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Monday Febry. 28. 1763. - Adam Smith, Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence Vol. 5 Lectures On Jurisprudence 
Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982).
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Monday Febry. 28. 1763.
In some of my last lectures I have explain’d how <government> arises and what progress it makes in the state of hunters and shepherds. I showed how that at first there was properly no government at all, that this arose first amongst a nation of shepherds, and that these in certain circumstances would | naturally unite themselves and form a city, which at first was under the government of a chief, but afterwards became in the ordinary and naturall progress of things [became] an aristocracy and afterwards a democracy. I shall now shew in what manner and from what causes these states necessarily come to an end. They at first, as I shewed you already, and as was the case at Athens, Sparta, andw all the other states of Greece, consisted of a large city which, as Athens, would contain perhaps 100,000 persons with a very small territory arround it. This was the originall form of all these republicks.—Now here one of two things must happen: either, 1st, the state must always continue in this state of a large city in the midst of a small republick; or 2dly, it must extend its territory and conquer some of the adjacent states, for it is already so small that it can hardly be dim<in>ished without the totall ruin of the state. I shall first consider what will be the fate of one of the first sort, which we may call a defen|sive republick, of which the severall states of Greece will serve for examples; and 2dly, what will be the fate of a conquering republick, of which Rome will serve us for an example, and Carthage also; for as I shall shew by and by Carthage would have shared the same fate as Rome had it not [have] been overrun by the latter.
We are therefore to consider, 1st, what will be the fate of a defensivex state which continues to maintain its small territory. In the first place, it must necessarily happen that as a state of this sort advances in arts and improvements in society, [that] its power and strength must be greatly dimin[s]ished. As the arts and improvements and consequently the easieness of procuring livelyhood increase, it is true, the city will become more populous, that is, its number of inhabitants will increase, but the soldiers will be greatly less. The number of people will be greater, but the number of fighting people will be very small, so that the improvement of arts and manufactures which, as I shew more fully hereafter than I have hitherto done, must necess|arily happen in every state of this sort, will greatly weaken its strength; tho noty equally in every state, for the reasons I shall explain by and by.—In a nation of shepherds every one without distinction goes to war. This was the case amongst the Children of Israel, and is so at present amongs<t> the Arabians and Tartars. Amongst the Calmucks and some other nations the women fight as well as the men. They are, as being weaker, not so good soldiers, but they have their horse, their bows and arrows as well as the men. In a state which is a little more refined than this the men only go to war, but then the whole of the men, whether they be shepherds or a nation in the form of a small agrarian state, where the greatest and richest men, those who are at the head of affairs, have not above 10 or 11 acres, as was the case with Regulus, Cincinnatus, and others at the time of their greatest glory. Such persons can all go out to war as easily as the shepherds. In this state the campaigns were only sum|mer ones. The<y> continued but three or four months in the middle of the summer, after the spring and before the harvest work. They could easily be absent in the intermediate time, as the corn grows and the crop comes on, if the season favours, as well as if they were at home. A shepherds flock feeds tho he is not with it. Nothing therefore detains them. This was the case with the Peloponesians at the time of the Pelop. war, and had been so some time before at Athens, as Lysias3 mentions in the oration where he exorts them to imitate the brave actions of their forefathers, who, when all those fit for service had gone to Megaera and the old men and boys had been left with the women, as was customary, to defend the walls, they, when the enemy was spoiling the country, rallied out and gain’d a great victory. But this advice we dont see that they followed. So that a state of this sort could send out all those of the military age, which are generally counted to be 1 in 4, or 25 in 100. Of the 100, 50 or the half | are women; of the other 50 men, the half is reckoned to be below 16 or above 45 or 55, the longest term of the military age.—But in a state where arts, manufactures, and handicrafts are brought to perfection this is not the case. They can not dispense with the labourers in this manner without the total loss of business and the destruction of the state. Every hour a smith or a weaver is absent from his loom or the anvillz his work is at a stop, which is not the case with the flocks of a shepherd or the fields of the husbandman. Trade, commerce, can not go on, and they therefore will not go out to the wars.—As one in 4 can go out in the former case, so not above 1 in 100 in those who are polished and cultivate the arts. This is the computation commonly made with regard to Britain and Holland and others, but <it> is probably too large. For here as before 50 are women, 25 above and below the military age, so that there must be one out of 25 go to the war, and this does not appear to have been the case even in this war,4 which has exhausted the country more | than any one since the time of Edwd. 1st. This is the computation with regard to the most parts of Germany, and Baron Blank in MS.5 , Minister to the King of Prussia, affirms that not above 1 in two hundred can go without detriment to the country. That country is not so much improved in arts as Britain, and consequen<t>ly could better spare. But as the other is too large, so this is I believe too small with regard to our country. From this we see that at first a small state, as Athens, might be very well able to defend itself. It contained perhaps 100,000 inhabitants or more; of these 25 or 30000 would be of the military age, so that it could furnish an army of considerable strength even at this day amongst more powerfull states, as they did at Marathon, Cheronea, etc., 10,000 or 20000. But when the whole people comes to be employed in peacefull and laborious arts, 1 out of 100 only can go, that is, about 1000, which would be no more than a poor city guard and could do nothing against an enemy; nor even 4 or 5000. | So that the very duration of the state and the improvements naturally going on at that time, every one applying himself to some usefull art, and commerce, the attendant on all these, necessarily undo the strength and cause the power to vanish of such a state till it be swallowed up by some neighbouring state.—Britain, tho highly advanced in arts and commerce, can nevertheless furnish great armies. The British Isles are computed to containa about 15,000000, so that if one out of 100 goes to war this will make an army of 150000, which is about the number of <the> standing army raised in this country during the war, altho there were near 500000 in battle ray;b and I suspect also that this computation is two low, as those of other countries of Europe are too high, for this is the same as it was in Charles 2d time, since which the country is greatly improved and consequently the number of men, tho not in the same proportion as I shall shew hereafter.—Thus it must happen that the improvement of arts and commerce must make ac great declension in the force and power of the republick in all cases. But this does not hold equally | of all. There is a difference betwixt those countries where slavery takes place and those where it does not, in favours of the former, and this is perhaps the only advantage which attends the institution of slavery.d In all countries where slavery takes place, they are the only persons (as I shewed already)6 who carry on arts and trades of all sorts. The masters indeed had the direction of it, but were no more than overseers, as they never wrought themselves. And we see that those lawgivers, as Solon, who encouraged trade and commerce, and obliged every one to cause <his> son <to> be as we say [be] bound apprentice to some trade, were anxious that they should not work themselves. They considered, and I believe with justice, that every sort of constant labour hurt the shapee and rendered him less fit for military exercises, which made the chief view of all lawgivers at that time. (We can know a taylor by his gate.) At Sparta there were no trades at all, and at Athens no free man was engaged in any. The freemen therefore could still go out to battle and leave the superintendence of their slaves to the old men and the women. Thus at the battle of Chironea7 | they had 9000 or ten thousand men, tho they had long before made great progress in arts and sciences. But in the Italian republicks, as soon as arts, etc. were improvd, there was an intire decradation and loss of courage in the whole state. This we may ascribe as the cause of th<e> quick decay of Florence, Milan, etc. This naturally must happen, for no state can impose any very great and intollerable hardships, as the military service would be, in a refined state. Formerly it was not reckoned any hardship to serve in the field. The men of the best fashion served in battle. Those who are now knights were dragoons, and the other gentlemen or esquires were foot soldiers; and these, though of better fashion often than most of us here, thought it no hardship to serve 3 or 4 months in the year on their own expenses. The case we see was the same at Rome. Men of fashion then lived at the same ease and with no greater luxury in the field than at home, where they were generally employed in hunting. They fared as well, slept as soft abroad as at home, and had no particular business at home to engage them. Whereas nowadays, or whenever luxuyrf comes in after commerce and arts, nothing but the most | urgent necessity, something which threat<en>ed the state with immediate ruin, could now induce men to leave their business and engage in war as a common soldier. The only people who could go out to war in this state would be the very lowest and worthlesest of the people. And these too could never be trusted, nor would they engage in any services with spirit, unless formed into what we call a standing army and brought under military discipline. Gentlemen will fight out of regard to their honour and love to their country; but it is fear only and respect of the officers which causes the lower sort, the common soldiers, to fight. Thus then when arts were improved, those who in the early times of the state had alone been trusted would not now go out, and those who before had never engaged in battle were the only persons who made up the armies, as the proletarii or lowest class did in the later periods of Rome. The armies are diminished in number but still more in force. This effect commerce and arts had on all the states of Greece. We see Demosthenes8 urging them to go out | to battle themselves, instead of their mercenaries which their army then consisted of; nor of these were there any considerable number. Whenever therefore arts and commerce engage the citizens, either as artizans or as master trades men, the strength and force of the city must be very much diminished.
2dly, there is an other improvement which greatly diminishes the strength and security of such a state; I mean the improvement of the military art. The taking of cities was at fir<s>t a prodigious operation which employed a very long time, and was never accomplished but by illegible wordg stratagem or blockade, as was the case at the Trojan war. A small town with a strong wall could hold out very well against its enemies. They had no way to take it with any probability but by a blockade, and it would be very difficult toh get any sufficient number of men to engage in such a tedious operation. Thus Athens held out for 2 years even after it had lost its navall force.9 But when the method of attack, as now in use, by warlike engines came to be | use<d>, and the ordering of zig–zag approaches was known, the taking of a city was not near so uncertain. A skifful engineer can guess within 1 week or two what time a place will surrender; and if the army be somewhat more numerous and the attack properly carri’d on, the taking of it is certain. The besiegers in this case have the advantage. From the time of the expulsion of the chieftans to the Peloponesian war, that is, during the glory of Gre<e>ce, no city was taken without a blockade; Athens, Plaetea, and Syracuse were all attacked but in this manner, nor had they any other idea of a siege. But when battering rams, balistas, catapultas, and the regular methods of approach, and all the other branches of the military art were brought to some considerable perfection by Philip, who was a very great engineer, improvd by Alexand<er>, and still more by Demetrius Poliorcites,10 who took many cities in much shorter <time> | than was ever done before, every state of this kind held its liberty by a precarious tenure. A siege of 8i weeks, or two or 3 months, was a certain means of bringing it into subjection; tho these were not probably of such effect as our cannon (as Blank in MS.j contends<)> yet they facilitated the attacks very much, so that a place which would stand out now 5 or 6 weeks would then hold out perhaps 10 or 12. All states of this sort would therefore naturally come to ruin, its power being diminished by the introduction of arts and commerce, and its territory,k and even its very being, being held on a very slender tack after the military art was brought to tollerable perfection, as it had nothing to hope for when once defeated in the field.
We come now to consider what is like to be the fate of a conquering state, such as that of Rome, or Carthage, which, tho the catastrophe was prevented by the more speedy ruin brought on it by the Romans, yet before this [it] had extended its conquests over all the coast of Africa, over all Spain, etc. These also must hold | by a very precarious tenure; not indeed that they are in danger from externall enemies,l but as their liberty is in danger by its own subjects. For when arts andm luxury have in the naturall progress of things been introduced into the state, and considerable improvements have been made in these, the rich and the better sort of people will no longer ingage in the service. The lower ranks make up the armies. Before the time of Marius11 the whole of the Roman armies was composed of the better sort, of people of fashion and honour. But he accep[e]ted of freed men and all others of the lower class, and put them into the form of what is called a standing army under a sort of discipline; and of these all the armies at Rome from this time, as they had done at Carthage, consisted. They were composed of freed men, or liberti, of run–a–way slaves, deserters, or the lowest of the mob. An army of this sort, serving under a commander for severall years, and being engaged inn [in] war for severall years, would become very much dependent upon him. They would owe to him their rank in | the army, and all indeed that they were worth in the world. If this generall then should be affronted at home, or any <?way> discontented, <he> would naturally ask redress from his army, who, as they would in this case be men of no principle, would as readily agree to assist him in all his undertakings; and if he succeed the government is at an end, as he can bring the whole under his power. From the first establishment of this custom, this allways happened whenever the case above mentioned occurred. Sylla took offence at the haughty and imperious conduct of Marius, at the head of his army of the sort above mentiond, and expelled him; buto Cinna12 and others of his followers afterwardp raised commotions in his favours, and at last he, after being successfull against Mithridates, returnd with great glory. Sylla being affronted at the treatment he had met with, he applied to his army, returned home, and after 10 or 12 battles became perpetuall Dictator, and then overthrew the government. | But out of an innate magnanimity, which he possessed perhaps more than any other man, along with all his other qualities, he resigned his authority, and the republican form continued 30 or 40 years after, till the same thing happened under Caesar. Pompey was in the same condition as Marius; he had been successfull in the Sertorian war in Spain, against the pirates, and against the servile warriors, and against Mithridates and Tigranes, and came home with glory and admiration and was without question the head man in the state; of which authority he would not probably have made the same use as Caesar. He, being a bankrupt above 10,000000, got himself at the head of an army, with which in the 9 years he commanded it he conquered both the Gauls.13 This gave him the highest reputation; the Gauls were to the Romans what the French are to us, the oldest and most formidable enemy. This eclipsed the glory of Pompey, and raised his jealousy so [so] that he would not allow the people to | grant his demand of being elected consull in his absence. This affronted Caesar; he had recourse to his army who willingly joind him, and by repeated victories he became Dictator for ever. The remains of the same victorious army afterwards set Antony and Augustus, and at last Augustus alone, on the throne. And the same will be the case in all conquering republicks where ever a mercenary army at the disposall of the generall is in use.
[w]Reading of last four words doubtful
[3 ]Funeral Oration, 50 (the victory was at Megara).
[z]Numbers written above the words ‘loom’ and ‘anvill’ indicate that their order was intended to be reversed
[4 ]Cf. LJ(B) 38, below, and see Introduction, p. 8.
[5 ]Blank in MS. Baron Bielfeld, Institutions politiques (1760), I.16.4.
[b]Reading of last two words doubtful
[c]Illegible word deleted
[d]‘Not right, I think’ is written in the margin of the MS. beside this sentence
[6 ]Presumably 69 above, though the statement there refers only to ‘the ancient states’, not ‘all countries’. Cf. iii.140 ff. above.
[7 ]Chaeronea, 338 b.c., when Philip of Macedon defeated the Athenians and Thebans.
[8 ]Third Olynthiac, 36.
[g]Illegible word, possibly deleted
[h]‘do this’ deleted
[9 ]Presumably the reference is to the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 b.c., but the interval was in fact less than one year.
[10 ]Demetrius Poliorcetes (‘the Besieger’), 336–283 b.c. Cf. Plutarch, Life of Demetrius.
[j]Blank in MS.
[k]Illegible word deleted
[m]‘progress and’ deleted
[11 ]C. Marius (157–86 b.c.), rival of L. Cornelius Sulla (138–78), reformed the Roman army so as to make it a professional force instead of a militia.
[12 ]Cinna was consul in 87 b.c. and enforced the return of Marius from exile.
[p]The following words are deleted at this point: ‘were allso expelled. This affronted Marius but’
[13 ]Caesar campaigned in Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul between 58 and 49 b.c.