Release that Witch Chapter 1173
Chapter 1173: I Want All of Them
"I'm only giving you the basic frame of this project. You have to figure out how to implement the policy and coordinate with the other departments yourself. Barov Mons should be supervising the whole project."
"As you command," Barov responded while clapping his hand over his chest.
Roland nodded in satisfaction. After years of training, Barov had learned to obey his order without questioning his authority no matter how unreasonable it seemed to be.
The close and intertwined relationship between each department within the Administrative Office enabled Barov to allocate resources for a big project like this.
"Now, listen carefully," Roland said as he instructed Nightingale to stick a sheet of white cloth to the blackboard. "First is the migration within the Kingdom of Graycastle..."
"Wow..." the crowd exclaimed involuntarily when they saw the content on the canvas.
On the canvas were the several main features of this policy, supplemented with clear instructions in both text and picture formats. This was actually a very crude, primitive powerpoint created by Soraya. As a former engineering student, Roland believed that making slides was one of the basic skills to negotiate with employers. Compared to a lengthy, dry speech, slides would obviously be more visually appealing to audience.
The population structure in Graycastle reflected how manpower was distributed in this particular age. Nobles of a higher rank, after becoming a lord, built their own cities and distributed their lands to their subordinates. With the increase in the population and the accumulation of wealth, big cities gradually found it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves. Subsequently, some city residents moved out to surrounding villages to continue to support those big cities.
As a consequence, cities ceased to expand, creating a huge income gap between the nobles and civilians. Although these large cities appeared to be prosperous and boisterous at the first glance, the population of the surrounding towns and villages was actually much bigger than that of the city they were supporting.
However, Roland knew the fundamental reason for this phenomenon was low productivity. Due to low productivity, civilians were bound by the lands they owned. For the rest of their life, they had no choice but to work laboriously in their fields to support the extravagant lifestyle of the nobles, with little they could keep to themselves.
During the previous years when Roland had been recruiting refugees, the Administrative Office had paid special attention to the change in the local demographic and made a rough estimate. They concluded that the population of Graycasle should be between two million to four million. The wars waged by the second prince and Princess Garcia, and the plague spread by the church had caused a loss of 500,000 to 600,000 in the population and also razed the Eagle City in the Southern Territory and Valencia in the Eastern Region to the ground. Nevertheless, there were still quite a considerable number of people scattered around Graycastle, and only a very small portion of them had chosen to settle down in the Western Region.
But now, Roland was determined to force those people to move here.
It was predicted that they would soon harvest a great quantity of wheat grown from Golden Twos within a month. Meanwhile, high-yield cotton had also been widely grown in the Port of Clearwater. It would not be long before they could supply fabric to people in the entire kingdom. Currently, big cities no longer had to rely on manpower to sustain themselves, for one person could yield products 10 or 20 times they used to.
Further, Roland had, technically, unified Graycastle on an administrative level, as all the power that used to belong to local lords was now held by the central government. The lords would have to obey the orders issued by secondary administrative bodies.
The unification of the kingdom thus provided an excellent opportunity to implement his new migration policy.
The so-called migration equality referred to the equal treatment of any or all citizens' rights to migrate their family members. It was an effective way to reduce conflicts that the mandatory migration policy might spark among the public.
For example, a migrant who used to have two acres of land would be granted the same amount of land by the Administrative Office after he moved to Neverwinter. This strategy would not only expedite the development of the deserted land in the northwest but would also effectively solve the labor shortage problem in Neverwinter.
However, Roland foresaw it was not going to be a pleasant process to drive people out of their native towns to a completely foreign city.
To persuade people to abandon their native land and work in a plant would need a stronger reason than the simple explanation of "emancipation". Historically, the road migrants had trodden on was never unstained with the blood of uncooperative protestors. The government had the nasty tradition of stripping villagers of their properties through illegal purchase and occupation. Some countries even had a history of threatening unemployed refugees to work in factories via legislation and punishments.
Although Roland did not intend anything like this to happen and was actually planning to provide social assistance to migrants, he was determined to restructure the demographic.
He knew what he was doing.
The second requirement was cross-border recruitment, which was basically the same as mandatory migration only that the targetted demographic was residents living beyond Graycastle.
Unlike the Kingdom of Dawn that survived the war, both the Kingdom of Everwinter and the Kingdom of Wolfheart lost their sovereigns after the church's invasion. According to Hill, these two kingdoms had not fully recovered yet. All the lords claimed that they were the blood of the royal families, and nobody seemed to be able to persuade the others.
Given that, it was out of the question to establish a puppet government like Roland had done to the Kingdom of Dawn.
"Do you mean... that we should send the First Army?" Barov blurted out as he saw a new sheet was put onto the board.
"Do you think that the nobles will allow us to take away their properties while doing nothing?" Roland said matter-of-factly as he sipped his tea. "They care about nothing but power, wealth and more lands. They don't give a damn about the demons or the Battle of Divine Will. Of course, we still need to reason with them first. As for whether they accept it or not, that's another story."
"I'll let them yield, Your Majesty," Iron Axe said sternly.
Cross-border recruitment would definitely be more savage than mandatory domestic migration. Without Golden Twos, many civilians would have to relocate to other cities. The loss of population and food would then lead to the destruction of the entire urban ecosystem. It was, therefore, another form of war, only that the loss would be relatively small compared to an aggressive one.
The First Army was the key to this plan.
The population of the Kingdom of Everwinter and the Kingdom of Wolfheart was around 3 million. Except for those killed in the battles against the church, they could provide Neverwinter 1,500,000 immigrants. The relocation might take several years but it would also be the fastest way to increase the population. That was why Roland asked Barov to double the population within a year, or even within half a year.
"Your Majesty, do you have any requirements for those immigrants?" Barov asked. "Like they have to be skilled workers, farmers or literates?"
Roland had screened refugees before, but at that time, due to limited resources, he had not had the liberty to take in all of them. However, things were quite different now.
"No," Roland answered as he clenched his fist. "I want all of them."
"I... I see," Barov said while mopping his sweat-dampened forehead.
"Last but not least," Roland continued as he instructed Nightingale to show the last slide. "The Administrative Office shall encourage births through advertisement, tax reduction and rewards. Although compared to the previous two policies, you won't be able to immediately see the result of this one. However, it's going to be the most important policy in the future."
Roland paused for a second and then said smilingly to his audience, "For this last policy, I hope everyone in this room could set a good example for the public."