The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution - Study Guide Part I, Chapters 3-5 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 3 is called "The Tyranny of Cousins." Fukuyama addresses the earliest forms of human political organization. The first kind of organization, he theorizes, was based on kinship. The concept of kinship could be carried to as many generations as desired to create a bond between people. The farther back in time a common ancestor lived, the larger the group of descendants who might claim an alliance based on their common kinship. These kinds of groups were flexible, and kinship was determined in different ways in different places. Most common was the method of "agnation," Fukuyama explains, where kinship was based on the male line of descendents. Some groups had a matrilineal organization, however, where kinship was determined by the female line. Some kinship groups were flexible and would allow outsiders to join and assume an adopted relationship to the...

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