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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Hello Folks,
Seeing the "What is the Third Imperium" thread from back a few years, has me thinking "ok, as written the Third Imperium doesn't work". So, let's see if we can MAKE it work - even if we have to make assertions that go contrary to what has been written in the past, in order to make it work.

To wit:

The Emperor of the Third Imperium has final authority of what happens within his domain (the entire Third Imperium). Clearly, AGENT OF IMPERIUM has the premise that the rights of a world do NOT impeded the authority or rights of the Imperium as a whole (else entire worlds could not quietly be destroyed!). The issue of Citizenship seems to have become an issue worthy of consideration, and I want to propose something a little different, yet hopefully compatible with the whole mess thus far.

To Wit:
There are two levels of "rights". One is the "Subject rights" - rights that are expected to be accorded to any and all planetary inhabitants irrespective of their government types. As a consequence of this, Local planetary laws may not contravene the basic tenants of the "Rights owed to the subjects of the Iridium Throne." That would mean that one could not be "murdered" as that violates the tenants of the subject's rights. Uncompensated labor (slavery) is not allowed to exist, as this violates the subject's rights. Judicial Murder - for example, might require that the Imperial Nobility sign off on it as that the Subject was given due process of the law before execution". If a subject is killed, the Imperial Authority might be authorized to investigate it and subject those found to be guilty, to some form of retribution.

Then there is the "Citizen Rights". Those rights are accorded directly to those born on territories claimed by the Emperor himself. This includes Embassies, it includes Manorial Fiefs, and it includes Starport facilities - as well as worlds that are deemed to be fully citizens of the Imperium by decree (and the fact that the legal authorities and organizations all adhere to the laws and such on the Home world).

Then there is Imperial culture. Culture is essentially the mechanism by which today's members teach tomorrow's members those things necessary for the polity to survive into the next generation. Songs telling what is right or expected or to be hoped for gain cultural approval, while songs of self-interest, straying away from the Imperial Idea are disapproved of. As happens in any large polity - there will be subcultures, and within that edifice, there will be conflicts and the like. A common language is required so that citizens and subjects can communicate - which implies that all imperial decrees and laws etc, will be in the main language, and if a world has a second language other than the basic Imperial language - such a language's existence would imply a bi-lingual requirement of its officials at the very least. If the Imperial culture is comprised of stories as well as documented legal frame works, then songs, movies, books, and the like would be used as a means of spreading and maintaining culture within the Third Imperium. These are expected to be passed on to the subjects without any opposition by the world governments, but as always, what is supposed to happen and what does happen is entirely up to the Nobility of the Third Imperium and the local conditions.

Which brings me to the next point. The point of a government is to exert power, and have a foundation from which to exert that power. A Decentralized government would mean that the decentralized locations should at least in theory, pay lip service to the Main government, and make on the spot decisions as may be necessary. This in turn, will result in local conditions varying somewhat from the core Imperial "Ideals". Point is - the Local Government frame work has to be supported by the Local world's taxes, and those taxes will be sufficiently high enough to maintain the infrastructure required. In addition, the power brokers are not in a position to be "altruistic" - they are in the position to govern. There are "limits" to their powers to be sure, but those limits tend to be either of legal or of culture. Thus, a "Good Noble" exhibits those traits that support the ideals, while a bad noble is one who shirks his duties or fails to observe the constrictions of his powers by either custom or by law. Sadly, it is human nature to insure that your children inherit the same benefits that you have currently, and for the ambitious, to hold more power than you started with. Corruption is an ugly thing, and the culture tries to rein it in via its stories, cultural approval, etc.

For me? The Third Imperium has to have the ability to say "our laws trump yours for our citizens, but basic rights of a subject may also not be violated, and we will insure that you don't. If necessary, our instruments are to zone your system as red or amber as we see fit. We can practice trade embargoes or even go to war. In the end, you will adhere to our sensibilities or suffer for it.

Agent of the Imperium went a step further and shows that the Imperium can destroy without due process. That requires an acknowledgement that the Imperial power is supreme over world government powers. All that remains to be fleshed out, is what is Imperial culture on subject worlds, and how does the Imperium impose some level of conformity and/or identity?

Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:48 pm 
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I like it. I also think that there might actually be Levels of Citizenship within the Imperium, similar to the Roman Empire (or Starship Trooper for that matter).

So you have Subjects and you have Citizens. Citizenship can be Earned or Inherited (or more likely both). Everyone born on an Imperial world is automatically a Subject (diplomats etc. don't count - I'm just talking about normal people living on a world). Some worlds work very hard to make sure their people DON'T try for citizenship, others encourage it.

Citizenship must be earned, but once earned, is inheritable by all descendants - thus almost everyone in the older, core regions of the Imperium are Citizens - heck, after the end of expansion with the Barracks Emperors, likely 90% of everyone living in the Imperium is now a Citizen, but that isn't always the case.

Earning Citizenship can be done through military service (one of the most common), other acts that benefit the Imperium (volunteering, merchant service, etc.) and sadly, it can be bought (a corruption of the "merchant service" clause).

I always figured that everyone that was part of the Syleanian Federation automatically became Imperial Citizens, but as other worlds were added they were expected to earn it.

My vision of the Imperium is very colored by Poul Anderson's Terran Empire, mixed with what (little) I know of the Roman Empire, and a bit of Starship Troopers.

I figure anyone with SOC 9+ is a Citizen, but people with lower SOC can be citizens too, just not first-generation ones. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:45 pm 
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One thing that I am thinking of doing is this:

Children born of ONE parent who is Imperial (by Imperial, I mean Imperial Citizen), can not be deemed to be "Citizens". Otherwise, the Imperial War Machine will have a problem getting recruits. Why? Once a soldier gains Citizenship, when they return home and marry, that results in the children being deemed "Imperial Citizens". As such, if Imperial Laws are such that Citizens gain certain protections under the law, then treating "Citizenship" as if it were a "Dominant" Gene would show that the following would be true:

Only children born to Imperial Subjects remain subjects. If both parents are Imperials, then child will be Imperial. If One Parent is Imperial, then child is Imperial. It would take some time, but LESS time than 1,000 years for a population to be deemed "Imperial Citizens".

It would also add to the court cases, those instances where a child states they are children of Imperial Citizens (Former Soldiers) and are entitled to the protections of the Imperial citizen's based laws. Sort of like trying to prove you're a free man in Medieval times.

It might be possible to state that if the Mother is Imperial, the child born to her will also be Imperial rather than a subject, because a Mother's status as the child's parent can not be contested if the child was born of natural child birth.

Now, tossing further thoughts out there...

If you're born an Imperial Citizen, one of the rights of an Imperial citizen is that you can only be tried for certain "issues" in an Imperial Court. If in a court case, all things being equal, one is an Imperial Subject, the other, and Imperial Citizen, the Imperial Courts might automatically decide in favor of the Citizen.

In short, there will need to be some reason why people WANT the Imperial Culture and that it be an advantage to live by its codes. Now, Knights have a new responsibility if you will...

1) they're the legal representative of the Iridium Throne when they are the only one present.
2) They're required to observe the world government to insure that the Government pays its "Tithes" or tax burdens.
3) They're required to administer to the Legal machine of the Third Imperium as far as courts, tax rolls, census taking, etc.
4) They're required to certify that the world does not practice Slavery
5) They're required to certify that the world's government does not trample the rights of Imperial Subjects as determined to be a minimum required legal standing
6) They're required to exemplify the proper conduct of Imperial Citizens.
7) They're required to patronize those artists who maintain Imperial Culture within their media (Music, Performing Arts, Sculptures, Movies, etc)
8) They're required to seek the means by which the world advances and becomes better integrated within Imperial Society

and the last one is the most important one...

9) insure that they collect the dividends of the 2% stock the Imperial Throne gains for its ownership in all public stock.

Any and all of the 9 aspects above may be the domain of Nobles on any given world that has them, but on worlds that do not have them, the Knight is the lowest possible representative charged with handling these things.

Eventually, as worlds become more populated, and there are Barons and the like, eventually, the structure for the Subsector Representatives for the Iridium Throne will become self-funding and self-governing. The subsector Dukes respond to events in their area in a manner that would be deemed "approved by the Throne". Having the immediate ability to respond to events is their first job, and anything else is simply "power grabbing" at its best/worst.

Take for example my own Lunion Subsector campaign. I have a Baron of Lunion whose last name is Robertson (old Solomani Family that migrated out to the Spinward Marches back when the Solomani Star was seen to be rising in the court of the Emperor). This family has a son who stayed home helping his father the Baron - administer to trade relations with various worlds at the direction of the Duke of Lunion. The son named Peter Robertson, fell in love with a common born woman who was a nurse serving on Adibicci. (I'm using GURPS TRAVELLER by the by) and the world was described as being heavily repressive in a fashion not unlike the Soviet Union was reported to be. So, I ran the Adibicci world as one that watches over its citizens in a repressive fashion, with off-worlders required to have a guide who helps them through society. Those who live under that regime would love to see it replaced with someone less oppressive, but don't have the means to do so, short of off-world help. Enter the Baron of Lunion's private machinations. They are funneling money through secretive means so that the money can't be traced to them. In addition, they ship chip adapters that use TL 15 chips in TL 13 goods. These adapters were also "re-purposed" by the Lunion Organized Crime cartel for their own nefarious purposes. But long story short - by allowing the adapters to be sold, the citizens of Adibicci can create some pretty secure communications devices that the Authorities on Adibicci can't hack or eavesdrop on.

As a consequence of all this, the fact that the Son married a commoner is deemed to be a bad thing in some social circles, and the fact that the powers that be in the government who control ASP (Adibicci Secret Police) believe the Robertsons behind their problems but can't prove it in a court of law - have undertaken to attempt an assassination not only against the Baron himself, but against his son.

Once the assassination attempts were discovered (one by means of a gauss Rifle 13.5mm anti-vehicle weapon, and the other by means of Akaloid poisoning) - the Imperial Marines were handed a mission. They were to infiltrate each of the Industrial Magnates households on Adibicci, leave a dead animal's head in the room of the individual in question - and leave without inflicting casualties. It was an exercise designed to intimidate those malefactors into understanding that should the Imperium feel it necessary, they can easily take out heads of state as well as heads of industry. That got the message across until one group attempted to "Terrorist" attack against the son while he was aboard a Empress Marava Model B ship. This in turn, resulted in the Starport being closed for a period of 4 months as a "condition Red" Threat assessment.

Now - when it comes to doing things behind the scenes, the rule is "Do not get caught". But when a government violates the rights of the subjects to the Iridium Throne, the Nobility are expected to handle it. They are also expected to be diplomatic where possible, but resolute where not. Since nothing is specifically codified one way or another, it keeps the Nobility on their toes so as to not become "Disavowed" or fall into ill-favor, but it also keeps them on their toes looking for ways to earn the approval of the Emperor. Since the Local Subsector Duke is the nearest representative of the Emperor outright, it often means they curry the favor of the local High Nobles.

Now, if I could only figure out whether or not there should be a local "Mini-Moot" gathering at the subsector level. Perhaps the local knights are to the local mini-moot, what the Moot is to the Emperor in some ways. They advise the Duke, and they are his eyes and ears in many things, but they don't ratify anything nor actively create laws (other than for their own personal fiefs).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:47 pm 
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While I'm thinking of it? I would like to see people add to this even if it is to say "hey, while the general idea is good, certain things might be better handled another way."

In other words? When one person designs something, their own biases and or blindspots can or will cause issues. But when you have a few people working together to hammer things out, then certain weaknesses can be discovered and rectified so as to be made better.

:)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:57 pm 
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I don't think the idea of single-parent Citizenship would be as cumbersome as you think. Genetic tagging (TL7-8) could easily identify anyone with off-world genetic makeup. Parental identification is possible now pretty trivially, so I would think a simple genetic test (mouth swab) would be enough to "prove" imperial citizenship.

One thing I'm not clear of in your system is what about the Imperial Citizens who are NOT nobles (SOC A-). What rights do they have that are different than the Law Level of the world they live on? I don't know that anything has been codified in the printed material on that subject, as most of the Traveller stuff has assumed that everyone is an Imperial Citizen.

One of the first things I think you need to do is decide how important does the IMPERIUM think Citizenship is? If they want to restrict to to the "nobles", then the rules for becoming a Citizen will be difficult - Having both parents be Citizens is an example of how to restrict that. If the Imperium wants everyone to "enjoy the benefits of Imperial Citizenship", then single-parent citizenship would be common.

Personally, I like the idea that originally, EVERYONE was supposed to be a Citizen, but during the Barracks Emperor days, things changed and now outside of the core regions, it is very hard for someone to gain Citizenship (SOC A+ only). Basically, Nobles and their families.
YMMV

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:34 pm 
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Ok, difference between "Citizen" and "Subject" as pertains to non-nobles...

Biggest one is inspired by the adventure "Exit Visa". A citizen has the right to freely move between worlds with an Imperial Charter (aka Member worlds with a Noble of Baron or higher assigned to said world). Another might be the right of employment. When the Imperial Government has to use the services of a sophant - it must show preference to those with citizenship rights over those who are merely subjects. Another right might be, that in cases of capital punishment, a citizen may only be judged in an Imperial Court, not a local one. In contract disputes where both parties have equal justification to any claim disputes, a citizen's claim gains higher weight than a subject's claim. Perhaps by Imperial Law, the taxes levied against an Imperial Citizen may not be higher than a given value, whereas by law, no "subject" may be subjected to taxes higher than 50% of their output.

On and on it goes, the things that make being an Imperial more attractive than being a "subject" would be incentives for the Imperial Citizens to seek out Imperial Culture and keep it alive.

Now - the issue surrounding "Parentage" and whether or not a child is seen to be a citizen or not...

I had intended to use "Genetics" not as a literal thing to explain the issue/problem, but more of an analogy.

In any given population, if you have a relatively rare trait that is genetically dominant, over a short period of time, the entire population will express the dominant gene if the pool is limited/isolated.

Had I gone for a different analogy? Imagine you're the president of a world in which you have 800 million population. The Iridium Throne mandates that your world must supply 1/10th of 1% of your population every 4 years for armed services. That's 800,000 people every 4 years, or roughly 200,000 per year to meet your enlistment quotas.

Now, let's be nice and assume that 5% wash out - never gaining their coveted Imperial Citizen status. Another 5% die in service (either combat or accidents). So, right now, that's 20,000 per year who will either never return, or never gain citizen status. That leaves you with say, 160,000 thousand marriage aged individuals who gain citizenship. Now, assume that only 50% of those people ever really do marry, the rest remain single and avoid being a parent. that's 80,000 people per year, who are likely to produce "Imperial Citizens". Assuming a zero percent population growth rate overall, that means that every married woman will have roughly 2.1 kids per family (that .1 handles death by accident, and other issues). So, in one year, the Imperium now has 80,000 per year who married another 80,000 - and will produce 160,000 Imperial Citizens over their lifetime. That's per year.

Where are these people going to live? What court system is going to handle the full weight of such a number of court cases involving citizens?

By requiring that BOTH parents be citizens before the child is deemed a citizen, you've HALVED the growth rate of citizens on your planet that won't be "subjects" to your local government's laws, taxes, etc. By mandating only the mother's status determines the child's status, that means that any child born to a Subject, will be a subject. Any child born to an Imperial Mother - is Imperial. Again, you've slowed down the rate if Imperial Births by 1/2.

I don't know what a reasonable "Quota" for conscription for Imperial Forces might be - but the idea here is to keep it so that the birthrates of Imperials do not overwhelm those of the "subjects". Case in point? Not going to go into full particulars (ban on real world politics and all), but in one prominent 1st world nation (or is it now a 2nd world???) the immigration limits were not kept in place to the point where now...

The birth rate of Immigrants who refuse to assimulate into the country's culture, is now 1/3rd that of the normal citizen birth's. That number is only increasing in favor of the immigrants. Eventually, the "culture" of the nation NOT being mentioned above, will lose its cultural identity and become more like that of the immigrants. As it is a democracy, the weights of the immigrant's votes are now being felt.

In the end, demographics is what determines the overall makeup of any given culture and the direction it will follow over time. If worlds wish to remain separate from the Imperial governmental model (ie democracies, religious dictatorships etc), they're going to have to try to keep the ability for Imperials - either through immigration or by birth replacments - overwhelm the local culture's population.

Who knows, as worlds begin to favor the Imperial culture, they may just start to adopt a Feudal government in echo of the Imperial Government. Eventually, over time world goverments may begin to mirror each other and become monolithic over time. Ever notice how nothing really changes in the UWP for worlds - there are no stats for the world in the early years of colonization. There are no stats of the world as it grows to reach a new level of population value. No government ever really changes.

The Third Imperium is contantly changing, or should be.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:30 pm 
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I understand, but isn't that EXACTLY what the Imperium would want? LOTS of citizens living in the Imperial Culture? Individual world governments, especially right after assimilation, would probably not want it, but the Imperium would.

As I said above, it means YOU have to decide what kind of Imperium you have - an exclusive club or an inclusive culture. Based on what we know of the 3I history, I would suspect that the Sylean Federation when it turned into the 3rd Imperium would want to be Inclusive. Now, 1100 years later, maybe not...

Going back to Poul Anderson's Terran Empire - it was Inclusive. EVERYONE (even the aliens that bombed Terra) were accepted as citizens. However, that didn't stop people from staying Subjects, including Indentured Servitude (slavery by any other name). So the culture doesn't necessarily match the ideals of the Founders (or the ideals of the propaganda machine).

IF you go with an Inclusive 3I, then the Solomani Rim presents an interesting problem. Prior to the creation of the Solomani Autonomous Region, everyone would have been Imperial Citizens. PERHAPS, after creating the SAR, the legal status of Solomani became Subjects - so they lost rights and that helped push some people over to the Solomani cause. Alternately, they stayed Imperial Citizens, right up to the Solomani Rim War. Again, a strange situation where LEGALLY, Imperial citizens are fighting against the Imperium - they were Secessionists, not Rebels. After the War, or perhaps during it at some time, Citizenship would have been stripped from the Secessionists. After the War, Terrans (people living on Terra and within the Solar System) were Subjects, not Citizens, and are only now in 1100, starting to get their Citizenship back.

From a roleplaying point of view, either way will work as it creates tension. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:37 pm 
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Good points - especially regarding the Solomani Autonomous Region...

I think the biggest issue with a "spreading" Imperial Population of "Citizens" vs "Subjects" is that given sufficient time, the Imperium would eventually begin to homogenize. World governments would begin to mirror the Imperial Government. In a democracy, there is a strong risk that if enough people vote for it, the government itself can be changed (peacefully). If there are constraints in what world governments can do against Imperial Citizens - a world that was comprised mostly of subjects would still feel as though governed by the World government. Once the numbers change to something as low as 20/80 Imperials to Subjects - the loss of "jurisdictional power" will be seen and felt rather keenly. Once the population levels hit a tipping point, the government may as well be Imperial in its structure because of having to make exceptions to its own rules and laws to accommodate the growing Imperials population. Eventually, one could almost see them fighting to keep their own way of life intact in the face of the creeping change of culture. But, as you say, it largely depends upon what I desire as a GM. My problem is this...

The Third Imperium is "hinted" at in various publications, but is never outright defined. As the other thread points out, there are serious issues involved that render what it is supposed to be in theory versus what is necessary for it to survive, that it creates serious problems for the GMs. So, my goal is largely to change with a minimal change, what it takes to make the Third Imperium Viable - yet retain those things (where possible!) that were written into the underlying principles.

There has been a recorded instance where a government fell and a new one arose - yet the world remained in the Imperium. That brings up the question "what happens if they try to become isolationists?" It also ignores the other issues - does a member world have the right to go to war with another member world. If the answer is yes, what jurisdictional duties does the Duke of the subsector owe, and what duties does the Iridium Emperor owe? If the answer is no - then why do worlds require planetary defenses if they are deep within the core of the Empire with no visible or likely enemies to be found?

The spinward marches as a frontier is one thing. The core worlds are another.

I would sincerely hate to throw away all of my TRAVELLER library collection because the Third Imperium is so disfunctional that its very existence requires a HUGE suspension of belief to be able to enjoy. That's like watching FAST AND FURIOUS 6, and watch the main characters survive deadly events, only to have the supporting actors die of minor things relative to what the others have survived. I watched the movie and listened to my daughter repeat over and over throughout the movie "this is bull<censored>" . She LOVED the earlier movies, but this one had her hit the suspension of belief too many times for too long, that she grew tired of the movie.

I look at the material on the Third Imperium and grow more and more willing to toss the whole thing out rather than try to GM it as is any more. That's kinda sad when you get right down to it. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:35 am 
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After digging in much more deeply into Milieu Zero, I found this specific wording of the Warrant of Restoration. I think we have a VERY specific definition of "Citizen" and suggests that upon the majority of age for anyone who qualifies for this...

"The Imperium considers as citizens any living recognized sentient creature native to or naturalized by a member world of the Imperium, or any living recognized sentient
creature swearing fealty to the Imperium directly. No immunity, protection, right, or privilege granted by the Imperium to a citizen of the Imperium may be abridged or denied by any member world."

This implies to me for instance, that if a child is born on a "Fief" to a parent or parents, who have sworn an oath of fealty directly to the Emperor (such as a soldier might have to make, or a Noble) that they become treated as full citizens.

So, for instance, if a Noble is Immune to lesser crimes such as "parking tickets" etc (as might a diplomat be imbued with diplomatic immunity) or the right to be armed in the presence of a government (such as the Noble's right to assassination) or even something as simple as granted land as a privilege (why not grant "Bondsmen" the right to 20 acres of farm land upon exit from the service?). All of these things would induce "loyalty" in Imperial Citizens, and the Local Governments might not be permitted to interfere with that.

One thing that gives me pause to wonder. In the United States, townships are incorporated. City governments are incorporated. Might it not be an interesting aside, that the Imperial government takes its 2% pound of flesh from ANY corporation, not just those intended for financial purposes only. Think about that for a second. If by Imperial Law, advantages are always accrued to Imperial Corporations over any other - having a city corporation or town corporation be recognized in Imperial Courts as valid - might also have to forfeit 2% of its so called stock to the Imperial Family. Might not this 2% stock be in the form of land?

I digress. Citizen's rights do take a concrete form per T4, and that form states that certain rights may not be abridged by the governmental bodies on planets. This includes my "vision" if you will, that a Citizen can not be required to have a "Visa". Just a thought.

Hmmm. Just ran into article Four of the Warrant of Restoration. There is something there that directly contradicts certain published scenarios in the Traveller history of existence. No world government may issue letters of marque or reprisal. Interesting!

Ah well, just researching material to try and get things to align more properly with published material on the rights of citizens versus rights of subjects. The idea that to be considered a citizen requires an Oath of Fealty is perhaps the most interesting concept of all. It does fit with Nobility, and it certainly fits with commoners who join the military. What I would term "Bondsman" - someone who serves a noble. Might they be deemed to have sworn an oath of fealty if they swear it to someone who has sworn an oath of fealty directly to the Emperor? Just a thought.

Extra thoughts: I really should pay more attention to the Warrant of Restoration. In addition to those articles just mentioned above, one thing that I find interesting is that "Fiefs" would come under the heading of Article VII. While it specifically mentions Starports and how they are to be treated, it also says

"The governance and operation of starports or other territories ceded to Imperial use is reserved to the Imperium."

It isn't just about starports, but any other territories as well. Hmmmm.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:33 pm 
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If that is what you want to use, then it is likely that there are NOT a lot of Citizenship rights. This is not not how the Romans did it for example.

So, per Milieu 0, basically EVERYONE is a Citizen, but then that special status goes to NOBLES of the Imperium. Say SOC 10+ (one can be a Noble without being enfiefed).

Being an Imperial Citizen protects you from Summary Execution - but if you are convicted by a legal court (legal as defined by the world government), then you can be executed.

So, it is more like the current USA (surprise surprise given who wrote it) - Everyone is a citizen, but depending on what state you live in, Capital Punishment may or may not be allowed.

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