: fantasy monarchies

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 5 15:24:37 EST 2003

--- "Rowland, Jennifer A B"
<jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk> wrote:
> Robyn wrote:
> > but whole countries without mass 
> > communications 
> > have to be ruled from a top-down heirarchy (which
> is more or less 
> > educated), because otherwise they would just be
> anarchies. 
> I agree that countries without mass communications
> have been monarchies, but
> I can think of scenarios in which they wouldn't
> necessarily be- in, say,
> Saxon times in England you didn't really need mass
> communication so much-
> most things would be made in your own village or
> traded with nearby ones,
> and a few things traded for at a big fair once a
> year with merchants from
> Away. There were kings (small ones), because they
> had armies who could
> control local lords if they got out of hand. But
> they could have been
> overthrown, and I can see it splitting up into small
> districts each with a
> lord rather than a king, or even ruled by the local
> monastery, or the
> council of the local city controlling some
> countryside as well. It would
> have been unstable, I could see a country going back
> and forth between
> kingship and no kingship. In a sense it might have
> been anarchy, but not in
> the sense of chaos- each district could still have
> run smoothly by customary
> law, without a top boss. Really, lack of
> communications could work against a
> king as well as for him- by the time the message
> that there is trouble
> somewhere has got to the capital, who knows what
> might have happened?
> Jennifer

A monarchy is only ever as big as communications
allow, all the big empires features good
communications- the Romans, the Mongols, Napoleon, the
Incas (all by land) and Britain (by sea).


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