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units grouped together is first of all a constant function of the habitat, of food, of social resistances, or simply physical surroundings. According to Appius, generally several families occupy a single hut, and each tribe is composed of from six to ten huts. In Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco a very careful observer, L. Piesse, said that the tribe varies from five hundred to four thousand. He adds this interesting fact, which explains the existence of their régime, that the number of its members is always less than the number which the territory can support, without explaining whether the tribe is less than the resources actually existing, or than the possible resources if the territory was better exploited. In the latter case, the phenomena would scarcely be different from the condition of all human society. In reality, the possible population of a tribe is determined only as a function of other conditions, some general, others special; in a word, of all sociological influences. A fixed number is not conceivable. From a simple horde may come only a band of individuals, or there may come an innumerable host.

In any group the frontier lands are the most exposed to incursions and devastations, and naturally, they are the least sought for. Those who go there are either the venturesome frontiersmen or military forces charged at the same time with the colonization or with the protection of the colonies. These, on account of their situation, are likely to be waste places, deserts. In reality, if natural limits exist, the desert is the most efficacious. The desert represents essentially the negative function of frontiers, and yet it is equally positive as the defense and protection of the group in the interior. These lands are, in all cases, the least settled, and they are peopled by the most violent and vigorous individuals. “The Suevians and the Germans,

'" said Cæsar, “gloried in this that for a considerable distance from their territory the lands remained deserted.'

Among peoples living upon the natural products of the territory property is held in common. In the case of the Fuegians, who are among the least developed peoples, the horde is nomadic, but it claims as its property a certain territory for hunting and

Gallic War, Book IV, 2; Book VI, 21.


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fishing. This territory, the beginning of a fatherland, is relatively large, but the hordes are separated from each other by wide neutral strips and deserts, quite analogous to what were called marshes in ancient Germany. We shall devote a special chapter to the rôle and historic significance of marshes. They are of the utmost importance because of the light they throw upon the theory of frontiers. Darwin represents these people as constantly hungry, feeding upon rotten whales. The different tribes have neither government nor chief. Each of them is surrounded by other hostile tribes speaking different dialects. These tribes are separated from each other by neutral territory which is absolutely deserted. The principal cause of their continual wars seems to have been the difficulty which they experienced in procuring food. In order to procure it they were forced to wander from place to place within the limits of their respective territories, and, as any hunter is tempted sometimes to poach, so they made incursions upon neighboring territory, passed beyond the limits of their own group; and hence hostilities arose, which, however, the deserted spaces between the different tribes tended to lessen by making the incursions more difficult. These tribes lived in the most lamentable condition. They had, however, previously lived in habits quite favored by nature. What led them to live in these less favored conditions? Darwin proposes an answer, and his observation is confirmed by Letourneau as well as by Herbert Spencer:?



What has forced a tribe of men to leave the more favored regions of the north, to follow the Cordilleras southward, to invent and build boats which neither the tribes of Chili, nor of Peru, nor of Brazil have done,' and at last to come to inhabit one of the most inhospitable countries of the world? There is no reason to believe that the number of the Fuegians decreased. We must then suppose that they enjoyed a certain amount of happiness and whatever this happiness may have been, it was enough so that they clung to life.

• Darwin, The Travels of a Naturalist, Vol. I, pp. 232 f.
* Political Evolution, p. 29.
' Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, pp. 27 f. (French translation).

8 Observe that for three hundred years and more the Fuegian canoes have not changed, as is shown by comparing those used in their first voyages with those used in their most recent ones.

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Nature, by rendering habit all-powerful and the effects hereditary, has adapted the Fuegians to the climate and productions of their miserable country. They have been forced to migrate toward territory of an inferior quality, either because of the invasion of the primitive habitats or by an excess of population among themselves. Now, they have located in new territory where separating boundaries have been established between the tribes, and it is quite evident that these limits have been the result both of the new home of the people and of the subsistence necessary for each several group; at least these are the most general factors, which other more special ones may either reinforce or partly nullify. It is perfectly clear in all these cases that the Fuegians are in a static condition very real as well as inferior; they are at one with their habitat, climate, and food. All these conditions together limit the possible extension of the group, and therefore play a part in determining its boundaries.

According to Dampiero and Bonwick 10 the Tasmanians consisted of small groups of twenty or thirty persons — men, , women, and children — living as savages. These groups had totems and well-defined hunting grounds, the violation of which entailed hostilities. In times of war they chose a chief, but in times of peace they lived in perfect equality and under a sort of communism. The only authority seemed to be that of the old men.

These distributed the food to the members of the group. A more developed group, the Tartars, in general nomadic, have got beyond this state of equality and homogeneity. Their political organization is that of a petty monarchy, patriarchal and despotic, with castes of nobility on the one hand, and slaves on the other. However, their nomadic life does not prevent them from having kingdoms with definite boundaries which the individual cannot easily cross.11 In the hunting state as well as in the pastoral state — that is,

among the least sedentary types — we find reciprocally determined boundaries, limiting the group and protecting it from another. Where, as among the Tartars, differentiation of castes or classes renders the interior organization more complex, there we see also limits or barriers between these castes and classes, just as is found between the different social strata in the most highly developed society, even those that tend strongly toward democracy. Why? Because it is impossible even to conceive of organization without limitation. This is the fundamental characteristic of every organized function.

Universal History of Travel, Vol. XVII, p. 393. 10 The Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians.

11 Huc, Travels among the Tartars, Vol. I, p. 271; PREJAVALSKY, Mongolia, Vol. I, p. 87.

Whoever says organization or institution says structure; whoever says structure says form and limit.

The internal organization of a society is correlative to its general structure, which corresponds to its surroundings. There is necessarily a transformation of group frontiers when there is a change in their interior system, this latter being a molecular change within the group, and the former being a molar change of the group, a change among groups, as masses or aggregates. It matters little whether these changes be hostile or peaceful, there will be some exchanges between parts of the group or between the groups, some manifestations of social life. The method alone may differ, the law remains the same.

In all these societies, barbarous or civilized, peaceful or warlike, contemporaneous or ancient, hunters or herdsmen, agricultural, commercial, or industrial, we find a common fundamental structure, in spite of the fact that there are all possible variations of it. Every society, large or small, nomadic or settled, has an exterior limit. In fact, it has many of them; that is, a given society has different limits according to its different internal and external functions. Unfortunately, up to this time political theorists have been struck only by the exterior limit that was most apparent and by the governmental limit. These political limits certainly are frontiers, but we shall see that they are continually modified under the influence of most profound factors which harass and displace them, tending either to restrict or to extend them. Military needs and preoccupations have been so dominant up to this time that when there arises a question of boundaries, this word provokes by association the idea of a restrictive and prohibitive limitation, whereas limit or frontier in the social sense is especially a seat of general and special sensibility, an organ indispensable to the life of adjustment, the very condition of individualism, whether of persons or of groups. Social consciousness can be expressed only by the co-ordination of all the members of the group, and this co-ordination is realizable only through the limitation of the members of the group among themselves and in their reaction to their surroundings. Even peaceful societies have limits, territorial and otherwise, determined by the extent of their needs; and to some extent corresponding to their activity. Furthermore, these limits are partly determined by the presence of neighboring groups. But if there had been only a single human group, it would still have had its interior and its exterior limits. The highest groupconsciousness presupposes the highest co-ordination of the most numerous differences, and as a result the existence of an infinite number of limits between groups. Witness our most developed societies, where increasing division of function goes on parallel with the increase in organs, collective and individual, by which these functions are exercised and their activity as a system is regulated.

In peaceful societies, favorable conditions, resulting either from the abundance of food resources, or from analogous conditions in neighboring tribes, or from the simultaneous existence of these advantageous conditions in all the neighboring groups, tend to maintain the reciprocal stability of the groups, and therefore also that of the existing boundaries. Under these conditions boundaries tend to remain fixed. In reality, although they are not displaced, they tend toward a transformation even more radical, in this sense that their military function essentially negative and in general accessory, tends to be more and more subordinated to the positive function already indicated, and which serves the inter-group life. However great may be the intercourse between groups, it will nevertheless be limited. To conceive of the progressive evolution of these inter-group relations as parallel with the diminution of the individual groups is an illusion; the contrary is true. The development of lines of railroad does not at all mean the decrease of the intermediate

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