Full text: papers communicated to the first International Eugenics Congress held at the University of London, July 24th to 30th, 1912

228Section III.V. L. Kellogg. 
deny the results that might be expected in certain of the northern departments 
as compared with each other, his figures tell a different story for North Italy 
as a whole. There a quantitative race-deterioration in certain critical 
periods is demonstrable. 
In Saxony there are plain figures to show the increase in necessary 
military exemptions in the classes of certain years following, by 20 years’ 
periods of serious war. And also, if less plainly, in Prussia. The 
evidence regarding the results of the short but severe Franco-Prussian War 
of 1870-71 is going to be, when worked out in detail, of much interest. 
In France the results seem to be plain as to an increase in the classes of 
1891-92 of exemptions for undersize but not for infirmities. However, the 
whole subject is very complex. The possible race-modifying results of 
variations in crop conditions and general prosperity, in industrial changes 
and in emigration, etc., have to be kept ever in the investigator’s mind. 
As also the apparent possibility always of an actual racial advantage from 
the selective influence of a short, swift war which may serve to go no 
further in its destructiveness than to weed out the weaker from the armies 
and to return fairly intact the stronger after only a short absence from 
home. But I have one other and final aspect of the dysgenic influence of war 
to touch, which if I am to get to at all within my time I must take up at 
once. It is an aspect that has especially attracted my interest recently, and 
which does not seem to have been much emphasized heretofore. It is the 
relation of war to human disease, and particularly to a special type of 
disease, whose results are, above all else, directly race-deteriorating in effect. 
I do not mean to say that the special danger from disease to men in military 
service has been overlooked by students of public hygiene or by the advocates 
of peace. I mean that no particular stress seems to have been put so far 
on the immediately race-degenerating influence of some of this disease. But 
first a few words as to the correlation of military service and disease in 
general. In times of war disease has always reaped a far greater harvest of 
deaths and permanent bodily breakdown in the army than have the bullets 
and bayonets of battle. The twenty per cent, of mortality by gun fire in 
such bloody affairs as Austerlitz and Wagram, Moscow, Liitzen, Magenta, 
Solferino, and Waterloo was increased by disease in the same campaigns 
to the appalling proportion of 60 and even to 70 per cent. In the terrible 
20-year stretch of the Napoleonic campaigns the British Army had an 
average annual ratio of mortality from all causes of 56.21 per 1,000 men; 
the mortality from disease was 49.61 per 1,000, leaving the direct losses 
from gunfire to be only 7.60 per 1,000. The British losses in the Crimea 
in 21 years were 3 per cent, by gunfire and 20 per cent, by disease. 
And this is the story of war from the earliest days even up to the very 
present. Fortunately, there has been a fairly steady decline in the relative
        

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.