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Parallelism of

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stand and get along with one another. It is well to remember with Thomas:

"Human nature, the external world and the fundamental needs of life are everywhere much alike and . . . there is, roughly velopment speaking, a parallelism of development in all groups, or a tendency in every group which advances at all, to take the same steps as those taken by other groups. Such phenomena as spirit belief and accompanying ecclesiastical institutions, a maternal system preceding patriarchal control, ecclesiastical and political despotism preceding democracy, and artistic, inventive, and mythical products of the same general ground pattern show a general law of uniformity in progress.

Arabia as an Area of Uniform Characterization

"The fact of a common possession of language, myth, religion, number, time and space conceptions, political and legal organization, under conditions where the possibility of borrowing is precluded, indicates that the same general type of mind is a possession of all races both high and low."

The first discernible process that looks to the merging of men into a larger society is preliminary or extra-social assimilation.


How groups subject to the same geographic influences are made ready to enter into social relations when circumstances are favorable, may be illustrated from Southwestern Asia. Here is an immense expanse where mountain ranges, the chief separators of peoples, are wanting. Says Hogarth:

"A certain degree of similarity in human character and an even greater similarity in language prevails over an immense area where races of most various origin have all been assimilated more or less by the one which occupies the healthy crown of the land, the Arabian of Nejd.

"Differences there are many and obvious among this widespread people, differences due to the local circumstances of their habitation, whether steppe or desert, whether in the neighborhood of an oasis or in an oasis itself; differences due to the elevation of one district compared with another, to latitude, or to exposure to particular climatic influences; differences due to the proximity or distance of a non-Arabised section of the mountainous fringe, or to communications with the civilization of 4 American Journal of Sociology, Vol. X, p. 450.

Persia or India or Egypt or Europe; and finally differences of less moment due to race. But through all persists the uniformity of that desert life which is the same to-day as when the Beni Israel were wandering in a corner of this wilderness." "

"Bedouins may be, and are, of many racial families, but the uniformity of physical conditions over all this area and the absence of the strongest natural influences of separation, cause their life to be organized on such similar lines that they have all come to take something of a common national character. from the most vigorous, because best circumstanced, of their kind: Hamite in the Southwest, Mongol in the North, Iranian in the Southeast, all have been Arabised by the Semites of the center. Of all the fertile tracts of the Fringe, only the mountain system of the Mediterranean littoral . . . has been able altogether to withstand Arabisation, and that in virtue of its abrupt relief, its high fertility and its intimate connection with East Europe and Anatolia."

The significance of common environment appears when we realize that the clans which fused into the people of Israel probably had no common ancestor but were prepared by the shaping influence of their desert life and by the diffusion of certain culture elements among them all to act together when the time came. Jehovah was originally not the god of the clans but the god of the Kenites. Moses bound all the tribes to Jehovah's service.

Identity of environment later made possible among the Arab tribes the diffusion of Mahomet's religion, which in turn paved the way for the unification under the caliphs of Bagdad and the formation and spread of a truly Arab civilization.

Other important areas of uniform characterization are the interior of Australia, the South African plateau, the Central African jungle, the basin of the Amazon, the Andean highlands of South America, the steppes of Western Asia and the great Russian plain.


A certain mode of life was forced upon the Indian tribes of the prairies which subsisted by the chase of the buffalo. The **A Wandering Scholar in the Levant," p. 255.

• Ibid., p. 256.


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Eskimos of the Arctic tundra are brought into one plane of practice by the dictate of their common geographical environment. The Asiatic nomads are so deeply stamped by the steppe which ment May they wander over that from time to time leaders have arisen among them who have united them in attacking the adjacent settled peoples. Such leaders were Attila, Ghenghis Khan, Kublai Khan, and Tamerlane.



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as a Social Bond

Those subject to the same geographic environment may find union impossible because they are at different economic stages.. Rarely can hunters combine with herdmen or herdmen with agriculturists. Their manners of life and economic interests no more blend than oil and water. The endless strife between Bedouins and sedentary Arabs, between prairie Indians and forest Indians, between Scottish Highlanders and Lowlanders is proverbial. The cattle-raising Hottentots of South Africa are never on good terms with their neighbors, the hunting Bushmen, altho they are one in blood and land. Compare the friendliness of the American Indian toward the trapper with his hostility toward the settler, whose manner of life he did not understand or believe in. In civilized life there is latent feud between country dwellers and city dwellers. It has been shown, for example, that in the vote on the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the townsmen were for it and the farmers against it.


Mere identity of origin counts for little in preparing groups for unity. The question is, what have they in common? The sense of community whether of belief, of taste or of feeling and the feeling may be either affection or aversion toward persons or things-begets sympathy and draws men together. To the same class belong recognition of a common ancestry, the use of a common speech, the prizing of a common literature.

Religion, "as it touches the deepest chords of man's nature, is capable of educing the maximum of harmony or discord. No force has been more efficient in knitting factions and states together, or in breaking them up and setting the parts of a state in fierce antagonism to one another. Religion held together the Eastern Empire, originally a congeries of diverse races.

for 800 years. Religion now holds together the Turkish Empire. Religion split up the Romano-Germanic Empire after

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the time of Charles the Fifth." The independent tribes of the Sahara are knit together by the religious confraternities which count their fanatical adherents in all the tribes from one end of the desert to the other. Such a confraternity is known as caouaia. Its members are khouan or brothers. Its chief is khalif or mahdi. Since the sole bond among the tribes has been mmunity of religious sentiment, which is especially developed among pastoralists, it is religious sentiment which has become protector of the commercial caravans traversing the desert in the face of hostile tribes. Seeing the profits of trade have assured ample resources, the religious confraternities patronizing commerce have developed rapidly and have accumulated great riches. Similarly in the Middle Ages commerce for awhile found safety under the wing of the religious orders. The little local seignorial powers provided trade no adequate and general protection. But an order with members everywhere-like the Knights Templar -could and did protect commerce, engaged in trading on its own account and presently amassed enormous wealth.




tion of

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The warrant for regarding the Homeric poems as "the Bible of the Greeks," as has so often been said, is that in these poems utterance was given to ideas about the gods which broke through the limitations of local and tribal worship and held forth to all Greeks a certain common stock of religious ideas and motives. In Homeric Greece along with survivals of the old narrow ral sentiment showing itself in inter-tribal booty raids, in racy and in the desire to compete with strangers and beat them, aars a broadening factor. Green receptivity of mind and Friendship eagerness for advance undermined kin-group feelings and worked ward mingling and nationalization. "Toward this end," says Keller, "one of the chief contributors is a body of traditions nnected with strangers, suppliants, guests and guest-friends. Since the stranger became at once a guest and since the guest was forever afterward a guest-friend, this body of ideas and practices is appropriately called guest-friendship.'


Gaul before the Roman conquest was not a national body. habitants were not all of the same origin nor had they all setted in the country at the same time. They did not speak the same language nor were they under the same laws. One could Hryce, "Studies in History and Jurisprudence," Vol. I, p. 266. Homeric Society," p. 299.

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The Unity of Orient, as of

Occident, a Matter

of Community of Culture

count eighty states in what is now France. Yet, altho without unity, they had a certain fitness for union in consequence of the diffusion among them of Druidism.

Driven out by the Roman conquerors, the Druid priests filed in great numbers over the Rhine and took asylum with the independent Germans. Here, spreading their superstitious ideas, they developed a priest caste which wrested control of the Unseen from the old women and made itself a secular power. They gained the upper hand in the popular assemblies which had always been associated with religious festivals. They established a truce of God, developed spiritual penalties for crime and secular penalties for disobedience to the priests. They wrested from the chiefs the death penalty and even ventured to set aside kings who appeared to have incurred the displeasure of the gods. Perhaps the Germans would have been united under a theocracy if Christianity had not come in at the critical moment.

Vast importance attaches to the labors of the Christian missionaries who, between the fourth century and the tenth, Christianized the peoples of Central and Northern Europe and thereby paved the way for that unity known as "Christendom." At the other extremity of the world the elements of the Chinese culture were soaking thru populations in no sense incorporated into Chinese society. This culture, worked out first in the valley of the Wei and then in Shantung, has mastered not only the Far East and India, but has profoundly influenced all the races inhabiting Asia. The unity of the Orient is, in fact, not a matter of organization but a matter of culture, as is also the unity of the Occident.

We see, then, that again and again culture spreads among tribes and peoples which are in no relation whatever to one another and makes them willing to enter into relations, or work together, when the need comes. Thanks to the unprecedented facilities of intercourse and communication we are in the midst of an epoch of immense diffusion which cannot but smooth the way toward some kind of social synthesis of humanity.

The goal of this development - a goal which we approach but never quite attain is the suppression of distance. As we approach it, human groupings are transformed in type. They are

• See Seeck, "Geschichte des Untergangs der Antiken Welt," Vol. I, pp. 223-4.

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