574 POLITICAL SCIENCE. the great landholders are met by manufactures carried on within their own domains by their retainers, or by imports which a small trade offers in exchange for various raw pro- ducts of the soil. This kind of life might almost get the solidity of a system of castes, if an innovation could not begin from the growth of towns, for it may be laid down as a rule that no durable political change in a country yet unde- veloped can begin from a landless rural population.* Least of all could the peasants initiate a successful change in a feudal or scmifeudal society, where a country itself had become disintegrated, and nearly all the central authority had passed over into the hands of the great landholders or barons. But what the laborers on the soil cannot do, in that they are -incapable of combination and are destitute at once of skill- ful leaders and military experience, that the towns can do at some favorable crisis and epoch of their growth, unless the military class perceive that there must be in the end an essen- tial opposition between their political interests and those of the dwellers in cities. It is for their direct advantage to have taxable subjects on their own soil, to find that a settlement of merchants and manufactures increases the worth of their lands and products, and that they are placed within easier reach of the luxuries of remote lands. They are content, therefore, to confer such privileges of local self-government and police, under an officer of their own, as will protect their rights and offer inducements to new-comers. From these beginnings towns may push forward into still greater independence ; they may form alliances with one another and with the suzerain; may, for help afforded to their immediate sovereign, buy him out in regard to all important political rights ; until they are felt to be a body in the state which cannot be despised, by whose aid the suzerain can subdue the nobles, through the *I say "durable" with the jacquerie and peasant's revolt in mind, which broke out before their time, owing to the action of pecu- liar and even temporary causes, but died down quickly. The peas- ants' war in Germany, caused, it would seem, by wrongs of the fif" teenth century and a new awakening of thought, ended unfortunately.