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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/461

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POLITICAL DIFFERENTIATION.

having, many of them, no reference to the land, and no more connection with one place than another. It is true that, of the titles artificially conferred, the higher are habitually derived from the names of districts and towns: so simulating, but only simulating, the ancient feudal titles expressive of actual lordship over territories. The other modern titles, however, which have arisen with the growth of political, judicial, and other functions, have not even nominal references to localities. This change naturally accompanies the growing integration of the parts into a whole, and the rise of an organization of the whole which disregards the divisions among the parts.

More effective still, in weakening those primitive political divisions initiated by militancy, is increasing industrialism. This acts in two ways, firstly, by creating a class having power derived otherwise than from territorial possessions or official position; and, secondly, by generating ideas and sentiments at variance with the ancient assumptions of class-superiority. As we have already seen, rank and wealth are at the outset habitually associated. Existing uncivilized people still show us this relation. The chief of a kraal among the Koranna Hottentots is "usually the person of greatest property." In the Bechuana language "the word kosi. . . has a double acceptation, denoting either a chief or a rich man." Such small authority as a Chinook chief has, "rests on riches, which consists in wives, children, slaves, boats, and shells." So was it originally in Europe. In ancient Spain the title ricos hombres, applied to the barons, definitely identified the two attributes. Indeed, it is manifest that before the development of commerce, and while possession of land could alone give largeness of means, lordship and riches were directly connected; so that, as Sir Henry Maine remarks, "the opposition commonly set up between birth and wealth, and particularly wealth other than landed property, is entirely modern." When, however, with the arrival of industry at that stage in which wholesale transactions bring large profits, there arise traders who vie with, and exceed, many of the landed nobility in wealth, and when, by conferring obligations on kings and nobles, such traders gain social influence, there comes an occasional removal of the barrier between them and the titled classes. In France the progress began as early as 1271, when there were issued letters ennobling Raoul, the goldsmith—"the first letters conferring nobility in existence." The precedent, once established, is followed with increasing frequency, and sometimes, under pressure of financial needs, there grows up the practice of selling titles, in disguised ways or openly. In France, in 1702, the king ennobled two hundred persons at three thousand livres a head; in 1706, five hundred at six thousand a head. And then, the breaking down of the ancient political divisions thus caused, is furthered by that weakening of them consequent on the growing spirit of equality fostered by industrial life. In proportion as men are daily habituated to maintain their own claims while respecting the claims of others, which