Full text: Problems in eugenics

Whetham.Sociology and Eugenics.243 
Once more we find the most favourable conditions when time has 
led to a certain homogenity of outlook and interest between the different 
racial elements, when, in fact, isolation and common political needs have 
formed a true nation, a nation in which, nevertheless, sufficient diversity 
of race and class still remains to provide for the different functions and 
occupations of a civilized people, a nation still containing a large element 
of the Northern race with its characteristic governing faculty, and spirit 
of scientific inquiry. 
When the racial elements have reached a favourable composition, an 
external stimulus, such as that of the Renaissance, itself partly the effect 
of racial powers, is followed at once by an outburst of civilizing energy. 
Thus, the Italian Renaissance, the first-fruits of the new spirit, has been 
attributed by Houston Chambeiilain to the qualities of the descendants of 
the northern invaders of the Empire reacting under the stimulus of Italian 
town life and the legacy of the ancient culture. But it should not be 
overlooked that the Renaissance began and reached its zenith in lands where 
the basis of the population was of indigenous southern origin. Provision 
was then made for the performance of daily routine labour, and this made 
it possible for directing, literary and scientific ability to be reserved for its 
true sphere and given its full opportunity. 
For some time, in the north of Italy, the conquerors maintained a 
separate existence, had their own family laws, and only gradually mingled 
with the general population. But the internecine warfare of the Italian 
cities, and the gradual disappearance of social barriers reduced the effective 
force of the northern stock. The celibacy of the Roman clergy and the 
establishment of the monastic orders would also add their share to the work 
of biological deterioration. 
In Spain also, the rebirth of Western European influences came from the 
hills, whither the survivors of the West Gothic conquerors had withdrawn 
themselves at the time of the Moorish invasion. But, before the new move­ 
ment had reached its zenith, the drain of men of adventure and spirit to the 
American colonies and the persecutions by the Roman Church—the heir in 
thought and method of the late Universalist Roman Empire—of the more 
brilliantly endowed intellects in their midst, brought the Spanish Renaissance 
to a speedy close. 
If Greece and the Balkan peninsula are not to be counted as effective 
elements in the European Renaissance, we may, perhaps, attribute their 
failure to the extraordinary mixture of races, Sclavonic, Magyar, Turk, and 
Levantine, which has now overrun those districts. Not until fusion through 
intermarriage and subsequent racial segregation has evolved a new homo­ 
geneous type, or extermination and decay of some of the incongruous stocks 
has taken place, does it seem probable that any strong outstanding race, 
with a definite personality of its own, will arise, who could have power to 
renew the Hellenic civilization of olden days.r 2

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