The Fatal Shore

From: Michael O'Brien (
Date: Fri 25 Oct 1996 - 12:35:00 EEST

G'day all,
The Fatal Shore

David Weihe writes:
>Also, expect that the Imperials demand taxes in specie (ie, cash money)
>not kind.

This was practised at times in the Byzantine Empire. When things were really
rotten, the authorities would often demand the *next years* tax in advance
too! At one stage, the poor bastards were paying taxes for the
next 54 years in advance! Add to this the fact that often there were rival
claimants to the throne demanding the tax all over again (not to mention
requisitioning and commandeering all sorts of stuff anyway) and the
rapacious taxman of today (hi Neil Robinson!) don't look so bad.

>I imagine that the Riskland settlements are being used just like Canada
>and Australia were in the RW, although that is closer to promoting
>settlements in Afghanistan, in terms of danger.

Life for the early Europeans in Australia weren't no picnic either, and with the
weird landscape, flora and fauna, often hostile natives and constant threat of
starvation, possibly more like the Risklands than you might think. Unlike
Risklands, Australia's first settlements were established as government run
penal settlements, and free settlers were not really encouraged until later (by
then, life in the colonies was in many ways much better for the lower classes
than back home in Old Blighty, and the government fought a losing battle trying
to prove how dreadful a place it was as a deterrent to crime!)

The early settlements had an endemic problem with supply of coin, and the
official unit of exchange was (liquor) until 1835 when the Brits imported a
shipload of Mexican Dollars - this is one of the reasons why our decimal currency
today was called dollars rather than pounds). For an excellent read about the
early settlement of Australia, I cannot recommend more highly Robert Hughes's
The Fatal Shore.




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