Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/453

This page has been validated.

Franks, there was little displacement of the actual cultivators of the soil, but these simply fell into lower positions: certainly lower political positions, and M. Guizot thinks lower industrial positions. Our own country, too, furnishes good illustrations. In ancient British times, writes Pearson, "it is probable that, in parts at least, there were servile villages, occupied by a kindred but conquered race, the first occupants of the soil." More trustworthy, but to the like effect, is the evidence which comes to us from old English days and Norman days. Professor Stubbs says: "The ceorl had his right in the common land of his township; his Latin name, villanus, had been a symbol of freedom, but his privileges were bound to the land, and when the Norman lord took the land he took the villein with it. Still the villein retained his customary rights, his house and land and rights of wood and hay; his lord's demesne depended for cultivation on his services, and he had in his lord's sense of self-interest the sort of protection that was shared by the horse and the ox." And of kindred import is the following passage from Innes: "I have said that, of the inhabitants of the Grange, the lowest in the scale was the ceorl, bond, serf, or villein, who was transferred like the land on which he labored, and who might be caught and brought back if he attempted to escape, like a stray ox or sheep. Their legal name of nativus, or neyf, which I have not found but in Britain, seems to point to their origin in the native race, the original possessors of the soil. . . . In the register of Dunfermline are numerous 'genealogies,' or stud-books, for enabling the lord to trace and reclaim his stock of serfs by descent. It is observable that most of them are of Celtic names."

Clearly, a subjugated territory, useless without cultivators, was left in the hands of the original cultivators because nothing was to be gained by putting others in their places, even could an adequate number of others be had. Hence, while it became the conqueror's interest to tie each original cultivator to the soil, it also became his interest to let him have such an amount of produce as to maintain him and enable him to rear offspring, and also to protect him against injuries which would incapacitate him for work.

To show how fundamental is the distinction between bondage of the primitive type and the bondage of serfdom, it needs but to add that, while the one can and does exist among savages and pastoral tribes, the other becomes possible only after the agricultural stage is reached; for only then can there occur the bodily annexation of one society by another, and only then can there be any tying to the soil.


Associated men, who live by hunting, and to whom the area occupied is of value only as a habitat for game, can not well have anything more than a common participation in the use of this occupied area: such ownership of it as they have must be joint ownership. Naturally, then, at the outset, all the adult males, who are at once hunters and