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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/451

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POLITICAL DIFFERENTIATION.

ficed and feasted upon"; and if we contrast this usage with the usage common elsewhere, of slaying and devouring captives as soon as they are taken, we may infer that the keeping of captives too numerous to be immediately eaten, with the view of eating them subsequently, leading, as it would, to the employment of them in the mean time, led to the discovery that their services might be of more value than their flesh, and so initiated the habit of preserving them as slaves. Be this as it may, however, we find that very generally, among tribes to which habitual militancy has given some slight degree of the appropriate structure, the enslavement of prisoners becomes an established habit. That women and children taken in war, and such men as have not been slain, naturally fall into unqualified servitude is manifest. They belong absolutely to their captors, who might have killed them, and who retain the right afterward to kill them, if they please. They become property, of which any use whatever may be made.

The acquirement of slaves, which is at first an incident of war, becomes presently an object of war. Of the Nootkas we read that "some of the smaller tribes at the north of the island are practically regarded as slave-breeding tribes, and are attacked periodically by stronger tribes"; and the like happens among the Chinooks. It was thus in ancient Vera Paz, where periodically they made "an inroad into the enemy's territory, . . . and captured as many as they wanted"; and it was so in Honduras, where, in declaring war, they gave their enemies notice that "they wanted slaves." Similarly with various existing peoples. St. John says that "many of the Dyaks are more desirous to obtain slaves than heads, and in attacking a village kill only those who resist or attempt to escape." And that in Africa slave-making wars are common needs no proof.

The class-division, thus initiated by war, afterward maintains and strengthens itself in sundry ways. Very soon there begins the custom of purchase. The Chinooks, besides slaves who have been captured, have slaves who were bought as children from their neighbors; and, as we saw when dealing with the domestic relations, the selling of their children into slavery is by no means uncommon with savages. Then the slave-class, thus early enlarged by purchase, comes afterward to be otherwise enlarged. There is voluntary acceptance of slavery for the sake of protection; there is enslavement for debt; there is enslavement for crime.

Leaving details, we need here note only that this political differentiation which war begins is effected, not by the bodily incorporation of other societies, or whole classes belonging to other societies, but by the incorporation of single members of other societies, and by like individual accretions. Composed of units who are detached from their original social relations and from one another, and absolutely attached to their owners, the slave-class is, at first, but indistinctly separated as a social stratum. It acquires separateness only as fast as there arise