Criticism of Patriarchal Theory of Sir Henry Maine

The early forms of social organisation, it has been maintained, were not as simple as the Patriarchal Theory tries to establish. Sir J. G. Frazer, in his classic work: The Golden Bough, warns that “he who investigates the history of institutions should constantly bear in mind the extreme complexity of the causes which have built up the fabric of human society, and should be on his guard against a subtle danger incidental to all science the tendency to simplify unduly the infinite variety of the phenomena by fixing our attention on a few of them to the exclusion of the rest.”

It is, also, suggested that the theory does not offer an adequate explanation of the origin of the State. It is, in fact, just a speculation into the beginnings of the early society, particularly the family. Gilchrist says, “The patriarchal theory is one of the simplest explanations of the origin of the State, but one of its chief weaknesses is this very simplicity.”

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