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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/610

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tion was its fundamental cause. The calling together knights of the shire, representing the class of small land-owners, which preceded on several occasions the calling together deputies from towns, implied the growing importance of this class as one from which money was to be raised; and, when deputies from towns were summoned to the Parliament of 1295, the form of summons shows that the motive was to get pecuniary aid from portions of the population which had become relatively considerable and rich. Already the king had on more than one occasion sent special agents to shires and boroughs to obtain subsidies from them for his wars. Already he had assembled provincial councils formed of representatives from cities, boroughs, and market-towns, that he might get from them votes of money. And, when the great Parliament was called together, the reason set forth in the writs was, that wars with Wales, Scotland, and France, were endangering the realm; the implication being that the necessity for obtaining supplies led to this recognition of the towns as well as the counties.

So, too, was it in Scotland. The first known occasion on which representatives from burghs entered into political action was when there was urgent need for pecuniary help from all sources—namely, "at Cambuskenneth, on the 15th day of July, 1326, when Bruce claimed from his people a revenue to meet the expenses of his glorious war and the necessities of the state, which was granted to the monarch by the earls, barons, burgesses, and free tenants, in full Parliament assembled."

In which cases, while we are again shown that the obligation is original, and the power derived, we are also shown that it is the increasing mass of those who carry on life by voluntary coöperation instead of compulsory coöperation partly the rural class of small freeholders, and still more the urban class of traders—which initiates popular representation.

 

Still there remains the question. How does the representative body become separate from the consultative body? Retaining the primitive character of councils of war, national assemblies are at first mixed. The different "arms," as the estates were called in Spain, form a single body. Knights of the shire, when first summoned, acting on behalf of numerous smaller tenants of the king, owing military service, sit and vote with the greater tenants. Standing, as towns originally do, very much in the position of fiefs, those who represent them are not unallied, in legal status, to feudal chiefs; and, at first assembling with these, in some cases remain united with them, as appears to have been habitually the case in France and Spain. Under what circumstances, then, do the consultative and representative bodies differentiate? The question is one to which there seems to be no very satisfactory answer.