The Influence of Monarchs: Steps in a New Science of History

The Influence of Monarchs: Steps in a New Science of History

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The Influence of Monarchs: Steps in a New Science of History

The Influence of Monarchs: Steps in a New Science of History

Read FREE!

Excerpt

IN 1902, I brought together and rearranged, under a single interrelated group, the main historical statements concerning some three thousand members of royal and noble families, with the double purpose of measuring the force of heredity against circumstances, and of making a beginning in the systematic analysis in twelve papers under the title, Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty, which appeared in the Popular Science Monthly, August, 1902, to April, 1903, and afterwards (New York, H. Holt & Co., 1906) in book form, somewhat amplified and reëforced.

The present volume is the first application of the methods of historical measurement (historiometry) to the larger questions of national growth and decline. It has long been recognized, in a general way, that many nations have had their eras of splendour and decay, but these transformations have never before been represented with definiteness and completeness. One could never place one's finger upon a specific date and say that about here the decline began in such and such a special feature, or that at another point a minor wave of progress rose upon a downward slope, or at some other point there was a pause in a general advance. For this reason, the mere tabulation of economic and political movements in modern Europe has a value of its own. This forms a line of departure from which journeys can be made into the more fascinating domain of historical causation; and whether such explorations do or do not meet their goal, discussions of this nature must always proceed from some such widely collected series of simple and easily verified facts.

Beginning from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries and carrying the study as far as the time of the French Revolution, there are two series of historical changes presented in this work. The . . .

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