Affairs of State
This page describes in brief the government of the Isle of Jade and its functioning.
The Government of the Jade Isle
= House of Sun
On the Jade Isle, the head of the House of Sun is the supreme ruler; all authority ultimately resides in Lord Sun Hai. From his palace in the capital city of Yu, he governs the entirety of the Isle through his Great Bureaucracy.
Through a complex system of moral education, all citizens are taught from an early age to venerate the Lord Sun. He is to them the "Great Father" who watches over them, protects them, and guides them for their greater good, as any father would guide a young child. To him is owed loyalty and filial piety, and a series of social rituals have been codified and normalized on the Isle in order that these feelings toward Lord Sun Hai are maintained. This conditioning is not malicious in its execution, and is aimed at encouraging social order and benevolence. The Lord Sun Hai possesses a near-divine status among his subjects; his ways are good and right and just and equal in wisdom and authority to that of the Blessed Isle's Scarlet Empress.
The Great Bureaucracy
The Great Bureaucracy is the incredibly intricate machine that makes the central government of the Jade Isle go. The Isle's true central authority, it is headed by six High Ministers of the Court who all attained their position through merit and the demonstration of the highest abilities of governing. Each High Minister heads one of the six ministries that make up the Great Bureaucracy and advises the Lord Sun Hai in his or her particular area. The Six Ministries are:
- The Ministry of Civil Affairs - Responsible for governing the Xian, Regions, and Towns of the Isle, as well as the appointment, training and dismissal of civil officials.
- The Ministry of Rites - Responsible for religious obligations and ceremonials, schools, civil service examinations, and reception of foreign guests. Closely tied to the Immaculate Order of the Lotus.
- The Ministry of Military Affairs - Responsible for military affairs, such as conscription, training, declaring war, ordnance, and etc. Oversees the army itself.
- The Ministry of Punishments - Responsible for law enforcement and judicature.
- The Ministry of Finance - Responsible for taxation, household registration, trade, and the Isle's finance.
- The Ministry of Public Works - Responsible for building and maintaining new facilities, consctripting laborers, and bringing wasteland under cultivation.
The Great Bureaucracy is a meritocracy and positions are not hereditary. Officials in each ministry are typically scholars or educated individuals who have done well on a public examination for which all Patricians and citizens of the upper classes sit when they come of age.
Immaculate Order of the Lotus
Eminent Noble Houses
The Eminent Noble Houses are what remains of the ancient noble houses that warred during the Dark Centuries before Sun Tien unified all of the Jade Isle under the House of Sun. There are four: the Chu in the north, the Yan in the east, the Zhao in the west, and the Qin in the south. In truth these represent a congregation or ammalgamation of the more than a dozen Houses that once existed, with marriages and power struggles bringing them together to their current form. While nearly all authority on the Isle is today consolidated under the House of Sun and his centralized government bureaucracy, Lord Sun Hai permits them a vestige of their former power through elevated status on the Isle and nominal control of the Isle's four Xian, or Provinces.
Each Noble House maintains its traditional seat in the Xian of its ancestors. There they have significant holdings and the ability to acquire wealth in the form of a tithe that citizens of the province must pay to the Noble House as the cost of doing business in their Xian. This tribute is on top of the normal taxes they pay to fund the centralized bureaucracy. Wealth acquired by a Noble House is typically used first to provide a lifestyle of luxury for House members, second to pay for a small armed force that each House feels is its due, and third for the public good within the Xian.
The true political power of each House is limited, however, as Houses have no formal role in government except as figureheads. An exception to this is when a House member attains for him or herself a high position in the Great Bureaucracy, which is not unusual due to the heightened levels of education to which House members have access (many are educated on the Blessed Isle itself). It also should be noted that the wealth of the Houses and the status of their members allows them to involve themselves in numerous Affairs of State, although this is commonly in an unofficial capacity.
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- Created by Yeled