Essay on the Patriarchal Theory of Political Science

The foremost among such theories is the Patriarchal Theory which seeks to explain that the State is an enlargement of the family.

Originally, the family consisted of a man, his wife and children. The father was the head of the family and his control and authority was complete in all respects over all its members.

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When his children married there was expansion in the original family and it led to the establishment of new families. But the authority of the father and head of the original family remained unabated as before, and it was duly acknowledged by all his descendants. This constituted a patriarchal family.

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In due course of time the patriarchal family expanded and developed into a clan. The members of a clan were bound to one another by ties of blood relationship, and all lived and functioned under the recognised authority of the senior living male member of the original family.

A clan by its own expansion grew into a tribe. With the lapse of time many members withdrew from the parent tribe and settled in new lands in search of their living. This resulted, by virtue of the same process of development, in the founding of many new tribes.

The tribes united by ties of blood relationship acted together for common purposes, particularly in defending themselves against the aggression of other tribes. This involved the recognition of some common authority under whose influence they could rally round.


This is how the State has developed. Leacock, giving the process of this development, says, “First a household, then a patriarchal family, then a tribe of persons of kindred descent and finally nation so emerges the social series erected on this basis.”

Aristotle believed that the State took form as a natural expansion of the family. A society of many families, he observes, “is called a village, and a village is most naturally composed of the descendants of one family.

The children and the children’s children, for which reason States were originally governed by kings, as the barbarian States now are, which are composed of those who had before submitted to kingly government; for every family is governed by the elder, as are the branches thereof, on account of their relation thereunto.

And when many villages so entirely join themselves together as in every respect to form but one society, that society is a State, and contains, in itself, if I may so speak, the end and perfection of government.”


According to Aristotle, the State makes its appearance as a kinship group an outgrowth of the family; and the authority of the earlier kings is derived from the authority of the head of the family.


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