The evolution of social (and sociopolitical) systems and evolution of legal concepts and systems are closely connected. Evolution is the phenomenon of “structural change.” This means that as time passes, certain social forms, types of organization, and ideas change gradually but fundamentally. These changes can result from population growth, alterations in means of subsistence, climate, and so on. Changes in sociopolitical organizations cause changes in legal concepts and systems.


Drawing from limited data available about the lives of prehistoric peoples (such as Neanderthals and CroMagnons) and extensive knowledge about today's hunter-gatherers, one can develop a structural model of an average prehistoric group. Such prehistoric groups—“bands”—were invariably small, between fifteen and thirty people; this characteristic drove most developments that occurred during thousands of years of prehistory and ...

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