The Historical & Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of State

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:31 -- Umar Farooq

Evolutionary Theory of State

This Evolutionary theory is also known as sociological or the correct theory of the origin of the state. So long as social sciences had not made any development and it was very difficult to determine the correct theory the origin of the state. The advancement of the fields of history, anthropology and archaeology helped in finding out various forces and factors responsible for the creation of the state. The Evolutionary Theory is regarded as the true and correct theory regarding the origin of the state. This theory helps in understanding the forces and factors, which created the state and historical stage through which it passed.

Factors of Evolutionary Theory of State

Following are the forces and factors evolutionary theory of sate

  1. Kinship
  2. Magic and Religion
  3. Property and the rise of Economic Classes
  4. War and Force
  5. Political Consciousness


The state is based on the principle of command and obedience. In the earliest stages we find such a relationship in the family based on blood and birth. In this respect the matriarchal and patriarchal societies became the basis of the origin of the state. There were families, clans and tribes, whose Memberships were based on blood relationship which was the first element of social unity and the first basis of organization and discipline. There used to be a council of elders with a chief as political authority whose command was obeyed by all the members of the tribe.. In this way the path was paved for the development of the state

Magic and Religion

In ancient times people were not civilized and advanced. So they did not understand the forces of nature. At that stage man was at the mercy of nature. So he tried to control them by different practices which later on got the name of magic. Some people tribes had the knowledge of these forces. So they acquired superiority over others and became their leaders. With the passage of time such men became the priest-kings. Slowly and gradually religion became a powerful instrument for keeping control over the people. Even today religion plays an important role in the state activities.

Property and the rise of Economic Classes

In the beginning people roomed from place to place in search of pasture and water. They did not know what agriculture was and how crops were cultivated. As a result of this they did not occupy a particular territory and lead a settled life. With the passage of time population increased and man was compelled to lead a settled life. This compelled them to occupy land with this there arose the need to have an authority to define and enforce the rights of the families or individuals within the territory of the settled community. This authority was also supposed to defend the wealth, which consisted mainly of land and domestic animals. In other words a common authority was needed to define property rights and property relations and to decide issues like inheritance, theft, exchange of goods etc. It is said where there is no property there can be no government. This means that the government and the state came into existence with the beginning of the private property and the division of the society with classes.

War and Force

War and force also played an important role in the .development of the state. Wherever force is used there is a definite purpose for it. In the beginning force was used to capture animals, wealth and land of the neighboring tribes. So we can say that the wars in the beginning were for economic purposes. War changed the tribes into political entity. As a result there came into being a permanent leadership. During the time of war the tribal chose their leaders who led them in the war. Since war became a permanent feature of tribal life, leadership also became permanent. With the passage of time a powerful tribal leader after many successful wars became the king. In this way a tribal state was changed into kingdoms and in this way the modern state came into being.

Political Consciousness

This means the thought of knowledge as to why political organization is needed. In the beginning there was the need for defense and protection of life, liberty and property, regulation of social relations etc. Political consciousness began in ancient times. It is a very slow process. It took a very long time for man to ask about the political authority. The day people asked the question why political consciousness began and about its progresses and development. This also helped in the growth and development of the state and government.