Lord of M'i

The Hon. Kjung Mrus, Lord of M′i PC J (Shinasthana: 迷侯, m′i-go; Jan. 2, 1810 – Oct. 30, 1891) was a Themiclesian aristocrat, civil servant, jurist, and Conservative politician, twice Prime Minister of Themiclesia from 1878 to 1880 and 1886 to 1888. M′i is most noted for his attempts to stay the rise of the Lord of Krungh and his New Conservatism; due to disunity in his party and a preference for reaction, his government's achievements in other fields were considerably limited.

Early life

He was born the third son of Kjung Hus-ning (恭好年), the second Lord of M′i. He was first educated privately then at Academia Shinasthana, becoming a master of laws and called to the bar in 1844. Though not expected to inherit the title, the House of Lords convicted his father and elder brother for embezzling money in the Themiclesian Navy in 1851, disinheriting both of them and causing the title to pass to him by default.[1] That his father was alive and a commoner while he a peer was a life-long cause for shame and anxiety for him, and he chose not to take his seat in parliament. He was made sixth justice of the Supreme Court in 1863.

Career

Public Works Secretary

At the behest of the Lord of Nja-'rjum (女陰侯, nja′-′rjum-go; prime minister 1866 – 69), he entered politics as Secretary of State for Public Works in his short-lived ministry. His opponents were not prepared for his sharp mind and deep involvement in public projects, judging them not for the affiliation of their sponsors but tangible merits, such as expected expenses and opportunistic savings. On the other hand, he believed that a willingness to disregard aristocratic rights also was one for commoners' rights. In court and in parliament, he sought to harmonize Themiclesian legal traditions with Casaterran thought, defending those accepted in both and critically assessing where they disagreed.

Leader of the Opposition

Becoming the leader of the Conservative Party in 1869, his relative youth was sometimes an impediment to leadership. After the Liberal Party, under the Lord of Sng'rja and Lord T'jang-mjen, maintained their majority in the election that year, M′i used his oratory eloquence to critique the govenrment, and the Liberal government responded to M′i's acrid criticism by moving ministers from the upper to lower house and introduced most policies in the House of Commons, where they dominated. M′i then relied on Krungh (who sat as Lord Gwrjang-goi in the Commons) to offer opposition to the government. Yet the death of Krungh's father in 1871 moved him to the upper house, M′i losing his ally in the lower. In the election of 1873, Krungh was convinced that contemporary Conservatives were too skeptical of a larger role for government. Both were cognizant of calls to expand the franchise in various degrees, but M′i believed the time was too early for "franchise for every man", while Krungh though they should be enfranchised at a debt to the Conservatives. As a result, the party appealed both to skepticism of government involvement in industry, under T'jang-mjen's manifesto, being too risky, and to an equitable sharing of profits between capitalists and labourers. The Conservatives lost to Lord T'jang-mjen's Liberals, who convinced the electorate the Conservatives had a contradictory platform without addressing M′i's doubts.

Late in T'jang-mjen's government, Krungh started to make speeches to the unenfranchised public and using his personal money to fund candidates who believed government had a direct role in improving the lot of the working man. Against M′i's injunction, Krungh began politicizing the 95% adult population that up to that point had no political voice, fully confident he could "capture their hearts" even if he could not secure a vote for them.[2] M′i, believing the law that excluded the masses from politics must be obeyed, and their inclusion introduced an unwanted dimension to politics, was exasperated at Krungh's unorthodoxy but did nothing to remove him or prevent him from financially sponsoring candidates for the Commons. While he had his own pocket seats, he was not as wealthy as Krungh and more hesitant to spend competitively on elections, turning them into "bribery-contests". Many believe this is a result of the conviction of his father and brother, and M′i didn't want to be seen using money in public life.

First premiership

Krungh's idea of appealing to non-voters applied sufficient pressure on voters to produce a nominal Conservative majority in 1878; however, since Krungh's faction didn't feel bound by M′i's directives, M′i's first government effectively held a minority instead. Increasingly dissatisfied with Krungh's assertive politics, M′i distanced himself from him but did not oppose making him Secretary of State for Appropriations. [...] M′i's support in the House of Commons thus became suspect. 24 MPs crossed the floor, enabling the Liberals to press for a general election, which M′i conceded on Mar. 2, 1880.

Leader of the Opposition

While Krungh did not sit as a different party, he was far estranged from M′i and encouraged candidates to run as Conservatives, sometimes in conflict with M′i's Conservatives; splitting the Conservative vote, L'ong-mjen's Liberals emerged with a majority in the Commons. L'ong-mjen pressed for urgent investigations of peers for malfeasances and successfully unseated 15 Conservative peers by 1885 for crimes. On the other hand, 13 of them were closer to Krungh than M′i, which strengthened M′i's position relative to Krungh's, at the expense of the overall Conservative position in the upper house. This further alienated the two party leaders during L'ong-mjen's six-year premership, but the two reconciled with each other in 1885, after the election has been called. Krungh continued to provoke the masses into pressuring their employers to change the way they voted, while M′i withdrew candidates where Krungh believed he had superior ones. Krungh survived what may have been an assassination attempt, which he implied was instigated by the Liberals.

Second premiership

The reunified Conservative Party won the election, but L′ong-mjen began to attack Krungh's faction in parliament, contrasting its electoral commitments with its actual parliamentary activity, which damaged Krungh's reputation and cast doubt on Conservative MPs that were not affiliated with Krungh. However, M′i decided to follow a set of policies that benefited the aristocracy as a whole, in order to consolidate Conservative support in the upper house. Due to Krungh's electoral rhetoric, Conservative MPs found this set of policies difficult to accept, since they were against the interest of almost every commons electorate. From the other side of the House, L'ong-mjen called for cross-party support to oppose the "restoration of aristocratic privileges" championed by M′i. That put his government into serious question yet again in the House of Commons. After a series of mismanaged crises, the Conservative parliamentary party again crumbled in the Commons, with progressive Conservatives (favouring regulation) supporting Krungh, and regressive Conservatives supporting M′i and his pro-aristocracy policy goals. Krungh again split from M′i and flirted with co-operation with L'ong-mjen, who was restored to power in 1889.

Personal life

In late 1890, M′i travelled to Maracaibo for a private vacation. Much of the Conservative Party did not wish him to leave, seeing him as a leader for the more conservative faction of the party. However, he declared that he was too tired to continue the party's patronage work and asked the running committee to appoint someone on his behalf instead. Having rented a home in Maracaibo City, he died for unclear reasons there a few months later, aged 80. He did not give an address to his Themiclesian connections, effectively severing himself from politics during his stay there. After his death, his remains were repatriated to Themiclesia at the behest of his family.

Reception

The Lord of M′i is generally considered an unsuccessful prime minister, despite his personal brilliance and character. Some scholars state that the Conservative Party of the late 19th century lacked a positive idea unifying its ranks and electorate and was instead based on skepticism of reforms and interests that Liberals have neglected to protect or represent. Such a party, according to C. E. Lawrence, "is good at opposition but not at government". Indeed, in both permierships, M′i faced insurmontable divisions in his own party in ideology and politics. Some such divisions occurred on fault lines in patronage support, others on completely-contradictory views about the outlook of th enation, and still others on differing structural interests between the Commons and Lords. The fact that his most potent ally, the Lord of Krungh, was also his main opponent in the party, suggests that he had very little ability to exert personal influence over either the Conservative Party in the Commons or Lords and motivate them to support him. Both his ministries were disunited internally and quagmired in difficult commitments to the Liberal Party, and co-operation between the chambers was erratic, exposing it to Liberal criticism. While the Krungh attempted to remedy these problems, his apparent lack of principles and aggressive giving of patronage, against other Conservative magnates, made M′i weary and increasingly suspicious over his career.

Ministries

First ministry

Cabinet ministers in bold.

Position Holder
Tyrannian Shinasthana Transliteration
Prime Minister 尚書令 ′djang′-st′ja-ringh Lord of M′i
Chancellor 相邦 smjangh-prong
Vice Chancellor 丞相 djêng-smjangh
President of Tribunes 御史大夫 ngjah-s.rje′-ladh-pja
Gallery Marshal 郎中令 rang-trjung-ringh
Gallery Captain 郎中司馬 rang-trjung-slje-mra′
Attendant-Cavalry Captain 郎中從騎司馬 rang-trjung-dzjung-gjar-slje-mra′
Chief Usher 大謁者  ladh-′jat-tja′
Deputy Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
左僕射
主客尚書
dzar′-bok-mljagh
tjo′-k.r′ak-′djang′-st′ja
Lord Steward of the Palace 殿中監 denh-trjung-k.ram
Under-Secretary of State for Hemithea and Meridia 左主客郎 dzar′-tjo′-kr′ak-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Casaterra 右主客郎 gwrje′-tjo′-kr′ak-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Ceremonies 儀曹郎 ngjai-dzaw-rang
Comptroller of States 屬邦 tjo′-prong
Comptroller of Embassies 典客 den′-kr′ak
Deputy Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Rites
右僕射
祠部尚書
gwrje′-bok-mljagh
sl′je-be′-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Education 祠部郎 sl′je-be′-rang
Chancellor of Academia Shinasthana 大學監 ladh-gruk-k.ram
Comptroller of the Ancestry 宗正 tsung-tjêngh
Comptroller of Ceremonies 奉常 bjong′-djang
Superintendant of Secret Books 秘書監 mbrjik-st′ja-k.ram
Secretary of State for Appropriations 度支尚書 dagh-kjê-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Treasury 金部倉部郎 krjem-be′-ts′ang-be′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Revenues 內郎 nubh-rang
Inner Administrator 內史 nubh-s.rje′
Great Exchequer 邦大內 prong-ladh-nubh
Minor Exchequer 邦少內 prong-smjaw′-nubh
Exchequer of the States 屬邦內 tjo′-prong-nubh
Privy Treasurer 少府 smjaws-pjo′
Comptroller of Waters 水黃令 sl′jur-gwrang-ringh
Marine Prefect 都水使者 ta-sl′jur-s′rje′-tja
Secretary of State for War 十七兵尚書 gjep-sn′jit-prjang-′djang′-st′ja
Marshal of Sk′ên′-ljang Guards 顯陽衛尉 sk′ên′-ljang-gwrjaih-′judh
Marshal of Middle Guards 中衛尉 trjung-gwrjaih-′judh
Marshal of Gwreng-l′junh Guards 宏訓衛尉 gweng-l′junh-gwrjaih-′judh
Marshal of Gweng-ngjarh Guards 弘義衛尉 gwreng-ngjaih-gwrjaih-′judh
Marshal of Pek Guards 北宮衛尉 pek-kjung-gwrjaih-′judh
Capital Marshal 中尉 trjung-′judh
Master of the Horse 太僕 ladh-bok
Comptroller of Manufactories 將作少府 dzjangh-dzak-smjaw′-pjo′
Under-Secretary of State for Munitions 寺工室郎 lje′-kong-stjit-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Militias 中外兵郎 trjung-ngwadh-prjang-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Territorial Forces 別兵郎 brjêt-prjang-rang
Under-Secretary of State for War Departments 諸兵曹郎 tja-prjang-dzaw-rang
Secretary of State for the Navy 航尚書 gang-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Shipbuilding 章部郎 tjang-be′-rang
Secretary of State for Home Affairs 民部尚書 mrjing-be′-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Census 左民曹郎 dzar′-mrjing-dzaw-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Census 右民曹郎 gwrje′-mrjing-dzaw-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Police 良人郎 rjang-njing-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Lakes and Fisheries 水部郎 sl′jur-be′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Surveys 左田部郎 dzar′-lin-be′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Surveys 右田部郎 gwrje′-lin-be′-rang
Secretary of State for Administration 吏部尚書 rjegh-be′-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Local Affairs 二千石曹郎 njidh-sn′ing-djak-dzaw-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Patronage 廕部郎 ′rjum-be′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Strategy 虞曹郎 ngwja-dzaw-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Assessments 比部曹郎 prji′-be′-dzaw-rang
Secretary of State for Public Works 起部尚書 k′rje-be′-′djang′-st′ja
Under-Secretary of State for Poor Relief 平準郎 brjêng-tljur′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Railways 鐵路郎 l′ik-ragh-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Highways 駕部郎 krarh-be′-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Unions 工會郎 kong-kobh-rang
Under-Secretary of State for Local Works 都官曹郎 ta-kwar-dzaw-rang
Leader of the House of Commons 中書僕射 trjung-st′ja-bok-mljagh
Gentlemen in Waiting 給事中 kjep-dzrje′-trjung
Marshal of Peers 主爵中尉 tjo′-tsjawk-trjung-′judh
Lords in Waiting 侍中 lje′-trjung
President of the Privy Council 中大夫令 trjung-ladh-pja-ringh

Second ministry

Cabinet ministers in bold.

Position Holder
Tyrannian Shinasthana
Prime Minister 尚書令 The Lord of M′i
Chancellor 相邦
Vice Chancellor 丞相
President of Tribunes 御史大夫
Marshal of the Gallery 郎中令
Privy Treasurer 少府
Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 左僕射主客尚書
Lord Steward of the Palace 殿中監
Under-Secretary of State for Hemithea and Meridia 左主客郎
Under-Secretary of State for Casaterra 右主客郎
Under-Secretary of State for Ceremonies 儀曹郎
Comptroller of States 屬邦
Comptroller of Embassies 典客
Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Rites 右僕射祠部尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Education 祠部郎
Chancellor of Academia Shinasthana 大學監
Comptroller of the Ancestry 宗正
Comptroller of Ceremonies 奉常
Superintendant of Secret Books 秘書監
Secretary of State for Appropriations 度支尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Treasury 金部倉部郎
Under-Secretary of State for Revenues 內郎
Inner Administrator 內史
Secretary of State for War 十七兵尚書
Marshal of Hên-lang Guards 顯陽衛尉
Marshal of Middle Guards 中衛尉
Marshal of Gwreng-hljunh Guards 宏訓衛尉
Marshal of Gweng-ngjarh Guards 弘義衛尉
Marshal of Pek Guards 北宮衛尉
Capital Marshal 中尉
Master of the Horse 太僕
Comptroller of Manufactories 將作少府
Under-Secretary of State for Munitions 寺工室郎
Under-Secretary of State for Militias 中外兵郎
Under-Secretary of State for Territorial Forces 別兵郎
Under-Secretary of State for War Departments 諸兵曹郎
Secretary of State for the Navy 航尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Shipbuilding 章部郎
Comptroller of Waters 水黃令
Marine Prefect 都水使者
Secretary of State for Home Affairs 民部尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Census 左民曹郎
Under-Secretary of State for Census 右民曹郎
Under-Secretary of State for Police 良人郎
Under-Secretary of State for Lakes and Fisheries 水部郎
Under-Secretary of State for Surveys 左田部郎
Under-Secretary of State for Surveys 右田部郎
Secretary of State for Administration 吏部尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Local Affairs 二千石曹郎
Under-Secretary of State for Patronage 廕部郎
Under-Secretary of State for Strategy 虞曹郎
Under-Secretary of State for Assessments 比部曹郎
Secretary of State for Public Works 起部尚書
Under-Secretary of State for Poor Relief 平準郎
Under-Secretary of State for Railways 鐵路郎
Under-Secretary of State for Highways 駕部郎
Under-Secretary of State for Unions 工會郎
Under-Secretary of State for Local Works 都官曹郎
Leader of the House of Commons 中書僕射
Gentlemen in Waiting 給事中
Marshal of Peers 主爵中尉
Lords in Waiting 侍中
President of the Privy Council 中大夫令

Notes

  1. The second legitimate son died in infancy.
  2. Krungh followed the Lord of Tek-lang, who once said "the aristocracy is in debt to commoners for its prestige, power, and money; this debt must be paid for somehow, or one day be made to pay." He believed that hoi polloi had a legitimate political voice that could both be used to negotiate concessions from the "purple of commerce", and they would be grateful to the aristocracy for enabling them this way. The New Policy was thus aimed to empower the masses as a means to protect the aristocracy.

See also