(1) I’m not quite sure how long this gets but I’m trying to make it short: in my fictional world there are four countries. All are supposed to be monarchies. The first is absolute with an emperor/empress ruling, supported by his/her vassals as advisers. /This may sound dull, but it is actually really fleshed out as it is where my MC comes from. The second one is a nomad country: families send people to councils who send people to tribes who send people to the Racha (king) so everyone will be
(2) less) satisfied. The other two… well I ran out of ideas. I would like one country more religion centred and be based off Celtics – but I don’t know anything about their politics. And another one focused on economy. But how do I do this? Any help? If you’ve got any other suggestions how to build an interesting monarchy (constitutional/absolute) I’ll be glad to hear about them.
To begin with, there are six Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man. One is an independent nation, one is part of France, and the other four are part of the UK -that means they have quite a variation in their political systems.
However, allow me to take a few liberties with this. When you say ‘religion-centred and based off the Celts’, I’m going to assume that you mean something based off the popular cultural idea of Druids (though do come back and correct me if I’m wrong). If I combine this with the fact that you want all of your countries to be monarchies, I’m going to suggest a theocracy.
A theocracy is a nation where all authority is divined from God or another religious figure, and are often ruled by a sole monarch-style figure. This can be seen in Iran, which is technically a theocratic republic, but is headed by the Ayatollah, a scholar of Islamic law who had wide-ranging powers across the state and is more powerful than Iran’s elected President. Simplifying and modifying this concept, you could have a nation wherein all power is divined from a god/dess figure or perhaps nature itself, with courts that run along laws/holy rules that have been ‘handed down’ by the divine figure. Your monarch figure could come in the form of a supreme religious ruler, who makes all the important decisions as an absolute monarch would and is both backed up by and chosen by the priesthood of the dominant religion.
Since all your countries are monarchies, I’m going to take another liberty is assuming we’re in the usual pseudo-Middle Ages fantasy time period here. As such, for you economy-based system, I’m going to suggest a Merchant Council. In a country where commerce and wealth are venerated, the wealthiest men and women (landowners, owners of big businesses, merchants etc.) could be the ones directly in charge of the country. Strict ledgers are kept on everyone’s wealth, and, say, the wealthiest three hundred people get to take seats in the House/Parliament, with the richest twelve or so forming the Merchant Council (the executive, or supreme ruling body). The Merchant Council could rule absolutely and merely consult with the larger body, or laws could be created by the larger body and passed/modified by the Merchant Council: really, it’s all up to you! If you need a monarch-style figure you could have the Merchant Council elect a supreme leader among themselves, or elect a Speaker of sorts to negotiate/deal with the other nations on their behalf. (Hint: as an economics student as well as a politics student, I really really love the idea of Merchant Councils and the like).
With regards to constitutional/absolute monarchies, this post may help. But on how to make an interesting monarchy? Here are some tips:
- Think logically: how did this system arise? The US has a strong system of checks and balances because they wanted to prevent the autocratic rule found in Europe at the time. Likewise, a nation full of atheists isn’t going to want to live in a theocracy: it would take a religious populace or a hell of a lot of oppression for that to fly.
- Think out of the box: I think you’ve largely got this covered with your four different systems, but they are all inherently still monarchies. So differentiate! Instead of four monarchs, you’ve got a more generic absolute Emperor/Empress system, a Racha perhaps beholden to the views of their people via the tribal election system, a religious figurehead and the Speaker of a Merchant Council. On this point I think you’re doing pretty dang well so far, but it’s always something to consider!
- Think rivals: does the Emperor have a backstabbing, power-snatching little sibling? Is their another religious faction inside the theocracy that disagree with or hate the current ruler? A young upstart making their millions and trying to worm their way into the longstanding Merchant Council membership? There is always dissent within a state, and not everyone will agree with the system. And even when they do agree with the system, they might want to snatch power for themselves
- Think people: finally, it’s often the people that make the system shine. A charismatic, popular leader can get a lot more done than someone widely loathed and/or with the personality of a damp dishrag. Maybe your Empress has a particularly clever adviser whose intellect sparkles like a rare jewel, or your Racha has a troublesome faction that they spend half their time trying to control. Whatever your political system, it really it the people in it that will bring it alive.
Hope that answers your questions! If you need any more help, feel free to come back for more!