 and Book VI, chap. 23. 
IS. Ibid., Book VI, chap. 10. 

19. T. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, p. 5G 7 note I. Ox- 
ford, 1S92. 

20. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. IV, p. 510. Xew York, 1902- 

21. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. IX, chap. 70, pp. 99, 115. Xew 
York, 1859. 

22. Dr. Wilhelm Junker, Travels in Africa, pp. 18, 45, 79, S7, 115, 117, 
138, 191, 192, 200, 308, 312, 325, 332. Translated from the German, 
London, 1892. 

23. H. Barth, Human Society in Xorth Central Africa, Journal Eoyal 
Geographical Society. Vol. XXX, pp. 123-124. London, I860. 

24. Boyd Alexander, Prom the Xiger to the Xile, Vol. II, pp. 163-164. 
London, 1907. 

25. John H. Speke, Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, pp. 74, 89, 91, 
94, 95, 173, 176-177, 197. Xew York, 1868. 

26. Theodore Eoosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 50 ? 70, 
135. New York, 1895. 

27. 0. C. Eoyee, The Cherokee Nations of Indians, p. 140. Fifth An- 
nual Seport of the Bureau of Ethnology. Washington, 1884. 

28. Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 79-89, 113-115, 1851. 
Reprint, Birmingham, 1900. James Adair, History of the American In- 
dians, p. 257. London, 1775. 

29. Ibid., pp. 252-3, 282. 

30. Albert J. Piekett, History of Alabama, pp. 133-135. 1851. Reprint, 
Birmingham, 1900. 

31. Archibald Little, The Far East, p. 249. Oxford, 1905. 

32. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I, 
p. 74. Translated from the French. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

3b. Naehtigal, Sahara und Sudan, Vol. I, pp. 102, 448; Vol. in, pp. 
2f 3-205, 314. Leipzig, 1889. Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the 
Nile, Vol. H, p. 170. London, 1907. 

34. Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 118-119. 1851. Re- 
print, Birmingham, 1900. 

35. Norway, Official Publication for the Paris Exhibition, pp. 5, 83-84. 
Christiania, 1900. 

36. Albert J. Pickett, History of Alabama, pp. 416, 417, 461, 467. 
1S57. Reprint, Birmingham, 1900. 

37. C. E. Akers, History of South America, 1854-1904, p. 435. New 

York, 1904. ^ AAft 

38 H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 883. New York, 1902. 

39. Matias Romero, Mexico and the United States, pp. 433-441. New 
York, 1898. 

40. E. Hertslet, The Map of Europe by Treaty, 1814-1875, Vol. I, pp. 
422, 425, 426 ; Vol. II, p. 1430. 

41. Eleventh Census of the United States, Population, Part L, map No. 
10 and p. cxliii. 

42. IUd. Based on comparison of Tables 15 and 33 for the btatea 

mentioned. . ortrt 

43. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 250-253. New York, 1899. 


44. W. Deecke, Italy, pp. 32o, 347, 349. Translated from the German. 
London, 1904. 

45. Sydow- Wagner, HetlioJisclier ScJiiil- Atlas, Yolker und Sprachen- 
Teamen, Xo. 13. Gotha, 1905. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 282- 
284. New York, 1899. 

46. Ibid., pp. 255-257. W. Deecke, Italy, p. 357. London, 1904. 

47. Sydow-Wagner, McthodiacJier Hchul-Atlai*, rolker und Sprachen- 
Tcarten Xo. 13. Gotha, 1905. 

48. Hugh R. Mill, International Geography, p. 309. Xew York, 1902. 

49. D. M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 151-155. Xew York, 1904. 

50. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, p. 362. Xew York, 1899. 

51. Archibald Little, The Far East. Map p. 8 and pp. 171-172. Ox- 
ford, 1905. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846. 
Vol. I, pp. 2-4, 21, 197-201, 284. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

52. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 166-170. 

53. Ibid., Vol II, p. 23. 

54. Ibid., Vol. I, 312-313. 

55. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 319-322, 327. 

56. M. Hue, Journey through the Chinese Empire, Vol. I, p. 36. New 
York, 1871. 

57. Isabella Bird Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. H, pp. 
70-71, 88, 91, 92, 104-109, 113, 117, 133, 134, 155, 194, 195. London, 

58. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. II, 
pp. 155-156, 264. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

59. 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. 

60. Eliza R. Seidmore, Winter India, pp. 106-108. Xew York, 1903. 

61. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I, 
pp. 312-313. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

62. Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 174-175. Xew York, 1899. 

63. Charles E. Akers, History of South America, 1854-1904, p. 562. 
New York, 1904. 

64. James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 108-109. New 
York, 1897. 

65. 0. P. Crosby, Tibet and Turkestan, pp. 15-20. 

66. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 378. New York, 1902. H. 
Spencer, A Visit to Andorra, Fortnightly Review, Vol. 67, pp. 44-60. 

67. Wm. Robertson, History of Scotland, pp. 19-20. New York, 1831. 
The Scotch Borderers,' Littell's Living Age, Vol 40, p. 180. 

68. Isabella Bird Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. II, pp. 
209-210. London, 1900. 

69. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I, 
pp. 41, 42, 97. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

70. D. M. Wallace, Russia, pp. 352-356. New York, 1904. Article on 
Cossacks in Encyclopedia Britannica. 

71. Pallas, Travels in Southern Russia, Vol. I, pp. 126-129; 442; Vol. 
H, pp. 330-331. London, 1812. 


72. G. Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, p. 9. 
Xew York, 1S97. 

73. D. M. Wallace, Russia, p. 358. Xew York, 1904. Walter K. Kelly, 
History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 394-395. London, 1SS1. 

74. D. M. Wallace, Russia, p. 298. Xew York, 1904. 

75. Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 43, 53. Xew York, 1899. 

76. Francis H. Xiehol, Through Hidden Shensi, pp. 139-140. Xew 
York, 1902. 

77. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, 1844-1846, Vol. I, 
p. 23. Reprint, Chicago, 1898. 

78. Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, Vol. I, pp. 130-132. 
Xew York, 1895. 

79. John Fiske, Old Virginia and Her Xeighbors, Vol. II, pp. 311, 
315-321. Boston, 1897. 

80. Archibald Little, The Far East, p. 249. Oxford, 1905. 

81. Alfred Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 45, 199-200. 
Boston, 1886. 

82. Malcolm Lang, History of Scotland, Vol. I, pp. 42-43. London, 
1800. The Scotch Borderland, Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. CCLX, p. 
191. 1886. 

83. Friedrich Ratel, History of Mankind, Vol. HI, p. 175. London, 

84. A. B. Hart, Foundations of American Foreign Policy, pp. 81-82. 
Xew York, 1901. 

85. Alfred Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. II, pp. 45, 50. Boston, 

86. Justin Winsor, The Westward Movement, p. 366. Boston, 1899. 


The coast OF all geographical boundaries, the most important is that 

a zone of between land and sea. The coast, in its physical nature, is a 
transition. 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 oppor- 
tunity. Now the coast is dominated by the exuberant forces 
of a productive soil, so that the ocean beyond is only a tur- 
bulent 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 inter- 
national 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 roles which 



coasts have always played in history. To-day we see them 
side by side. But in spite of the immense proportions as- 
sumed by transmarine intercourse, the fact remains that the 
greater part of the coasts of the earth are for their inhabi- 
tants only a barrier and not an outlet, or at best only a base 
for timorous ventures seaward that rarely lose sight of the 

Width of As intermediary belt between land and sea, the coast be- 

coastal comes a peculiar habitat which leaves its mark upon its peo- 
zones. pj e ^ ^y e S p ea k O f coast strips, coastal plains, "tidewater 

country," coast cities; of coast tribes, coast peoples, mari- 
time 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 navi- 
gation among the people who inhabit it. 

Along highly articulated coasts, showing the interpenetra- 
tion 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. 
The inner 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 sove- 
reign 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 in- 
undation. Land high enough to be above the ever threaten- 
ing flood of river and storm-driven tide on this flat coast ? an.l 


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 Konigs- 
berg, rests upon hills, while in every case the newer and lower 
part is b.uilt on piles or artificially raised ground on the 
alluvium. 1 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 impor- 
tant town of all this region before the arts t 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. 2 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 Col- 
chester on its steep rise or dun overlooked the marshes of the 
Stour inlet. 3 Farther north about the Wash, which in Roman 
days extended far inland over an area of fens and tidal chan- 
nels, Cambridge on the River Cam, Huntingdon and Stam- 
ford on the Nen, and Lincoln on the Witham all river sea- 
ports 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, Tod- 
caster, and York. 4 On the flat or rolling West African coast- 
land, which lines the long shores of the Gulf of Guinea with 
a band 30 to 100 miles wide, the sandy, swampy tracts im- 
mediately on the sea are often left uninhabited ; native popu- 
lation is distributed most frequently at the limit of deep 
water, and here at head of ship-navigation the trading 
towns are found. 5 

While, on low coasts at any rate, the inner edge tends to Inner edge 
mark the limit of settlement advancing from the interior, as head 
as the head of sea navigation on river and inlet it has also of ^ a 
been the goal of immigrant settlers from oversea lands. The 
history of modern maritime colonization, especially in Amer- 
ica, 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. 
Shifting With the recent increase in the size of vessels, two con- 

of the trary effects are noticed. In the vast majority of cases, 

inner edge, 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, Stet- 
tin and Swinemunde, Bordeaux and Pauillac, London and 
Tilbury. Or the original harbor seeks to preserve its advan- 
tage 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 Konigsberg by its ship 
, canal, carried for 25 miles across the Frisches Haff to the 
Baltic; 6 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. 7 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 Bre- 
merhaven. 5 So the whole German coast and the Russian Bal- 
tic have seen a more or less irregular shifting backward 
and forward of maritime importance between the inner and 
the outer edges. 

The width of the coast zone is not only prevented from Artificial 
contracting by dredging and canaling, but it is even in- extension 
creased. By deepening the channel, the chief port of the St. of iimer 
Lawrence River has been removed from Quebec 180 miles C " 
upstream to Montreal, and that of the Clyde from Port Glas- 
gow 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 r.are, 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. Law- 
rence 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 ir- 
regularity 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 testi- 
fies to the fact that the evolution of the coast zone with the 
development of civilization shows the persistent importance Quteredge 
of this inner edge. in original 

The outer edge finds its greatest significance, which is for settlemeat 



the most part ephemeral, in the earlier stages of navigation, 
maritime colonization, and in some cases of original settle- 
ment. But this importance persists only on steep coasts fur- 
nishing 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 sup- 
port the population ; and in polar and sub-polar districts, 
where harsh climatic conditions set a low limit to economic 
Outer edge development. In all these regions the sea must provide most 
and food of the food of the inhabitants, who can therefore never lose 
supply. 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 strajts and channels yield them all their food, 
and are the highways for all their restless, hungry wander- 
ings. 9 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 In- 
dians 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 at- 
tack. 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 prox- 
imity 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 sepa- 
rating 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 consid- 
eration has influenced the Eskimo tribes of the wide Kus u 
kokwin 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. 10 Only among 


the great tidal channels of the Yukon delta are they dis- 
tributed over the whole wide coastal zone, even to its inner 

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 inunda- 
tions of the Arctic rivers. 11 The whole western side of Green- 
land, 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, strik- 
ing off from the fiords some miles back from the outer 
coast. 12 Caesar 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. 13 Here a sterile plateau hinter- 
land 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. 

In the early history of navigation and exploration, strik- Outer edge 
ing features of this outer coast edge, like headlands and ^ ^y 
capes, became important sea marks. The promontory of nav *g atioiL 
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. 14 For the ancient 
Greeks Cape Malia was long the boundary stone to the un- 
known wastes of the western Mediterranean, just as later 
the Pillars of Hercules marked the portals to the mare tene- 
brosum 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. 15 Centuries later the Portuguese marked their advance 
down the west coast of Africa, first by Cape Xon, which so 
long said "No!" to the struggling mariner, then by Cape 
Eojador, 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 Phoeni- 
cians in their home country fixed their settlements by prefer- 
ence on small capes, like Sidon and Berytus, or on inshore 
islets, like Tyre and Aradus, 16 and for their colonies and trad- 
ing stations they chose similar sites, whether on the coast of 
Sicily, 17 Spain, or Morocco. 18 Carthage was located on a 
small hill-crowned cape projecting out into the Bay of Car- 
thage. The two promontories embracing this inlet were 
edged with settlements, especially the northern arm, which 
held Utica and Hippo, 19 the latter on the site of the modern 
French naval station of Bizerta. 

Outer edge In this early Hellenic world, when Greek sea-power was in 
and its infancy, owing to the fear of piracy, cities were placed 

piracy. a ew m ii es b ac k f rO m the coast ; but with the partial cessa- 
tion of this evil, sites on shore and peninsula were preferred 
as being more accessible to commerce, 20 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, 
Mycenae and Eiones, Corinth commanding its Aegean port 
of Cenchreae 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 Lechaeum, a second harbor on the Cor- 
inthian Gulf which served the Italian commerce. 21 In the same 
group belonged Athens and its Piraeus, Megara and Pegae, 
Pergamus and Elase in western Asia Minor. 22 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. 23 
Lubeck, originally located nearer the sea than at present, 
and frequently demolished by them, was finally rebuilt far- 
ther inland up the Trave River. 24 Later the port of Trave- 
mlinde grew up at the mouth of the little estuary. 

Outer edge The early history of maritime colonization shows in gen- 
in coloni- e ral two geographic phases : first, the appropriation of the 
aation * 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 out- 
come of a low estimate of the value of land, is best represented 
by the Phoenician and earliest Greek colonies, whose pur- 
poses 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 ad- 
jacent seas. The earlier Greek colonies, like those of the 
Triopium promontory forming the south-western angle of 
Asia Minor, Chalcidice, the Thracian Chersonesus, Calche- 
don, Byzantium, the Pontic Heraclea, and Sinope, were situ- 
ated on peninsulas or headlands, that would afford a con- 
venient 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 com- 
merce, and in their natural protection against the attack of 
strange or hostile mainland tribes. For a nation of mer- 
chants, satisfied with the large returns but also with the eph- 
emeral 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 in- 
terior bartered their ivory and skins for the products of 
Tyre. 25 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 south- 
ward to the Rovuma River.-" 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 pos- 

But when a people has advanced to a higher conception Inland ad- 
of colonization as an outlet for national as well as commer- Vance . of 
cial expansion, and when it sees that the permanent prosper- C mes " 
ity of both race and trade in the new locality depends upon 
the occupation of larger tracts of territory and the develop- 
ment of local resources as a basis for exchanges, their settle- 
ments 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 27 and Carthaginians, 
and especially of most modern colonial movements, for these 
have been dominated by a higher estimate of the value of 

After the long Atlantic journey, the outposts of the Amer- 
ican 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 Cutty- 
hunk, 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 Pop- 
ham 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. Mon- 
hegan Island, off the Maine coast, was the site of an early 
English trading post, which, however, lasted only from 1623 
to 1626 ; 28 and the same dates fix the beginning and end of a 
fishing and trading station established on Cape Ann, and re- 
moved 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. 

Interpcrie- Since it is from the land, as the inhabited portion of the 
trationof earth's surface, that all maritime movements emanate, and 
land and ^ o ^ e j anc j y^ a jj oversea migrations are directed, the re- 
ciprocal relations between land and sea are largely deter- 
mined 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 In- 
dia, or whether, lite Europe and Norway, it drops a fringe 
of peninsulas and a shower of islands into the bordering 
ocean. Here 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 civiliza- 
tion 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 Medi- 
terranean 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 inac- 
cessible remoteness from the watery highway of the deep. 

The success with which such indentations open up the in- 
terior 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 contin- 
ent 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 continent*, 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. 

In order to determine the coast articulation of any coun- Ratio of 
try or continent, Carl Ritter and his followers divided area shoreline 
by shoreline, the latter a purely mathematical line represent- to area " 
ing the total contour length. By this method Europe's ratio 
is one linear mile of coast to 17-i square miles of area, Aus- 
tralia's 1 : 224s, 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 1,000 miles traced in and out along the 
fiords and around the larger islands, 20 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 more- 
over increase or decrease in markedly different degrees, ac- 
cording as larger or smaller units are used. But for the pur- 
poses of anthropo-geography the method is valid, inasmuch 
as it shows the amount of area dependent for its marine out- 
line 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 activ- 
ity, 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 



of this 

bility of 
coasts from 

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 lar- 
ger 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. 30 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 out- 
let 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 moun- 
tain-walled face of our Pacific littoral is a serious national 

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 sur- 
face 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. More- 
over, 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 pri- 
marily 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 mer- 
curial that it could find only a most inadequate expression 
in the rigid mathematical formula of Carl Ritter. 

As the coast, then, is the border zone between the solid, 
inhabited land and the mobile, untenanted deep, two impor- 


tant 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 1 
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, inter- 
course is too difficult and infrequent, transportation too slow 
and costly. Hence the inhabitants of such a coast are forced 1 
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 Phoe- 
nicia, the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, Dalmatia, the repub- 
lics 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 for- 
bidden territory behind it. The height and width of the land- 
ward 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 

The interior is most effectively cut off from the periphery, 
where a mountain range or a plateau escarpment traces the Mountain- 
inner line of the coastland, as in the province of Liguria in barred 
northern Italy, Dalmatia, the western or Malabar coast hinterland8 ' 
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 Swe- 
den 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 i*s coasts. The greatness of Ven- 
ice was intimately connected with the Brenner Pass over the 
Alps on the one hand, and the trade of the eastern Mediter- 
ranean on the other. Despite Austro-Hungary's crucial in- 
terest 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. 31 
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, be- 
cause 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 cooperate 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 coun- 
try have emphasized that tendency to defection that belongs 
to every periphery, and therefore necessitated a strong cen- 
tralized government to consolidate the restive maritime prov- 
inces with their diverse Galician, Basque, Catalonian, and 
Andalusian folk into one nation with the Castilians of the 
plateau. 32 

Accessible Where mountain systems run out endwise into the sea, the 

hinterlands, 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 14:50. So from 
the shores of Thrace to the southern point of the Pelopon- 
nesus, 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. 33 
The northern half of Andean Colombia, by way of the par- 
allel Atrato, Rio Cauco, and Magdalena valleys, has sup- 
ported 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 accessi- 
ble 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 34 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; 85 but de- 
bouchment 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 deter- 
mine the accessibility of the coast from the land side. AccessL- 

Its accessibility from the sea depends primarily upon its coa ^ 
degree of articulation ; and this articulation depends upon from t j le 
whether the littoral belt has suffered elevation or subsidence, 


When the inshore sea rests upon an uplifted bottom, the con- 
tour 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 Coro- 
mandel coast of India, and the long, low littoral of Upper 
Guinea. Such coasts harbor a population of fishermen liv- 
ing along the strands of their placid lagoons, 36 and stimulate 
a timid inshore navigation which sometimes develops to ex- 
tensive coastwise intercourse, where a network of lagoons 
and deltaic channels forms a long inshore passage, as in Up- 
per Guinea, but which fears the break of the surf outside. 87 
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 Caesar's time and admitted 
only their lighters, 88 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. 

Embayed The effect of subsidence, even on a low coastal plain, is to' 

coasts. 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 Dela- 
ware Bay, through Chesapeake Bay to Pamlico Sound, the 
North Sea face of England, the funnel-shaped "forden" 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. 89 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 at- 
tractive 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 abun- 
dant fisheries and a superior location for maritime trade, is 
sure to profit by the accessible sea, and achieve the predom- 
inant maritime activity which characterized the mediaeval 
Hanse Towns of northern Germany and colonial New 

Subsidence that brings the beat of the surf against the Maritime 
bolder reliefs of the land produces a ragged, indented coast, activit y 
deep-water inlets penetrating far into the country, hilly or ^| )ay ^ 
mountainous tongues of land running far out into the sea coas ts. 
and breaking up into a swarm of islands and rocks, whose 
outer limits indicate approximately the old prediluvial line 
of shore. 40 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 be- 
tween mainland and island. All these coasts are character- 
ized 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 discour- 
ages 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 sail- 
ors in France's merchant marine, 41 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 clays it manned the Adriatic fleet of the Caesars. 42 
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. 

Contrasted As areas of elevation or subsidence are, as a rule, exten- 
coasta * sive, it follows that coasts usually present long stretches of 

e * 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 em- 
bayed mountain roots. A sudden change in relief or in geo- 
logic 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 Eng- 
land, 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, 43 or a single great river estuarj, 
as in the La Plata and the Columbia, affords a 


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 estu- 
ary are of inestimable value; while, by tLe 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 terri- 
tory 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 sta 
tions and places of refuge along that 15200-mile reach of 
inhospitable coast extending from Cape Town north to Great 
Fish Bay. 44 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 Dela- 
goa 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. 

The maritime evolution of all amply embayed coasts, ex- Evolution 
cept in Arctic and sub- Arctic regions inimical to all historical of ports, 
development, shows in its highest stage the gradual elimina- 
tion of minor ports, and the concentration of maritime activ- 
ity in a few favored ones, which have the deepest and most 
capacious harbors and the best river, canal, or railroad con- 
nection 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. 45 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 Aber- 
deen and Grimsby, while the fishing villages that fringed the 
whole eastern and southern coasts have been gradually de- 
populated. 46 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 differ- 
entiation, 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. 

Offshore A well dissected coast, giving ample contact with the sea, 

often fails nevertheless to achieve historical importance, un- 
less outlying islands are present to ease the transition from 
inshore to pelagic navigation, and to tempt to wider mari- 
time 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, Ire- 
land and the Channel Isles, whether it was the navigator of 
ancient Armorica steering his leather-sailed boat to the 
shores of Caesar'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. 47 It 
was on the eastern side of Greece, with its deep embayments, 


its valleys opening out to the Aegean, with its 4<83 islands 
scattered thickly as stars in the sky, and its ililky Way of 
the Cyclades leading to the deep, rich soils of the Asia Minor 
coast, with its sea-made contact with all the stimulating in- 
fluences 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 re- 
ceived 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. 48 

In all these instances, offshore islands tempt to expansion Offshore 
and thereby add to the historical importance of the near-by ^lands *s 
coast. Frequently, however, they achieve the same result by v ? ,, 
offering advantageous footholds to enterprising voyagers mainland, 
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 his- 
torical 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 in- 
fluences percolated into southeastern Asia. Asia, with its 
island-strewn shores, has diffused its influences over a broad 



habitat of 

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 ex- 
pansion 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 fac- 
tor, as well as its location remote from the old and stimulat- 
ing civilization of Syria and Asia Minor, operated to retard 
the development of the western Mediterranean long after the 
eastern basin had reached its zenith. 

Coast-dwelling peoples exhibit every degree of inti- 
macy 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 tal- 
ents and habits of the people are of immense influence; but 
these in turn have been largely determined by the geograph- 
ical 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, 49 brought to their favorable maritime location 
a different endowment from that of the land-trading Philis- 
tines, who moved up from the south to occupy the sand- 
choked shores of Palestine, 50 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. 51 The unindented coast stretching from Cape Car- 
mel south to the Nile delta never produced a maritime people 
and never achieved maritime importance, till a race of expe- 
rienced mariners like the Greeks planted their colonies and 
built their harbor moles on the shores of Sharon and Philis- 
tia. 62 So on the west face of Africa, from the Senegal south- 


ward 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 sea- 
ward," 3 so that no previous schooling enabled them to exploit 
the numerous harbors along this littoral, as did later the sea- 
bred Portuguese and English. 

Not only the accessibility of the coast from the sea, but Habitability 
also its habitability enters as a factor into its historical of coast8 
importance. A sandy desert coast, like that of Southwest f 8 fact ? r 
Africa and much of the Peruvian littoral, or a sterile moun- development- 
tain 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. 54 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 popu- 
lated as they are to-day, 55 and that a broad stretch of sandy 
waste formed their Red Sea littoral. 

On the other hand, where the hem of the continents is fer- 
tile 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 land- 
ward 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 over- 
flows to other lands across the seas. The congested popula- 
tion 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 trad- 
ing 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. 5C 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 op- 
portunities curtailed in the archipelago to the south by the 
spread of Islam. 57 Now the "yellow peril" threatens the 
whole circle of these islands from Luzon to Sumatra. 

Similarly India, first from its eastern, later from its west- 
ern coast, sent a stream of traders, Buddhist priests, and col- 
onists 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 Bor- 
neo, Sumatra, Bali, Lombok, and even to some smaller 
islands among the Molucca group. 58 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. 59 To-day they form a considerable mer- 
cantile class in the ports of Mascat, Aden, Zanzibar, Pemba, 
and Natal. 

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 inci- 
dental historical importance. The coastlands appearing 
development, early on the maritime stage of history, and playing a bril- 
liant 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 har- 
bors, such coasts tend to develop wide maritime dominion 
and colonial expansion. 60 

Great fertility in a narrow coastal belt barred from the 
interior serves to concentrate and energize the maritime ac- 
tivities 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. 61 In ancient Phoe- 
nician 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. 

ic con- 
ditions for 


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, i* the Oman seaboard of east- 
ern Arabia. Here again a fertile coastal plain sprinkled 
with its '"hundred villages," edged with a few tolerable har- 
bors, and backed by a high mountain wall with an expanse 
of desert beyond, produced a race of bold and skilful navi- 
gators, 02 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. 03 First as voyagers and 
merchants, then as colonists, they came, bringing their wares 
and their religion to these distant shores. Marco Polo, visit- 
ing Sumatra in 160, tells us the coast population was 
"Saracen," but this was probably more in religion than in 
blood. 04 Oman ventures, seconded by those of Yemen, 
reached as far south as east. The trading stations of Ma- 
disha and Barawa were established on the Somali coast of 
East Africa in 908, and Kilwa 750 miles further south in 
9#5. 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 merchant- 
men that did an extensive carrying trade, and might be seen 
loading in the ports of British India, in Singapore, Java, and 

Brittany's active part in the maritime history of France Soil of 
is due not only to it? ragged contour, its inshore and off- coastiands 
shore islands, its forward location on the Atlantic which M actor - 
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, 65 

270 . 


coast of 

while the sea near by varied and enriched the diet of the in- 
habitants by its abundance of fish, and in its limy seaweed 
yielded a valuable fertilizer for their gardens. 00 The small 
but countless alluvial deposits at the fiord heads in Norway, 
aided by the products of the sea, are able to support a con- 
siderable 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 moun- 
tainous interior, and contains seventeen out of Norway's 
nineteen towns having more than 5,000 inhabitants. 67 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. 

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 col- 
onization. Such was Arabian Yemen, the home of the an- 
cient Sabaeans on the Red Sea, stretching from the Straits 
of Bab-el-Man deb 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 ter- 
raced 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 se- 
ries of considerable ports as outlets for the abundant pro- 
ducts and crowded population of the highlands. 68 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. 89 Therefore, even in the second century 
these Sabaeans had their trading stations scattered along the 
east coast of Africa as far south as Zanzibar. 70 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 India. 71 


History makes one fact very plain : a people who dwell by Scope and 
the sea, and to whom nature applies some lash to drive them importance 
out upon the deep, command opportunity for practically un- of 
limited 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 scat- 
tered but extensive seaboard possession of little Venice and 
Genoa in the latter centuries of the Middle Ages are paral- 
leled in modern times by the large oversea dominions of the 
English and Dutch. 

Seaward expansions of peoples are always of great mo- 
ment and generally of vast extent, whether they are the coast- 
ward 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 repre- 
sent 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 dis- 
placements of peoples and a bizarre arrangement of race ele- 
ments 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 

A coast region is a peculiar habitat, inasmuch as it is more Ethnic 
or less dominated by the sea. It is exposed to inundation by contrast 
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 col- peoples. 
onists. The contrast between coast-dwellers and the near-by 
inland people which exists so widely can be traced not only to 
a difference of environment, but often to a fundamental dif- 
ference of race or tribe caused by immigration to accessible 
shores. The Greeks, crowded in their narrow peninsula of 



in the 

in the 

limited fertility, wove an Hellenic border on the skirts of the 
Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean lands, just as the Car- 
thaginians 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 51.] 

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, 72 dating from the time wjien 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 25.] 

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 Phil- 
ippines, the aboriginal Negritos, pure or more often mixed 
with Malayan blood, as in the Mangy an tribe of central Min- 
doro, are found crowded back into the interior by the succes- 
sive 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 sea- 
faring Samal Moros, Mohammedanized Malays from- the east 
shores of Sumatra and the adjacent islands, who spread north- 
ward about 1300 under the energizing impulse of their new re- 
ligion. 73 Even at so late a date as the arrival of Magellan, 
the Subanon seem to have still occupied some points of the 
coast, 74 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. 75 

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. 70 [See map 
page 101.] And to-day thi^ same belt of coastland has been 
appropriated by a foreign population of Europeans and Ne- 
groes, while the vast interior of Brazil shows a predominance 
of native Indian stocks, only broken here and there by a lone- 
ly 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 com- 
mercial 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 Saxonlcum 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 ; TT 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. 78 

As a rule it is the new-comers who hold the coast, but occa- Older 
sionally the coast-dwellers represent the older ethnic stock, ethnic^ 
In the Balkan Peninsula to-day the descendants of the ancient stoc] f in 
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. 79 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 lan- 
guage and religion, because their prevailing broad head- form 
shows them to be Turks and Armenians in race stock. 80 

Sometimes the distinction of race between coast and inte- 
rior is obliterated so far as language and civilization are con- 



mations in 

cerned, but survives less conspicuously in head-form and pig- 
mentation. 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 affini- 
ties 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 sea- 
board 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. 81 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. 82 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 loca- 
tion made it a retreat, rather than a gateway to incoming 
races. [See map page 147.] 

Where an immigrant population from oversea lands occu- 
pies 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 popu- 
lation 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 sec- 
tions 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. 88 On all the barbarian shores where the Greeks estab- 
lished themselves, there arose a mixed race in Celtic Mas- 
silia, in Libyan Barca, and in Scythian Crimea but always 
a race Hellenized, born interpreters and mercantile agents. 8 * 

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 col- 
onizing 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 cen- 
turies have been halting here on their seaward journey from 
the interior of Africa.* 5 [See map page 105.] 

Coast peoples tend to show something more than the hy- Multiplicity 
bridism resulting from the mingling of two stocks. So soon of race 
as the art of navigation developed beyond its initial phase e e 
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 in- 
dustrious Flemings and Huguenots, refugees from Catholic 
persecution in the Netherlands and France. 86 Our North 
Atlantic States, whose population is more than half (50.9 
per cent.) made up of aliens and natives born of foreign par- 
ents, 87 have drawn these elements from almost the whole circle 
of Atlantic shores, from Norway to Argentine and from Ar- 
gentine 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. 88 The cosmopolitan population of New York, 
with its "Chinatown," its "Little Italy," its Russian and 
Hungarian quarters, has its counterpart in the mixed popu- 
lation 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 Zan- 
zibar, of Marseilles, Constantinople, Alexandria, Port Said, 
and other Mediterranean ports. 

Lingua The cosmopolitanism and the commercial activity that char- 

franca of acterize so many seaboards are reflected in the fact that, with 
coasts. 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. 89 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. 90 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. 91 "Pidgin English" (busi- 
ness English) performs the function of a lingua franca in 
the ports of China and the Far East. It is a j argon of cor- 
rupted 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. 92 The Tupi speech of the Brazilian 
coast Indians, with whom the explorers first came into con- 
tact, 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 through- 
out Brazil. 93 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. 94 

The coast is the natural habitat of the middleman. One Coast- 
strip of seaboard produces a middleman people, and then dwellers 
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 con- 
siderable 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 Sidon- 
ian foresters. 95 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 



of trade 
with the 

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. 96 

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 sea- 
board. 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 Amba- 
quistas and the Mbunda middlemen. The slave trade par- 
ticularly brought a sinister and abnormal activity to these 
seaboard tribes, 97 just as it did to the East Coast tribes, 
and stimulated both in the exploitation of their geographic 
position as middlemen. 98 

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 Athapas- 
cans 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." 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. 100 

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 Ameri- 
can Government in the Philippines will be able to break it 
only by military interference. 101 

Differences of occupation, of food supply, and of climate Differen- 
often further operate to differentiate the coast from the ^a** 
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 inter- 
mixture of the local Celts with a tall Teutonic stock which 
brushed along these shores, but did not penetrate into the 
unattractive interior. 102 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. 103 Sometimes the advantage in physique falls to the 
inland people, especially in tropical countries when a high- 
land 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. 104 

Where a coast people is an immigrant stock from some Early 
remote oversea point, it brings to its new home a surplus of civilization 
energy which was perhaps the basis of selection in the exodus ^ 
from the mother country. Such a people is therefore char- 
acterized 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 stim- 
ulated by the transfer to a new environment rich in oppor- 
tunities. Sea-born in their origin, sea-borne in their migra- 
tion, they cling to the zone of littoral, because here they find 
the conditions which they best know how to exploit. Dwell- 
ing 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 

Retarded Exceptions to this rule are found in barren or inaccessible 

coastal coasts like the Pacific littoral of Peru and Mexico, and on 
peoples. 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 low- 
land, 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, multi- 
plying 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. 105 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 deteriora- 
ted 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 con- 
trast, all the large and superior Indian groups of North 
America belonged to the interior of the continent. 106 

The long, indented coast of the Mediterranean has in all Cultural 
ages up to modern times presented the contrast of a littoral contrast of 
more advanced in civilization than the inland districts. The ? oast . and 
only exception was ancient Egypt before Psammeticus began m e 
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. 107 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. 108 

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. 108 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. 110 

Progress Coasts are areas of out-going and in-coming maritime 

from tha- influences. The nature and amount of these influences depend 
Iasac 4 to upon the sea or ocean whose rim the coast in question helps 
coasts * ^ orm > an( ^ *he Delations 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, irreg- 
ular 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 en- 
hances 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, his- 
torical 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 Amer- 
ica 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 evolu- 
tion 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 Piraeus to Ostia, and later from 
England's little Cinque Ports to Liverpool and the Clyde. 

Though the articulations of a coast determine the ease Geograph- 
with which maritime influences are communicated to the land, * c location 
nevertheless history shows repeated instances where an excep- co 
tional location, combined with restricted area, has raised a 
poorly indented' seaboard to maritime and cultural pre- 
eminence. 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 promi- 
nence 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 moun- 
tains 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, 111 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. 112 
The maritime ascendency in the Middle Ages of Genoa, Pisa, 




decline of 

Venice, and Barcelona proves that no long indented coast 
is necessary, but only one tolerable harbor coupled with an 
advantageous location. 

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 com- 
mercial exchanges and the inevitable activities of the middle- 
man. 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, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifs- 
wald, An clam, Stettin, and Colberg, the civitates maritime. 
For three centuries or more they made themselves the domi- 
nant 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. 113 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 New- 

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, Corcmandel 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 con- 


tact the two nations for which that coa^t 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 preeminence as chief market for all the lands 
between Africa and China, which it enjoyed in the sixth cen- 
tury, owing to the "long haul 55 of modern oceanic commerce. 

Not only that far-reaching readjustment of maritime Political 
ascendency which in the sixteenth century followed the factors in 
advance from thalassic to oceanic fields of commerce, but * e ~ 
also purely local political events may for a time produce 
striking changes in the use or importance of coasts. The 
Piraeus, 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 cen- 
tury? 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 
I he 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 Physical 
It should one day become a Russian littoral! causes of 

Sometimes the decline in historical importance is due to decline. 



of geo- 
factors in 

physical modifications in the coast itself, especially 
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. 114 Strabo records that Spina, originally a port, 
was in his time 90 stadia, or 10 miles, from the sea. 115 
Bruges, once the great entrepot 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. 116 Many early 
English ports on the coast of Kent and on the old solid rim 
of the Fenian d 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 intensifica- 
tion of production with advancing civilization increases the 
mass of men and wares passing through these ocean gate- 
ways. 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. 

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 i&lands 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 out- 
running 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 accord- 
ing 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 mari- 
time 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. 


1. Eudolph Beinhard, Vie WicTitigsten Deutschen See7iandelstadte r 
pp. 24, 25. Stuttgart, 1901. Joseph Partseh, Central Europe, p. 291. 
London, 1903. 

2. Ibid., p. 301.. 

3. John Bichard Green, The Making o England, Vol. I, pp. 51-54; 
maps, pp. 36 and 54. London, 1904. 

4. IT>id., Vol. I, pp. 12, 63; maps pp. xxii and 54. 

5. Batzel, History of Mankind, Vol. HI, pp. 98, 139. London, 1896- 

6. Joseph Partseh, Central Europe, pp. 284-288. London, 1903. 

7. H. B. Mill, International Geography, p. 251. New York, 1902. 

8. Budolph Beinhard, Die Wichtigsten Deutschen Seehandelstiidte, 
pp. 21-22. Stuttgart, 1901. 


9. Fitz-Roy and Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, Vol. II, pp. 140, 178; 
Vol. Ill, pp. 231-236. London, 1839. 

10. Eleventh Census, Population and Resources of Alaska, pp. 166-171. 
Washington, 1893. 

11. Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, pp. 327, 334, 333, 365, 366, 
412, 416, 459, 467. New York, 18S2. 

12. 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 Eeport of the 
Bureau of Ethnology. Washington, 1888. 

13. Bello Galhco, Book III, chap. 12. 

14. Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, p. 15. New York. 

15. Strabo 's Geography, Book II, chap. V, 4. Book III, chap. I, 4. 

16. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. Ill, pp. 266-267. New York, 1857. 

17. Thucydides, Book VI, 2. 

18. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. Ill, p. 273. New York, 1857. 

19. Strabo's Geography, Book XVII, chap. Ill, 13, 14. 

20. Thucydides, Book I, 5, 7, 8. 

21. Strabo, Book VIII, chap. VI, 2, 4, 13, 14, 22. 

22. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. III,. pp. 4, 191. New York, 1857. 

23. J. Partseh, Central Europe, p. 291. London, 1903. 

24. Rudolph Reinhard, Die Wichtigsten, Deutschen Seehandelstadte, p. 
23. Stuttgart, 1901. 

25. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. Ill, p. 273. New York, 1857. 

26. Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. II, pp. 452-454, 610. 
London, 1883. Duarte Jarbosa, East Africa and Malabar Coasts in the 
Sixteenth Century, p. 3-16. Hakluyt Society, London, 1866. 

27. Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 433-434. New York. 

28. W. B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England, Vol. 
I, p. 93. Boston, 1899. 

29. Norway, Official Publication, p. 1. Christiania, 1900. 

30. Ratzel, Deutschland, pp. 150-151. Leipzig, 1898. 

31. J. Partseh, Central Europe, pp. 227-230. London, 1903. 

32. ElisSe Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants; Europe, Vol. 1, pp. 
370-372. New York, 1886. 

33. Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 15-20. New York. 

34. Heinrich von Treitschke, Polrtilc, Vol. 1, p. 215. Leipzig, 1897. 

35. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 35, 40. Lon- 
don, 1902. 

36. William Morris Davis, Physical Geography, pp. 115-122. Boston, 

37. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 95. London, 1896-1898. 

38. Strabo, Book XVII, chap. I, 18. Diodorus Siculus, Book I, chap. 
Ill, p. 36. London, 1814. 

39. J. Partseh, Central Europe, pp. 96-98. London, 1903. Ratzel, 
Veutschland, pp. 143-144. Leipzig, 1898. 

40. For geomorphology of coasts, see William Morris Davis, Physical 
Geography, pp. 112-136, 347-383. Boston, 1899. 

41. Elisge Reclus, Europe, Vol. II, p. 252. New York, 1886. 

42. J. Partseh, Central Europe, p. 231. London, 1903. 

43. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 44, 446. London, 1904. 


44. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 1M12. New York, 1902. 
Hereford George, Historical Geography of the British Empire, pp. 27S- 
::79. London, 1904. 

45. J. E. Thorold Rogers, Six Centuries of Work and Wages, pp. 123- 
124. New York, 1884. 

46. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 143. New York, 1902. 

47. Diodorus Sieulus, Book V t chap. I, p. 304. London, IS 14. Strabo, 
Book V, chap. VI, 6, 7. 

48. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 188-189, 193-195. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

49. SStrabo, Book XVI, chap. Ill, 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. 

50. George Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, pp. 
169-170. New York, 1897. 

51. Ibid., pp. 179, 185, 286. 

52. Ibid., pp. 127-131. 

53. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 100-102, 132-145. Lon- 
don, 1896-1898. 

54. H. R. MiU, International Geography, p. 985. New York, 1902. 

55. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 84, 166. London, 1902. 

56. J. Naken, Die Provinz Kwangtung wid iJire Bevolherung, Peter- 
manns Geographische Mittheilutigen, 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. Lsxviii. Hakluyt Society, 
London, 1866. 

57. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 397. London, 1896-1898. 
Philippine Census, Vol. I, pp. 438, 481-491. Washington, 1905. 

58. Stanford's Australasia, Vol. II, pp. 103, 121, 126-135, 196. Lon- 
don, 1894. Helmolt, History of the World, VoL II, p. 547. New York, 

59. Ibid., Vol. ni, pp. 431, 434. VoL II, p. 603. 

60. 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. 

61. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 111-112, 152. London, 1902. 

62. Ibid,., pp. 73-74, 139, 267. 

63. Cathay and the Way Thither, Vol. I, p. T.TTET. Hakluyt Society. 
London, 1866. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, p. 548. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

64. The Book of Ser Marco Polo, edited by Sir Henry Yule, VoL IJ, 
Book III, pp. 284, 288, 303. New York, 1903. 

65. P. Vidal de la Blache, GSographie de la France, pp. 335-337. 
Paris, 1903. 

66. ElisSe Reclus, Europe, VoL II, p. 252. New York, 1882. 

67. Norway, Official Publication, pp. 89-91, map p. 4. Christiania, 

68. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, pp. 114, 140, 163-164, 202, 267. 
London, 1902. 

69. H. F. Tozer, History of Ancient Geography, pp. 276-280. Cam- 
bridge, 1897. Strabo, Book XVI, chap. IV, 2, 19. 


70. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. Ill, p. 433. New York, 1902- 

71. James Bryce, Impressions of South Africa, pp. 78-82, 99. New 
York, 1897. 

72. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, Vol. I, map p. 

80. New York, 1S93. 

73. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 412-413, 461, 464, 562. 
Washington, 1905. 

74. IUd., Vol. I, p. 416. 

75. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 449. London, 1896-1898. 

76. P. Ehrenreich, Die Eintheilung und Verbreitung der Vblkerstdmme 
Brosiliens, Petermanns Mittheilungen, Vol. 37, pp. 88-89. Gotha, 1891. 
Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, p. 185, map p. 189. New York, 

77. John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, chap. I. 
London, 1904. 

78. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 189. London, 
1904. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 312-315, map. New York, 

79. D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East, p. 152. London, 1902. W. Z. 
Bipley, Races of Europe, pp. 402, 404, map. New York, 1899. 

80. Ibid., pp. 117, 404-405, 409-419. 

81. Ibid., pp. 206-208, 210-212. Norway, Official Publication, pp. 80- 

81. Christiania, 1900. 

82. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. IE, p. 52, map p. 50. Wash- 
ington, 1905. 

83. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. Ill, pp. 175-176, 186-189. New 
York, 1857. 

84. Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 492-493. New York. 

85. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 530-533. London, 1896- 

86. H. D. Trail, Social England, Vol. Ill, pp. 367-368. London and 
New York, 1895. 

87. Twelfth Census, Bulletin No. 103, table 23. Washington, 1902. 

88. E. C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic Conditions, pp. 
314-328. Boston, 1903. 

89. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 58. London, 1904. 

90. Roseher, National-OeJconomilc des Handels und Gewerbefleisses, p. 
85, Note 18. Stuttgart, 1899. - 

91. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 533. London, 1896-1898. 

92. IUd., Vol. Ill, pp. 139, 145. 

93. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 869. New York, 1902. 

94. D. G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 107. Philadelphia, 1901. 
H. H. Bancroft, The Native Races, p. 239, footnote p. 274. San Fran- 
cisco, 1886. 

95. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book Vlir, chap. II, 6, 7, 9. 

96. J. Scott Keltic, The Partition of Africa, p. 327. London, 1895. 
Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 121-122. London, 1896- 

97. Ibid., Vol. in, pp. 121, 132-133. 

98. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 239. 

99 Eleventh Census, Report on Alaska, p. 70. Washington, 1893. 


100. Ibid., p. 156. E. R. Scidmore, Guidebook to Alaska, p. 94. New 
York, 1S97. 

101. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 536-561, 575, 5S1- 
5S3. Washington, 1905. 

102. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 55-86, 99-101, map pp. 151-152. 
New York, 1S99. 

103. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 97, 106. New York, 
1896- 1S98. 

104. Henrv Gannett, The Peoples of the Philippines, in Report of the 
Eighth International Geographic Congress, p. 673. "Washington, 1904. 

105. A. H. Keane, Africa, Stanford's Compendium, pp. 372-376, 385- 
388. London, 1895. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. Ill, pp. 402, 
456-457, 462. New York, 1902-1906. 

106. H. H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 440-441; Vol. Ill, 
op. 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. 

107. Grote, History of Greece, Vol. IV, p. 22. New York, 1857. 

108. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 225, 226. 

109. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. II, pp. 34, 35. Washing- 
ton, 1905. 

110. Williams and Calvert, Fiji and the Fijians, pp. 81-82. New 
York, 1859. 

111. Strabo, Book V, chap. I, 7, 8. 

312. Strabo, Book IV, chap. VI, 1, 2; Book V, chap. I, 11. 

113. Dietrich Schafer, Die Hansestadte und Konig Waldemar von 
Danemarls, pp. 184, 189. Jena, 1879. 

114. W. Deeeke, Italy, pp. 89-91. London, 1904. 

115. Strabo, Book III, chap. I, 2. 

116. Roseher, National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses, p. 
93, Note 1. Stuttgart, 1899. 


The water 
a factor 
in man's 


THE water of the earth's surface, viewed from the stand- 
point 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 impercep- 
tible 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 composi- 
tion 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 activ- 
ities, 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. 

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 cos- 
mopolitan 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 barba- 
rian 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 high- 
way 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 path- 
less 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 cen- 
turies or milleniums between, opened to his occupancy 
strange and remote lands, in whose isolation and new environ- 
ment he developed fresh variations of mind, body and cul- 
tural 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 tra.dition of 
his coming even is lost. Then with higher nautical develop- 
ment, 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 remote- 
ness. The ensuing friction and mingling weed out the less 
fit variations of each, and combine in the new race the quali- 
ties 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. 

The transformation of the ocean into a highway by the Oceans 
development of navigation is a late occurrence in the history an 
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 ex- 
cluded. Moreover, it was adaptation to an alien and hostile 
element, whose violent displays of power recurrently stimu- 
lated 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." 

The sea Universal history loses half its import, remains an aggre- 

ia universal g a ^ e O f parts, fails to yield its significance as a whole, if it 
history. j oeg nQ j. con ti nua lly 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 deplor- 
able 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 conies into contact with people of kin- 
dred stock, living under similar conditions of climate and 
soil to her own ; on her maritime border she is open to inter- 
mittent 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 parts. 

Man's normal contact with the sea is registered in his Origin of 
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 acquisition. 

The first devices were simply floats or rafts, made of Primitive 
light wood, reeds, or the hollow stems of plants woven to- forms, 
gether 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 ;* 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, show- 
ing the methods of navigation three thousand years ago. 2 
Similar skin rafts serve as ferry boats on the Sutlej, Shajok 
and other head streams of the Indus. 3 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; 4 and on the Yo River 
of semi-arid Sudan, where the platform is made of reeds 
and is buoyed up by calabashes fastened beneath. 6 



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. 6 
In the earliest period of Egyptian history this type of boat 
with slight variations was used in the papyrus marshes of 
the Nile, 7 and it reappears as the ambatch boat which 
Schweinfurth observed on the upper White Nile. 8 It is in 
use far away among the Sayads or Fowlers, who inhabit 
the reed-grown rim of the Sistan Lake in arid Persia. 3 
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. 10 Still cruder rafts of reeds, with- 
out approach to boat form, were the sole vehicles of navi- 
gation 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. 11 
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 cur- 
rent from Armenia to Babylon. These were the boats which 
Herodotus Saw on the Euphrates, 12 and which survive 
to-day. 13 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. 14 It 
recalls the "bull-skin boat" used in pioneer days on the 
rivers of our western plains, and the skiffs serving as pas- 
senger ferries to-day on the rivers of eastern Tibet. 1 '"' It 
reappears among the Arikara Indians of the upper 
Missouri, 16 and the South American tribes of the Gran 
Chaco. 17 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 neces- 
sary and obvious inventions that must have been made inde- 
pendently in various parts of 'the world. 

The quieter water of rivers and lakes offered the most 
favorable conditions for the feeble beginnings of navigation, n ? eT 
but the step from inland to marine navigation was not always navigation, 
taken. The Egyptians, who had well-constructed river and 
marine boats, resigned their maritime commerce to Phoeni- 
cians 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 naviga- 
tion, where the art has passed the initial stages of develop- 
ment. 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 pad- 
dlers and could carry as many more fighting men. 18 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. 19 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. 

There are peoples without boats or rafts of any descrip- Retarded 
tion. Among this class are the Central Australians, Bushmen, navigation. 
Hottentots and Kaffirs of arid South Africa, 20 and with few 



Regions of 



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 north- 
west seaboard, and to imperfect bark canoes with short 
paddles on the south; only in the north where Malayan in- 
fluences are apparent does the hollowed tree-stem with 
outrigger appear. 21 This retardation is not due to fear, 
because the South Australian native, like the Fuegian, ven- 
tures 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 penin- 
sular 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 develop- 
ment in navigation, and failed to become a sea-faring folk. 

Turning from these regions of merely rudimentary nav- 
igation and inquiring where the highest efficiency in the 
art was attained 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 neighbor- 
ing 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 


arid the coast Indians of southern Alaska and 
Brrcish Columbia may pos>ibly represent an eastern spur 
cf the same," 2 thrown out in very remote times and main- 
tained by the advantageous geographic conditions of that 
:\ [.dented, 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. 

The highest degree of intimacy is developed in that vast Geogra- 
islaud-strewn stretch of the Pacific constituting Oceanica. 23 ^ . 
Here where a mild climate enables the boatman race to make 
a companion of the deep, where every landscape is a sea- 
scape, 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 en- 
compassing 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 knowl- 
edge 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. 24 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. 25 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 astro- 
nomical 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. 20 

Mediterra- Midway between these semi-aquatic Polynesians and those 
nean ver- Arctic tribes who are forced out upon the deep, to struggle 
sus Atlan- with it rather than associate with it, we find the inhabitants 
tic sea- O f y^ Mediterranean islands and peninsulas, who are favored 
manship ' by the mild climate and the tideless, fogless, stormless char- 
acter of their sea. While such a body of water invites inti- 
macy, 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 seaman- 
ship 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 Amer- 
icas. One after the other they came Norwegians, Span- 
iards, Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, Swedes and 


Danes. The anthropo-geographical principle is not invali- 
dated 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 mar- 
itime 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. 27 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 installa- 
tion of an Hellenic steamship line between Piraeus and New 

The size of a sea or ocean Is a definite factor in its Three 
power to attract or repel maritime ventures, especially 

in the earlier stages of nautical development. A broken, S 

indented coast means not only a longer and broader develop- 
sone of contact between the inhabitants and the sea ; it means ment. 
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 develop- 
ment, only the smaller articulations of the coast and the 
inshore fringe of sea inlets count. This is shown in the 


of en- 
closed seas 
upon navi- 

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. 

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 indus- 
trial 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 Green- 
land 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 


ound and Bering Sea; ami 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 th'e 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. 2S [See map page 101.] 

Enclosed or marginal seas were historically the most im- Enclosed 
portant sections of the ocean prior to 1492. Apart from seas ** 
the widening of the maritime horizon which they give to a f^? *V- 
their bordering people, each has the further advantage of cu itural 
constituting an area of close vicinal grouping and constant 
interchange of cultural achievements, by which the civiliza- tioru 
tion 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, penin- 
sulas and other segregated coastal regions of this sea. 29 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. Phoeni- 
cia'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 em- 
braced 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, Grenoa and Marseilles anchored in the ports of 
Mohammedanized Syria, brought the 4 symbol of the cross 



North Sea 
and Baltic 


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. 

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 Teuton- 
ized 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. 30 The eleventh cen- 
tury 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 be- 
come almost wholly Teutonic, including even the seaboard of 
Finland and much of the coast provinces of Russia. 31 Unifi- 
cation 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 role of a 
northern Mediterranean. 32 The countless shuttles of the Hanse 
ships wove a web of commercial intercourse between its remot- 
est shores. Novgorod and Abo were in constant communica- 
tion with Liibeck and Stralsund ; 33 and Wisby, on the island 
of Gotland at the great crossroads of the Baltic, 34 had the 
focal significance of the Piraeus in ancient Aegean trade. 

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. 85 
The same conditions also facilitated the passage of a few 


Chukches across Bering Strait to the Alaskan side. At 
Pak (or Peek) on East Cape and on Diomtd Island, situated 
in the narrowest part of Bering Strait, are the great inter- 
continental 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 Mos- 
cow. 30 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 con- 
tinent, and make this whole Bering basin a Russian sea; 37 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, 38 noticeably where the rim of the basin pre- 
sented the scantiest supply of land and where, therefore, its 
meager resources had to be eked out by fisheries and trade 
on the sea. 

On the southwest margin of Asia, the Red Sea, despite 
its desert shores, has maintained the influence of its inter- l>asin * 
continental 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. 39 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. 40 



by ethnic 

Assimilation Vicinal location about an enclosed basin produces more 
facilitated 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. 41 Three centuries ago Japan had its colony on 
Korean soil at Fusan, the Calais of the East. 42 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 centuries. 
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 com- 
municated 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 


icflex 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 Ls in the &mall countries of 
the world that such stars rise. The compressed energies of 
Japan, stirred by over-sea contact and an improved govern- 
ment at home, have overleaped the old barriers and are fol- 
lowing 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 

Despite the fact that China's history has always had a Chinese 
decidedly inland character, that its political expansion has expansion 
been landward, that it has practiced most extensively and seawar 
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 signifi- 
cance, been comparable with that toward the east and 
south. E[ere 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 suscep- 
tible to these influences, which are therefore weak in the 
remoter islands, but clearly discernible on the coasts of the 
Philippines, 43 Borneo, the nearer Sunda Islands, and the 
peninsula of Malacca, where the Chinese have had trading 
colonies for centuries. 44 But in the eastern half of Farther 



of zonal 
and con- 

of the 

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 con- 
tinental 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 tran- 
script 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. 45 

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 his- 
torical 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 situa- 
tion, but of a location at the meeting place of three conti- 
nents and on the line of maritime traffic across the eastern 
hemisphere from the Atlantic to the Pacific. 

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 4Q 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. 47 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 Mediter- 
ranean 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. Sim- 
ilar 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 en- 
closed seas was awakened to some measure of historical life, 
while the Africa of the wide Atlantic slept on. 

From the dawn of history the northern Indian Ocean was The sea 
a thoroughfare. Alexander the Great's rediscovery of the rou * c * 
old sea route to the Orient sounds like a modern event in Q * 
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 pro- 
duced 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 lati- 
tude 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 
149 it takes a far higher place than the Atlantic and 
Pacific, owing to its nature as an enclosed sea. 48 But like 
all such basins, this northern Indian Ocean attained its zenith 
of historical importance in early times. In the sixteenth cen- 
tury it suffered a partial eclipse, which passed only with 
the opening of the Suez Canal. During this interval, how- 
ever, 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. 

The limitation of every enclosed or marginal sea lies in 
its small area and in the relatively restricted circle of its 
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 expand- 
ing English or the Brazil of the Portuguese? Yet the Med- 
iterranean 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 surround- 
ing lands. But the precocious development and early cessa- 


of small 

area in en- -, , . 

closed seas. bor <fcrmg lands. 


tion 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 Swe- 
den, Denmark, and the Hanse Towns in the Baltic tells the 
same story, the story of a hothouse plant, forced in germina- 
tion and growth, then stifled in the close air. 

Growth demands space. Therefore, the progress of his- Successive 
tory has been attended by an advance from smaller to larger 

marine areas, with a constant increase in those manifold rela- 
tions 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 Mediter- 
ranean, 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 high- 
way 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 Mediterranean. 

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that the larger 
oceanic horizon has meant a corresponding increase in the rel- 



roles of 
and south* 
ern hemi** 

ative 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 Jap- 
an's recent career in the Yellow Sea basin. There was some- 
thing as cosmic in the colonial ventures of the Greeks to the 
wind-swept shores of the Crimea or barbarous wilds of Mas- 
silia, 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 signifi- 
cance 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 evo- 
lution of history ; it has provided the outlet for the exercise 
of redundant national powers. The abundance of opportu- 
nity 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 north- 
ern 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 latitudes. 

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 role 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, there- 
fore, "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. 

The size of the ocean as a whole is so enormous, and yet Size of 
its various subdivisions are so uniform in their physical tiie oceailfi - 
aspect, that their differences of size produce less conspicu- 
ous 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 voy- 
age across the 13,000 square miles (547,600 square kilo- 
meters) of the North Sea, from one across the three-hundred- 
fold 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 head- 
land to headland and from island to island, the small en- 
closed 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. 


Neutrality The vast size of the oceans has been the basis of their 
of the seas, neutrality. The neutrality of the seas is a recent idea in 
its evolu- 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 com- 
passed, 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 Tar- 
entum 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 exter- 
minate 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 confirma- 
tion of her dominion over the sea. 49 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 
Finbterre in northern Spain t 50 


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 liber um. The political theory of 
the freedom of the seas seems to have needed vigorous sup- 
port 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 liber am esse 
natigationem," and supports it by an elaborate argument 
and quotations from the ancient poets, philosophers, orators 
and historians. 51 This principle was not finally acknowl- 
edged 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. 


1. S. M. Zwemer, Arabia the Cradle of Islam, p. 135. New York, 1900. 

2. A. H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Bemains, Vol. I, p. 277; Yol. II, 
79-81. New York, 1849. 

3. E. F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, pp. 257, 261. London, 

4. Col. Lane Fox, Early Modes of Navigation, Journal of Anthropolog- 
ical Institute, Vol. IV, p. 423. 

5. Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. I, p. 167. Lon- 
don, 1907. 

6. 76i<2., Vol. I, p. 324. 

7. James H. Breasted, History of Egypt, pp. 89 ; 91, 97. New York, 
1905. CoL Lane Fox, Early Modes of Navigation, Journal of Anthropo- 
logical Institute, Vol. IV, pp. 414-417. 

8. G. Schweinfurth, The Heart of Africa, Vol. I, p. 77. London, 1873. 

9. E. Huntington, The Depression of Sistan in Eastern Persia, Bulle- 
tin of the American Geographical Society, Vol. 37, No. 5. 1905. 

10. Schooleraft, The Indian Tribes of the United States, VoL I, p. 
214. Philadelphia, 1853. 

11. H. H. Bancroft, The Native Eaces, Vol. I, pp. 382-383, 408, 564. 


San Francisco, 1886. D. G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 110, 112. 
Philadelphia, 1901. 

12. Herodotus, Book 1, Chap. 194. 

13. S. M. Zwemer, Arabia the Cradle of Islam, p. 135. New York, 

14. Cotterill and Little, Ships and Sailors, pp. IX-X, 38. London, 

15. M. Hue, Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China in 1846, Vol. II, p. 
251. Chicago, 1898. 

16. Elliott Cones, History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Vol. I, 
p. 159. New York, 1893. 

17. Col. Lane Pox, Early Modes of Navigation, Journal of Anthro- 
pological Institute, Vol. IV, pp. 423-425. 

18. H. M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, VoL I, pp. 313-314. 
New York, 1879. 

19. lUd., Vol. II, pp. 184, 219-220, 270-272, 300. 

20. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, p. 288. London, 1896-1898. 

21. Ibid., Vol I, pp. 358-359. Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of 
Central Australia, pp. 679-680. London, 1904. 

22. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 153-154 5 Vol. II, pp. 91, 
100. London, 1896-1898. 

23. Hid., Vol. I, pp. 166-170. 

24. Captain Winkler, Sea Charts Formerly Used in the Marshall Is- 
lands, Smithsonian Report for 1899, translated from the Marine Rund- 
schau. Berlin, 1898. 

25. Captain James Cook, Journal of First Voyage Round the World, 
pp. 70, 105, 119, 221, 230. Edited by W. J. L. Wharton. London, 1893. 

26. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 161, 174. London, 1896- 

27. The Commercial and Fiscal Policy of the Venetian Republic, 
Edinburgh Eeview, Vol. 200, pp. 352-353. 1904. 

28. H. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 188-189, 193-195. 
New York, 1902-1906. 

29. 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. 

30. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 189-190. Lon- 
don, 1904. 

31. Sydow- Wagner Schul-Atlas, Volket und SprachenJcarten, No. 13. 
Gotha, 1905. A. Leroy-Beaulieu, The Empire of the Tsars, map p. 80. 
New York, 1897. 

32. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. "VT, pp. 5-17. New York, 

33. E. C. Semple, The Development of the Hanse Towns in Relation to 
their Geographical Environment, Bulletin American Geographical Society, 
Vol. XXXI, No. 3, 1899. 

34. Helen Zimmern, The Hansa Towns, pp. 24-25, 54-55. New York, 

35. Nordenskiold, The Voyage of the Vega, pp. 565, 588, 591. New 
York, 1882. 

36. Hid., pp. 375, 403, 405, 487, 563. 


37. Agnes Laut, The Vikings of the Pacific, pp. 62-105. New York, 

3S. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 446, 449-450. London, 

39. Ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 1SO-195. 

40. Duarte Barbosa, The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar, pp. 17- 
18. Hakluyt Society Publications. London, 1S66. 

41. Katzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 443-444. London, 1896- 

42. Angus Hamilton, Korea, pp. 130-135. New York, 1904. 

43. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 31S-320, 478, 4S1-495. 
Washington, 1903. 

44. Hans Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. II, pp. 544-545. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

45. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 407-412. London, 

46. Pliny, Natural History, Book VI, chap. 26. 

47. Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography, Vol. H, pp. 351, 417-418, 
470, 471. London, 1883. 

48. 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. 

49. 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 Eeview, Vol. 200, pp. 341-344, 347. 1904. 

50. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, p. 24, note. London, 

51. Hugonis Grotii, Mare Liberum sive de jure guod Bat avis competit 
ad Indicana commercia dissertatio, contained in his De Jure Belli et 
Pads. Hagae Comitis, 1680. 


of a water 


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. Essen- 
tially 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 aban- 
don 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, 1 

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 com- 
munication. Moreover, a water front made a comparatively 
safe frontier for the small, isolated communities which con- 
stituted primitive societies. The motive of protection, dom- 
inant 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 bolid 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. 

Such pile dwellings, answering the primary need of pro- Ancient 
tection, have had wide distribution, especially in the Tropics, PJJ* va - 
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 3 and north- 
ern Italy down to the first century of our era, and existed 
later in slightly modified form in Ireland, Scotland, England 
and southern Wales, 3 In ancient Ireland they were con- 
structed 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. 4 
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. 5 

Among Europeans such pile villages belong to primitive Present 
stages of development, chiefly to the Stone, Bronze', and early distribution. 
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 
Vacqua come Venezia," as Vespuccius says, suggested to him 
the name of Venezuela or little Venice for this coast. 6 A 
pile village in Jull Lake, a lacustrine expansion in a tribu- 
tary 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. 7 

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, 8 as did their 
Swiss confreres 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 compen- 
sating 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. 9 

In the vast v island world of Indonesia, where constant con- 
tact 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 Sanral 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. 10 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, 9 * and Brunei to the north is the '"Venice 
of the East." 11 Both these towns are the chief commercial 
centers of their respective islands. The little town of Kil- 
waru, 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. 12 

Farther east in Melanesia, whose coast regions are more In Mel- 
or less permeated by Malayan stock and influences, pile anesia. 
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. 13 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, Hanua- 
bada, Elevara and Hula, the latter consisting of pile dwell- 
ings 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 moun- 
tain 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 aiford some protec- 
tion against both fever and hostile native, and at the same 
time occupy the natural focus of local trade seeking foreign 

River When advancing civilization has eliminated the need for 

dwellers this form of protection, water-dwellers may survive or re- 
T ^? U ~A a PP ea r 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 occupa- 
tion 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. 15 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, 16 thus expanding the resources of their river life., 
Bangkok has all its business district afloat on the Menam 


R:*er 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. 17 

A far more modern type of river-dwellers is found in the 
"shauty-boat" people of the western rivers of the United 
States. The}- are the gypsies of our streams, nomads who 
Joat 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 
viver furnishes them with fish for their table and driftwood 
for their cooking-stove, and above all is the highway for 
rhe gratification of their nomad instincts. There is no ques- 
tion here of trade and overpopulation. 

Pile dwellings and house-boats are a paltry form of Reclama- 
encroachment upon the water in comparison with that ex- tion of 
tensive reclamation of river swamps and coastal marshes ^ 
^hich 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 
ja 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 pro- 
fected 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 inunda- 
tion while at the same time contributing to the upbuilding of 
the land. Conditions here institute an incessant struggle 
between man and nature; 18 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 tor- 
tuous streams for the greater economy of this silt-made soil, 
all together constitute the greatest geographical transforma- 
tion that man has brought about on the earth's surface. 11 " 
The strug- Though the North Sea lowland of Europe has suffered from 
gle with u^ ser i ous encroachment of the sea from the thirteenth to the 
the water. sixteenth cen t u ry, when the Zuyder Zee, the Dollart and 
Jade Bay were formed, nevertheless the counter encroach- 
ment 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. 20 One-fourth of the Nether- 
lands lies below the average of high tides, and in 1844 neces- 
sitated 9,000 windmills to pump the waste water into the 
drainage canals. 21 

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 attribu- 
ted to the Romans, straightened and embanked rivers, drain- 
age 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. 22 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. 23 

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 com- 
bats two enemies instead of one; but its rewards are corre- 
spondingly 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. 

The abundant fertility of river flood-plains inev- Mound 

itably attracts population and necessitates some kind of vp^S 68 m 
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 con- 
verts the flat plain of the White Nile below Gondo- 
kora (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. 24 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. 25 Similar 
ones are constructed by the Barotse tribe on the upper 
Zambesi. 26 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 thou- 
sand square miles for a distance of #50 miles above Tim- 


buctoo. 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. 27 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 communi- 
cation. 28 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' 5 of the middle and lower Mississippi served 
as protected sites for the dwellings of their chiefs. 29 
Biking of Such meager provisions against inundation suffice for the 
rivers. sparse population characterizing the lower stages of civiliza- 

tion, but they must be supplemented for the increasing den- 
sity of higher stages by the embankment of the stream, to 
protect also the adjacent fields. Hence the process of con- 
fining 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. 30 The main 
Po has been embanked for centuries as far up as Cre- 
mona, a distance of 600 miles, and the Adige to Verona. 31 
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. 32 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. 33 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 irri- 
gating 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. 55 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 con- 
tributes. 34 [See map page 8.] 

In such organized struggles to reduce the domain of the Social 
water and extend that of the dry land, the material gain S* 111 ^ 
is not all : more significant by far is the power to co-operate the water 
that is developed in a people by a prolonged war against 
overwhelming sea or river. A common natural danger, con- 
stantly 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 dis- 
coverable 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 Ler- 
nean 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 Ache- 
lous as the embankment of that stream and the draining of 


Control of 
water as 
factor in 
early civili- 
zations of 
arid lands. 

its inundated delta tract by the national benefactor. 35 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 high- 
ly probably that the communal work involved in the construc- 
tion 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 

The history of Egypt shows a similar effect of the yearly 
inundation of the Nile Valley. Here, as in all rainless coun- 
tries 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 con- 
trol 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 as- 
cribed solely to the regular and abundant returns to tillage 
under irrigation, as opposed to the uncertain crops under 
variable meteorological conditions; to the consequent accu- 
mulation of wealth, and the emancipation of man for other 
and higher activities, which follows his escape from the agri- 
cultural vicissitudes of an uncertain climate. When Draper 
says: "Civilization depends on climate and agriculture," 
and "the civilization of Egypt depended for its commence- 
ment on the sameness and stability of the African climate," 
and again, "agriculture is certain in Egypt and there man 


first became civilized, 5536 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 inunda- 
tions 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. 37 

This unifying and stimulating national task of utilizing Cultural 
and controlling the water was the same task which in various **?***? 
forms promoted the early civilization of the Hc-angho 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. 38 
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 through- 
out 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. 30 
Though chiefly offshoots of the wild Indians of the northern 
plains, they have been markedly diiferentiated from their 
wandering Shoshone and Kiowa kindred by local environ- 
ment. 40 Scarcity of water in those arid highlands and pau- 
city of arable land forced them to a carefully organized com- 
munity life, made them invest their labor in irrigation ditches, 
terraced gardens and walled orchards, \yhereby they were as 
firmly rooted in their scant but fertile fields as were their 


of the 

as factors 
in mari- 
time ex- 

cotton plants and melon vines ; 41 while the towering mesas 
protected their homes against marauding Ute, Navajo and 
Apache,* 2 This thread of a deep underlying connection be- 
tween 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. 

The economy of the water is not confined to its artificial 
distribution over arid fields, but includes also the exploita- 
tion 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 abun- 
dance, 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 sub- 
sist 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 sub- 
sistence, 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 espe- 
cially prominent. 43 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,] 

Not only in polar but also in temperate regions, the pres- 
ence 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 familiar- 
ized the Phoenicians with the commercial and colonial pos- 
sibilities of the eastern Mediterranean coasts. 44 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. 45 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. 46 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 com- 
mercial and industrial evolution. 47 

Fisheries have always been the nurseries of seamen, and Fisheries as 
hence have been encouraged and protected by governments a^ 86 ^ 68 of 
as providing an important element of national strength. The seamen * 
Newfoundland Banks were the training school which supplied 
the merchant marine and later the Revolutionary navy of 
colonial New England ; * 8 ever since the establishment of the 
Republic, they have been forced into prominence in our inter- 
national 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 ves- 
sels, and finally by a legislative enforcement of fasts to in- 
crease the demand for fish, although any belief in the reli- 
gious 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 thou- 
sand additional men had been attracted to the fishing trade, 
and were consequently "ready to serve in Her Majesty's 
ships." 49 

The fishing of the North Sea, especially on the Dogger 
Bank, is participated in by all the bordering countries, Eng- 
land, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium ; and is valued 
equally on account of the food supply which it yields and 
as a school of seamen. 50 The Pomors or "coasters" of Arc- 
tic 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 far the con- 
struction of their ships, on the condition that they serve on 
call in the imperial navy. 51 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 16S4 all merchant vessels were destroyed, the marine re- 
stricted to small fishing and coasting vessels, and intercourse 
confined to Japan's narrow island world, the fisheries never- 
theless kept alive that intimacy with the sea and preserved 
the nautical efficiency that was destined to be a decisive fac- 
tor in the development of awakened Japan. 

Anthropo- The resources of the sea first tempted man to trust 
geographic himself to its dangerous surface; but their rewards were 
impo ce s jjg n t j n comparison with the wealth of experiences and 
gation. 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 im- 


portant step in the progress of the human race was the in- 
vention of the boat. No other has had such far-reaching 
results. Since water covers three-fourths of the earth's sur- 
face 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, there- 
fore, 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 in- 
tercourse, 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 develop- 
ment. The mere multiplicity of races and sub-races ha 
sharpened the struggle for existence and endowed the sur- 
vivors with higher qualities. But it was navigation that re- 
leased 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. 


1. Census of the Philippine Islands, Vol. I, pp. 465, 563-567, 573. 
Washington, 1905. 

2. Sir John Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, pp. 173-223. New York, 

3. Ferdinand Keller, Lake Dwellings, Vol. I, pp. 2-7, 576. London, 
1876. English Lake Dwellings, Westminster Review, pp. 337-347. 1887. 

4. P. W. Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, Vol. II, pp. 65- 
66. London, 1903. 


5. Herodotus, V. 16. 

6. Alexander von Humboldt, Aspects of Nature, pp. 148-149. Trans- 
lated by Mrs. Sabine, Philadelphia, 1849. E. F. im Thurn, Among the 
Indians of Guiana, p. 203. London, 1883. 

7. Sir Thomas Holdich, India, p. 184. London, 1905. 

8. Verney L. Cameron, Across Africa, pp. 332-334. London, 1885. 

9. David and Charles Livingstone, Narrative of Expedition to the 
Zambezi, p. 414. New York, 1866. 

10. Census of the Philippine Islands, VoL I, pp. 464-466, 565. Wash- 
ington, 1905. 

11. Stanford's Australasia, Vol. II, pp. 256-257. London, 1894. 

12. A. E. Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, pp. 368, 381. New York, 

13. Eatzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 262-263, 344. London, 

14. Eiehard Semon, In the Australian Bush, pp. 340-342, 347. Lon- 
don, 1899. 

15. John L. Stoddard, Lectures, Vol. Ill, p. 311. Boston, 1903. 

16. John Barrows, Travels in China, pp. 377-379. Philadelphia, 

17. William M. Wood, Fankwei, pp. 169-174. New York, 1859. 

18. Edmondo de Amicis, Holland and Its People, pp. 4-13. New York, 

19. G. P. Marsh, The Earth as Modified by Human Action, chap. IV, 
pp. 330-352. New York, 1871. 

20. J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 106-108. London, 1903. 

21. Eoscher, National-OeTconomiTc des Ackerbaues, p. 127, Note 1. Stutt- 
gart, 1888. 

22. Elisee Eeclus, Europe, VoL IV, pp. 222-223 New York, 1886. 
Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland, Past and Present, pp. 7-9. London, 

23. Ibid., pp. 145-147. 

24. Sir Samuel W. Baker, The Albert Nyanza, Great Basin of the 
Nile, pp. 49-50. London and Philadelphia, 1866. 

25. Diodorus Siculus, Book I, chap. Ill, p. 41, Translated by G. 
Booth. London, 1814. 

26. David Livingstone, Missionary Travels in Africa, pp. 234-236, 239, 
272. New York, 1858. 

27. Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 51-55, 145. New York, 1896. 

28. Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp. 8, 
10, 97. London and New York, 1900. 

,29. Cyrus Thomas, Mound Explorations, pp. 626, 650-653. Twelfth 
Annual Eeport Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894. 

30. Strabo, Book V, chap. I, 4. 

31. W. Deecke, Italy, pp. 88-89. London, 1904. 

32. John Barrows, Travels in China, p. 349. Philadelphia, 1805. ' 

33. Meredith Townsend, Asia and Europe, pp. 278-284. New York, 

34. 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. B. Shaler, Man and the Earth, chap. V. New York, 

35. Strabo, Book X, chap. II, 19. 

36. John W. Draper, Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. I, pp. 
84-86. New York, 1876. 

37. Winwood Reade, The Martyrdom of Man, pp. 9-17. Eighth Edition, 
New York. 

38. 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. xn, xm. Washington, 
1904. Cosmos Mindeleff, Aboriginal Remains in the Verde Valley, Ari- 
zona, pp. 187, 192-194, 238-245. Thirteenth Annual Report of Bureau of 
Ethnology. Washington, 1896. V. Mindeleff, Pueblo Architecture, pp. 
SO, 216-217. Eighth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology. Washing- 
ton, 1891. F. W. Hodge, Prehistoric Irrigation in Arizona, American 
Anthropologist, July, 1893. 

39. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 105-106, 113, 
118, 120-144, 478. Philadelphia, 1905. 

40. Eleventh Census, Report on the Indians, pp. 49, 161, 415. Washing- 
ton, 1894. D. G-. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 116-117. Philadel- 
phia, 1901. 

41. 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. 

42. Ibid., pp. 13-14. H. H. Bancroft, The Native Races, Vol. I, pp. 
539-547. San Francisco, 1886. 

43. Norway, Official Publication, pp. 99-100. Christiania, 1900. 

44. Ernst Curtius, History of Greece, Vol. I, pp. 49-50. New York. 

45. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 440. 

46. Dietrich Schaefer, Die Hansestddte und Konig Waldemar von 
DdnemarJc, pp. 255-257. Jena, 1879. Helen Zimmern, Story of the 
Hansa Towns, pp. 26-27. New York, 1895. 

47. W. B. Weeden, Social and Economic History of New England, 
Vol. I, pp 17, 18, 90, 91, 128-135, 139. Boston, 1899. 

48. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 245. 

49. H. D. Traill, Social England, Vol. Ill, pp. 363-364, 540. London 
and New York, 1895. 

50. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 311. London, 1903. 

51. Alexander P. Engelhardt, A Russian Province of the North, pp. 
54-71. Prom the Russian. London, 1899. 


Rivers as To a large view, rivers appear in two aspects. They are 

intenne- either part of the general water envelope of the earth, ex- 
tw* 168 ! A * ens i ns ^ seas an ^ estuaries back into the up-hill reaches 
and sea. ^ ^e l an ^, 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 
*>ne 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 Hima- 
layan 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 divid- 
ing line. Here the indeterminate boundary zone is conspic- 
uous. 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 in- 
coming Chinese junks of the proximity of land many hours 
before the low-lying shores can be discerned. 1 Columbus, 


sailing along the Caribbean coast of South America off the 
Orinoco mouth, found the ocean waters brackish and sur- 
mised the presence of a large river and therefore a large 
continent on his left. 2 

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 Ameri- 
can 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 find- 
ing 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. 8 

Rivers have always been the great intermediaries between 
land and sea, for in the ocean all find their common desti- ^* on 


nation. Until the construction of giant steamers in recent ^to river 
years, sea navigation has always passed without break into navigation, 
river navigation. Sailing vessels are carried by the trade 
wind 600 miles up the Orinoco to San Fernando. Alex- 
ander'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 


of seas 
and oceans 
by their 

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. 4 The long navi- 
gable 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. 5 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. 6 
So the migrations of the Carib river tribes led them from 
their native seats in eastern Brazil down the Xingu o 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 ad- 
jacent islands and finally, in the time of Columbus, to Porto 
Rico and Haiti. 7 [See map page 101.] 

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 Mediter- 
ranean 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 radiat- 
ing 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 influ- 
ence, a concentrated brilliant history, precocious and short- 
lived as is that of all limited areas ; that the Euxine has exer- 
cised 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 cul- 
ture 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 bar- 
barians of southern Germany, and made Unitarians of the 
Burgundians and Visigoths of southern Gaul. 8 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. 

In other seas, too, rivers play the' same part of extend- Baltic and 
ing their tributary areas and therefore enhancing their his- ^f^ 3 ** &** 
torical significance. The disadvantages of the Baltic's nvers * 
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 Lubcqk to Riga, throve on the combined trade of sea 


and Pacific 

Lack of 
coast artic- 
by rivers. 

and river. 9 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. 10 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 

If we compare the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in ;espect 
to their rivers, we find that the narrow Atlantic has a drain- 
age 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 his- 
torical preeminence that it so early secured. The develop- 
ment 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. 

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, ad- 
mitting 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 stand- 
point 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 strong- 
ly contrasted in the character of their rivers. Hence the 
two continents present the extremes of accessibility and in- 
accessibility. South America, most richly endowed of all 
the continents with navigable streams, receiving ocean ves- 
sels 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 lit- 
toral 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, 11 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. 12 

Navigable rivers opening passages directly from the sea 
are obviously nature-made gates and paths into wholly new ^ w * vs 
countries ; but the accessibility with which they endow a land of commer _ 
becomes later a permanent factor in its cultural and economic c ial pre- 
development, a factor that remains constantly though less eminence, 
conspicuously operative when railroads have done their ut- 
most to supplant water transportation.. The importance 
of inland waterways for local and foreign trade and inter- 
course has everywhere been recognized. The peoples who 
have long maintained preeminence among the commercial 
and maritime nations of the world have owed this in no 

of rivers 
in large 


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 federa- 
tion numerous cities located far up these rivers, such as 
Ghent, Cologne, Magdeburg, Breslau, Cracow, Pskof and 
Novgorod. 13 

In countries of large area, where commerce and inter- 
course must cover great distances, these natural and there- 
fore cheap highways assume paramount importance, espe- 
cially 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 con- 
fining their activities in South America to the Caribbean dis- 
trict 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 ad- 
junct of maritime trade in the whole Orient, was early appro- 
priated by the discerning English as the British "sphere of 

No other equally large area of the earth is so generously Rivers as 
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, consist- 
ing 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 ex- 
pansion 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 Chesa- 
peake 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 agri- 
cultural 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 be- 
came 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 appro- 
priate but not to hold a vast extent of territory. A hun- 
dred 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 


rivers 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 west- 
ern tributaries of the Mississippi. The abundant water com- 
munication in the Mississippi Valley, which even for present 
large river craft contains 15,4*10 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 ac- 
quired 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 Winni- 
peg and along the path of the Saskatchewan River straight 
to the foot of the Rockies. 

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 nat- 
ural 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 Moun- 
tains 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 Tun- 
guska, a long eastern tributary. Up this they passed to 
the Lena in 167, thence to Bering Sea by the Kolima and 
Anadyr rivers, because these arctic fields yielded sable, 
beaver and fox skins in greatest quantity. 14 The Lena espe- 
cially, from its source down to its eastern elbow at Yakutsk, 
that great rendezvous of Siberian fur traders, was a high- 
way for trapper and Cossack tribute-gatherer. 15 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. 16 [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 geo- 
graphic 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 fron- 
tier. 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 Ger- 
many and Austria, there is a strong anthropo-geographic 
resemblance in the frontiers of successive decades or cen- 
turies. 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 expan- 
sion is lost in a variety of other geographic and geologic 
factors, though the water of the streams still attracts trail 
and settlement. 

A river like the Nile, lower Volga, Irtysh or Indus, rising Determi- 
in highlands of abundant rainfall but traversing an arid or n *nts o f 
desert land, acquires added importance because it furnishes ro ^ es m 
the sole means of water travel and of irrigation. The Nile 

has for ages constituted the main line of intercourse between lands. 
the Mediterranean and Equatorial Africa. The Tigris, Eu- 
phrates, Indus, and the Niger where it makes its great north- 
ern bend into the Sahara near Timbuctoo, 17 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 ; 18 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, 


routes in 
arid lands. 

Even where such rivers have a volume too scanty to float 
a raft, they yet point the highway, because they alone sup- 
ply 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 Des- 
ert 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 per- 
manent wells. 19 

In the trade-wind regions of the world, which are char- 
acterized by seasons of intense drought, we find rivers car- 
rying a scant and variable amount of water but an abun- 
dance of gravel and sand ; they are known in different local- 
ities as waolis, 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 20 and other Mediter- 
ranean 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 foot- 
ing for the ascent. 21 Wadis also determine the line of car- 
avan 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 bar- 
rier dunes of the coast. Hence it has drawn to its valley 
the trade routes from a wide circle of inland points from Ot- 
tawe to Windhoek and Rehobeth, and given added impor- 
tance to the British coast of Walfish Bay, into which it de- 


bouches. 22 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 

The historical importance of a river increases from its Increasing 
source toward its mouth. Its head springs, gushing from historical 
the ground, and the ramifying brooks of its highland course ^ 1 P ortance 
yield a widely distributed water supply and thereby exercise source ^ 
a strong influence in locating the dwellings of men ; but they mouth, 
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 geo- 
graphical 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, Ham- 
burg, 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 debouch- 
ment stretch gains in practical value and hence in perma- 
nent 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. 23 Hence in tideless basins like the Baltic 
and Caribbean, the great river ports have to advance coast- 
ward to meet the sea; and the lower course of even mighty 
streams like the Volga and Nile achieve a restricted im- 
portance. 2 * 

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 down- 


at hydro- 

stream 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 

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 hydro- 
graphic 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 appro- 
priate the wide plains of eastern Europe. Everywhere their 
conquests, colonization, and commercial relations have fol- 
lowed 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 reli- 
gion, 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 &5.] 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." 25 

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. 20 While it took them from 
1G08 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 Mississippi. 

The effect of mere current upon the course of trade and Effect of 
political expansion was conspicuous in the early history of curren 
the Mississippi Valley, before steam navigation began ^ expan . 
to modify the geographic influence of a river's flow. sion. 
The wide forest-grown barrier of the Appalachian Moun- 
tains placed the western pioneers under the geographic 
control of the western waters. The bulkiness of their 
field and forest products, fitted only for water trans- 
portation, 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 pre- 
eminently 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 re- 
turned overland by the old Chickasaw Trail to the Cumber- 
land 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 Meso- 
potamia 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. 27 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 Niko- 
laievsk. Here they dispose of their remaining stock and also 
of their barges, the lumber of which is utilized for side- 
walks, 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. 28 The tonnage of down- 
stream traffic on the Ohio and Mississippi to-day greatly ex- 
ceeds 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. 29 

Importance Owing to the strong pull exerted by a river's mouth upon 
of mouth a ]j j^. s bagjn current, commerce and people alike tend to 

+f\ iiT\frfT*Aam 

Die 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 40 miles (400 kilometers) of the navigable 
Danube, 30 can never be indifferent to the political owner- 
ship of its mouth, or to the fact that a great power like Rus- 
sia has edged forward, by the acquisition of Bessarabia in 
1878, to the northern or Kilia debouchment channel. 31 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 advan- 
tages of its transit location. 

The only satisfactory solution is undivided political owner- 


ship. After France pushed eastward to the Rhine in 1648, 
she warred for three centuries to acquire its mouth. Napo- 
leon 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 1861 was sig- 
nificant 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 Em- 
pire from north to south and constitutes its greatest single 
trade route, gives to Germany a more vital interest in Hol- 
land 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. 32 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. 5 ' "We need the 
entrance of Holland into our customs union as we need our 
daily bread." ** 

When the middle and upper course of a river system are Prevention 
shared by several nations, their common interest demands m n P- 
that the control of the mouth be divided, as in the case of river 
the La Plata between Argentine and Uruguay ; or held by a mouth, 
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. 34 Her very pres- 
ence was ominous. The temptation to giant powers to 
gobble up these exquisite morsels of territory is irresistible. 


for canals 
in lower 

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, 35 Scheldt, Waal, Rhine and Danube. 36 The Yang- 
tze Kiang mouth, where already the treaty ports cluster 
thick, will probably be the first part of China to be de- 
clared neutral ground, and as such to be placed under the 
protection of the combined commercial powers, 3 ' as is even 
now foreshadowed by the international Conservancy Board 
of 1910. 38 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 Cali- 
fornia. The Franco-British convention, which in 1898 con- 
firmed the western Sudan to France, also conceded the prin- 
ciple 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. 39 

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 low- 
lands for the combined purpose of irrigation, drainage, and 
navigation. The great canal system of China, constructed 
in the seventh century primarily to facilitate inland inter- 
course between the northern and central sections of the'Em- 
pire s 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 irriga- 
tion of the fertile but porous loess and for the transporta- 
tion 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. 40 Holland, where the ancient Ro- 
mans constructed channels in the Rhine delta and where the 
debouchment courses of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt pre- 
sent a labyrinth of waterways, has to-day 1903 miles 
(3069 kilometers) of canals, which together with the nav- 
igable rivers, have been important geographic factors in the 
historical preeminence 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 La- 
fourche bayous have been rendered navigable, and New Or- 
leans has been given canal outlets to the sea through Lakes 
Salvador, Pontchartrain and Borgne. 

As the dividing channels of the lower course point to the Watershed 
feasibility of amplifying the connection with the ocean canals, 
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 in- 
land 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 dif- 
ferent outlets to the Baltic through the Vistula, Niemen 
and Duna. 41 The Northern Dwina, linked, by canals, with the 
Neva through Lakes Onega and Ladoga, unites the White* 
Sea with the Baltic. 42 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, Saone 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 Fon- 
tainebleau, 43 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 naviga- 
tion from St. Lawrence and New York bays to the Gulf. 
Albert Gallatin's famous report of 1808 4 * 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 por- 
tage paths already beaten out by the moccasined feet of 
Indian or fur-trader. 

Rivera and The cheapness and ease of river travel have tended to 
railroads. 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. 45 
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. 40 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 com- 
munication, and slowly passed to that of railroads. The 
abundance of natural waterways in Russia 51,800 miles in- 
cluding canals has contributed to the retardation of railroad 


construction. 47 The same thing is true in the Netherlands, 
where 4875 miles (7863 kilometers) of navigable water- 
ways 48 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, com- 
manding only 1375 miles (3314 kilometers) of waterway 
and stimulated further by a remarkable industrial and com- 
mercial development, has constructed 4228 miles (6819 kilo- 
meters) of railroad. 

If we compare the countries of Central and South Amer- Relation 
ica, where railroads are still mere adjuncts of river and ofri ^ ers 
coastwise routes, a stage of development prevalent in the ^ rccent 
United States till 1858, we find an unmistakable relation colonial 
between navigable waterways and railroad mileage. The lands, 
countries with ample or considerable river communication, 
like Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Paraguay, are all rela- 
tively 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 Eu- 
ropean 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, 49 in spite of 
the youth of the country and the sparsity of its white popula- 
tion. 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-Cas- 
pia, 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 ir- 
rigated districts of the encircling mountains. 00 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 com- 
petition of river transportation. 51 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. 
Unity of A river system is a system of communication. It there- 

a river f ore m akes 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 Brahma- 
putra's path through the Himalayas, interrupts communica- 
tion 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 Hima- 
layas 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. 52 

llic effect j n ar -j i an( j Sj where the scant and variable streams are use- 
mon water ^ ess ^ or nav ^g a ti n > but invaluable for irrigation, a rival inter- 
supply in es ^ *& the limited water supply leads almost inevitably to con- 
grid lands, flict, 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 irri- 
gation. The result was frequent wars between the two 
tribes. 58 The offensive is taken by the downstream people, 
whose fields and gardens suffer from every extension of till- 
age 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 north- 
ern 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 neces- 
sary to irrigate the existing fields. 54 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 de- 
pends the prosperity of the Pendjeh and Merv oases. 55 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. 

Rivers unite. Ancient Rome grew up on both banks of Union of 
the Tiber, and extended her commercial and political suprem- PP si te 
acy up and down stream. Both sides of the Rhine were ori- 
ginally occupied by the Gallic tribes, whose villages were in 
some instances bisected by the river. Caesar found the 
Menapii, a Belgian people on the lower Rhine, with their 
fields, farmhouses and villages on both banks. 56 Then the 
westward advance of the Teutonic tribes gradually trans- 
formed 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. 57 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. 58 
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 177& occupied nine 
villages lower down the stream, two on the east bank and 
seven on the west. 50 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 till- Tendency 

age, the terraces for residence sites, and the common river ^*5 

* . , etnnic ana 

for intercourse. 60 cultural 

Every river tends to become a common artery feeding all unity in a 
the life of its basin, and gradually obliterating ethnic and river valley. 


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 fron- 
tier of trackless desert have developed here a blended sim- 
ilarity of race, language and culture from the delta to Kordo- 
fan. 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. 61 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 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 

Identity The most pronounced types of the identity of a country 

of country w fth a r i ver valley are found where strongly marked geogra- 
wi river phi ca l 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, Graubunden 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 be- 
tween the Himalayan gorge and the swamps of Bengal. 62 

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, Kash- 
gar, Aksu and Kut-sha are identical with as many mountain 
tributaries of the Tarim, whose basin in turn comprises al- 
most the whole of Chinese Turkestan. 

In all such desert and mountain-rimmed valleys, the cen- Enclosed 
tral stream attracts to its narrow hem of alluvial soil the river 
majority of the population, determines the course of the v eys " 
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 
Ihe 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 tiind extends into the 
barren foothills of Baluchistan only so f*xr 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 con- 
tracted national consciousness, and to lend them a distinctive 
history. Their rivers become interwoven with their mythol- 
ogy and religion, are gods to be worshipped or appeased, 
become goals of pilgrimages, or acquire a peculiar sanc- 
tity. The Nile, Ganges, Jamna, Jordan, Tiber and Po are 
such sacred streams, while the Rhine figures in German 

Rivers as From the uniting power of rivers it follows that they are 

oundanes p OQr DOUn( j ar j[ eSi Only mountains and seas divide sharply 

and peoples. enou gh 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 boun- 
daries. A migrating or expanding people tend always to 
occupy both slopes of a river valley. They run their boun- 
dary 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. 63 Where the Elbe flows through the 
low plains of North Germany, its whole broad valley is oc- 
cupied 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. 64 On the Danube, too, the same thing 
is true* The upper stream is German in language and prc- 


dominantly Alpine in race stock down to the Austro-Hun- 
garian 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. 63 Lines of ethnic demarcation, 
therefore, cut the Elbe and Danube transversely, not longi- 
tudinally. [See map page 3.] 

The statements of Caesar 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 ex- 
ceptions 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. 

Only under peculiar conditions do rivers become effective Scientific 
as ethnic, tribal or political boundaries. Most often it is r ^ ver 
some physiographic feature which makes the stream an ob- oun es 
stacle 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 as- 
cribed in part to the tumultuous course of these streams from 
the mountains to the Danube, which renders them useless 
for communication. 66 The lower Danube forms a well main- 
tained linguistic boundary between the Bulgarians and Rou- 
manians, 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 south- 
ern 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. 67 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, 68 contrasted in history, in speech and 


to some extent even in race elements. 60 A different cause 
gave the Thames its unique role 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 boundary. 70 

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 pro- 
tection 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 navi- 
gation 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. 71 

Rivers as For political boundaries, which are often adopted with 

political little reference to race distribution, rivers serve fairly well, 
boundaries. 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 Zam- 
besi as his political and military frontier, though his people 
spread and settled beyond the river. 72 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 fron- 
tier had the value chiefly of established lines in an imper- 
fectly 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 op- 
posite 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 straight- 
ens its course after the almost annual overflow. 73 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 contro- 
versies as to the ownership of the detached land, and de- 
manding 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 Afghan- 
istan and Persia, have necessitated a new demarcation of the 
frontier; and on this task a commission is at present en- 
gaged. 74 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 re- 
gion, constantly obliterated the boundaries agreed upon by 
the two neighbors, and thereby gave rise to disputes that 
were only settled by force of arms. 75 

Rivers tend always to be centers of population, not out- Fluvial 
skirts or perimeters. They offer advantages that have al- settlements 
ways attracted settlement fertile alluvial soil, a nearby and ' 
water supply, command of a natural highway for inter- 
course 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 distin- 
guished 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 re* 
stricted to their bordering streams. The river tribes of the 


of French 

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 veget- 
ables. 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 rip- 
arian villages consist of a single street, thirty feet wide and 
often two miles long, on which face perhaps three hundred 
long houses. 76 Fisher and canoe people line the Welle, the 
great northern tributary of the Congo. 77 The same type 
appeared in South America in the aboriginal Caribs and 
Tupis dwelling along the southern tributaries of the Ama- 
zon and the affluents of the Paraguay. These were distinct- 
ly a water race, having achieved a meager development only 
in navigation, fishing and the cultivation of their alluvial 
soil. 78 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, 79 on the very streams later dotted by 
the trading posts of the French voyageurs. 

The presence of the great waterways of Canada and the 
demand of the fur trade for extensive and easy communica- 
tion 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 cote. 
One cote 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 be- 
low Quebec, up to Montreal at an early date presented the ap- 
pearance 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 




tribes or 

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 mission. 

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 in- 
land; but when bequeathed from generation to generations 
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 cote 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 funda- 
mental, that it nullified all efforts of the authorities to con- 
centrate the colonists in more compact settlements. Park- 
man says : "One could have seen almost every house in 
Canada by paddling a canoe up the St. Lawrence and Riche- 
lieu." so 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. 81 

In undeveloped countries, where rivers are the chief high- 
ways, we occasionally see the survival of a distinct race of 
boatmen amid an intruding people of different stock, pre- 
served 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 dis- 
lodged by their invasion and forced to take refuge on the 
water. They gradually established intercourse with the con- 
querors 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. 83 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 tribu- 
taries, 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 voyages. 83 

Reference has been made before to the large river popu- 
lation 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. 84 Similarly the complex of navigable water- 
ways centering about Paris, as far back as the reign of 
Tiberius Caesar, 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 boat- 
men 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. 85 

' The location of the ancient tribe of the Parisii is typi- i^^ M 
cal of many other weak riverine folk who seek in the is- protected 
lands of a river a protected position to compensate for their sites. 


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. 86 Stanley found an island in 
^ihe Congo near the second cataract of Stanley Falls occu- 
pied by five villages of the Baswa, who had taken refuge 
there from the attacks of the bloodthirsty Bakuma. 87 Dur- 
ing the Ta'rtar invasions of Russia in the thirteenth and four- 
teenth 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 Cos- 
sacks, 88 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 Hu- 
* ron, and in 1656 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. 89 
River and A river island not only confers the negative benefit of 
lake is- protection, but affords a coign of vantage for raids on 
lands M the surrounding country, being to some extent proof against 
sfr ^h id P um 'ti ve attacks. It offers special facilities for depreda- 
tions 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 wander- 
ing tribes on to their islands, under the pretext of ferry- 
ing them across, and then to rob them, till Sebituane, the 
great Makololo chief, cleaned out their fastnesses and opened 
the river for trade. 90 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. 91 The same 
unenviable reputation attaches to the Budumas of the Lake 
Chad islands. A weak, timid, displaced people, they never- 
theless 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. 93 

The protection of an island location is almost equalled River pen- 
in the peninsulas formed by the serpentines or meanders of insulas as 
a river. Hence these are choice sites for fortress or settle- P5 otecte< * 
ment 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. 98 
This was exactly the location of Vesontio, now Besan9on, 
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," 
Caesar says, while fortifications across the isthmus made the 
position of the town almost impregnable. 94 Verona, lying at 
the exit of the great martial highway of the Brenner Pass, oc- 
cupies 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 preserva- 
tion of order on the marches of Wales, is almost encircled 
by the River Severn, while a castle on the neck of the penin- 
sula completes the defense on the land side. 95 Graaf Rein- 
ett, at one time an exposed frontier settlement of the Dutch 
in Cape Colony, had a natural moat around it in the Sun- 
day River, which here describes three-fourths of a circle. 

The need of protection felt by all colonists in new River 1s- 
countries amid savage or barbarous people whom encroach- lan ds as 
ment sooner or later makes hostile, leads them if possible rite8 . of 
to place their first trading posts and settlements on* river p^^^ 
islands, especially at the mouth of the streams, where a colonies, 
delta often affords the site required, and where the junc- 
tion 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 Mon- 
treal and New Orleans, the Dutch at Manhattan and Van 
Renssellaer Island in the Hudson, the Swedes at Tinicum 
Island in the Delaware Riyer a few miles below the mouth 


of the Schuylkill. 96 St. Louis, located on a delta island of 
the Senegal River, is one of the oldest European towns in 
West Africa ; 9T 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. 98 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 down- 
stream conquest of the Amur by a succession of river island 
forts, 99 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. 

Swamps as More effective than rivers in the protection which they 
barriers and afford are swamps. Neither solid land nor navigable water, 
boundaries, 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, Romney 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. 100 The Pen- 
land 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. 101 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, 102 just as the 
Bourtanger Moor drew the dividing line between Holland 
and Hanover. 

Swamps as Swamp-bordered regions, as areas of natural isolation, 
regions of guard and keep intact the people which they hold. There- 
survival f ore 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, 103 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. 10 * 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 dis- 
tinction is coupled with poverty and retarded culture, 105 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 primi- 
tive form of flectional languages classed as Aryan. The 
isolation which preserved their archaic speech, of all Euro- 
pean tongues the nearest to the Sanskrit, made them the last 
European people to accept Christianity. 106 The great race 
of the Slavic Wends, who once occupied all northern Germany 
between the Vistula and Elbe, has left only a small and de- 
clining remnant of its language in the swampy forests about 
the sources of the Spree. 107 [See ethnographical map, p. 3.] 
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. 108 

Inaccessible to all except those familiar with their treacher- Swamps as 
ous paths and labyrinthine channels, swamps have always places of 
afforded a refuge for individuals and peoples ; and there- refu S c * 
fore as places of defense they have played no inconspicuous 
part in history. What the Dismal Swamp of North Caro- 
lina 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 re- 
move 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, 109 to the retreat thither 
of Amyrtaeus, a prince of Sais, after his unsuccessful revolt 
against the Persian conqueror Artaxerxes I. 110 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, 111 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 Refuge." 112 

The spirit The spirit of the marshlands is the spirit of freedom. 
of the Therefore these small and scarcely habitable portions of the 

Jnar8he8 ' land assume an historical dignity and generate stirring 
historical events out of all proportion to their size and popu- 
lation. 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, 118 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 114 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 depot 
at Lynn. Later in the conflict of the barons with Henry 
III, Simon de Montfort and other disaffected nobles en- 
trenched themselves in the islands of Ely and Axholm, till 
the Provisions of Oxford in 1267 secured them some de- 


gree of constitutional rights. 115 Four centuries later the 
same spirit sent many Fenlanders to the support of Crom- 

A river that spreads out into the indeterminate earth- Economic 
form of a marsh is an effective barrier ; but one that gathers and politi- 
its waters into a natural basin and forms a lake retains the foipor- 
uniting power of a navigable stream and also, by the exten- 
sion 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 Saone at Lyon, is unfit for naviga- 
tion, 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 Garcja, 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. 


Lakes as The uniting power of lakes manifests itself in the tendency 

nuclei of o f such basins to become the nuclei of states. Attractive to 
ftatea - 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. 116 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 out- 
ranks Lake Michigan, show the closest physical resemblance 
to thalassic basins, because of their size, salinity and enclosed 
drainage systems; but their anthropo-geographical signifi- 
cance 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 en- 
closed 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 fyom 


9 1234- 56 

K I l_0 M ETGR S 




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. 

Lakes as part of a system of inland waterways may pos- Lakes a* 
sess commercial importance surpassing that of many seas, fresh water 
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, consti- 
tutes 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 suc- 
ceeded 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 develop- 

In 1901, the tonnage of our merchant vessels on the Great 
Lakes was half that of our Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts 
combined, 117 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 
ow the shore pf 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 uses. 


1. Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp. 26- 
27. New York and London, 1900. 

2. Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, p. 492. Boston, 1892. 

3. Capt. James Cook, Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1776-1780, Vol. 11, 
pp. 321-332. New York, 1796. 

4. John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 63-66, 84- 
86, 95, 96. London, 1904. 

5. E. Lavisse, Histoire de France, Vol. II, Part I, pp. 374-375, 378-379, 
381-382, 385-386. Paris, 1903. 

6. Helmolt, History of the World, Vol. I, pp. 189-191, map. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

7. Ibid., Vol. I, pp. 192-194. 

8. G. W. Kitchen, History of Trance, Vol. I, pp. 59-60. Oxford, 1892. 

9. Dietrich Schaeffer, Die Hansestadte und Konig Waldemar von 
DanemarJc, p. 36. Jena, 1879. 

10. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 311. London, 1904. 
" 11. Capt. A. T. Mahan, The Problem of Asia, pp. 41, 60, 120. New 

York, 1900. 

12. Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp. 
97-98. New York and London, 1900. 

13. E. C. Semple, Development of the Hanse Towns in Eelation to 
their Geographic Environment, Bulletin Amer. Geog. Soc,, Vol. 31. No. 
3. 1899. 

14. 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. 

15. Agnes Laut, Voyagers of the Northern Ocean, Harper's Magazine, 
January, 1906. 

16. Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 21-54. New York, 1899. 

17 Felix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 198-199, 251-257. New York, 1896. 

18. Ibid., p. 38. 

19. D. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 71, 177. New York, 1858. 

20. W. Deecke, Italy, p. 87. London, 1904. 

21. G. Adam Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, map 
facing p. 167; also pp. 287, 327-328. New York, 1897. 

22. F. M. Stapff, Karte des unteren Khiusebthal, Petermanns Mit- 
teilungen, p. 202. July, 1885. 

23. Strabo, Book TTI, chap. IT, 4. 

24. For full discussion, see Roscher, National-OeTconomiTc des Handels 
und Gewerbefleisses. Stuttgart, 1889. 

25. Rambaud, History of Russia, Vol. I, pp. 24-28. Boston, 1886. 


26. A. B. Hulbert, Historic Highways of America, Vol. VII, Portage 
Paths, pp. 182-183, 187-188. Cleveland, 1903. 

27. Herodotus, Book I, 194. A H. Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, 
VoL H, pp. 79-81. New York, 1849. 

28. Charles W. Hawes, The Uttermost East, p. 60. New York, 1904. 

29. Transportation by Water in 1906, Table 30, p. 181. Report of 
Department of Commerce and Labor, Washington, 1908. 

30. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 277. London, 1904. 

31. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 466. London. 

32. J. Ellis Barker, Modern Germany, pp. 68-85. London, 1907. 

33. Heinrich von Treitsehke, Polftilc, Vol. I, p. 218. Leipzig, 1897. 

34. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 466. London, 

35. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, p. 511. London, 1904. 

36. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 318. London, 1903. 

37. Ratzel, Politische Geographic, pp. 739-740. Munich, 1903. 

38. Annual Register for 1901, p. 358. New Series, London and New 
York, 1902. 

39. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 958. New York, 1902. 

40. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, p. 473. London, 1896-1898. 

41. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 406. New York, 1902. 

42. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, map p. 312. London, 

43. Blanqui, History of Political Economy, pp. 273, 277, 296. *New 
York, 1880. 

44. Albert Gallatin, American State Papers, Misc. Doc., Vol. I, No. 250. 
Washington, 1834. 

45. Roscher, National-Oekonomik des Handels und Gewerbefleisses, 
pp. 449, 453-454. Stuttgart, 1889. 

46. H. R. MiU, International Geography, pp. 530-531. New York, 

47. G. G. Chisholm, Commercial Geography, pp. 310, 312. London, 

48. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 314. London, 1903. 

49. Statesman's Yearbook for 1907. 

50. Henry Norman, All the Russias, pp. 254-255, 285-292. New 
York, 1902. 

51. E. C. Semple, American History and Its Geographic Conditions, 
pp. 251-255. Boston, 1903. 

52. E. F. Knight, Where Three Empires Meet, p. 6. London, 1897. 

53. Strabo, Book IV, chap. VI, 7. 

54. Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 361-362. New York, 1899. 

55. Angus Hamilton, Afghanistan, pp. 137-141. New York and Lon- 
don, 1906. Henry Norman, All the Russias, pp. 276-277. New York, 

56. Bello Gallico, Book IV, chap. IV. 

57. Ibid., Book I, chap. XXXI; Book II, chap. Ill; Book IV, chap. I. 

58. Journals of Dr. Thomas Walker and Christopher Gist, p. 129. 
Filson Club Publications, Louisville, 1898, 


59. H. B. Schooleraft, Indian Tribes of the United States, Vol. Ill, 
pp. 248-249. Philadelphia, 1853. 

60. Martha K. Genthe, The Valley Towns of Connecticut, Bull, of 
Amer. Geog. Society, Vol. 39, pp. 1-7. New York, 1907. 

61. Batzel, History of Mankind, Vol. Ill, pp. 181-182, 192. London, 

62. H. B. Mill, International Geography, p. 495. New York, 1902. 

63. W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe, pp. 284-285. New York, 1899. 

64. Hid., Maps pp. 222, 340, 350. 

65. Ibid., Maps pp. 402, 429. 

66. J. Partsch, Central Europe, pp. 43, 241. London, 1903. 

67. Ibid., p. 69. Sydow- Wagner, Methodisclier Schul-Atlas, compare 
maps No. 13 and No. 25. 

68. Elisee Beclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 380, 389-390. New York, 

69. W. Z. Bipley, Baces of Europe, p. 318, map. New York, 1899. 

70. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp. 202-203. Lon- 
don, 1904. 

71. Boyd Alexander, Prom the Niger to the Nile, Vol. I, pp. 168, 169, 
232, 306-307. London, 1907. 

72. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 102, 642. New York, 1858. 

73. See Century Atlas, maps of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas 
for boundary line of 1850. 

74. Sir Thomas Holdieh, India, p. 57. London, 1905. 

75. Strabo, Book X, chap. II, 19. 

76. 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, 

77. Boyd Alexander, From the Niger to the Nile, Vol. II, pp. 252, 
269-270. London, 1907. 

78. Helmolt, History o the World, Vol. I, pp. 189, 192-194. New 
York, 1902-1906. 

79. Cyrus Thomas, Mound Explorations, pp. 526-527, 531, 551. 
Twelfth Annual Beport of Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894. 

80. Parkman, The Old Begime 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. 

81. Martha Krug Genthe, Valley Towns of Connecticut, pp. 10-12, 
figures V. and VI, Bull, of Amer. Geog. Society, Vol. 39, 1907. 

82. J. Nacken, Die Provins Kwantung und ihre BevolJcerung, Peter- 
manns Mitteilungen, Vol. 24, p. 421, 1878. W. M. Wood, Fankwei, pp. 
276-277. New York, 1859. 

83. J]elix Dubois, Timbuctoo, pp. 19-22, 38. New York, 1896. 

84. Isabella B. Bishop, The Yangtze Valley and Beyond, Vol. I, pp. 
164, 174-175, 179, 182, 189, 215. London and New York, 1900. 

85. William Walton, Paris, Vol. I, pp. 31-32, 35. Philadelphia, 1899. 

86. Caesar, Bello Gallico, Book VIII, chaps, 57, 58. 

87. Henry M. Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, Vol. II, pp. 227- 
228, New York, 1879. , ^ 

88. Article, Cossack, Encyclopedia Britannica, 


89. Parkman, The Jesuits in North America, pp. 292-303, 498-505, 
534, 535. Boston, 1904. 

90. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 100, 102. New York, 1858. 

91. Livingstone, Last Journals, Vol. I, p. 359. London, 1874. 

92. Heinrieh 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. 

93. 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. 

94. Caesar, Bella Gallico, Book I, ehaps. 38, 39. 

95. Elisee Reelus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 101-102. New York, 1882. 

96. John Fiske, Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, Vol. I, p. 
241. Boston. 

97. H. R. Mill, International Geography, p. 956. New York, 1902. 

98. H. B. George, Historical Geography of the British Empire, pp. 
259-260. London, 1904. 

99. Alexis Krausse, Russia in Asia, pp. 30-33, 50. New York, 1899. 

100. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, pp, 198-199. 
London, 1904. 

101. John Richard Green, The Making of England, Vol. I, pp. 63, 66. 
London, 1904. 

102. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 102. London, 1903. 

103. Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 10, 11, 
27-30. London, 1878. 

104. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 322-323. Map p. 327. New 
York, 1899. 

105. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu/The Empire ot the Tsars, Vol. I, p. 108. 
New York, 1893. 

106. Ibid., pp. 104-106. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 340-342, 
352, 365. New York, 1899. 

107. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 135. London, 1903. 

108. HM., p. 133. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 294-295. New 
York, 1899. 

109. Herodotus, II, 137, 140, 

110. Thucydides, I, 110. Brugseh-Bey, History of Egypt, Vol. II, p, 
333. London, 1881. 

111. John Richard Green, History of the English People, Vol. I, chap. 
Ill, p. 71. 

112. Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 83, 
101, 104, 107, 108. London, 1878. 

113. Tacitus, History of the Germans, Book VI, chap. VI. Motley, 
Rise of the Dutch Republic, Vol. I, pp. 2-5, 13. New York, 1885. 

114. J. Partsch, Central Europe, p. 299. London, 1903. 

115. Miller and Skertchley, The Fenland Past and Present, pp. 113- 
114. London, 1878. 

116. Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, 
Vol. I, pp. 327-328, 502-503. Oxford, 1892. Ratzel, History of Man- 
kind, Vol. n, p. 163. London, 1896-1898. 

117. U. S. Report of Commission of Navigation, p. 10. Washington, 


of the 


THE division of the earth's surface into 28 per cent, land 
and 7 per cent, water is an all important fact of physical 
geography and anthropo-geography. Owing to this pro- 
portion, 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 ul- 
terior shore, this geography of the land-masses in relation 
to the encompassing waters points the routes and goals of 
human wanderings. 

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 his- 
tory; 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. 

A comparison of the large and small land-masses of the Classifies 
earth from the standpoint of both physical and anthropologi- tion of 
cal geography yields a classification based upon size and land ~ 
location on the one hand, and historical influences on the 


other. The following table indicates the relation between 
the two. location. 

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 civilization. 

(a) Insular continents, whose primitive and 
modern development are marked by remoteness. 

(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, there- 
fore less independent. Hawaii, Fayal in the Azores, 

(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 inti- 
mately 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 Britain. 


(c) Islands of enclosed or marginal seas, con- 
tained 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. 

Effect of As the homes of man, these land-masses vary greatly owing 

size of 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 main- 
tain 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 diver- 
sity 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 Ma- 
layan 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 com- 
petition 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. 1 The twin continents of the Americas developed 
a race singularly uniform in its physical traits, 2 if we leave 
out of account the markedly divergent Eskimos, but display- 
ing a wide range of political, social and economic develop- 
ments, 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 agricul- 
ture, public works, a state religion and an enlightened 

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 conti- 
nent; certainly not on anthropo-geographical grounds. Its 
classification as a continent arose in the Mediterranean 
among the Greeks, as a geographical expression of the an- 
tagonism 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 strik- 
ingly contrasted to Asia in point of size, relief, contour, 
climate and races, only served to maintain the distinction be- 
tween the two continents in men's minds. But from a geo- 
graphical 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 inde- 
pendent 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. 

The independence of a land-mass is based not alone on Independ- 
size: there is also an independence of location. This, owing ence of 
to the spherical form of the earth, tends to be neutralized locatio ^ 
by the independence based upon large area. The larger a 
land-mass is, the nearer it approaches to others. Eurasia, O f 
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 


The case 
of Asia. 

of hemi- 
and ethnic 

miles in area, have a location so independent of other in- 
habited lands, that before the period of the great discoveries 
they had never appeared on the horizon of man. 

Asia's size and central location to the other* continents 
were formerly taken as an argument for its correspond- 
ingly 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 ; be- 
cause 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 south- 
eastern Asia and spread thence over their close-packed Archi- 
pelago. Even the native Australians betray a Malayan and 
therefore Asiatic element in their composition, 3 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 nations. 

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 prin- 
ciple 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 group- 
ing is reflected in both the lower animals and the peoples inhabit- 
ing 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. 4 This is the Boreal sub-region of the Holoarctic 
zoological realm, characterized by a very homogeneous and 
very limited fauna/" In contrast, the portion of the hemi- 
spheres 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. 6 But 
when we consider the continental extremities projecting be- 
yond 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 condi- 
tions are very similar. 7 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 Mon- 
goloid, are now regarded as an aberrant variety of the Ameri- 
can race, owing to their narrow headform and linguistic 
affinity; though in Alaska even their headform closely ap- 
proximates the Mongoloid Siberian type. 8 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 Hyper- 
boreans across the narrow sixty miles of water forming 
Bering Strait. 9 In the northern part of the earth's land area, 
the distribution of floras, faunas, and races shows interde- 
pendence, intercourse; in the southern, separation, isolation. 

What is true where the hemispheres come together is true Continental 
also where continents converge. The core of the Old World convergence 
is found in the Mediterranean basin where Europe, Asia and 
Africa form a close circle of lands and where they are in- 
habited 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 Mediter- 
ranean stock and from each other. Eastern Australia repre- 
sents the ethnic antipodes of western Asia, in harmony with 
the great dividing distance between them, but the sides of 


The Atlan- 
tic abyss. 


these continents facing each other across the bridge of the 
Sunda Islands are sparsely strewn with a common Malay 

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 Ocean. 

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 inter- 
course 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 noth- 
ing to America and received nothing from it, except the Gulf 
Stream's scanty cargo of driftwood stranded on bleak Ice- 
landic 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. 1(> However, no 
trace of any European stock remains. 

The collapse of the bridge at the close of the Glacial Epoch Atlantic 
left the Atlantic abyss effectually dividing the two hemi- k land f un " 
spheres. 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 up- 
heavals of Norway in King Harfagr's time (87) 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, 11 which 
doubtless recorded the intermittent voyages thither of the 
Eskimo, preliminary to permanent occupation. The Scan- 
dinavians did not encounter natives on the island till the 12th 
century, when Greenland probably received its first Eskimo 
immigration. 12 

While the Atlantic thus formed a long north-and-south Geograph- 
rift across the inhabited world at the period of the great ical 
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, 13 
all point to America as the great eastern wing of the Mon- 
goloid 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 occurence. 14 

Pacific The broken bridge across Bering Strait formed by East 

e * Cape, Cape Prince of Wales and the Diomede Islands between, 

American anc * father south the natural causeway of the Commander 
and Aleutian Islands leading from the peninsula of Kam- 
chatka to that of Unalaska, have facilitated intercourse be- 
tween Asia and America. 15 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 an opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean in 
these upper latitudes." 16 This resemblance is by no means 
confined to the Eskimo and Chukches, who have exchanged 
colonists across Bering Sea. Recent investigations have re- 
vealed 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. 11 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 investi- 
gations 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 north- 
western American Indian. 18 [See map page 103.] 

W. H. Dall finds the inhabitants of the Pacific slope of Polynesian 
North America conspicuously allied with Oceanica in cultural affinities, 
achievements, whose origin he therefore assigns to that vast 
congeries of islands stretching from Asia toward South 
America in latitude 5 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 thres- 
hold 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. 19 A more probable avenue for the intro- 
duction of these Polynesian or Malayan elements of culture 
is found in 0. 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 The real 
of race and culture into the western side of America. 20 Orient of 

Moreover, primitive America resembled Oceanica and the world. 


The Atlan- 
tic abyss 
in historic 
of peoples. 

Races and 

northern Asia in its ignorance of iron, in its Stone Age civili- 
zation, and its retarded social and political development. 
Such affinities as it shows were predominantly Pacific or 
trans-Pacific. 21 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 grow- 
ing 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 civili- 
zation 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 ac- 
cumulated in Columbus' time the matured forces of a hemi- 
sphere; it was searching for some outlet across the shoreless 
distances of the Atlantic, waiting for some call from its voice- 
less beyond. 

This deep, unbridged chasm of the Atlantic, closed only 
four hundred years ago, must be taken into account in all in- 
vestigations 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 direct- 
ing 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, ac- 
cumulated energies of Europe. 

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. 22 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. 23 [See map page 105.] 

The eff ort of the old ethnology, as represented by Blumen- 
bach, to make a five-fold division of the races in agreement 
with the five continents was a mistake. To distinguish be- 
tween the continents is one thing and to distinguish be- 
tween the races is another. Neither bio-geography nor an- 
thropo-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 Contrast 
from race intermixture and successive changes of environment 
on the way. 24 and 

From this general law of race movements it follows that ern conti- 
certain groups of land-masses, favored by location and large nents. 


of the 

area, play a great imperial role, holding other lands as ap- 
panages. 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 pre- 
dominant 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 histori- 
cal 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 role is its 
fate. Australia will always follow in the train of Eurasia, 
whence alone it has derived its incentives and means of pro- 
gress. 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 blos- 
somed in the Southern Hemisphere, but the Peruvian achieve- 
ments in progress were inferior to those of Mexico and Central 
America. 25 

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 Eura- 
sian 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 com- 
pacter 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. 

The build of the land-masses influences fundamentally the Effect of 
movements and hence the development of the races who in- continental 
habit them. A simple continental structure gives to those ^ ^ 
movements a few simple features and a wide monotonous dis- torical de- 
tribution which checks differentiation. A manifold, complex velopment. 
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 

' Asia, on the other hand, radiating great peninsulas, fes- 
tooned 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- 


of North 
and South 

reaching historical results. The same fact is true of Europe, 
and that in an intensified degree. Here a complex develop- 
ment of mountains and highlands built on diverse axes, penin- 
sulas which comprise 7 per cent, and islands which comprise 
nearly 8 per cent, of the total area, 26 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. 27 Even 
Strabo saw this. He begins his description of the inhabited 
world with Europe, because, as he says, it has such a "poly- 
morphous formation" and is the region most favorable to the 
mental and social ennoblement of man. 28 

In North and South America, great simplicity of conti- 
nental build gave rise to a corresponding simplicity of native 
ethnic and cultural condition. There is only one marked 
contrast throughout the length of this doufele conti- 
nent, 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 Pata- 
gonia; 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 unmistake- 
able migration southward along the accessible coast from 
Alaska to the Columbia River, and down the great intermon- 
tane valleys of the western highlands from the Great Basin to 
Honduras ; 29 while South America shows the same meridional 
movement for 2,000 miles along the Pacific coast and longi- 
tudinal valleys of the Andes system. There was little en- 
couragement 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. 30 Though 
Athapascans from the east overstepped it at a few points in 
North America, the Great Divide has served effectually to iso- 
late the two groups from one another and to draw that line 
of linguistic cleavage which Major Powell has set down in 
his map of Indian linguistic stocks. Consequently, Ameri- 
canists 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 con- 
trast between each of them and its corresponding Pacific group. 
Nor is this contrast superficial ; it extends to physical traits, 
temperament and culture, 31 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 use. 32 

To the anthropo-geographer, the significant fact is that Cultural 
all the higher phases of native civilization are confined to superiority 
the Pacific slope group of Indians, which includes the Mexi- of Pacific 

can 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. 33 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 singu- 
lar 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 Oceanica. 34 


Cyrus Thomas, on the basis of the character and dis- 
tribution 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 dif- 
ferent 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 op- 
posite 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 At- 
lantic 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 sup- 
position, because the characteristics of the American race 
and of the archeological remains point exclusively to affinity 
with the people of the Pacific. 35 John Edward Payne also 
reaches the same conclusion, though on other grounds. 80 
Lack of The one strong segregating feature in primitive America 

segregated was the Cordilleras, which held east and west apart. In the 
tnct8 " 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. 87 

ulations ^ * s necessai 7 to distinguish two general classes of con- 

of conti- tinental articulations ; first, marginal dependences, like the 
nents. 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 de- * 
fined 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 con- 
trast 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. 

Articulations on a vast scale, like the southern peninsulas Importance 
of Asia, produce quite different cultural and historical effects * 8 ^ ze 
from small physical sub-divisions, like the fiord promontories 
and "skerries 5 * 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 over- 
grown 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 


of large 
and small 

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. 

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, Brit- 
tany 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) . 38 The fact that the large compound 
peninsula of western Europe which comprises Spain, Portu- 
gal, 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 popula- 
tion 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 Tas- 


mania. The whole scale is continental. It appears again some- 
what diminished, in the largest articulations of Europe, 
in Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Iberian and Balkan penin- 
sulas. 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. 

The most favorable conditions for historical development p en | ngu i ar 
obtain where the two classes of marginal articulation are conditions 
combined, and where they occur in groups, as we find them in most favor- 
the Mediterranean and the North Sea-Baltic basin. Here the abl f to M*- 
smaller indentations multiply contact with the sea, and pro- t * 10 * 1 de " 
vide the harbors, bays and breakwaters of capes and prom- Ve ^ 
ontories 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 achieve- 
ments. In other words, such conditions present the pre- 
eminent advantages of vicinal location around an enclosed 

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 approxi- 
mately 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 con- 
tour 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 


Length of 

The con- 
base of 

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. 

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. 

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, Est- 
land 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 develop- 
ment. 39 Hence, many peninsulas insulate their people as com- 
pletely 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. 

Peninsulas not infrequently gain in breadth as they ap- Continental 
proach the continent ; here they tend to abate their distinctive base a 
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 develop- 
ment. Such peninsulas fall naturally, therefore, into a 
continental and a peninsular section, and reveal this seg- 
mentation 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 Apen- 
nine 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, sho^t dolicho- 
cephalic stock of the Mediterranean race from the fairer, 
taller, broad-headed Celts, who have moved down into the 

base and 


Po basin from the Alps, and the Germans and Illyrians who 
have entered it from the northeast. 40 Northern Italy is 
therefore allied ethnically, as it has often been united politi- 
cally, to the neighboring countries abutting upon the Alps, 
so that it has experienced only in a partial degree that de- 
tachment which has stamped the history of the Apennine 

The Balkan Peninsula tells much the same story of con- 
trasted geographic conditions and development in its conti- 
nental 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, Hel- 
lenic type, and here the Greek language prevails. 41 But 
that broad and alien north, long excluded from the Am- 
phictyonic 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, 42 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 108.] The continental side of Arabia, the Meso- 
potamian valley which ties the peninsula to the highlands of 
Persia and Armenia, has received into its Semitic stock con- 
stant 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. 43 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. 

These continental sections of peninsulas become there- Continental 
fore strongly marked as areas of ethnic characterization and base a 
differentiated historical development. Their threshold loca- f 06116 . 
tion, by reason of which they first catch any outward migra- ^^ war- 
tion 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. 44 The Indus Valley has again and again felt the 
shock of conflict with invading hordes from the central high- 
lands, 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. 

In contrast to these continental sections which stand in 

contact with the solid land-mass behind, the extremities of e l * 
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. 45 Here they have preserved their speech 
and nationality unmixed and live in almost primitive sim- 
plicity. 46 In the peninsular parts of Great Britain, in 
northern Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, we find people of 


unity of 

as inter- 

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. 47 The mountainous peninsula of western Connaught 
in Ireland has been the rocky nucleus of the largest Celtic- 
speaking community in the island. 48 Brittany, with a similar 
location, became the las-t refuge of Celtic speech on the main- 
land of Europe, 49 the seat of resistance to Norman and later 
to English conquest, finally the stronghold of conservatism 
in the French Revolution. 

The northern wall of the Apennines and the outpost bar- 
rier 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. 50 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. 51 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 conti- 
nental section and the confused relief of the country, has 
not protected its distinctively peninsular or Greek section 
from the southward migrations of Slavs, Albanians, Wal- 
lachians, and other continental peoples. 52 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. 

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-geo- 
graphical 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 develop- 
ment, a peninsula first isolates, until in its secluded environ- 
ment 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 re- 
ligious. 53 It has been the one country conspicuous in the 
foreign history of Japan. Conquered by the island empire 
in 159&, it paid tribute for nearly three centuries and yielded 
to its foreign master the southeastern port of Fusan, the 
"Calais of Korea. 54 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 re- 
cipient of the modern civilization thrust upon it by these 
English of the East. In like manner the Pyrenean penin- 
sula 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 cen- 
tury, 50 and the Spanish possession of Ceuta and various other 
points along the Moroccan coast from the year 709 A. D. to 
the present. 50 

This role of intermediary is inevitably thrust upon all Peninsulas 
peninsulas which, like Spain, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, 
Arabia, Farther India, Malacca, Chukchian Siberia, and Al- 
aska, 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 inter- 
continental peninsulas, Florida alone seems to have had no 
role 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 ex- 
pansion of Arawak and Carib tribes from Venezuela in his- 
toric 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, trans- 
formed it from a link into a barrier. 

Atlantic Peninsulas which conspicuously lack an intercontinental 

P ? 1 S nsulas location must long await their intermediary phase of develop- 
urope. men ^ b u t do not escape it. The Cornish, Breton and Iberian 
peninsulas were all prominent in the trans- Atlantic enter- 
prises 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 Eng- 
lish 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. 


1. Batzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 336. London, 1896-1898. 

2, D, G. Brinton, The American Race, p. 41. Philadelphia, 1901. 


3. D. G. Brinton, Races and Peoples, pp. 239-240. Philadelphia, 190L 
Ratzel, History of Mankind, Yol. I, p. 336. London, 1896-1898. 

4. A. R. Wallace, Island Life, p. 14. New York, 1892. 

5. A. Heilprin, Geographical Distribution of Animals, p. 69, map* 

6. Ibid., pp. 78, 82, 90, 100. 

7. Darwin, Origin of Species, Chap. XII. New York, 1895. A. B. 
Wallace, Island Life, p. 6. New York, 1892. 

8. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, Map on p. 43. New York, 1899. 

9. Ibid,., pp. 39, 50, 80. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. II, pp. 100- 
110. London, 1896-1898. 

10. A. H. Keane, Ethnology, pp. 231-232, 362. Cambridge, 1896. 

11. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 56, Vol. XIX 
of History of North America. Philadelphia, 1905. 

12. Fiske, Discovery of America, Vol. I, p. 224. Boston, 1893. 

13. 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. Eipley, Races of Europe, map p. 42. 
New York, 1899. 

14. T. W. Higginson and William Macdonald, History of the United 
States, p. 21. New York and London, 1905. 

15. Edward John Payne, History of the New World Called America, 
Vol. II, pp. 64-68, 74-77, 305, 388-389. Oxford, 1899. 

16. Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, Vol. I, p. 60. Bos- 
ton, 1889. 

17. Cited by E. J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, 
Vol. II, p. 292, footnote p. 294. Oxford, 1899. 

18. Waldemar Jochelson, The Mythology of the Koryak, The American 
Anthropologist, Vol. VI, pp. 415-416, 421-425. 1904. 

19. W. D. Dall, Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs, 
Third Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 46-147. Washington, 

20. O. T. Mason, Migration and the Food Quest, pp. 275-292. Wash- 
ington, 1894. 

21. MeGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, pp. 51, 58-82. Phil- 
adelphia, 1905. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 5-7, 145-147, 153- 
154. London, 1896-1898. 

22. Ripley, Races of Europe, map p. 42, pp. 43-44. New York, 1899. 

23. Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, p. 7. London, 1896-1898. 

24. Tylor, Anthropology, pp. 86-87. New York, 1881. 

25. E. J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol. II, 
pp. 554-555. Oxford, 1899. 

26. Justus Perthes, Taschen Atlas, p. 17. Gotha, 1905. 

27. Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, pp. 188-212. Translated by 
W. L. Gage, Philadelphia, 1865. N. S. Shaler, Nature and Man in 

ica, pp. 11-18, 151-165. New York, 1896. 

28. Strabo, Book II, chap. V. 26, 


29. MeGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 3, map. Phila- 
delphia, 1905. 

30. D. G. Brinton, Eaces and Peoples, pp. 248-249. Philadelphia, 1901. 

31. D. G. Brinton, The American Race, pp. 58, 103-104. Philadelphia, 
1901. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North America, p. 86. Philadel- 
adelphia, 1905 Ratzel, History of Mankind, Vol. I, pp. 5-7, 145-147, 153- 

32. Ibid., p. 293. E. J. Payne, History of the New World Called Amer- 
ica, Vol. II, p. 315. Oxford, 1899. 

33. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 412-417. McGee and Thomas, Prehistoric North 
America, pp. 72-75. Philadelphia, 1905. 

34. W. H. Dall, Masks, Labrets, and Certain Aboriginal Customs, Third 
Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 146-147. Washington, 1884. 

35. Cyrus Thomas, Report of Mound Explorations, pp. 522-523, 722- 
728. Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 

36. E. J. Payne, History of the New World Called America, Vol. II, 
pp. 382-383. Oxford, 1899. 

37. N. S. Shaler, Nature and Man in America, pp. 151, 168-173. New 
York, 1891. 

38. Justus Perthes, Taschen Atlas, p. 9. Gotha, 1905. 

39. Carl Ritter, Comparative Geography, pp. 191-192. Translated by 
W. L. Gage, Philadelphia, 1865. 

40. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 247-258. New York, 1899. 

41. Ibid., pp. 403-409. 

42. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, Atlas, Maps, 34, 
49. London, 1882. 

43. For race elements in Mesopotamia, see D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer 
East, Maps, pp. 173 and 176. London, 1903. 

44. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, pp. 201-202, 
506-508, 535-536, 541. London, 1882. 

45. Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. I, pp. 293-297. Oxford, 1907. 

46. Sir Thomas Holdich, India, Ethnographical map, p. 201, pp. 202, 
213-216. London, 1905. B. H. Baden-Powell, The Indian Village Com- 
munity, pp. Ill, 116, 119, 161. London, 1896. 

47. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 312-321. New York, 1899. E. 
Reclus, Europe, Vol. IV, pp. 73, 83-84. New York, 1882. 

48. H. J. Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas, Ethnographic map, 
p. 184, and p. 306. London, 1904. 

49. W. Z. Ripley, Races of Europe, pp. 22, 23, 150-153. New York, 

50. Ibid., pp. 248, 258, 272, 

51. Ibid., pp. 247, 273. 

52. Ibid., pp. 401-409, and map. 

53. 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. l,.pp. 73, 
83. New York, 1903. 

54. Henry Dyer, Dai Nippon, pp. 59, 69. New York, 1904. 

55. E. A. Freeman, Historical Geography of Europe, p. 558. London, 

56. Ibid., pp. 559, 561. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire, Vol. V, p. 248. New York, 1858. 


THE characteristics which mark peninsulas, namely, ample Physical 
contact with the sea, small area as compared with that of relation- 
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, peninsulas. 
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 (,170,000 square kilo- 
meters or 84*6,000 square miles). New Guinea, the largest 
habitable island, has only one-fourth the area of Arabia, the 
largest of the peninsulas. 1 Therefore, both the advantages 
and disadvantages incident to a restricted area may be ex- 
pected 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 conti- 
nent. It bears to-day in its flora and fauna the evidence of 
its former broad connection with the mainland. 2 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. 3 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 secure. 4 

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. 5 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 shore- 
line, and the same fate awaited others. 6 Farther up this 
western coast of Greece, the island of Leukas has been con- 
verted into a peninsula by a sickle-shaped sandbar extending 
across the narrow channel. 7 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. 8 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. 9 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 char- 
acter 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 
Character i n so many points of flora, fauna and even primitive ethnic 
of insular gtoc k ^^ Madagascar and South Africa, indicates its former 
fauaa, island nature, which has been geographically cloaked by its 

union 'with the continent of Asia. 

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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 The impoverish- 
ment 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 re- 
stricted 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 Ca- 
jiaries, 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.] 

Despite this general poverty of species, island life is dis- Endemic 
tinguished by a great proportion of peculiar or endemic forms, 
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 reduc- 
ing or preventing the intercrossing which holds the individual 
true to the normal type of the species, tends to produce 
divergences. 18 Hence island life is more or less differentiated 



of island 

and radical 

from that of tlie nearest mainland, according to the degree 
of isolation. Continental islands, lying near the coast, 
possess generally a flora and fauna to a large extent identi- 
cal 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. 14 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. 15 

The influence of an island habitat upon its human occu- 
pants 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 civiliza- 
tion, 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 in- 
delible national stamp, much as it differentiates its plant 
and animal forms, is persistently operative. 

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 undis- 
turbed 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." 10 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 environ- 
ments, 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 floral 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 

In Japan, isolation has excluded or reduced to controllable The case 
measure every foreign force that might break the continuity of Japan. 
of the national development or invade the integrity of the 

Islands as 
and dis- 
of distinct- 
ive civili- 


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 in- 
digenous. The introduction of foreign culture into the 
Empire has been a process of selection and profound modifi- 
cation to accord with the national ideals and needs. 17 Bud- 
dhism, 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 conti- 
nental forms of that religion. 18 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. 19 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 expan- 
sion and extensive emigration, form one of those apparently 
irreconcilable contradictions constantly springing from the 
isolation and world-wide accessibility of an island environ- 
ment; 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 pre- 
serve the core of that character intact. 

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 possi- 
bility 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 role. 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 t 
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 develop- 
ment. Now the borrowers are making return with generous 
hand. The islands are reacting upon the continents. 
Japanese ideals are leavening the whole Orient from Man- 
churia 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." 20 

The recent discoveries in Crete sho'w beyond doubt that Ancient 
the school of Aegean civilization was in that island. Ancient Cretan ^ 
Phoenicia, Argos, even Mycenae and Tiryns put off their c * a on * 
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, 21 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 civiliza- 
tion is clear. At early as 8000 B. C. it included an impres- 
sive style of architecture and a decorative art naturalistic 
and beautiful in treatment as that of modern Japan. 22 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. 23 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. 2 * 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. 25 

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 


of small 
area in 

island environment did thoroughly its work of differentiation, 
even on this thalassic isle which maintained constant inter- 
course with Egypt, the Cyclades, the Troad and the Greek 
peninsula. 26 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 con- 
tributed as much as it received." 2 ' The curator of Egyptian 
antiquities in the New York Metropolitan Art Museum ex- 
amined five hundred illustrations of second and third millenium 
antiquities from Gournia and Yasiliki in Crete, made by Mrs. 
Harriet Boyd Hawes during her superintendence of the ex- 
cavations there, and pronounced them distinctly un-Egyptian, 
except one vase, probably an importation. 28 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 main- 
land and other Aegean shores. 20 

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 un- 
born, 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 ex- 
hausted, 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 preeminence 
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. 30 Much the same history and distinction attached 
to the island of Rhodes long before the first Olympiad, 31 and 
to the little island of Aegina. 32 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 indepen- 
dence that they greatly surpass their early masters, and are 
accredited with possessing the creative genius of all this 
coast. 33 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 agri- 
culture, religion, masonry, sculpture in stone and wood carv- 
ing, even with obsidian tools, and who alone of all the 
Polynesians had devised a form of hieroglyphical writing. 34 
Easter Isle to-day shows only abandoned fields, the silent 
monuments of its huge stone idols, and the shrunken remnant 
of a deteriorated people. 35 

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 Nether- 
land coast from Texel to Wangeroog, is inhabited by the 
same Frisian folk which occupies the nearby shore. The 




tiation of 
peoples and 
on islands. 

people of the Channel Isles, though long subject to England, 
belong to the Franco-Gallic stock and the langue d'o'il lin- 
guistic family of northern France. The native Canary 
Islanders, though giving no evidence of previous communica- 
tion 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. 36 Sakhalin harbors to-day, besides the immigrant 
Russians, five different peoples Ainos, Gilyaks, Orochdns, 
Tunguse, and Yakuts, all of them offshoots of tribes now or 
formerly found on the Siberian mainland a few miles away. 37 

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 

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 communica- 
tion 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. 38 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 shep- 
herds 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 isola- 
tion 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. 39 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. 40 

The differentiating influence is conspicuous in the speech Differen 
of island people, which tends to form a distinct language or ^" 011 
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 (Toti^ 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 state- 
ment was repeated by a later authority in 1455 in regard 
to the inhabitants of Lancerote, Fuerteventura, Gomera and 
Perro, who had then been Christianized. A partial explana- 
tion is supplied by the earlier visitors, who found the Canary 
Guanches with no means of communication between the 
several islands except by swimming. 42 In the Visayan group 



forms of 
speech in 

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. 43 [See map page 147.] 

The differentiation of language from the nearby conti- 
nental 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. 44 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. 

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 retarda- 
tion. 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. 45 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. 45 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, 47 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. 

Islanders are always coast dwellers with a limited hincer- Unification 
land. Hence their stock may be differentiated from the ? f race "* 
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 con- 
tact with the sea allows an intermittent influx of various 
foreign strains, which are gradually assimilated. This oc- 
casional 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 
& 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 



sources of 
island pop- 

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. 48 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 dis- 
cerned. 49 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, 50 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, 51 bred doubtless from their 
isolation, have combined to reduce the amount of foreign 

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 in- 
habited by a nautically inefficient race; whereas a wide 
stretch of ocean may fail to bar the immigration of a sea- 
faring people. Here we find a parallel to the imperfect isola- 
tion of oceanic islands for life forms endowed with superior 
means of dispersal, such as marine birds, bats and insects. 52 
Iceland, though relatively near Greenland, was nevertheless 
peopled by far away Scandinavians, These bold sailors 
planted their settlements even in Greenland nearly two cen- 
turies before the Eskimo. England received the numerically 
dominant element of its population from acrosjs the wide ex- 
panse 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 

Owing to the power of navigation to bridge the intervening Double 
spaces of water and hence to emphasize the accessibility sources, 
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. 53 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 103.] 

In a similar way Madagascar is divided between the Ma- 
layan 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. 54 Though the population shows every physical type 
between Negro and Malayan, and ethnic diversity still pre- 
dominates 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. 55 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- 



of small 

Polynesians crossed the broad stretch of the Indian Ocean, 
occupied the island, and finally predominated over the 
original Negro stock. 30 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 funda- 
mental 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. 

Small thalassic islands, at an early date in their history, 
lose their ethnic unity and present a highly mixed popula- 
tion. 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 out- 
lying 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 in- 
habitants 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 Chukclics. 57 Kilwauru, located on a sandbank at the 
eastern end of Cerarn, 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. 58 The 
smaller these island marts and the wider their circle of trade, 
the more mixed is their population. Thursday Isle, an Eng- 
lish 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 com- 
prises 370 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. 50 

Antiquity shows the same thing on a smaller scale, which Mixed 
grew, however, with the expansion of the circle of commerce, population 
Ancient Aegina in the Saronic Gulf received inhabitants of island 
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." 00 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. 61 The northwestern 
Indian Ocean had a similar emporium in the ancient Dios- 
coridis, (Sokotra) which focused on itself the trade between 
Arabia and eastern Africa. 02 

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 popu- 
lation, protected against absorption by the large area of 
the island (25,865 square miles) is interspersed in the coastal 



location of 
island way 

districts with Arabs, Portuguese, Eurasians dating from the 
old Portuguese occupation, and some ten thousand Euro- 
peans. 63 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, Fin- 
nish, 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 Baltic. 64 

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 con- 
spicuously in the track of commerce have succeeded in draw- 
ing 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 popu- 
lation of French, English and Hindus. 65 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. 66 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, Eng- 
land 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. 

Islands located in enclosed seas display the transitional Tbalassic 
character of border 'districts. They are outposts of the sur- idail(is M 
rounding shores, and become therefore the first objective of g . 
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, B