The Patriarchal theory of Government as found in the Bible and the Patria Potestas of ancient Rome were in many respects identical in terms, and in particular they each emphasized the authority and control of the father or head of the family over the person and property of the "Son under the Power." The earliest peoples were first found in isolated families, then, as the number of families increased and some were grown more powerful than others, the law of self-preservation brought about a combination of several families, forming a tribe. It must be remembered that at this time the tribes were nomadic, and as they did not till the soil they depended upon their herds for sustenance. Soon the tribes became too unwieldy in numbers to peregrinate, and permanent villages were erected. By easy progression of thought the villagers saw the advantages of combining to form a nation. The expansion of families to tribes and tribes to nations required organization to support the union, and as the numbers of the governed and the territory occupied by them increased, the personal control of Abraham and his prototype in ancient Roman times as the head of the family gave place to the impersonal government of Principle, and the law was administered without regard to the arbitrary, biased human will.
The unit in the aggregate of the governed was no longer the family, but the individual. The head of the family was freed from responsibility for the acts of the "Son under the Power." Each individual was on an equality in law, and had the same right of holding property as the head of the family formerly had, and his responsibility for his acts was directly to the government, his freedom being restricted only where his acts conflicted with the highest sense of right of the nation, which was embodied in laws for the governance of all and for the benefit of the commonwealth.
Each individual was put upon his own understanding of Principle as interpreted by the law, his inalienable right of freedom and self-government was recognized: and constituted Democracy as aptly defined by Abraham Lincoln in his historic phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people."