Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Kenneth Gauck

    What kind of State? (was Smugg

    Rather than respond to Jim and Gary on a point by point basis, which would
    be long and technical, I would rather say a few words about how one might
    see the state. I do this because I see the issues in the posts on this
    thread to hinge on that broader issue.
    All references refer to English kings.

    First there is the high medieval state. It (or something like it) are
    current in Rjurik. In Anuire and Brecht├╝r it represents the previous kind
    of state. In this kind of state, the regent's revenues are mostly rents
    from his own lands (60%+). Additional revenues were derived from feudal
    prerogatives, judicial authority, and various extraordinary taxes. When
    adjusted for inflation, revenues remained constant (varying between £60,000
    and £120,000, corrected to 1273-84) between the reigns of Henry II
    (beginning in 1154) and Henry VI (ending in 1461).

    Consider the position of Henry II
    Total revenue was tiny (adjusted to 1273-84 its £60,000) and whatever
    functions the king would have liked to undertake, few officials and little
    money were available. The size of Henry's court barely exceeded that of his
    chief barons and clerics. Soon afterward, John estimated his own budget was
    smaller than the Archbishop of Canterbury. Clearly, no army of customs
    officials are available in this kind of state to prevent trade without the
    cooperation of local (including guilder) interests. In a state like this,
    regents play guilders off against one another.

    The next kind of state is where I begin BR. The feudal forms are still
    there, but have been bastardized, and the new forms are either embryonic, or
    available for development, but as yet still not dominant. State government
    is still a part of the regent's household, and run by officials like
    stewards, chamberlains, marshals and heralds, and promotion comes from with
    in the household based on loyalty to the regent and good, able service.
    Henry VIII once ran a war out of his kitchen (that is to say the budget for
    the war was added to the kitchen budget, and administration of the war was
    handled by kitchen officials) because Henry's most able administrator was
    running the kitchen at the time. Only in the next phase of government would
    a regent think to move the person to the "war office" rather than run the
    war from where the person was located in the household. In 1275, Edward I
    first established an export duty on wool, other taxes being added later.
    The purpose of this tax was to keep wool from being exported, the economic
    theory of the time being to prevent resources being drained away. So, the
    idea was to keep wool in England rather than to export the stuff to raise
    cash. The second reason for this, and it goes very much to what I didn't
    like about the tone in the earlier posts, is that the guilders wanted to
    protection and cooperation of the regents. The idea that regents could
    coerce guilders to pay taxes on their trade routes unwillingly, seems
    totally opposed to the historical situation. Edward succured his customs
    voluntarily (through Parliament) and did so in a spirit of give and take.
    Again he had no army of customs officials to watch over every port in
    England, he had the cooperation of the guilders. During this phase, the
    total revenue of the crown did not increase, because the contribution of the
    guilders merely offset inflation's reduction of the personal income of the
    regent from his lands. Also, contributions from guilders and priests, were
    highly variable, extraordinary, not subject to coersion, and required the
    other guild or priest regent to back the project. I would see contributions
    by these priests and guilders as being subsidies offered to a regent, not
    compelled taxation.

    The final stage relavent to BR, is the Renaissance state. Here, government
    begins to seperate from the regent's household. New ministers are created
    to run new bureaucracies, rather than new jobs being assigned to existing
    household functions. One of the first created in many realms was a ministry
    of war. Ministers were no longer chosen because the regent liked to have
    them around, but because they excelled in subordinate duties. Regents
    became somewhat more constrained in who they selected as ministers, because
    the sphere between the regent's private household and the public sphere of
    government began to emerge. During this phase, state revenues varied
    between £90,000 and £120,000, but in the Protestant north, priest regents
    were destroyed by the refomation, and the state took over the temple
    holdings. In Catholic Spain and France, getting a hold of vast new amounts
    of money resulted from the next phase.

    This raises the interesting question of the meaning of province and holding
    levels. Because I think its perfectly reasonable to think of level
    increases beyond, say, 5 as being more development, than simply adding more
    people. After a certain point one can imagine new institutions, such as
    banking, creating new wealth, which permits the higher level holdings. When
    you look at areas like Daulton, Anuire, and Caulnor in Avanil, are people
    living just as they have for a thousand years, only farming more
    intensively? Are farms being sub-divided ever smaller? Or are people
    begining to move off the farm and engage in new occupations? Are cities in
    such places for the first time spilling beyond their walls, never to be
    enclosed again, except at emence cost?

    Are the city of Anuire, Ilien, Endier, Calrie, Tariene, and Caerlinien (in
    Riverford) great new centers of business and banking? Making money from
    transactions that never touch those great cities? Are they the London,
    Geneva, Amsterdam, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Nantes of Anuire?

    As I see it, feudal states are limited to light and moderate taxation, where
    light taxation represents the income from the regent's hereditary income,
    and moderate taxation might represent the subsidies that loyal towns,
    temples, or guilds might offer, or extraordinary taxation, tolerated in
    times of crisis, but cause for rebellion in times of peace.

    More advanced states, as exist in Anuire and Brecht├╝r, as well as in
    Khinasi, exist in more complex societies where there is more wealth. Again
    light taxation would represent the regent's hereditary income, but moderate
    taxation would represent the normal hearth taxes, salt taxes, which people
    have become accustomed to. Severe taxation in such societies represents the
    extraordinary, barely tolerated for the shortest duration, under the most
    estream circumstances, and otherwise cause for rebellion.

    As always further extraordinary claims can be made using your law holdings.

    But there is another issue here as well. And that is play balance. Why
    should priest or thief regents be inferior, less able to control their
    destinies, vulnerable to landed regents? Shouldn't each position be just as
    challenging, just as fun to play as the next position? Its one thing to
    make a particular position harder, but to systematically make one class,
    race, or kind of regent superior to the others flies in the face of play
    balance, and the idea that each of these comes with its own mix of strengths
    and weaknesses.

    Kenneth Gauck

  2. #2

    What kind of State? (was Smugg

    In a message dated 11/30/98 11:02:47 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. [BIRTHRIGHT] The Masterbook System (kind of off-topic)
    By Birthright-L in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-11-2003, 05:17 PM
  2. The Masterbook System (kind of off-topic)
    By Birthright-L in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-11-2003, 06:56 AM
  3. Fwd: The State of Politics in A
    By in forum MPGN Mailinglist archive 1996-1999
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-19-1998, 07:36 PM
  4. State of Birthright?
    By Allister Huggins in forum MPGN Mailinglist archive 1996-1999
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-26-1998, 12:33 PM
  5. A kind of Deep tthought
    By Kyle Foster in forum MPGN Mailinglist archive 1996-1999
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-03-1998, 01:57 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ę2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.