How to make your Dynasty/Kingdom last- A Guide.

May 2015
17
Sri Lanka
Ok so I apologize for the abstract nature of this question, but what I'm looking for here are examples of the many ways in which the founders (or a more prominent descendant) of a dynasty have ensured the unity and integrity if their territories (or has no one been able to do that?). I'd appreciate details on the strategies they employed to secure that unity for their descendants. :)
 

Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
Ok so I apologize for the abstract nature of this question, but what I'm looking for here are examples of the many ways in which the founders (or a more prominent descendant) of a dynasty have ensured the unity and integrity if their territories (or has no one been able to do that?). I'd appreciate details on the strategies they employed to secure that unity for their descendants. :)
Can't provide specifics, but I'd read up on Henry VII of England, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, and Louis XI of France.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,443
Dispargum
Do the opposite of what causes most dynasties to degenerate. The king should teach his children the following rules to live by:

Earn what you want, expect nothing for free.

Play sports to be vigorous in body and mind and to learn teamwork.

You have an obligation to increase the family's wealth and power. You have no right to just consume what you inherit.

Be vigilant against courtiers who will steal or fritter away the family's wealth and power if given the chance.

If you want it done right, do it yourself - don't allow courtiers to do the really important things - they usually screw it up.

When you delegate, supervise closely and demand regular reports.

Regularly travel around the kingdom and see things with your own eyes - assume courtiers are reluctant to admit problems. If you don't go looking for problems, you'll never know about them.


I'm sure there are a few other rules for princes to live by. Feel free to add your own.
 
Apr 2016
1,646
United Kingdom
Be generous but not profligate; be militarily successful. Travel often; do not let your vassals acquire large contiguous chunks of territory, or breach precedent and protocol for material gain. Remember that monarchy's foundation is the attraction of acquiring privilege via loyal service; do not, under any circumstances, undermine this.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,929
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Can't provide specifics, but I'd read up on Henry VII of England, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, and Louis XI of France.
As I remember, the dynasties of Henry VII, Ferdinand and Isabella, Victor Emmanuel II, and Louis XI - defined as a group of rulers descended in male lineage from the ruler named - lasted for 118, 76, 85, and 37 years respectively.

In the cases of Henry VII, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Louis XI, those dynasties defined that way ended because of lack of legal male lineage heirs of the body of those monarchs.

But their dynasties - in the sense of their legal successors according to the same succession laws that they themselves inherited by - continued for 221 and 331 (or 369) years for Ferdinand and Isabella and Louis XI respectively.

It is possible that Henry VII would consider the Stuart monarchs of England to be his rightful heirs, making his succession of rightful heirs reign for 203 or 229 years (not subtracting the Commonwealth years).

And Victor Emmanuel II's heirs were deposed in 1946 when Italy became a republic.

Note that Henry VII's realm of England was abolished in 1707 only 222 years after he became king, Ferdinand and Isabella's Aragonese and Castilian realms were abolished in 1716 or 1830, only 229 or 351 years after their joint reign began, Victor Emmanuel II's realm of Italy, has lasted only 155 years so far, and Louis X's France has existed for only 555 years since he became king, and the kingdom of France lasted for only 331, 369, or 387 years after he became king.
 
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kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,370
Have a good military that is loyal to you and only you.

Produce heirs - lots of heirs. If the law allows - harem.

Scrap Salic Law. Descent through the female line might be the only way to have an heir - Queen Elizabeth was a good monarch, unlike King Edward.

Be realistic about your ambitions - do not over extend yourself.

Be realistic when your time on the throne has come to an end - Marina Mniszech failed miserably in being realistic about her time on the throne - within months of the first pretender's death, she was already in the bed of a second pretender, as soon as the second pretender was dead, she was in the bed of her last lover trying to place her bastard on the throne. She died a pathetic death clutching the corpse of her bastard.
 
Apr 2016
1,646
United Kingdom
You could always go the O'Neill route and just spam kids. Their one thousand three hundred year dynastic reign is testament to how well it works.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,864
Blachernai
You want your kingdom to endure? Don't tie it closely to your dynasty. Create a bureaucracy that is designed for reproduce itself, and raise up a middling class of elites to run that bureaucracy. Monarchical succession systems, even if they have a good run of luck, will eventually begin to suffer from either too many or too few capable descendants. Byzantium's porphyrogennetos system of succession was mostly as successful as it was because it was not rigidly followed, and because the state was not closely linked to one dynasty before the twelfth century a family disaster like the death of Nikephoros I in battle and the mortal wounding of his son simply never threatened the state. Emperors and dynasties came and went, but the bureaucracy endured.

Two recent works the OP might find particularly illuminating on this question:

https://www.amazon.com/Empire-That-Would-Not-Die/dp/0674088778/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472828369&sr=8-1&keywords=the+empire+that+would+not+die

https://www.amazon.com/Byzantine-Republic-People-Power-Rome-ebook/dp/B00SFH463M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472828390&sr=8-1&keywords=kaldellis+republic#nav-subnav