THE CAMPAIGN /

THE TOWN AND CITY SOCIAL STRUCTURE


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The Campaign
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DMG

Cities && towns have typically attracted the independent and freethinking
sorts, as they offer more opportunity for such lifestyles, even considering
the medieval (rather intolerant) community. In towns and cities
there are few nobles and gentlefolk of knightly status. The social structure
can be shown as follows:

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Upper Class:

Nobles, gentlemen, the wealthiest of merchants and most
important guildmasters, from which are drawn the most important law
makers and executives.

Middle Class: Merchants and guildmasters, with master artisans and the
like making up the balance. They provide lesser officials.

Lower Class: Tradesmen, journeymen, laborers, and all others form the
lower class. From their number is drawn the common council.
This gives a typical medieval city or town government a structure which is
formed of:

MAYOR, MAGISTRATE, or BURGOMASTER -- probably a lifetime office
drawn only from the upper class.

ALDERMEN, BURGHERS, or BURGESSES who are chosen by the upper class
to serve as the major officers under the mayor et al.
The judiciary and military commanders of the municipality are likely to fall within this stratum.

ALDERMEN are elected by the middle class. Law enforcement officials,
customs officials, and tax officials all come from the middle class, too.

COUNCILORS of the common council are likely to be selected by the upper
and middle classes as well as the free lower class. From this class are
drawn the petty officials so roles are advisory or administrative only.

The constabulary of a town or city will be drawn in part from citizen
soldiers, the city watch or police force and militia called up in times of
great need. Most other soldiery, by far the bulk in most cases, will be hired
mercenaries. When any army is fielded, the leading men of the city are
likely to be in overall command, with assistance from mercenary captains,
the force being a composite of the municipal levies and the hired soldiers.
(Note: Such forces could be of considerable magnitude in battle, as noted
by the history of London, for example, or the military history of the
Hanseatic League.)
 
 

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