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Funding the Kingdom

Orin

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Here's a flight of fancy for your that is purely acedemic. How did(would) Aragorn fund his Kingdom? Did (would) he extact tribute from those powers in the realm such as Rohan and Umbar? Or would the subjects be taxed? And to what extent was the feudal nature of the Kingdom? Would it have been a Commonwealth of independent Kingdoms and Principalities, all swearing allegience to the King in Gondor? Aragorn, benevolent as he may be, is still a divine right despot with an immense kingdom to govern and maintain. I just wonder how he would run it. Why do I think of these things? I need another hobby.....
 

Gothmog

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I doubt very much that Rohan would be laid under tribute though Umbar probably would. The people under the protection of the crown of Gondor and the Septor of Arnor I expect would have to pay Taxes. This would not mean that all the kingdoms and principalities that swore alliegence to Gondor would have to pay taxes to the crown as such oaths of fealty may only include help in time of need and friendship at other times. Any taxes paid in the individual Kingdoms and Principalities probably would be used internaly.

I do not think that Gondor was Feudal in nature though it was probably socialy structured with a working class, a middle (trading) class and an Upper (nobility) class with lazy good-for-nothings sprinkled throughout.;) This is the format that all countries without feudalism or a dictatorship use.
 

Courtney

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i thought they didn't have taxes in ME. I thought it was a happy place where hobbits and men alike could share in the beauty of the world.or whatever...
 

Gothmog

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Don't forget things have to be paid for and War is a VERY taxing time for Governments and Peacetime is JUST as bad.:cool:
 

Courtney

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what was that movie where all the media and people made everyone think that there was a war so the economy would improve? or something like that. That was hilarious.
 

Ståle

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War ain't that costly. I mean, it seems like Eòmer and Aragorn can just say: "We go to war. Meet in 15 minutes" and everyone does it. Might cost a bit to make weapons though.
 

Courtney

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Yeah, it's not like they have any really expensive weapons otherwise they'd have just nuked Sauron and got it over with.
 

Orin

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War isn't too costly?

Weapons are the small cost of war. Food, clothing, transportation, food for the transportation, wages, and other logistical concerns for an army, even at peace, would require vast sums of money. Also consider the cleanup and reconstruction from the war. also, the high-grade fertilizer needed for the White Tree........
 

Courtney

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What kind of money did they have in Gondor? I don't remember it ever mentioned. Did they have money or did they just trade? It would be difficult to have such a high level of society without money.
 

Ståle

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Well, I seem to recall some money beeing mentioned as the Hobbits leave Bree. Probably a remaint of the Kingdom of Arnor. Else, most things seem to go mostly by trade.
 

Courtney

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So if they had taxes, would they collect food from the farmers, weapons from blacksmiths, and stuff like that? That would make things more difficult.
 

Gandalf714

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They obviously had money, Butterbur pays pippin 30 silver pennies for his lost ponies, and 12 more to bill ferney for the pony "Bill". Plus Frodo said he didn't bring enough money to satisfy a scoundrel. If you remember Gandalf talking about Moria he says they could get anything they need in trade with mithrel.
 

Inderjit S

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*bump*

Since Tolkien was a anarchist would he have favoured voluntary rather than coercive taxation? We are not given a overtly-accurate description of Middle-Earth's economy, and although feudalism did not exist in the West as it did in Europe (i.e serfdom) I presume there was as wide a chasm between wealthy and poor hobbits as there was between wealthy men and poor men. Look at the discriptions of various Hobbit houses and the men who entered Minas Tirith, some grand and some poor, some noble and some grim. A industrial economy had yet to develop in Middle-Earth yet, of course.
 

Hammersmith

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I see it as more of a pure Feudalism, where the nobility actually did something (ie: fight) as a knight warrior class owning the majority of the land, which was then taxed. No basis for it, just a feeling.

The Shire seems to be rather corrupt, with a 19th Century British democracy going on; highly class oriented with only a semblence of true democracy (The Mayor) who is enforced by his Shiriff gang of toughs. The lower classes such as Sam are uneducated to the point where they blindly follow the nobility. Sam becomes mayor only due to his celebrity, and is in my mind a puppet governor when he takes office, possibly controlled by the S-Bs. Frodo is the perfect image of a landed country gentleman, surviving on an inherited fortune, following in his predecessor's footprints with madcap adventures, the quintessential eccentric lord.

I'm too cynical for this world, but it does make sense.
 

Eledhwen

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I think of it being more like tithing. Some of the old tithe barns still exist in England, where people would leave 10% of their produce to support the living and work of the local abbey or monastery - until ol' Enery ushered in a change of management.
 

Inderjit S

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I see it as more of a pure Feudalism, where the nobility actually did something (ie: fight) as a knight warrior class owning the majority of the land, which was then taxed. No basis for it, just a feeling.

The Shire seems to be rather corrupt, with a 19th Century British democracy going on; highly class oriented with only a semblence of true democracy (The Mayor) who is enforced by his Shiriff gang of toughs. The lower classes such as Sam are uneducated to the point where they blindly follow the nobility. Sam becomes mayor only due to his celebrity, and is in my mind a puppet governor when he takes office, possibly controlled by the S-Bs. Frodo is the perfect image of a landed country gentleman, surviving on an inherited fortune
The Shirrifs consisted of 12 officers, 12 officers plus the mayor is something of a oligarchy as you may point out, but any such point is a fallacy because they didn't have enough power to become oligarchs. Oligarchs need a power base, and they didn't have one, in fact Tolkien writes that their main job was to keep a check on the animals and make sure they didn't wonder astray!

I think you are diverging from the nature of Tolkien’s politics, which are reflected in the politics (or lack of thereof) of the Shire. There is no state, or rather there is a extremely limited state, ergo the Hobbits are free from arbitrary or coercive authority and the authorities would only step in when the actions of a person were negatively affecting others. The Mayor was exactly that-he was a steward rather than an enforcer. He of course had greater power than the other Hobbits, but power is not alone the base for coercion, one needs to have a desire for coercion as well as the means to bring about that coercion, and it seems that by and large the Mayors and the Shirrifs had little desire to impose their authority on others-until their authority was taken up by the wrong people, who desired power. Also the issue of _power_ is a ambigious one here, I don't think the Shirrifs could have physically forced anyone to comply with their will unless they had the backing of the people, therefore ensuring the power of the Shirrifs was based in the people, who by turn elected the mayor.



The mayor was of course elected (by all the Hobbits in the Shire?) but there were several great families who had as much influence as him, so there were several power bases within the Shire in case one got overly-powerful.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Orin said:
Here's a flight of fancy for your that is purely acedemic. How did(would) Aragorn fund his Kingdom?
Easy: I would get royal permission to start Prancing Pony franchises (including local delivery service) all over Middle-earth (hobbit-sized ones for The Shire), and part of the proceeds would go to King Elessar. :D

Barley
 

Arvegil

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In "The New Shadow," reference is made to Gondor having a significant merchant fleet in the Fourth Age. Like all good monarchs, Aragorn would take his cut out of the foreign trade, for starters.
 

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