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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game.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 additional concepts and mechanics that related to government: 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 a ruler can influence the progress and development of a state, one of them being the fact that monarch points come primarily from the ruler.

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

The heir is vested with the future sovereignty of the state, and they are 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, monarchical power represents the ability of a ruler in governing a country and influences the rate 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. New government types become available as administrative technology is researched.

Changing government type costs 100Administrative power.pngadministrative power.

A country can be changed forcibly to another government group (e.g., a monarchy turning into a republic and vice versa) via a revolution (e.g., 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, i.e., 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
  • Production efficiency.png +10% Production efficiency
  • National tax modifier.png +5% National tax modifier
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change

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
  • Discipline.png +5% Discipline
  • National revolt risk.png -1 National unrest
  • Autonomy.png -0.20 Monthly autonomy change

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
  • Autonomy.png -0.30 Monthly autonomy change
A governmental form where the monarch has to abide by a certain constitution.
Enlightened Despotism 29
  • Accepted culture threshold.png -10% Accepted culture threshold
  • National manpower modifier.png +10% National manpower modifier
  • Autonomy.png -0.30 Monthly autonomy change
In essence a political system where a nation is governed by an absolute ruler embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment.
Revolutionary Empire 31
  • Army tradition.png +1 Yearly army tradition
  • National manpower modifier.png +25% National manpower modifier
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.30 Monthly autonomy change
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
  • Income from vassals.png +25% Income from vassals
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png +1 Diplomatic relations
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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
  • Icon stability.png -10% Stability cost
  • Minimum autonomy of 50% in all provinces.
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
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Infantry power.png +10% Infantry combat ability
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 ally, form coalitions with, and start wars against other daimyo without sovereign intervention.
  • Has access to the special Sengoku casus belli, usable on other daimyo.
Elective Monarchy 0
  • National revolt risk.png -1 National unrest
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
  • Income from vassals.png +25% Income from vassals
In this type of Monarchy the heir will be selected by the Sejm. (More Info.)
Empire 0
  • Income from vassals.png +20% Income from vassals
  • Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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.)
  • Only available for Byzantium Byzantium and empires imported from CK2 with the CK2 to EU4 converter. Though the game marks Ryukyu Ryukyu as an Empire on the country selection screen, they actually start as a Despotic Monarchy
Iqta 0
  • Income from vassals.png +33% Income from vassals
  • Heir chance.png +100% Heir chance
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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.
  • Can reform to Administrative Monarchy by decision: requires Western tech group, Administrative technology technology 12, 90 Legitimacy.png Legitimacy, 100 Administrative power.png ADM points.
Shogunate 0
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png +4 Diplomatic relations
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.
  • Can reform to a Feudal Monarchy by decision.

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 and 100.

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

Variable 0% 50% 100%
National 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 +1.0

[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
  • Papal Influence. Catholics can spend 60 Papal Influence to increase 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 Bonuses Policies
+1.0

Andean traditions
Danish traditions
Tarascan traditions
Trebizondian traditions
Afghan idea 6: Institutionalised Loya Jirga
Air idea 3: Legacy of Tin Hinan
Ashanti idea 4: The Golden Stool
Athenian idea 1: Dominus Athenarum
Aztec idea 2: Sustaining the Gods
Bahmani idea 6: Bahmani Primogeniture
Bavarian idea 1: Institute the Everlasting Succession
Bohemian idea 2: Elective Monarchy
Bosnian idea 2: Per Aspera ad Astra
Bulgarian idea 7: Third Rome
Caucasian idea 5: Highland Khans
Central Indian idea 6: Ancient Roots
Dahomey idea 1: Children of the Panther
Daimyo idea 3: Honor the ancestors
Dai Viet idea 6: Thuan Thiên
Japanese idea 7: Shinokosho System
Karamanid idea 7: True Heirs of the Seljuk Empire
Mesoamerican idea 5: Ritual Bloodletting
Moldavian idea 4: Moldavia Hospodar
Montenegrin idea 1: Legacy Of Diocleia
Mossi idea 1: Rialé and Yennenga
Muiscan idea 7: Consuetudinary Law
Neapolitan idea 5: City of Artists
Orissan idea 2: Servitor of Jagganath
Polotskian idea 2: Heritage of The Rus
Provençal idea 2: Revive House of Anjou
Romanian idea 4: Latin Island
Savoyard idea 7: Savoyard Legitimacy
Scottish idea 6: Basilikon Doron
South Indian idea 5: Patronage of Great Temples
Swedish idea 1: 'Kung och Riksdag'
Timurid idea 4: Chagatai Literature
Wallachian idea 6: Boyar Regime
Welsh idea 4: Unbennaeth Prydain
Ethiopian ambitions
Irish ambitions
Italian ambitions
Kanem Bornuan ambitions
Pueblo ambitions
+0.5

Cypriot idea 1: King of Jerusalem
Ruthenian idea 1: The Mother of Russian States
Aristocratic-Economic: The Court of Wards and Liveries
Diplomatic-Aristocratic: The Tenures Abolition Act

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 towards 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 Trade power.png, in one province per foreign trade node.
Oligarchic  2
  • National tax modifier.png +5% National tax modifier
  • Stability cost modifier.png -5% Stability cost modifier
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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 heretics
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
The country is governed by nobles, holding substantial rights and benefits.
  • Allows royal marriages.
  • Election cycle: 8 years.
Administrative 12
  • Years of nationalism.png -5 Years of nationalism
  • Culture conversion cost.png -10% Culture conversion cost
  • Production efficiency.png +10% Production efficiency
  • Autonomy.png -0.20 Monthly autonomy change
A republic that relies to a great extent on strict organization of political matters and bureaucracy.
  • Election cycle: 5 years.
Dictatorship 20
  • Tolerance heathen.png +1 Tolerance of heathens
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.20 Monthly autonomy change
The elected representatives exercise absolute power over the state.
  • Ruler reigns for life.
Constitutional 26
  • Trade efficiency.png +10% Trade efficiency
  • Production efficiency.png +10% Production efficiency
  • Autonomy.png -0.40 Monthly autonomy change
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 The nation is controlled by state officials primarily concerned with procedural correctness.
  • Ruler reigns for life.
Revolutionary 31
  • Tolerance heretic.png +2 Tolerance of heretics
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.50 Monthly autonomy change
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
  • National tax modifier.png +10% National tax modifier
  • Morale of armies.png +5% Morale of armies
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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
  • National trade income modifier.png +10% National trade income modifier
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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.
  • Autonomy.png -0.50 Monthly autonomy change
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 +1 Diplomatic reputation
  • National spy defence.png +10% National spy defence
  • Autonomy.png -0.50 Monthly autonomy change
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 Local revolt risk.png Local unrest
  • +10% National tax modifier.png Local tax modifier
  • +10% Local manpower modifier.png Local manpower modifier

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 unrest 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 Bonuses Policies
+0.5

Colonial traditions Hamburger idea 2: Burgher Republic
Novgorod idea 3: Ivan's Hundred
American ambitions
Italian ambitions
+0.2

Diplomatic-Aristocratic: The Tenures Abolition Act
Plutocratic-Economic: Formalized Scales, Weights and Measures

Government steppe horde.png Steppe nomads[edit]

Main article: Steppe hordes

Steppe nomads, normally referred to as khanate (as they have East-Asian or Altaic culture), 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 nomads use the legitimacy mechanic.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Steppe nomads 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.
  • If Eastern religion group, reform to Chinese Tech group. All others reform to Muslim tech group.
  • Minimum autonomy of 25%

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 +1 Tolerance of true faith
  • Prestige.png +1 Prestige
  • Autonomy.png -0.10 Monthly autonomy change
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 true faith
  • Tolerance heretic.png -2 Tolerance of heretics
  • 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]

Main article: Tribal nation

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.
In the Art of War patch, a new government type has been added that shares some similarities with their New World counterparts.

Type Level Effects Description & notes
Native Council 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -33% Stability cost modifier
  • Land maintenance modifier.png -50% Land maintenance modifier
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png -1 Diplomatic relations
Native Council is a government where there is a leader but all members of society have influence in decisions

Government uses unique native american and migration mechanics.

Siberian Clan Council 0
  • Stability cost modifier.png -33% Stability cost modifier
  • Technology cost.png +15% Technology cost
One or more clans headed by an elder with a council of other leaders to help him make decisions related to their respective areas.

Government uses migration mechanics.


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
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png -1 Diplomatic relations
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 cost.png -10% Core creation cost
  • National revolt risk.png +1 National unrest
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png -1 Diplomatic relations
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
  • National manpower modifier.png +20% National manpower modifier
  • Diplomatic upkeep.png -1 Diplomatic relations
A governmental form where a confederation of tribes rule with a certain degree of internal autonomy but are nationally governed by a central authority.
Kingdom 0
  • Income from vassals.png +10% vassal income
  • Icon stability.png -15% Stability cost modifier
  • Technology cost.png +10% Technology cost
A political system where a large tribal society has formed a kingdom, with one strong ruler rules through law.

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: National tax modifier.png -33% National tax modifier

Incompetent diplomacy:

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

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

Incompetent military:

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

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

Colonial Nations[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
  • Autonomy.png -0.20 Monthly autonomy change
  • Land morale recovery.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 25 administrative 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