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The state, its historic role, 5th edition
Image 12
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Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, kni͡azʹ, 1842-1921. The state, its historic role, 5th edition - Image 12. 1920. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. March 4, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/1512/show/1479.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, kni͡azʹ, 1842-1921. (1920). The state, its historic role, 5th edition - Image 12. Socialist and Communist Pamphlets. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/1512/show/1479

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, kni͡azʹ, 1842-1921, The state, its historic role, 5th edition - Image 12, 1920, Socialist and Communist Pamphlets, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed March 4, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/1512/show/1479.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title The state, its historic role, 5th edition
Series Title Freedom pamphlet
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Kropotkin, Petr Alekseevich, kni͡azʹ, 1842-1921
Publisher Freedom Press
Place of Creation (TGN)
  • London
Date 1920
Subject.Topical (Local)
  • State, The
Genre (AAT)
  • pamphlets
Language English; French
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Extent 42 pages; 18 cm.
Original Item Location JC268.K72
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b8304434~S11
Original Collection Socialist and Communist Pamphlets
Digital Collection Socialist and Communist Pamphlets
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections
Use and Reproduction This item is in the public domain and may be used freely.
Note Translation of L'état, son role historique.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 12
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_5161590_011.jpg
Transcript 12 The State : Its Historic Role. of adventurers, men hardened in wars, or brigands, to be his followers; while the great mass raises cattle or cultivates the soil. And this defender soon begins to amass wealth. He gives a horse and armour (very dear at that time) to the poor man, and reduces him to servitude; he begins to conquer the germ of military power. On the other hand, little by little, tradition, which constituted law in those times, is forgotten by the masses. . There hardly remains an old man who in his memory keeps the verses and songs which tell of the "precedents," of which customary law consists, and recites them on great festival days before the commune. And, little by little, some families made a speciality, transmitted from father to son, of retaining these songs and verses in their memory and of preserving "the law" in its purity. To them villagers apply to judge differences in intricate cases, especially when two villages or confederations refuse to accept the decisions of arbitrators taken from their midst. The germ of princely or royal authority is already sown in these families; and the more I study the institutions of that time, the more I see that the knowledge of customary law did far more to constitute that authority than the power of the sword. Man allowed himself to be enslaved far more by his desire to "punish according to law" than by direct military conquest. And gradually the first "concentration of powers," the first mutual insurance for domination—that of the judge and the military chief— grew to the detriment of the village commune. A single man assumed these two functions. He surrounded himself with armed men to put his judicial decisions into execution; he fortified himself in his turret; he accumulated the wealth of the epoch, viz. bread, cattle and iron, for his family; and little by little he forced his rule upon the neighbouring peasants. The scientific man of the age, that is to say, the witch-doctor or priest, lost no time in bringing him his support and in sharing his domination ; or else, adding the sword to his power of redoubtable magician, he seized the domination for his own account. A course of lectures, rather than a simple lecture, would be needed to deal thoroughly with this subject, so full of new teachings, and to tell how free men became gradually serfs, forced to work for the lay or clerical lord of the manor; how authority was constituted, in a tentative way, over villages and boroughs; how peasants leagued, revolted, struggled to fight the advancing domination, and how they succumbed in those struggles against the strong castle walls, against the men in armour who defended them. Suffice it for me to say, that towards the tenth and eleventh centuries, Europe seemed to be drifting straight towards the constitution of those