Colonial nation

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Colonial ideas

For colonial nations.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Development cost
+0.5 Yearly republican tradition

Possible advisors.png Founding Fathers

−15% Advisor costs

Provincial trade power modifier.png Continental Trade

+25% Provincial trade power modifier

Missionary strength.png Religious Outposts

+2% Missionary strength

Idea cost.png Free Thinkers

−10% Idea cost

Regiment cost.png Colonial Militia

−10% Regiment cost

Global settler increase.png New Frontiers

Adjacent provinces of a colony are revealed.
+20 Global settler increase

Leader(s) without upkeep.png Liberty Heroes

+1 Leader(s) without upkeep

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+10% Morale of armies

Colonial nations are a unique form of subject state available to any colonial power and can form in the Americas and Australia. They are not playable without the Conquest of Paradise DLC.

Formation of colonial nations[edit]

Colonial regions were exclusive to the American continent until patch 1.6, when Colonial-Australia was added

The New World and Australia is divided into several ‘colonial regions’ for the purpose of forming colonial nations. Colonial nations form if five cored overseas provinces exist in a single colonial region. Whether these cores are part of territories or states makes no difference; even if the colonizer makes a territory in a colonial region into a state, the corresponding colonial nation will still be formed. Whether the provinces are gained by conquest or colonization likewise does not matter.

A colonial power may have multiple colonial nations under its rule. They do not use up diplomatic relation slots.

As most colonial regions contain many more than five provinces, it is possible for multiple colonial nations from different colonizing countries to form in the same colonial region.

Nations with their capitals in colonial regions will not form colonial nations, even if they take land in another continent. For example, if the Flag of Iroquois Iroquois (in North America) colonize Brazil (in South America), the colonized land will remain under direct Iroquois control.

There are twelve colonial regions in the game, eleven in the Americas and one covering Australia and New Zealand.

List of colonial regions[edit]

Continent Colonial region Colour Key provinces
North America Colonial Alaska
North America Colonial Canada IICOT: Hochelega (993), Winnipeg (1008)

Estuary: Stadacona (994), Muskegon (1005)

North America Colonial Eastern America IICOT: Honniasont (2555)

INH: Massachusetts (968)
Estuary: Santee (932), Chesapeake (950), Lenape (956), Manhattan (965)

North America Colonial Louisiana IICOT: Tamaroa (900), Potawatomi (944)

Estuary: Chitimacha (893)

North America Colonial California Estuary: Chinook (873)
North America Colonial Mexico ICOT: Cuetlaxtlan (2647)

IICOT: Pueblo (880)
INH: Tlapanec (849)
Estuary: Coahuilteco (2499)

North America Colonial Caribbean INH: Havana (484), Barahonas (490)
South America Colonial Colombia INH: Cartagena (828), Panama (835)

Estuary: Guayaquil (819)

South America Colonial Peru ICOT: Lima (809)

IICOT: Chuquiabo (802)

South America Colonial La Plata IICOT: Asuncion (775)

INH: Picunmapu (787)
Estuary: Rio de la Plata (778)

South America Colonial Brazil IICOT: Manaus (2934)

INH: Bahia (756), Rio de Janeiro (763)

Oceania Colonial Australia INH: Eora (1090)


The flag of New Spain, a Spanish Colonial nation in Mexico, taking the left half of the flag of Flag of Spain Spain with a shade of yellow (color of the Colonial Mexico region) on the right.

When a colonial nation is formed, the flag used to represent the nation is generated by dimidiating the motherland's flag with a solid strip of colour. This colour varies, depends on the colour of the colonial region of the colonial nation. If the motherland's flag changes (e.g., if the motherland is Castile, and Castile forms Spain or if the overlord is annexed), the colony's flag will change as well.


Most of the colonial nations have names based on the overlord however some have historically relevant names. The table below lists all possible names.

Name Colonial region Motherland Further triggers
Pacifico Norte Colonial Alaska Spain
Alyeska Colonial Alaska Russian culture
Alaska Colonial Alaska
Aleutia Colonial Alaska
New [Root.GetName] Colonial Alaska
Colonial Canada Brunswick
Colonial Eastern America  
Colonial Louisiana  
Colonial California  
Colonial Mexico  
Colonial Caribbean  
Colonial Colombia  
Colonial Peru  
Colonial La Plata  
Colonial Brazil  
Colonial Australia  
[Root.GetAdjective] Canada Colonial Canada France, French culture group
Acadia Colonial Canada France or French culture group
Nouvelle-Écosse Colonial Canada France is the overlord of Scotland, is allied with Scotland or owns a province in the Highlands or Lowlands
Newfoundland Colonial Canada Great Britain or England
[Root.GetAdjective] Quebec Colonial Canada Great Britain or England
Laurentia Colonial Canada Great Britain or England
Borealia Colonial Canada Great Britain or England
Nova Scotia Colonial Canada Great Britain or England Scotland does not exist and owns a province in the Highlands or Lowlands
Lavrador Colonial Canada Portugal
Newfoundland Colonial Canada Iroquois
Vinland Colonial Canada Scandinavian culture group
Nova Hollandia Colonial Canada Netherland, Holland or Dutch culture
[Root.GetAdjective] Canada Colonial Canada  
Labrador Colonial Canada  
Manitoba Colonial Canada owns Manitoba (1010)
Hudson Bay Colonial Canada  
Rupert's Land Colonial Canada  
Thirteen Colonies Colonial Eastern America Great Britain or England
Nouvelle-Flandre Colonial Eastern America France or French culture group owns Vlaanderen (90)
Floride Colonial Eastern America France or French culture group
Florida Colonial Eastern America Spain
Massachusetts Colonial Eastern America owns Massachusetts (968)
Connecticut Colonial Eastern America owns Connecticut (2010)
Manhattan Colonial Eastern America owns Manhattan (965)
Delaware Colonial Eastern America owns Delaware (957)
Conoy Colonial Eastern America owns Conoy (953)
Alabama Colonial Eastern America owns Alabama (924)
Virginia Colonial Eastern America  
[Root.GetAdjective] Louisiana Colonial Louisiana France or French culture group
Manitounie Colonial Louisiana France or French culture group
Illinois Colonial Louisiana France or French culture group owns Illinois (915), Kaskaskia (916) or Cahokia (917)
owns Illinois (915), Kaskaskia (916) or Cahokia (917)
[Root.GetAdjective] Louisiana Colonial Louisiana  
Mississippi Colonial Louisiana  
Ohio Colonial Louisiana owns Ohio (948)
Missouri Colonial Louisiana owns Tamaroa (900) or Missouri (902)
Arkansas Colonial Louisiana owns Quapaw (897)
Michigan Colonial Louisiana owns Potawatomi (944) or Michigan (945)
Wisconsin Colonial Louisiana owns Sauk (912), Mesquakie (913) or Winnebago (914)
Iowa Colonial Louisiana owns Iowa (905)
Sisseton Colonial Louisiana owns Sisseton (908)
Kansas Colonial Louisiana owns Kansas (898)
Nebraska Colonial Louisiana owns Pawnee (901) or Omaha (903)
Yankton Colonial Louisiana owns Yanktonai (906) or Yankton (907)
[Root.GetAdjective] Columbia Colonial California Great Britain or England Britsh culture group
New Albion Colonial California Great Britain or England Britsh culture group
California Colonial California  
Oregon Colonial California  
Cascadia Colonial California  
New Spain Colonial Mexico Spain
New Castile Colonial Mexico Castile
[Root.GetAdjective] Mexico Colonial Mexico  
Yucatan Colonial Mexico  
Guatemala Colonial Mexico  
Texas Colonial Mexico  
Belize Colonial Mexico owns Belize (843)
Nicaragua Colonial Mexico owns Nicaragua (837)
Panama Colonial Mexico owns Panama (835)
Honduras Colonial Mexico owns Belize (840)
Hispaniola Colonial Caribbean Spain owns Les Cayes (488), Tortuga (489) and Barahonas (490)
Castile owns Les Cayes (488), Tortuga (489) and Barahonas (490)
Aragon owns Les Cayes (488), Tortuga (489) and Barahonas (490)
Isla Juana Colonial Caribbean Spain owns Havana (484), Moron (485) and Guantanamo (486)
Castile owns Havana (484), Moron (485) and Guantanamo (486)
Aragon owns Havana (484), Moron (485) and Guantanamo (486)
Antilles Colonial Caribbean France or French culture group
Cuba Colonial Caribbean owns Havana (484), Moron (485) and Guantanamo (486)
Caraibas Colonial Caribbean Portugal
Antilhas Colonial Caribbean Portugal
[Root.GetAdjective] West Indies Colonial Caribbean  
West Indies Colonial Caribbean  
The Caribbean Colonial Caribbean  
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Montserrat, Gonave, Aruba, Bonaire, Mustique, Bequia, Grenada, Dulcina, Barbuda, Abaco, Eleuthera, Sabinal, Saona, Mayreau, Anguilla, Anegada, Tortola, Alcarraza, Mayaguana, Saint Croix, Vieques or Roatan Colonial Caribbean  
New Granada Colonial Colombia Spain owns Granada (223)
Castile owns Granada (223)
Aragon owns Granada (223)
[Root.GetAdjective] Colombia Colonial Colombia  
[Root.GetAdjective] Peru Colonial Peru  
Cajamarca Colonial Peru owns Cajamarca (813)
Lima Colonial Peru owns Lima (809)
Cuzco Colonial Peru owns Cuzco (809)
Argentine Colonial La Plata British culture group
Rio da Prata Colonial La Plata Portugal
Transplatina Colonial La Plata Portugal
[Root.GetAdjective] La Plata Colonial La Plata  
[Root.GetAdjective] Paraguay Colonial La Plata  
[Root.GetAdjective] Chile Colonial La Plata  
Argentina Colonial La Plata  
Uruguay Colonial La Plata owns Uruguay(772)
[Root.GetAdjective] Brazil Colonial Brazil Portugal
Terra de Vera Cruz Colonial Brazil Portugal is Christian
Granada Al-Jadida Colonial Brazil Morocco, Granada or Algiers is Muslim
Rio Grande Colonial Brazil owns Rio Grande (753)
Bahia Colonial Brazil owns Bahia (756)
Australia Colonial Australia Great Britain or England
Tierra Austral Colonial Australia Spain
Terre Australe Colonial Australia France or French culture group
New Holland Colonial Australia Netherlands, Holland or Dutch culture
[Root.GetAdjective] Australia Colonial Australia  
Terra Australis Colonial Australia  

If no name is available (because none of the names defined for the colonial region have triggers that are satisfied by this colonial nation, because all the names for which this colonial nation satisfies the triggers were already used by other colonial nations, or because no names were defined for the colonial region), the colonial nation will be named after a province of its parent country--e.g., "New London" or "New Paris".


The motherland gets variable tariffs from their colonial subjects. These tariffs are calculated on the basis of the total income of the colonial nation. The motherland receives the full amount of tariffs while the colonial nation only loses 50%.[1] The default tariff rate of a newly formed colonial nation is 10%.[2] The liberty desire of the colonial nation is increased by 0.5% per percentage point tariff rate.[2] The motherland can adjust this rate separately for each colonial subject in the subjects interface with the Increase Tariffs.png ‘Increase Tariffs’/Decrease Tariffs.png ‘Decrease Tariffs’ interactions.

There are also frequent events that present an option to raise tariffs for a particular colonial nation at the expense of some liberty desire. This is generally the preferred method to manage tariff levels as it will not cost any administrative monarch power.

A colonial fleet is not necessary to maintain and transport income home from the colonies.

Global tariffs[edit]

The Global tariffs.png ‘Global Tariffs’ modifier of the motherland will increase the tariff efficiency and thus the value of the tariffs collected from its colonial subjects, at no additional cost to those colonial nations. Extra ducats of the listed amount will simply be generated ex nihilo and added to the motherland's treasury.

\text{tariff efficiency} = \text{tariff rate} \cdot \left( 100% +  \sum\text{global tariffs} \right)

A country gets global tariffs modifier through:

Global tariffs.png Conditions
+25% trading in Slaves.png slaves
+25% a Parliament.png parliament and ‘Colonial Taxation’ as active issue
+10% a Advisor Colonial governor.png colonial governor as advisor

Ideas and policies:

Global tariffs.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Economic-Exploration: The Stamp Act
  • Portuguese ambition
  • Exploration idea 5: Viceroys
  • Spanish idea 5: Treasure Fleet
  • Expansion-Plutocratic: Taxation with Representation
  • Exploration-Religious: Colonial Restrictions
  • Influence-Expansion: Overseas Dominions
  • Naval-Expansion: Supply Convoys

Subject interaction[edit]

Main article: Subject_nation#Subject_interactions

As of 1.12, it is now possible to interact with a vassal. This is done through the Subject Interaction section of the Subject Menu.

Liberty desire[edit]

Main article: Subject nation#Liberty desire

As all subjects, colonies have Liberty desire.png liberty desire ranging from 0 to 100. The main determinants of liberty desire are tariff rate, relations, and relative military strength.

As long as the liberty desire is below 50%, the colonial nation is unable to declare independence, and foreign nations cannot support its independence. Two disloyal colonies may form an alliance with each other, letting each call the other into an independence war.

Expanding colonial nations[edit]

Colonial nations will automatically acquire ownership of any province in its designated colonial region that its overlord has taken ownership of. The overlord does not need to have a core on these provinces for this transfer of ownership to occur. This automatic transfer of province ownership makes colonial nations an important tool for expansion by conquest in the New World, as the overlord merely needs to acquire ownership of provinces in a peace deal, and may then leave the colonial nation to deal with the associated coring costs and overextension penalties.

Colonial nations can be sold provinces within 2 provinces of its colonial region. If the overlord had cores in these provinces, the colonial nation will gain a core as well. Provinces crossing one body of water can also be sold.

Colonial nations controlled by the AI can no longer create their own colonial nations due to a restriction that a country with a its capital in a colonial region cannot create colonial nations at all, this does not change when the former colonial nation achieves independence.

Bureaucratic candidates with high administrative skills are ideal governors for an expanding colonial nation, as this will address the need for Administrative power.png administrative power in both coring provinces and expansion ideas. (As of patch 1.8 colonial nations elect their own leaders so this is only noteworthy if one is playing as a colony, though one may still wish to replace the colonial governors, as the overlord, if the colonial nation has a weak administrative leader or has low stability.)

Players that have the El Dorado.png ‘El Dorado’ expansion enabled can use the ‘Treaty of Tordesillas’ mechanics. It requires the player to be Catholic, to be the first to form a colonial nation in a colonial region (or to force the current holder out of the region — i.e., if Portugal has the right to the Caribbean, fully annexing them will transfer that right to the conqueror), and to have more than 50 relations with the Papal State. It will give a +10 bonus to settler growth for colonizing in that region, while other Catholic nations suffer a -20 penalty to settler growth and a stacking -50 relations penalty with the Papal States and the claimant country. Protestant nations are unaffected by any Treaty of Tordesillas claims.

Diplomacy and warfare[edit]

Colonial nations can form alliances with and declare war on primitives. Their ability to declare war is restricted to neighbors.

A colonial nation can declare war on colonial subjects of another motherland unless the mother countries were allied. It can only take bordering or coastal provinces in the peace deal.

Unlike in a traditional vassal relationship, the mother country is not automatically involved in these wars, even if the colonial nation is attacked. If the war is going badly for a colonial nation, however, the mother country can try to put a stop to it before everything gets out of hand. The colonial power can try to enforce a peace settlement on the power that is threatening the subject colony. If the target of this request refuses, then the imperial power will join that war – as will the mother country of any other involved colonial nation.

However, a colonial nation is unable to declare war on any other state on its own. If a regular established country declares war on a colonial nation, the colony is treated like an ally or vassal and the motherland is automatically called into the war.

Independence war[edit]

A colonial nation's war for independence will call on any foreign allies that had pledged to support its freedom.

If a colony wins an independence war, it forms a new nation, free of ties to the mother country. The colonial nation will form its own government at this point, with the choices of Administrative Republic, Administrative Monarchy, Noble Republic and Merchant Republic. Several formable nations exist for former colonial countries; it may form one when the war is over.

However, a colony that loses such a war keeps the tariff level at where the overlord set it before the conflict, and the Colonial Nation’s desire for liberty will be lowered by 15-25 points after the defeat, depending on whether the player chooses to kill or spare the colonial leader. It will then slowly climb back (by the default 1% per year) to the default level for a given tariff rate.

Elimination of the overlord[edit]

If a colonial nation's overlord is fully annexed or otherwise removed from the game, one of two things will happen:

  • If the colony has already declared an independence war, it will be treated as successful. The colony will become independent, likely changing to a new tag in the process.
  • If the colony has not declared independence, however, control will be transferred to whoever gained control of the former overlord's capital. This is worth keeping in mind when considering hostilities with colonial empires, as well as when negotiating peace.

Other bonuses and penalties[edit]

  • A colonial nation has -80% bonus to convert culture cost once provinces are annexed and converted to its religion. (On the other hand, it also has its own set of accepted cultures separate from the parent, so it won't necessarily need to do this.)
  • A colonial nation cannot establish colonies outside its colonial region (even if it is within its colonial range) unless it borders the target province directly.
  • Colonial nations provide their overlord with 50% of their trade power.
  • Each colonial nation increases their overlord's naval force limit by 10.
  • Each colonial nation of more than 10 provinces increases their overlord's land force limit by 5.
  • Each colonial nation (of at least 10 provinces) increases their overlord's global trade power by 5%.
  • If El Dorado is enabled, colonial nations with 10 or more provinces provide their overlord with an extra merchant. If it has gold provinces, every once in a while it sends a treasure fleet, providing the overlord with a large sum of money (and inflation). But only as long as the overlord's home trade port is downstream from the colonial nation's.


The tag that makes it playable to be a colonial nation is 'C00', followed by 'C01', 'C02', 'C03' and so on, from the order that they were formed and from the game's starting overlord.


Turn the Table icon
As a colony, break free and vassalize your former overlord without forming any other nation..
Subject nations Client stateColonial nationMarchPersonal unionTrade companyTributaryVassal
Other EnvoyAllianceRelationsDiplomatic feedbackEspionageColonizationPapacyHoly Roman Empire
  1. This was changed with patch 1.18, see here.
  2. 2.0 2.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua.