These thoughts have been percolating around in my head since I began working on the Laws, and Yabusama helped me work this out yesterday afternoon. Thanks Yabs.
The relevance to laws is the Law of Charter. A Town or City must be chartered in order that the Army provide a road and a priority of defense.
Sizes are as Follows:
1-100 thorpe or small hamlet
100-500 hamlet or small village
500-1000 large village or small town
1000 - 2500 very large village or a large town
2500 - 5000 small city
5000 + large City
In Gran March difference between a Hamlet and a Thorpe is that a Thorpe has no church. The differenace between a Town and a Village is that a Village has no charter. A Township in Gran March is one that has a charter; all Towns and Cities are Chartered. So you can have "villages" that have not been charted that may be bigger than a town. If a Town does not have a charter, it does not get a road, and has second priority on the Armys Defense List. This is of particular importance in areas where raiding is common.
Also, an unchartered village cannot have a standing guard of more than 1 per 50 adults and the militia cannot number more than one soldier per 15 Adults. So, a village with 1500 adults cannot have a guard of more than 30 and a militia of more than 100. This is a fairly small defense force for a town of this size.
"The smallest Chartered municipality is a Town of 433 souls in the Lortmils. The largest Village is a conglomeration of just over 2000 souls on the banks of the river north of Hochoch. When this village began to swell beyond 4000, the army moved in and dispersed them to 5 different baronies."
Charters can be sought by any of the Institutions or a Guild or Twenty or more petitioners. (See the Laws Post)
I liked connecting the charter with protection priority.
I particularly liked “the army moved in and dispersed them”. I can think of various reasons for that, but did you have something particular in mind?
It is been a while since I read about medieval chartered towns, but as I recall it was about creating taxing authority and economic protectionism.
Could you let us know the reasoning behind: (1) it does not get a road and (2) cannot have a large standing guard/militia. These seem counter-intuitive to me.
Does the government build/maintain roads? Romans build nice roads, but I am sure they were very expensive. Medieval lords often charged tolls for the upkeep of bridges and roads. However, it my understanding that most roads just sprung up by wear upon the soil due to commerce, and were consequently of very poor quality and that government constructed roads were very uncommon. Based on your post on economics in the magic shop forum, I would think that GM does not have the capacity to build roads. Does the Army block roads?
Why would the Army keep down the size of the guard and militia? To force army service or charter taxes? That seems kind of rough given the low protection priority. Impressment/draft is a possibility for the former. If a guard/militia was really necessary, but illegal, it would expect disguised bands or protection rackets.
The thoughts behind the dispersion is the same behind the roads and militia issues.
First, this is a hypothetical village as we have not discussed where such an entity would be placed. However, assume for a moment that this is actual events in GM.
This village began to grow to the point that it should be chatered, but there were not sufficient Petitioners within the village to request a Charter from the Baron and Commandant. And the inhabitants didnt want to pay taxes anyway. The Churches and Temples were not asked as the refugees in the village did not want to live under religious law. The guilds passed on the opportunity as there was no economic advantage. The KoW found the inhabitants too lawless.
So, this village has grown and grown and grown, but no one wants to take responsability for it. So, the Army enters and explains, firmly that the people have to disperse, or they will be driven into the river. They are relocated to Chartered Towns and Cities throughout the March if they have skills; to the frontiers if they do not.
The Gran March Army builds all roads and is responsible for patrolling the roads and have jurisdiction over all other Institutions while on the Roads. And they guard this Charge jealously, even more than they guard the prosocution of war, which they share with the KoW.
The size of the militia is strictly regulated as the GM Army does not want an organized militia that is not created in coordination with the Army. They do not want to have suppress and organized and armed resistance. If the village refuses to seek a charter, there must be a reason and it is probably not good for the March.
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