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

240Section III.Whetham. 
The classification of the population of Europe has been a long and 
chequered undertaking. When the science of ethnology was in its earlier 
stages, it was difficult to discover what factor could be taken as a criterion 
of racial similarity and community of origin. Not unnaturally, many 
of the first workers took language, which presents at once radical differences 
and striking resemblances, as the specialized character from which to 
deduce descent and relationship. But language did not prove a safe 
guide, for people have taken over the speech both of conquered and 
conquerors. Ultimately, physical characters, such as height, colouring, 
quality of hair, and the shape of the skull, considered as far as possible 
altogether, have proved the surest and most consistent guide in deter­ 
mining the racial elements involved. If modern sociologists are insisting 
also on a fundamental variation of mental qualities, it is important to 
remember that the size and shape of the skull, which is connected with 
the form and development of the brain, are some of the most marked 
characteristics by which races may be distinguished. 
The physical characters of the population of Europe have been shown 
to indicate three principal races. There is a race which, on account of 
its chief habitat around the inland sea, is known as the Mediterranean race 
—short of stature, dark of complexion and hair, long skulled, vivacious, 
gregarious, and, one may perhaps add, at once restless and easy going— 
the typical Italian, Provençal and Spanish peasant of romance and history. 
This Mediterranean race has pushed up the coast line of the Atlantic 
Ocean, following the track of the moist sea-wind, and has made its way 
through Spain and France into Great Britain and Ireland. In places it 
remains in a fairly pure condition and has long been recognized under 
the name of “ Iberian ” in Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and parts of the 
West of Scotland. No doubt, it form9 the oldest stratum of the population 
now clearly discernible in France and the British Isles, though its identi­ 
fication throughout the whole area is not always possible. 
The second race is known as the Alpine or Armenoid, and in colouring 
and stature it is intermediate between the other two. The Alpine race 
has occupied the hill regions of Central Europe from the Cevennes and 
the Auvergne in France, through Switzerland and Austria, down into the 
Balkan peninsula, and across into Asia Minor and the highlands around 
the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris. The Alpine man is of medium 
stature, medium colouring, and is best identified by means of his round 
skull. He is supposed to show tendencies suggesting an Oriental origin, 
and is usually believed to be the remains of a slow infiltration of popula­ 
tion from Central Asia. The precise part played by the Alpine race 
in the civilization of modern Europe remains yet to be determined. 
The third race, the Northern, has long occupied in Europe the country 
to the south and west of the Baltic Sea. It has stretched away to the 
South-East, across the grass-lands, till we find its representatives in the
        

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