08 December 2006

The Monetary System

The monetary system used in both the Grand Duchy of Stollen and the Electorate of Zichenau (along with the surrounding principalities) is tied closely to that of neighboring Prussia on whose system it is based, albeit with a few distinct features. Stollen and Zichenau’s current monetary system was created in 1528 when the territories were still an integral part of extreme eastern Prussia. Here is how it breaks down:

1 Silver Mark = 14 Thaler = 24 Groschen (3 Polish Gulden) = 60 Schillings = 360 Pfennigs; 1 Groschen = 3 Schillings = 18 Pfennigs; 1 Schilling = 6 Pfennigs.

In the Electorate of Zichenau, there are some slight differences although this does not prevent a one-to-one parity that exists between the two. It is more usual in Zichenau to find Polish Gulden used rather than Groschen, and the Schilling is also rather more common. For large expenditures, i.e., defense budgets, the stock and commodities exchanges, etc., most amounts are calculated in Silver Marks and Thalers.

Much like Frederick the Great, the rulers of Stollen and Zichenau actively pursue the economic development of their countries through the introduction of greater numbers of manufacturers, inviting foreign merchants to set up shop, extending religious tolerance, digging canals to connect rivers, the cultivation of new crops, and so forth. However, Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his counterpart in The Electorate of Zichenau, Prince Sven-Heinrich, lack the vision, focus, and drive of Prussia’s Frederick II.

For instance, it was only in 1763 that Irwin-Amadeus was finally able to get the potato introduced to Stollenian farmers – seven years after Frederick did so in nearby Prussia! So, it is relatively easy to understand why he and “Sven-Heinie”, as Zichenau’s ministers privately refer to their current ruler, have had trouble pushing their small nations forward to the same degree as Frederick’s Prussia.

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