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How to improve the north economically?

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54 minutes ago, TheThreeEyedCow said:

....It's got nothing to do with people's faith. It's a cultural thing. To be clear, we are discussing what the north could do to improve it's trade.

Agreed.

1 hour ago, Vashon said:

Fuck the Andals and their lying ass Faith. Only religion on Planetos without real miracles. No surrender, Eddard Stark was a moronic dumbass for allowing a Sept to be built and for Septas and Septons to wander around freely

Love the passion for the old Gods though:commie:

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Posted (edited)

Oh man, religious wars are good, so are race wars, and you know what's better than either? Both together!

The first ones to go are the Manderlys for they are everything that needs to done away with; they are Andals, they follow the Seven and they are provenly treacherous due to these factors.

Nah, just kidding. This is BS of course

On another note.

Say that you want to move alot of people from the interior of the North to the coasts. To start with, what are you going to tell the Houses who are set to lose parts of their economical base? That if everything goes well they will also benefit from it, or their descendents will, in a couple of generations according to the trickle-down theory? I find it very unlikely that Houses will accept to have their economical bases undercut, for the benefit of th coastal Houses, without first words of protest and then drawing their swords to defend their positions. Remember that the lords of Westeros are not career bureaucrats depended on Lord Stark for their living. These are warriors, mostly, who have their own based built on land and labour, and losing either is a significant blow to them. Not suprisingly they will defend their base in any way they can.

And that's jus the beginning. I think that few if any people in this thread has been in charge of a company, a volunteery organization, administrative department or anything like it, or even held a senior position in a thing like those mentioned. Although there are some sensible posts as well.

Edited by Lion of the West
Fixed some stuff

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On 5/23/2019 at 12:23 PM, Demetri said:

A really easy comparison is the Neanderthal population (given some weight by GRRM suggesting the North has much, MUCH more blood of the First Men than anywhere else) vs modern humans when regions began to overlap. The problem, though, is that that analogy suggests that Northmen as a genetically distinguishable group maybe shouldn't exist anymore or is approaching relative balance with other populations due to interbreeding.

Loved your post. On this specific point though, I think Neanderthal Vs Main-stream humans might be a bit of an extreme. I think Andals Vs First Men Vs the humans who were on Westeros already (that the Iron Born and some Wildlings mostly derive from) are more like Saxons Vs Celts Vs Neolithic inhabitants (grooved pottery-using builders of Stonehenge). Or maybe Dorian Greeks Vs Ionian Greeks Vs Mycaneans Vs Minoans. Different cultures but not exactly different sub-species. 

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Posted (edited)

Manderlies dont push their faith on anyone else. They know their place.

 

EDIT: I was going to put a full post, but it got ate

 

Summaryizing

 

We are saying that the coast would already have a larger amount of population because fishing and whaling wouldn't be so harshly affected by winter as crops and livestock would be, and also saying that the North would and should have a reasonably strong fishing fleet at the least, and now currently has a navy for its Eastern Coast

 

Also, the difference would indeed be closer to Slavs and Celts, because we do have examples in story of outright different species, like Giants and Children and Ibbenese and Brindled men

Edited by Vashon

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I can see the North being heavily developed in some ways within a generation in a similar vein to how Russia developed quickly under Peter the Great. Say that a Stark with ambition along with vision came to power in Winterfell whether long before the troubles of the ASOIAF books or afterwards, where would they begin?

  • Well the new Lord Stark could embark upon a long embassy throughout the Southern Kingdoms, the Free Cities, & even the Summer Islands as a means of establishing useful contacts as well as learning about useful systems & innovations that could help to improve the North.
  • Once they returned form their great embassy the first order of business is exactly what Jon Snow thought of (which shows an innate talent in my opinion) when dealing with the Iron Bank representative, importing the use of large scale "glass gardens" that can be used to produce food even through the depths of winter.
  • The second order of business is the construction of a canal from the Fever River past Moat Caillin all the way to the Bite/Mouth the White Knife, thus creating a northern & pirate free shortcut connecting the Sunset Sea & the Northern Narrow Sea. Braavos will likely not be against it since it might increase the traffic in the Northern Narrow Sea in a way that benefits them. The big loser in this would be Oldtown, the Reach in general, & Dorne since they're necessary stops on the way to Lannisport, though the Reach produces so much produce already that Oldtown will still be an important market (& if a Fever Canal is successful, the Reach might lobby for a Blackwater-Mander-Honeywine pair of canals).
  • Once a Fever Canal has been built a pair of forts with ship blocking chains on each entrance aught to be built to enforce the tariff regime as well as to protect from reavers, pirates, & corsairs.
  • After forts are on the Fever Canal, the newly flushed with cash Lord Stark could move onto another strategic improvement that would also double as a personal monument, the renovation & expansion of Moat Caillin into a the new primary seat of House Stark as well as the construction of a new Northern City around Moat Caillin with an orderly & planned city grid, & a palatial keep with a court to match to demonstrate the new splendor of House Stark.
  • During the course of the new city's construction an accommodation with the vassal houses of the North can be reached where House Stark guarantee's their ancient status, but creates a new landless nobility with a route in for accomplished foreigners & commoners with a ranking system that simply receives a salary from House Stark in return for meritocratic service when it comes to administration, & naval matters (since this won't step on the army toes of the vassal houses). Of course, an non-Northerners who make their way up the new landless nobility would need to accept the supremacy of the Old Gods as well as the other cultural traditions of the First Men there.
  • Following this would begin the creation of a new professional fleet, though this will be a long & arduous process given that it takes much longer to train good sailors than it takes to train good soldiers, since excellent sailing is more of a science that marching around in column. Also, I'd imagine that the new capital city of the North would need a professional guard on par with the Gold Cloaks or even approaching the level of professionalism exhibited by the guard of Lannisport.
  • Another great library & center of learning aught to be established at Moat Caillin, but free of the Maesters' chicanery & sex discrimination.
  • After this further development of the North should end up proceeding quite naturally & steadily.
  • Lastly would be the the status of the Gift, the Wall, the Lands Beyond the Wall, along with the Night's Watch & Wildlings that may or may not still call those places home. In the century leading up to ASOIAF repopulating the Gift would likely be very time & resource consuming with perhaps a permanent need for maintenance unless an embassy could be sent to the Thenns & the more "civilized" Wildlings inviting them to populate the Gift with farms that they'd own in return for owing support to the Night's Watch when the Wall is ever attacked, or when raiders cross the wall. Pre-Second War for the Dawn, the Night's Watch aught to have adopted a two tiered system of service where the first is what they already have, & the second would be a short term but honorable term of service of a few fixed years  so as to try to attract more nobility & otherwise reluctant hedge knights.

Obviously, this entire plan is entirely reliant on the North largely being a peace with their neighbors, as well as having an Iron Throne that's amenable to the idea of the North potentially developing into a much more powerful region with a much stronger strategic position. So the Iron Throne would either need a ruler very close with House Stark, a ruler who's house has dragonriders so as to ease their concern over a powerful vassal, or both.

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Posted (edited)

Firstly the Neanderthal analogy is not wrong, but it is aimed at the wrong group. There is strong indication that the Ibbenese are a kind of Neanderthal species, and that the Skagosi are a third breed, a kind of human-Neanderthal-Giants hybrid species.

The First Men, however are completely human. 

As for the North’s ability to support a large population - this is an interesting one. Clearly the North started out with a tiny remnant population after the Long Night, and was able to support its growth to the 5 million or so inhabitants we see today. Now, this was likely not a linear growth, but instead a growth rate marked by growth spurts, die offs and repeat growth spurts. But that the overall population of the North today is at least ten times - perhaps a hundred times for all we know - greater than it was immediately after the Long Night seems clear. 

So despite 8000 years of irregular seasons, wars, diseases, famines, long summers, short summers, mild Winters and cruel Winters, the North’s population has grown immensely over this period.

And 7700 years of this growth was before Aegon’s Conquest, during which the North was independent, and at war with any number of southron kingdoms on a continual basis. So in other words, they had to be self sufficient.

And still today, the North has plenty of under utilized land that could be worked for agriculture. Is it currently at a population equillibrium, or does it have more room for growth if managed by an innovative ambitious Stark in Winterfell? That is the interesting question.

 

Edited by Free Northman Reborn

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I think the North is the ultimate live and let live kingdom. The centralization needed for boosting the economy is not politically feasible. Moreover, the most enterprising House is the Manderlys and they were originally from the south. So maybe business instinct simply isn't part of North DNA. They seem to pride themselves on their toughness and their simple lifestyle. 

The only sector I would develop would be to double down on the forestry sector and grow more ironwood timber to export to Braavos for ship building. They'll have to be careful and make it sustainable.

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On 5/31/2019 at 5:22 PM, Ser Hedge said:

Loved your post. On this specific point though, I think Neanderthal Vs Main-stream humans might be a bit of an extreme. I think Andals Vs First Men Vs the humans who were on Westeros already (that the Iron Born and some Wildlings mostly derive from) are more like Saxons Vs Celts Vs Neolithic inhabitants (grooved pottery-using builders of Stonehenge). Or maybe Dorian Greeks Vs Ionian Greeks Vs Mycaneans Vs Minoans. Different cultures but not exactly different sub-species. 

Thank you for the kind words!

You're, of course, absolutely right regarding my use of Neanderthal. It was much too hyperbolic but was used as it is a bit more accessible than the very-apt examples you mention. I also think the neanderthal adaptation to the ice age in more northern climes is a somewhat interesting distinction.

Of those, I really like using the Celts personally. But there would be a ton to unpack from any, more specific metaphor. We could write essays on it. Which would be fascinating as this subject matter has always been particularly interesting to me.

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Posted (edited)

The North would be far less of a glass fist with some proper reserves behind it if it weren't for the crazy winters of Planetos, and I'd wager before the Long Night and proceeding fucked up seasonal patterns, it was more populous than the Westerlands or the current Stormlands, definitely more than the Vale.

But all the stuff Peter the Great did was extremely contextual, and aside from GRRM being extremely silly with stereotypical fantasy ideas, there is zero indication of the North being technologically behind, or much of what made the Industrial Revolution happen be possible.

Aside from that, a rival school of learning and knowledge and a fleet of their own, one which specializes in stormy and cold seas, would make sense. If only to keep fed and defend their fishing fleets. They should be rivals with the Ibbenese or close contacts. 

 

EDIT: The main beneficiary of a canal that cuts Westeros across the middle would be the Iron Born. Which is probably what they should have done instead of Harrenhal. But they had the Riverlands at the time, and with the layout of the rivers there, would have seen no need, as they had what they needed to extend Ironborn reaving more heavily into the Narrow Sea and the Shivering Sea. And if you look at the map closely, I think you could see why the Seven Stars preferred the Targs to the Ironmen. The Ironmen were strategically setup to isolate the Vale away from the rest of the power base of the Sevenstar, surrounding it by merciless followers of the Drowned God and a land of thralls and the Northmen. 

The Targs could be converted and then subverted, and were, the Ironmen could not be.

Edited by Vashon

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I mostly used Peter the Great as an example given that he just like the Starks controlled a vast realm with much potential that simply wasn't being used correctly. Any sufficiently innovative, ambitious, & successful prince from history would be a good example to compare to as well. There's Matthias Corvinus of Hungary & his Black Army, his Royal Library, building projects, & patronage of scholars for example. There's also the matter that while the North might not be technologically or systemically much behind the rest of Westeros south of the Wall, much of Westeros doesn't allow for as much of the meritocratic possibilities that the Free Cities hold, & it seems like the North tends to be a bit looser in terms of restrictions on the commoners anyway.

As for a Fever Canal, provided that the Starks sufficiently defended the outlets to the Canal, along with whatever additional locks are built, & the defensive fortifications of an greater urban Moat Caillan (which would be roughly equidistant along the canal) are sufficient, a reaving centric Ironborn would be very hard pressed to conquer the Neck outright, even more so if the Starks move their court there as what happened with St. Petersburg, while Winterfell gets reduced to the level that Moscow did as a secondary capitol with a Stark family member appointed as governor when the heir is too young or is needed elsewhere. If anything, a Fever Canal along with the the Moat Caillan city would actually be more of a boon for the Iron Islands if Asha Greyjoy managed to take power in the islands & got her way with the reforms that she desired (which I must say is the most visionary yet practical proposal that I've heard in ASOIAF or in most fiction). If Asha & her intellectual heirs take & secure political power on the Iron Islands & a Fever Canal-Moat Caillan City was developed, we could actually end up seeing a strategic alliance develop between the North & a mercantile centered Iron Islands (whose strategy would likely be to keep an overwhelming majority of their fleet centered on the western coast of Westeros, thus providing an additional incentive for a strategically close relationship between the a mercantile House Greyjoy, & House Stark.

I do agree with the Shivering Sea, & northern Sunset Sea maritime policy where the North becomes a big player in fishing & even whaling like Ibben. Unless the Ibbenese (& perhaps Lorath) show themselves hostile to such Northern interests, the development of close contacts by the North with them would be preferable to confrontation.

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Is the North actually declining? 

The conquest brought relative peace to the seven kingdoms and the population did increase. The Gardners and Lannisters raised the largest host ever with ample time and that was a host of 50K. Torhen raised his own great northern host with ample time and it was 30K. 

by the time of the WoT5K the Reach could field well above 80K, yet Rob goes south with 18K and from later account the North maybe had 12-15K around more (Dustin men, the clans, and other greenboys and old). The north's population seems to stagnate.

Also, we know the night watch had 10K men with them not so long ago, but are now reduced to less than a thousand. we can assume the NW is composed of more northern men than southern and perhaps this dilapidation can be attributed to the general decline of population in the North

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25 minutes ago, hnv said:

Is the North actually declining? 

The conquest brought relative peace to the seven kingdoms and the population did increase. The Gardners and Lannisters raised the largest host ever with ample time and that was a host of 50K. Torhen raised his own great northern host with ample time and it was 30K. 

by the time of the WoT5K the Reach could field well above 80K, yet Rob goes south with 18K and from later account the North maybe had 12-15K around more (Dustin men, the clans, and other greenboys and old). The north's population seems to stagnate.

Also, we know the night watch had 10K men with them not so long ago, but are now reduced to less than a thousand. we can assume the NW is composed of more northern men than southern and perhaps this dilapidation can be attributed to the general decline of population in the North

Fire and blood says that Westeros north of Dorne significantly increased its population during the reign of Jahaerys. White Harbor is further mentioned as one of the cities that increased in size during this period. This was decades AFTER Torrhen Stark had raised 30k men during Argon’s Conquest.

There is no reason to believe that the North today has declined compared to Aegon’s time. In fact, the opposite is the case.

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16 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Fire and blood says that Westeros north of Dorne significantly increased its population during the reign of Jahaerys. White Harbor is further mentioned as one of the cities that increased in size during this period. This was decades AFTER Torrhen Stark had raised 30k men during Argon’s Conquest.

There is no reason to believe that the North today has declined compared to Aegon’s time. In fact, the opposite is the case.

Well probably not in cardinal terms, but it could have experienced less growth than the other parts.

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11 minutes ago, hnv said:

Well probably not in cardinal terms, but it could have experienced less growth than the other parts.

Sure. But saying that the fact that they could raise 30k men in Aegon’s time and only 18k men today is a reflection of thecomparative populations of the two periods is clearly wrong.

Fire and Blood in fact says the population north of Dorne doubled during Jahaerys’s reign. Even if the North was at the lower end of the average growth rate and only increased by 50%, that still means they have 50% more men available today than Torrhen had when he raised 30k men.

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53 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Sure. But saying that the fact that they could raise 30k men in Aegon’s time and only 18k men today is a reflection of thecomparative populations of the two periods is clearly wrong.

Fire and Blood in fact says the population north of Dorne doubled during Jahaerys’s reign. Even if the North was at the lower end of the average growth rate and only increased by 50%, that still means they have 50% more men available today than Torrhen had when he raised 30k men.

Well it's not only that fact but a comparative look at the Reach\West, and the NW phenomena.

I think it gives us enough rope to speculate regarding the general stagnation compared to other parts of the seven kingdoms and perhaps a general decline in standings. Though to be honest The Reach did have optimal conditions to prosper once the constant threat of war and famine was raised. The north does not.

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7 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Sure. But saying that the fact that they could raise 30k men in Aegon’s time and only 18k men today is a reflection of the comparative populations of the two periods is clearly wrong.

Fire and Blood in fact says the population north of Dorne doubled during Jahaerys’s reign. Even if the North was at the lower end of the average growth rate and only increased by 50%, that still means they have 50% more men available today than Torrhen had when he raised 30k men.

The North was an independent kingdom before Aegon, and it had been for thousands of years. They probably had to fight lots of wars, so their society was better adapted to raising troops.

After 300 years of relative peace, the social mechanisms geared towards providing a fighting force had gone rusty... lords in the easter coast or in the interior or the country not close to the Wall probably didn't bother to keep as many troops as they could afford, because the ironborn and the wildlings weren't an immediate threat, and the chances of being called to war weren't that big...

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10 hours ago, hnv said:

Is the North actually declining? 

The conquest brought relative peace to the seven kingdoms and the population did increase. The Gardners and Lannisters raised the largest host ever with ample time and that was a host of 50K. Torhen raised his own great northern host with ample time and it was 30K. 

by the time of the WoT5K the Reach could field well above 80K, yet Rob goes south with 18K and from later account the North maybe had 12-15K around more (Dustin men, the clans, and other greenboys and old). The north's population seems to stagnate.

Also, we know the night watch had 10K men with them not so long ago, but are now reduced to less than a thousand. we can assume the NW is composed of more northern men than southern and perhaps this dilapidation can be attributed to the general decline of population in the North

Well the Winters and seasons are all fucked up, so the North has limited options. Russia didn't have its population explosion until its southern farmlands, of Ukraine and Kazahkstan, were both in their possesion and secured against raiders and invasion. They also benefited from the general warming in the 1800s. 

The North wouldn't have the benefits of that, and while their southern most reaches have rivers that run right into the interior, that only helps so much when winter comes. When that happens, there wouldn't be any river borne commerce, and most harbors would be fucked too, so the North is stuck at a similar population density as Russia in the 1700s.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/4/2019 at 4:54 AM, Ser Lepus said:

The North was an independent kingdom before Aegon, and it had been for thousands of years. They probably had to fight lots of wars, so their society was better adapted to raising troops.

After 300 years of relative peace, the social mechanisms geared towards providing a fighting force had gone rusty... lords in the easter coast or in the interior or the country not close to the Wall probably didn't bother to keep as many troops as they could afford, because the ironborn and the wildlings weren't an immediate threat, and the chances of being called to war weren't that big...

Could it be that the North has ran into a metal shortage and has trouble procuring enough steel to equip more troops? Mabye the population did grow but had not the weapons to march? 

Perhaps Robb's Banners brought every man that had steel enough to be expeditionary battle worthy? Maybe that's why Robb did not have breast plate armor, not that he couldn't afford it, but as a show of solidarity with the poorer troops?

Edited by Br16

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