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1. The Necessity of Government Everywhere. Whenever a number of persons are associated for any definite purpose they must be controlled, that is, governed; otherwise confusion and disorder will defeat the object of the association. There must be government in the family, in the school, in the church-to maintain the order required to accomplish the purpose of these social bodies.
The control implied in government always has order for its object. A band of robbers may be controlled, and usually is, by some leader; but his control seeks disorder, not order.
2. Civil Government and Its Necessity. It is impossible for man to live alone. His nature and his necessities oblige him to seek communion and fellowship with others. Hence he has always lived in communities. The government of a community is civil or political government. Selfishness—the thing that makes government indispensable in every form of human organization is considerably curbed in the family by affection. In a community selfishness is not checked by family ties; and without civil government this evil tendency of man would override all rights and privileges and cause disorder to reign supreme.
The chief need for civil government, therefore, lies in the establishment and preservation of order in the community. This may be termed its police function. It consists of the making and enforcement of laws for the protection of life and property from malice, avarice, and neglect. Originally the police function was the only function of government; and in every new community it is still the first and only one to be exercised-for order is of primal necessity. Civil government in older communities—especially in highly civilized ones-does much more than protect life and property. Especially is this the case in recent times. It builds roads and bridges; it educates the youth; it provides for the poor; it promotes the health of the people; it furnishes lights, parks, and drives; it brings us our mail; it pensions our soldiers, and attends to other affairs that concern all the people
alike. This fatherly care which civil government exercises over the people is called paternalism.
3. The Origin of Government.—Civil government had its origin in family government. The earliest communities in every race consisted of families, and were banded together by blood relationship. First, there was the single family, governed by the father. As long as he lived all families arising by the marriage of his children, as well as of his more remote descendants, were subject to his control. His power may be summed up in the words king and priest; for he governed in things political and things spiritual. When the father died the oldest living male descendant succeeded to the rulership. This primitive kind of government is known as patriarchal government, and is well illustrated in the patriarchs of the Bible.
4. The Evolution of the State.-In the course of time the family broadened into the house, which was a large, composite family, no longer united by the bond of kinship, but by common religious rites and observances. Some kinsman, by virtue of his priority of birth, continued to be the ruler. The houses united and formed tribes, whose chiefs likewise held their places by the law of kinship with the tribe. The necessity of having some able leader in case of war among tribes naturally led to the selection of the hardiest and most experienced man. Having successfully commanded a tribe or several tribes in a military expedition, and possibly subjugated other tribes, such a leader would frequently usurp power afterwards and emerge from his temporary leadership as king, with a number of tribes under his absolute dominion. If his male descendants were men sufficiently able to
perpetuate the rule of their father the kingship passed to the hereditary state; otherwise it remained elective. Tribes so united constituted the earliest state. After some time the king, in order to strengthen himself, associated with his rule persons of power and influence. Out of these alliances grew the king's guards and standing armies, the privileged orders, the nobilities, and the aristocracies of the more civilized states.
5. Early States without Land.—The earliest political organizations were traveling states. They had no territorial boundaries. Civilized states have passed through four stages of development. The first stage was that of hunting and fishing, or the savage stage, of which the American Indian is typical. The second stage was that of keeping herds and flocks, as did the patriarchs of the Bible. In both these stages the state was nomadic; for its people were now here, now there—wherever game and fish or grass and water were most abundant. In the third stage the people abandoned their migratory life and tilled the soil. But agriculture requires implements, and the making of these brought about the fourth stage of development in civilization, that of manufacturing. In the two latter stages the state came to be associated with the land on which its people dwelt. In this transition, for instance, the state of the Franks became the state of France; that of the Germans, Germany; that of the English, England. States were then no longer bound together by kinship, but by land.
6. The Modern State.—The original conception of a state embraced two elements only—a people and a government. When civilization reached the agricultural and manufacturing stages a third element became in