Full text: Problems in eugenics

244Section III.Whetham. 
But while we owe the revival of learning and the full glory of the 
renaissance to southern lands, in modern Europe the more prominent nations 
seem to be those of the north. Doubtless, many factors have contributed 
to this result. Change of trade routes, the “ accidents ” of political and 
military history, all had their effect. Yet it is possible that a racial question 
is also involved. When the northern nations came to the front, the northern 
racial elements in the southern peoples were once again being obliterated, 
and those nations were thus becoming relatively less effective. Moreover, 
inventive genius and the consequent growth in material resources were 
tending to transfer unskilled servile labour, necessary for civilization in the 
past, from man to machinery. The need of a dependent race was thus 
becoming less; a larger proportion of men in a nation could be given 
directive functions, and a type of civilization more suited to nations of more 
pure-bred northern origin began to develop. 
In modem England we have probably a mixture of the same races at the 
base of our population as there was in ancient Greece and Rome or in the 
north of Italy of the early Renaissance. The small dark race is found 
in its greatest purity in parts of Wales, especially in the south, in the west 
of Ireland, the west of Scotland, and in Cornwall, and parts of the adjacent 
counties. The great towns also show a tendency to attract a short dark 
population. The east and north-east of England and the southern districts 
bordering the sea are the strongholds of the northern race, which has left 
traces elsewhere in isolated regions round the coast, wherever the northmen 
and sea rovers could obtain a footing. Taking the population of England 
in a general sense, the upper classes and the country folk seem, on the 
whole, to be fairer and taller than the industrial sections of the population; 
a disposition which may indicate a natural drift of the northern race 
towards modes of life giving openings for their directing and organizing 
powers and to their love of a free life in the open air. 
From various studies of the distribution of ability and genius throughout 
the British Isles, Havelock Ellis noticed a tendency to the production of one 
definite type of ability associated with some particular geographical area, 
and manifested throughout succeeding centuries. Such a sequence of 
specialized attainments must evidently depend on the mental characteristics of 
the families inhabiting the area in question. On the whole, of the constituent 
countries of the British Isles, it seems that Wales has contributed rather 
less and Ireland much less than their numerical share of ability, while 
Scotland has been more prolific than the number of its population warrants. 
But, again, the Anglo-Irish cross has given a better proportion of ability 
than the Anglo-Scotch. 
The two universities of Oxford and Cambridge, in their earlier days the 
one drawing students chiefly from the south and west, the other from the 
north and east, have maintained distinctive schools of learning almost since

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