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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ber with the change of the season, but, as a general rule, the dormitory should be the coolest room in the house—i. e., the nearest to the north side, and the farthest from the kitchen.

 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.
By HERBERT SPENCER.
VIII.—CONSULTATIVE BODIES.

TWO parts of the primitive triune political structure have, in the last two chapters, been dealt with separately; or, to speak strictly, the first has been considered as independent of the second, and again, the second as independent of the first: incidentally noting its relations to the third. Here we have to treat of the two in combination. Instead of observing how from the chief, little above the rest, there is, under certain conditions, evolved the absolute ruler, entirely subordinating the select few and the many; and instead of observing how, under other conditions, the select few become an oligarchy tolerating no supreme man, and keeping the multitude in subjection, we have now to observe the cases in which there is established a coöperation between the first and the second.

After chieftainship has become settled, the chief continues to have sundry reasons for acting in concert with his head-men. It is needful to conciliate them; it is needful to get their advice and willing assistance; and, in serious matters, it is desirable to divide responsibility with them. Hence the prevalence of a consultative assembly. In Samoa, "the chief of the village and the heads of families formed, and still form, the legislative body of the place." Among the Foolahs, "before undertaking anything important or declaring war, the king [of Rabbah] is obliged to summon a council of Mallams and the principal people." Of the Mandingo states we read that, "in all affairs of importance, the king calls an assembly of the principal men, or elders, by whose counsels he is directed." And such cases might be multiplied indefinitely.

That we may fully understand the essential nature of this institution, and that we may see why, as it evolves, it assumes the distinctive characters it does, we must once more go back to the beginning.


Evidence, coming from many peoples in all times, shows that the consultative body is, at the outset, nothing more than a council of war. It is in the open-air meeting of armed men that the cluster of leaders is first seen performing that deliberative function in respect of military measures which is afterward extended to other measures. Long after