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from the primitive communal usages of the Teutonic race. Domesday had been so imperfectly studied before Mr Freeman's day, and other English documentary records had preserved so few traces of the primitive co-ownership and common use of land by village communities, that historians had been accustomed to follow the assumption of lawyers, that the rights of common surviving to modern times, grew up by sufferance on the part of the lords of Manors. Mr Freeman has cited an instance from Domesday, of the men of a village community or township holding common land at Goldington in Bedfordshire; adding that such cases must have been far more usual than the entries in that great survey would lead us to think'. Professor Nasse has reproduced the rural economy and system of common husbandry that grew in some cases out of such common proprietorship, in other cases out of the common tenure of lands granted to individual owners in chief, but settled and cultivated on the same plan as those which belonged at first to the members of whole townships in common. Meanwhile, Sir Henry Maine's residence for several years in India, had enabled him to collect fresh evidence from existing forms of Hindoo property and social organization, in support of his original doctrine, that the collective ownership of the soil by communities larger than families, but held together by ties of blood or adoption, was in eastern as well as in western countries the primitive form of the ownership of the soil. Sir H. Maine's conception of ancient society and its institutions, it may be observed-and

1 History of the Norman Conquest, v. 463.

the observation applies also to the theory which
M. de Laveleye illustrates by so many striking ex-
amples in this work-is nowise invalidated by proof
on the part of other investigators like Bachofen,
Herbert Spencer, Sir John Lubbock, Mr Tylor, Mr
McLennan, M. Giraud Teulon and Mr Lewis Morgan,
of antecedent states of human association, before the
earliest stage of inchoate civilization had been reached,
or the family, as we understand the term, had been
formed. The institutions that Sir H. Maine and M.
de Laveleye call primitive, are so in the sense at least
of being the earliest usages of society emerged from
savagery, and in some degree settled. And M. de
Laveleye's work affords a magnificent example of the
immense range of investigation for which there was
room in respect of one of the chief of those institu-
tions. However widely some of his readers may dis-
sent from his views with respect to the modern dis-
tribution of landed property, there will be but one
opinion respecting the breadth of research and learning
with which he has illustrated its primitive forms. To
the evidence previously collected by Sir H. Maine and
the Danish and German scholars already referred to,
he has added proofs gathered from almost every part
of the globe. Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval
France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, the
southern Slav countries, Java, China, part of Africa,
central America, and Peru, are among the regions
laid under contribution. Slavs, says M. de Laveleye,
"boast of the communal institutions of the village
community as peculiar to their race, and destined to
secure its supremacy, by preserving it from the social

struggles impending over the States of Western Europe; but when it is proved, that similar institutions are to be found in all ages, in all climates, and among the most distinct nations and races, we must see in their prevalence a necessary phase of social development and a universal law, as it were, presiding over the evolutions of the forms of landed property." It should not, however, be overlooked that the stage of development in which such institutions are natural, is a primitive one, and that their retention may be a mark not of superiority, but of backwardness, like the retention of those first implements to which M. de Laveleye alludes, and which in the age of stone were universal.

The term "natural" has been indeed a source of so much confusion and error in both the philosophy of law and political economy, that it might be well to expel it altogether from the terminology of both; but it could not be more legitimately applied than in the proposition that there is a natural movement, as society advances, from common to separate property in land as in chattels, This movement is perceptible among the Slav nations themselves, and it is closely connected with the movement from status to contract which Sir II. Maine has shewn to be one of the principal phases of civilization. Since the emancipation of the Russian peasantry, as M. de Laveleye observes, "the old patriarchal family has tended to fall asunder. The sentiment of individual independence is weakening and destroying it. The married son longs to have his own dwelling. He can claim a share of the land, and as the Russian peasant soon builds himself a house

of wood, each couple sets up a separate establishment for itself. The dissolution of the patriarchal family will perhaps bring about that of the village community, because it is in the union of the domestic hearth that the habits of fraternity, the indifference to individual interest, and the communist sentiments which preserve the collective property of the mir, are developed." And in like manner M. de Laveleye ends a highly interesting description of the structure and life of the family communities among the Southern Slavs as follows: "The flourishing appearance of Bulgaria shews decisively that the system is not antagonistic to good cultivation. And yet this organization, in spite of its many advantages, is falling to ruin, and disappearing wherever it comes in contact with modern ideas. The reason is that these institutions are suited to the stationary condition of a primitive age; but cannot easily withstand the conditions of a state of society in which men are striving to improve their own lot as well as the political and social organization under which they live. I know not whether the nations who have lived tranquilly under the shelter of these patriarchal institutions, will ever arrive at a happier or more brilliant destiny; but this much appears inevitable, that they will desire, like Adam in Paradise Lost, to enter on a new career, and to taste the charm of independent life, despite its perils and responsibilities."

Familiar as Englishmen are with Switzerland in its physical aspects, and with those features of its social life that meet the eye of the visitor, the very name of the Swiss Allmend, originally signifying the property of all, is probably known only to those who have



studied M. de Laveleye's works. A large part of the land of each Swiss commune is preserved as a common domain, called the Allmend, respecting which the reader will easily obtain from M. de Laveleye's pages information which is not to be got elsewhere. M. de Laveleye points to it as an example of the possibility of reconciling the primitive system of common property and equality of wealth, with the modern system of individual ownership and great inequality of fortune. The chapters in the volume on this subject will repay careful study, but there are two points that ought not to escape observation. One is that there are indications of a tendency even in Switzerland-which stands alone in the world as a land that has maintained both the free political institutions and the communal system and property of the times before feudalism-towards a disintegration of the Allmend. Thus in the canton of Glaris "at the present day, the commonable alps are let by auction for a number of years: and in complete opposition to ancient principles, strangers may obtain them as well as citizens." The other point is one which the last words of the passage just cited suggest. Some of M. de Laveleye's expressions might convey the idea that an original instinct of justice, and a respect for "natural rights" and equality, are discoverable in the primitive usages of society relating to property. Yet such language needs some interpretation to make it appropriate. The only rights which men in early society recognized were those of the community to which they belonged. These rights ran in the blood, as it were, and were confined to fellow-tribesmen or kinsmen. The stranger had no share in the

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