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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/316

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of stunted growth. These physical peculiarities are not mere mythopœic whimseys and creations of the fancy, but correspond to real facts in the primitive history of the race, and point to the class of persons who were the earliest promoters of the arts.

The supersession of tribal by territorial sovereignty, although radical and permanent, was gradual and scarcely perceptible in its character, and did not begin to express itself in language till many centuries after the change had been fully accomplished. Mediæval and modern history furnish numerous illustrations of this process of social evolution and the manner of its operation. As Mr. Maine has remarked, there had been kings of England and of France long before John the Landless and Henry IV assumed respectively these official titles; although their predecessors had always been styled kings of the English and of the French. The Czar, who, while bearing sway as a territorial sovereign, preserves more than any other European ruler the peculiarities of a tribal chieftain, still calls himself Samodérshez, or Autocrat of all the Russias, and it was perfectly in keeping with the character and career of Napoleon I, as a condottiere on a colossal scale, that he took the title of "Emperor of the French." His interest was centered wholly in the army, which he loved and fostered in the same spirit that Tamerlane cherished his Mongolian hordes and Fra Diavolo his band of brigands. The King of Prussia bears the title of "German Emperor" (Deutscher Kaiser), not Emperor of Germany, since the latter would be inconsistent with the political existence and integrity of the other German states and a manifest usurpation of the rights and prerogatives (Hoheitsrechte) of the confederated princes and potentates. His imperial sovereignty is, therefore, essentially tribal; he is, so to speak, the chief of the German confederated monarchs, and exercises territorial sovereignty only as King of Prussia. There has been a long succession of Roman-German and German emperors, but never an Emperor of Germany.

A nomadic people, wandering from place to place, is not associated in any sense with the soil; the tribe remains the same, but not the territory it occupies. With the beginning of agriculture and sedentariness this relation is reversed. The conception of a nation, nowadays, implies fixed or at least well-defined geographical boundaries. Changes may take place in the character of the inhabitants and in the constitution of the government as the result of emigration and revolution; individuals and families may disappear and be superseded by others of a different stock, but the nation remains, as it were, adscripta glebæ within certain territorial limits and is not destroyed by any admixture of foreign with native elements in the population. Mr. Maine states this point very clearly and concisely when he says: "England was