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Thread: The World's Wizarding Governments

  1. #11
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    Haha, alright, I was off by a hundred years. Still, a wizarding shogunate would be pretty cool, no? If not a single shogunate, a lot of daimyos would work... having a lot of warlords could be fun. My pre-shogunate Japanese history is fairly poor though.

    Ok, what kind of government would Japan have then? There's no history of democracy pre-WWII. It's all military dictatorships and feudal style with the emperor as a figure head.
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  2. #12
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    There are several different periods of Shogun history. The period in time that would have at the time of the Statute of Secrecy is the Tokugawa shogunate (16031867).

    Here is what Wikipedia had to say about it.
    Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power and established a government at Edo (now known as Tokyo) in 1600. He received the title sei-i taishōgun in 1603 after he forged a family tree to show he was of Minamoto descent.[8] The Tokugawa shogunate lasted until 1867, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned as shogun and abdicated his authority to Emperor Meiji.[9]

    During the Edo period effective power rested with the Tokugawa shogun, not the emperor in Kyoto, even though the former ostensibly owed his position to the latter. The shogun controlled foreign policy, the military and feudal patronage. The role of the emperor was ceremonial, similar to the position of the Japanese monarchy after the Second World War.[10]

    The title of shogun in Japan meant a military leader equivalent to general, and at various times in the first millennium shoguns held temporary power, but it became a symbol of military control over the county. The establishment of the shogunate (or bakufu) at the end of the twelfth century saw the beginning of samurai control of Japan for 700 years until the Meiji Restoration in the middle of the nineteenth century.
    I also found that the Japanese prime minister is also sometimes addressed as 'Shogun', and retired prime ministers are refered to as 'shadow shogun'.


    But I also wonder about how a wizarding system of government run by warlords would work. Didn't we talk about how military dicatorships probably wouldn't work because any skilled wizard would have a much greater ability to overthrow an oppressive leader than an ordinary Muggle would.

    How would a government of warlords be different? Would this still be able to work, given the previous reasoning applied to military dicatorships.

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  3. #13
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    Well, with Japan there was a military class with a highly regimented structure. A samurai doesn't just overthrow his lord, even if he's better than him, it just doesn't work that way... not normally anyway. One daimyo could definitely declare war on another though.

    How do people feel about Sub-Saharan Africa? Any favorite Muggle empires anyone would want to resurrect? Mali, Zimbabwe, Ghana or anything else?
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  4. #14
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    Reviving this thread with another thought about France.

    What would've happened if one of the Bourbons turned out to be a Muggle-born wizard? Pure-blood aristocracy versus a Muggle-born prince... that would be interesting.

    What about Spain? Independent Euskadi? Independent Catalunya? Small Muslim kingdoms? I want to revive Granada!

    What kind of government? There's no democracy until really late and the early constitutional monarchy was a piece of crap. The Republic got killed pretty quickly by Franco too.
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  5. #15
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    Now, as to the question of democracy, this one actually got me thinking. The system of democracy was invented by the Greeks, where the idea of republics is credited to the Romans. So we know that in terms of wizarding governments, demoracies and republics most likely started in Europe, probably starting in Italy and Greece.

    As to the spread of democratic and republic-style governments, I feel like they most likely began reaching the rest of Europe about the time when Christianity began to spread across Europe.

    I tend to think of Latin vs. Greek the same day I learned the geography of the Eastern and Western monastics and the Catholic and Orthodox church dring my Catholic school days. I see the map as being split betwen spells that have the majority of spells in a Latin base and spells with a Greek base.

    Here is a map that might help illistrate this better.

    Perhaps the spread of Roman influence and Greek influence in terms of government work rather the same way.

    But at the same time, in the Muggle world, countries certainly seem to cling onto the idea of monarchies long after the Romans and the Greeks arrived in their countries (more or less by force), so would the wizarding world have been any quicker to accept the system of government. What would be the story behind this?

    I feel like this in and of itself would make for an excellent story.

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Now, as to the question of democracy, this one actually got me thinking. The system of democracy was invented by the Greeks, where the idea of republics is credited to the Romans. So we know that in terms of wizarding governments, demoracies and republics most likely started in Europe, probably starting in Italy and Greece.
    No need to be so Euro-centric! A lot of African states had democracies along the lines of the ancient Greeks. I'm thinking specifically of one group in Nigeria... I think it's the Ibo. *feels bad for forgetting all her African history*. Anyway, if you're gonna call what the Athenians had democracy, then the Ibo (or the Yoruba, or which Nigerian group) had a democratic system of government... and they still had a democratic system of government when European imperialist powers came in.

    I disagree that democracies would have spread across Europe along with the Roman empire. Rome ceases to be a republic and does become an empire. Then the fracture of the Roman empire leads to several monarchies. Democracy isn't resurrected in Europe for centuries.

    A much more interesting idea (to me) is more powerful democratic states taking hold in Africa, first.

    But getting back to Europe... some kind of Parliament or Congress would help balance power between various powerful pure-blooded families, if they wanted to go that route instead of a king with a court.

    Way back in the Greek and Roman days, at least theoretically, wizards didn't bother to hide, or at least not as much. I think they would have been loyal to whichever monarch of the nation they were born into. I'm not even sure they would have had independent governments that early.
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  7. #17
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    Hmm, wizarding democratic governments being started by the African wizarding world does seem like an interesting premise. I suppose my own reasoning comes from my Catholic school background, and I am starting to notice in different stories I read, each author has their own reasoning for the extension of the wizarding worlds they create, usual based on their own life experience.

    For a great example, look at Tim's story. His own history education at college and various examples given to him by his professors for a great deal of the basis for his story.

    Even J.K.'s own education in the classics is said to have greatly influenced the Harry Potter books.

    And on the long ago topic of constitutional monarchy, here is a thought I came up with some time ago.

    I also remember what was said about constitutional monarchies, and how one could be possible in the wizarding world. I did image one scenerio where that could lead to such a government in the wizarding world. I got the idea for this while studying up on the royal families of Europe, particularly the Habsburgs and King Charles II of Spain.

    There is a royal family who believed in blood purity to such an extend that they would only accept marriages within their own extended family, so they could be absolutely certain that the blood of the royals remained pure. Over time, people began notice unusual traits in the children born into the royal family. The daughters had more stillbirths than even women from poorest villages. Babies who did live were eventually born sickly and even physically disfigured. The ordinary citizens were beginning to notice, but nobody dared do anyting, even when non-royal old-blood families began to show the exact same traits in their own children.

    Eventually, a generation of the royal family came along that was so disabled through their inbreeding that it just couldn't ignored anymore. The current ruling emperor was eventually phased out completely (he was so inbred, it wasn't as though he could mount a very succuessful defense against these politics)

    Pureblood believers continued to live on practising their principles of blood purity, but they gradual become seen as ignorant pariahs, because they refuse to accept the truth, that their beliefs are going to lead them to ruin.

    Originally, I was going to have this sort of system in mind for Japan, and maybe I still may find a way to make it work while staying true to the Shogan system.

    Something I always imagined for the African schools of magic is that the first ones were started by the European colonizers where the schools were split by their language of use as opposed to being based on any nationalities that might be drawn on a map. I still wonder about the governments, whether there would only be a few official kingdoms and the rest of Africa just based on a tribal system.

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Hmm, wizarding democratic governments being started by the African wizarding world does seem like an interesting premise. I suppose my own reasoning comes from my Catholic school background, and I am starting to notice in different stories I read, each author has their own reasoning for the extension of the wizarding worlds they create, usual based on their own life experience.

    For a great example, look at Tim's story. His own history education at college and various examples given to him by his professors for a great deal of the basis for his story.

    Even J.K.'s own education in the classics is said to have greatly influenced the Harry Potter books.
    So is it obvious yet that I also study history and that I happen to be ethnically Chinese? Oh and that I did gymnastics when I was younger? And that I have a passion for political science, particularly for developing nations?

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    And on the long ago topic of constitutional monarchy, here is a thought I came up with some time ago.

    I also remember what was said about constitutional monarchies, and how one could be possible in the wizarding world. I did image one scenerio where that could lead to such a government in the wizarding world. I got the idea for this while studying up on the royal families of Europe, particularly the Habsburgs and King Charles II of Spain.

    There is a royal family who believed in blood purity to such an extend that they would only accept marriages within their own extended family, so they could be absolutely certain that the blood of the royals remained pure. Over time, people began notice unusual traits in the children born into the royal family. The daughters had more stillbirths than even women from poorest villages. Babies who did live were eventually born sickly and even physically disfigured. The ordinary citizens were beginning to notice, but nobody dared do anyting, even when non-royal old-blood families began to show the exact same traits in their own children.

    Eventually, a generation of the royal family came along that was so disabled through their inbreeding that it just couldn't ignored anymore. The current ruling emperor was eventually phased out completely (he was so inbred, it wasn't as though he could mount a very succuessful defense against these politics)

    Pureblood believers continued to live on practising their principles of blood purity, but they gradual become seen as ignorant pariahs, because they refuse to accept the truth, that their beliefs are going to lead them to ruin.

    Originally, I was going to have this sort of system in mind for Japan, and maybe I still may find a way to make it work while staying true to the Shogan system.
    Ehh... I don't know if I believe this kind of system for the Japanese. For one thing, while class was something that you are born into and can't really escape, you can always marry up... or be forcibly married up as the case may be. I'm looking at you, Prince Genji! Kidnap a farmer's daughter to be your wife indeed. Yes, I know, it's a work of fiction. Still, she was his official wife, not a mistress.

    My point is, the Japanese were never that into in-breeding. As far as I know, they, like the Chinese were heavily, heavily against in-breeding. The Chinese were among the first people to realize that certain defects are genetically based and they would scour a prospective partner's family for flaws that could come up.

    Besides, the Hapsburgs were the absolute worst of the European monarchs for that nonsense. Most of the other European monarchs managed to stay clear of that much in-breeding. ... and how would that lead to a constitutional monarchy? If the monarchs are that crazy, wouldn't they just go straight for a republic?

    That's more or less what they ended up doing in Spain after the Bourbons started producing some really big idiots. I forget the details but it's not pretty. The Bourbons weren't even that in-bred, they were just stupid. Anyway, they declared a republic, though Franco squashed that hard in the Civil War.

    So without a wizarding Franco, what is to prevent the wizards of Spain from deciding like their Muggle counterparts that the royals are just too incompetent to be trusted at all and that a republic should be declared?

    The only reason there is a constitutional monarchy in modern Muggle Spain is because El Rey, Juan Carlos Primero is amazing. Juan Carlos is one of my heroes actually, since it is a rare person who inherits the full power of a dictatorship (he was Franco's heir) and immediately declares a transition to democracy and gives away all of his power. And if that weren't amazing enough, when the military tries to have a coup to overthrow the democracy, he gets on TV in full ceremonial military regalia and orders the coup down as the head of the armed forces, even as tanks were rolling down the streets of Valencia and a man had a gun pointed at the head of the prime minister in the parliament.

    These days the Spanish are still bordering on abolishing the monarchy completely. They still love Juan Carlos (*points above*) but they're iffy on the concept of monarchy. The two princesses have been granted titles that will expire with their deaths and their children are commoners. The prince's wife has a title and their kids will probably be titled, but we'll see. I would argue that Spain is slowly getting rid of their monarchy. Juan Carlos's grandkids or great-grandkids will probably be ordinary citizens of Spain.

    Better example is probably France, since there's enough of a monarchist group to bring the king back after they've executed one king. Good job deciding what you want to do with yourselves governmentally France.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Something I always imagined for the African schools of magic is that the first ones were started by the European colonizers where the schools were split by their language of use as opposed to being based on any nationalities that might be drawn on a map.
    ... well why would the schools be started by European colonizers? It's not like the native Africans didn't have schools. Any where that Islam was a major presence in Africa, you would have found a lot of schools. Islam is colloquially known as the "book religion" in parts of Africa, because there is such a heavy emphasis on the book itself.

    And if to be a true member of a religion you have to know how to read... well, most people were literate. Even slaves were literate. And people did go to school to learn to read.

    *aside* Hilarious irony of some African slaves brought to the New World. They were educated, could read in Arabic and sometimes their native language, they were multilingual, they knew advanced maths, and here they were working the plantations for (sometimes) illiterate, backwards, backwater white people. There is a known case of a prince of the Fulani who was a slave in Mississippi.

    There were even universities in Muslim majority parts of Africa.

    In short, I completely disagree that the only magical schools in Africa would have been set up by white colonizers. There is a history of schools in Africa that were set up by Africans and there is no reason to believe that magic would not have been also taught in schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I still wonder about the governments, whether there would only be a few official kingdoms and the rest of Africa just based on a tribal system.
    What makes a kingdom "official"?

    I think you're under-estimating the amount that African people did claim lands as their own with some sense of borders.

    I'm starting to see why some people in African studies banned the use of the word 'tribe'. It's so over used that it's meaningless. What does "based on a tribal system" supposed to mean? No large governments for large areas?

    In any case, this is what I think:

    North Africa, along the Mediterranean is likely to have a series of actual nation-states with a sense of borders and border wars.

    Ditto for Ethiopia/Eritrea in the horn of Africa.

    Resurrect whichever West African empire you like, depending on what time period - Mali, Songhai, etc. All of which have serious levels of government and borders and a conception that is more or less like nation-state.

    Southern Africa - Zulus. Ok, I just want Zulus to exist, but still. Shaka Zulu did manage to build a reasonably sized empire.
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