Government

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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.6.

Government interface

Each country is ruled by a government of a specific type; the different systems of governance provide benefits and maluses as exemplified in the list at the last section of this article.

In EU4 there are many kinds of governments a nation can have, ranging from constitutional republics, where the state is governed by elected officials, to absolute monarchies, where the monarch exercises unrestricted power over the government.

Government types can be organized into five major groups: monarchies, republics, theocracies, steppe hordes, and native or tribal.

The interface by itself displays many types of information, for instance: the current ruler and heir, the type of advisors a player has, the country's main and accepted cultures and the monthly production of monarch power.

There are also a couple of concepts and mechanics that are related to the topic in question: legitimacy (if a monarchy), republican tradition (if a republic) and changing one's government as well as the implications of doing so.

Ruler & heir[edit]

Main article: Ruler

The Ruler Generalruler is the head of a country.

As the representative of a nation, there are several ways he/she can influence the progress and development of a state, one of them being the fact that monarch points come primarily out of him/her.

The Heir Generalheir is, for monarchies and similar government types, the successor of the ruling family.

In him/her is vested the future sovereignty of the state, and he/she is crucial in determining the future legitimacy of the monarchy. A strong claim results in a high legitimacy while a weak claim results in low legitimacy.

Monarch power[edit]

Main article: Monarch power

Monarch power is one of the most important mechanics in EU4. In a way, it represents the ability a ruler has in governing a country and the influence at which technological innovation and infrastructural investment takes place. Despite its name, republics and other similar government types also use this mechanic.

There are three types of monarch power: Administrative power.pngadministrative, Diplomatic power.pngdiplomatic, and Military power.pngmilitary.

Advisors[edit]

Main article: Advisors

An Advisor pool.pngadvisor is a knowledgeable person who is responsible for aiding and advising the leader of a nation.

There are three types of advisors, which align with the monarch's powers: Administrative power.pngadministrative, Diplomatic power.pngdiplomatic and Military power.pngmilitary.

Government types[edit]

There are various types of government in the game. Each type offers different advantages. They are listed below

Goverment Type Icon.png Switching government type[edit]

It is possible to peacefully change the type of government in power, though only within government types in the same group. For example, a feudal monarchy can become an absolute monarchy, but a monarchy can never peacefully become any type of republic. New government types become available as administrative tech is researched.

Changing government type costs 100Administrative power.pngadministrative power and halves current legitimacy for monarchies. Republican tradition does not suffer from government change, and is set to a minimum of 50 after the change.

A country can be changed forcibly to another government group (i.e. a monarchy turning into a republic and vice versa) via a revolution (i.e. if rebels or peasants overrun the state) and/or, for republics, by lowering republican tradition to 0.

Government monarchy.png Monarchies[edit]

A monarchy is a form of government where power is held by a single individual, in most cases, the monarch.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Despotic 2

Among the earliest government types known to man, the country is ruled by a single individual with undefined power.


  • Can switch to other monarchies freely.
  • Can be formed by a Republic by re-electing the same ruler while having Republican Tradition lower than 20.
Feudal 2

A governmental form where power is shared between the monarch and the nobles, where labor or military services are offered in exchange for land.

Administrative 12

A governmental form where the state is governed as a monarchy relying to a great extent on strict organization of political matters and bureaucracy.

Absolute 20

A governmental form where the monarch governs the country with absolute power, without having to abide by any laws or regulations.

Constitutional 22
  • Years of nationalism.png -5 Years of nationalism
  • Legitimacy.png +1 Yearly legitimacy
  • Manpower recovery speed.png +10% Manpower recovery speed

A governmental form where the monarch has to abide by a certain constitution.

Enlightened Despotism 29
  • Global spy defence.png +20% National spy defense
  • Accepted culture threshold.png -10% Accepted culture threshold
  • Global manpower modifier.png +10% National manpower modifier

In essence a political system where a nation is governed by an absolute ruler embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment.

Revolutionary Empire 31

The Revolutionary Empire is a slightly more conservative form of government with a single ruler ruling with reference a chamber of deputies. The government can mobilize a large amount of manpower and every soldier carries a marshal's baton in his backpack.

Unique monarchy types[edit]

Some countries have unique government types in an attempt to simulate historical special cases.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Archduchy 0
  • Vassal income.png +25% Income from vassals
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png +1 Diplomatic upkeep slot.
  • Global manpower modifier.png +10% National manpower modifier
The Privilegium Maius document was forged in the 1350s by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. It declared Austria an 'archduchy' with similar rights to those of the Electors. The document was heavily based on the earlier Privilegium Minus which had elevated Austria from a march to a duchy in 1156. (More info.)
  • Available for Austria Austria if the event "Privilegium Maius" fires.
Celestial Empire 0
  • Global revolt risk.png -3 National revolt risk
The Celestial Empire proclaims its rulers to be sons of the heaven who are born to govern the country in divine right. (More info.)
  • Only available for the Ming Ming.
Daimyo 0
  • Land morale.png +10% Land morale
  • Infantry.png +10% Infantry power
Daimyo were the powerful territorial lords in pre-modern Japan who ruled most of the country from their vast, hereditary land holdings. Subordinate only to the shogun, daimyo were the most powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. (More info.)
  • Vassals of Japan Japan have this government type.
  • Can start wars against other daimyo without sovereign intervention.
Elective Monarchy 0
  • Global revolt risk.png -1 National revolt risk
  • Global manpower modifier.png +10% National manpower modifier
  • Vassal income.png +25% Income from vassals
In this type of Monarchy the heir will be selected by the Sejm. (More Info.)
Empire 0
  • Vassal income.png +10% Income from vassals
  • Land morale.png +5% Land morale
An empire is a state with politico-military dominion of populations who are culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial (ruling) ethnic group and its culture. (More info.)
Iqta 0
  • Vassal income.png +33% Income from vassals
  • Heir chance.png +100% Heir chance
Although similar to the feudal fief system, the holders under the iqta tax farming system did not actually own their lands, and were not guaranteed that they would be inherited by the next generation. (More info.)
  • Ruler reigns for life.
  • Cannot change to any other form of government except through revolutions.
Shogunate 0
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png +4 Diplomatic upkeep slots.
Shogun were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor. It came to mean a system of government which was both feudal and a military dictatorship. (More info.)
  • Initially available to Japan Japan.
  • Independent daimyos turn into shogunates.
  • Vassals to the Shogunate can declare war against each other without sovereign intervention, even if they are not Daimyos.

Legitimacy.png Legitimacy[edit]

Legitimacy is the monarchical counterpart of how legitimate the ruling power is perceived by the general population. This property ranges between 0 to 100.

The effects of legitimacy scale linearly from the worst at 0 to the best at 100:

Variable 0% 50% 100%
Global revolt risk.png Revolt risk +3.0 0 −3.0
Tolerance heretic.png Religious tolerance [1] −1.0 0 +1.0
Diplomatic reputation.png Diplomatic reputation −2.5 0 +2.5

[1] - Global effect, i.e. affects Tolerance own.pngown, Tolerance heretic.pngheretic and Tolerance heathen.pngheathen religious tolerance.

Legitimacy modifiers
There are two main ways for legitimacy to either increase or decrease, these are called active and passive modifiers.

Active modifiers Active modifiers are those that are dependent on the players actions.

  • Royal marriages. These usually gives a small, one-time decrease to legitimacy, particularly if the royal match comes from a less powerful realm.
  • Events. Sometimes there appear events that can either increase or decrease legitimacy:
    • Diwani Script: +1 yearly legitimacy for rest of campaign. Requires Sunni Monarchy, needs lvl 2 Artist advisor
  • Diplomatic annexation. Annexing a vassal will reduce legitimacy by -10.
  • Succession. Depending on the claim strength of the heir, legitimacy can either decrease, if weak, or increase, if strong, upon succession to the throne.

Passive modifiers Passive modifiers are not dependent on player action, instead they rely on existing variables. The following shown examples are calculated yearly.

If Prestige.png−100 then Icon legitimacy monarchy.png−1.
If Prestige.png+100 then Icon legitimacy monarchy.png+1.

Yearly legitimacy provided by national ideas and policies

Legitimacy.png Traditions Ideas Bonus Policies
+1.0

Danish Traditions Bavarian Ideas 1: Institute the Everlasting Succession
Bohemian Ideas 2: Elective Monarchy
Daimyo Ideas 3: Honor the ancestors
Dai Viet Ideas 6: Thuan Thiên
Japanese Ideas 7: Shinokosho System
Neapolitan Ideas 5: City of Artists
Orissan Ideas 2: Servitor of Jagganath
Savoyard Ideas 7: Savoyard Legitimacy
Scottish Ideas 6: Basilikon Doron
South Indian Ideas 5: Patronage of Great Temples
Swedish Ideas 1: 'Kung och Riksdag'
Ethiopian Ambitions
Italian Ambitions
Pueblo Ambitions
Aristocratic-Espionage: Noble Loyalty Act
Diplomatic-Aristocratic: The Tenures Abolition Act
+0.5

Aristocratic-Economic: The Court of Wards and Liveries

Government republic.png Republics[edit]

A republic is a form of government where power is, in contrast to a monarchy, held by a group of people.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Merchant 0
  • Merchants.png +1 Merchant
  • Merchant steering to inland.png +20 Merchant steering towards inland
  • Bonus good production in non-owned provinces in a controlled trade node, equal to percentage of trade controlled (e.g., non-owned provinces produce 50% bonus goods if the republic control 50% of trade in the node).
A republic with a heavy reliance on trade and commerce.
  • Election cycle: 4 years.

With the Res Publica DLC:

  • Faction system with Aristocrats, Guilds and Traders
  • Can construct a trade post for 50 Administrative power.png giving +15 Global trade power.png, in one province per foreign trade node.
Oligarchic 2
  • Global tax modifier.png +5% National tax modifier
  • Stability cost modifier.png -5% Stability cost modifier.
A governmental form where a few patrician families hold the power and elect rulers amongst themselves.
  • Allows royal marriages.
  • Election cycle: 4 years.
Noble 7
  • Tolerance heretic.png +1 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Tolerance heathen.png +1 Tolerance of heathen religions
  • Land morale.png +10% Morale of armies
The country is governed by nobles, holding substantial rights and benefits.
  • Allows royal marriages.
  • Election cycle: 8 years.
Administrative 12
  • Culture conversion cost.png -10% Culture conversion cost
  • Years of nationalism.png -5 Years of nationalism
  • Trade efficiency.png +10% Trade efficiency
A republic that relies to a great extent on strict organization of political matters and bureaucracy.
  • Election cycle: 5 years.
Dictatorship 20
  • Tolerance heretic.png +1 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Tolerance heathen.png +1 Tolerance of heathen religions
  • Land morale.png +10% Morale of armies
The elected representatives exercise absolute power over the state.
  • Ruler reigns for life.
Constitutional 26 The state is governed by representatives elected by the people who have to follow a specified set of laws and regulations.
  • Election cycle: 4 years.
Bureaucratic Despotism 29
  • Tolerance heretic.png +1 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Tolerance heathen.png +1 Tolerance of heathen religions
  • Stability cost modifier.png -20% Stability cost modifier
The nation is controlled by state officials primarily concerned with procedural correctness.
  • Ruler reigns for life.
Revolutionary 31
  • Tolerance heretic.png +2 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Tolerance heathen.png +2 Tolerance of heathen religions
  • Land morale.png +10% Morale of armies
Revolutionary propaganda gives the armies defending the revolution strong morale and the principle that everyone is equal gives strong leadership.
  • The Revolutionary republic is available to any country that has its capital in Europe and if unique event rebels control the capital.
  • Election cycle: 4 years.

Unique republic types[edit]

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Ambrosian Republic 0
  • Global tax modifier.png +10% National tax modifier
  • Land morale.png +5% Land morale
The city of Milan was thrown into confusion by the sudden death of the Duke without a respected adult heir. The plutocratic elite declared a republic and the claimants to the throne were driven out of the city. The new republic was called the 'Golden Ambrosian Republic', named after the 4th century Bishop of Milan. (More info.)
  • Election cycle: 3 years.
  • Only available for Milan Milan in 1447 or as the result of a special event.
Dutch Republic 0
  • Heavy ship power.png +10% Heavy ship combat Ability
  • Global trade income modifier.png +10% National trade income modifier
The republic was a confederation of seven provinces, which had their own governments and were very independent. (More info.)
  • Election cycle: 4 years or ruler reigns until death, see below.
  • Choose between an Orangist (military, monarchy-oriented) or a Statist (trade, republic-oriented) candidate.
  • As more power sways towards the Orangists, rulers will rule until death but you will lose 1 republican tradition yearly. At the same time you gain land forcelimits and decreased stability cost modifiers.
  • The Statists, when in charge, increase global trade power and naval forcelimits, while granting you +1 republican tradition per year. However, elections happen every four years and rulers cannot be re-elected.
  • Allows royal marriages.
  • Only available for the Netherlands Netherlands, in 1581 or as the result of a special event.

American Dream[edit]

The DLC American Dream adds two new unique government types.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
American Republic 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -10% Stability cost modifier.
The American Republic is a confederation of the Thirteen States of America, each with their own independence and governments, with a President who rules for seven years after election. (More info.)
  • Only available for the United States of America United States of America via the American Dream event "Government Form".
  • Elections are held every 7 years.
Federal Republic 0
  • Diplomatic reputation.png +2 Diplomatic reputation
  • Global spy defence.png +10% National spy defense
The Federal Republic is a federation of the Thirteen States of America, each with their own independence and governments, with a President who rules for four years after election. (More info.)
  • Only available for the United States of America United States of America via the American Dream event "Government Form".
  • Elections are held every 4 years.

Culture icon.png Republican Cultural Sufferance[edit]

All non-tribal Republics have a small bonus that helps mitigate the penalty to non-accepted culture provinces. It's not applied to cultures belonging to the same culture group. The bonus consists of:

  • -0.5 Global revolt risk.pnglocal revolt risk.
  • +10% Global tax modifier.pnglocal tax.
  • +10% Local manpower modifier.pnglocal manpower.

Below is an example of Monarchy vs Republic for provinces with non-accepted culture, Republican values has the 'Cultural Sufferance' applied:

Accepted Republic Monarchy
Local Revolt Risk 0 +1.5 +2
Local Tax Modifier 0 -23% -33%
Local Manpower Modifier 0 -23% -33%

Republican tradition.png Republican tradition[edit]

Republican tradition is the republican counterpart of how legitimate the ruling power is perceived by the general population. It's also a way to show how "true" the government holds up to republican ideals (i.e. if a country elects a new ruler in every election). This property ranges between 0 and 100.

New republics will always start with 100 tradition and each year republican tradition increases by +1. Various events can make a player choose between sacrificing tradition or suffer another negative consequence. If tradition's too low, consequences such as increased stability costs (4% more per point below 100) and higher revolt risk (scaled linearly, -3 revolt risk at 100 tradition and 3 at 0 tradition.) Also, republican government with low tradition can collapse into despotism, with reactionaries spawning at below 50 tradition. At 0 the government automatically collapses into a despotistic monarchy (revolutionary empire for revolutionary republics) and the government can also fall if the same ruler is reelected with tradition below 20.

An advantage to play as a republic is that the player can choose who is going to lead the nation and, if reelected, the ruler will have all his stats increased by +1. One needs to keep in mind that republican tradition decreases by -10 if an ruler is reelected for office, this is to represent the fear of a republic losing the regular "change in power" that guarantees the legitimacy of the democratic government.

Yearly republican tradition provided by national ideas and policies

Republican tradition.png Traditions Ideas Bonus Policies
+0.5

Colonial Traditions
Irish Traditions
Novgorod Ideas 3: Ivan's Hundred American Ambitions
Italian Ambitions
+0.2

Aristocratic-Espionage: Noble Loyalty Act
Diplomatic-Aristocratic: The Tenures Abolition Act

Government steppe horde.png Steppe hordes[edit]

Main article: Steppe hordes

A steppe horde, normally referred to as a khanate, is a form of government where power is held by the khan. It differs from monarchies in the way that each time a khan dies, all clan leaders are summoned to vote on the next khan. Like monarchies, steppe hordes use the legitimacy mechanic.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Steppe horde 0 A governmental form where a sovereign or military ruler rules a tribal chiefdom, with constant Casus Bellis on all their neighbors and troops who fight better on the plains.
  • Turns into a despotic monarchy if the government's reformed.
  • Always have Casus Belli on neighbors.
  • Bonuses for fighting in home provinces that are plains or desert.

Government theocracy.png Theocracies[edit]

A theocracy is a form of government where power is held by the religious elite.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Papacy 0
  • Tolerance own.png +3 Tolerance of own religion
  • Tolerance heretic.png -2 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Prestige.png +1 Prestige
A political structure where the nation is governed by a spiritual leader, the Pope, the highest ranking office of the Roman Catholic Church.
Theocracy 0
  • Tolerance own.png +2 Tolerance of own religion
  • Tolerance heretic.png -2 Tolerance of heretical religions
  • Papal influence.png +1 Yearly papal influence
A governmental form where the nation is governed by the clergy in the name of God.

The name differs depending on the culture and the country in question:

Catholicism Archbishopric: Independent catholic countries.

Catholicism Bishopric: Vassal catholic countries.

Catholicism Monastic State: Latvian, Prussian, or Maltese cultures.

Orthodoxy Metropolis: Independent and vassal orthodox countries. (More info.)

Government tribal.png Native Council[edit]

A native council is the government form of all native tribes in the present-day regions of the United States of America and Canada. All tribes with this government have access to unique buildings and mechanics that were added in the Conquest of Paradise patch.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Native Council 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -33% Stability cost modifier
  • -50% Land Maintaince modifier
Native Council is a government where there is a leader but all members of society have influence in decisions

Government tribal.png Tribal governments[edit]

A tribe is regarded as a society that hasn't developed a concrete definition of what a state is. Nomadic by nature, the power is held by either a chief or by a group of fellow tribesmen.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Democracy 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -33% Stability cost modifier
  • Technology cost.png +10% Technology cost
  • Global trade power.png -50% Provincial trade power
A governmental form where all the members of the tribe are allowed to make their voice heard and influence how their tribe should be governed.
Despotism 0
  • Core creation.png -10% Core creation cost
  • Global revolt risk.png +1 National revolt risk
  • Global trade power.png -50% Provincial trade power
A political system where a tribe is controlled by an individual ruler with unlimited power and the ability to exercise any action without consequence or retribution, often ruling through fear.
Federation 0
  • Land forcelimit.png +20% Land force limits
  • Global manpower modifier.png +20% National manpower modifier
  • Global trade power.png -50% Provincial trade power
A governmental form where a confederation of tribes rule with a certain degree of internal autonomy but are nationally governed by a central authority.

Incapable ruler[edit]

Tribal governments have the additional penalty of suffering from an incapable ruler. It triggers when certain conditions are met:

  • Has tribal government type.
  • Number of provinces is greater than or equal to (≥) 10.

Incompetent administration:

Administrative power.png Administrative power less than or equal to (≤) 3.

  • Effects: Global tax modifier.png -33% National tax modifier

Incompetent diplomacy:

Diplomatic power.png Diplomatic power less than or equal to (≤) 3.

  • Effects: Global revolt risk.png +3 National revolt risk

Incompetent military:

Military power.png Military power less than or equal to (≤) 3.

  • Effects: Core creation.png +200% Core creation cost

Colonial Nations (new feature in patch 1.4)[edit]

A colonial nation is a special republican government that manages the New World colony. It is added in the DLC Conquest of Paradise.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Colonial Government 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -20% Stability cost modifier
  • Recover army morale speed.png +2% Land morale recovery
  • Papal influence.png -50% Papal influence
A provincial government set to handle the affairs of the New World colonies, led by a Governor or Viceroy.
  • Election cycle: 8 years.
  • Cannot change government type if the colonial nation is not independent.
  • Only available for automatically formed colonial nations in the game.

Liberty Desire[edit]

Liberty desire is the likelihood that a colony becomes independent. This property ranges between 0 and 100.

This property is primarily influenced by the tariff level of the overlord. If the tariff is higher than default level, the liberty desire will increase by 1% each year. The overlord can also manage the tariff manually. By spending 75 diplomatic powers the player can increase or decrease the tariff by 2.5%, which leads to +5 or -3 in liberty desire respectively. The colony can declare a war of independence if the liberty desire is higher than 50, and will automatically become independent when it reaches 100. However, losing a war of independence will decrease the liberty desire by -25.

Realm