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well maintained in the field of municipal statistics. Statistical tables, and graphic charts of many varieties served to show what an immense field is embraced. It would be difficult to find a single municipal department not represented by statistics. The department of vital statistics is careful, accurate, and complete; but this is only one of many departments equally well treated. A great many of the exhibits in this section have already been referred to, and, indeed, a complete discussion of the section would carry us again over the same path we have just traversed, for there is little which is not at least suggested by the statistics. One noteworthy record was that presented by Strassburg for the years 1541-1901. The only deficiencies are the years 1694–1727, and three or four single years. The ravages of bubonic plague, of war; the decrease in deaths since 1855 (with the exception of 1870!); the marked preponderance of births over deaths since 1872, following the very low birth-rate in: 1871; the gradual decrease of both birth-rate and death-rate since 1874, with the death-rate decreasing rather more rapidly — all this was shown by one large graphic chart. The less showy charts were, however, as full of interest and meaning, and attested to the thoroughness of the methods and to the advantages of well-conducted statistical departments.
HOWARD WOODHEAD. BERLIN, GERMANY.
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY. X.
PART III. GENERAL STRUCTURE OF SOCIETIES.
THE SOCIAL FRONTIERS.
BELIEFS, PRACTICES, AND INSTITUTIONS RELATING TO THE SOCIAL
LIMITS AMONG PRIMITIVE PEOPLES.
It may be remarked that, in general, living beings of inferior
IT types occupy much more space, relative to the quantity and quality of living matter which they contain, than those of higher types. Large space, relative to the total number of composing units, is necessary to them. These primitive groups, both animal and human, are not small; they are limited particularly as to the number of units composing them, while, on the contrary, they are territorially extended; in a word, they lack density.
We have seen what are the laws of geographic distribution of flora and fauna, laws referring to species and varieties. Schmoller, the learned economist, in a curious passage of his Social Politics las observed the phenomena, not only in their general aspect, but also in the existence of groups among animals :
The bears and other carnivorous animals have some districts reserved for their feeding ground and punish the intruders upon it. If animals themselves put order above animal force, you are certainly in error when you consider the violation of that order, the violence in itself, as the reason for the primitive epochs of humanity.
I doubt that the bears, of which the eminent economist speaks, have such a conception of order. We have seen that the kingfauna, are naturally limited without the intervention of a conscious will and an intelligence capable of raising itself through generalization and abstraction to a conception of the order of these limitations. Here, as always, the act precedes the idea, and in opposing any incursion upon the territory, necessary for the sustenance of his group, and of himself, the bear is unconsciously made the executor of the law which obliges it to defend its hunting grounds. The habitat of a species, limited in a general way by the physical conditions, as regards the structure of that species, is the point of view more adapted to the existence in the group than to existence outside of it, through the necessity of economic existence. This accounts for the conflict in case of the invasion of the habitat by individuals of the same or of a different species, and also the co-operation against invaders.
Suppose now, in the place of bears, some beings more or less capable of generalizing and abstracting, the same events will arouse in these the idea of right. The conflict with an exterior enemy and relations within the group will be the two forces initiative of right, the one negative, the other positive, but both in reality positive. Schmoller contrasted the right of the bears with the violence of the invaders, but if the bear has a conception of social order, what permits us to suppose that his aggressor does not have another as legitimate and perhaps even identical? Schmoller has, in his example, like a great number of his predecessors, interpreted the problem into a metaphysical idea of law, and not into an economical or sociological idea.
It is well to proceed with more prudence, and not introduce in the explanation of the primitive periods of humanity notions and conceptions peculiar to higher states of development, and which too often are beyond the artificial products of certain particular elaborations, with no or too little correspondence to the contemporary thought and practice. Let us examine the facts more closely.
Among the Fuegians,” according to Herbert Spencer, " the quantity of nourishment which an unfavorable habitat furnishes, does not permit more than twenty individuals to live in the same place.” One sees perfectly here, among one of the most rudimentary peoples, the intimate relation existing between extent of occupied territory, the quantity of available nourishment, and the numerical size of the social group.
One observes at the first in this example of a population organized in the most simple manner that the fundamental phenomenon, the first sociological phenomenon, to which the combination among peoples with a certain extent of territory gives birth, is a phenomenon of economic character — the limitation of the population by subsistence.
At the same time, one discovers the law of social frontiers. These frontiers are in correlation with the organic composition of the social group, and especially with the economic elements which enter into that combination; such is the general condition of the limitation of the group internally, besides the constant, necessary equilibrium with the external forces, sometimes social, sometimes purely physical, as is shown by the following example:
Among the Andamenes,” according to the same sociologist, “hemmed in between a straight line of seacoast, and impenetrable forests, forty is the number of individuals who can secure for themselves a living without going too far from home." This is done by a population almost all hunters.
Among the Bushmen, wandering over arid regions, only small hordes can exist, and the families are sometimes forced to separate because the same place does not give subsistence to all.
Let us now take peoples equally primitive, but living in more favorable places. According to Wallace, the rhizomes of the Colocaria esculenta can support fifty-eight persons per hectara (requiring the work of only three persons). According to Humboldt, the product of the banana tree is to that of wheat as 133:1, and to that of potatoes as 44:1. The colocaria and the banana tree permit then, all other conditions being equal, the formation of a very dense population, whence result some internal molecular movements, more numerous and more active, and, at the same time, more energetic and more extended molar action and reactions, reacting to exterior social or sometimes purely physical forces. Wallace indicates further that the faculabearing stepe of the sago tree, which is sometimes twenty feet long and four or five feet in circumference, can be converted into nourishment by five days' work of two men and two women and which furnishes enough food for one man during a year, or for the four workers at least three months. If certain populations under these favorable conditions do not become more dense it is because of the intervention of other factors, either social or physical; for example, the tendency to idleness or their geographical isolation. In general, the inferior social groups —
· Malay Archipelago, Vol. I, p. 303. ? Ibid., Vol. II, p. 68.
Bushmen, Fuegians, Andamenes, etc., etc.—are little extended, and their density is small relative to their territory. In the case of hunting peoples, living upon a barren soil, with a scarcity of game, the extent of the territory necessary for the group will necessarily be greater relative to the population than that which is necessary to a population occupying territory where the game is abundant. At least in the latter the population will be more numerous relative to the size of the territory. Take, then, a group in contact with another group which lives in less favorable conditions; the stronger will naturally tend to drive out, or to domineer over, the weaker, especially if the stronger possess, at a given moment, a surplus of population. However, other factors equally social may, under certain circumstances, incline the balance in favor of the group numerically less dense and economically less developed. This is what happens, for example, among certain primitive peoples, where the natural fertility of the soil has created idleness and indolence, and even in highly developed civilization where there is great social inequality and where, as a result, the social bond is very weak. Here again
Here again and the
historical examples are abundant as well in antiquity as in modern times we see that the capacity for the extension of a group depends upon its composition and its intimate organization in connection with the exterior groups. The economic factor remains none the less the essential social factor of this equilibration.
Thus, as we come to see it the limit of each social group, at least primitive groups, is a function of population of the habitat, on the one hand, and, in a general way, of the economic conditions which from the very first result from the combination of population and habitat; and, on the other hand, of the milieu exterior, to the milieu of the group itself, both physical and social. It goes without saying that between two groups, the social intercourse, conflicts, or differences are the most intense in the frontier regions. There are the sensitive points of each group, in those parts which form the connection with the outside world; there attention is centered continually; there the force of the group is directed for attack, for defense, for protection,