Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/472

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

nize as without limit in space and without beginning or end in time," and this noumenal power of philosophy, of which all phenomena are but manifestations, is the God of religion "the infinite and eternal energy from which all things proceed."

 

THE RACIAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE.

A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY.

(Lowell Institute Lectures, 1896.)

By WILLIAM Z. RIPLEY, Ph. D.,

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY; LECTURER IN ANTHROPO-GEOGRAPHY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.

I.—LANGUAGE, NATIONALITY, AND RACE.

THE historian of The Norman Conquest of England was very fond of contrasting the east and the west of Europe. He maintained that the political unrest which underlies the Eastern question was due to the utter lack of physical assimilation among the people of the Balkan states; that, in other words, nationality had no foundation in race. This was undoubtedly true to some extent; and yet even in the west, the formation of these boasted nationalities is so recent that it accords but slightly with the lines of physical descent. A slight scratch of the skin of neighbors suffices to reveal radical differences of blood, so that the west is merely a step in advance of the east after all. It is a trite observation that all over Europe population has been laid down in different strata more or less horizontal. In the east of Europe this stratification is recent and distinct. West of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the primitive layers have become metamorphosed, to borrow a geological term, by the fusing heat of nationality and the pressure of civilization. The population of the east of Europe structurally is as different from that of the west to the naked eye as, to complete our simile, sandstone is from granite; nevertheless, despite their apparent homogeneity on analysis we may still read the history of these western nations by the aid of natural science from the purely physical characteristics of their people alone.

To the ordinary observer a uniform layer of population is spread over the continent as waters cover the earth. In reality, while apparently at rest, this great body of men reveals itself today in constant motion internally. Currents and counter-currents sweep hither and thither, some rising and others falling, with now and then a quiet pool or eddy where alone population is really in a quiescent state. These movements are not transient; they have been going on for centuries, determined by the economic character and the geography of the continent. They are