Britain in the 70s
Our setting is 1970 magical Great Britain and will progress from there throughout the decade and onward. While most wizards have minimal contact with the muggle world understanding our setting within history is important to play a character who lives during that era. This guide does not encompass all events or moods of the decade it is intended to help you get in the spirit of the period.Politics & Economics -
The start of the decade saw high levels of prosperity and economic growth within the UK. Employment levels were high. However by the mid 70s the tide had turned as UK industrial output and demand slowed. Workers and laborers went on mass strikes to protest as many families faced economic peril. Massive international petrol shortages impacted all aspects of British life. Inflation soared as taxes rose and the economy struggled. Most middle and lower income families struggled to keep up. In Ireland and Northern Ireland the late 1960s saw the start of a 30 year conflict dubbed 'The Troubles'. The Troubles was an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland between those wishing to remain part of the UK and those wishing to join the Republic of Ireland and leave the UK. The Troubles is noted by extreme violence and conflict amongst communities across Northern Ireland. The mid and late 1970s are remembered as one of the darkest periods in modern British and Irish history due to the economic and political turmoil that gripped the UK and escalating violence and conflict in Ireland. Technology -
To us modern muggles the technology of the 1970s might as well be ancient relics. By the 1970s most homes did have a TV, some even started having color TVs! Computers were just starting to be used for automation and calculations in the workplace. Internet access was largely limited to military agencies and would not be readily available for home use for two decades. There were no mobile phones, no laptops, and no Google. Long distance communication was often still done via post instead of e-mail or phone. Of course electricity and magic don't mix, so these items won't be around much in our universe but it's good to know what the muggles were working with!Society -
The 1970s was considered a largely progressive period compared to previous decades. However, in comparison to the society norms of the 2020s the 1970s in the UK would be considered deeply conservative.
For the first time significant strides were made in recognizing communities traditionally ignored and repressed by society. The feminist movement changed the discourse around women's place in society. More women were working outside the home, more women were gaining a voice in public life, and more women were accessing reproductive health access. However, despite these gains sexist behavior towards women was still normal in many regards and gender roles were still quite rigid.
In the 70s persons of color in the UK struggled for rights and access on par with white citizens, especially in work and housing. In 1970 there were 1.4 million people of color living in Britain but immigration laws remained strict requiring non-white persons old an employer work permit or have a parent or grandparent born in the UK to hold citizenship. Labor and inclusion laws passed throughout the 1970s did improve access for people of color in their communities. Though racism and colorism remained common in people's social lives.
By and large gender roles and dynamics were still extremely traditional. While today UK society is open and largely supportive of persons in the LGBTQ community historically this was not the case in the 1970s. Homosexual acts were criminalized in the UK until the late 1960s. While many people thought being gay should not be a crime the public by and large considered homosexuality and gender dysmorphia as a mental illness. While of course LGBTQ people existed in the 1970s they would be much less likely to publicly identify as LGBTQ for fear of severe repercussions from society and their communities. Despite being a period of rapid change overall people's views in the 1970s were more conservative, even persons who considered themselves very modern and liberal, than today.**Note: Floo is an inclusive community. We do not tolerate OOC discrimination based on race, faith, gender, or sexual identity. Please understand that while we openly embrace you for you given the time period the board is set in, some character storylines that work in 2020 may not work in 1970. Magical Society Lore
Although magical folks live in the same world as non-magical folks for the large part it appears their lives are quite separate and significantly different. In the Harry Potter books and films we get a pretty clear picture of what the magical world is like. It is based loosely on society in Victorian era Britain and is distinctly unique from the modern muggle world around it. In order to develop your character it's important to understand the society they will live in as a magical person.Statue of Secrecy -
In the late 1600s magical folk around the world band together to develop a solution to ongoing risks posed by muggles. This was likely prompted in part by the Salem Witch trials and a refusal from the British Monarchs to grant protections to magical people. As a result an international decree was adopted by magical people in many nations to take magical society underground. In 1692 the British Ministry of Magic was formed to manage and protect magical society and persons within the British Isles. The number one law, that remains in place to this day, is no magic in front of muggles. The magical world must remain a secret for the protection of everyone. Due to this statute magical society is very insular with minimal influences from the muggle world carrying on around them.Muggle Relations -
As we saw in the books muggleborn witches and wizards find out about the magical world when it is time for them to attend Hogwarts. In the books and film we see that as adults, educated in the magical arts, these people tend to assimilate into magical society and lead the life of a witch or wizard with minimal - moderate exposure to the muggle world as adults. Laws around magic in front of muggles appear to have some carve outs for live in relations thought apart from persons in their home a magical person should not reveal their abilities to muggles. The magical world has strict laws and protections in place about using muggle artifacts in the wizarding world. As is clearly displayed in the books magical people in mixed relationships with muggles or of mixed heritage may face prejudice from more conservative wizards. Similar disdain seems to be applied to Squibs, persons of magical parentage with no magical ability themselves. Politics
- Wizarding politics have always been somewhat tumultuous. It is often the relationships and proximity to the muggle world and muggles that shape much of wizarding politics. In modern history conflict over wizard's place in the wider world had been an ongoing part of magical politics. The Global Wizarding War started by Gellert Grindelwald in an attempt to abolish the International Statue of Secrecy took place from the late 1920s until Grindelwald was defeated by Albus Dumbledore in 1945. Though they lost their leader, those who wanted to defeat muggles, restore wizards to the top of the global power structure, and abolish the Statue of Secrecy remained active members of society and often, the government.
By the time events take place on Floo there have been a number of recent political movements within the wizarding world. Outcries over the treatment and rights of goblins also caused political conflict in the late 1960s. Squibs led civil rights marches in 1968 & 69 regarding their second class citizen status. Response to these movements came swiftly in the form of pure-blood extremists rioting amidst the marches themselves. Though he has been in Europe for nearly a decade studying and 'working' Tom Riddle, know by 1969 as Lord Voldemort, has returned to the UK where he plans to captain the pureblood movement. This has further emboldened pure-blood supremacists and magical supremacists who have been long awaiting a change and freedom from the Statue if not total domination of muggles themselves. Lifestyle -
We can see from the books and films that wizards lead dynamic, exciting lives. Some wizards live in London, hiding in plain sight amongst muggle dwellings. Some wizards live isolated in the countryside where they are free to express their special flair. Like muggles lifestyle is dependent on many varying factors including heritage, income, and personal interests. From canon it would appear that apart from wizarding areas such as Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and Godric's Hollow most wizards live dispersed across the UK. Wizards appear to largely structure their lives in patterns similar to muggles though wherein children go to school, adults work in or outside the home, and though their world and community are small it is generally an insular, close knit group.Professions -
While in the books we see most professions being within the Ministry or in magical shops there is a wide world available to magical people. Since wizarding society has been separated from muggle society for over 200 years the wizarding world has had to develop industries of its own which would provide a wide array of opportunities for employment and work outside of what we see in the books. Don't be afraid to get creative in the type of magical focused career your adult character has or the aspirations of your student.Aesthetic -
In canon we know that wizards have a unique flair and style. They favor robes over muggle fashions and love bright and eccentric styles. Often we see men wearing robes or suiting with capes, women tend to wear dresses and robes. Wizarding society tends to dislike modern muggle fashions, they find it too bland. At Floo Network we love a fashion moment and encourage characters expressing their own unique style and flair. The 1970s did have some pretty wacky fashion moments, add a wizard or witch to that and we are bound to see some creative looks. Pure-blood Lore
If you are considering making a pure-blood character it is important to understand their unique background as we head into the rise of Lord Voldemort and the First Wizarding War.Being Pure-blood
- In canon pure-blood status is defined as a person who can claim to have 100% magical blood throughout their family lineage with no muggle blood mixed in. It's also widely understood, though seldom discussed, that being 100% pure-blood is all but impossible at this point in history. Most families would have a secret half-blood or two hidden somewhere in the family tree they just refuse to admit to. Being pure-blood is less about the science and more about the history. A list of 28 pure-blood families exists in canon though families who were friendly towards muggles, such as the Potters, were excluded. On Floo we do not limit players to the canon pure-blood families. Players are welcome to create their own pure-blood families.Pure-blood Politics
- Pure-blood supremacy (Bloodism) has always been part of the magical world. Many wizards think their magical abilities and lineage make them superior beings compared to muggles and by extension those with muggle blood. Magical society has long had strife with muggles. Many magical folk feel angry that they are forced to live in secrecy when it is muggles who are inferior to them. Many wizards throughout history have taken to the idea of a new world order in which wizards rule the world and subjugate muggles. This ideology is exactly what will both shape pure-blood culture and give rise to Lord Voldemort during the Floo timeline. While not all pure-bloods become Death Eaters per canon we know a significant portion of pure-bloods supported the ideals of Voldemort to some extent. Of course not all pure-bloods believe that they are superior to muggles. Pure-bloods who support equality are often called blood-traitors and looked down on by other pure-bloods, even their own family though.Influence & Wealth
- It stands to reason that when a family has existed in society for many generations they have time to cultivate influence and power if they want. The same would apply to economics, the longer you have to invest in an economy the greater your assets become, if you're savvy and playing with a good hand. While not all pure-blood families are influential and wealthy we see in canon that a great deal of the people who are influential and wealthy are pure-blood. Influence and wealth in the wizarding world works much like it does in ours. You're either born with a silver spoon and keep it through responsible management and investments or you do something amazing that pays off in spades. Since the wizarding world is modeled after Victorian England we would look to the aristocracy and elites of that era to mirror the kind of wealth and influence our old pure-blood families of means would have. For many of that status work is a way to pass time rather than financially needed. Political roles and jobs are likely used to increase or cement influence in society. Money would likely be put into investments, particularly property and business enterprises. Social circles are small and consist of other elite people. As the wizarding community is relatively small and very insular gaining access to 'the room where it happens' is more likely to happen when everyone knows your family and have for generations. There are of course pure-blood families that are not well to do and are still valuable members of the wider magical community.Pure-blood Society
- On Floo we will see pure-blood society loosely based on aristocratic life in Victorian England based on strong suggestions from canon. Many pure-blood wizards would see their lifestyle, preferences, and practices as the de-facto magical culture. With no muggles in the family to bring additional cultural influences pure-blood wizards would have the strongest ties to wizarding culture overall. Pure-blood society is traditional in it's social behaviors and norms. Members of this social circle would likely be conservative compared to many half-blood and muggleborn peers. Their social practices such as young ladies making a debut into society and marriages being socially engineered by family members seem old fashioned even in the 1970s. Exclusive fancy balls and events are the backdrop to their summers and holiday seasons. Even within this elite society there are levels. Pure-blood families with long lineage and a long history of wealth and status would sit on a rung higher than pure-blood families with 'new money' gained in the most recent generations or those with controversial opinions.