Jacques W. (Jacques Wardlaw) Redway.

Elementary physical geography : an outline of physiography online

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point in man and other mammals. In the structure of
bone, muscle, and tendon,'^ and in the operation of si)ecial
organs, such as nerves, intestines, lungs, and heart, the
functions ai-e practically identical.

The chief characteristic of mankind is the great develop-
ment of the reasoning faculties. The power of reason is
certainly common to some of the lower animals — possibly
to all species. In man, however, this faculty is enormously
developed in comparison witli other animals. Moreover,
the power of reasoning al)stractly seems to bo possesHed
by no other species of life.




The classification of mankind into races and families,
however, is one of such great difficulty that no two eth-
nographers are in full agreement.^ Color of skin, texture
of hair, and language have been each made the basis of
classification, but each system, when closely followed, leads
to confusing difficulties.

The Black Peoples. — The people of this type are
characterized by black skin, kinky or woolly hair, and thick

lips. The Negroes are
the best known people of
the type. This race is
native to Central Africa,
but has been acclimated
in America, numbering
there about ten or twelve
millions. The Bantus are
the finest specimens of
the black type, and in-,

their native region are
approaching civilization.
They are distinguished
by a color of skin that in some cases is distinctly bronze
rather than black. Their features are finer, and the lips
thinner than those of the Negro.

The Australasians inhabit the continent of Australia and
the near islands. They are tall and slender, have straight
hair, and represent the lowest degree of civilization. The
Melanesians are native to New Guinea and the chain of
islands to the southeast. There are also tribes in various
parts of the Philippine Islands. The Melanesians and
Australasians are also called " Negroids." They are sav-
ages, warlike and ferocious. Cannibalism is almost uni-
versally practised among them, but is not confined to the
black races.




The black type of mankind is best adapted to a warm
climate, and the various races are free from the malarial
fevers and other baneful climatic influences that are so
fatal to white peoples. In tropical regions the Negro races
are by far the most enduring peoples. The religion of al-
most all the people of this type is fetich or obeah worship.

The Yellow Peoples. — The yellow or Turanic peoples
are probably native to Asia somewhere north of the
Himalaya Mountains. The type is characterized by
coarse and straight black hair, high cheek-bones, and


yellow or yellowish-brown skins. In some instances, as
the Chinese, the eyes are set at a peculiar angle, giving
rise to the term " alnioiid-cviMl."

Chief among yellow peoples' are the Chinese, Burmese,
Anamese, and Siamese. The civilization <>f the Chinese
IS an old one and highly elaborated. In religion they are
nominally IJiuldhists, but in fact they arc; given chielly t<>
ancestor-wor.ship. The Tibetans reju-esent thi' liest exam-
ples of the race. The Burmese, Anamese, and Siamese
are pure Buddhists. The Mongols of western ,in.l noi ihnn
Asia, especially the higii plateaus, are a race of nomadic


horsemen, courageous and intelligent, but only a remove
from the savage state. In religion they are Mohamme-
dans. The otlshoots of this race that have settled in
Europe — the Turks, Huns, Laps, and Finns — have reached
a high degree of civilization.

The Japanese are probably a mixed race — Mongol and
Malay, with which possibly there has been absorbed a still
older race, native to the islands. Intellectually the Japa-
nese are at the head of the race which they represent, and
within forty years they have developed a civihzation com-
paring favorably with that of European nations.

The Malays, or brown race, inhabit southeastern Asia,
and the islands to the eastward. In their present state
most of them are savage, but they seem to have the capa-
bilities of an advanced civilization — a fact apparent in the
Japanese, Javanese, and Hawaiians. The Maoris of New
Zealand are an excellent type of Malay. The Hovas ^ of
Madagascar, belong to this race. Most of the native peo-
ples of the Philippine Islands are Malays. The Tagals
have reached a condition of civilization ; the Visayas and
Maccabeles are but little inferior ; the Moros are savages.

The American "Indians," for the greater part charac-
terized by a brown color,'' are native to the American
continent. At the time of the discovery of America several
tribes, such as the Aztecs and Peruvians, were emerging
from a state of barbarism into one of civilization.^ They
were gradually absorbed by their conquerors.

In South America and Mexico the Indians have become
a mixed race. For the greater part, this has resulted from
inter-marriage with the Latin races — especially the Portu-
guese and Spanish. In North America, on the contrary,
where the associations between Indians and Teutonic
peoples have always been marked by bitter hatred, the
Indian blood is still pm-e.



The Eskimos, one of the most iuteresting divisions of
the yellow type, are confined to the north circumpolar
regions. They seem to be related to some one or other of
the Mongol races, but the relation is distant. They are
short in stature, averaging less thaii five feet in height.
They are intelligent and highly susceptible to civilization.
This fact is unusual, inasmuch as their habitations are mud
and stone huts ; their occupation, fishing; and their food,

raw blubber and fish.

The White Peo-
ples. — This race com-
j)rises two great divis-
ions, each subdivided
into various families.
These divisions, more-
over, represent lan-
guage and relation,
rather than structure.
The color of the skin
varies from light
blonde to swarthy,
closely approximating
black among certain
peoples. Intellectual-
ly, it is the dominat-
ing type of mankind.
The Aryan division is by far the most Avidely spreads
and numerous of the type. In Asia, it includes the^
Hindus, the Persians and most other dwellers in the Iran^
plateau. In Europe, it includes almost the entire popula*
tion, the Turks, Huns, Lapps, Finns and Semitic peoples
excepted. In the American continent, to Avhicli its peoples
have migrated, it embraces about one hundred millions of
souls, mainly of the Teutonic family.




The Teutonic, Latin, Sclavonic, and Keltic families of
this race now constitute the leading, most intellectual, and
most poAverful nations in the world. These families occupy
most of Europe and the greater part of North America.
Here the peoples of the various families are confusedly
mixed by intermarriage. In South America they liave
intermarried with the
native races.

The Semitic family
comprises the Hebrews,
Moors, Arabs, and Abys-
sinians.^ The Assyri-
ans and the Phoenicians
were also of this race,
but they have been ab-
sorbed, or dispersed by
conquest. The Hebrews
or Jews are the only
surviving remnant of
this race now holding a
position of any im-
portance. For about
four thousand years,
in spite of fearful odds
against them, they have held a commanding position.

''springing ivom a family whose native place was n(it f;u-
from Syria, the Jews became a nation of consi<lcrabU> im-
portance. Because of their steadfastness to their religion,
neither slavery nor conquest has extenninat(>d them. Dif-
fused over the earth, they are numerically about as strong
as ever they were, and their religion an.l c nles
are as marked to-day as they were four thonsan.! years ago.
Pygmies.— Scattered over a eonsiderable area of Afrn-a
are peoples having no ethnogra].l.i<' conniH-liM,, or n-lali<.n




to any of tlie foregoing families. These are the pygmies.^
So far as the color of the skin is concerned, there are two
classes of this people — one having a light brown skin, the
other being almost black.

Of the various pygm}^ tribes the best known are the
Akka, Wambntti, and Batna of central Africa, and the
Bushmen of the southern part. All individuals are charac-
terized by a heavy growth
of rusty, red-brown hair
upon the bodies, prog-
nathic jaws and retreat-
ing foreheads. The aver-
age stature of the Bush-
men is about five feet ;
of the other tribes about
four and one-half feet.
The Akka are character-
W-. I fliVliT^/lf/^fl^^amiHi: i v ized by mis-shajDeu bod-
ies, long, skinny fingers,
and withered legs. The
Negroids of the Philip-
pine Islands are some-
times classed among the

Nearly all the pygmy
tribes have learned the
use of fire, but, as a rule, they eat their food raw. Although
they have a very low place in the human scale, they display
considerable intelligence. The Wambutti are ingenious
in devising nets and traps for securing game, and they
seem capable of a low form of civilization. The pygmies
are rarely at war either with the other African tribes or
with one another.

Antiquity of Man. — The written history of man does




not extend backward more tbau six thousand years before
the Christian era, and of this period the first half, as re-
corded in Holy Scriptm-e, contains data coucerninij but one
or two families and their
descendants. Geologi-
cal history goes back to
a period of greater an-
tiquity, but unfortunate-
ly gives no clew where-
by the age of man can
be computed in years.
Written history did not
begin until man had
reached a comparatively
high state of civiliza-
tion, but geological his-
tory antedates this pe-
riod, and discovers man
living practically in a
wild state, as a hunter
and a dweller in caves.

If man preceded the
Glacial epoch, about
every trace of the spe-
cies disappeared. With fj'^jj
a few exceptions, upon
which doubt has Ix* n
thrown, the oldest traci s
of mankind are found
just above the unsorted
drift of the Glacial

epoch, and below that of tin; river gravels of ('lianipl.iin
times. Above the glacial drift, however, there can !).• no
doubt of the existence of the species.'"




Both in Europe and America the bones of man, associ-
ated with those of the cave-dwelling auimals he hunted,
have been abundantly found. With these have been found
also implements of the chase, ornaments, charred pieces of
bone, and in one instance a rude drawing of an extinct
species of elephant, sci-atched on ivory."

From the time of the earliest geological history of the
species, there is observable one featui*e that distinguishes


mankind from brute creation, namely — rapid intellectual
development. Primitive man had learned the use of fire,
and this in itself Avas to give him supremacy over all other
animate nature. He had also acquired the use of tools, and
these were a great increase of power. The earliest race of
people employed hammers or axes of rough stone. The

MAN 345

next step seems to have been the making of polished stoue
axes, knives, arrow-heads, etc. When, however, the primi-
tive man applied fire to the shaping of his tools and imple-
ments made of metal, his civilization was assured, and his
power became supreme.

At first the metal employed was a crude alloy now known
as bronze. At a hiter period, however, iron was substitu-
ted for the alloy. Some of these implements were of an
ornamental character, but in the main they were either
tools or M'eapons. "With the increased power aflbrded by
these tools the people who used them pass out of the state
of savagery and emerge into that of civilization.

Migrations of Mankind. — The history of mankind is
the history of successive migrations that have been goiug
on for more than four thousand years. From the earliest
times people have associated iu families, families have
grown into clans, and clans into tribes. "When a region
has been sparsely settled, association and government have
commonly been of the patriarchal kind, the oldest one of
the family or clan being the leader.

In cases, however, where there has been a common
enemy, the plan of association has often been communal
as well as tribal. Thus while the families described in the
earlier history of the Old Testament observed a patriarchal
rule, in later times, the plan of government became com-
munal and afterward national. The same evolution had
began in the case of the aboriginal Americans. Families
had grown into clans and tribes, and among the A/trcsand
Peruvians, tribal association had grown into communal
government and was fast emerging into civilization.

But there have always been limits to the; growth of a
people. They may be exterminated by a stronger race;
they may be dispossessed l)y a stronger jjoople or l»c :il>-
sorbed by them ; or they may find the region too nnu-h



overstocked, aud incapable of supporting so great a popu-
lation. In any case, unless the people is exterminated or
absorbed, migration is the only remedy.

Thus, tribes of the Tartar ^^ race, known in history as
the Huns, migrated from the plateaus of Asia and over-
ran a large part of Europe. On their way they drove the


eastern Goths from their lauds, and the latter, in turn, over
whelmed Italy and Spain. The Lombards, a Teutonic
people, migrated from the shores of the Baltic to the Adri-
atic Sea. The Vandals swept over western Europe, leaving
behind a trail of fire and blood. They devastated Spain,
crossed to Africa, and established an empire on the site of
Carthage. About one hundred years later they were exter-
minated by a Roman army. Under the teachings of Islam,

MAN 347

the Ai-abs (or Saracens) devastated the north of Africa,
entered Spain and penetrated France. They founded a
Moorish empire, but were afterward driven from Europe.

The foregoing are but a few of the movements of popu-
lation that occui-red iu the short space of three centuries,
and in the smallest natural division of land. History takes
no note of similar changes that must have been going on in
other parts of the world at the same time.

The records of unwritten histor}' furnish many instances
of the dispersions of peoples that must have taken place
on a considerabl}^ greater scale. In some instances the
migration was a systematic movement that practically was
the advance of an army ; in other instances it was a grad-
ual extension of limits.

The migration of the Aryan race is an illustration of
systematic dispersion. From some part of Eurasia the
various families of this race wandered westward until they
occupied all Europe. From Europe, moving still westward,
they have subjugated the American continent, and even
now the advance guard is knocking at the doors of Asia,
after nearly completing the circuit of the world. There
can be but one explanation of such a wonderful dis]ier-
sion. It is the straggle for existence — the energy put forth
to appease the cravings of hunger.

Man's Relation to Physiography.— The influence of
man as a geographic agent is often overlooked and the
far-reaching consequences are seldom appreciated. These
effects may be classified as interference with the ordinary
course of natural events, in respect to tiie surface of the
land, with respect to climate, with reference to di'ainuge,
and in the dispersion of life.

The sui-face of the land has been niodifiod l)y man in
many ways. Of these the most important is the destruc-
tion of forestry. In both Europe and the United StatiiS


a very large part of the surface once forest-clad is now
bare. By various artifices, running streams have been
made to cover enormous surfaces with fluviatile deposits,
and by the same process immense volumes of soil have
been removed from one place to be transported to another
and more available locality.

Piers and sea-walls have been built in such places as to
extend shores to a considerable distance seaward. Thus,
nearly one-third the area of the Netherlands has been
reclaimed from the ocean ; Venice has become a city of
the mainland; and considerable areas of Chicago, New
York, Boston, and San Francisco are built upon land that
has been made by the industries of man.

The various highways, roads, railways, and canals, to-
gether with the levelling and filling that accompany the
growth of cities and towns, form a permanent record of
mankind. More than this even, is the surface covered by
the rubbish carted from cities and spread here and there.
It is estimated that the surface of Jerusalem has been
buried many feet by the accumulating rubbish. In places,
the city of Rome has been filled forty feet deep, and the
same result has obtained in the vicinity of other cities.

By the diversion of drainage, swamps have been changed
to dry land and their flora entirely replaced by other
species. By canals and ditches, lakes have been drained
and the lake basins given up to cultivation. By systems
of levees and jetties, river-basins have been limited in area,
and the area of sediment-depositing has been changed from
one place to another.

Perhaps the most important changes that have resulted
from the hand of man, however, are connected with the
dispersal of life. Through his agency various species
have been transported to all habitable parts of the earth ;
many species have become extinct, and the habits of still

MAN 349

others have been greatly changed. It requires only a
brief geological period until the interference of man shall
prove to be one of the most important of physiographic

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES.— Why will not the ordinary lawo
concerning the distribution of life apply to the dispersal of man ?

Make a list, as complete as you can, of the various races and families
now in the United States ; from what part of the world did each come ?

Name the advantages possessed by man over other species in over-
coming the restrictions imposed by his environment. In what ways
can he override such barriers as the sea, deserts, polar regions, and
regions not habitable by other species ?

How, and in what instances, has the discovery of gold affected the
migration and dispersal of man ?

Mention one or more instances in which this dispersal has been caused
by an enemy.


Shaler. — Nature and Man in North America.
Mill.— Realm of Nature, pp. 320-327.
Marsh.— The Earth as Modified by Human Action.
MiXDELEFF.— Migrations of the Cliff Dwellers— .Bw^-eaw of

Dexiker. — Races of Man, pp. 456-466.


' Man is the only animal that habitually walks erect— that is.
with the spinal column perpendicular to the plane of the feet.

' Healthy \uuix tissue, or that of the heart, tin- liver, the imisrle
are so closely alike in .structure that a section from one aniin.-il
serves perfectly as an illu.stration of the correspondint,' tissue cf


'The futility of even the most carefully mad.- ion is
apparent wlu-n one considers the various interbreedinu' and amal-
f,'amation of races. For instance, the Romaiiii- fandly enibracoH
the five peoples enumerated in the foregoing' table. Hut the


Romans were a mixture of Latins, Sabellians, and Etrurians, only
one element of which is known certainly to be of Aryan descent.
An infusion of Greek blood developed the fighting powers of the
mixed race, and led to the conquest of the greater part of Europe.
When the Western Empire had broken into fragments, the Latin
language was finally modified by the different races who had
adapted it, to Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. But
the Spanish were a mixture of Keltic and Iberian blood, the
French were of Keltic and Grallic stock, and the Portuguese of
Keltic, Gallic, and Ibei'ian descent. Now a certain amount of
Roman blood was intermixed with all these peoples, but in
hardly an instance is there physically a race characteristic among
them that is distinctively Roman. A similar mixture took place
in the case of the English people. Although popularly known
as Anglo-Saxons, the amalgamation is far more extensive ; it in-
cludes Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Danes, together with a general
mixture of Gothic blood. To this must also be added the infu-
sion of Latin blood tliat came with the Norman Conquest.

* The Caucasians, a people south of the Caucasus Mountains,
who are usually taken as the best type of the white races, belong
to this family,

^ Among the various races of Madagascar the Hovas are fore-
most, and in respect to intellectual development are not surpassed
by any other African peoples.

" In spite of the free use of red pigments which the Indians
were accustomed to use on their faces, a prevailing characteristic
of the race is the color of the skin, Avhich inclines to a copper-
red. This feature is not true of the Pacific-coast Indians, how-
ever, all of whom are distinguished by swarthy or black-brown
skins. The term "red men" is one that has been not wisely

' Among the pre-historie peoples of the continent none have
excited more interest than the mound-builders and the cliff-
dwellers. According to popular belief both were a distinct race
of people whom the Indians exterminated. As a matter of fact,
they were nothing more nor less than Indians. At the time of
the discovery of America by Columbus, some of the native Amer-
icans, the Aztecs for instance, were in early stages of civilization.
Most of them, however, were still in the stone age, and Avere
therefore in a state not higher than barbarism. Still others

MAX 351

were in an intermediate state, and these had begun to forsake
the wickiup or tepe for houses constructed upon architectural
principles. The tribes who had reached this develoi)UKMit were
responsible for mound-building. The Seneeas and Mohawks
had already begun to build the famous long houses ; the Shaw-
nees, Cherokees, and Delawares had not reached quite so high a
plane, and were still mound-builders. The clilf-dwellers were
emerging from barbarism and built their pueblos of selected
stone. For better protection they commonly built them on high
mesas, on cliflf-terraces, or even in caves. The Aztecs, to whom
the Zunis and Moquis are the nearest living approach, were on a
much higher plane and seem to have emerged from barbarism
at the time of the conquest of Mexico.

*" Some of the Abyssinians are certainly Semitic, but for the
greater part these are comprised in the nomadic Arabs who have
gradually extended their limits to a large part of Africa. The
earlier inhabitants are Aryans, however.

* The existence of pygmy tribes is mentioned by Herodotus,
Pomponius Mela, Aristotle and others, but as recently as thirty
years ago it was believed that the accounts of them were mythical.
In 1865 the famous African traveller, Paul Du Chaillu, dis-
covered the Obongo tribe, being the first one in modern times to
do so. His accounts were flatly contradicted in Euroi)e, but a
few years later they were confirmed by Pfere des Avani-hers, an
Abyssinian missionary. In 1871, another tribe, the Akka, were
discovered by Dr. Sehweinfurth.

'" It is by no means certain that man did not proce»le the
Glacial epoch. A skull found by Professor Whitn«'y among
Pliocene deposits and various other relics found among the
auriferous gravels of California, indicate a iimcli gnatcr ;l^o■ ili.iii
post-glacial exi.stence. As a matter of fact, the search for pre-
historic and fossil man has been neither extended nor .xystc'niatic.
Practically no investigations have been made among the .MitM-.'Me
deposits of Central and Southern AbIji, where of all pia»-e8 hvh-
tematic researches should \>e made.

" This piece is now in the British Muwuin. < >f its origin .-md
antiquity there is no doubt.

'^ The Tartars overran Russia, Turkey, and Iliii<histaii. 'J'hey
are among the most intelligent of the Turanic peopleB.


The main body of the United States extends from the
colder part of the Temperate Zone to the Torrid Zone,
the isotherm forming the northern boundary of the latter,
crossing the southern parts of Florida, Texas, and the
lower part of the basin of the Colorado Biver. This part of
the United States is divided naturally into physiographic

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Online LibraryJacques W. (Jacques Wardlaw) RedwayElementary physical geography : an outline of physiography → online text (page 23 of 25)