Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/747

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jority, there would still result the establishment of a non-assimilable class, that would be looked upon as an inferior caste, and would be ruled without regard to their wishes or interests. Such a class, in a republican government, would be as much of an anomaly, and as impossible of permanence, as the institution of slavery.

That the evolution of societies is governed by the same general laws which govern the evolution of organisms might be assumed, a priori, from the fact that societies are but aggregates of organisms. So, a society itself may be considered as an organism, for its existence as an aggregate necessitates the homogeneity of the parts composing it. The people must be of the same race and civilization, and in their institutions, laws, and customs, represent those instincts and temperaments which are characteristic of their race.

In past ages; war has been the chief means by which different civilizations have been brought together. The customs of the conquerors have been forced upon the conquered, thus leading to the common belief that the force thus employed was the cause of the resulting change in the society. The fact that the conquering race or nation generally prevails by virtue of superior numbers—the most important element, perhaps, in the conquest of a civilization—gives further color to this interpretation. But the numerous instances in which the civilization of the conquered nation is that which has prevailed show that the conquest by armed forces has been followed by a conflict of civilization, in which the dominant form has been determined, not by success in arms, but by persistence of characters, and by the relative number and fitness of the contending societies. That hatred of strange peoples which formerly characterized the intercourse of nations, that was born in ignorance and nourished by wars, has been weakened also by the better knowledge of one another which the same conflicts have brought about. Where formerly was only the crossing of arms is now a growing friendly intercourse. Invasions by armies have been succeeded by peaceful immigrations; but, though the conflict of arms may pass away, the peaceful mingling of nations and races will be followed still by the same conflict of civilizations. This is illustrated throughout the whole range of human history; but it may be sufficient to briefly consider for this purpose two civilizations, which were represented by the most powerful monarchies of the Eastern and Western hemispheres, in which the conquerors in war became the conquered in peace, and in which the mingling of races resulted in the subversion of the higher civilizations. Such was the history of the Romans and the Mexicans.

The civilization of the Romans, to which the modern civilized nations are to so great an extent indebted, has naturally attracted the particular attention of scholars and philosophers. In attempting to account for the fall of that mighty structure, and the following period of ignorance and barbarism, there have been given nearly as many