The Origins of STATE: The 4 Theories.
The Origins of the STATE: The 4 Theories
State: A body of people, living in a define territory, organized politically and with the power to make and enforce law without the consent of higher authority.
Sovereign: A government that makes all its own laws without influence or permission from another government. It is neither subordinate nor responsible to any other influence. For example, the English Colonists when they settled In America, we able to make some of the laws they saw fit to perpetuate life here in American as it differed from life in England. They could not make any laws they saw fit because the King of England still had control of them. Since they were limited on what laws they could make without the consent of the King, they were not sovereign.
There are 4 theories of how the State was created- Divine Right Theory, Force Theory, Social Contract Theory, and Evolutionary Theory. Although they are just theories, most modern thinkers agree on these principles as the beginning of government.
Divine Right Theory: The State was developed from the people under the leadership of a person of “divinity”. The person was either god incarnate or specifically chosen by god to lead. Consequently if you defy a command or law given by this person, you defy the will of god and in a lot of cases, the penalty could be death. Along with the leader, you have that person’s family members whos are blessed with the divinity as well. The divine person/family along with their followers chose land to call theirs and had to create laws to enforce the rules along within the consequences for not following them. With this, the STATE was born. The last know industrialized culture to believe in the divinity of their leaders were the Japanese. They believed their Emperor was divine up to his death in the 1940’s. Other cultures that lived under this theory were the Egyptians and Aztecs.
Force Theory: The State was created by a man or small group of men forming an army and taking land and people by force. It was the mindset of this type of rule that if you are strong enough to take land and people and subjugate them, then wise enough to keep them, then it is well with a person’s rights to do so. They ruled without the consent of the people and consequently would have had to have harsh punishments to those who disobeyed. This theory has led to the modern day dictators.
Evolutionary Theory: The state was born out of a time when people lived in clans and before the time when humans cultivated the land and domesticated animals. They traveled with the animals they hunted and to different lands based on what food plants were growing at that time. The clans were blood related for the most part and headed by the men. The theory states that as time passed the clans learned how to grow plants and domesticate animals so they no longer needed to be nomadic. As they chose the land they wanted and settled down, they had to be able to communicate to others that the particular piece of land they had chosen is no longer free for others to travel and hunt on as it once was. Surely, some other clans did not agree with not being able to roam and hunt freely which would have caused conflict. Rules had to be made to secure the boundaries of the “new” territory and consequences for those actions had to be outlined as well. These rules and consequences needed to be communicated to others so all could understand and thus you have the STATE.
Social Contract Theory: This is the theory that the Constitution of the United States of American is believed to be founded on. It asserts that at one point in man’s history, man lived in utter freedom. Whatever a person was strong enough and had the will to do, he could. Theft, rape, murder, anything was fair game as there was no law so of course there was no law enforcement. The strong prayed on the weak and chaos reigned. After a period of time, the people got tired of living with so much uncertainty and came together to formed a contract with each other- a “social contract”. This contract was to form a basic government with the understanding of the people that they would have to give up some of their freedom to this government in order for it to be enforced. For example, for the people under the new “contract” who were free to take whatever they wanted even if it belonged to someone else, that “freedom” was no longer acceptable under the “social contract” and they would lose that “freedom”. Further understanding is that the people only gave up as little of their freedom as necessary to for the government to honor its contract.