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The Wizarding Society on StH (AU)

Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:35 pm #1

This RPG is based on the universe of the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. (You can find the necessary canon info through the provided link, or on Pottermore, if you need it.) StH is an Alternate Universe RPG which means that we made some changes about it for this forum. So please read the following information carefully, because here you can learn the most important things about the world your characters and their families are living in and how it influences their lives, their past and future.

So before I would tell about the changes we made for StH, I'd like to emphasize two very important but less known facts from the books, that still apply to the wizarding world of this forum as well:
  • Ever since the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy was established, it's a serious crime to reveal anything to muggles about magic and the magical society. Only the relatives are an exception and future spouses can be told about the truth as well before the marriage, but in both cases wizards and witches have to inform the Ministry of Magic first, so they can make the necessary precautions. If a muggle breaks the engagement because he or she can't accept the truth about magic, their memories will be erased.
  • Magic is a talent -- in spite of what many like to believe -- it exists in everyone at some level, but only a relatively small number of humans have it strong enough to be able to use a wand. This talent can be developed through the years, but some wizards are simply more talented than others. Adults aren't good at everything just because they are adults. Sometimes a student will be better at some things. (Say dueling, an adult Herbologist for example won't necessarily be good at it, most likely not, after all years of tending to herbs won't make you a fighter. A student who's good at dueling may realistically win.) So please keep this in mind when you make your characters and plots. :)
THE WIZARDING SOCIETY ON STH:

1. INTRODUCTION TO WIZARDING SOCIETY
2. LEGAL AGE AND FREE MAGIC USAGE
3. WOMEN'S RIGHTS (RULES OF INHERITANCE AND ACCEPTED GENDER ROLES)
4. RACISM AND BLOOD ELITISM
5. CHANGES SINCE THE WAR (THE EVENTS OF HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS)
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Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:36 pm #2

INTRODUCTION TO WIZARDING SOCIETY
The Ministry of Magic was formed in the 17th century during the time when the witch-hunt became a too serious problem and the wizarding society couldn't continue to live among muggles as they did before. The need for change was obvious for everyone, but not all wizards and witches agreed about how exactly to deal with the situation. They divided to two main parties, the Integrationist and the Segregationist. The decision to live in a magically hidden society where muggles can't find out about the existence of the magical world was made, but Integrationists believed that in spite of that, the wizarding world should have a role in the muggle society. That their nobles should keep their muggle territories and live according to the muggle customs so they wouldn't be suspicious and keep their magical ways in secret. Integrationists also believed that the wizarding world was still responsible to deal with any magical catastrophes, even if it only affected muggles.

Segregationists refused that for many reasons. Having to give up their old way of life and in many cases their estates and homes cost them a lot, and many of them considered this outrageous. They were on the opinion that this situation was the fault of the muggles and they should deal with it's consequences on their own from then on. Many Segregationists believe even to this day that helping muggles in any way while having to exist in secret is humiliating to the wizarding world. Not to mention that back then the muggle society was extremely sexist, women weren't allowed to inherit or to work, they had to lose their names in marriage and couldn't be the leader of their family or anything else that had any social dignity to it. To many wealthy families having to live by these rules was an unacceptable price for getting to keep their positions.

Just like in the muggle society, there are different politicians with different views and goals even within the same party, there are radicals and there are people who are more tolerant with the views of the other party, but all in all, anyone interested in politics is either an Integrationist or a Segregationist. There's no good and bad here, just different point of views. Both parties have their own strengths and weaknesses, and some politicians follow a more middle ground, accepting the ideas of the other party in certain cases, but when it comes to the basic question of whether to be a part of muggle society or not, no one can have both. People often argue with the followers of their party about many things, because sexism is still a problem with some of the Integrationists, while excessive racism (blood elitism) is the main weakness of the Segregationists. Voldemort and the Death Eaters were radical Segregationists, but definitely not all Segregationists agreed with their views and especially their methods. Yet, now, only a couple of years after the war the Integrationists are on power and they like to make it seem as if the victory was their victory over the Segregationists.
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Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:38 pm #3

LEGAL AGE AND FREE MAGIC USAGE


Legal age is one of the things we changed for StH to make it in sync with the raised age of the students of Hogwarts. In today's magical society in the United Kingdom, the legal age is

16) for:
  • getting married with parental consent
  • leaving home with parental consent
  • working full time
18) for:
  • drinking at an alcohol selling place
  • smoking
  • having sex
  • getting married without parental consent
  • leaving home without parental consent
  • appearing before adult courts
21) for:
  • using magic outside of Hogwarts or Hogsmeade
NOTE: This is only the law, in most cases it cannot be monitored, many people who break these rules don't get caught. For example, the Ministry of Magic would only find out about underage magic usage if it happened at an all muggle territory they know. (Although most parents tell their children this differently.) Muggleborns are at a disadvantage, their houses are monitored.
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Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:38 pm #4

WOMEN'S RIGHTS (RULES OF INHERITANCE AND ACCEPTED GENDER ROLES)
After the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy was established many wizarding families started to pursue a life completely free from any muggle rules and stereotypes, including any enforced gender roles. Before that wizards and witches lived among muggles and while for them it was always clear that women weren't any less powerful than men or in any way inferior, they had to keep their ways hidden and act as if they were one of them. After the two societies got separated once and for all, only the wealthy Integrationists continued to accept the sexism of the muggle traditions, because they had to in order to keep their estates and positions.

To everyone else, Segregationist purebloods, wizardborns and most halfbloods, gender stereotypes don't make sense. If they see a married couple with the same family name they don't automatically assume that it was the woman who changed her birth name, and even if it was the woman, the reason for it wasn't the mere fact that she was the woman in the relationship. Men taking the name of their wives, or both husband and wife changing their names in marriage is perfectly normal in the wizarding society and just as common as women taking the names of their husbands. Children usually inherit equally, or in the case of the nobility it's usually the eldest who inherits the family fortune and becomes the head of the family eventually, gender doesn't make a difference here. Spouses of heirs/heads of families are usually required to take the name of their family in order to protect it. That is, unless the family is the type of Integrationist that follows the old fashioned muggle traditions. Other than that, people can decide about their heirs and the fortune of their possessions in any way they wish.

To muggleborns and those halfbloods/Integrationists who live their lives mostly among muggles the present day muggle customs of the United Kingdom are the norm for gender roles. Only the nobility is different because they live by a more old fashioned order and strict conventions that can be very sexist even to this day, but definitely not all Integrationist noble families are like that.
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Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:39 pm #5

RACISM AND BLOOD ELITISM


Racism concerning skin color isn't very apparent in the wizarding society. For the Segregationist families that have been living far away from muggle society refusing it's norms for centuries by now this makes as little sense as sexism. For Integrationists, muggleborns and halfblood wizards and witches who grew up in muggle dominant surroundings, the muggle norms apply about this as well.

When a wizard says racism however, they probably don't mean prejudices against people of color, in the wizarding society it rather means prejudices against muggles and anyone with muggle blood in them. Blood elitism is still very apparent in the wizarding world, from time to time it grows into widespread hatred that leads to war, or at least the rise of a very powerful dark wizard/witch and their followers who bring about a lot of death and suffering. The war Voldemort started was the latest, it ended six years ago with his defeat, so blood elitism is very much frowned upon at present, but it's still there, even if it's not smart to openly talk about it these days.

This type of racism is mostly typical of Segregationists, but pure blood/noble Integrationist families refrain from marrying muggles as well. A magicless child is a great shame in any wizarding family, at least society thinks so. However, many Integrationists are all for equality, especially when it comes to muggleborn wizards. Those who are against letting them learn magic and live with their muggle families are always Segregationists, but their reasons for that are usually far from general snobbishness and meanness. It takes costly rituals and a whole division of specialists in the Ministry to be able to ensure that the muggle relatives keep the secret of the existence of the wizarding world a secret. If a muggleborn wants to let her/his family know what she/he is, a great amount of money is spent to ensure this goes safely for a lifetime, the money of the taxpayers of the wizarding society who aren't all well off, and in turn, the muggleborn might snatch good wizarding jobs in the future from their children. For many that's a real and serious reason to be against letting muggleborns be a part of their world.
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Joined: April 12th, 2014, 1:03 pm

April 21st, 2014, 11:40 pm #6

CHANGES SINCE THE WAR (THE EVENTS OF HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS)
If you read the Harry Potter books and the AU differences written in the above posts you know what the forum's world was like and what the most important events were until the end on the war. This is only a bulleted list pointing out the most important things that happened since then:


BEFORE YEAR 1
(In the first six years after the war)
  • Gloria Thurlington of the Integrationist Party was elected to be the Minister of Magic.
  • Minerva McGonagall became the Headmistress of Hogwarts.
  • Voldemort died and the Death Eaters were defeated, but not all of them were immediately caught and even some of those who got caught managed to leave freely thanks to the machinations of good lawyers mostly.
  • The dementors were banned from Azkaban and are now considered dangerous creatures nobody is allowed to 'use'.
  • The Segregationist beliefs concerning muggles and muggleborns are frowned upon these days and associated with the war and the Death Eaters. It's not smart to openly support them.
  • Edgar Steckhouse was chosen to be the Chief Crown Prosecutor. Thanks to his work, plenty of Death Eaters got the strictest possible sentence. Many were executed. He is listed by the Daily Prophet as one of the most popular and trusted Ministry Officials for his work of bringing justice to the victims of the war.
  • The families of high ranking Death Eaters were stripped of their rank and in most cases their wealth and other families took their position and territories.
  • The children of convicted Death Eaters were raised by a guardian appointed by the Ministry.
  • Many families got hit heavily by the war, both financially and emotionally, but most of them managed to fully recover by now. Gloria Thurlington and her allies created a foundation to help the families of the victims of the war.
  • The Ministry did a great job at restoring the peace and order in Great Britain so Gloria Thurlington and her party is very popular, but they are pushing an agenda to use the war to demonize their political opponents and the Segregationist party. They do this very efficiently and most people still bless their names. Many rightfully so.
YEAR 2
(Seven years after the war)
  • The Ministry started to get involved with the life at Hogwarts and form the curriculum according to their political ideas carefully. The Ministry began to clash with Minerva McGonagall about this, though so far (year 2) this isn't known to many.
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