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Thread: The World's Wizarding Governments

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    The World's Wizarding Governments

    We are all quite familiar with the British wizarding system of goverment and how it funtions from the Harry Potter books, but I wonder about other countries throughout the world as well. They all can't be clone-copies of the British Ministry of Magic.

    Any country is open to thought on this subject, as well as any theories of government, including wizarding monarchies and dictatorships. Let's do some brainstorming!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    We are all quite familiar with the British wizarding system of goverment and how it funtions from the Harry Potter books, but I wonder about other countries throughout the world as well. They all can't be clone-copies of the British Ministry of Magic.

    Any country is open to thought on this subject, as well as any theories of government, including wizarding monarchies and dictatorships. Let's do some brainstorming!
    There ought to be many different kinds of magical government. China might have an emperor. The wizards in the USA could have a loose federation of self-governing regions. And yes, you could very well have wizarding autocracies, monarchies, etcetera here and there.

    One thing to note is that a successful dictatorship needs a complete monopoly on violence. In the Muggle world, this is quite easy to achieve in most places, since the majority of guns are in state's hands. And those private firearms outside of government control are no match for military artillery, tanks, and bombers.

    The wizarding world, by contrast, is a much more even playing field. The state does not have a complete monopoly on violence, because almost everybody has a wand, and anyone with a wand can use it as a weapon. True, government wizards might be better trained and would have an edge, but the average wizard poses a much, much greater threat to a wizarding dictatorship than the average Muggle does to a Muggle dictatorship.

    Witness how a rabble of students and townspeople toppled Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts. Now imagine a similar situation in a Muggle dictatorship, say North Korea. Can you see our plucky rebels winning? No.

    So, while dictatorships in the wizarding world are certainly possible, I'd imagine they'd be harder to establish and maintain than ones in the Muggle world, and thus, would be fewer in number.

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Alright, so China might have a monarchy? What are some other wizarding nations that might have this sort of government.

    Also, what would be the basis behind the family linage of the wizarding monarchs? In Muggle history, monarchs are usually either great leaders who were the first to unify the nation, were appointed by God, are descended from gods, or were the only ones who could pull a legendary sword out of a stone.

    What would give any family of wizards the supreme authority to lead an entire country just because of who they were born to?

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    Haha, China's always been a special case when it comes to the emperors though.

    European monarchs believed they have divine right because it's been appointed by God, and that it passes through the oldest son... and that it can't be taken away.

    It was established quite early in Chinese history that the Mandate of Heaven, can and will be taken away from one family and given to another. If things start going badly (floods, fires, lost wars, etc, etc) it's a sign that the gods have turned against the emperor. It's a nice way for any rebel leader to have a little more... uh... what's the word I want... ethos? logos?... Anyway, it's a way for the rebel leader to justify his rebellion. The Mandate of Heaven has left the emperor's family and falls to him.

    It's also why the Chinese emperors didn't follow male primogeniture as much. Sure, it was usually a son, but the throne could go to a son-in-law or nephew.

    As for why wizards would have a monarch... why not a unifier of peoples? That would be a pretty good reason. Of course, the monarchy would be really, really old to have lasted this long.

    You could also have a constitutional monarchy, where the monarchy is just the symbol of the state, while there is some form of elected leader.
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    Depending on the country you set this in though, you probably have to be careful that you take the according Muggle government into account. Think of England, for example. There's probably a reason why there isn't a Wizard King in England. There are Muggleborns and Half-Bloods in the wizarding community, and they would be familiar with and loyal too the Muggle monarch.

    If you want to for example give the Belgian wizards a King, and have the wizards believe that the power of the King is god-given, then there might be a lot of attacks against the Muggle monarch, because what justifies them to have their power? I think there could be a lot of conflict there. This would probably only work in a mostly pureblood wizarding society. Else, how do you convince students that come to a school/into the community from Muggle families that they need to stop being loyal to the monarch that has been celebrated in their country all their lives, and suddenly accept that someone else who rules in the same country is the one true leader?


    I'm not sure a constitutional monarchy makes a whole lot of sense for wizards. I don't know.. it just doesn't seem to fit in with the way their society works - but then we only really ever do see the British system. But still... I can imagine them having a sort of monarch because they do seem to be into those old sort of symbols, and I can (obviously) imagine them having the Ministry-system. I just don't see them keeping something as ... impractical as a monarch if they do have the constitutional system to actually lead the country.


    I can imagine there being a wizarding monarch in France for some reason... Maybe the Revolution just never really affected wizardkind that much, or maybe it did, and the pureblood nobility instated a wizard King after the Muggle one was... uhm.. .unavailable. I can see that a transition here would be quite easy and definitely possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaley Dargen
    Think of England, for example. There's probably a reason why there isn't a Wizard King in England. There are Muggleborns and Half-Bloods in the wizarding community, and they would be familiar with and loyal too the Muggle monarch.
    I agree with this (except it should be Britain and not just England ...), but would like to point out that the British system of government is only vaguely similar to the Wizarding system in UK because there are no free elections. I suppose there might be a voting in via the Wizengamot, but there's no real democracy. It's all done pretty instantaneously.

    The reason I'm mentioning this, is because it seems to be a recurring point in the above posts that the systems of government mimic the Muggle systems, when the Ministry isn't that similar to the UK government. The bureacracy is the same, but really it's like a huge corporation, with infighting and oneupmanship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aida
    European monarchs believed they have divine right because it's been appointed by God, and that it passes through the oldest son... and that it can't be taken away.
    I don't think they necessarily believed it, they just spread that around so people would think they were God's representative. There were far too many changes of King/Ruling Family in England, at least, to make that distinction. It was Charles I in England who made such an issue of the 'Divine right of Kings' - consequently he was beheaded ... his successors didn't make the same mistake.
    If you look at the ten European countries in Europe that have a monarchy (or principality) five have equal primogeniture (meaning it's the eldest child irrespective of gender who inherits), three have male primogeniture (meaning the eldest son will inherit, but if there's no son then the eldest daughter will inherit) and the last two have agnatic primogeniture where only the next male heir can inherit.

    The Wizarding world in UK has a fairly unbiased and non sexist policy towards its Ministers, so it's not really based on UK government or the Monarchy.

    What would give any family of wizards the supreme authority to lead an entire country just because of who they were born to?
    Descendants of Merlin, Zeus, Odin, Ra. Basically you could base a monarchy on their 'divine right to rule' if they could claim a lineage back to any major wizarding ruler.

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    Very interesting points. Now I have even more ponderings, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    The wizards in the USA could have a loose federation of self-governing regions.
    Do you think they would recognize the same fifty states as the Muggle government would, or maybe instead of the thirteen original colonies, then giant lumps of the Western Territories (Montana, Wyoming, Idoho, the Dakotas), the Spanish Territories (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and on and on), etc?

    What European nations do you think would be most likely to have a monarchy, or do you think none of them would?

    What nations of the world do you think would be most likely to have monarchies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Do you think they would recognize the same fifty states as the Muggle government would
    Probably not. The original thirteen colonies probably wouldn't be recognised either, since they are geographically quite small considering wizarding standards of mobility, and some were founded for very Muggle-ish reasons, like as the religious refuges/utopias of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

    When wizards came over to the New World, they probably made up their own administrative divisions. These could quite literally look like anything you want, since there is no saying that wizarding migration patterns matched Muggle ones in any way. You can even have strong influences of wizards from Muggle nations that did not have a strong presence in the New World. For instance, what if a lot of Dutch wizards settled New Amsterdam? Then it is possible that the wizarding version of the city would not be called New York, and there might still be a number of Dutch Speakers. On the other side of the continent, Alaska could be a Russian-speaking province.

    Or you could just make something up, something with absolutely no connections to Muggle history whatsoever. For all we know, Polish wizards settled Florida.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    What European nations do you think would be most likely to have a monarchy, or do you think none of them would?

    What nations of the world do you think would be most likely to have monarchies?
    This isn't an easy question to answer. The wizarding world can be so drastically different from the Muggle world that it is impossible to predict any of this. If you want some ideas of countries that might have monarchies, I'd recommend looking at some absolutist monarchies that predated the Statute of Secrecy. There is a slim chance that some vestiges of that kind of system survived in the wizarding world after the split.

    But essentially, you can just make things up and nobody would be able to contradict you (much).

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    Or you could just make up something up, something with absolutely no connections to Muggle history whatsoever. For all we know, Polish wizards settled Florida.
    ... if I knew more about Polish culture or Florida, I might have to write that fic.

    Generally though, I'd have to agree with Tim. There's no reason why Polish wizards couldn't have settled Florida or Russian wizards even.

    Of course, any author who wants to do something that odd would have to come up with really good reasons for it, but there's no reason why you couldn't.

    I'm curious what Japan's wizarding government would be like.

    For Muggle governments we've got a history of essentially military dictatorship under the shogunate with some symbolic power in the emperor. Then we have the Meiji Reforms taking place... about the time of the Statute of Secrecy, I think. *too lazy to look up dates*. The Meiji Reforms put power back in the hands of the emperor and it remained there until World War II and the beginning of a civilian government.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    I'm curious what Japan's wizarding government would be like.

    For Muggle governments we've got a history of essentially military dictatorship under the shogunate with some symbolic power in the emperor. Then we have the Meiji Reforms taking place... about the time of the Statute of Secrecy, I think. *too lazy to look up dates*. The Meiji Reforms put power back in the hands of the emperor and it remained there until World War II and the beginning of a civilian government.
    The Statute of Secrecy was put into effect in 1692, more than a hundred and fifty years before the Meiji Restoration of the 1860s.

    So if we presume that Japanese wizards base their government on the pre-1692 Muggle structure (which I doubt), they should have a Shogun, I think.

    Tim the Enchanter

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