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We have now ended our description of the great tree of national story. Of such consists the sacred grove that overhangs and shelters that steep and rugged path up which humanity is slowly ascending. One growth is tall and slim, another gnarled and stumpy; symmetry and all its violations stand in contrast together, and in the leaves, the bark, and the light branches, no one tree sees its perfect fellow. Yet in the rude trunk, in the leading boughs, and in the general fashion and laws of growth, they are alike. They are formed after one great archetype that existed in the mind of the Creator, but they all fall short of it after different degrees, so that in their defect consists their variety.
But they stand not alone; around each giant of the grove offshoots start up, and of these I have now to speak.
Nations are originally formed by the settlement of migratory tribes, which wander about in search of new pastures and new conquests, and seldom settle till they have reduced some peaceful agricultural people to be their serfs. Of this kind were the migrations of the Dorians and Thessalians in Greece, and of the Northern swarms in modern Europe.
Hardy and reckless, they increase and
multiply with prodigious rapidity, when the conquest of surrounding countries affords a means of subsistence to their redundant population ; but when they have filled these countries with the flower of their warlike youth, they take one of two courses-either they retain their old mode of gaining subsistence, viz. plunder or pasturage, and limit their increase so as to prevent the population exceeding those means of subsistence, as the Tartar and Circassian tribes do now; or they increase their means of subsistence by becoming agricultural, and thus allow a proportionate increase of population.* This was the course of the German and Scandinavian tribes, and produced the state of Norway and Switzerland at the present time.
Till a tribe has become agricultural, it has scarce any tie to the soil on which it may happen to dwell. A national existence is hardly to be ascribed to the inhabitants of any territory till these inhabitants have become agricultural; a step which they seldom take without exposing themselves to the incursion of a more warlike tribe, which establishes over them an aristocracy.
These migrations and wars are the necessary means for the formation of nations, and the communities which they form are not colonies or dependencies of any other community, but are distinct nations. Athens and Sparta were not colonies of any other part of Europe, yet they were peopled by immigrations ; so likewise Rome and England owns not as a mother-country the home of Saxon, Goth, or Dane.
Colonies and plantations are formed only by emigrations from settled and progressive nations. The character and result of these emigrations depend upon the stage of national progress in which they take place. And to understand colonies in general, it is necessary to observe in
* See, on the sudden increase of population when a nomad people becomes agricultural, Humboldt, Essai sur la Nouvelle Espagne, i. 322.
what stages of national existence colonies are sent out, and to observe how the characteristics of the colonies
vary with the stage of national existence in which they are sent out.
1.-The Norwegians, the Asturians, and a large portion of the Swiss, present to us examples of the first stage of settled life, when the subsistence of those who remain is obtained by agriculture or the keeping of flocks and herds, for all mountain people are necessarily, to a great extent, pastoral, even though they be not nomadic. These people are all warlike; the Norwegians especially were so at the time of the crusades, and disposed of no small portion of their surplus population in those expeditions. The Swiss and Asturians have, however, more warlike energies in the present day, and if the countries around them were weak and thinly populated would increase much faster than they now do, and send the swarms of their vigorous youth to found aristocracies over their weaker neighbours. There being no such opportunity, and trade and commerce being little to their taste, or little within their reach at home, they limit their population very nearly to their present means of subsistence,—the Norwegians with the greatest exactness, a new couple seldom marrying till the death of an old couple has made a homestead vacant. * The Swiss and Asturians, though very moderate in their rate of increase, are less so than the Norwegians, and increase beyond the means of subsistence at home. They relieve themselves by sending their superfluous youth abroad to be the cooks, the valets, and the mercenaries of Europe. None of them, however, who can help it, settle abroad, but return to die on the slopes of their well-loved hills. For the love of their native land is more ardent among the people who form these unconquered communities than in nations where an aristocracy has been founded by conquest, and the countries free from conquest are always
* Malthus, i. 367, sqq.
those which are the most barren and sterile, least worth conquering; and that, and none other, is the reason why the most barren and sterile countries are most loved by their inhabitants.
Thus from people living in this unprogressive and almost pre-national stage there are no colonies.
2. In countries where an aristocracy is established, either by the invasion of a new race, or, as in Spain, by the reconquest of the country from expelled invaders, and the possession of large fiefs by the principal chieftains, the higher class of the state looks upon military adventure, either in the service of the sovereign or by independent campaigns, as the only honourable mode of gaining more wealth than it already possesses. The younger sons and poorer members of this military aristocracy avail themselves with avidity of the opportunity of a foreign exploit; either one which shall bring them home again laden with booty and glory, and fit to rank on a level with the highest members of their order, or, in default of that, shall give to them in other lands the means of honourable subsistence which they cannot find in their own. An inroad by military adventurers of this class upon a settled agricultural people is not at first sight very distinguishable from the invasion of a whole nomad tribe, seeking to found an aristocracy, but there is in effect this essential distinction: the tribe emigrates with women and children, and the conquering aristocracy remains a distinct race from the conquered * ; the others are mostly unmarried freebooters, who
go forth to win possessions with their sword. Sometimes they return home with their booty to reclaim their high position among the warrior race from which they spring, but more often they settle in the countries into which they have fought their way, and marrying women of the country, become the parents of a motley race,
* The emigration of the Dorians into the Peloponnese, who carried with them their wives and children, is an instance. Müller, Dor. i. 88.
which, after a few generations, is unable to retain any line of distinction between conquerors and conquered.
An example of this kind of colonisation is afforded by the early Greek colonies in Sicily, Italy, and Asia Minor, which were founded, the Sicilian and Italian by military adventurers from the Doric and Achæan races in Greece, the aristocracy in the parts of Greece in which they were settled; the Asiatic by similar adventurers from the Ionians, the military aristocrats of Attica.* The mendacious vanity of their descendants frequently invites us to believe that these roving Grecian bands were composed of Iliadic heroes returning from Troy.t
These emigrating offshoots of the aristocracy, leaving the castle camps of their fathers with no other possessions but their hardy frames and their implements of war, are not to be confounded with the later colonists selected by the government of the mother country from a very different class of its population, and manifesting the difference of their origin by the difference of their result.
The military adventurers from the Grecian aristocracies, as soon as they had obtained a footing for themselves in their new colonies, married women of the country!, and thus mixing with the original population, formed a new race, partaking principally of the characteristics of the
* Müller, Dorians, i. 87.
† It is impossible to attribute these early Grecian colonies wholly to emigrants from one tribe, for each dominant race sent forth its military adventurers, who must frequently have met in the new territories and settled there together. Sybaris and Croton were formed principally by Achaans, who were the dominant race in the south of Thessaly and on the eastern side of Peloponnesus; the Dorians expelled them from Argos and Laconia, whereupon they conquered and expelled the Ionians, then settled on the northern coast of Peloponnesus. The Ionians crossed into Attica and became the dominant race there. Thus Dorians, Achæans, and Ionians, were all aristocrats in their own territory in the mother country.
I e. g. The Spartan founders of Cyrene; Müller, Dor. i. 142 - the Greeks in Sicily; Grote, Hist. of Greece, iii. 492. On the colonies of Sparta formed by military adventurers, see Müller, Dor. i. 141, sqq. ,