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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/454

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

warriors, are the common possessors of the undivided land, encroachment on which by other tribes they resist. Though, in the earlier pastoral state, especially where the barrenness of the region involves wide dispersion, there is no definite proprietorship of the tract wandered over; yet, as is shown us in the strife between-the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot respecting feeding-grounds, some claims to exclusive use tend to arise; and at a later half-pastoral stage, as among the ancient Germans, the wanderings of each division fall within prescribed limits. I refer to these facts by way of showing the identity established at the outset between the militant class and the land-owning class. For, whether the group is one which lives by hunting or one which lives by feeding cattle, any slaves its members possess are excluded from land-ownership—the freemen, who are all fighting men, become, as a matter of course, the proprietors of their territory. This connection, in variously modified forms, long continues through subsequent stages of social evolution, and could scarcely do otherwise. Land being, in early settled communities, the almost exclusive source of wealth, it happens inevitably that, during times in which the principle that might is right remains unqualified, personal power and possession of land go together. Hence the fact that, where, instead of being held by the whole society, land comes to be parceled out among component village communities, or among families, or among individuals, possession of it habitually goes along with the bearing of arms. In ancient Egypt "every soldier was a land-owner"—"had an allotment of land of about six acres." In Greece the invading Hellenes, wresting the soil from its original holders, joined military service with the land-ownership. In Rome, too, "every freeholder, from the seventeenth to the sixtieth year of his age, was under obligation of service, . . . so that even the emancipated slave had to serve, who, in an exceptional case, had come into possession of landed property." The like happened in the early Teutonic community. Joined with professional warriors, its army included "the mass of freemen, arranged in families, fighting for their homesteads and hearths": such freemen, or markmen, owning land partly in common and partly as individual proprietors. Similarly with the ancient English: "Their occupation of the land as cognationes resulted from their enrollment in the field, where each kindred was drawn up under an officer of its own lineage and appointment"; and so close was this dependence that "a thane forfeited his hereditary freehold by misconduct in battle."

Beyond the original connection between militancy and land-owning, which naturally arises from the joint interest which those who own the land and occupy it, either individually or collectively, have in resisting aggressors, there arises later a further connection. As, along with successful militancy, there progresses a social evolution which gives to a dominant ruler increased power, it becomes his cus-