Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/458

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

dress they naturally had. Class-predominance is, therefore, thus further facilitated.

And then there are the respective mental traits produced by daily exercise of power, and by daily submission to power. The ideas, and sentiments, and modes of behavior, perpetually repeated, generate on one side an inherited fitness for command, and on the other side an inherited fitness for obedience; with the result that, in course of time, there arises on both sides the belief that the established relations of classes are the natural ones.


By implying habitual war among settled societies, the foregoing interpretations have implied the formation of compound societies. The rise of such class-divisions as have been described is, therefore, complicated by the rise of further class-divisions determined by the relations from time to time established between those conquerors and conquered whose respective groups already contain class-divisions.

This increasing differentiation which accompanies increasing integration is clearly seen in certain semi-civilized societies, such as that of the Sandwich-Islanders. Ellis enumerates their ranks as—"1. King, queens, and royal family, along with the councilor or chief minister of the king. 2. The governors of the different islands, and the chiefs of several large divisions. Many of these are descendants of those who were kings of the respective islands in Cook's time, and until subdued by Kamehameha. 3. Chiefs of districts or villages, who pay a regular rent for the land, cultivating it by means of their dependents, or letting it out to tenants. This rank includes also the ancient priests. 4. The laboring classes—those renting small portions of land, those working on the land for food and clothing, mechanics, musicians, and dancers." And, as shown by other passages, the laboring classes here grouped together are divisible into—artisans, who are paid wages; serfs, attached to the soil; and slaves. Inspection makes it tolerably clear that the lowest chiefs, once independent, were reduced to the second rank when adjacent chiefs conquered them and became local kings; and that they were reduced to the third rank at the same time that these local kings became chiefs of the second rank, when, by conquest, a kingship of the whole group was established. Other societies in kindred stages show us kindred divisions similarly to be accounted for. Among the New-Zealanders there are six grades; there are six among the Ashantees; there are five among the Abyssinians; and other more or less compounded African states present analogous divisions. Perhaps ancient Peru furnishes as clear a case as any of the superposition of ranks resulting from subjugation. The petty kingdoms which were massed together by the conquering Incas were severally left with the rulers and their subordinates undisturbed; but over the whole empire there was a superior organization of Inca rulers of various grades. That kindred causes produced kindred effects in