Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/285

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extinct American kingdoms, primitive groups of less evolved structures and characterized by another type of family may form compound societies of considerable size and complexity, yet the patriarchal group with its higher family type is inductively proved to be that out of which the largest and most advanced societies arise.

Into communities produced by multiplication of it, the patriarchal group, carrying its supremacy of the eldest male, its system of inheritance, its laws of property, its joint worship of the common ancestor, its blood-feud, its complete subjection of women and children, long retains its individuality. But with these communities, as with communities otherwise constituted, combined action slowly leads to fusion; the lines of division become gradually less marked; and, at length, as Sir Henry Maine shows, societies which have the family for their unit of composition pass into societies which have the individual for their unit of composition.

This disintegration, first separating compound family groups into simpler ones, eventually affects the simplest: the members of the family proper more and more acquire individual claims and individual responsibilities. And the wave of change, conforming to the general law of rhythm, has among ourselves partially dissolved the relations of domestic life, and substituted for them the relations of social life. Not simply have the individual claims and responsibilities of young adults in each family come to be recognized by the state; but the state has, to a considerable degree, usurped the parental functions in respect of children, and, assuming their claims upon it, exercises coercion over them.

On looking back to the general laws of life, however, and observing the essential contrast between the principle of family life and the principle of social life, we conclude that this degree of family disintegration is in excess, and will hereafter be followed by partial reintegration.


THERE has always been a difficulty in the minds of teachers, as well as in the minds of learners, to comprehend the theory of the tides as presented in our text-books. This theory fails to give a satisfactory account of the cause of the tides on the side of the earth most remote from the sun and the moon. According to this theory, at that part of the earth's surface which is turned away from the moon or from the sun, a less amount of attraction is felt by her waters than anywhere else on her surface; and the whole earth is therefore, in