This text-book is intended for college and high-school classes. Most of the facts stated in it have become, through the researches and publications of recent years, such commonplace knowledge that a reference to authority in each case has not seemed necessary. Statements on more doubtful points, and such personal opinions as I have had occasion to express, although not supported by references, are based on a somewhat careful study of the sources.
small vessels of the Middle Ages, has made a seafaring life natural to a large number of the people, and commercial intercourse comparatively easy with all parts of the country bordering on the coast or on these rivers.
Thus, to sum up these geographical characteristics, the insular situation of England, her location on the earth's surface, and the variety of her material endowments gave her a tolerably well-balanced if somewhat backward economic position during the Middle Ages, and have enabled her since the fifteenth century to pass through a continuous and rapid development, until she has obtained within the nineteenth century, for the time at least, a distinct economic precedency among the nations of the world.
*2. Prehistoric Britain.*--The materials from which to construct a knowledge of the history of mankind before the time of written records are few and unsatisfactory. They consist for the most part of the remains of dwelling-places, fortifications, and roadways; of weapons, implements