A Source Book in Geography

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Date: 1852

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Geography

From Ritter’s Introduction to General Comparative Geography

The geographical sciences are mainly concerned with spaces on the earth’s surface . . . that is, with the descriptions and relationships of the coexistence of areas as such, both in terms of their most unique characteristics and in their general earthly phenomena. In this way they differ from the historical sciences, whose task it is to investigate and present the sequence of events, or the chronology and development of things both in particulars and as a whole . . .

Areas, times, shapes, and forms, the occupational phenomena of space in terms of their construction and organization on the earth . . . do not remain the same in their relation to the globe, viewed as the dwelling place of mankind, rather they truly change their relative values with the progress of centuries and millenia. The way in which space is occupied will thus be differently viewed from decade to decade, from century to century.

The greatest changes, more significant than those (be they ever so grandiose) wrought by volcanoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, or other destructive natural phenomena which for a time claim everyone’s attention, took place gradually on this globe, definitely under observation by history, influencing the nature of the globe as the abode of mankind, yet almost escaping observation. They made the globe, as compared to what it had been in earlier millenia, entirely different, and created a completely different set of relationships between its occupied spaces.

From Carl Ritter, Introduction to General Comparative Geography . . . (Berlin, 1852), p. 152. Editor’s translation.

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Chicago: "From Ritter’s Introduction to General Comparative Geography," A Source Book in Geography in A Source Book in Geography, ed. George Kish (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978), 421–422. Original Sources, accessed January 27, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=959PRY1TMMSVPBM.

MLA: . "From Ritter’s Introduction to General Comparative Geography." A Source Book in Geography, in A Source Book in Geography, edited by George Kish, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1978, pp. 421–422. Original Sources. 27 Jan. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=959PRY1TMMSVPBM.

Harvard: , 'From Ritter’s Introduction to General Comparative Geography' in A Source Book in Geography. cited in 1978, A Source Book in Geography, ed. , Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp.421–422. Original Sources, retrieved 27 January 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=959PRY1TMMSVPBM.