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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

Amalgamating the Races

page 60

Amalgamating the Races.

No more destructive policy could, indeed, be conceived. The mixture of the primary races stands condemned as producing ''chaotic'' constitutions, of body, mind, and character, and leading to the inevitable degeneracy of the mixed breed. The experience of breeders is here decisive. No experienced breeder would dream of blending radically different species, save now and then for a special purpose, as when the horse and the ass are interbred to produce the mule, or even widely separated varieties of the same species, as when the horse and the zebra are interbred for fancy or scientific objects. He unites closely allied varieties of the same species, or members of the same variety that have some different points. To unite disparate individuals would be, not to imperil, but to wreck, the slowly acquired results of long inheritance or accumulated selection. The rules of the advisable mixture of human races are identical with the rules of the intermixture of animal races. Shun mixtures of the primary races and blend only varieties, is the one clear imperative rule in human societies, as among domesticated animals. Doubly is the mixture of primary races condemned when one of the races is very high and the other very low in the scale. All history testifies against it. Canada under the French régime is a speaking example. During the hundred years of French occupation, when the French immigrants mingled with the Indians, they sank so rapidly in the anthropological scale that they gloried in resembling savages in mind as well as in manners. The South American republics at this day contain visible evidence of the "chaotic constitutions" resulting from the mixture of the immigrant Spaniards with the natives. Their political instability and their moral deterioration alike prove the injurious character of the blend. At the other end of the scale, the union of the Germanic races of Northern Europe in North America furnishes proof of the happy effects of the mixing of allied varieties. We need not too severely censure the short-sighted promoters of an injurious measure. In those pre-Darwinian days the most page 61instructed individuals were unable to realise at what cost the purity of a race is maintained. It is only by the unintermitted action of natural selection, as also of that artificial selection which follows in its steps, that each human race preserves the attributes that have been with such difficulty acquired.