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by pressures of from 24 to 31 pounds per
square foot. These estimates are based
upon the calculation of the smallest amount
of pressure that would do the damage.

The magnetic survey of Missouri is to
be continued during the summer at the ex-
pense of a gentleman in St. Louis. The

Stat- I,,-i-;lMnir,.ba- ivi.'.-l,.,] :. 1,111 antlu.r-



576



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MOXTHLY.



izing the county courts to employ competent
persons to fix the north and south lines at
the county-scats, at an expense of not more
than fifty dollars each.

Recent exr>eriments by Nies and Win-
kelman indicate that expansion, in passing
from the liquid to the solid state, is a more
common property of metals than has been
believed. Their fundamental experiment
consisted in putting the solid metal into
the liquid. In some cases the difference in
density could be measured. They found
that six out of eight metals examined dis-
tinctly expanded in solidifying, while the
result was obscure in the case of the other
two metals. Tin increased in volume 07
per cent. ; zinc, 02 per cent. ; bismuth, 3
per cent. ; and antimony, iron, and copper
in obvious proportions. Lead and cadmium
presented difficulties that hindered a satis-
factory determination of their qualities.

Kract has shown that ordinary combus-
tible substances may be set on fire by nitric
acid. A wooden box of convenient size was
half filled with sawdust, hey, straw, tow, or
shavings. A flask containing nitric acid, of
at least 1-5 specific gravity, was placed upon
this, and the box filled up with the combus-
tible material. The flask was then broken,
and a wooden cover was put on the bos.
Vapors were seen in one or two minutes ; a
thick, white smoke appeared a little later ;
and the odor of the burning material was
observed. On opening the box a few min-
utes afterward, the interior was found all
on fire, and flames burst out.

31. E. ViLLAiti, from experimental meas-
urements of the temperature of the body
during acts of motion, has reached the con-
clusions that the lowest temperature in man,
ensuing after a period of rest, is 984 ' ; that
the temperature increases, under the influ-
ence of a positive, ascending cifort, to
100'C°, under the influence of a descending
effort to 100'3° ; that it increases after any
exertion, but more after an ascending than
after a descending one ; and that the chemi-
cal actions of the organism arc augmented
after every movement.

A SrxDAY Science School at Edinburgh,
Scotland, has enrolled ninety-two pupils, and
enjoyed an average attendance, from Novem-
ber to July last, of sixty youth who were
not able on account of late business hours
to attend the evening classes.

51. PiCTET recently read a paper before
the French Society of Civil Engineers, ex-
plaining the operation of his ice-machines, at
the close of which he invited the members
of the society to visit his works, where two
machines are operating with sulphurous acid,
one of which produces 2,425 pounds of ice
per hour.



j The first number of Volume II of
" Studies from the Biological Laboratory
of John Hopkins University " is just pub-
I lished, and contains among others a lengthy
j but very interesting article on " The Study
j of Human Anatomy historically and legally
j considered."

I Mr. Ronald Campbell Gcnn, a Tasma-
j nian botanist, died March 14th, aged seventy-
' three years. He was born at the Cape of
j Good Hope, and, having removed to Tas-
I mania in 1830, was intrusted with impor-
I tant official positions. He began to investi-
I gate the botany and natural history of the
' island in 1830, and in this occupation ram-
bled over most of the colony. Reports of
I his work appear in Sir Joseph D. Hooker's
"Flora of Tasmania," and in several periodi-
cal publications. He was also editor of the
" Tasmanian Journal," a scientific publica-
tion.

Almost simultaneously with the publica-
tion of the discoveries of Messrs. Bell and
Tainter in radiophony, M. Mercadier, in
Paris, without any knowledge of what they
had done, announced that he had been able
to reproduce the sounds of speaking and
singing upon the photophonic receiver, not
only with the light of the sun, but also by
means of the electric light, and the oxy-
hydrogen light.

Mr. John Blackwall, one of the oldest
members of the Linnaean Society, died May
11th, aged ninety-two years. His principal
work was a monograph on the British spi-
ders, published by the Kay Society, about
twenty years ago. He also published " Re-
searches in Zoology," in 1834 (second edi-
tion, 1873), and a considerable number of
papers on general zoology.

A MARKET for the sale of toads to gar-
deners is held regularly every week in
Paris. Dealers bring their " goods " in well-
ventilated casks, in which the toads are
packed in lots of a hundred, in damp moss.
A lot of a hundred good individuals will
bring fifteen to seventeen dollars. The gar-
deners use them to keep down the destruc-
tive insects that annoy them. A Dutch
gardener, M. Krclage, of Haarlem, recom-
mends tiie use of the toad in greenhouses,
as furnishing an excellent means for de-
stroying the millepeds that infest the plants.

An International Medical and Sanitary
E.xliibition is to be held under the auspices
of the Parkes Museum of Hygiene at South
Kensington from July ICth to August 13th.
It will comprise everjthingthat is of service
for the prevention, detection, cure, and alle-
viation of disease.

The French Association for the Ad-
vancement of Science will meet at Roehelle
next year.




JAMES CRAIG WATSON.



THE



POPULAR SCIENCE
MONTHLY.



SEPTEMBER, 1881.



THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL mSTITUTIOIs^S.

By HERBEET SPENCER.
IX. — EEPEESENTATIVE BODIES.

AMID the varieties and complexities of political organization, it
has proved not impossible to discern the ways in which simple
political heads and compound political heads are evolved ; and how,
under certain conditions, the two become united as ruler and con-
sultative body. But, to see how a representative body arises, proves
to be more difficult ; for both process and product are more variable.
Less specific results must content us.

As hitherto, so again, we must go back to the beginning to take
up the clew. Out of that earliest stage of the savage horde in which
there is no supremacy beyond that of the man whose strength, or
courage, or cunning, gives him predominance, the first step is to the
practice of election — deliberate choice of a leader in war. About the
conducting of elections in rude tribes travelers are silent : probably
the methods used are various. But we have accounts of elections as
they were made by European peoples during early times. In ancient
Scandinavia, the chief of a province, chosen by the assembled people,
was thereupon " elevated amid the clash of arms and the shouts of the
multitude " ; and among the ancient Germans he was carried on a
shield. Recalling, as this ceremony docs, the chairing of a newly
elected member of Parliament up to recent times, and reminding us
that originally among ourselves election was by show of hands, we
are taught that the choice of a representative was once identical
with the choice of a chief. Our House of Commons had its roots
in local gatherings like those in which uncivilized tribes select head
warriors.

Besides conscious selection, there occurs among rude peoples selec-
voL. XIX. — 37



578 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tion by lot. The Saraoans, for instance, by spinning a cocoanut, which
on coming to rest points to one of the surrounding persons, thereby
single him out. Early historic races supply illustrations ; as the
Hebrews in the affair of Saul and Jonathan, and as the Homeric
Greeks when fixing on a champion to fight with Hector, In both
these last cases there was belief in supernatural interference : the lot
was supposed to be divinely determined. And probably at the out-
set, choice by lot for political purposes among the Athenians, and for
military purposes among the Romans, as, also, in later times, the use
of the lot for choosing deputies in some of the Italian republics,
and in Spain (as in Leon during the twelfth century), was influenced
by a kindred belief ; though doubtless the desire to give equal chances
to rich and poor, or else to assign without dispute a mission which
was onerous or dangerous, entered into the motive or was even pre-
dominant. Here, however, the fact to be noted is, that this mode of
choice which plays a part in representation may also be traced back
to the usages of primitive peoples.

So, too, we find foreshadowed the process of delegation. Groups
of men who open negotiations, or who make their submission, or who
send tribute, habitually appoint certain of their number to act on
their behalf. The method is, indeed, in such cases necessitated ;
since a tribe can not well perform such actions bodily. Whence, too,
it appears that the appointing of representatives is, at the first
stage, originated by causes like those which reoriginate it at a later
stage. For, as the will of the tribe, readily displayed in its assemblies
to its own members, can not be thus displayed to other tribes, but
must, in respect of inter-tribal matters, be communicated by deputy,
so, in a large nation, the peojile of each locality, able to govern them-
selves locally, but unable to join the peoples of remote localities in
deliberations which concern them all, have to send one or more per-
sons to express their will. Distance in both cases changes direct
utterance of the popular voice into indirect utterance.

Before observing the conditions under which this singling out of
individuals in one or other way for appointed duties comes to be used
in the formation of a representative body, we must exclude classes of
cases not relevant to our present inquiry. Though representation
as ordinarily conceived, and as here to be dealt with, is associated
with a popular form of government, yet the connection between them
is not a necessary one. In some places and times representation has
coexisted with entire exclusion of the masses from power. In Poland,
both before and after the so-called republican form was assumed, the
central Diet, in addition to senators nominated by the king, was com-
posed of nobles elected in provincial assemblies of nobles : the people
at large being powerless and mostly serfs. In Hungary, too, up to
recent times, the privileged class, which, even after it had been greatly
enlarged, reached onlv "one twentieth of the adult males," alone



REPRESEXTA TI VE B DIES.



579



formed the basis of representation. " A Hungarian county before
the reforms of 1848 miglit be called a direct aristocratical republic, "
all members of the noble class having a right to join the local assem-
bly and vote in appointing a rejiresentative noble to the general Diet,
but the inferior classes having no share in the government.

Other representative bodies than those of an exclusively aristo-
cratic kind must be named as not falling within the scope of this
chapter. As Duruy remarks : " Antiquity was not as ignorant as is
supposed of the representative system. . . . Each Roman province
had its general assemblies. . . . Thus the Lycians possessed a true leg-
islative body formed by the deputies of their twenty-three towns,
. . . This assembly had even executive functions." And Pavia, Gaul,
Spain, all the eastern provinces, and Greece, had like assemblies. But,
little as is known of them, the inference is tolerably safe that these
were but distantly allied in genesis and position to the bodies we now
distinguish as representative. Nor are we concerned with governing
senates and councils elected by different divisions of a town-popu-
lation, such as those which were variously formed in the Italian repub-
lics — bodies which served simply as agents whose doings were subject
to the directly-expressed approval or disapproval of the assembled
citizens. Here we must limit ourselves to that kind of representation
which arises in communities occupying areas so large that their mem-
bers are obliged to exercise by deputies such powers as they possess ;
and, further, we have to deal exclusively with cases in which the
assembled deputies do not replace preexisting political agencies, but
cooperate with them.

It will be well to set out by observing, more distinctly than we
have hitherto done, what part of the primitive political structure it is
from which the representative body, as thus conceived, originates.

Broadly, this question is tacitly answered by the contents of the
preceding chapters. For, if, on occasions of public deliberation, the
primitive horde spontaneously divides into the inferior many and the
superior few, among whom some one is most influential ; and if, in the
course of the compounding and recompounding of groups which war
l)rings about, the recognized war-chief develops into the king, while
the superior few become the consultative body formed of minor mili-
tary leaders — it follows that any third coordinate political power must
be either the mass of the inferior itself, or else some agency acting on
its behalf. Truism though this may be called, it is needful here to
.<et it down ; since, before inquiring under what circumstances the
•growth of a representative system follows the growth of popular
l>ower, we havQ to recognize the relation between the two.

The undistinguished mass, retaining a latent supremacy in simple
societies not yet politically organized, though it is brought under re-
straint as fast as war establishes submission, and conquests produce



580 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

class-differentiations, tends, when occasion permits, to reassert itself.
The sentiments and beliefs, organized and transmitted, which, during
certain stages of social evolution, lead the many to submit to the few,
come, under some circumstances, to be traversed by other sentiments
and beliefs. Passing references have been in several places made to
these. Here we must consider them seriatim and more at length.

One factor in the development of the patriarchal group during the
pastoral stage was shown to be the fostering of subordination to its
head by war ; since, continually, there survived the groups in which
subordination was greatest. But, if so, the implication is that, con-
versely, cessation of war tends to diminish subordination. Members
of the compound family, originally living together and fighting to-
gether, become less strongly bound in proportion as they have less
frequently to cooperate for joint defense under their head. Hence,
the more peaceful the state the more independent become the multi-
plying divisions forming the gens, the phratry, and the tribe. With
progress of industrial life arises greater freedom of action — especially
among the distantly-related members of the group.

So must it be, too, in a feudally-governed assemblage. While
standing quarrels with neighbors are ever leading to local battles ;
while bodies of men-at-arms are kept ready, and vassals are from time
to time summoned to fight ; while, as a concomitant of military ser-
vice, acts of homage are insisted upon — there is maintained a regi-
mental subjection running through the group. But, as fast as aggres-
sions and counter-aggressions become less frequent, the carrying of
arms becomes less needful ; there is less occasion for the periodic
expressions of fe&lty ; and there is a proportionate increase of daily
actions carried on without direction of a superior, fostering increased
individuality of character.

These changes are furthered by the decline of superstitious beliefs
concerning the natures of head-men, general and local. As before
shown, the ascription of superhuman origin, or supernatural power, to
the king, greatly strengthens his bands ; and where the chiefs of
component groups have a sacredness due to nearness in blood to the
semi-divine ancestor worshiped by all, or are members of an invading,
god-descended race, their authority over dependents is largely en-
forced. By implication, then, anything which undermines ancestor-
worship, and the system of beliefs accompanying it, favors the growth
of popular power. Doubtless the spread of Christianity over Europe,
by diminishing the prestige of governors, major and minor, prepared
the way for greater independence of the governed.

These causes have relatively small effects Avhere the people are
scattered. In rural districts the authority of political superiors is
weakened with comparative slowness. Even after peace has become
habitual, and local heads have lost their semi-sacred chai-acters, there
cling to them awe-inspiring traditions ; they are not of ordinary flesh



REPRESENTATIVE BODIES. 581

and blood. Wealth, which, through long ages, distinguishes the noble-
man exclusively, gives him both actual power and the power arising
from display. Fixed literally or practically, as the several grades of
his inferiors are during days when locomotion is difficult, he long
remains for them the solitary sample of a great man : others are known
only by hearsay ; he is known by experience. Inspection is easily
maintained by him over dependent and sub-dependent people ; and the
disrespectful or rebellious, if they can not be punished overtly, can
be deprived of occupation, or otherwise so hindered in their lives that
they must submit or migrate. Down to our own day, the behavior
of peasants and farmers to the squire is suggestive of the strong re-
straints which kept rural populations in semi-servile states after primi-
tive controlling influences had died away.

Converse effects may be expected under converse conditions, name-
ly, where large numbers become closely aggregated. Even if such
large numbers are formed of groups severally subordinate to heads of
clans, or to feudal superiors, sundry influences combine to diminish
subordination. When there are present in the same place many supe-
riors to whom respectively their dependents owe obedience, these supe-
riors tend to dwarf one another. The power of no one is so imposing
if there are daily seen others who make like displays. Further, when
groups of dependents are mingled, supervision can not be so well main-
tained by their heads. And this, which hinders the exercise of con-
trol, facilitates combination among those to be controlled ; conspiracy
is made easier and detection of it more difficult. Again, jealous of one
another, as these heads of clustered groups are likely in such circum-
stances to be, they are prompted severally to strengthen themselves,
and to this end, competing for popularity, are tempted to relax the
restraints over their inferiors and to give protection to inferiors ill-used
by other heads. Still more are their powers undermined when the
assemblage comes to include many aliens. As before implied, this,
above all causes, favors the growth of popular power. In proportion
as immigrants, detached from the gentile or feudal divisions they sev-
erally belong to, become numerous, they weaken the structures of the
divisions among which they live. Such organization as these strangers
fall into is certain to be a looser one ; and their influence becomes a
dissolving agency to the surrounding organizations.

And here we are brought back to the truth which can not be too
much insisted upon, that growth of popular power is in all ways asso-
ciated with trading activities. For only by trading activities can
many people be brought to live in close contact. Physical necessities
maintain the wide dispersion of a rural population ; while physical
necessities impel the gathering together of those who are commercially
occupied. Evidence from various countries and times shows that
periodic gatherings for religious rites, or other public purposes, fur-
nish opportunities for buying and selling, which are habitually utilized ;



582 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and this connection between the assembling of many people and the
exchanging of commodities, which first shows itself at intervals, be-
comes a permanent connection where many people become permanently
assembled — where a town grows up in the neighborhood of a temple,
or around a stronghold, or in a place where local circumstances favor
some manufacture.

Industrial development further aids popular emancipation by gen-
erating an order of men whose power, derived from their wealth, com-
petes with, and begms in some cases to exceed, the power of those
who previously were alone wealthy — the men of rank. While this
initiates a conflict which diminishes the influence previously exercised
by patriarchal or feudal heads only, it also initiates a milder form of
subordination. Rising, as the rich trader habitually does in early
times, from the non-privileged class, the relation between him and
those under him is one from which there is excluded the idea of per-
sonal subjection. In proportion as the industrial activities become
j^redominant, they make familiar a connection between employer and
employed, which differs from the relation between master and slave,
or lord and vassal, by not including allegiance. Under earlier condi-
tions there does not exist the idea of detached individual life — life
which neither receives protection from a clan-head or feudal superior
nor is carried on in obedience to him. But in town-populations, made
up largely of refugees, w'ho either become small traders or are em-
ployed by large ones, the experience of a relatively independent life
becomes common, and the conception of it distinct.

And the form of cooperation distinctive of the industrial state
which thus arises fosters the feelings and thoughts appropriate to pop-
ular power. In daily usage there is a balancing of claims ; and the
conception of equity is, generation after generation, made clearer.
The relations between employer and employed, and between buyer
and seller, can be maintained only on condition that the obligations
on either side are fulfilled. Where they are not fulfilled the relation
lapses, and leaves outstanding those relations in which they are ful-
filled. Commercial success and growth have thus, as their inevitable
concomitants, the maintenance of the respective claims of those con-
cerned, and a strengthening consciousness of them.

In brief, then, dissolving in various ways the old relation of status,
and substituting the new relation of contract (to use Sir Henry Maine's
antithesis), progressing industrialism brings together masses of peo-
ple who by their circumstances are enabled, and by their discipline
prompted, to modify the political organization which militancy has
bequeathed.

It is common to speak of free forms of government as having been
initiated by happy accidents. Antagonisms between different powers
in the state, or different factions, have caused one or other to bid for



REPRESENTATIVE BODIES. 583

popular support, with the result of increasing popular power. The
king's jealousy of the aristocracy has induced him to enlist the sympa-
thies of the people — sometimes serfs, but more frequently citizens —
and therefore to favor them ; or, otherwise, the people have profited
by alliance with the aristocracy in resisting royal tyrannies and ex-
actions. Doubtless, the facts admit of being thus presented. With
conflict there habitually goes the desire for allies ; and throughout
mediaeval Europe, while the struggles between monarchs and barons
were chronic, the support of the towns was important. Germany,
France, Spain, Hungary, furnish illustrations.

But it is an error to regard occurrences of these kinds as causes of
popular power. They are to be regarded rather as the conditions under
which the causes take effect. These incidental weakenings of pre-
existing institutions do but furnish opportunities for the action of the
pent-up force which is ready to work political changes. Three factors
in this force may be distinguished — the relative mass of those com-
posing the industrial communities as distinguished from those embod-
ied in the older forms of organization ; the permanent sentiments and
ideas produced in them by their mode of life ; and the temporary
emotions excited by special acts of oppression or by distress. Let us
observe the cooperation of these.

Two instances, occurring first in order of time, are furnished by
the Athenian democracy. The condition which preceded the Solonian
legislation was one of violent dissension among political factions ; and
there was also " a general mutiny of the poorer population against the



Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 73 of 110)