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The Kurd is as much a savage as our own Pathan frontierman, but the Armenian at home is not so gentle as is supposed, nor does he fight in kid gloves. Murders lead to reprisals. From tangled masses of unsifted testimony, it is often difficult to gather the real facts, or to adjudge relative culpability. Armenians are as prone to exaggeration, to use an euphemism, as any other folk even in civilised lands, and when people are smarting under a sense of wrong fostered by agitators, their statements are apt to overrun the bounds of truth.
However it be, whosoever may have been in the wrong, and in whatever way the troubles may have commenced, there can be little doubt that enough occurred either on one or both sides to require on the part of Turkey the prevention of such disorders in the future.
In spite of the improvement that has taken place in Turkey, there is room for more, as is the case in other countries. But Turkey's position is unique. Her government is always on the test, and it therefore behoves her, not only in her own interests, but in those of Islâm, to try at once to remove all cause for criticism and hostile denunciations. It is to be hoped that wise statesmanship and true patriotism will impel the Sultan and his advisers to take prompt measures to introduce effective reforms all over the empire. How far agitators whose object is not the improvement of the Ottoman Empire, but its dismemberment, will allow the people to settle down in peace and contentment, remains to be seen.
PERMANENT DOMINION IN ASIA
IN Mr. George Curzon's interesting and opportune book on The Problems of the Fur East (Japan, Korea, China), the twelfth chapter is entitled The Destinies of the Far East,' a very attractive subject of political speculation, which is rising rapidly into prominent importance. The empires which, outside Russia, divide the dominion of Eastern Asia are Japan and China. For Japan Mr. Curzon predicts a very considerable development of position and power, especially in regard to checking the spread of European influence on that side of the Pacific Ocean ; although, writing before the war began, he held it to be a necessary condition of Japan's free expansion that she should not come into sustained collision with her old and hereditary antagonist China.' But China is the country whose destinies stand in the foreground of the discussion; and Mr. Curzon takes occasion to contest the conclusions of the late Mr. Charles Pearson, who in his work upon National Life and Character prophesied that the Chinese would become a dominant military power in Eastern Asia and beyond. Looking to the quick and incessant multiplication of the Chinese people; to their habits of emigration; to their capacity for acclimatisation in all adjacent countries; to their potency of industrial expansion and political organisation, Mr. Pearson concluded that they would spread out and consolidate a great semi-civilised empire. On the other hand, the European races, he thought, would not only fail to establish any permanent dominion in tropical Asia, but their position as rulers of Asiatic territory and masters of the sea-borne trade would before long be seriously endangered.
In opposition to these views Mr. Curzon maintains that China is more likely to be conquered than to conquer, an opinion that events seemed at one moment disposed to verify; and he evidently thinks that she is seriously threatened by Russia. As to Chinese emigration, he observes that it need cause no anxiety to the countries whither they resort, because the Chinaman is a tractable settler, who leaves his womankind at home, intermarries very readily with the races among whom he finds himself, and owes his success as a colonist to the facility with which he takes advantage of good European administration. Mr. Curzon adds that the Chinese at home have displayed their greatest strength not by conquest, but by their power of assimilating conquerors.
At the present moment the expansion of European dominion (not the spread of European races) into countries outside the temperate zones, into Africa and Asia, is operating with accelerated rapidity. Mr. Pearson's view is, nevertheless, that this outflow of enterprise must soon come to a standstill, and even that a reverse movement must set in. Mr. Curzon, on the other hand, may be reckoned among the prophets of expansion.
As Mr. Curzon's book deals exclusively with Japan, Korea, and China, his criticism of Mr. Pearson's general argument is necessarily confined to that part of it which relates to the prospects of China ; for it is a curious fact that of Japan Mr. Pearson took no notice. Mr. Pearson on the other hand used China merely as one prominent example of his main theorem--that whereas it is a commonplace to assume that the enterprising European races will continue to expand until they possess the earth, as a matter of fact the permanent limits of their predominance are unchangeable, except so far as they may contract. Now I believe Mr. Curzon to have proved undoubtedly that Mr. Pearson's special knowledge of China was seriously deficient; that he knew little of its interior economy, its constitutional weakness, the military incapacity of its government, the instability of its dynasty, and the incoherence of the various races which form its population. Every day corroborates Mr. Curzon's judgment that there is nothing to fear at present from China as a fighting power. Whether Mr. Pearson's defeat upon this particular part of the field has substantially damaged his main position is a further question, which seems worth raising here because some of Mr. Curzon's arguments and observations lead towards much broader issues than that of China's immediate future, and in fact touch upon the difficult problem of discovering the essential conditions which favour or frustrate the spread of ruling races and the building up of a permanent dominion.
For example, Mr. Curzon, in the course of his argument that the Chinese custom of leaving their women at home and taking wives from the people among whom they settle renders them practically harmless, incidentally throws out the observation-'I doubt, indeed, whether emigrants have anywhere established a permanent dominion who did not bring their wives with them.' But this is a very farreaching and important generalisation, bearing directly upon the whole question of the future spread of European conquest. For which are the countries where dominion has been established on the system of family emigration ? It seems probable that Mr. Curzon had in mind the founding of colonies in North America and Australia, within the temperate zones, where the first thing needful was to plant homesteads and to drive off nomad savages, and where the emigrants from England and Holland settled with their families. Among all kinds
and degrees of dominion, the most permanent is certainly that which is founded by clearing away forests and wild folk, and entering upon the land to people and possess it. But almost all the region suitable for this sort of colonisation has already been occupied, and nowhere (except in parts of South America) has it as yet been found practicable for Europeans outside the temperate zones. The consequence has been that, as enterprise and conquest overflow into less habitable climates, the migration of European races cannot follow the extension of their dominion. It is true that Englishmen usually take their wives with them into the countries where they reside as merchants or administrators, and that this may be reckoned as a minor element of their success in maintaining political ascendancy; for they avoid intermixture with the native races. These cases, however, have little bearing upon the point under discussion. Mr. Curzon's words, taken in their large and literal sense, imply that permanent dominion has rarely if ever been established by the migration of foreign races who have not been accompanied by their women; and it is very interesting to inquire how far this opinion can be substantiated by historical facts.
In examining this position we ought first to determine what should be understood by permanency.
Over the greater part of the world, and during most of its history, all dominion has been transitory; nevertheless it seems reasonable to let any dominion rank as permanent which covers a long and important period in the annals of a country. Now it cannot be supposed that the invading hordes or tribes which have constantly changed dynasties, occupied territories, and set up more or less durable rulerships in the early ages of Europe or in Asia up to quite recently, were usually accompanied by their women in their conquering expeditions. So far as we know, the women of subject countries were part of their plunder ; they carried off wives and concubines, they intermarried and enslaved. The Moors in Spain, the Ottoman Turks in Asia Minor and SouthEastern Europe, the Moghuls in India, the Spaniards in America, were emigrants who founded empires and kingdoms that lasted for centuries; but it is very questionable whether they imported their own women, at any rate until the dominion had been completely assured; and it is certain that all these ruling races intermarried or intermixed freely with the subject people. In South America the early Spanish conquerors often parcelled out the lands of the natives and took the native women to live with them, the Indians being rather eager for than averse to the connexion; and it is said that for the offspring of these mixed households the fathers were very careful to secure participation in their own rights and privileges. For a long time very few European women reached the interior of the Spanish territories in America ; and the pure Spanish families were to be found either on the sea-shore or on some of the highlands where, as on the Indian Himalayas, the European race can live comfortably, though it does not thrive or reproduce itself vigorously. The Creole, bred in America of pure Spanish parents, was not much more considered or trusted by the governing caste than the half-breed. The Mamelukes in Egypt form a peculiar case, for although they settled in the land and ruled it tyrannically for several centuries, they did not intermix with the indigenous people, but continually imported their women, as slaves, from Georgia, Circassia, and other countries whence they themselves had originally been carried off. The existing distribution of races throughout the world, their characteristics, with their development or depression, are in fact due in a great measure to the crossing of stocks that up to modern times may be said to have been one of the invariable consequences of victorious emigration. On the whole, therefore, if the case of the English colonies proper be set aside, it seems doubtful whether permanent dominion has anywhere been established by emigrants who have brought their wives with them. One might even go further and contend not only that dominion has rarely been strengthened by the importation of women from home, but also that in some instances it may be weakened when a ruling race intermarries strictly within its own nationality, because such exclusiveness tends towards the formation of a caste. Such a caste being compact and united in purpose, may long preserve its ascendancy, but its dominion rests not so much upon a base within the country as upon communications with the metropolis. A conquering race in an unfavourable climate is in this dilemina : if the blood is kept pure by endogamy-i.e. by intermarriage exclusively among its own folk-the dominion must always depend upon drafts from home, and settlement in Pearson's sense is impossible. If the ruling race resort to exogamy, and crosses with the indigenous stock, it is sure to deteriorate, and it will sooner or later be swamped by the native population.
The foregoing argument, if correct, points to the conclusion that for a ruling race the capacity of assimilation with the indigenous population without losing vigour is of essential value. Now Mr. Curzon tells us that China has always assimilated her conquerors, yet he appears to hold that it does not add to her national strength or to her power of resisting what is most dangerous to Asiatic dominion, the intrusion of Europeans.
So far from taking naturally to a career of conquest, it is rather in her power of assimilating those by whom she has herself been conquered that China has displayed her greatest strength. Two and a half centuries ago the millions of Chinese succumbed easily to the assault of a few hundred thousand Tartars, whose yoke they have ever since contentedly borne. Four centuries earlier they had in similar fashion accepted a Mongol master. What the Mongols did, and what the Manchus did, I fail to see why others shall not do after thew, whose power, as compared with theirs, is in the same ratio as a field gun to a Roman catapult, or a repeating rifle to a crossbow.