« AnteriorContinuar »
Seventh. Next in the order of the principle which we have been following, I think we should designate the territory bounded by the Ardennes, Vosges and Jura on the west, by the Alps and Western Carpathians on the south and southeast, and by the North Sea and the south coast of the Baltic on the north. On the east the line of nature fails. From the district about the present city of Cracow we must reach the Baltic, either upon the line of longitude, or that of shortest distance, or by the curvatures of the river Vistula, - all of which are artificial, from our standpoint. The line of shortest distance measures about three hundred miles. Here, then, is a very great defect in boundary. Here is the broad and open way from the far east into the middle and north of Europe. Moreover, the demarcation of this territory is not perfect upon the west. From the northern extremity of the Ardennes to the North Sea is only a surveyor's line, or, at best, only the line of a narrow river (the Meuse). This territory is therefore exposed, both upon the east and the west; and what nature has withheld from it must be made good by art. Its configuration is not bad. It is almost a square; lying between 6° and 19° east longitude, and 46° and 54° north latitude, and having a superficial area of about 300,000 square miles. Its topography is not inharmonious, though presenting much variety.
Eighth. The territory bounded on the north, northwest and northeast by the Noric Alps and the Carpathians, on the east by the Black Sea, on the south by the Balkans, and on the south and southwest by the Carnic and Dinaric Alps, forms a fair geographical unity. It is the valley of the Danube, from the point where this greatest of European rivers breaks through the mountain gate, just above Vienna, to its mouth. Its configuration is rather irregular. It lies, for the most part, between longitudes 12° and 27° east and latitudes 42° and 49° north, and measures in square miles about 280,000. It has several very serious defects in natural boundary. The first and chiefest is on the east, where the Carpathians, after approaching to within one hundred and fifty miles of the Black Sea, suddenly swing around to the west, forming an acute angle about the district of the present city of Kronstadt, and run for one hundred and fifty miles almost due west, then, turning southerly, cross the Danube, forming the celebrated Iron Gate, and, trending southeastward again, reach almost to the Balkans. In fact, this part of the boundary is so very faulty that it appears to me possibly more scientific to exclude the district south and east of the lower Carpathians from this territory, and connect it with the ninth division. In the southwest, between the Dinaric Alps and the western end of the Balkans, is an open way; also in the northwest, between the Noric Alps and the western Carpathians. On the other hand,'the topography is more uniform than that of any of the divisions before described.
1 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. VIII, Plate 9. 2 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, pp. 23, 58, 117, 378, 440, 521.
Ninth, and lastly. The territory bounded on the southwest by the Carpathians, on the west by the Baltic Sea, on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the Obdorsk and Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea, and on the south by the mountains of the Caucasus and the Black Sea, has some of the qualities of a geographical unity, connected with several serious defects. In configuration it is a parallelogram not much removed from the square. It lies, for the most part, between longitudes 22° and 60° east, and latitudes 45° and and 70° north,having a superficial area of more than 2,000,000 square miles. Its topography is not only uniform, but positively monotonous. Its natural boundaries, however, break down upon almost every side; in the west, as against both
divisions six and seven; in the southwest, against division eight, – unless, as I have before suggested, the valley of the Danube below the Iron Gate be connected with this division, which would then make its southwestern boundary the southern Carpathians and the Balkans. This is, however, a greatly mooted question, and one pregnant with great political results. If we look exclusively to the reasons of physical geography, however, I cannot see why it would not be the more scientific disposition. It seems to me that ethnological and political considerations have been allowed to warp the judgments of many of the geographers in regard to this point. Another most serious defect is upon the eastern boundary, where, for six hundred miles, nothing but the Ural River separates this territory from the continent of Asia.
Although the continent of North America is between three and four times as large as all Europe, yet we do not find here the geographic variety which exists there. Regarding only natural geographic boundaries, we can hardly make out more than three geographic unities, viz; the territory lying between the Appalachian range and the Atlantic seaboard; that bounded by the Appalachian range and the North Atlantic on the east, the Arctic Sea on the north, the Gulf of Mexico on the south, and the Rocky Mountains on the west and southwest ; and that lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It will be seen at a glance that the physical features of North America differ wholly from those of Europe in one respect, vis; the great mountain ranges of North America cut the territory always longitudinally. Consequently we are referred to climatic differences here, in higher degree than in Europe, for national boundaries. Taking into account these climatic differences, we can enumerate six tolerably well defined territorial unities. The first is the tableland lying between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, stretching obliquely across the parallels of longitude from 82° to 115° west, and the parallels of latitude from 10° to 30° north, and measuring in superficial area about 875,000 square miles. The second is the territory lying between the Appalachian range and the Atlantic coast, stretching obliquely across the longitudinal lines from 60° to 85° west, and the lines of latitude from 25° to about 50° north,; and measur ing in superficial area about 400,000 square miles. The third is the region lying between the 30th and 50th degrees of north latitude, bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, stretching obliquely across longitudes 110° to 125° west, and having a superficial area of about 865,000 square miles. The fourth is the continuation of the same region toward the north, between the same eastern and western boundaries, and stretching obliquely across the lines of longitude from 110° to 165° west, and the lines of latitude from 50° to 70° north. The area of this territory must be something like 800,000 square miles. The fifth is the vast basin of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, bounded by the Appalachian Mountains on the east; by the Rocky Mountains on the west ; by the Gulf of Mexico on the south; and on the north by the Great Lakes, and, west of these, by the water-shed between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and the Saskatchewan, Lake Winnipeg, and Lake Superior. It lies, for the most part, between latitudes 29° and 48° north, and between longitudes 75° to 110° west at the northern boundary; at the south the territory narrows, lying between 850 and 100° west.' It has a superficial area of nearly 1,750,000 square miles. The sixth and last territorial unity is the almost immeasurable region lying north of the fifth division and east of the Rocky Mountains, between latitudes 49° and 80° north, and longitudes 60° and 1159 to 140° west. Its area can be stated only approximately at about 3,000,000 square miles.?
1 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, Plate 10. 2 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, pp. 620, 628, 637, 645, 651, 669. 3 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, Plate 10. 4 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, pp. 593, 691. 6 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, Plate 10. 6 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, pp. 593, 691. 7 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, p. 10. 8 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, pp. 593, 691. 9 Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, Plate 10.
Let us next examine if the ethnographical lines coincide with the boundaries of these geographical unities. Beginning with Europe, we find that the first of its physical divisions is inhabited by three ethnically distinct populations, viz; Spaniards, Portuguese, and Basques, in about the proportion of 17,000,000, 5,000,000, and 450,000.3 These three populations occupy different parts of this territorial division. The first spreads over the main body of it. The second occupies a narrow strip upon the western coast, and the third inhabits a small area upon the northern boundary about midway between its extremities. There are, moreover, about 60,000 Morescoes scattered over the southern half of this territory, and some 50,000 gypsies rove through it. In the west some 3000 or 4000 negroes are to be found. Of the three chief varieties, only the third is an original race. The first is an amalgamation of Iberians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Alani, Suevi, Vandals, Moors, Arabs and Jews; 4 and the second of Romans, Suevi and Moors, influenced later by Jewish and French elements, 5
We find the second of our geographic unities inhabited by two well defined ethnical varieties, viz; the English and the
1 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, p. 691 ff.
2 Statesman's Yearbook, 1889, p. 593; Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. I, Plate 10.
Spruner-Menke, Handatlas für die Geschichte, No. 13. Statesman's Year. book, 1889, pp. 395, 477.
4 Andree, Geographisches Handbuch, S. 644. 5 Ibid. S. 637