Kojiro wrote:I will note, because of the vast distances involved, if there was no FTL, this would have made the Butlerian Jihad a long and protracted effort. Armies would be spending years, decades, or even centuries in ships as they made their way from one star to another.
I assume that space-folding was discovered long before the Butlerian Jihad. Sometime between 3000 and 2000 B.G., in fact.
We know that the Landsraad was established around 2,000 years before the Jihad. Why so late? (Humans would have been traveling through space for around 9,000 years by that point.) Why wouldn't humanity have established a body like that in the earliest days of space exploration and colonization? (FH obviously had no problem imagining institutions existing for disbelief-begging millennia.) I assume the answer is because they couldn't (because without FTL they couldn't assemble for meetings in a timely fashion) and they really had no need (there were no issues, events or problems affecting everyone; everything was a local matter). Then someone comes along and applies Holzmann's theories in the right way and BOOM, space-folding creates the possibility of travel and trade between far-flung and formerly isolated systems ... but also enables piracy and military incursions. The Landsraad or its precursors would then have arisen either as a way of regulating trade and organizing common defense against aggression OR as a democratic response to a centralized imperial entity. It would have been a slow, gradual process, and that's why I give it anywhere from several hundred to a thousand years.
The small number of Landsraad-represented worlds just after the Jihad (only just over 13,000 after 11,000 years?) and limited spatial dispersion of the core of the Old Empire (everything within a sphere of maybe 500 LY?) also indicate, to me, a long period of very slow expansion, again arguing against FTL.
Lots of speculation and my rationalization of things in the appendices, for what it's worth. I personally prefer no FTL at all in the Duniverse to any hint of the standard vroom-vroom nonsense of most scifi and especially the pulp bullshit offered up steaming in the McDune books.