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which communicates to the son a portion of the same respect which was wont to be paid to the virtues or station of the father; the mutual jealousy of other competitors; the greater envy with which all behold the exaltation of an equal, than the continuance of an acknowledged superiority; a reigning prince leaving behind him many adherents, who can preserve their own importance only by supporting the succession of his children: add to these reasons, that elections to the supreme power having, upon trial, produced destructive contentions, many states would take refuge from a return of the same calamities, in a rule of succession; and no rule presents itself so obvious, certain, and intelligible, as consanguinity of birth.
The ancient state of society in most countries, and the modern condition of some uncivilised parts of the world, exhibit that appearance which this account of the origin of civil government would lead us to expect, The earliest histories of Palestine, Greece, Italy, Gaul, Britain, inform us, that these countries were occupied by many small independent nations, not much perhaps unlike those which are found at present amongst the savage inhabitants of North America, and
upon the coast of Africa. These nations I consider as the amplifications of so many single families; or as derived from the junction of two or three families, whom society in war, or the approach of some common danger, had united. Suppose a country to have been first peopled by shipwreck on its coasts, or by emigrants or exiles from a neighbouring country; the new settlers, having no enemy to provide against, and occupied with the care of their personal subsistence, would think little of digesting a system of laws, of contriving a form of government, or indeed of any political union whatever; but each settler would remain at the head of his own family, and each family would include all of every age and generation who were descended from him. So many of these families as were holden together after the death of the original ancestor, by the reasons and in the method above recited, would wax, as the individuals were multiplied, into tribes, clans, hordes, or nations, similar to those into which the ancient inhabitants of many countries are known to have been divided, and which are still found wherever the state of society and manners is immature and uncultivated.
Nor need we be surprised at the early existence in the world of some vast empires, or at the rapidity with which they advanced to their greatness, from comparatively small and obscure originals. Whilst the inhabitants of so many countries were broken into numerous communities, unconnected, and oftentimes contending, with each other; before experience had taught these little states to see their own danger in their neighbour's ruin; or had instructed them in the necessity of resisting the aggrandisement of an aspiring power, by alliances, and timely preparations; in this condition of civil policy, a particular tribe, which by any means had gotten the start of the rest in strength or discipline, and happened to fall under the conduct of an ambitious chief, by directing their first attempts to the part where success was most secure, and by assuming, as they went along, those whom they conquered into a share of their future enterprises, might soon gather a force which would infallibly overbear any opposition that the scattered power and unprovided state of such enemies could make to the progress of their victories.
Lastly, our theory affords a presumption, that the earliest governments were monarchies, because the government of families,
and of armies, from which, according to our account, civil government derived its institution, and probably its form, is universally monarchical.
COULD we view our own species from a distance, or regard mankind with the same sort of observation with which we read the natural history, or remark the manners, of any other animal, there is nothing in the human character which would more surprise us, than the almost universal subjugation of strength to weakness ;-than to see many millions of robust men, in the complete use and exercise of their personal faculties, and without any defect of courage, waiting upon the will of a child, a woman, a driveller, or a lunatic. And although, when we suppose a vast empire in absolute subjection to one person, and that one depressed beneath the level of his species by infirmities, or vice, we suppose perliaps an extreme case; yet in all cases, even in the most popular forms of civil
„government, the physical strength resides in the governed. In what manner opinion thus prevails over strength, or how naturally belongs to superior force, is maintained in opposition to it; in other words, by what motives the many are induced to submit to the few; becomes an inquiry which lies at the root of almost every political speculation. It removes, indeed, but does not
ve, the difficulty, to say that civil vernments are now-a-days almost universally upholden by standing armies; for the question still returns ; How are these armies themselves kept in subjection, or made to obey the commands, and carry on the de signs, of the prince or state which employs them?
Now, although we should look in vain for any single reason which will account for the general submission of mankind to civil government; yet it may not be difficult to as, sign for every class and character in the community, considerations powerful enough to dissuade each from any attempts to resist established authority. Every man has his motive, though not the same.
In this, as in other instances, the conduct is similar, but