civilized. The invention of fire-arms, an 
invention which at first sight appears to be so 
pernicious, is certainly favourable, both to 
the permanency and to the extension of civilisation
Of the Expense of Justice
The second duty of the sovereign, that of 
protecting, as far as possible, every member 
of the society from the injustice or oppression 
of every other member of it, or the duty of 
establishing an exact administration of justice
requires two very different degrees of expense 
in the different periods of society
Among nations of hunters, as there is 
scarce any property, or at least none that exceeds 
the value of two or three days labour; 
so there is seldom any established magistrate
or any regular administration of justice
Men who have no property, can injure one 
another only in their persons or reputations
But when one man kills, wounds, beats, or 
defames another, though he to whom the injury 
is done suffers, he who does it receives 
no benefit. It is otherwise with the injuries 
to property. The benefit of the person who 
does the injury is often equal to the loss of 
him who suffers it. Envy, malice, or resentment, 
are the only passions which can prompt 
one man to injure another in his person or 
reputation. But the greater part of men are 
not very frequently under the influence of 
those passions; and the very worst men are 
so only occasionally. As their gratification
too, how agreeable soever it may be to certain 
characters, is not attended with any real 
or permanent advantage, it is, in the greater 
part of men, commonly restrained by prudential 
considerations. Men may live together 
in society with some tolerable degree of security
though there is no civil magistrate to 
protect them from the injustice of those passions
But avarice and ambition in the rich
in the poor the hatred of labour and the love 
of present ease and enjoyment, are the passions 
which prompt to invade property; passions 
much more steady in their operation, 
and much more universal in their influence
Wherever there is a great property, there is 
great inequality. For one very rich man
there must be at least five hundred poor, and 
the affluence of the few supposes the indigence 
of the many. The affluence of the rich 
excites the indignation of the poor, who are 
often both driven by want, and prompted by 
envy to invade his possessions. It is only 
under the shelter of the civil magistrate, that 
the owner of that valuable property, which is 
acquired by the labour of many years, or 
perhaps of many successive generations, can 
sleep a single night in security. He is at all 
times surrounded by unknown enemies
whom, though he never provoked, he can 
never appease, and from whose injustice he 
can be protected only by the powerful arm of 
the civil magistrate, continually held up to 
chastise it. The requisition of valuable and 
extensive property, therefore, necessarily 
requires the establishment of civil government. 
Where there is no property, or at least none 
that exceeds the value of two or three days 
labour, civil government is not so necessary. 
Civil government supposes a certain 
subordination. But as the necessity of civil 
government gradually grows up with the acquisition 
of valuable property, so the principal 
causes, which naturally introduce subordination
gradually grow up with the growth of 
that valuable property
The causes or circumstances which naturally 
introduce subordination, or which naturally 
and antecedent to any civil institution, give 
some men some superiority over the greater 
part of their brethren, seem to be four in 
The first of those causes or circumstances
is the superiority of personal qualifications
of strength, beauty, and agility of body; of 
wisdom and virtue of prudence, justice
fortitude, and moderation of mind. The 
qualifications of the body, unless supported 
by those of the mind, can give little authority 
in any period of society. He is a very strong 
man, who, by mere strength of body, can 
force two weak ones to obey him. The 
qualifications of the mind can alone give very 
great authority. They are however, invisible 
qualities; always disputable, and generally 
disputed. No society, whether barbarous or 
civilized, has ever found it convenient to settle 
the rules of precedency of rank and subordination
according to those invisible qualities
but according to something that is more 
plain and palpable
The second of those causes or circumstances 
is the superiority of age. An old man, provided 
his age is not so far advanced as to give 
suspicion of dotage, is everywhere more 
respected than a young man of equal rank, fortune
and abilities. Among nations of hunters
such as the native tribes of North America, 
age is the sole foundation of rank and 
precedency. Among them, father is the 
appellation of a superior; brother, of an equal; 
and son, of an inferior. In the most opulent 
and civilized nations, age regulates rank 
among those who are in every other respect 
equal; and among whom, therefore, there is nothing 
else to regulate it. Among brothers and 
among sisters, the eldest always takes place; 
and in the succession of the paternal estate, 
every thing which cannot be divided, but must 
go entire to one person, such as a title of honour
is in most cases given to the eldest
Age is a plain and palpable quality, which admits 
of no dispute