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a highly civilized and productive country, from which their progeny in twelve tribes were led into Palestine by Moses. There they established a permanent settlement with a theocratic government and division of the land among them by tribes. This division into tribes persisted for many centuries in accordance with the laws of Moses relating to the tenure of their lands. No such division appears to have been maintained either in Egypt or Babylonia. In those rich and populous countries the people were classified according to official position, wealth, and occupation, and subject to despotic governments ruling over all of them.
In the early settlements of Greece there were tribal growths from which city states developed. As manufactures and commerce grew tribal divisions in the principal cities disappeared. Rome started from its three tribes, but when it became a great city the usual differentiation along class lines took place, and a very large part of the population was made up from outside districts and countries. These are prominent instances of na-V tional beginnings from tribal sources. Many others concerning which our information is not so full might be mentioned. Neither of those mentioned is a case of what may fairly be called primitive people. All of the tribes mentioned proceeded out of civilized countries in which the family relations were clearly defined by law. Abraham was the head of a polygamous family and had wives, children and servants in accordance with the established law of his country. The Greeks and Romans had advanced from polygamists to monogamists, but included slaves as a part of the household. Aristotle assumed this to be the natural composition of a family.
Generally tribal development takes place under conditions of comparative isolation and poverty, and disappears with dense population and much accumulation of wealth. This is equally so whether the progenitors of the tribe come out of a civilized state or break off from a savage tribe. The Indians of the Americas, the natives of the poorer regions of Africa, the Asiatics in the desert and pastoral countries, exhibit persistent divisions into tribes, of which some are destroyed in wars, by
4 Numbers Ch. 34-35 and 36.
famine, or pestilence, while others increase in numbers, separate and send out branches from which new tribes are formed. Indolence and improvidence furnish no foundation for an extensive governmental structure or an elaborate system of laws. So long as these are general conditions, war, pestilence and famine, prevent great increase of population and restrict ideas of government to mere tribal organization, with here and there a confederacy for mutual aid in war.
The confederacy of the Iroquois was formed of the tribes settled in the game filled forests of New York near lakes and streams filled with the best of fish. Before the advent of the Europeans the Mexicans, though without a written language, had made much progress in agriculture and manufactures, and had a well organized government, exercising executive, legislative, and judicial functions. In Peru the unique socialistic despotism of the Incas proved its wonderful efficiency by the great public works and accumulation of supplies in the public warehouses which were found by the Spaniards. Whichever may be regarded as the cause of the other, industry, thrift and increase of population on one hand, and governmental organization on the other, attend each other. In the numbers of its people China leads all the nations. Industry and thrift from time immemorial have been characteristics of its people. From very early times it has had a very complicated governmental system with a multitude of officials. There, in India, and most of the rest of Asia, as well as in eastern Europe, the village system with its tribal characteristics still persists outside the great cities. In western Europe, over which Roman dominion and culture extended, there are few survivals of tribal relations, the exceptions being in the mountainous districts and among Germanic tribes.
On the American continent there have been no tribal developments in the settlements made by Europeans. The influx of people has been so rapid and in such numbers that political organization has started as a conscious combination of representatives of many families for governmental purposes. Most of the savage tribes were pure democracies, in which public matters were determined by the general assembly of the tribe.
This democratic spirit pervaded the European settlements in America and public concerns were discussed and determined in the town and county gatherings. The more general concerns were considered and dealt with by assemblies of representatives, modelled somewhat on the plan of the British Parliament, but without its hereditary nobility. The United States may fairly be called a pioneer in conscious government building, but, nevertheless, with an imported foundation of conceptions of law brought from England.
In tracing the transmission of ideas concerning social relations we find that the Hebrews brought much with them out of their ancestral home in Chaldea and borrowed some from the land of their captivity, Egypt. The lively Greeks brought with them the customs and traditions of their Asiatic ancestors, and their statesmen and philosophers studied the political institutions of Babylon, Egypt, Crete, Asia Minor, the Phoenicians and their great colonies, and of all the people dwelling about the Mediterranean Sea. The Romans, though more advanced in their governmental work, were students of the Greek philosophers and profited greatly from their teachings. All Europe and America have the benefit of the light that has come to them from Palestine, Greece and Rome, and at the same time of the wider view which includes the civilizations of India, China and Japan, and the yet more important lessons drawn from the experience of a whole world now open to the view of all, and supplied with facilities for instantaneous communications between the most remote nations.
While the prevailing conception of a state both in ancient and modern times has relation to a fixed territory, there are instances of migratory nations, the first accounts of which are of organized masses of people, either allured by some more attractive country or driven from their own by some superior force. Such were the Aryan conquerors of India, who moved down from the northwest and spread over the great peninsula. Such have been the hordes pouring into Europe across the grass lands of southern Russia.
The Romans had more practical wisdom in political affairs than the Greek philosophers, whose central purpose was to
build states with enduring governments, each thoroughly equipped for defense in war. Beginning with the conquest of the neighboring Latin people, the Romans treated them as allies rather than subjects, with equality of right in the acquisition of land and chattels and in trade. This relation, established during the early monarchy, continued under the republic. As other conquests were made Latin rights were accorded to some of the conquered districts but not to all. As Roman power was extended four classes of communities came into existence within the Republic:
1. Roman, with full Roman citizenship, which however could only be exercised in political affairs by the citizen in person at Rome.
2. Latin rights, with municipal freedom and local government corresponding in form to that of Rome, but in all matters of foreign policy, of peace and war, under the guidance of Rome, and prohibited from all other alliances within or without the Republic.
3. Communities whose members were citizens sine suffragio, included in the census, but neither entitled to vote or hold office.
4. Non-Latin communities with varying rights depending on treaties or Roman decrees.
By conquest and by diplomacy the sovereignty of Rome was extended over southern and western Europe, northern Africa, Asia Minor, Syria, Armenia and all the islands of the Mediterranean and other interior Seas. A single sovereignty was thus extended over all the great western nations and all the little city states among which destructive wars had raged from the most remote time. No nation approximated Rome in strength. For all this vast territory Rome furnished law and forbade conflicts between its dependencies. Far away Persia and the barbarians of northern and eastern Europe waged war at times, but there was little room for the play of international law between the Roman Empire and its relatively weak neighbors. The jus gentium, law of nations, of the Romans was law governing internal, not external, relations. Its principles were gathered from the nations taken into the Empire and out
of these the jurists sought to extract jus naturale. China and India, though large and populous, were so remote and little known as to call for no regulation of intercourse or relations. During the continuance of the Roman Empire in substantial integrity Europe presented no field for the growth of international law. The rise of Mohammedan power based on religious zeal was contemporaneous with the later period of the decay of the Roman, and religious intolerance on both sides rendered any profitable discussion of international relations impracticable. Roman civilization became obscured, and over most of the Empire utterly obliterated, as the waves of barbarians from the German forests and over the steppes of Russia swept over it. Charlemagne built a great empire by his military genius, but it was dependent on his personality and crumbled in the hands of his weak successors. Jenghis Kahn and his successors devastated Asia and Europe with their savage hordes and built a great but short-lived military despotism. They had little use for law within or without their dominions, or for treaties with other nations.