Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/303

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THE

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



JANUARY, 1881.



THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
By HERBERT SPENCER.
III.—POLITICAL INTEGRATION.

POLITICAL integration is in some cases furthered, and in other cases hindered, by conditions, external and internal. There are the characters of the environment, and there are the characters of the men composing the society. We will glance at them in this order.

How political integration is prevented by an inclemency of climate, or an infertility of soil, which keeps down population, has been already shown.[1] To the instances before named may be added that of the Seminoles, of whom Schoolcraft says, "Being so thinly scattered over a barren desert, they seldom assemble to take black drink, or deliberate on public matters"; and, again, that of certain Snake Indians, of whom he says, "The paucity of game in this region is, I have little doubt, the cause of the almost entire absence of social organization." We saw, too, that great uniformity of surface, of mineral products, of flora, of fauna, are impediments; and that on the special characters of the flora and fauna, as containing species favorable or unfavorable to human welfare, in part depends the individual prosperity required for social growth. It was also pointed out that structure of the habitat, as facilitating or impeding communication, and as rendering escape easy or hard, has much to do with the size of the social aggregate formed. To the illustrations before given, showing that mountain-haunting peoples, and peoples living in deserts and marshes, are difficult to consolidate, while peoples penned in by barriers are consolidated with facility,[2] I may here add two significant ones not yet noticed. One occurs in the Polynesian Islands—Tahiti, Hawaii, Ton-

  1. "Principles of Sociology," §§ 14-21.
  2. Ibid., 17.