February is World Building Month. Day Twenty-Six: Tír na Cali

[personal profile] piratekitten has declared February world-building month.

Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.

The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!

The twenty-third question comes from [personal profile] wispfox and is for Tir na Cali.

Why did it originally start out as a hostage situation?

(Referencing the end of this.)

This is a bit of worldbuilding that could definitely use more scrutiny.

When Tír na Cali began as its own country, it was in a precarious place. The Civil War was in full swing, and the northern U.S. was very clear on what it wanted to do to rebellious states.

The Californians needed a decisive victory. At the same time, they needed workers; there was plenty of labor to be had and less people to do it. Thirdly, with the aristocracy just beginning to flex its muscle, the powers-that-were understood that their normal human population was going to need some sort of sop to accept a ruling class.

The royalty – or the extended family line that would become California’s monarchy – had always believed in a stratified society of responsibility and control. It was, while not easy, reasonable and practical to expand that to all segments of their new country; bringing in a slave population gave normal-human citizens, even the poor, someone else who was below them.

Back to the hostages. The first slaves taken were actually hostages, the children and sometimes (unlike in modern day) wives of decision-makers. Along with them were a large swath of ordinary teens and twenty-somethings and relatives of newspapermen and financiers. The first round of slave-taking was done with the intention that no corner of the Union would have a family who didn’t have a child somewhere in California.

This could have backfired horribly, yes. It could have led to a massive retaliatory war.

But it didn’t.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/682929.html. You can comment here or there.

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