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take a large share for himself, or grant it to his followers on condition that they pay him rent or “aids.” When the Domesday Book was made, the king of England had over 1,400 manors. And when he went from one of these to another, as he did frequently, it was expected that the people along the route would provide entertainment. As he traveled with a large company, this entertainment was not exactly a pleasure to the hosts. “At the king's approach," wrote an Archbishop, " thanks to this accursed prerogative, there is general consternation; men fly to hide their fowls and eggs; I myself shudder for the people's sake.”
Then, too, like every feudal lord, the king collected aids from his tenants when the tenant's son was made a knight or his daughter was married. Wedding presents are nowadays sometimes expensive, but if an officer could collect, as the law then fixed it, “ twenty shillings from each knight's fee,” which would amount to something like one twentieth of the value of all the land, it can be seen that a good haul would result.
Because the king owned so much land, and had these How claims to 66
purveyance or hospitality, and “aids," taxing it was thought he ought not to demand further taxes. enlarged
the state In England it was urged that “the king should live of his own.” If the king had been able to do this it might have been very unfortunate. For, although the people objected strongly at times to paying taxes, it was because the king needed more money than his own lands would bring, and was willing to grant privileges in exchange for money that the people were able to gain more and more rights. As it was usually the merchants and town dwellers who had the most money, the king had to consult more and more with these men who had not at first had anything to say about the government
of the state. He summoned representatives of the towns as well as of the counties to meet him. He urged them to grant money; they petitioned for relief from various grievances. If the king wanted to get their money he must listen to their petitions. When these petitions were granted, they became laws. In this way the “ Parliament,” as the gathering of representatives was called, came to have a share in making laws. The state came to include merchants as well as warriors.
THE STATE AS SOURCE OF ORDER, A COMMON
LAW, AND PRIVATE PROPERTY IN LAND
TODAY most of us live without fear of being at
tacked by raiders from the neighborhood; we do
not expect to be robbed when we go on a journey nor to have our homes broken into while we are asleep. We do not carry weapons when we go to our work, and perhaps have two or three armed guards to protect us; nor do we build our houses in such a way that we can command the entrance with a gun. We make windows large enough to let in light instead of making narrow slits in the wall. If we sell goods to a man who refuses to pay, or if we work for a man who does not give us our wages, we can sue him, and if we can make it clear to the judge and jury that the man is attempting to defraud us we may expect that the court will compel him to pay his debt.
All this is part of what we mean by peace and order. It is now so common that we take it as a matter of
But it has not always been so. It was the state which undertook first to defend the country against foes and raids from without and then to keep peace and maintain good order within. In tracing the progress of the state in performing these tasks, illustrations will be taken chiefly from early England, because our own institutions—our laws and governmentcame to us largely from that country. (1) The state gave to its members greater security
from outside enemies. The early clan, as we have seen,
tried to protect its members by revenging injuries, and Protection it had customs which kept order among its members. from
But there was more or less constant quarreling between foreign
no certainty that a man could enemies
harvest his crop. His hut might be burned any night. He dared not go beyond the bounds of his own clan, for then he had no protection. It might seem at first that it would not make things any better to have a king and army, for the king and army were at first really plunderers on a grand scale. Yet, as matters worked out, there was a decided gain. There was still fighting, but the state substituted wars between the fighting specialists for petty feuds. The wars did not discourage all farming nor break up the life of the common man so seriously as did feuds. Trade and travel over a large area would be kept open, even if England was at war with France or Scotland. The king and his band would protect their own country, and they were strong enough to keep out foreign raids and keep down robbers, thieves, and murderers.
The question might indeed be raised : Did it, after all, matter much to the common people whether the king who ruled them called himself king of England or king of France? Was it not as bad to be squeezed by one as to be plundered by the other? When we look back and note how men could get only a little more than they needed for food and shelter; when we consider how little they have had to spend for comforts or for education, and then think what an enormous sum has been used in fighting and in preparation for fighting—it seems as though common men had paid a high price for defense from foreign powers. Indeed, the common people often took little interest in the king's wars. Nevertheless
there is one great difference between being ruled by the king of the country and being raided by a foreign king. Foreigners would come, kill, plunder, and go away with no idea of sparing any one for another raid. The king of the country would wish his people to be at least prosperous enough to increase his power against other kings. And, as a matter of fact, the king came to feel pride in his country. So, although supporting a king was an expensive business, it was apparently the only way to provide security when men were roaming about, looking for plunder, and thinking no more of robbing and killing other groups than of hunting deer or bears.
(2) The state kept order among its subjects and Keeping protected them from robbery and violence. In early order times in England there was no government strong enough to protect innocent people from being robbed or killed if they went from home or from their town. When the Norman kings conquered England, and began to rule the country far more strictly than any English or Danish king had ruled, one of the first steps was to make order. “The good order that King William made must not be forgotten," said the Peterborough Chronicle. “ It was such that any man who was himself aught might travel from end to end of the land unharmed; and no man durst kill another, however great the injury which he had received.” Order was the first thing to be secured; men could not trade or travel unless they could be safe and keep their goods safe while going from place to place.
The way in which it came about that to kill or rob The was thought of as not merely an injury to the victim King's
Peace or his family but also a wrong to the public is very curious. There was an old doctrine that a man had a right to be free from attack in his own house. To