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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INSTITUTIONS,   LOCAL AND  SELF GOVERNMENTS.     355

tution, and there may be institutions which have no extensive
operation. As for the rest, we warmly commend his whole
exposition of this subject to our readers.

The effects of institutions in concentrating national feeling
at certain points, and in thus furnishing something tangible
and positive, where a nation can find shelter for misgovern-
ment, deserve the attention of the political student. Yet as
the quality of permanence may belong to institutions which
are opposed to freedom, so that freedom can be secured only
by change, they may be evil in their influence as well as good*
The village communities of India and of other countries on
which Sir Henry S. Maine and others have shed so much light,
are strictly institutions, although more social than political ;
they grew up everywhere, out of a feeling of relationship
which regarded the community as holding lands in joint
ownership, and more or less prevented strangers from having
property or even a settlement within the bounds, without the
community's consent. Thus a great part of the intercourse
of society is cut off, and where, as in India, caste is added to
this, progress may be effectually prevented. The commu-
nity may regulate its own affairs, but the feeling of freedom
never steps beyond the limits of the place. *

A few examples of institutions that have grown up and
acquired strength as they went on, may be of use to show
how important a part they have played in modifying and
even giving new direction to political systems.

I, The Ephorate at Sparta or board of overseers. These
illustrations, were five in number, annually chosen from all
s of sparta. the Spartans, rich and poor; and may have
been vicars of the kings in early times, like the pr&fectus
urbis at Rome. Their functions were that of judging in cases
of contract-and that of a police. This somewhat vague police
power must have aided the development of these magistrates,
as they followed without doubt both usages and old customs,
and their own sense of propriety. * They were also aided, appa-