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The Government 

 

Wizarding Britain is basically Feudalism dressed up to loosely resemble something like a parliamentary republic.

 

Note: I will maybe re-write this section to seem, idk, precise and clean and thought-out but for now, we all get my ramblings.

 

Anyways, back to the system. Feudalism. The main reason—I see, at least—that Feudalism was not only instated but that it survived as long as it had was a mix of, well, propaganda, and a real need. The real need was simple: it was dangerous back then, the populated centers were far apart, and peasants flocked to local strong-men to protect them. They weren’t really educated, they believed in a rigid hierarchy where every person more or less belongs in their place There was little mobility. A Lord is a Lord because he is a Lord because The King said so aka God said so.

 

Now, in Magical England, things were different, but not that different. What makes Feudalism impossible in Muggle world—the fact that sooner or later, peasants will overpower and overthrow their parasitic leaders—doesn’t apply in the Magical world. Why? Wards. Blood-wards and Family magic.

 

So—British live in Britain. Thirty-four families have got some land and they’ve already started warding it. Blood-sacrifice, rituals, combat aka blood spilled on your land, you name it, it was done. The bigger the family the stronger the Wards.

 

French invade. Sorry Normans invade, whatever. Point is—Britain is invaded by a strong enemy. It’s the eleventh century, magic is a thing. Normans have their own wizards. So do the English—but the English are in great part completely de-centralized. Some attempt at connecting the Monarchy with the Magical population was made with Merlin and Arthur, but it failed mostly. Instead of fighting, the local Lords and Ladies (the thirty-four families who had their own warded property) hide behind their wards and basically decide to wait it out. The muggles will sort it out between themselves, and they know better than to try to invade magical land.

 

Unaffiliated witches and wizards—smaller, vulnerable families—flock to these Lords and Ladies, and swear oaths. Keep in mind—magical oaths are more binding than a simple promise. With the added influx of people, these thirty-four Lords and Ladies accumulate even more power, they can now expand their wards, they get more land, more people come and so on and so forth.

 

This kept happening—eleventh century was bad, but then came the witch hunts, and what few unaffiliated magicals there were scattered about the country ran to these warded enclaves, or escaped Britain altogether. Magical creatures entered similar arrangements. Abraxans with the Blacks, Nymphs with the Morgan’s, Hippogriff’s with the Longbottoms and so on.

 

By the time the Statute of Secrecy was created, 95% of wealth and land that magical occupied was in the hands of these thirty-four families. (5% was Hogwarts who was more or less a city-state. Castle-state.). When the Statute was made, however, it became important to have a body that will enforce the statute. So, these Lords and Ladies (by then instead of thirty-four, having come down to thirty-one) decided to let London be ‘neutral’. They wanted to keep their new regulatory body close to, as it were, the pulse. In the belly of the beast. So Ministry of Magic was formed, not called such then. In fact, back then it was a loose coalition of witches and wizards who were considered neutral—they got disinherited from their Houses and their Lords, and they were in the employ of, as it were, Wizarding Britain. They didn’t even keep the peace at the time, they were just there to make sure the Satute of Secrecy is kept well.

 

A council was formed—Wizards’ Council—to, well, decide how shit is going to be done. Each Lord was on it, and the leader of the force protecting the Statute.

 

Over the centuries things have grown here and there, but the Lords never lost their grip on power because magic keeps them there. The blood-wards are real. The oaths are real. Each Ancient and Noble House (one of those original thirty-four families, six of which had died out by the 19th century) has a swathe of land and vassals.

 

Now, granted, some of that has changed over the years. One change is that the division between Light, Neutral and Dark started becoming more and more important. Parallel to that, the Light tended to engage in a lot of (very admirable and morally correct) conflicts which drained their wealth. Social trends became to change. Light Lords and Ladies started to sell their land, and/or grant that land to the Vassal Houses that lived and worked on it. Dark very much did not, and Neutral did to a smaller degree. That and many other factors led to Dark Houses pretty much having an independent little kingdom behind their wards. They have hundreds of families that live on their land, work it, live off it, and pay to their Liege Lord, either in Gold—rare—or in product—almost always.

 

Education is also problematic. Not many magical have either the magical potential to go to Hogwarts, nor enough Gold to pay the fees. Muggleborns by and large pay very little, and Purebloods pay a whole  lot more. Halfbloods—who either live in the Muggle world, swear a vow to a Lord who will have them or have to live in one of few ’neutral zones’ such as London or Godric’s Hollow—pay in the middle. Most of these Vassal Houses are Pureblood technically but are actually often very poor. Instead, they tend to get educated in-house as it were. A Lord is honor-bound (lol) to organize some sort of school or a tutoring system, but some Lords are terrible, some are mad, some are poor and so on. (House Malfoy famously has superb schools on their lands. House Longbottom stopped having Vassals as such, but they still have families living on their land (behind their wards) and as such offer schooling for those who don’t get into Hogwarts)