Internal security is an evolving concept constantly broadening its scope. It is generally understood that internal security comprises three facets - stability of the state and its institutions, soundness of the material foundations of the society and dependability of the legal system established and supported by the state. In the age of slavery, the slaves - constituting a majority of the society - were deprived of the sense of personal security, in contrast to the citizens whose rights and liberties were protected by the state. Security of existence depended very much on the social status. State institutions in turn were deemed sacred, their significance firmly anchored in tradition, and as such untouchable by mortals. In the feudal state slavery dwindled and the general sense of personal security improved, it remained however strongly dependent on one's position in the social strata. Stability of the state institutions increased due to their new structure, building up on the previous strenghts. The Church contributed vastly to the security of existence by charity and care. Those functions were gradually taken up by the state, beginning in England in the 16th century.
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