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THE political community, independent and sovereign, can-
dm- not act directly except when it meets in general

state,0 P°wer l assembly in a state of small area. Even then
it would need agents to do the greater part of the political
work. The whole community cannot be generals in war, or
collectors of revenue, or presidents of courts. If there is to
be a senate together with an assembly of the citizens, a small
part only can belong to such a body. Are there now any de-
partments or kinds of agency, into which the various activities
of the state ought to fall ? The common division of powers
has been into the executive, legislative, and judicial depart-
ments. In every polity, says Aristotle, there are three parts
(or departments), the suitable form of each of which for a ,
given polity the wise lawgiver ought well to consider. When
these three departments are well organized, the state as a
'whole will be well organized, and states differ from one
another by reason of the difference of these three depart-
ments. The first of the three is that which deliberates on
public affairs. The second is the body of magistrates, where
the points deserving consideration are what they ought to be,
over what they should have power, and how they ought to
be chosen. The third is the judging department. (Pol., vi.
or iv., ii, § r.) He then proceeds to speak of these depart-
ments at some length. (Chaps. 1 1-13.)
When a state spreads over a large territory, it is impossi-
ble for the inhabitants, supposing them to have passed out
of the condition of small self-governing communities into that
of a consolidated body, to meet together any longer. Hence