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independent of climate, because he has houses and clothes ; he becomes independent of winds, because he propels his vessels by steam ; to a large extent he becomes independent of daylight, because he can produce artificial light.” ....
Thus, in his savage state, man is a feeble slave, cowering at the feet of Nature, his foster mother; while in a state of high civilization he obtains a mastery and lordship over her. ... We may sum up in the words of M. Lavisse: "Nature has written on the map of Europe the destiny of certain regions. She determines the aptitudes and hence the destiny of a people. The very movement of events in history creates, moreover, inevitable exigencies, one thing happening because other things have happened. On the other hand, Nature has left on the map of Europe free scope to the uncertainty of various possibilities. History is full of accidents, the necessity of which cannot be demonstrated. Finally, there exists free power of action, which has been exercised by individuals and nations. Chance and freedom of action oppose alike the fatality of Nature and the fatality of historical sequence. To what extent each of these four elements has influenced history cannot be determined with exactness."
29. The agents of civilization. As opposed to the idea that the natural environment is the determining factor in civilization, may be noted the following paragraph by Ward :
Civilization is something that is produced by some kind of agency, and we have seen that that agency is not to be found in the physical surroundings of man, which are passive and inert. And as the only elements in existence are men and things the agents of civilization must be men. The idea that they consist in things, although it passes in some quarters for the scientific view par excellence, is really a metaphysical conception worthy of medieval times. It arose as a reaction against that form of hero worship which deified a few individuals and ignored the mass of mankind and their most essential activities. Civilization is the result of the activities of all men during all time, struggling against the environment and slowly conquering nature. . . . This much is certainly true, that the agents of civilization are men, and the question is narrowed down to that of determining what men, and in what manner they have brought it about.
Even a cursory glance at human history reveals the fact that there are immense differences among men in this respect. ... Whatever the great mass may have done in the way of preserving, perpetuating, and multiplying copies — in a word, through imitation — the number who
originate and invent, who investigate and discover, is surpassing small. ... But the social value of these few agents must not be underestimated. If it is foolish to worship them as heroes, it is equally unwise to ignore their true significance in the history of the world.
We are confronted by the old question of the rôle of great men. We have seen that by certain subtle and obscure processes of nature such rare combinations of ancestral qualities are occasionally formed in the process of generation in the human race as to produce extraordinary minds. It is such minds when afforded the proper opportunity that have produced all the results that the world values. How many such minds there may be at any given time it is impossible to determine, because those that are known to exist are only such as have been permitted by the environment to assert themselves. Great men, then, are the mentally endowed who have had a chance to use their talents. There is reason to believe that this is only a small percentage of those who possess talents. Opportunity alone can show what the true number of mentally endowed individuals is in human society. But the few that we have and have had constitute the real living force of human society. Human achievement is due to them, and but for them there would have been no achievement. It is absurd to talk about civilization as the product of blind natural forces and general environmental conditions unless the men who have chiefly produced it are included among such forces and conditions. We can readily conceive of their absence, but we cannot conceive of the same results being accomplished in their absence. Without them there would be no results. If by any force of circumstances the élite of any country were to be removed, that country would be left in a state of intellectual stagnation. Indeed, history has demonstrated this on more than one occasion. When Spain killed off and drove out its élite it fell into decadence and never has recovered its vigor. Italy suffered immensely from the same cause and is to-day far behind the leading nations of the world. And these are not the only instances. On the other hand, the brilliant rôle played by Switzerland in the history of science is chiefly due to the rich recruits which that country received from the persecutions carried on in other countries, as de Candolle has so fully shown. There is a still broader aspect to the subject. National degeneracy, while it might be produced by the actual sacrifice of the entire élite of any country, is usually due much more to the more or less voluntary abandonment of such countries by their great men, or by men who subsequently become great in the land of their adoption. This need not necessarily be due to oppression. It may be due to other causes. But whatever the cause may be, the country which cannot retain its progressive spirits is doomed to decay. All of which
shows in the most convincing manner that the agents of civilization are the great men and the strong and brilliant minds in the world, and not any vague, impersonal environmental conditions.
II. RACE 30. Causes of the fixation of ethnic traits. The cause of the origin of races is a much-disputed question. The influences that account for the creation of physical types are stated by Brinton as follows:
These causes are mainly related to climate and the food supply. The former embraces the questions of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure (altitude), malarial or zymotic poisons, and the like. All these bear directly upon the relative activity of the great physiological organs, the lungs, heart, liver, skin and kidneys, and to their action we must undoubtedly turn for the origin of the traits I have named. On the food supply, liquid and solid, whether mainly animal, fish, or vegetable, whether abundant or scanty, whether rich in phosphates and nitrogenous constituents or the reverse, depend the condition of the digestive organs, the nutrition of the individual, and the development of numerous physical idiosyncrasies. Nutrition controls the direction of organic development, and it is essentially on arrested or imperfect, in contrast to completed development, that the differences of races depend.
These are the physiological and generally unavoidable influences which went to the fixation of racial types. They are those which placed early man under the dominion of natural, unconscious evolution, like all the lower animals. To them may be added natural selection from accidental variations becoming permanent when proving of value in the struggle for existence, as shown in the black hue of equatorial tribes, special muscular development, etc.
But I do not look on these as the main agents in the fixation of special traits. No doubt such agencies primarily evolved them, but their cultivation and perpetuation were distinctly owing to conscious selection in early man. Our species is largely outside the general laws of organic evolution, and that by virtue of the self-consciousness which is the privilege of it alone among organized beings.
This conscious selection was applied in two most potent directions, the one to maintaining the physical ideal, the other toward sexual preference. As soon as the purely physical influences mentioned had impressed a tendency toward a certain type on the early community, this was recognized, cultivated and deepened by man's conscious endeavors. Every race, when free from external influence, assigns to its highest ideal of manly or womanly beauty its special racial traits, and seeks to develop these to the utmost. African travelers tell us that the negroes of the Sudan look with loathing on the white skin of the European; and in ancient Mexico when children were born of a very light color, as occasionally happened, they were put to death. On the other hand the earliest records of the white race exalt especially the element of whiteness. The writer of the Song of Solomon celebrates his bride as "fairest among women," with a neck " like a tower of ivory”; and one of the oldest of Irish hero tales, the Wooing of Emer, chants the praises of " Tara, the whitest of maidens.” Though both Greeks and Egyptians were of the dark type of the Mediterranean peoples, their noblest gods, Apollo and Osiris, were represented "fair in hue, and with light or golden hair.”
The persistent admiration of an ideal leads to its constant cultivation by careful preservation and sexual selection. Thus the peoples who have little hair on the face and body, as most Chinese and American Indians, usually do not like any, and carefully extirpate it. The negroes prefer a flat nose, and a child which develops one of a pointed type has it artificially flattened. In Melanesia if a child is born of a lighter hue than is approved by the village, it is assiduously held over the smoke of a fire in order to blacken it. The custom of destroying infants markedly aberrant from the national type is nigh universal in primitive life. Such usages served to fix and perpetuate the racial traits.
A yet more powerful factor was sexual preference. This worked in a variety of ways. It is well known to stock breeders that the closer animals are bred in and in, that is, the nearer the relationship of father and mother, the more prominently the traits of the parents appear in their children and become fixed in the breed. It is evident that in the earliest epoch of the human family, the closest interbreeding must have prevailed without restriction, as it does in every species of the lower animals. By its influences the racial traits were rapidly strengthened and indelibly impressed. This, however, was long before the dawn of history, for it is a most remarkable fact that never in historic times has a tribe been known that allowed incestuous relations, unless as in ancient Egypt and Persia, for a sacrificial or ceremonial purpose. The lowest Australians, the degraded Utes, look with horror on the union of brother and sister. The general principle of marriage in savage races is that of "exogamy,” marriage outside the clan or family, the latter being counted in the female line only. This strange but universal abhorrence has been explained by Darwin as primarily the result of sexual indifference arising between members of the same household, and the high
zest of novelty in that appetite. Whatever the cause, the consequences will easily be seen. The racial traits once fixed in the period before this abhorrence arose would remain largely stationary afterwards, and by exogamous marriages would be rendered uniform over a wide area.
This form of conscious selection has properly been rated as one of the prime factors in the problem of race differentiation. The apparently miscellaneous and violent union of the sexes in savage tribes is in fact governed by the most stringent traditional laws, and their confused cohabitations are so only to the mind of the European observer, not to the tribal conscience.
31. Race elements of the United States. The following summary of the racial composition of the American population is given by Hart :
No great modern country has been so much affected by the coming in of foreigners as the United States. In 1900 about 10,500,000 of its residents were born outside of the country: of these nearly 3,000,000 were from Germany or other German-speaking countries; about 1,800,000 were Irish born; England, Scotland, and Canada furnished a total of 1,800,000; Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, about 1,000,000 ; Slavs of various origin, about 1,200,000; France, Italy, and Mexico together, about 700,000. In forty years the number of Irish-born Americans has been stationary, the Germans have more than doubled, and great numbers of Latin and Slav immigrants have come in from countries unrepresented in 1860.
These race elements are erratically distributed. The Irish and Slavs prefer the cities, the Germans and Scandinavians the open country. Some sections of the United States have almost no immigrants : thus, in the Southern states, leaving out Texas and Missouri, there are only about 400,000 foreigners, — less than are to be found in the single city of Chicago. These foreigners have furnished laborers and workmen for the farm, for railroad building, and for the factory, and they have greatly contributed to the building up of the great Northern cities.
In addition to the 10,500,000 immigrants, nearly 16,000,000 of our countrymen are born of a foreign-born father or mother or both parents; so that of the 75,000,000 Americans, 26,000,000 are chiefly of foreign origin, 9,000,000 are negroes, and only about 40,000,000 are of what may be termed an American stock. Hardly in the history of mankind has a great country received such an influx of mixed population from without; and the present prosperity of the republic is proof that this foreign element upon the whole is safe, and that in the course of