INSTITUTIONS, LOCAL AND SELF GOVERNMENTS. # 389 olence and education. They can pass by-laws and impose fines. But the law declares the municipal officers to be dele- gates of the central government, and requires them to aid the officials of government in the discharge of their duties, which is certainly a very dangerous relation for the freedom of the towns. A singular appendage or check on this town govern- ment is a junta municipal, composed of the councillors and of citizens three times their number, taken from the rate- payers, which was created in 1870-71, and was intended to guard the wealthy class in the towns from oppression. The local taxation is not equal to the needs, and in the late troubles of Spain this has prevented the immediate success of self-governing institutions.* The landgemeinde or rural commune, in Prussia, has prop- erly nothing to do with the school, the church, Prussian system. , -. _ ..... or the police. Its principal business seems to be the care of the poor. Its administration of affairs is in the hands either of a body elected by the .community, or of the community meeting as an assembly. * Its officers are a schultze and two or more schoffen, who have police duties and can perform certain notarial acts in connection with a village court. The country communes were formerly connected in great part with an adjoining manor (a gutsherrschaft), and the lord was responsible for the police. The country com- mune, under the inspection of superior authorities, has the power of providing for its expenses by rates levied for that purpose.t These are most imperfect and defective forms of self-governing communities. It is to be hoped that a wholly new system will force its way into Prussia ere long. The Russian village community—called the mir—is a truly Russian village patriarchal one, based on community of land, communities. an(j Descent frOm o, common ancestor. In its assemblies, consisting of heads of families (women included), it decides upon redistribution of the common land,—the sys- tem of private landownership being only an exception—divi- * Moret y Prendergast, in the essays before cited, p, 347 and f Morier, in-the essays above cited, pp. 426-430.