I See Dead People... In Mirrors
Monarchy over the Wizarding community
I'm writing a historical fic which takes place in 19th century England. I decided that the Wizards, like the Muggles, were ruled by a king/queen, but I'm having problems coming up with magical equivalents of the various admistrative functions of a ministry. So I have a few questions.
What kind of department would be controlling the life on streets? For example, if someone were pickpocket-ed in Diagon Alley, or something small-scale and ordinary like that, who would be called/summonned? A counterpart to, say, gendarmerie or police force?
I also appreciate any suggestion about how you think the wizarding community would be ruled in monarchic system.
Many thanks in advance
Hermoine Jean Granger
Monarchy in the wizarding world does sound like an enticing topic to me. The minister of magic in the present magical world is the same as the king(I guess), and all his advisors would become the lords. Then the heads of the various departments would come next in line and then, there would be the administrative staff.
I think the current day wizarding world's equivalent of a magical law enforcement squad would take care of petty crimes like pick-pocketing. A lower cadre member of these squads would have to summoned,I guess, in case of petty crimes.
I think the world would be ruled very well under a monarchy if it does not become a dictatorship like the time when voldemort ruled the current wizarding world.
Hope that helped a bit!!
P.S.: The thought of wizards in Elizabethian costumes makes me wait very eagerly for this one!!
A monarchy (as opposed to a constitutional monarchy which is what we have in the UK now) is essentually a dictatorship.
Originally Posted by Hermoine Jean Granger
I'm sorry but you can't have an alter-rex in England! It's just inconceivable when you consider the nature of the English monarchy and how it has developed through the ages.
19th Century, so you're talking Queen Viccy, and the time of the British Empire when Britain's monarch was also the Empress of India. I don't wish to sound too cynical or patriotic but I just can't see there being an alter-rex. I think the current royals would know about the threat of Voldemort and/or any other threats posed to their country, as 'purely symbolic' as they may be. In fact, I can imagine a well-hidden sector of the royal treasury would go to aiding the MoM against their dark enemies.
Even though there was a constitutional monarchy during Victoria's reign, the monarchy held a lot of authority as more than just the figurehead of the country. I'd suspect that Muggles and wizards alike would recognise this. In fact, not to go off on an obsessive tangent, it's Queen Victoria that establishes the institute of Torchwood on Dr Who ... a secret agency that researches and fights 'alien activity' in England. The same thing could be true in the Potterverse as the Whoverse - I could see the monarchy and government of the time working side by side with the MoM, even if at times they disagreed over who was most important. Fundamentally, though, if you're talking 19th Century, you're talking Queen Victoria for monarch (unless you're talking pre-1837, in which case it was William IV, who, I hate to admit despite my extensive knowledge of the British monarchy, I know nothing at all about ...)
Seriously, just keep to the idea of a Ministry of Magic. The politicians ruled England during the 19th Century, not the Queen, so it's not like you actually need one.
In regards to police, there was a developing police force in the Victorian era. This was the Oliver Twist era, though, where poor children were effectively owned by the big factories or orphanages and many were in extreme poverty in the big cities. I'd suggest you do something similar for the Wizarding World. Therefore, if a young wizard was caught pick-pocketing in Diagon Alley, they'd be sent back to whoever they worked for and flogged ... this could even be a headmaster at Hogwarts seeing as corporal punishment was legal (and encouraged). For minor crimes like this the police wouldn't be involved unless they happened to stumble over it themselves.
Kill the Spare
I think you have to be careful with the crime element of that era. Most juvenile crime in Victorian/Edwardian times was brought about becasue the children were incredibly poor and not educated. BUT Wizard/witch children have always been educated (or since 1000 AD anyhow).
I do like the ideas though and can see it working. With regards to what to call the wizard policemen. The Victorian police were created by a man called Sir Robert Peel and they were given the nicknames of 'Peelers' or 'Bobbies' we still use Bobbies today for our police so maybe you could have the person that runs the police - for arguments sake lets say it's Cornelius Fudge - then the wizard cops could be Cornys or Fudgers.
Let me just first say that I don't live in the UK but am an American. So I don't mean to pretend that I understand the "pride" aspect, the following is simply my point of view.
That's not necessarily true. A monarchy is based on blood and doesn't always mean that the royalty has the power. However, in a dictatorship, the ruler has taken control using brute force and always has complete power--hense [B]dictator[B]ship. Also, (and this is merely observation having studied history, not a prejudice or stereotype) dictatorships tend to be more violent because of the general nature of the way dictators come into power. They are usually the ones looking to expand the empire, create an army, and take every chance at gaining more control. Often they are run like a military based on rank (hense "military dictatorship"), and are thus more violent. (But again, not always.)
Originally Posted by CakeorDeath
Monarchies, on the other hand, often (but not always) are more focused on domestic affairs. Rather than focusing on expanding borders or increasing foreign trade, they focus more on building schools and roads, and dealing with punishment (including the sort of things kehribar was talking about). But monarchs also have much more money (because it's "old money") and therefor live a more glamourus life. Because of this, they become a sort of "icon" for the nation to look up to. (Then again, a dictator can certainly also be this for a country.)
Anyway, I sort of went off onto a tangent. But as CakeorDeath (and I think a few others) said, the new way of doing things in the UK is a "constitutional monarchy". This basically means that the monarchs have no actual power, but instead the laws are based on a constitution. Because of this, the only role of the royals is to be the "icon" that is the basis of pride in the country. However, the enforce and interpret the laws named in the constitution they have a Prime Minister and three houses of lords (somewhat similar to the US's president and the three branches of government).
What does this mean for you? In fanfiction?
The Wizarding World has it's own Minister of Magic and advisors (we got to see how a lot of that worked in the HP books--especially GoF and OotP). I'm pretty sure they would deal with the types of things you are talking about, kehribar, pertaining to pick-pocketing and so on. The only question is, who is the "icon" for the Wizarding World? In canon, I think it is safe to say that the Minister fills that role--based on how the newpapers treat him. However, I think it is safe to say that they also respect the authority of the Muggle Royals when it comes to nationalism. (We don't get to see much of that in canon because the books don't extend outside the UK, but I think that could be an interesting aspect to a fanfic.)
As for fulfilling the part of the "Bobbies" (for which, by the way, I just learned the name ) I'm pretty sure the Aurors do a pretty good job at that. I mean, sure, they're meant to hunt people like Riddle or Grindelwald, but they have to have something to do when the world is at peace.
All of that said, wizards don't always stay within their own walls--it's not like there's a "line" they can't cross. I'm sure many of them spend much time in the Muggle world and therefore would be very familiar with the monarchs. it all really just depends on the context of the fanfic.
Hope that helped,
I See Dead People... In Mirrors
Many thanks to each of you for the incredibly valuable input - each of you have been of great help! And Laur, don't you worry, I've no intention to put the wizarding community through the pains of having an alter-ex
I can still do with more opinions on the topic. What kind of legal section would be detecting trade regulations/prices/costumer rights and the like? Can you see wizards from different professions forming guilds and associations? If they do, how much power would they have in terms of getting rights/grants from the state?
Though my fic will not be concerned very much with the nature of state, the system will inevitably affect the characters' lives and I'd appreciate any kind of input that can help me solidify this aspect of the story.
Thanks a lot!