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Single Idea 19798

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / b. Monarchy]

Full Idea

Ancient monarchs called themselves King of the Persians or Scythians, regarding themselve merely as the leaders of men. Today's monarchs more shrewdly call themselves King of France or England. By holding the land, they are sure of the inhabitants.

Gist of Idea

Ancient monarchs were kings of peoples; modern monarchs more cleverly rule a land

Source

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], I.9)

A Reaction

This matches the Germans being earlier defined by speaking the language, and now defined by a territory. It is more to do with the rise of the modern state than to do with the shrewdness of the monarchs.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.152