‘Primitive Government’ can mean two quite different things: either the earliest, the original or the most simple forms of government, or those elementary, elemental, basic or ‘primitive’ aspects of all governments even in advanced and complex societies. Since the seventeenth century in Europe, some philosophers like Montesquieu, Hobbes and Locke have had the idea that by studying actual primitive governments we could understand better what is basic and common to all governments. But primitive societies are seldom literate and rarely keep records, so the only primitive societies we have any accurate knowledge of, as distinct from speculations about, are those which have survived into the modern world and have been studied by anthropologists.
KeywordsSeventeenth Century Constitutional Rule Complex Society Primitive Society Tribal Society
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