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My Kingdom/Government structure

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Maurice, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Dreamer

    So I've been having difficulties on building my story's kingdom. Well like in real life, Kings are the head of the government and Lords, Dukes, and so on. I've been searching on the internet what would be a great example kingdom structure for my book but unfortunately I can't so I read Tolkien's Lord of The Rings and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, I keep looking for examples but I can't. I also tried adapting the concepts but I may lack of originality for that. So I decided to build my own.

    In my world, the Kings are of course the head of state then the Prince who's the second in command because he's the heir for the throne. The third highest position are called Head Minister who leads three branches called Guilds (The Guild of Gold, Guild of Swords, and Guild of Hands) . Each Guild are ruled by one Guild Ministers. The lowest position is the Councillors they work for the Guild Ministers, also each Guild have twelve Councillors.

    So there's also Lords who owns each region but had no power for the government. They can be king in a bloody way or so.

    So what do you think of my government? I'm trying to make it simple so everyone would understand. So what do you think?
  2. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    Renaissance Florence as a real-world example?
    Fictional example: Elder Scrolls Morrowind? They have Great Houses running everything but two of the five Houses basically operate like guilds so close enough. Then there's also a king and nobles and so forth.

    I think if the politics are not very heavily looked at, it's fine. It's unrealistic, I guess but I doubt anyone would get taken out of the story unless you draw attention to the government system.
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    One thing does leap to mind, if someone owns the land [and presumably the trade and money that comes from it] then they are going to be a force in politics and society.
    It might not be official and formalised power and look more like the Yakusa or Mafia:rolleyes:, or more formally within the legal system and police/security force, but everyone will turn their head and look at the Lords before making any big decisions. I'm thinking of that scene in the Godfather were everyone comes asking for a favour... and every favour has its price [maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but...]
    If the Lords can force their way to being king [usually called a Civil War :p] then they have a lot of power soft and hard.
    I like soft power when it comes to writing, it lets you wander about a bit with the logic and rules of how my worlds work.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  4. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    I wouldn't use the words "guilds" but rather ministries or something like it since "guild" already has a fixed meaning and it could confuse the reader.
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Dreamer

    I think you're kinda right. Also I think people won't take the story seriously without a good government system in it. Thanks.

    I'm thinking of removing the concept of Lords in my story but I need some type of people who'll rule a certain region yet I can't think of any, Mayoral system I guess?

    The word 'Ministries' (EDIT:Ministry) sounds good it will also sound good for each branches. Thank you.
  6. Quick couple of questions I would like to have answered:

    1) By head of state I assume you mean both the symbolic head (like the Queen of England) and the person that actually gets things done or head of government (like England's PM), is that correct?

    2) How do you become part of the ministry? If it is like the House of Lords used to be and is passed down by title and blood then there is no need to get rid of the Lords. You could mesh them into one and jsut have the people wear different self-serving corruptible hats. If it is by election then the Lords become more problematic. If the Lords are raised up by the King to the ministries and each minister controls a handful of Lords then the Lord system is still tenable. So which is it?

    Just a couple of things to look at.
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    What you describe fits England best. No surprise, many of our ideas of what constituted medieval are in fact peculiar to medieval England. That realm had a pretty clear-cut hierarchy, both in theory and in practice, by the late Middle Ages. Have a look at the Edwards (1-3) and/or 15thc. But, then, have a look at most any fantasy epic that has kingdoms. You won't see many built on a German or Italian or Spanish model!

    Guilds can rule, but their influence was restricted to individual cities, not kingdoms.

    If you want some political variation, take a look at the city-states of Renaissance Italy (esp. Venice or Florence), at any of the towns of the Hanseatic League (Luebeck would be good), or of the Low Countries (Ghent, Bruges, Ypres). There are books on all of these.

    For even more interesting variants, try Hungary, Aragon, Sicily (or Naples). Try Ann Wrode's A Fool and His Money. Take a look at Brunswick, which had seven separate political entities ruling it. Medieval Champagne.

    Oh, but then, going with atypical systems would probably mean you'd have to explain a lot more. Better would be to construct a story in which one or more of those atypical aspects was crucial to the plot. I never did connect with building worlds without building stories. But that's me.
  8. Cerberus

    Cerberus Dreamer

    Generally just about any power structure flows to the top. So in other words you'd have petty lords or landowners who either own the land or minister over it and swear allegiance to higher lords such as barons, who in turn are beholden to dukes, who answer to the king. Each group reports to and works to benefit their direct superior, so ultimately while the petty lords would rarely go directly to the king that's where their taxes ultimately end up.

    Conversely, if the king wanted to make changes in a duchy he'd go to the duke, who would go to each of the barons, who would go to their landowners, who would go to their tenants. It's a reasonably efficient system. And the same would apply to raising an army, where each landowner is responsible for protecting their own land, and for anything they can't handle they'd go to a superior, who would either solve it or be forced to go to their superior for assistance. And if the king called for his lords to assemble troops each duke would go to the lords beneath them and on down the line.
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Dreamer

    1. Yes but the royal family won't be just a symbolic head of their kingdom. Just imagine the President and his first family; in my world, the king is the supreme head of state and the one will make decisions so he's basically the PM and President who makes decisions. The Prince had no importance at all besides being heir to the throne (So he'll be like the King-In-Practice). The PM in my story is the Head Minister who rules the Ministries (In the real world he's the House speaker and Senate president at the same time).

    2. I actually realize that the idea of three Ministries is stupid and the Idea of Lords should be implemented. But in my story the king died along with his heirs. Who or which of the Lords should be king? Should they start a war or something? Maybe I should keep the concept of Head Minister who governs the Lords.

    Ah yes, I actually researched about Florence and the renaissance Italy. I actually adapted some concepts of government in the Medieval Age but I planned to do my own government structure which is now being discussed but I think I should have take some ideas from real world's history.

    I think having a lot of government officials would make my story more complicated. So yeah, I'll just take the Kings and Lords like any typical novels I read had in their world because I think the readers would relate more.
  10. I'm not saying that the idea of ministries is stupid and should be done away with. It might be more difficult to do but not impossible, even with the Lords in play. It could work to have both Lords and minsters, especially if the Lords do so in order to gain more power, wealth, and prestige. It could even work to make the government more corrupt since the Lords will use the Ministries to self-deal. It could actually make an interesting sub-story with a minor Lord getting into the ministry, somehow, and you could have a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington sub-plot that could help bring an extra punch to the story and make the world feel more real. Because wherever there is politics there are political machinations.
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Dreamer

    Thanks for the ideas you're contributing. I also researched some renaissance time governments so I think I might conclude my government structure if I add some Lords and other medieval concepts. Again, Thank you.
  12. Zāl Dastān

    Zāl Dastān Dreamer

    It's absolutely possible to have the local government be highly feudal (Dukes, barons, etc) and still have the central government be ministerial. Perhaps let that serve as the King's leverage over the nobility, with ministries open both to nobles and commoners.

    Conversely, there's nothing wrong with having a less medieval kingdom. Why not have a King at the top, the ministries, and then a series of governors with no official noble houses at all. The King owns the land and appoints servants to govern it, from governors down to semi-feudal tax collectors. Examples of this kind of system include the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, two of my personal favorites.

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