Posted by / Tuesday 15 March 2016 / No comments

The origins of government

American Flag, Textured, Rough, Harsh
Political scientists have advanced four theories to explain the origins of government as an institution of the state.

These political scientists are not in agreement as to how government began and how it has come to derive its power over citizens.

The Evolutionary Theory
This theory states that governments were derived from family units. It explains that many centuries ago, the family head made the rules which members of the family were compelled to obey. The goals of the family were set by the head of the family. The achievement of the goals set by the family head generated resources for the family and it was the responsibility of the family to distribute the resources so generated. According to this theory, after many years, various other families merged to form clans, and then many clans merged to form tribes. Finally, many tribes merged to form countries.

The theory concludes that the governments heading the various states today are only exercising the functions that was exercised by the heads of family many years ago.

Force Theory
According to this theory, government originated from the situation when one strong individual or group of individuals lay a claim to an area and take overall control of its inhabitants. This theory infers that anybody who comes into the area so claimed by this individual or groups of individuals automatically came under the control of those who were in charge.

Divine right Theory
This theory states that some people have been divinely ordained to rule and have control over the affairs of other people. This divinely ordained right was inherited from generation to generation. In the middle ages, for example, many of the monarchs claimed that their right to rule was conferred on them by God.

Social Contract Theory
The social contract theory of the origin of government postulates that individuals within a state established their own government. After that, they gave the government power to ensure that the citizens of the state were protection and their welfare ensured.  

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