This is a convenient term to designate the ground which has been covered by these two chapters. The historian begins his story of a given country with a description of "the land" and "the people" Naturally authorities differ regarding the importance of these two bases relatively to each other, and also of both together compared with the psychical bases to be treated in the next two chapters, or with the ideals and forms of organization to be treated in subsequent chapters. The view that the physical bases are all-important has been called the "economic interpretation of history," and also "geographical determinism." One writer,1 for instance, contends that American democracy is merely a product of frontier life which will pass away when population becomes dense and settled.