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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/227

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COMPOUND POLITICAL HEADS.

the experiences of other nations throughout the past, prevented the French from lately making Marshal MacMahon executive head; and even the Americans, in more than once choosing General Grant for President, proved that, predominantly industrial though their society is, militant activity promptly caused an incipient change toward the militant type, of which an essential trait is the union of civil headship with military headship.

From the influences which tend to narrow compound political headships, or change them into single ones, let us pass to the influences which tend to widen them. The case of Athens is, of course, the first to be considered. To understand this we must remember that, up to the time of Solon, democratic government did not exist in Greece. The only known forms were the oligarchic and the despotic; and in those early days, before political speculation began, it is certain that there was not recognized in theory a social form wholly unknown in practice. We have, therefore, to exclude the notion that popular government arose in Athens under the guidance of any preconceived idea. As having the same implication should be added the fact that—Athens being governed by an oligarchy at the time—the Solonian legislation served but to qualify and broaden the oligarchy and remove crying injustices. In seeking the causes which worked through Solon, and also made practicable the reorganization he initiated, we shall find them to lie in the direct and indirect influences of trade. Grote comments on "the anxiety, both of Solon and of Drako, to enforce among their fellow-citizens industrious and self-maintaining habits"—a proof that, even before Solon's time, there was in Attica little or no reprobation of "sedentary industry, which in most other parts of Greece was regarded as comparatively dishonorable." Moreover, Solon was himself in early life a trader; and his legislation "provided for traders and artisans a new home at Athens, giving the first encouragement to that numerous town-population, both in the city and in the Peiræus, which we find actually residing there in the succeeding century." The immigrants who flocked into Attica because of its greater security, Solon was anxious to turn rather to manufacturing industry than to cultivation of a soil naturally poor; and one result was "a departure from the primitive temper of Atticism, which tended both to cantonal residence and rural occupation"; while another result was to increase the number of people who stood outside those gentile and phratric divisions, which were concomitants of the patriarchal type and of personal rule. And then the constitutional changes made by Solon were in leading respects toward industrial organization. The introduction of a property-qualification for classes, instead of a birth-qualification, diminished the rigidity of the political form, since acquirement of wealth by industry, or otherwise, made possible an admission into the oligarchy, or among others of the privileged. By forbidding self-enslavement of the debtor, and by emancipating those who had been