Governments and How to Change Them

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Your government is one of the most important factors in the game. But how does it affect you? What can you do if you don't like it? The answers to these questions aren't always clear - but they should be.

The Role of Governments

Governments have a number of effects. First and foremost, they affect your militancy. Second, they can limit your political reforms, party systems and executive types. Third, they affect whether or not you can set the ruling party.

Your government itself affects militancy directly and indirectly. It affects it directly through Plurality. In a Democracy, your people's militancy lowers with increased plurality (they are more likely to vote in protest than rise up against you).

In a Monarchy, Proletarian Dictatorship or Presidential Dictatorship your people's militancy rises with increased plurality (even if you give them universal sufferage!). Since plurality rises throughout the game, this problem isn't serious at the start of the game but becomes progressively more destabilizing.

In a Constitutional Monarchy plurality has no effect on militancy (in v1.03 or later; in earlier versions plurality raised militancy).

Your government also has an indirect effect on militancy since your POPs are affected by the political reforms you choose; the effects of each reform on militancy (by class) is shown in the game file reform_effects.csv. Aristocrats, Officers and Clergy tend to dislike most reforms, while farmers and laborers tend to like them - with a few important exceptions. Capitalists, Clerks and Craftsmen tend to ignore most reforms but demand the right to vote, want a choice of political parties and prefer a free press. Since every government type can choose at least some of its reforms, it's possible to change things to make most of the people happy most of the time.

One solution to any of these problems is to change the class of your population. Getting rid of clergy and officers will reduce your need to pacify the conservatives in your country, while promoting farmers to clerks will help the liberals win an election. Having armies near militant POPs also helps considerably. Another way to solve your problems is to change your government to one better suited to your people!

Your government affects your control over the ruling party. Any government except a Democracy can set the ruling party regardless of election results. Doing so can raise the militancy of the people, depending on your executive type (see below).

Government Types

Banned reforms are shown in italics.

Constitutional Monarchy

Voting Rights: None (may be selected by Communist or Reactionary ruling parties), Landed, Wealth, Universal Sufferage.

Public Meetings: No, Yes.

Press Rights: State Press, Censorship, Free Press.

Political Parties: None, Right to Ban, All Allowed.

Trade Unions: None, Non-Socialist, Socialist, All Allowed.

Plurality: Does not affect militancy (in v1.03 and later).

Executive Type: Laws by Decree, HMS Government, Parliamentary (default by reform or revolution).

Party Systems: One Party, Two Party, Multi Party.

The Good: Since Constitutional Monarchies are usually parliamentary (some starting CMs aren't), you can set the ruling party as many times as you like without raising militancy! Plurality doesn't raise militancy.

The Bad: Plurality doesn't lower militancy.

Democracy

Voting Rights: None (may be selected by Reactionary or Communist ruling parties), Landed (may be selected by Reactionary ruling parties), Wealth, Universal Sufferage.

Public Meetings: No, Yes.

Press Rights: State Press, Censorship, Free Press.

Political Parties: None, Right to Ban (may be selected by Reactionary or Communist ruling parties), All Allowed.

Trade Unions: None, Non-Socialist, Socialist, All Allowed.

Plurality: Decreases militancy. Executive Type: Laws by Decree, HMS Government, Parliamentary (this has no effect for a Democracy).

Party Systems: One Party, Two Party, Multi Party.

The Good: Plurality decreases militancy! Since plurality tends to rise throughout the game, this is a crucial bonus to late-game democracies!

The Bad: You cannot set the ruling party (although you can influence the winner of an election slightly). You may end up with a pacifist party in the great war, or a free trade party when your income comes from tariffs. You cannot ban public meetings, making your crime fighting less effective (and giving you one less way to appease conservatives).

(Absolute) Monarchy

Voting Rights: None, Landed, Wealth, Universal Sufferage.

Public Meetings: No, Yes.

Press Rights: State Press, Censorship, Free Press.

Political Parties: None, Right to Ban, All Allowed. Absolute Monarchies are the only governments capable of choosing None!

Trade Unions: None, Non-Socialist, Socialist, All Allowed.

Plurality: Increases militancy.

Executive Type: Laws by Decree, HMS Government, Parliamentary.

Party Systems: One Party, Two Party, Multi Party.

The Good: You can choose to become either a Constitutional Monarchy or a Democracy. You may set the ruling party.

The Bad: Plurality increases militancy! Setting the ruling party adds 2 militancy and consciousness to all POPs!

Presidential Dictatorship

Voting Rights: None, Landed, Wealth, Universal Sufferage.

Public Meetings: No, Yes.

Press Rights: State Press, Censorship, Free Press.

Political Parties: None, Right to Ban, All Allowed.

Trade Unions: None, Non-Socialist, Socialist (!), All Allowed.

Plurality: Increases militancy.

Executive Type: Laws by Decree, HMS Government, Parliamentary.

Party Systems: One Party, Two Party, Multi Party.

The Good: You may set the ruling party. You may become a Democracy. Some Presidential Dictatorships have a Parliamentary executive, which makes setting the ruling party free.

The Bad: Plurality increases militancy!

Proletarian Dictatorship

Voting Rights: None, Landed, Wealth, Universal Sufferage.

Public Meetings: No, Yes.

Press Rights: State Press, Censorship, Free Press.

Political Parties: None, Right to Ban, All Allowed.

Trade Unions: None, Non-Socialist (!), Socialist, All Allowed.

Plurality: Increases militancy.

Executive Type: Laws by Decree, HMS Government, Parliamentary.

Party Systems: One Party, Two Party, Multi Party.

The Good: You may become a Democracy.

The Bad: Plurality increases militancy. You cannot set the ruling party, because you have only one.

Executive Types

According to the game manual, the executive branch determines how the ruling party is chosen. But that isn't true! Instead, the Government type determines how the ruling party is chosen, while the Executive branch determines how much it costs to set the ruling party.

Law by Decree Executives add 2 militancy and consciousness to all your POPs every time you set the ruling party!

HMS Government Executives add 1 militancy and consciousness to all your POPs every time you set the ruling party.

Parliamentary Executives add 0 militancy and consciousness to all your POPs when you set the ruling party. That's right, it's free! (Remember that Democracies cannot set the ruling party)

Banning parties seems to be free regardless of your executive type.

Changing government by reforms

Political reforms allow you to change the government to a more democratic one.

  • Once the right reforms are in place, an event will pop up automatically on the 1st of the month that changes your government type.
  • To view any of these events, open the fixedreforms.txt file in the db\events folder.
  • Not every government can change every political reform; every government has at least two reforms that are banned. Your Executive type doesn't change this.
  • You can safely give your people any political reform without changing government types if you turn public meetings off.

Liberal Ideologies

Democracies and Constitutional Monarchies cannot change their government through reforms.

As of v1.03, Constitutional Monarchies do not change militancy with plurality, so you're not totally screwed if you become a Constitutional Monarchy instead of a Democracy (since there is no way to become a Democracy as a Constitutional Monarchy). Before v1.03, Constitutional Monarchies could become Democracies by choosing the Universal Sufferage voting right.

As of v1.03, Communist or Reactionary ruling parties can revoke some political reforms in a Constitutional Monarchy or Democracy - even elections themselves! Doing so will not change your government type, but will affect militancy (some would call this a small price to avoid electing a pacifist party in the middle of the great war...).

Conservative Ideologies

Monarchies, Proletarian Dictatorships and Presidential Dictatorships can become a Democracy with a Multi-Party System and Parliamentarism by having the Universal Sufferage, Free Parties and Public Meetings reforms. Freedom of the Press isn't required (and can be used to decrease the militancy of aristocrats, officers and clergy).

Monarchies (only) can become Constitutional Monarchies with a Multi-Party System and HMS Government by having the Public Meetings and either Landed or Wealthy voting rights reforms. You cannot become a constitutional monarchy by giving your citizens universal sufferage (!).

Other Governments

There seems to be no way to peacefully become a Monarchy, Proletarian Dictatorship or Presidential Dictatorship through reforms. The game suggests that this may be possible - the forcedreforms.txt file has hard-wired events for all government types (including two kinds of presidential dictatorships)! So far none of these three have been reported, however. Luckily for those of you wanting a more conservative government, there are non-peaceful ways, too...

Revolutions

If your capital city has been captured by rebels for at least one year (v1.03 ), or if it has been captured along with at least 50% of your country at any time (any version), your government will fall and a new constitution will be written, changing your government. Revolutions are hard-coded events and can be found in the revolutions.txt event file.

Revolutions are complex and have many effects, some positive, some negative.

The Good

  • Revolutions make your country independent (ending its status as a satellite or dominion).
  • Political reforms are made without spending money.
  • Most of your population converts to the new ideology (although they will change back).
  • Militancy and consciousness of the rebels drops by 3 when they win.
  • All wars are ended when the revolution succeeds.
  • Your national value (Liberty, Equality or Order) changes.
  • Your ruling party changes (even if the party would not ordinarily exist at that date!
  • However, note that in these cases they will disappear after the next election).

The Bad

  • All your alliances are broken.
  • You lose a huge amount of prestige.
  • All your satellites are set free.
  • Any provinces held by rebels for 3 years will secede or declare their independence.
  • You may be forced into a bad peace.
  • You do not gain taxes or production from provinces held by rebels.
  • Some revolutions cause increased militancy and consciousness ( 3) from parts of the population, which can cause a counter-revolution.
  • Enemies may declare war on you while you are weakened by revolts.

Other Effects

  • Revolutions turn on a game flag for your country that may affect your flag (the picture, if there are alternates) and can be used as a trigger for events (although there are no official events triggered by this).

It's difficult to cause a revolution, and even harder to control one! It's possible to have more than one kind of revolter at once (check the population of the revolting province - the revolting POP will have a flag next to their picture) and even in the best of circumstances revolutions sometimes seem to be 'hijacked' by the wealthy elite - twice in test games I've seen Communist and Socialist rebels divide up the country only to have an Absolute Monarchy put in place.

Conservative Revolutions

Conservative revolters cause you to become a Presidential Dictatorship.

Conserative revolutions give you the national value Order and installs a Conservative ruling party.

Political reforms are set to One-Party System, Laws by Decree, Universal Sufferage, Right to Ban parties, Censorship, No Public Meetings and No Trade Unions.

The militancy and consciousness of your aristocrats, officers and clergy drops by 3 but the militancy and consciousness of all other classes rises by 3!

Liberal Revolutions

Liberal revolters cause you to become a Democracy. They are especially likely in the first years of the game before Socialists or Reactionaries have appeared. Liberal revolutions are more likely in v1.03

Liberal revolutions give you the national value Liberty and installs a liberal ruling party.

Political reforms are set to Multi-Party System, Parliamentarism, Universal Sufferage, All Parties Allowed, Free Press, Public Meetings Allowed and All Trade Unions Allowed.

The militancy and consciousness of your capitalists, clerks and craftsmen drop by 3 but the militancy and consciousness of all other classes rises by 3!

Reactionary Revolutions

Reactionary revolters cause you to become a Monarchy.

Reactionary revolutions give you the national value Order and installs a Reactionary ruling party.

Political reforms are set to One-Party System, Laws by Decree, No voting rights, Right to Ban political parties, Censorship, Public Meetings and No trade unions.

The militancy and consciousness of your aristocrats, officers and clergy drops by 3.

Socialist Revolutions

Socialist revolters cause you to become a Proletarian Dictatorship. Socialist revolutions are more likely in v1.03 This dramatically lowers your relations with all non-Socialist countries!

Socialist revolutions give you the national value Equality and installs a Communist ruling party.

Political reforms are set to One-Party System, Laws by Decree, No Parties Allowed, State Press, Public Meetings Allowed and Socialist Unions Only.

The militancy and consciousness of your soldiers, farmers and labourers drops by 3.

  • It is impossible to become a Constitutional Monarchy through revolution, only reform.

National Values

Each nation has one particular national value, decided at the beginning of the game. Normally you have no control over which your people follow, but revolutions (and scripted events) can change your national value.

Societies valuing Order have more effective crime fighting (probably raises chance of removing crime from provinces; no change in cost) and more effective military technology (research army and navy technologies for 10% fewer RPs).

Societies valuing Equality have more effective social spending (8% less cost to maintain social reforms (only), cumulative with other savings).

Societies valuing Liberty have more effective non-military research (research commerce, industry and culture technologies for 10% fewer RPs).

Changing Government by Outright Cheating

If you absolutely, positively need to change government, try the following cheat codes. Like other codes, hit F12 to open up a screen, then type the code (e.g. "event 23111" or "money") followed by [Enter]. When you are finished entering codes, Alt-F12 closes the window.

event 23111 - Reform to Monarchy, Laws by Decree

event 23112 - Reform to Presidential Dictatorship, Laws by Decree

event 23113 - Reform to Proletarian Dictatorship, Laws by Decree, One Party

event 23114 - Reform to Constitutional Monarchy, HMS Government

event 23115 - Reform to Presidential Dictatorship, HMS Government

event 23116 - Reform to Democracy, Parliamentary, Multi-Party System

event 23100 - Socialist Revolution (Proletarian Dictatorship)

event 23101 - Liberal Revolution (Democracy)

event 23102 - Conservative Revolution (Presidential Dictatorship)

event 23103 - Reactionary Revolution (Monarchy)

Effects of Changing Governments

Besides the different rules each government has, there is one major effect of changing government: your relations with other countries will change dramatically! As a rule of thumb, you will gain 100 relations with other countries of the same type as you are have become and -100 relations with other countries of the same type as you were. There are several important exceptions to this rule:

  • Becoming a Proletarian Dictatorship gives you -100 relations with every non-Communist country in the world! Nobody likes the Red Menace. Note: This penalty isn't cumulative with the penalty for changing from a government (if you were a monarchy but become a proletarian dictatorship, you will only lose (only?) -100 relations with other monarchies).
  • Becoming a Presidential Dictatorship gives you no bonus to relations with other Presidential Dictatorships, and changing from a Presidential Dictatorship only gives you -25 relations with them.
  • Changing from a Monarchy to a Constitutional Monarchy costs you only -50 relations with other monarchies; when changing from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Monarchy, the cost is only -30 with other Constitutional Monarchies.
  • Changing from a Democracy to a Constitutional Monarchy costs you only -50 with other democracies; changing from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Democracy costs you only -20 with other Democracies.

General Hints and Tips on Changing Governments

  • Change is guaranteed once the conditions are in place (there's nothing random about it).
  • You don't need to close the Political window; changes are made as soon as you click on a reform.
  • It doesn't matter whether you are civilized or uncivilized. Uncivilized countries can become democracies (with vibrant social programs in place, no less!). This doesn't affect their uncivilized status (although it will give them more prestige, one of the requirements to become civilized).
  • You cannot change your National Value (Order, Liberty or Equality), your Executive type (Laws by Decree, HMS Government or Parliamentary) or your Party System (One Party, Two Party or Multi Party) with political reforms, but you can through a revolution.
  • Changing your National Value affects the RP cost of technologies when you start a new project - if you are currently researching something, the cost does not change.

Unsolved Mysteries

  • The constitutional monarchy forced reform isn't working as written - in the game it gives you a Parliamentary system, not HMS Government as written in the event. Could the file be misleading?
  • Despite the hard-coded events in forcedreforms.txt, there have been no reports of countries peacefully becoming Proletarian Dictatorships, Monarchies or Presidential Dictatorships.
  • In Vanilla Victoria It could happen if France after loosing the Franco-Prussian war did not change it's polices despite having become a republic although it had to be monarchy prior to that.