The first government/s and entire evolution of governments to the newest most up to date starting from the Neolithic era to today in the entire world?

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#11
But the ruler in that system retains the right to dismiss a Prime Minister or even an entire government. On the reverse side that same Monarch only rules at the pleasure of the people.
Technically, the ruler does, but it would create a constitutional crisis if they did. Within the Commonwealth, I think it's only ever been used once, in Canada.
 
Mar 2019
1,446
Kansas
#12
Technically, the ruler does, but it would create a constitutional crisis if they did. Within the Commonwealth, I think it's only ever been used once, in Canada.
Was also used to dismiss a government in Australia back in 1975. The circumstances of the dismissal remain controversial, but the mechanism went unchallenged even by the Prime Minister affected.

So while clearly a nuclear option it is probably no less controversial than the various emergency powers other forms of government encompass in their constitutions
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#13
Was also used to dismiss a government in Australia back in 1975. The circumstances of the dismissal remain controversial, but the mechanism went unchallenged even by the Prime Minister affected.
Maybe it was Australia I was thinking about, not Canada.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,321
Las Vegas, NV USA
#15
I am unsure if democracy would be the first government.

It is at least as likely that the first government was despotic, led by the strongest, or oldest, or best hunter, or best gatherer, or loudest or whatever other trait that was sufficient to earn the respect, trust and faith of the tribe.
There are certainly examples of North American native bands where decisions were taken by the tribal elders in council. Most men in the band eventually got to serve as an elder and the elders elected the chief. Bands, not tribes, were the political unit. Tribes were linguistic and cultural units that often formed alliances to meet external threats.

Not all tribes operated this way. In Comanche bands one leader usually made the decisions alone but he still had to take the sentients of his followers under consideration. Comanche bands typically competed with each other because they were primarily raiders rather than hunters and gatherers.
 
Mar 2019
1,446
Kansas
#16
There are certainly examples of North American native bands where decisions were taken by the tribal elders in council. Most men in the band eventually got to serve as an elder and the elders elected the chief. Bands, not tribes, were the political unit. Tribes were linguistic and cultural units that often formed alliances to meet external threats.
That reflects Australian Aboriginal political processes as well.

I am almost certain the Inuits follow a very similar process.

So now that makes me wonder if the rise of despotic political systems only really arose when populations became tied to specific points in the land. And it became far easier to create centralized control of resource production
 
#17
The earliest government was probably pure democracy, where the entire community of maybe ten or fifteen adults would get together and talk about the issues of the day until they arrived at a consensus. Tyranny only came along when society grew too large for everyone to participate in government so that now some people ruled while other people were ruled.
I'm going to disagree.

What your descibing is basically a familial nucleus, as soon as you go outside a family of 10-20 people you end up with the strong man tribal hierachy.

Chieftains were the first form of government outside of family elders / father figures.

That all starts with settling disputes and tribal protection which involves tribal warriors with a chief at the helm.

That system works for anything from a tribe in tents all the way up to a town settlment.

Once you hit City levels then your talking Kings and Greek style democracies to be able to administer higher levels of law and order, defence and control of land and resources.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,070
Dispargum
#18
The earliest government was probably pure democracy, where the entire community of maybe ten or fifteen adults would get together and talk about the issues of the day until they arrived at a consensus. Tyranny only came along when society grew too large for everyone to participate in government so that now some people ruled while other people were ruled.
I am unsure if democracy would be the first government.
It is at least as likely that the first government was despotic, led by the strongest, or oldest, or best hunter, or best gatherer, or loudest or whatever other trait that was sufficient to earn the respect, trust and faith of the tribe.
I'm going to disagree.
What your descibing is basically a familial nucleus, as soon as you go outside a family of 10-20 people you end up with the strong man tribal hierachy.
Chieftains were the first form of government outside of family elders / father figures.
That all starts with settling disputes and tribal protection which involves tribal warriors with a chief at the helm.
That system works for anything from a tribe in tents all the way up to a town settlment.
Once you hit City levels then your talking Kings and Greek style democracies to be able to administer higher levels of law and order, defence and control of land and resources.
I don't think the three of us are all that far apart. Any group, even a family group, is going to be led or even dominated by the most dynamic or charismatic person among them. The difference between hunter-gatherer pure democracy as I described it and tyranny is the level of respect and deference the leader must show to his or her followers. If the leader must listen to his followers then it's democracy. If the leader can ignore his followers and still be obeyed then it's tyranny.

Lesser members of small family groups still had the option to leave the group. If the leader wanted to keep the group together, he had to occasionally placate his followers. A group of 10 or 20 adults would mostly be related to each other, but there might be one or two families that were not related to the main family, at least not at first. If they stayed with the group long enough eventually their children would intermarry with the main family, but it's very possible that over the course of a lifetime, a man and his family could drift from one group to another every few years. This was the main thing that prevented tyranny in small groups. If the leader acted in too arbitrary a manner then people would leave the group and join another.

Tyranny emerged when the terrors of the world forced people to band together into ever larger groups. Eventually the groups grew too large for every adult to have a voice in daily government. The outside terrors, like hostile tribes or groups, prevented people from leaving the group, which empowered the leaders and allowed them to become despots and tyrants. The tipping point between pure democracy and tyranny is somewhere larger than 20 or 30 adults but is probably less than 100 adults.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,479
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#19
I don't think the three of us are all that far apart. Any group, even a family group, is going to be led or even dominated by the most dynamic or charismatic person among them. The difference between hunter-gatherer pure democracy as I described it and tyranny is the level of respect and deference the leader must show to his or her followers. If the leader must listen to his followers then it's democracy. If the leader can ignore his followers and still be obeyed then it's tyranny.

Lesser members of small family groups still had the option to leave the group. If the leader wanted to keep the group together, he had to occasionally placate his followers. A group of 10 or 20 adults would mostly be related to each other, but there might be one or two families that were not related to the main family, at least not at first. If they stayed with the group long enough eventually their children would intermarry with the main family, but it's very possible that over the course of a lifetime, a man and his family could drift from one group to another every few years. This was the main thing that prevented tyranny in small groups. If the leader acted in too arbitrary a manner then people would leave the group and join another.

Tyranny emerged when the terrors of the world forced people to band together into ever larger groups. Eventually the groups grew too large for every adult to have a voice in daily government. The outside terrors, like hostile tribes or groups, prevented people from leaving the group, which empowered the leaders and allowed them to become despots and tyrants. The tipping point between pure democracy and tyranny is somewhere larger than 20 or 30 adults but is probably less than 100 adults.
But if you consider primate groups as a model for early human societies, the adults don't all have a say in what the group does - it's all down to the dominant male. The only way another male gets a say is to challenge the dominant male.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,070
Dispargum
#20
But if you consider primate groups as a model for early human societies, the adults don't all have a say in what the group does - it's all down to the dominant male. The only way another male gets a say is to challenge the dominant male.
But the non-dominant male can always leave the group. Non-dominant males who do not leave the group have accepted the tyranny of the alpha, but it's still a group based on voluntary free association.

By the Neo-Lithic I'm pretty sure we had developed a capacity for reason beyond that of primates. The power of speech gave man a far greater capacity to negotiate his place in society than primates ever had.
 

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