Fantasy World Building: Hierarchal System

Before deciding what type of hierarchal system your world will have, or how it will function differently from those that already exist, one must research the current hierarchal systems. Below are definintions of some of the hierarchal systems.

Dictatorship: When a person takes control of a country without necessarily having been consented to do so by the public. This government is ruled by either one person or a group of people. In a literary context, examples of dictators include Big Brother in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Wizard in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Jack in William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Napoleon in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

Manorialism: Manorialism was characterised by the power in a lord, supported economically from his own direct landholding and from the obligatory contributions of a legally subject part of the peasant population under his jurisdiction. These obligations could be payable in labor or, on rare occasions, in coin.
Demesne: The part directly controlled by the lord and used for the benefit of his household and dependents.
Serf (dependent) holdings: The peasants here are obliged to supply the lord with specified labour services.
Free peasant land: Without such obligation as the serf  holdings, but otherwise subject to manorial jurisdiction and custom, and owing money rent fixed at the time of the lease.
Theocracy: Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler. It is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state via religious institutional representatives, replacing or dominating civil government. Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws.
The head of state of the Vatican is the pope, elected by the College of Cardinals, an assembly of senior Catholic clerics. A pope is elected for life, and voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age. A secretary of state, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope. The Vatican legal system is subject to the dictates of the pope.

Monarchy: A Monarchy is a form of government in which supreme power is given to an individual who is the head of state, often for life or until abdication. The person who heads a monarchy is called a monarch. It was a common form of government in the world during ancient and medieval times.
Hereditary rule is often a common characteristic, but elective monarchies are also considered monarchies, and some states have hereditary rulers, but are rather considered republics.

Republics: A republic is a form of government in which the head of state is not a monarch, and the people have an impact on its government.
The most common definition of a republic is a state without a monarch. In the United States, Founding Fathers like James Madison defined republic in terms of representative democracy as opposed to only having direct democracy, and this usage is still employed by many viewing themselves as "republicans".

Commonwealth: A traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good or in which all participants have equal standing.
The Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the "British Commonwealth") is a voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states, most of which are former British colonies, or dependencies of these colonies, plus the United Kingdom itself. The Commonwealth's membership includes both republics and monarchies. The hereditary head of the Commonwealth of Nations is Queen Elizabeth II. She also reigns as monarch directly in a number of states; notably the United Kingdom, Australia, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, and New Zealand. The Commonwealth of Nations is sometimes referred to as the New Commonwealth in a British context.
There are countless forms of governments, but with some research, you can create your very own, unique hierarchal system. This can be done either by taking aspects from systems you have learned about and melding them together, or by creating your own based on what you now know.

The system I have employed in ''Aundes Aura'' is a fusion of Monarchy and Theocracy, giving and taking different aspects of the government. At the top of the hierarchal ladder is the king or queen, whose own rule is largely dictated by the beliefs of the church. Then come the high priests, who are divinely guided. Next step down are lords or priests who may have ownership of a village, which includes the central market district and the outer farming fields. And finally come the peasants who serve by either working fields or running a store within the market district.

See what you can do with your own governmental hierarchy.

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zellakate said...

Oh, this was so neat. You did a good job with your explanations. And I loved the literary examples you gave for dictatorships. Thanks! :)

Ryan Sullivan said...

I'm realy glad you liked it!

bronn said...

Quick thanks, this was just enough to get me over my brainstorming hurdle.

Ryan Sullivan said...

You're welcome, Bronn. I'm glad my five years ago self was of help to you! :)

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