2. The Darwinian theory of evolution.
3. Fossil remains of prehistoric man in Europe.
4. Cooperation or mutual aid among the lower forms of life.
5. The discovery of fire and its importance.
6. Theories of the origin of language.
7. Intelligence versus instinct in early life.
Chapin, F. S. Social Evolution. Chapters II and III.
Drummond, H. Ascent of Man.
Hayes, E. C. Introduction to a Study of Sociology. Chapters XVII
Kelsey, C. Physical Basis of Society. Chapters IIâ€” V inclusive.
Osborn, H. F. Men of the Old Stone Age.
Robinson, J. H. The Mind in the Making.
Sollas, W. J. Ancient Hunters and Their Modern Representatives.
Thomas, W. I. Source Book of Social Origins.
Wells, H. G. The Outline of History. Vol. I.
The Evolution of the State
I. Nature and origin of the state
a. Fanciful theories
b. The sociological view
II. Functions of the state
Ill. Stages of development
i. The patriarchal family
2. The gens or clan
3. The tribe
4. The city-state
5. The nation
IV. Institutions related to the state
1. Nature of war:
2. Rise of slavery
3. Development of law and property
Nature and Origin of the State. â€” The State is one
of the oldest and most commanding institutions of society.
. It is a society organized politically for the pur-
pose of preserving the group and of protecting
the individuals composing it. We may define the State a=
The Evolution of the State 47
a community of people inhabiting a definite area, fairly
well unified under some sort of government, and ruled by
officials under a body of written law or in accordance with
unwritten custom. Its purpose is social control for the
common good through organized cooperation.
The origin of the State is difficult to trace because of its
divergent roots and because of the numerous fanciful
theories that obscure its early history. Almost 0rigin .
every people has its tradition of an ancient law- Fanciful
giver, like the Greek Draco or the Roman Numa.
These wise men, if they ever really existed, did not give to
the people by divine inspiration a new and brilliant code of
laws, but merely collected and put into written form the
customs and traditions of many generations. Each nation
looks back to some mythical hero, claiming him as its
founder. Thus Rome had its Romulus, and England its
Arthur. Later in history appeared the Divine Right
theory of the State by which kingship was viewed, not as a
political development, but as a divinely ordained institu-
tion. Under this view the Church and the State could not
be easily separated. The English Stuarts claimed their
power from God, and in France so absolute was this type
of government that Louis XIV could say, " I am the State".
This view of the State was followed by the Social Con-
tract theory of such philosophers as Hobbes, Locke, and
Rousseau. It was claimed by these writers that man-
kind originally lived in a state of nature characterized
by war, confusion, and individual liberty. In order to
secure protection, the people voluntarily surrendered
this natural liberty to some chief whom they selected to
rule over them in order that they might enjoy peace and
48 Problems of American Democracy
The foregoing theories were the products of tradition,
or of a speculative philosophy, or of the desire to justify
The socio- despotic rule. The true origin of the State, how-
logtcai mew. everj j s no i t ]-, e found in such simple explana-
tions. Its basis lies in man's social instinct, that is, in his
inherent desire for the companionship of group life. An-
other factor is the principle of cooperation, which developed
group solidarity in the conflict with other peoples. Slowly
there developed from early family life the beginnings of the
modern State. It was a gradual development of political
control made necessary by the attempts of men to live
together harmoniously within a given area. As the patri-
archal family expanded, there was, however, no conscious
effort to build up a State. Custom unconsciously developed
into law, and the patriarch into king. War, since it re-
quired organization for successful prosecution, furthered
the evolution of the State. The temporary leader in battle
tended to become the permanent chief. Again, in times of
peace, the enforcement of group folkways and customs
made authority necessary. This authority was more re-
ligious than political, but in primitive society there was
little differentiation between Church and State.
Functions of the State.â€” The primary function of the
State is to protect its members in the enjoyment of their
Primary rights of life and property. As we have seen, this
functions. wag one reason f or ^ s origin. When the State can
no longer afford protection from foreign attack, it ceases to
exist and confusion reigns. The fall of the Roman Empire
was succeeded by feudalism, and the individual looked to his
nearest and most powerful lord for protection. Internally
the function of the State is to preserve the social order ;
that is, to protect each member of society in the enjoyment
The Evolution of the State 49
of his rights. It must hold in check the unsocial individual
who would infringe upon the privileges of others. Thus
the State is the guardian of property and regulates its trans-
fer and inheritance. It seeks to define crime and also to
punish it by the administration of justice in its courts.
With the decline of the functions of the early family, the
power and activity of the State have increased. The
modern ruler, taking the place of the patriarchal secondary
father, governs a great community stretching unctlons Â«
over an enormous area. The function of protection ex-
pands into diverse forms of which our early ancestors had
no conception. Thus, the State now regulates trade and
industry, coins money, establishes standards of measure,
and formulates tariffs. The regulation of transportation,
of the public health, and of sanitation has come within its
jurisdiction as well as the control of education which for-
merly rested with the Church or the school. Lastly has
come the care of defectives and dependents, for whom little
systematic provision was formerly made. With the growth
of industry and the increase of population, the modern
State has become almost paternalistic. Thus the functions
and powers of the State have increased with the growing
culture of society. The ideal of citizenship is becoming
that of social service.
Stages of Development. â€” The two roots of the State
lie in kinship or blood-relationship and in the institution of
private property. The State grew up with the
development of the idea of private property, for archai
, . . family.
whose protection government came into exist-
ence. Kinship is the other basis of the State, for the
patriarchal family expanded into the gens, the phratry, the
tribe, and finally the nation. The primitive social group or
5<d Problems of American Democracy
"horde," as it is sometimes called, was composed of sev-
eral family groups, the patriarchal family being much
larger than the modern one. The family in the modern
sense of the word includes merely the parents and off-
spring, for to-day when each son marries, he is regarded as
forming another family. In former days, however, he did
not escape his original family jurisdiction, but merely
brought his wife into his father's household. The patri-
archal father ruled over all his sons, their wives, and their
sons' families. The oldest surviving male was head of this
large patriarchal family. He was judge, high priest, and
ruler, often possessing power of life and death over his
little community. He was the custodian of the folkways
or unwritten law and the administrator of justice and of
religious sacrifices. After death, he was deified by the
ceremony of ancestor worship.
The family expanded in numbers not only by natural
increase, but also by adoption or fictitious kinship. A
The gens stranger might be brought into the group and,
or clan. after going through a ceremony of initiation, was
regarded as a true member of the family into which he had
been adopted. Thus the patriarchal family expanded into
a larger group called the gens or clan. This was a union
of several families who possessed the same religious cere-
monies and beliefs. Thus, the binding social tie expanded
from kinship into common religion. The heads of the
gentes or clans became officers of some importance. By
further expansion, a union of several gentes or clans was
called curia by the Romans or phratry by the Greeks. The
purpose now became more political than religious. Cover-
ing a greater area, the new group contained the germs of
local government. The first Roman assembly sat accord-
The Evolution of the State 51
ing to curiae, which have been likened to the wards of a
modern city. We can observe this process among the
Iroquois Indians who formed a federation of six tribes.
Each tribe was divided into two phratries, each of which
was subdivided into several clans named after various
animals. There were, for example, the clans of the wolf,
bear, and turtle.
More important than either the clan or the phratry is
the larger unit called the tribe which often represents the
group as a whole. Among many peoples the
development of the State never gets beyond the
tribal stage. The Iroquois Indians, by a federation of
tribes, were beginning to develop a nation when the white
man appeared. The chief purpose of tribal organization
is to secure cooperation in war. A capable chief or war
leader is generally chosen from the heads of the clans. In
many cases the phratry does not seem to be so important,
although the custom varies with different peoples. The
chief leads all the clans in war and in times of peace acts as
presiding officer or judge. As the group organization perfects
itself, the chief becomes king. His office tends to become
hereditary and his power despotic so long as war continues.
The most ancient type of the nation is that which we
call the city-state, so well illustrated by early Rome and
by the small independent communities of an- The city-
cient Greece. These were often based upon state "
tribal units. Early Rome, for example, was made up of
three tribes, each consisting of ten curias. The early city-
states were very small, consisting merely of a single walled
town and the surrounding territory. Each was an inde-
pendent self-governing community, making war, negotiat-
ing peace, and demanding allegiance from its citizens.
52 Problems of American Democracy
The early city-state expanded into the nation by the
process of war through the struggle of one city-state against
The another, and the incorporation of the con-
quered by the conquerors. An economic factor
of the conquest lay in the desire for booty, or the more
modern desire for commercial expansion. The successful
nation became constantly larger by devouring its rivals.
The field of history is strewn with the wrecks of conquered
civilizations, like those of Troy, Etruria, and Carthage.
While this process of external expansion is going on, there
is taking place internally the differentiation of political
organs and functions such as is found in the modern State.
Church and State tend to separate, while the government
divides itself into the executive, the legislative, and the
judicial. Separate institutions like senate, assemblies and
courts appear. The trend of development is not always
toward a greater degree of democracy, because men are
often willing to live under a despotism which protects their
lives and their property. As Aristotle has pointed out, a
frequent cycle of political change is from monarchy to aris-
tocracy, and frOm aristocracy to tyranny. When the rule
of the tyrant becomes unbearable, the tyranny is suc-
ceeded by a democracy which, upon becoming corrupt or
inefficient, gives place once more to monarchy.
Institutions Related to the State. â€” The process of
war brought about the amalgamation of the State. In the
patriarchal days each family avenged a wrong
of war: done to one of its members. In a later stage of
political development, the warfare was carried
on between tribes. In modern times war is waged between
nations or between groups of nations. With the growth of
the political unit, the area affected has become constantly
The Evolution of the State 53
larger. War may be regarded as the group phase of the
struggle for existence. As population increases and presses
upon food supply, the group tends to expand territorially..
This necessity for expansion brings the group into conflict
with its neighbors, and war results. Besides this economic
factor, racial antagonism and the clash of cultures or
religions are potent causes of war. Man's primitive in-
stincts are easily aroused, and the havoc of conflict is too
apparent to need mention. War to-day is often regarded
as an anachronism, a relic of the primitive days of bar-
barism. The economic stakes for which it is waged fre-
quently fade into insignificance when compared with the
loss of property involved. The appalling loss of life is
often in vain, for, unfortunately, right is not always
Nevertheless, so long as man's primitive instincts re-
main, war represents a modern survival of the struggle for
existence. War, too, often stimulates the hardy
virtues of a decaying people. It develops
patriotism and may serve the purpose of moral regeneration.
Another good result of war has been the development of a
higher degree of social organization, for conflict made group
solidarity necessary. Government often arose around some
competent leader who led his people to victory or safety.
Thus the lawgiver Moses led the children of Israel out of
Egypt, guided them during their period of war and migra-
tion, and around him crystallized the slowly forming
nation. The dangers of war tend to make the ruler's power
more autocratic, and kingship developed in Judea after
the long wars with neighboring peoples. Past wars have
brought about the breaking of the "cake of custom" by a
cross fertilization of cultures. Captive Greece conquered,
54 Problems of American Democracy
by her civilization, the victorious Romans. War formerly
resulted also in the formation of social classes, for the con-
querors often held the conquered as slaves or as a subject
class, like the Helots of the Spartans. In England there
existed for a century a great gulf between the upper class
Norman nobles and the lower class conquered Saxons.
This situation is aptly described in Sir Walter Scott's
fascinating tale of Ivanhoe.
Thus the institution of slavery developed with war. The
lives of the conquered were spared in order that they might
Rise of relieve the conquerors of the burden of monoto-
siavery. nous labor. Because of the creation of a slave
population, industry ceased to be the lot of women, as was
the custom during the savage or hunting stage. Slavery
disciplined a large part of mankind to habits of steady
work and enabled the conquerors to live a life of leisure.
The cultures of Greece and Rome were products of slave
civilizations. Slavery has been common in the past and has
been justified by the folkways and moral standards of the
group practicing it. Gradually the lot of the slave im-
proved, until the final disappearance of this institution
from civilized society.
Laws, as we have seen, originated in folkways and un-
written customs, which were later codified into legal sys-
tems by able statesmen. They reflect group
merit of" standards of conduct, â€” moral adjustments of
property. society. The rise of the State and the progress
of law are parallel developments. One reason
for the existence of law is the protection of the individual
in his rights of property. Among primitive peoples the
only recognized private property is a personal possession,
such as a weapon or a bodily ornament. The belongings of
The Evolution of the State 55
another are respected merely out of regard for, or from fear
of, the owner. The institution of private property grad-
ually develops as the group mind, or public opinion, con-
siders property rights as distinct from the individual
himself. The enforcing of justice upon the thief is then no
longer an individual matter of the aggrieved party, but
becomes a group function for which the State comes into
existence. Primitive people are generally more or less
communistic. Hunting grounds belong to the group, not
to the individual. The Australian native, for example,
regards the game he kills as belonging to others besides
himself, and explicit rules for its disposition are found in
the folkways. Individual rights are difficult for most
savages to understand. The growth of civilization, how-
ever, has been marked by the development of the idea of
individual property rights as distinct from primitive savage
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Give a brief definition of the State as an institution of society.
2. What are the elements necessary?
3. Name three theories of the State.
4. Explain each.
5. What is the basis of the State in human instinct?
6. Show the role of cooperation.
7. Explain the idea of evolution as applied to the development of
8. What made authority necessary in times of war?
9. In peace?
10. What is the primary function of the State?
11. When does feudalism arise?
12. Can you give any illustration of feudalism other than medieval
13. Name some other functions of the State.
14. Show how its sphere of activity has grown.
56 Problems of American Democracy
15. Give a description of the patriarchal family as a unit of
16. Explain the clan and the phratry.
17. What were the differences between them?
18. Give the organization of the Iroquois Indians.
19. Discuss the tribal stage of political development.
20. Define and illustrate the city-state.
21. Show the process by which nations developed from small
22. Illustrate the growth of political institutions and the develop-
ment of separate organs of government.
23. How does this illustrate the evolutionary principle of develop-
ment from the simple to the complex?
24. Give Aristotle's cycle of government.
25. Give some good results of war in the past.
26. Give two good results of slavery in the past.
27. Do you think our Southern slave holders believed the institu-
tition to be just? Why?
28. What are the two roots of the State?
29. Trace the development of the idea of private property.
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL REPORT
1. The city-state of the Greeks.
2. The clans of ancient Rome.
3. Slavery among the ancients.
4. The social contract theory of the State.
5. History of the theory of Divine Right.
7. The abolition of war.
Blackmarand Gillen. Outlines oj Sociology . Chapters VII and VIII.
Dealey, J. Q. Sociology. Chapter VI.
Ellwood, C. A. Sociology and Modern Social Problems.
Fairbanks, A. Introduction to Sociology. Chapter X.
Fowler, W. W. The City State of the Greeks and Romans.
Hayes, E. C. Introduction to a Study of Sociology. Pages 5 19 to 538.
Wilson, W. The State. Chapters I and II.
The Origin of the American State
I. The original thirteen colonies
i. The South:
a. Early settlement
b. Social life
2. New England:
a. How founded
b. Compared with the South
3. Middle colonies:
a. Their origin
b. Another element
4. Later additions :
a. French Huguenots
II. The new nation in the making
1. Comparison with French settlements
2. Comparison with Latin America
3. Transplanted ideas
The evolution of the State as a social institution has al-
ready been traced. Let us now make a particular study of
the American State. This necessitates a consideration of
both the physical heredity, representing our racial stock, and
also the social heredity, representing the ideas and ideals
which crossed the Atlantic with the original settlers. Here
again is the problem of adjustment, for we must ask our-
58 Problems of American Democracy
selves constantly how the new environment affected both
the people and the institutions of the new nation. The
European background of American history is most impor-
tant, for it holds the key to many curious turns in our
colonial history. Again, early American political and social
institutions were patterned after those of the mother
country, although these were gradually altered in the
process of adjustment to new conditions. Thus, starting
with the same English traditions of local government, the
southern and New England colonists worked out two dif-
ferent systems because of their different physical environ-
The Original Thirteen Colonies. â€” In 1607, at James-
town, was founded the first permanent English colony in
_. â€ž ^ America. From the earliest times to the present
The South: ^
Early settle- the New World has been regarded as a land of
boundless possibilities. The first English colo-
nists in Virginia expected to find gold and precious stones,
and to return wealthy to the mother land by the exploita-
tion of the New World. Instead, death and starvation
faced them, while the life of the new colony hung by a
thread. The cultivation of tobacco, however, gave the
South a permanent industrial basis. The nationality of
the settlers was almost purely English, but of the most
varied character and social condition. After the execution
of Charles I and the establishment of the Commonwealth,
a number of royalist families fled to Virginia rather than
submit to political conditions at home. The exodus of the
cavaliers to the New World is responsible for such names
as Washington, Marshall, Monroe and Madison in Amer-
ican history. Many of the first families of the South had
their roots in the aristocracy of Old England. Many also
The Origin of the American State 59
were sprung from the country gentry and from the middle
class who came to America to escape political vexation or
to recruit a failing fortune. The lower classes also sent
their quota. Indentured servants came over at the rate
of a thousand a year. Kidnappers smuggled over victims
snatched from the streets of London, while prisoners were
often given the choice between the gallows and the New
World. Dr. Johnson considered Americans "a race of con-
victs" who "ought to be content with anything we allow
them short of hanging." This comment of an old English
pedant should be remembered by the descendants of these
same Americans, not because of its inaccuracy, but rather
to prevent ourselves from falling into a similar error with
regard to our own present-day immigrants.
The founding of Georgia by Oglethorpe as an asylum for
debtors languishing in English prisons should be interesting
to the student of social problems. The cultiva-
r-T â€¢ i/~i t i it Social life.
tion 01 mdigo in the Carolmas played the same
role as the cultivation of tobacco in Virginia. Cotton did
not become king in the South until after the invention of
the cotton gin. Slavery was introduced and, as in Spanish
America, was especially suited to plantation life. A broad
and fertile land made agriculture the natural industry,
while large estates developed a landed aristocracy. The
home of the planter was magnificently located upon a hill
overlooking a river, up which came the yearly ship from
England to discharge its cargo of luxuries and to receive
its crop of tobacco. Living at a distance from each other,
travellers were royally entertained and Southern hospital-
ity became justly famous. The county system of local
government, instead of the township, was the natural
political development of a widely scattered population
Problems of American Democracy
engaged in agriculture. The established church was the
Anglican, and the form of Colonial government was that
of a royal or crown colony.
Plymouth Rock is still the shrine of tourists, for here in
1620 landed the Pilgrim fathers. For the sake of con-
science, they sailed the stormy Atlantic and en-
England: dured the bleak shores of New England. In
their old home, State and Church were united
and the Anglican form of worship was obligatory. After a
Early Pilgrims Going to Church
brief stay in Holland, the Pilgrims were granted the right
to settle in America where they could worship God as they