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Thread: The Racialization of National Identity in France in the 19th Century

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    Question The Racialization of National Identity in France in the 19th Century

    By Carole Reynaud-Paligot

    First Political use of the Concept of Race in France

    [...]It was already apparent as a Germanic myth during the French Revolution. This myth appeared in response to the decline of the nobility threatened by the rise of the bourgeoisie and the power of the monarchy. Faced by these threats, the nobility affirmed their homogeneity and their racial superiority by presenting themselves as the descendants of the Francs.

    The dual ethnicity was equally used by the bourgeoisie who considered the Gauls as the true ancestors of the bourgeoisie and the common people. Under the Restoration (1815-1830), writers and politicians, such as Augustin Thierry, or the minister François Guizot, contributed to the popularizing of the opposition between German and Gallic.

    Defenders of the rights of the middle-class ridiculed by King Charles X, Thierry, Guizot and others present antagonisms between the nobility and the middle-class as racial antagonisms [1].

    In 1828, Amédée Thierry published the Histoire des Gaulois. For him, the human family could be divided according to race. He retraced the history of one such race, the Gauls, a population identified according to physical and moral characteristics that were transmitted through blood. Here race was based on the following notions: the idea of a common origin, physical characteristics, and intellectual and moral heredity.

    In 1829, William Frederic Edwards (1776-1842) published Des caractères physiologiques des races humaines considérés dans leurs rapports avec l’histoire. Born in Jamaica to a plantation owning father, Edwards moved to Paris to study medicine. He was naturalized in 1828 and admitted as a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 1832.

    Broca credits him with being the first author to have formulated the modern idea of race, as defined by its attention to physical, moral, and intellectual attributes and its assertion that such attributes had a strong influence on the social and political destinies of peoples[2].

    Edwards founded the Ethnological Society of Paris in 1839. He was primarily interested in the physical attributes of European populations, but also produced a study on Celtic languages that won him a prize from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. (His half-brother was the biologist Henri Milne Edwards)[3].

    The subsequent generation of anthropologists would make use of anthropometry in its quest to define race. But for the time being, Edwards contented himself with what could be seen with the naked eye; seeing ancient peoples in modern ones was considered to be within the realm of possibility, for neither climate nor miscegenation were thought to modify physical traits.

    He considered his work to complement that of Thierry, and sought to confirm the historian’s ideas by using tools from natural history. He was particularly interested in the racial composition of the French population and his physiognomic observations led him to believe that the French were made up of two families: the Gauls and the Kimris.

    Edwards sought to cement the new alliance between history and the natural sciences within the Ethnological Society of Paris. The society of scholars included historians (Jules Michelet), naturalists (Alcide D’Orbigny, Henri Milne-Edwards, Pierre Flourens), Saint-Simonians (the d’Eichtal brothers, Ismail Urbain, Courtet de l’Isle), and even politicians (Victor Schoelcher).

    The Society’s composition is illustrative of the kinds of exchanges and transfers of knowledge that took place between naturalists and literary people. The former saw their work as indispensable in understanding the history of human societies, a history that had previously fallen into the exclusive domain of textually based research. The influence of naturalist thought can also be seen in the figure of Victor Courtet de l’Isle (1818-1867), who worked to create a “race-based political science”.

    He, too, was convinced of the importance of race in the organization of society even before Gobineau, the author of La Science politique fondée sur la science de l’homme, claimed that inequality among the races was the motor propelling history, and Courtet compared the Celtic race to the Germanic race[4]

    During the 1840s and 1850s, works published on the role of race in human society proliferated. Etienne Serres, Chair of Anatomy and Natural History of Man from 1839 to 1855 at the National Museum of Natural History, promoted the study of race and its influence within society. During his tenure, his department was renamed “anthropology”. His courses were reported in the Revue des Deux Mondes by the writer and future revolutionary in the 1848 Revolution, Alphonse Esquiros[5].

    Other scientists, such as Henry Hollard, professor of zoology at the Paris Faculty of Science in 1849 and 1850 (and professor of natural history at the Faculty of Science in Neuchâtel), or the Belgian geologist Jean d’Omalius d’Halloy, also studied human race (Hollard 1853; d’Halloy 1845).

    Books and articles, like those written by Count Eusèbe Salles or Paul Rémusat, future deputy and center-left senator, echoed scholarly research (Rémusat 1857; 1854, 783-804; Salles 1849); the Academy of Moral and Political Science, the Revue des deux mondes reported these studies.

    Human race, as defined in terms of the physical, intellectual, and moral characteristics of a given people, became part of the intellectual landscape, and was seen as having an important role in the history of societies. With the intense rivalry that existed at the time between nations, the theme of racial composition and the supposed superiority of some races became ubiquitous within scholarly discourse.

    Serres, for example, heralded the superiority of the Celtic-Roman race, which he placed above all other human races (Esquiros 1845, 1847, 463-75). Nineteenth century writers, philosophers, and historians, from Michelet to Taine, shared a fascination for the natural sciences and for the new notion of race.

    Racialization in the Era of the Institutionalization of Anthropology

    In the second half of the nineteenth century, a new science, anthropology, spread through the West: anthropological societies and schools were founded, academic courses and chairs appeared in universities, reviews, articles and books were published[6].

    The first generation of anthropologists was mostly made up of prominent professors of medicine (Paul Broca in France, Rudolf Virchow in Germany, Paolo Mantegazza in Italy) or zoology (Anatoli Petrovitch Bougdanov in Russia), who took advantage of their dominant position in well-established disciplines to develop their field.

    Throughout Europe, anthropology courses appeared in specialized schools, universities, and natural history museums. International conferences were organized, beginning with the first in 1866. Universal exhibitions afforded the science of man the opportunity to speak to the greater public. And a perennial organization, the International Institute of Anthropology, was created in 1920. France and Germany were the two main centers in which anthropologists were trained.

    The new science was developed thanks to scholarly exchange and practices of sociability between different national communities: exchanges of books and reviews, translations and reports, international presentations and conferences, international networks, scholarly societies, the circulation of students, scholars, and intermediaries, etc.

    But in a context of rivalry between nation-states in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, raciology found itself confronted with tensions between the international and national, the will to create an international community of scholars and the desire to foster national science programs.

    Raciology was confronted with a tension between universalism and nationalism. National uses of the new science –the “scientification” of old myths of origin in order to reaffirm national identities that had been weakened through growing rivalries between nation-states – diminished the international dimension of raciology.

    In France, under the aegis of Paul Broca and his disciples, anthropology became increasingly institutionalized, and underwent massive expansion for several decades. In 1866, Paul Broca gave anthropology, “the science of the human race”, a mission to “describe and determine races, compare and contrast them physically, intellectually, and socially. Research their current affinities, their distribution in the past or present, their role in history, their more or less probable or dubious lineage, and their respective positions in the human series” (Broca 1989, 9-10).

    According to Topinard, a professor of biological anthropology at the School of Anthropology in Paris, race was synonymous with natural divisions within humankind. It symbolized divisions and subdivisions within the human family. Race was defined according to physical attributes (the form of the skull, hair texture, skin color, 6 etc.); it was also associated with intellectual, psychological, and moral character, all of which were transmitted through heredity.

    The ways in which they came to be were not often theorized. Gabriel de Mortillet elaborated three such ways: “[…] race by origin is made up of individuals descended from one and the same root. They constitute a kind of family. Race by milieu is formed through prolonged action, within the same circumstances and living conditions. Race by fusion is made up of a diversity of elements that mix over time and have become such an amalgam that they’ve ended up becoming a common type”.

    Race was thus susceptible to evolution and change, but it was sufficiently unchanging over the course of history to allow researchers to trace its fixed features and find vestiges of it in ancient skeletal remains. The French anthropological community argued that racial purity no longer existed, at least not in Europe, because of age-old migratory patterns and miscegenation.

    But they also argued that it was possible to find “types” within European populations that reflected the original races. (These were defined according to a collection of distinctive, shared physical traits that could be found in a given group.

    Determining types and proving their duration in time were considered means of determining human races; Topinard 1885). One same race was present in a number of nations, and the primary European races could be found in different states.

    Societies as well as the Ecole d’anthropologie de Paris found very strong support from the public authorities. During the Second Empire, despite his suspicious of freethinking scholars, Napoleon III authorized their creation and asked that when skeletons were unearthed during archeological excavations, they be sent to him.

    Under the Third Republic, the state support was strengthened. Anthropologists belonged mostly to Republicans groups, some were activists and many politicians were members of the Anthropological Society.

    The School and Anthropological Society of Paris benefited from subsidies. The racial opposition, Germans against the Gauls, was socially effective during the beginning of the 19th century but later it lost its interest when the fight between the nobility and the bourgeoisie disappeared. In the context of more and more rivalry among the national states, the question of race became an issue of foreign politics.

    In the middle of the 19th century, France, an old and powerful nation was threatened by its neighbors, Great Britian and Germany, and tried to resist and to keep its role as a great nation. In fact, France was left behind in the fields of economics and science by the other two nations.

    The reactivation of the myth of Gauls and its racialization gave France a new scientific legitimacy, it also allowed it to distinguish itself racially from its powerful rivals and to proceed with its specific ethnogenesis thus to ultimately affirm its superiority.

    The anthropologists were in the foreground of this radicalization of the French national identity. They mobilized the scientific methods of the very new anthropology, statistics and anthropometry. As of its first decade of existence, the Society of Anthropology of Paris had a profusion of communications on the question of national origins.

    In 1862, a commission on the ethnology of France was created and, thirty years later, these themes were still a subject of attention. The statistics of conscripts taken during the army recruitment made it possible for Broca to establish an analysis of the distribution of size in the various departments. Broca demonstrated the presence of a larger number of small conscripts from the Alps to Brittany, and on the contrary a stronger presence of big conscripts in the north of France.

    Craniometric measurements confirmed the analysis drawn from the study on the sizes: the brachycephalic persons proved to be dominant in the regions of small sizes and the dolichocephales more present in the group from the north. Broca drew some historical conclusions from the lesson of the new anthropological science: the French nation was populated by the successive arrival of two distinct races, the Celtic race of brown brachycephalic persons of average size and the Kymric race of fair dolichocephaics men of large size.

    Even if none of the races had remained in a pure state, it was still possible to find the trace of populations of the period [7].After having published many contributions, the Society decided to widen research by drawing up a questionnaire to enable all volunteers to collect data from living subjects (color of the eyes, the hair, form of the face, nose, lips) and asked that the skeletons collected in tombs be sent to it[8].

    But these anthropometric investigations were far from being easy to realize. The anthropologist René Collignon (1856-1932), a naval doctor from Lorraine, dedicated much of his free time to anthropology, and published between 1882 to 1895, area by area, the anthropological characteristics of the French population. He evoked the difficulties encountered: despite the aid of a secretary and an assistant in charge of giving him the instruments, it took him nearly twenty minutes to take and note the fifty-two established indications.

    Following the advice of Topinard, he reduced the measurements, enabling him to measure ten subjects per hour [9].The surveys conducted by the principal anthropologists confirmed the first theses of Broca.

    Abel Hovelacque and Georges Hervé showed thus that the Morvan, true natural refuge of the “old vanquished races”, had remained a sanctuary of the Celtic race, just like Auvergne and Savoy. The skull, the size, the color of the eyes and the hair, the features of the face of the people of the Morvan, even the form of the breasts of the woman, all contributed to prove that they were truly the descendants of the Celts [10].

    From the proportion of brachycephalic types found in the tombs of Central and Western Europe, Hervé reconstructed the path traveled by the rounded Neolithic heads. The brachycephalic people would have followed the valley of the Danube and the Hungarian plain then, confronted by the Alps, they would have divided into two masses, one passing by the north, the other by the south of the solid mass [11].

    When the tensions with Germany were accentuated in the 1870s, the second component of the French nation, that of the Kymris, the tall fair dolichocephalics, raised much discussion. Their characteristics tended, indeed, to compare them to the Germans. The French anthropologists attempted to minimize the Germanic contribution in France and wanted to dispute the theses comparing the Aryans to these tall fair dolichocephalic.

    Some presented the brown brachycephalic persons as the primitive base of the Aryan cradle and the fair dolichocephalic as an additional branch.Others, such as the prehistorian Gabriel de Mortillet, saw in the fair dolichocéphales an indigenous race, that of Cro-Magnon, a race present on the French soil before the arrival of the brown Celts.

    The brown brachycephalic persons had then the favor of the French anthropologists, they were accorded many qualities and were presented as having brought the brilliant Celtic civilization [12].

    Broca and his disciples were thus opposed to the theses of Gobineau and then Vacher de Lapouge, whose influence was weak in France. Indeed, the celebration of the superiority of the fair dolichocephalics could not meet with success in a country where the standard brown brachycephalic person dominated.

    On the other hand, the Celtic skull was internationalized, the theses of a superiority of the brown brachycephalic persons was favored among the nations identified with the Celts.

    Within the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Serb and Croatian nationalists of the beginning of the 20th century favored the research of the French anthropologists who categorized the Slavic populations as pertaining to this brown brachycephalic race coming from the East [14].

    If Borca and his fellows showed that the French were the descendants of the Alpine race which is the representative of famous Celtic civilization, it was not a claim for racial purity. If the majority belongs to the Gauls, other elements can also be beneficial for the nation, for example, the racial elements such as Nordic and Mediterranean, and cultural elements such as Latin.

    The “Gallo-romain” was presented as a product of a harmonious mixture of biology and culture; the Gaul blood, which transmitted a potentially rich character, was fortunately improved by the Latin culture.

    The scientific studies on national origins thus left the small circle of the learned societies and were diffused more widely. One finds them in the Revue des deux mondes popularized by Charles Richet, and in the Revue politique et littéraire, the Academy of Science morals and policies, in the most popular dictionaries such as La Grande Encyclopédie [15], and of course, in school textbooks.

    Compared to the wild, wandering, barbarian German, having little taste for agriculture, the school handbooks drew up the portrait of the Gaul as more civilized, already partly past the state of savage. Even if he was not perfect, the Gaul was intelligent, able to assimilate the civilization brought by the Romans and to profit from it. Become the best pupil, he contributed a number of important people to the Roman world [16].

    Rome had brought civilization - the roads, schools, trade - transforming the Gallic into a glorious “Gallo-Roman” dominating, and by far, the still barbaric German. The French came thus from this double interbreeding, biological and cultural, they were Gaul by blood and preserved certain characteristics, while benefiting from the contribution of the brilliant Latin culture. As well as having Gallic ancestral qualities and the teachings of the Romans, the French were also privileged by the great wealth of their soil and their climate, and by the harmonious diversity of their environment [17].

    This “Gallo-Roman synthesis” was the object of a broad consensus, from Republican groups to Nationalists. It was created by combining the contributions of the literary intellectuals and the naturalists.

    The first, of a classical culture founded on graeco-latin humanities, was in a dominant position within the university system but it had nevertheless to vie with the naturalist groups which were strengthened throughout the 19th century, supported by their ancient disciplines – zoology, botany – and of the dynamic disciplines in process of institutionalization – anthropology and prehistoric archeology.

    The latter intended, as we have seen, participating in the study of the national origins, but the competition and rivalry of the disciplines belonging to different cultures did not prevent a mutual participation towards the common definition of the ethnogenesis of the French nation, which led to the “Gallo-Roman synthesis”.

    The Gallo-Roman was thus the fruit of a harmonious interbreeding between biology and culture, between the Gallic blood which had transmitted a character rich in potential and which had fortunately come to enrich the Latin culture.

    Far from remaining in the hands of the romantic historians then the anthropologists, the Gallic myth was widely diffused in French society, in particular in the popular novels of Eugène Sue and Honoré Balzac.

    The history of art integrated the racial theories from the 1840s, and even more so from the 1860s, by emphasizing the artistic specificities of the different peoples, by attributing to the artists the aptitudes of the people whom they represented, as the writings of Viollet-le-Duc[18] testify.

    Contrary to a well integrated myth in historiography, this racialization was not borrowed from a German tradition, nor was it the result of influences come from beyond the Rhine which some intellectuals could not have resisted. There is a real French tradition, firmly established, which was nourished by a powerful and radiating French school of anthropology.

    The racial dimension of the bases of the national identity cohabited with a civic and political dimension. The latter, present since the French revolution, also made the will to adhere to the nation one of the founding elements of the national identity.

    Far from being rivals, the two logics cohabited, right from the beginning, as Sieyès had already incarnated by defending at the same time the popular sovereignty and the Gallic origin of the French nation, and these two approaches continued to coexist among philosophers of the 19th century, as the writings of Renan illustrate.

    The Racialization of National Identity in Great-Britain, USA and Germany

    The racialization of national identity is not specific to France. In the context of strong rivalries, each nation strived to look for the most popular ancestries to show its racial superiority. In nations enjoying rapid growth, such as England, racial anthropology nourished the old Anglo-Saxon myth, comforting feelings of superiority and grandeur in a nation that combined economic strength and colonial expansion.

    It also made a contribution to the identity issue in peripheral regions of the United Kingdom. The English historians at the end of the 18th century made an interpretation of European history based on the concept of race.

    They explained that the ancient Roman Empire was in decline whereas the vigorous German invaders were rising and they imputed the rise and fall of the civilizations to the racial characters of different nationalities. The idea of biological heredity was at the heart of their vision of history, the world history in the hands of creating races (like the Greeks, the Romans, and the Germans) called to dominate others.

    If in the past, the German tribes had helped in the regeneration of Romanized nations of Europe, so now it was the turn of the Anglo-Saxon branch of the Germanic race to be the leaders of the progress. All the English elite thought that the English owed their sense of liberty, their excellence in language and institutions, their passion for science and reason, to their Germanic origins.

    The racial arguments were also used in relation to the Irish issue, by emphasizing the superiority of the Anglo-Saxons over the Irish Celts.

    In the United States, the opposition between the “white race” and the “black race” allowed answering the contradiction of a co-existence of democracy and slavery to justify the unjustifiable: slavery and the extermination of the Indians.

    To resolve this unsupportable contradiction in the age of science, it was necessary to show “scientifically” that the otherness of the Blacks is explained by natural and biological inequality. The American imperialism which was shown as an innate character of the Anglo-Saxon race, constituted one of the episodes in the great “struggle of life” of human societies.

    At first, anthropology and its leader, Paul Virchow, provided the young and dynamic Germany with arguments to defend its desire for unification. However, at the turn of the century, the evolution of raciology diverged considerably from France, Great Britain and the United States.

    Under the Weimar Republic, the societies and the teaching of anthropology made great strides, often coupled with a racial manner of living. This rise, higher than that of the other countries, was accompanied by a radicalization of the racialization of the German national identity, leading to the extermination of the beings perceived as harmful to the national identity.

    In the beginning, the Aryan myth played a role in favor of the Europeans by presenting the Indo-Europeans as a common root for the European population. But in the context of very strong rivalries between the nation states, this myth quickly became an object of national espousal, as if the rivalries did not allow the idea of common roots for European nations.

    Some scholars, naturalists, archeologists, linguists, and anthroposociologists contributed to this nationalistic interpretation of the Aryan myth. The French author, Arthur de Gobineau, saw in the ‘Aryan-German’, a superior being in intelligence, physical strength, and beauty, whose ancestors, coming from Asia, settled in Scandinavia.

    The naturalist and free thinker Ernest Haekel, glorified the Indo-European races, among them the Roman branch which had dominated during the antiquity and the middle ages, before leaving the place for the English and the Germans.

    Theodor Poesche and Karl Penka explained that the birth place of Aryans was not Asia but Northern Europe. The linguist and archaeologist, Gustaf Kossinna (1858-1931), propagated the discoveries of archaeology in favor of the myth.

    The French anthroposociologist, George Vacher de Lapouge, showed that the competition between the brachycephalics and the dolichocephalics, was the driving element of history, and regretted the weakness of the latter.

    At the turn of the 20th century, the anthroposociologistic theories had a great interest not only among the nationalists but also in the German racial anthropology. Due to the difficult socio-economic context of Germany during the last years of the 19th century, the ideology of progress, and the confidence in a steady rise in economic and social progress, declined; it was replaced with a very pessimistic vision of the future.

    The health and social issues, which were viewed as negative consequences of industrialization, urbanization, and proletarianization, became visible due to statistics; showing the alarming rise in alcoholism, criminality, prostitution, endemics and hereditary illnesses (syphilis, tuberculosis).

    Adding to the socio-economic context, the progress in medicine favored the rise of intellectual elites who were ambitious in resolving the causes and symptoms of these issues which affected the human body and the society. This phenomenon reinforced the huge enterprise of biologization which existed for several decades in the European societies.

    The increase in political rivalries further enforced the fear of the political consequences of demographic weakness, not in quantity as Germany was well populated, but in quality regarding these social and health issues.

    The belated unification of Germany which delayed the process of German colonization now ignited the imperialistic ideas of the political and economic elite. It is this specific context of Germany at the end of the 19th century which helped synthesize the ideas from racial anthropology, eugenics, nationalism, and imperialism.

    Different reasons like: the trauma and loss of the First World War, the profound socio-economic crisis in Germany between the two World Wars, and the political humiliation of the peace treaties, enforced the idea of decadence and the increase in the interest for science (which provided solutions and
    glorified national pride with the theory of superiority of the Nordics). In the 1930s, the Nazis propagated the Aryan myth to legitimize their policy of extermination.

    A racialisation of the national identities thus took place within the European nations in differing degrees. These phenomena could only have taken place based on the racial anthropology which had widely diffused its lesson.

    A veritable culture of race was thus a part of Western societies from the 1850s to the Second World War. The fact that the science of race was discredited and demonized after the War has masked the discipline’s importance and prevalence in the nineteenth century, as well as its role in creating national identities and legitimizing colonial domination.


    [1] Thierry Augustin, « Sur l’antipathie de race qui divise la nation française », [1820], Dix ans d’études historiques, Paris, Just Tessier, 3e édition, 1859, p. 301-309. Guizot, François-Pierre-Guillaume, Du gouvernement de la France depuis la Restauration, et du ministère actuel. Paris, Ladvocat, 1820, p. iij-iv, 2-3
    [2] Bulletin de Société d’anthropologie 1876, 221.
    [3] Blanckaert 1988, 18-55.
    [4] De l’Isle Victor 1838, 1849; Boissel 1972).
    [5] Esquiros 1845, 152-86; 1848, 982-1002; 1847.

    [6] Between 1859 and 1895, major European capitals and centers saw the creation of anthropological societies: after Paris in 1859, there was London in 1863, Madrid in 1865, Moscow and Manchester in 1866, Berlin in 1869, Munich in 1870, Florence and Vienna in 1871, Stockholm in 1873, Washington in 1879, Lyon in 1881, Brussels in 1882, Saint Petersburg in 1889, Rome in 1893, Amsterdam in 1898. The creation of societies continued into the first decades of the twentieth century, with Portugal in 1919, Switzerland in 1920, and Greece in 1924. The phenomenon was not exclusively Western. Indeed, anthropological societies also cropped up in Havana in 1879, Tokyo in 1884, and Bombay in 1888.

    [7] Broca Paul, « Recherches sur l’ethnologie de la France », Mémoires de la société d’anthropologie, t.1, 1860-1863, p.1-56, Broca Paul, « Nouvelles recherches sur l’anthropologie de la France en général et de la Basse Bretagne en particulier », Mémoires de la société d’anthropologie, t3, 1868-1869, p.147-209, Broca Paul, « La race celtique ancienne et moderne. Arvernes et Armoricains. Auvergnats et Bas-Bretons », RDA, t. 2, 1873, p. 577-628, Broca Paul, « Suite de la discussion sur les Celtes, le nom des Celtes », BSAP, t.9, 1874, p. 658-663.

    [8] « Commission de l’ethnologie de la France », BSAP, t.3, 1862, p. 94-95, RMEA, 1893, p.202-203.

    [9] Collignon René, « Etude anthropométrique élémentaire des principales races de France », BSAP, t.6, 1883, p. 463-526, Collignon R., « Anthropologie de la France. Dordogne, Charente, Corrèze, Haute-Vienne », Mémoires de la société d’anthropologie, t.1, 1893-1895, Collignon R., « Anthropologie du Sud-Ouest de la France. Les Basques, Dordogne, Charente, Corrèze, Haute-Vienne », Mémoires de la société d’anthropologie, t.1, 1893-1895.

    [10] Hovelacque Abel et Hervé Georges, « Recherches ethnologiques sur le Morvan », Mémoires de la société d’anthropologie, t.1, 1893-1895.

    [11] Pittard Eugène, Les Races et l’histoire. Introduction ethnologique à l’histoire, « L’évolution de l’humanité » dirigée par Henri Berr, Paris, La Renaissance du livre, 1924.

    [12] Broca Paul, « Suite de la discussion sur les Celtes, le nom des Celtes », BSAP, t.9, 1874, p. 658-663 ; Topinard Paul, L’Anthropologie, Paris, 1893, t.IV, p. 505. Cette thèse est encore affirmée dans l’ouvrage d’Eugène Pittard publié en 1924 dans la collection d’Henri Berr « l’évolution de l’humanité », Les Races et l’histoire. Intorduction ethnologique à l’histoire.

    [13] Cf. les écrits de Douglas Hydes. Robert J.C. Young, The Idea of English Ethnicity, Blavkwelle Publishong, 2008, p.114-118.

    [14] Hervé Georeges, « Un anthropoliste français chez les Serbo-crates, au lendemain de 1870 », Revue de l’ecole d’anthropologie, 1915, p. 299-320.

    [15] Charles Richet (1850-1935), médecin passionné par l’hypnose et eugéniste radical, mais aussi poète et romancier, il fut directeur de la Revue Scientifique. Ses recherches sur l’anaphylaxie lui valent l’obtention du prix Nobel de médecine en 1913. Emile Levasseur est économiste, membre de l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques, professeur au Collège de France et à l’Ecole libre de sciences politiques. Richet Charles, « L’avenir de l’anthropologie », RDM, t.5, 1876, p. 474-479, Levasseur Emile, « Esquisse de l’ethnographie de la France », Revue politique et littéraire de la France et de l’étranger, 20/11/1880, p. 492-497, 04/12/1880, p. 532-539, Will Louis, « Celtes », La Grande encyclopédie La Grande Encyclopédie. Inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres et des arts, 1885-1902, Paris, vol. 9, 1890.

    [16] Lavisse E., Histoire de France. Cours élémentaire, Armand Colin, 1926, Corréard F., Historie nationale, op. cit., 1884, Moustier M. D., Histoire de France à l’usage des écoles primaires, op.cit., 1909, Coutant Ernest-Charles et Amman A., Cours normal d’histoire de France, op.cit.

    [17] Sur le thème de l’harmonieuse diversité du pays voir Thiesse Anne-Marie, Ils apprenaient la France. L’exaltation des régions dans le discours patriotique, Paris, Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1997, p. 3-7. Voir aussi dans le même ouvrage quelques exemples d’utilisation des enseignements de l’anthropologie raciale dans les livres régionalistes.

    [18] Michaud Eric, « Nord-Sud. Du nationalisme et du racisme en histoire de l’art. Une anthologie », Critique 586, 1996, p. 163-187, repris dans Histoire de l’art. Une discipline à ses frontières, Paris, Hazan, 2005, Baridon Laurent, « L’imaginaire scientifique de Viollet-le-Duc, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1996, , « Mythes raciaux et quête de scientificité dans la construction de l’histoire de l’art en France 1840-1870 », Revue de l’art, n°146, 2004/4, p. 61-72, « Ethnicisation de l’histoire de l’art en France 1840-1870 : le modèle philologique », Histoire de l’art au XIXe siècle, Recht R., Sénéchal P., Barbillon C., Martin F. (dir.), Paris, La Documentation française, 2008.

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    Interesting George Vacher de Lapouge believed the competition between the brachycephalics and the dolichocephalics was the driving element of history. The brachycephalic/Alpinoid skull type must confer some advantage. There was a surge of broad skulls after the Black Death as though the gene offers disease resistance or allows faster repopulation.

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