Kings & Queens

Monarchs

king1We aren’t going to delve too heavily into the history on this, our first look at the monarchy from the Middle Ages, we are going to look at the way that the monarchy is set yup and why it worked as a governmental model for so long.  So to that end, here is the first question:

Why a Monarch?

Coming from a Representative Democracy, it is easy to look at the monarchy of kingdoms like Great Britain (aka the UK) and wonder how that worked back in the day.  Obviously nowadays, the government of the UK is a little different then it used to be.  Back in the day though, the monarch was the supreme ruler, he was the one that made the rules, that was the executive, legislative and judicial branch of government.  The monarch was the one that made all of the decisions.  The monarch was… King and it was good to be the king.

king2Here is the beauty of the monarch:  the monarch got to say that he was put in power by God and due to the English Common Law, he got to say that all of the land, ALL OF IT, was his.  Think about it.  You have a guy that now owns all of the land, he is giving chunks of the land he owns to his buddies, but they still don’t own it, they work that land for him.  He has been put in power by God and due to the fact that you are in the Middle Ages, the church holds sway.  This guy has to be in charge and his family has to be in power due to the fact that his kids are from his loins.  The first king just had to sell the people on the fact that he should be in power, he didn’t have to worry about anything else.  After the king was in power and he held the rights to your land and was placed in power by God you were stuck with him.

All the king had to do to keep power was stir the religious zealotry of the day and he was going to stay in power.  All he had to do was start pulling land away from the landed gentry and he could easily replace them with people that wanted the power, that wanted the land and that wanted to have people under them.  The monarchy works, it is different then a dictatorship in that there is more then just power keeping the person in power.  It is different from a theocracy, because though the king is ordained by God he is still a man and not god-incarnate.

So, as we move through the world of the Middle Ages, keep in mind some of these things about the monarchy.