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Foreign Ruling Class

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When the ruling class of a society has a culturally different background from the ruled

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
JujuP on Sep 28th 2018 at 11:46:22 AM
Last Edited By:
JujuP on Oct 14th 2018 at 12:04:26 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Darling I'm as English as Queen Victoria!
Blackadder So your father's German, you married a German and you're half-German?

A Foreign Ruling Class is a ruling class whose culture, language and/or religion are different from those of the populations they rule. Simply put, it is the other end of Ethnic Menial Labor. Different from a military occupation since this situation lasts in peacetime too.

This situation can rise as a result of the conquest of a population by another; a protagonist might be moved to overthrow this oppression. Another cause might be the acculturation of the local ruling class by another culture, perceived as more prestigious.

This can be a characteristic of the society in which the story takes place, and can explain conflicts between the rulers and the ruled.

Overtime, this class can go native; in other cases, the ruled take their masters' culture.

Compare Evil Colonialist, Tribe of Priests, Master Race, Blue Blood. Contrast Servant Race, Slave Race.

Please apply the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment.


Exemples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • The premise behind Code Geass is an Alternate History where the British empire abandoned England in order to reestablish itself in North America after quelling the American uprising. They went on to take over most of the world, including Japan. The main story takes place in Japan, while the native citizens are still ruled over the Britanian Empire. Most members of the Royal Britanian Family appropriately look and act the part— fancy European inspired outfits, powdered wigs, etc.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Authority, Sliding Albion is part of an alternate reality in which an alien race called the Blue conquered Italy prior to its formal unification, intermarried with the various ruling families, and then used the resulting mix of political, military, and technological might to take over the rest of the world. Consequently, Albion has a twofold foreign ruling class, as they are taking orders from Italians who are in turn taking orders from the Blue.

    Film 

    Light Novel 
  • Discussed in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. As in real life, there is a fair amount of resentment towards the Soviet Union's mostly Russian ruling class from natives of the other SSRs. This is compounded in the series by ethnic Russians being evacuated to Alaska with the Government in Exile, while conscripts from the other republics are stuck fighting to hold the Kamchatka Peninsula against the Alien Invasion.

    Literature 
  • Ivanhoe features Norman lords oppressing Saxon peasants, and Ivanhoe protecting the latter while gathering funds to pay the ransom of Richard Lionheart.
  • The Draka features a society where a small elite of Citizens, of British Loyalist, Icelandic and Dixie stock, rules over an underclass of Serfs. Later this overclass turns into another species.
  • Kris Longknife: Planets in the Greenfeld Confederacy/Empire (One Nation Under Copyright with aspirations to feudal monarchy) tend to have a mostly white Germanic-descended ruling class and a browner general populace. It's mentioned in Audacious that Kris's browner Wardhavenites (she has mixed European and Native American ancestry and her primary Love Interest is Latino) can blend in on Greenfeld worlds better than the Greenfeld military forces they're working with.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • House Targaryen. They were originally a noble family of Valyria, who fled to Dragonstone before the Doom of Valyria and went on to conquer all of Westeros using three dragons, unifying the Seven Kingdoms under their rule. They ruled for around three centuries and brought with them some Valyrian customs, such as the Valyrian language, dragons, Valyrian steel and a habit of marrying brother to sister to keep their bloodlines pure. Incest is outlawed throughout Westeros and generally considered a huge taboo, but the Targaryens were the exception. They were eventually ousted around thirteen years before the start of the series during Robert's Rebellion and the few survivors fled in exile to Essos, vowing to one day reclaim the throne.
    • One of those survivors, Daenerys Targaryen, later conquers Slaver's Bay in Essos in order to eradicate slavery there; she decides to rule as queen to ensure the slave masters don't reclaim power and to keep the peace until the new order stabilises itself. Although she is welcomed with open arms by the freed slaves and a few other citizens, others chafe at being ruled by a foreigner, especially one who generally holds many aspects of their Ghiscari culture (such as slavery and the fighting pits) in contempt. Daenerys struggles to keep both factions happy and ward off attacks by an insurgent group known as the Sons of the Harpy, while not compromising too much on her own values.
  • Don A. Stuart's "Cloak Of Aesir": The alien Sarns conquered Earth thousands of years ago and effectively turned humanity into a Slave Race.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: In between The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, Narnia is conquered by pirate-descended Telmarines from a mysterious land in the West, who force the local Talking Animals and supernatural entities into hiding. Prince Caspian himself is a Telmarine Defector from Decadence who sides with the native Narnians, but his descendants remain Narnian kings for the rest of the world's lifespan.
  • The Tripods: Earth is conquered by alien invaders who order all humans to be implanted with Hypno Trinket "caps" that force them to remain loyal. The series focuses on La Résistance, the last few un-capped people trying to free the world from a vastly more powerful enemy.

    Live Action Television 
  • Belgian TV thriller Salamander uses this motif to make a point about Belgian society and government. While the "good guys" fighting to get to the heart of the quasi-governmental conspiracy that threatens to rip Belgium apart are all Flemish, the highly placed people at the heart of the scandal are all French-speaking Belgians. When the conspirators are seen, they speak French together: the only time they use Flemish is to instruct employees and servants. The implication is clear (Salamander was made by Flemish TV, so this might not be an objective point). Flemish is the language of the serfs and peasants; French is that of a ruling class who do not have the best interests of the Belgian people at heart.
  • Also applies to the TV adaptation Game of Thrones. In fact, in Season Seven, Randyll Tarly says he'd rather be ruled by Cersei Lannister than Daenerys Targaryen, because at least Cersei was born and raised in Westeros, rather than a "foreign invader; one with no ties to this land" (although Daenerys was technically born on Dragonstone and forced to flee as an infant). Also in the series, Daenerys ends up becoming ruler of all the Dothraki, which they accept pretty readily because they believe in Asskicking Equals Authority; Daenerys killed all the other khals (Dothraki lords), leaving her few rivals and has a sizable army and three dragons at her back, so she is quite easily the strongest among them. She incorporates their warriors in her conquest of Westeros, which in Randyll's opinion, is just another point against her.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau Empire has annexed several planets inhabited by other species, including humans, who are usually treated well though still ruled by Tau Ethereals.
    • While the Imperium of Man tend to be portrayed as Absolute Xenophobes some writers mention minor Xeno races who are just enslaved by the Imperium.
  • Ironclaw:
    • The Kingdom of Calebria is ruled by the foxes of House Rinaldi, de jure, after they vassalized the island's other kingdoms of boars, horses, and wolves. Though at the time of the game the Rinaldi's actual power is waning and their vassals are getting ambitious.
    • The otters of the Anatolian Empire replaced the cobra Pharaoh of the Delta with a Sultan of their own species, but heavy resistance from Deltan crown loyalists has convinced them to co-opt existing power structures in their later conquests.

    Video Games 
  • Can happens in Stellaris as a result of the main species having Full Citizenship and xenos being classified as Residents or Slaves.
  • Simulated in Crusader Kings II, which makes a distinction between a province's culture and religion, and that of the character holding the title (who will spawn courtiers, minor nobles, of his own culture). The province will tend to shift to match that of its ruler over time, or the ruler can change cultures to that of their capital province, but in the meantime there's a small increase in revolt risk. Additionally, some cultures, such as English and Russian, are programmed to be created by having a province of one culture be controlled by a ruler of a different culture.

    Western Animation 
  • The Fire Nation outposts/colonies on the Earth Kingdom continent in Avatar: The Last Airbender are mostly this trope, with Fire Nation citizens forming the ruling class and Earth Kingdom citizens mostly working as laborers. Partially averted with the older colonies, as there have been numerous intermarriages between Fire and Earth residents (most notably, the Fire Nation mayor of Yu Dao has an Earth Kingdom wife).

    Real Life 
  • Diglossia is the case where two languages are used in a society and when one language is mainly used by upper classes and the other by lower ones.
  • After the conquest of Finland by Sweden, Finnish society was divided in four Estates (nobility, clergy, burghers and peasants) and was dominated by Swedes, with a totally Swedish nobility, along with most of the burghers. Clergy tended to speak both Finnish and Swedish, since they could be sent to ministry to both populations. Lastly, Swedish was also widespread among peasants on the coast.
  • After Alexander the Great's conquests across Asia and the Middle East, Greek generals were named as satraps and governors. After his death, most of the local ruling classes were either Greeks or Hellenisized.
    • The Ptolemaic Dynasty, to which belonged Cleopatra VII, was hellenisized, and ruled Egypt through a class of Greek administrators and merchants.
  • Across Poland-Lithuania, most of the szlacha were either Poles or Polonized Lithuanians and Ruthenians and was mostly Latin Catholic. Their peasants were Ruthenians and their religion was either Orthodox or Eastern Catholic (basically Orthodox liturgy and rituals while being faithful to The Pope).
  • Likewise, in the Baltics lands conquered by The Teutonic Knights, even though all the society was Lutheran, the landowners were German while the peasantry was Baltic.
  • After the Cromwellian Settlement, which saw Catholics being deprived of their lands, Ireland was under the Ascendancy, with Englishmen members of the established Church of Ireland (the local Anglican denomination), owning much of the land, lording over Irish Catholics and Dissenters.
  • The Aryan Invasion Theory is a controversial hypothesis postulating the Indian subcontinent, then mostly populated of Dravidians, was invaded by an Aryan peuplade, who set themselves as Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaishyas and set the locals to be Sudras.
  • According to popular legend, which may or may not be true, depending on your interpretation of the ancient chronicles and political leanings, the Novgorod Duchy — now Northwestern Russia — invited a group of Scandinavian Vikings (or "varyags", as they called them) to rule over it in 862, which is traditionally considered the starting date of the Russian statehood. Whether Rurik (the leader of the invited Vikings) has ever actually reigned as Prince or just provided armed security to the land and arbitrated between feuding nobles as a neutral third party is still hotly debated by historians, however.
  • British history is made of this trope, though the rulers usually end up assimilating after a few generations or centuries.
    • England and Wales were ruled by Romans from the first century to the fourth or fifth century.
    • For first couple of centuries after the Romans left large parts of Britain were ruled by barbarian invaders (Angles, Saxons, Jutes from Germany ruled England, whilst the Picts were ruled by the Scots - originally from Ireland) before they became the natives.
    • The Vikings ruled much of England and Wales in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries.
    • In 1066 the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, invaded and remained a foreign ruling class until at least the period of the Hundred Years War. The traces can still be felt in the English language: while the words for cattle, pigs and sheep are of Saxon origin, the word for their meat, beef, pork and mutton are of French origin.
    • The Scottish Stewart dynasty ruled England from 1603 till 1649 and again from 1661 till 1689.
    • The main line of Stuarts were replaced by a Dutch king (William of Orange) from 1689 to 1702.
    • The House of Hanover were German monarchs who ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 when Queen Victoria died.
    • And, of course, the British Empire was ruled this way. As you'd expect given that it was the largest empire in history.
  • Happened several times in China:
    • The Yuan dynasty was of Mongol origin, and set up Mongol nobmes to rule over China.
    • The Qing dynasty was Manchu, and the Manchu leadership actually started to oppress the Han populace until the noble class assimilated.
  • European colonies in Asia and Africa were ruled by an overclass of White administrators, businessmen and planters. Sometimes a native chief was allowed to join this class.

Feedback: 52 replies

Sep 28th 2018 at 12:32:14 PM

Other Real Life examples:

  • The Normans in post-1066 England
  • Europeans in their overseas empires (most notably, Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands)
  • Turks in the Ottoman Empire
  • Austrians and Hungarians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Japanese in pre-1945 Taiwan and Korea

Sep 28th 2018 at 1:09:30 PM

  • Real Life:
    • Despite being the most famous Egyptian ruler, queen Cleopatra was of Greek descent.
    • During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon Bonaparte put several of his brothers on the throne of conquered countries.
  • World Of Warcraft: While the Horde consisted mainly of orcs in the first two games (with forest trolls and ogres joining in the second but leaving before the third, and expanding to several other races), it's leaders have also included a jungle troll and a forsaken (a former high elf raised as an undead).
  • Warhammer 40 K: The Tau are divided into five castes with very little intermingling or social mobility by design: the Earth caste are scientists, the Water caste are diplomats, the Fire caste are soldiers, the Air caste are pilots, and the Ethereal caste leads them all. However, Tau society is structured in such a way that none of them believe themselves better at leading than an Ethereal (and the Ethereals themselves recognize and promote the idea that each Tau must do his specialized task without infringing on each other, so while no Tau ever thinks of disobeying an Ethereal, the Ethereals defer to the other caste's judgment in matters of science/diplomacy/warfare/spacecraft).

Sep 28th 2018 at 2:00:16 PM

  • The premise behind Code Geass is an Alternate History where the British empire abandoned England in order to reestablish itself in North America after quelling the American uprising. They went on to take over most of the world, including Japan. The main story takes place in Japan, while the native citizens are still ruled over the Britanian Empire. Most members of the Royal Britanian Family appropriately look and act the part— fancy European inspired outfits, powdered wigs, etc.

Sep 28th 2018 at 2:42:05 PM

Compare Fantastic Caste System.


Literature:
  • Discussed in Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. As in real life, there is a fair amount of resentment towards the Soviet Union's mostly Russian ruling class from natives of the other SSRs. This is compounded in the series by ethnic Russians being evacuated to Alaska with the Government In Exile, while conscripts from the other republics are stuck fighting to hold the Kamchatka Peninsula against the Alien Invasion.
  • Kris Longknife: Planets in the Greenfeld Confederacy/Empire (One Nation Under Copyright with aspirations to feudal monarchy) tend to have a mostly white Germanic-descended ruling class and a browner general populace. It's mentioned in Audacious that Kris's browner Wardhavenites (she has mixed European and Native American ancestry and her primary Love Interest is Latino) can blend in on Greenfeld worlds better than the Greenfeld military forces they're working with.

Video Games:

  • Simulated in Crusader Kings II, which makes a distinction between a province's culture and religion, and that of the character holding the title. The province will tend to shift to match that of its ruler over time, but in the meantime there's a small increase in revolt risk. Additionally, some cultures, such as English and Russian, are programmed to be created by having a province of one culture be controlled by a ruler of a different culture.

Sep 28th 2018 at 3:25:55 PM

Literature:

  • A Song Of Ice And Fire:
    • House Targaryen. They were originally a noble family of Valyria, who fled to Dragonstone before the Doom of Valyria and went on to conquer all of Westeros using three dragons, unifying the Seven Kingdoms under their rule. They ruled for around three centuries and brought with them some Valyrian customs, such as the Valyrian language, dragons, Valyrian steel and a habit of marrying brother to sister to keep their bloodlines pure. Incest is outlawed throughout Westeros and generally considered a huge taboo, but the Targaryens were the exception. They were eventually ousted around thirteen years before the start of the series during Robert's Rebellion and the few survivors fled in exile to Essos, vowing to one day reclaim the throne.
    • One of those survivors, Daenerys Targaryen, later conquers Slaver's Bay in Essos in order to eradicate slavery there; she decides to rule as queen to ensure the slave masters don't reclaim power and to keep the peace until the new order stabilises itself. Although she is welcomed with open arms by the freed slaves and a few other citizens, others chafe at being ruled by a foreigner, especially one who generally holds many aspects of their Ghiscari culture (such as slavery and the fighting pits) in contempt. Daenerys struggles to keep both factions happy and ward off attacks by an insurgent group known as the Sons of the Harpy, while not compromising too much on her own values.

Live Action-TV:

  • Also applies to the TV adaptation Game Of Thrones. In fact, in Season Seven, Randyll Tarly says he'd rather be ruled by Cersei Lannister than Daenerys Targaryen, because at least Cersei was born and raised in Westeros, rather than a "foreign invader; one with no ties to this land" (although Daenerys was technically born on Dragonstone and forced to flee as an infant). Also in the series, Daenerys ends up becoming ruler of all the Dothraki, which they accept pretty readily because they believe in Asskicking Equals Authority; Daenerys killed all the other khals (Dothraki lords), leaving her few rivals and has a sizable army and three dragons at her back, so she is quite easily the strongest among them. She incorporates their warriors in her conquest of Westeros, which in Randyll's opinion, is just another point against her.

Sep 28th 2018 at 6:29:31 PM

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40K:
    • The Tau Empire has annexed several planets inhabited by other species, including humans, who are usually treated well though still ruled by Tau Ethereals.
    • While the Imperium of Man tend to be portrayed as Absolute Xenophobes some writers mention minor Xeno races who are just enslaved by the Imperium.
  • Ironclaw:
    • The Kingdom of Calebria is ruled by the foxes of House Rinaldi, de jure, after they vassalized the island's other kingdoms of boars, horses, and wolves. Though at the time of the game the Rinaldi's actual power is waning and their vassals are getting ambitious.
    • The otters of the Anatolian Empire replaced the cobra Pharaoh of the Delta with a Sultan of their own species, but heavy resistance from Deltan crown loyalists has convinced them to co-opt existing power structures in their later conquests.

Real Life

  • Alexander the Great appointed his Macedonian Greek generals as satraps of his empire. After his death and his empire's breakup many of them established dynasties, most famously the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, which included Cleopatra.

Sep 28th 2018 at 5:42:53 PM

As I recall, The Adventures Of Robin Hood plays up the Saxon peasants vs the Norman rulers.

Sep 28th 2018 at 5:46:04 PM

Literature

  • In The Nantucket Trilogy, William Walker establishes an empire in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, despite being an American. He is, however, careful to take local brides wherever he takes over, if only to convince his new subjects that they will have a stake in his reign.
  • In The Man In The High Castle, the Axis Powers won World War II and conquered the United States. As a consequence, the Empire of Japan now rules the Western Seaboard.

Sep 28th 2018 at 6:14:39 PM

@Luke_The_Great: Might want to clarify some of those real life examples. For instance, how the Ottoman Empire was built by the Turkish chief Osman I (source of the "Ottoman" Anglicization) through conquest of other kingdoms.

Sep 28th 2018 at 6:59:35 PM

Sep 28th 2018 at 8:49:31 PM

^^In the Ottoman example, I was referring to the non-Turkish parts of the empire (Arab areas, southeastern Europe, etc) being under the dominance of a Turkish ruling class. 4 other real-life examples:

  • Britain has been ruled by monarchs of German descent since the Hanoverians came to power in Britain in 1714; its successor, the House of Windsor, is also of German descent (originally named the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha)
  • One of Czarist Russia's most famous leaders, Catherine the Great, was born in Prussia, and much of Russia's ruling class was German
  • Poland often elected foreigners to serve as king, including from Hungary (Stephen Bathory, Louis of Hungary), Lithuania (Jagiello), and Sweden (The Vasa kings).
  • In Prussia, Frederick the Great was a major admirer of the French language, with the result that French was often used at the court. One legacy of this language policy was that the highest military decoration of Prussia was inscribed "Pour le Mérite", not "Für das Verdienst".

Sep 28th 2018 at 9:52:02 PM

Sep 30th 2018 at 8:30:55 AM

  • League Of Super Redundant Heroes: Mayor Kurgh was formerly known as Kurgh the Conqueror, an alien warlord who burst into the mayor's office and proclaimed himself the ruler of the city. The then-mayor enthusiastically agreed, grabbed a Briefcase Full Of Money and told Kurgh that running the city was his problem now before escaping. By all accounts Kurgh's not doing too bad at it.
  • Overlord 2012: After Ainz establishes himself as an independent political entity (one that has the neighboring Empire as a vassal state), everyone trembles in fear of what unholy horrors he's going to put his human subjects through. As time goes by, it turns out he doesn't actually do anything to them despite being a lich of godlike power, Ainz' stated dream being to create a country where all species (humans, beastmen, elves, dryads, orcs, etc.) can live together in peace under their immortal ruler, guarded by an undead army (it helps that he's a former human in a lich's body). While this is beyond the comprehension of the Guardians (his entirely evil, overly-defensive, Hair Trigger Temper Elite Mooks), they understand that they are not to harm his subjects, as that would be damaging Nazarick's property.
  • Discworld: General Tacticus (the local version of Alexander The Great and Sun Tzu) was Ankh-Morpork's greatest general, who unfortunately was too good at his job and kept conquering countries and sending requests for more money with which to do so. To make him Someone Elses Problem, Ankh-Morpork made him king of Genua, but then he took stock of his new homeland's military situation, identified the biggest threat (the expansionist empire of Ankh-Morpork) and promptly attacked it (a situation with parallels in Real Life, where Napoleon sent one of his generals to become king of Sweden who later joined the anti-Napoleon coalition).

Sep 28th 2018 at 11:49:52 PM

Corrected spelling (feature -> features, Lichard -> Richard, specie -> species).

Sep 29th 2018 at 2:19:06 PM

Live Action TV

  • Belgian TV thriller Salamander uses this motif to make a point about Belgian society and government. While the "good guys" fighting to get to the heart of the quasi-governmental conspiracy that threatens to rip Belgium apart are all Flemish, the highly placed people at the heart of the scandal are all French-speaking Belgians. When the conspirators are seen, they speak French together: the only time they use Flemish is to instruct employees and servants. The implication is clear (Salamander was made by Flemish TV, so this might not be an objective point). Flemish is the language of the serfs and peasants; French is that of a ruling class who do not have the best interests of the Belgian people at heart.

Sep 29th 2018 at 11:35:34 PM

I don't think the Real Life addition above re: the Hanoverians in 1714 is legit. The British really haven't had an English king since Harold took the arrow to the eye in 1066. After all the Saxon nobility was mostly exterminated and it's not like the royal family marries a lot of commoners, Meghan Markle aside.

Sep 30th 2018 at 1:49:16 AM

  • According to popular legend, which may or may not be true, depending on your interpretation of the ancient chronicles and political leanings, the Novgorod Duchy — now Northwestern Russia — invited a group of Scandinavian Vikings (or "varyags", as they called them) to rule over it in 862, which is traditionally considered the starting date of the Russian statehood. Whether Rurik (the leader of the invited Vikings) has ever actually reigned as Prince or just provided armed security to the land and arbitrated between feuding nobles as a neutral third party is still hotly debated by historians, however.

Oct 1st 2018 at 7:20:28 AM

  • A lampshaded one in Blackadder Goes Forth, when Captain Darling is under suspicion of being a German spy:
    Darling: I'm as English as Queen Victoria!
    Blackadder: So your father's German, you married a German and you're half-German?
  • In an aversion, the French king Henri III briefly became king of Poland for slightly less than two years (as a second son, he was not expected to take the throne of France), when the unexpected death of Charles IX (his brother) allowed him to become the king of France, where he only lasted about ten years before being murdered by a religious fanatic. There was considerable Culture Clash between the French and the Poles, the former seeing Poland as a Ruritania and the Poles seeing their new king as obsessed with style over substance, with Henri fleeing Poland at the news of the throne being open again (more charitably, his absence was causing a Succession Crisis).
  • Henri's mother Catherine de Medici is herself an example, an Italian duchess who was married to the King of France and ended up running the country (officially or not) until her sons reached adulthood (and even afterwards), earning her some serious Historical Villain Upgrade in fictional works. There's a good reason she's the French leader in Civilization VI.

Sep 30th 2018 at 10:47:42 AM

What is it with people not folderizing the examples on TLP drafts these days? Seriously, why?

Sep 30th 2018 at 12:49:10 PM

@James Polk: It's a little more complicated than that: The Normans and Anglo-Saxons assimilated into each other over time to become "English", so by roughly the rise of the House of Tudor the ruling class and populace both considered themselves English. Then the Tudor dynasty ended with Elizabeth I refusing to marry and/or have children because she didn't want to share power with a husband, so her Scottish cousin James VI Stuart became James I Stuart of England (which is why Scotland is part of the UK today). Then you had the interregnum of the English Civil War (Scots House of Stuart interrupted by English dictatorship), and finally James II Stuart was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution and replaced with the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau (William III of England/William II of Scotland, and Queen Mary). He died without issue and was succeeded by Anne Stuart, sister of James II, who also died without issue (not for lack of trying, the poor woman), and that's when the House of Hanover took over — George I Hanover being Anne Stuart's closest living Protestant relative, Catholics having been banned from inheriting the throne in 1701.

Sep 30th 2018 at 6:28:39 PM

It's a little more complicated than that

Oh sure. All I meant was that 1714 wasn't really a seismic shift in terms of coming under the rule of foreign overlords. 1066 was. 1066 you have a bunch of dudes who don't even speak English come across the water, kill the king in a great battle, and kill like half the English nobility or some ungodly high percentage in said battle. What's left of the English nobility is killed or driven out within a generation, replaced down to the last earldom by French dudes.

For nearly 300 years you have law and government and literature conducted in the conqueror's language which all the peasants don't understand. Eventually you have the conqueror's language amalgmated with English into what is basically English 2.0. But the nobility is still the nobility and they were just of a different breeding stock than commoners. I'm babbling too much but it doesn't really seem like 1714 compares with 1066 and is a legit example of this trope. If the Spanish in 1588 or the French in 1805 or the Germans in 1940 had managed to land that would count, but they didn't.

Oct 1st 2018 at 1:43:31 PM

I will add all exemples in the comments under this draft.

Oct 2nd 2018 at 9:24:22 AM

Not including the Tabletop Game examples?

Oct 2nd 2018 at 2:33:14 PM

Fixed broken link in the page quote attribution.

Oct 2nd 2018 at 4:30:38 PM

Note: it's "Hellenized", not "Hellenisized"

Oct 3rd 2018 at 7:33:53 AM

The 1991 Robin Hood movie, starring Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman, also plays up the ethnic tension between Normans and Saxons.

Oct 3rd 2018 at 8:39:03 PM

The Qing dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 until 1912, was of Manchu descent.

Oct 4th 2018 at 10:48:47 AM

^ The Yuan dynasty of China (1271-1368) was founded by the Mongolian Khagan Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan.

Oct 4th 2018 at 1:21:08 PM

How about merging the stuff that's been said about England/Britain in something like the following:

British history is made of this trope, though the rulers usually end up assimilating after a few generations or centuries.

England and Wales were ruled by Romans from the first century to the fourth or fifth century. For first couple of centuries after the Romans left large parts of Britain were ruled by barbarian invaders (Angles, Saxons, Jutes from Germany ruled England, whilst the Picts were ruled by the Scots - originally from Ireland) before they became the natives. The Vikings ruled much of England and Wales in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. In 1066 the Normans invaded and remained a foreign ruling class until at least the period of the Hundred Years War. The Scottish Stewart dynasty ruled England from 1603 till 1649 and again from 1661 till 1689. The main line of Stuarts were replaced by a Dutch king (William of Orange) from 1689 to 1702. The House of Hanover were German monarchs who ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 when Queen Victoria died. And, of course, the British Empire was ruled this way. As you'd expect given that it was the largest empire in history.

Oct 4th 2018 at 1:24:46 PM

^ I don't think a wall of text is the way to do it, the examples can be merged while still being sub-bullets of the "British History is made of this trope" part.

Oct 5th 2018 at 8:08:56 AM

Western Animation example: The Fire Nation outposts/colonies on the Earth Kingdom continent in Avatar:The Last Airbender are mostly this trope, with Fire Nation citizens forming the ruling class and Earth Kingdom citizens mostly working as laborers. Partially averted with the older colonies, as there have been numerous intermarriages between Fire and Earth residents (most notably, the Fire Nation mayor of Yu Dao has an Earth Kingdom wife).

Oct 4th 2018 at 6:38:55 PM

^^Perhaps divide the history of Britain into 2 parts:

  • Examples of this happening to Britain
  • Examples of Britain doing this to other countries

Oct 6th 2018 at 10:59:28 AM

Real Life: The Indian subcontinent was ruled by the British Crown from 1858 to 1947.

Oct 6th 2018 at 3:23:07 PM

Examples is misspelled.

The wall of text in my previous post was accidental - I wrote it with like separation, but that didn't translate into the posted comment. Hopefully the version below is properly formatted (though the lack of a preview in the discussion section makes it difficult to tell before hitting the reply button).

  • British history is made of this trope, though the rulers usually end up assimilating after a few generations or centuries.
    • England and Wales were ruled by Romans from the first century to the fourth or fifth century.
    • For first couple of centuries after the Romans left large parts of Britain were ruled by barbarian invaders (Angles, Saxons, Jutes from Germany ruled England, whilst the Picts were ruled by the Scots - originally from Ireland) before they became the natives.
    • The Vikings ruled much of England and Wales in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries.
    • In 1066 the Normans invaded and remained a foreign ruling class until at least the period of the Hundred Years War.
    • The Scottish Stewart dynasty ruled England from 1603 till 1649 and again from 1661 till 1689.
    • The main line of Stuarts were replaced by a Dutch king (William of Orange) from 1689 to 1702.
    • The House of Hanover were German monarchs who ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 when Queen Victoria died.
    • And, of course, the British Empire was ruled this way. As you'd expect given that it was the largest empire in history.

Though the suggestion of dividing examples within Britain and examples of Britain doing to to other people seems pretty sound.

Oct 8th 2018 at 9:10:49 PM

The Mughal Empire, which ruled India for centuries, was of Central Asian (Turco-Mongol) background with extensive Persian and Rajput ancestry.

Oct 7th 2018 at 12:32:13 PM

I strongly suggest making this trope No Real Life Examples Please. There are too many eligible examples from history. But long lists of historical factoids provide little or no value to our mission. Tropes are about storytelling, not real life.

Some of these examples could go in a Mythology or Literature section, though.

Oct 7th 2018 at 12:58:06 PM

@Lord Gro I suggest against it. Sorry. History is history, and pretending it's not is like saying it never happened in real life.

Now, non-historical examples, like current events ("the EU is run by a bunch of non-native people who don't represent the country") that could fall under the Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment, but history is be definition the past. And no, that's not what tropes are about. In Tropes Are Tools it says, "Human beings are natural pattern seekers and story tellers. We use stories to convey truths, examine ideas, speculate on the future and discuss consequences. To do this, we must have a basis for our discussion, a new language to show us what we are looking at today. So our storytellers use tropes to let us know what things about reality we should put aside and what parts of fiction we should take up."

Yes, tropes are primarily for storytelling. But if a trope has no grounding in history or reality, it is a Discredited Trope. This is the reason for such things as Truth In Fiction.

Oct 7th 2018 at 1:33:45 PM

I never pretended "history is not history" (whatever that means, though), and not having a real life examples section is not in the least "like saying it never happened in real life."

Tropes do not at all require grounding in history or reality, and your definition of Discredited Trope is just wrong.

Oct 8th 2018 at 12:08:28 PM

I don't see the issue with adding real-life information as long as it's objective and accurate, speaking only of the fact that it happened. In the trope Short Lived Leadership, for example, there are loads of Real Life examples. It's perfectly fine to have them as long as they're not breaking a rule (ROCEJ, applying narrative-specific tropes to real-life events and people, etc). These examples don't break any rule.

Oct 8th 2018 at 4:32:29 PM

  • A Study In Emerald is a crossover between Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos, where Europe's Blue Blood (well, green) are the Lovecraftian monsters that overthrew Earth in centuries past, as well as their hybrid descendants.
    Narrator: She was called Victoria, because she had beaten us in battle, seven hundred years before, and she was called Gloriana, because she was glorious, and she was called the Queen, because the human mouth was not shaped to say her true name.

Oct 10th 2018 at 3:18:54 AM

Should I launch it now?

Oct 10th 2018 at 3:34:13 PM

I never mentioned the Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment. The point being made is that tropes are storytelling tools and therefore, are not meant to represent reality "objectively and accurately". The question is whether tropes can be applied "objectively" to reality at all even if you want to.

I'll give you two points to consider:

1) Did the Normans in post-1066 England consider themselves a foreign ruling class? No, of course not. They had conquered the country fair and square; William was, in their opinion, the rightful heir to the kingdom; it was now their country. You are not a "foreigner" in your own country.

Hence the statement or implication that the Normans were a Foreign Ruling Class is not objective, because it assumes that Anglo-Saxons are the only true Englishmen and assigns "foreigner" status to the Normans.

Of course, this is the way in which this history is usually told in the modern era, in a line of tradition that runs from Ivanhoe over The Adentures Of Robin Hood to Catweazle. This is because we a) have absorbed democratic values and therefore are unlikely to identify with any hereditary ruling class; b) are partial to the ideal of the nation state, where one state is home to exactly one ethnic identity, and all other ethnic identities within the same state are therefore necessarily "foreign". But these perspectives are not inherent in the facts of history, and the perspectives of medieval people were different from ours on both counts.

2) It may be easy to determine when a "foreign rule" begins; it is not easy to determine when it ends. If, as in the case of the Normans, a conqueror people just gradually merges with the conquered people, it is impossible to determine an objective "cut-off date" at which Normans turn into Anglo-Normans or when Anglo-Normans turn into Englishmen.

Is it the point at which people of Norman descent begin to speak of themselves as English? When they cease to speak French? When the same laws apply to Normans and Englishmen? Any criterion you pick means you yourself are deciding what makes an ethnic identity like "the Normans". There is no objective answer.

As I already said: History provides an almost endless reservoir of possible examples for "foreign" ruling classes. Except, of course, whether they are actually foreign is part of the trope, not of history, because what's foreign and what isn't is a matter of perspective. So you are actually projecting perspective into history. Still, you want to be objective; the result is a list of contextless factoids which we would flag as Zero Context examples if they were examples from fictional works. It is essentially useless information heaped up for its own sake. And you don't know how reliable it is, because nobody fact-checks RL folders on TV Tropes.

Already before the trope is even launched, I see cases of bad indentation and obvious shoehorning in the RL folder. No surprise: the Real Life folder is regularly the one with the most shoehorning and the most natter going on. But nobody discusses these examples, nobody makes a selection. Of course, everyone wants to have a RL section; nobody is willing to do the curating footwork. All things considered, most Real Life sections are dead weight on the wiki.

Oct 10th 2018 at 6:14:08 PM

^ While you're right that there ARE examples in the RL folder, I think you're exaggerating the problem with the examples themselves. I don't think it has anything to do with ethnicity or where the rulers end up living- like your point about the Normans. I think the idea is that they're rulers who come from a foreign country- that's it. If England took over the USA today again, they'd be foreign rulers. I think at the very least we could classify the first generation of each rule as a foreign rule as eventually you're right that there'd be no real distinction.

Oct 10th 2018 at 10:09:47 PM

It really depends on the country in question, and how long the foreign ruling class ruled over it, and what the basis of the dividing line was; for example, during Korea's time as a Japanese colony there was always a strong dividing line between Koreans and Japanese. Now, there were Koreans who took Japanese names, served in the Japanese military (where 7 of them became generals), and so on, but Korea was always governed by a Japanese governor-general, and the most prominent landowners, industrialists, and other members of Korea's ruling class were almost all Japanese. That said, if Japan won WWII or was at least able to hold onto Korea after 1945, there's a chance that this line could have become blurred like the Normans in England, with assimilated Koreans being considered fully Japanese or even some kind of hybrid culture emerging (with Korean-born Japanese starting to think of themselves as a separate group from Japan-born Japanese), but as it happened Japan relinquished its hold over Korea in 1945 so from 1910 to 1945 Korea was very much this trope.

Oct 11th 2018 at 12:28:22 AM

Comic Books

  • In The Authority, Sliding Albion is part of an alternate reality in which an alien race called the Blue conquered Italy prior to its formal unification, intermarried with the various ruling families, and then used the resulting mix of political, military, and technological might to take over the rest of the world. Consequently, Albion has a twofold foreign ruling class, as they are taking orders from Italians who are in turn taking orders from the Blue.

Oct 13th 2018 at 4:04:23 AM

I will launch it tonight.

Oct 13th 2018 at 12:43:55 PM

@Luke_the_Great: I'm not implying that Norman England is a general paradigm for all historical societies that could potentially be described with Foreign Ruling Class. What I imply is that Real Life examples provide no benefit to the wiki.

"from 1910 to 1945 Korea was very much this trope"

Real history is not, and never will be "a trope". Because a trope is a storytelling tool.

Oct 13th 2018 at 12:54:57 PM

^ But fiction is modeled after real life. Real Life examples are just showing how the trope is Truth In Television. A trope is indeed a storytelling tool, but that doesn't mean nothing in Real Life fits trope definitions considering all of those tropes were based on things that happen in reality. For example; saying William Henry Harrison did not have a Short Lived Leadership (31 days total) is simply false because, well, his leadership was short lived, regardless of whether or not he's a real person. Saying the Zweihander isn't a BFS despite being 6-feet long is wrong. Ecetera, Ecetera.

Oct 14th 2018 at 12:01:55 PM

Internet access prevented me from launching it yesterday; I will do it now.

Oct 14th 2018 at 12:04:26 PM

Internet access prevented me from launching it yesterday; I will do it now.

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