Civil authorities

Civil authority (also known as civil government) is that apparatus of the state other than its military units that enforces law and order. It is also used to distinguish between religious authority (for example Canon law) and secular authority. In a religious context it may be defined "as synonymous with human government, in contradistinction to a government by God, or the divine government."[1]

History

Among the first modern experiments in civil government took place in 1636 when Roger Williams, a Christian minister, founded the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He sought to create a "wall of separation" between church and state to prevent corruption of the church and maintain civil order as expounded upon in his 1644 book, Bloudy Tenent of Persecution.[2][3]


Types of authority

Thus three forms of authority may be seen in States:

  • Civil authority
  • Military authority
  • Religious authority (certain constitutions exclude the state having any religious authority)

It can also mean the moral power of command, supported (when need be) by physical coercion, which the State exercises over its members. In this view, because man can not live in isolation without being deprived of what makes him fully human, and because authority is necessary for a society to hold together, the authority has not only the power but the right to command. It is natural to man to live in society, to submit to authority, and to be governed by that custom of society which crystallizes into law, and the obedience that is required is paid to the powers that be, to the authority actually in possession. The extent of its authority is bound by the ends it has in view, and the extent to which it actually provides for the government of society.

In modern states enforcement of law and order is typically a role of the police although the line between military and civil units may be hard to distinguish; especially when militias and volunteers, such as yeomanry, act in pursuance of non-military, domestic objectives.

See also

References

External links

  • "Civil Authority"

public domain: 

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.