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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The earliest governments in both Sumer and Egypt were inextricably with religion. IN Sumer, about 3500 B.B., the first rulers were priests who claimed divine right to the land. In the Old Kingdom of Egypt, which began 3110 B.C., the government also was under the king-god.

But the Egyptians believed that their divine system of government had been created at the beginning of time, along with the seas, mountains, and skies. The great pyramids, which were all erected during the Old Kingdom, were thoguht to join earth with heaven by their toweing height. What follows are the origins of major govenement innovation from Sumerian and Egyptian times to the present.

Dynasty, 3100 B.C. Egypt.
The Egyptian rulers, or pharoahs, were grouped in families, or dynasties. A dynamic government resolved the instability and conflit that might arise from the question of succession following a pharoah's death. The I Dynasty was that of the Egyptian pharoah Menes.

INterstate Commerce, 1292 B.C. Egypt.
A letter found in Boghazkeui from a Hitite king to Ramses II of the XIX Dynasty discusses selling iron to Egypt. It is the first written record of international trade.

Military Pay, 405 B.C., Rome.
The general Marcus Furius Camillus ordered his troops reimbursed after they were kept in the field all winter one year during the ten-year siege of Veii. Army life became more attractive to men who previously had worried about hoe to feed their families while they were away at war.

Corporation, 100 B.C.; Roman Empire.
Under Roman Law the corporation became an entity that could own property, mnake contracts, litigate, and engage in many activities. Many such bodies came about as group ventures with pooled resources.

Parliament, 991; England.
The Anglo-Saxon kings and aristocrats beagn this body, known as the Witenagemot ("meeting of the councilors"), in a manner quite different from its current evolution. There was no element of popular representatuon in the beginning.

House of Lords, 1066; England.
The aristocracy established the House of Lords as a lineal descendant of the Great Council or King's Council of the Norman and Plantagenent kings.

Tariffs, 1275; England.
Under King Edward I, special fees were levied on imported and exported goods in order to raise money for the government and protect home industries. Such duties were called "poundage" because they were based on weight.

Think Tanks, 1832; Philadelphia.
Yhe U.S. secretary of the treasury, confronted by dangerous boilers that kept exploding in American steamboats, contracted the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia to study the problem. Since then the government has had a hand in sponsoring scientifici research and development at universities and private think tanks.

United Nations, 1945; San Francisco.
The United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union were instrumental in establishing the charter for this peacetime body to deal with political, economic, social, legal, and military problems on an international basis.

(Source: "Origins of Everything Under and Including the Sun" by: Charles Panati)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:45 AM  
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