chapter
3 Pages

the" forces of the climate" act on the" genius

Geography must be sought where there is no doubt about finding it-among the geographers. Anyone nowadays who wants instruction on the relations between the land and history -I mean conscientiously and with guarantees-must apply to them first. He should and he can. The old geographer, whose only care was to describe, enumerate, and make inventories, is no more. For physical geography, based on the physical and natural sciences-geology, climatology, botany, zoology-has disentangled itself from them little by little, made sure of its methods, defined its own object clearly, and become conscious of its individuality. This was due to the pioneer efforts of Alexander von Humboldt, the author .of the Kosmos, and of Karl Ritter, whose Die allgemeine vergleichende Erdkunde, translated in 1836 by Buret and Desor, became in French the Geographie generale comparee, or the study of the earth in its relations with nature and with the history of man. Meanwhile, a new geography was slowly .arising through the personal and professional activity of one

Friedrich Ratzel, a zoologist and traveller, who developed into a zealous and profound geographer. 1 It owed to Ratzel its baptismal name, anthropogeography: human geography, as we should say more readily in our language, which dislikes. long composite words.