Colonial nation

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Colonial ideas

For Subject colony icon.png colonial nations.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Development cost
Heretic and heathen provinces do not give any penalties

Yearly republican tradition.png Founding Fathers

+0.5 Yearly republican tradition

Provincial trade power modifier.png Continental Trade

+25% Provincial trade power modifier

Construction cost.png Manufacturing Center of an Empire

−10% Construction cost

Idea cost.png Free Thinkers

−10% Idea cost

Regiment cost.png Colonial Militia

−10% Regiment cost

Auto explore adjacent to colony.png New Frontiers

Automatically discover adjacent when a colony is built.
+20 Global settler increase

Leader(s) without upkeep.png Liberty Heroes

+1 Leader 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 Oceania once enough settlers have arrived for them to establish a local government. They are not playable without the Conquest of Paradise DLC.

Formation of colonial nations[edit]

Colonial regions in the new world (America and Oceania).

The New World and Oceania are divided into several ‘colonial regions’ for the purpose of forming colonial nations. There are twelve colonial regions in the game, 11 in the Americas (7 in North America, 4 in South America) and 1 covering Australia and New Zealand.

As long as the conditions are met, any nation in the game can spawn colonial nations, from large and wealthy empires like Flag of Ming Ming or a united Flag of Bharat Bharat to small and poor minor nations like Flag of Iceland Iceland.

In order to allow a country to spawn colonial nations, its capital must not be located within a colonial region. For example, if the Flag of Maya Maya or Flag of Inca Inca (in Mesoamerica and South America, respectively) colonize North America, the colonized territory will remain under their direct control. This also applies overseas; if Maya or Inca colonize Australia or New Zealand (in Oceania), the colonized land will still remain under their direct control, even though it is geographically located overseas.

Assuming that the country's capital is outside the colonial regions, then if said country colonizes and cores five overseas provinces in the same colonial region, (regardless of whether they are part of a state or territory) a colonial nation will form. After that, any and all provinces gained by the mother nation within the same colonial region are acquired by the colonial nation. New colonies started by the mother country will remain under its control until completion upon which they are acquired by the colonial nation.

As an example; Flag of Great Britain Great Britain's capital London is located in Europe, outside of any colonial regions, thus allowing them to spawn colonial nations. If they colonize five provinces in Colonial Eastern America (within North America), a colonial nation will be formed and it will acquire all provinces gained by Great Britain if they are located within the same colonial region.

A colonial power may have multiple colonial nations under its rule. They do not use up diplomatic relation slots. A nation can have multiple colonial nations operating in the same colonial region by fully annexing or inheriting countries which themselves have colonial subjects.

Going back to our previous example; if Flag of Great Britain Great Britain, after colonizing Colonial Eastern America (within North America), colonizes five provinces within Colonial Louisiana and Colonial Canada (which are both separate colonial regions within North America), two new colonial nations will form and gain any and all British provinces within their colonial region, granting Great Britain three colonial nations.

If Flag of Great Britain Great Britain also annexes or inherits Flag of France France, any and all colonial nations that France had under its rule will be transferred to British rule, even if they are located in the same colonial regions as existing British colonial nations.

As most colonial regions contain more than five provinces, it is possible for multiple colonial nations - from different colonizing countries - to form in the same colonial region. While the colonial regions themselves contain enough provinces for 163 colonial regions, the game itself allows 75 by default and 100 at most.

List of colonial regions[edit]

The following table lists the colonial regions in the game and their most important trade influencing provinces (those with modifiers such as estuaries, inland centers of trade and important natural harbors).

Continent Colonial region Colour № of provinces Key provinces
North America Colonial Cascadia 42 Estuary: Chinook
North America Colonial Canada 67 ICOT: Hochelega, Winnipeg

Estuary: Stadacona, Muskegon

North America Colonial Eastern America 93 ICOT: Honniasont

INH: Massachusetts
Estuary: Santee, Chesapeake, Lenape, Manhattan

North America Colonial Louisiana 71 ICOT: Tamaroa, Potawatomi

Estuary: Chitimacha (893)

North America Colonial California 31 INH: Miwok

Estuary: Chinook

North America Colonial Mexico 133 CCOT: Cuetlaxtlan

ICOT: Pueblo, Mexico
INH: Tlapanec, Sayultecas
Estuary: Coahuilteco

North America Colonial Caribbean 34 INH: Havana, Jamaica, Boriken, Bani, Zui, Aruba
South America Colonial Colombia 74 ICOT: Quito, Bogota

INH: Cartagena, Panama, Cauca
Estuary: Guayaquil

South America Colonial Peru 41 CCOT: Lima

INH: Chanchan
ICOT: Chuquiabo, Cuzco

South America Colonial La Plata 63 ICOT: Asuncion, Jujuy, Quisquisacate

INH: Picunmapu, Rio de la Plata, San Antonio, Candelaria
Estuary: Rio de la Plata

South America Colonial Brazil 76 ICOT: Manaus

INH: Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Ceara, Pernambuco

Oceania Colonial Australia 30 INH: Eora, Whangarei


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 color. This color varies but is based of the color of the colonial region that the colonial nation formed in. If the motherland's flag changes (e.g., if the motherland is Flag of England England and they form Great Britain 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
Alyeska Colonial Cascadia Russian culture
Pacifico Norte Colonial Cascadia Spain, Castile or Aragon
[Root.GetAdjective] Alaska Colonial Cascadia
[Root.GetAdjective] Cascadia Colonial Cascadia
Aleutia Colonial Cascadia
New [Root.GetName] Colonial Cascadia
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 Owns a province in the Highlands or Lowlands and Scotland does not exist
Lavrador Colonial Canada Portugal
Kanata 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 Bruges (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 Zui (488), Tortuga (489) and Barahonas (490)
Castile owns Zui (488), Tortuga (489) and Barahonas (490)
Aragon owns Zui (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 Spain, Castile, "or" Iberian Culture

If no name is available (because none of the names defined for the colonial region have triggers that are satisfied by this colonial nation, all the names for which this colonial nation satisfies the triggers were already used by other colonial nations, or no names are 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 colonial overlord receives a cut of each of its colonies income in the form of a tariff calculated, for a given colony, as such :

Tariff rate[edit]

Represents the pressure put by an overlord on its colonies to transfer income. Each colony has its associated rate. Default, for a newly formed colony is 10%.[1]. It then can be adjusted, separately for each colony, with the Increase Tariffs.png Increase tariffs / Decrease Tariffs.png Decrease tariffs options in the subject interaction interface, for a cost of administrative power. There are also regular 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, although slower method for managing tariff levels as it will not cost any administrative monarch power.

Tariff rate has a direct negative 1:1 impact on colony's Liberty desire.png liberty desire. Note that [1] Disloyal colonies will refrain from paying any tariffs at all, independent from how high the tariff rate actually is and if their liberty desire increases high enough, they might try to declare independence and start a war to break free.

Tariff efficiency[edit]

Tariff rate modified by the Global tariffs.png Global tariffs modifier (see section below)

Global tariffs[edit]

The Global tariffs.png Global tariffs (labeled as 'Colony income' in the Subjects panel) is an overlord modifier applied to every colony tariff rate to get matching tariff efficiency.

As this modifier is for all colonies, it makes it the prefered way to raise tariff efficiency without also raising colonies Liberty desire.png liberty desires.

A nation can gain global tariffs modifier by:

Global tariffs.png Conditions
+25% trading in Slaves.png slaves
+25% a Parliament.png parliament and Colonial taxation as active issue
+20% Gov merchant ship.png ‘Council of the Indies’ government reform (tier 3 Government monarchy.png monarchy and Government republic.png republic)
+10% a Advisor Colonial governor.png colonial governor as advisor
−10% Burghers.png Burghers estate with granted Privilege grant new world charter.png ‘Grant New World Charters’ privilege

Ideas and policies:

Global tariffs.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Economic-Exploration: The Stamp Act
  • Portuguese ambition
  • British idea 3: Establish British Merchant Navy
  • Spanish idea 5: Casa de Contratación
  • Exploration idea 5: Viceroys
  • Exploration-Religious: Colonial Restrictions
  • Influence-Expansion: Overseas Dominions

There are also several colonial-associated events that can have positive and negative effects on the global tariff efficiency.

Full example[edit]

Given the following incomes of 76.34 and 20.13

Incomes for a given example colony

And Global tariffs.png Global tariffs modifier of 40%

Possible sources for 'Global tariffs' modifier (labeled here 'Colony Income')

And a tariff rate of 40%

Tariff efficiency and rate examples

We finally get following tariff :

Subject interaction[edit]

Main article: Subject_nation#Subject_interactions

Interaction with a colonial nation is done through the Subject Interaction section of the Subject Menu. In addition to the regular interaction types, colonial subjects have some special interactions focusing on managing tariffs and colonial management.

Liberty desire[edit]

Main article: Subject nation#Liberty desire

Like all subjects, colonies have Liberty desire.png liberty desire ranging from 0 to 100. The main influences on liberty desire are the colony's development, relations, and relative military strength. Some factors that are specifically relevant to determining the liberty desire of a colony are the tariff rate and the overlord's mercantilism. Something to keep in mind is that when determining relative strength, colonies will only consider their own strength and the strength of independence supporters, not that of other subjects of the same overlord.

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, enabling them to call each other into an independence war.

Expanding colonial nations[edit]

Colonial nations will automatically acquire ownership of any province in its designated colonial region of which its overlord has taken ownership. 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 granted provinces that are bordering it via land or are adjacent to the same sea zone. If the overlord had cores in these provinces, the colonial nation will replace those with its own cores. This restriction on granting provinces and cores also means that it is nearly impossible for overlords to grant provinces from the "old world" to colonial nations, with the sole exception of colonial Australia; granting land to colonial Australia requires the overlord to have land provinces in the following sea provinces: Gulf of Carpentaria and Arafura Sea. From there, granting land provinces which overlap sea provinces can extend the range of provinces which can be granted.

When colonial nations have enough income to sustain a working colonist, they will pick the Exploration and Expansion idea groups and automatically begin exploring and colonizing the uncolonized land adjacent to them.

Treaty of Tordesillas[edit]

Main article: Treaty of Tordesillas

The first Catholic nation to found a colonial nation in a colonial region (and with 0 or more opinion of the Papal State) will get a claim on that entire region.

The claim can be transferred by annexing the claimant as a Catholic nation. The claim 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. Non-Catholic nations are unaffected by any Treaty of Tordesillas claims.

Diplomacy and warfare[edit]

Colonial nations can form alliances with and declare war on any nations with their capital in one of the colonial regions. Alliances are restricted to neighbors only.

A colonial nation can declare war on colonial subjects of another nation unless the overlords are allied.

Unlike most vassal types, the overlord is not automatically involved in these wars. The overlord can however try to enforce a peace settlement on the power that is threatening the subject colony. If the target of this request refuses, then the conflict will escalate to a war between the two overlord countries.

A colonial nation is unable to declare war on any state not in the colonial regions on its own. If a regular established country (including an independent former colonial nation) declares war on a colonial nation, the colony is treated like an ally or vassal and the overlord is automatically called into the war. Colonies will also automatically join all wars their overlords are in.

Independence war[edit]

If a colonial nation's Liberty desire.png liberty desire increases high enough, they will gain the ability to declare independence and start a war to break free from their overlord. Other nations can pledge to support the colonial nation's independence and if the colonial nation declares a war for independence, it will call on any foreign allies that had pledged to support its freedom.

If the colonial nation wins the independence war, it will become independent and form a new nation, free of ties to the mother country. The colonial nation will be presented with the choice of becoming a Government republic.png republic or a Government monarchy.png monarchy, of the highest possible level given the current Administrative technology.png administrative technology (except a bureaucratic despotism). There are also several formable nations that can exclusively be formed by independent former colonial nations, allowing them to reform themselves into a proper nation and stake their claim to the lands around them.

If, on the other hand, the colonial nation loses such the independence war, it will stay under the overlord's rule and keeps the tariff level at where the overlord set it before the conflict. The Colonial Nation’s desire for liberty will be lowered by 15-25 points after the defeat, depending on whether the overlord 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 colonial nation has already declared an independence war, it will be treated as successful and the colonial nation will become independent.
  • If the colonial nation has not declared independence, however, it 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 cannot establish colonies outside its colonial region unless it borders the target province directly by land.
  • Colonial nations join their overlord in wars.
  • Colonial nations provide their overlord with 50% of their Trade power.png trade power.
  • Each colonial nation of at least 10 provinces increases their overlord's Naval forcelimit.png naval force limit by +10.
  • Each colonial nation of at least 10 provinces increases their overlord's Land forcelimit.png land force limit by +5.
  • Each colonial nation of at least 10 provinces increases their overlord's Trade power.png global trade power by +5%.
  • Each colonial nation of at least 10 provinces provides their overlord with an extra Merchants.png merchant.
  • If El Dorado.png El Dorado is enabled, if a colonial nation has gold producing provinces, it will accumulate all of the gold in a 'treasure fleet counter' and every once in a while, once the meter fills up, it will send 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 colony's.
    • If the overlord's home trade port is not located downstream from the colony's, then the colonial nation will keep the gold (and any income gained from it) and simply tariffs on it normally.

Random New World Maps[edit]

While colonial nations function the same in a Random New World, there are some issues to keep in mind if following a colonization strategy in a different new world.

The number of colonial nation regions may be wildly different from the 11 found in North and South America, ranging from as low as 2 to as high as 18, plus Australia. This can drastically alter the circumstances for the formation of colonial nations and can affect a player's strategy if they rely on the force limit contributions of subject nations, or on extra merchants from colonial nations of ten provinces or more.

While the standard map does not completely align colonial nations with trade node areas, in a random new world, nothing can be taken for granted. Most trade nodes will usually line up with a single colonial region, but some will be shattered among several and others may encompass two or three. Founding the right colonies first, in order to control the key trade nodes in a random new world requires a fresh look each game, complicated by the fact that until everything is discovered, there can never be certainty about where the truly crucial areas lie, which is exactly how it was intended to be.

In some RNW maps, especially those with large numbers of colonial regions, there are two common peculiarities.

First, some provinces will not belong to any colonial nation area, and thus will stay under the direct control of the original colonizer. Likewise some areas can become a patchwork of colonial regions, none of whom are big enough to allow colonial nations to form and thus like the first category, they will stay under the control of the original colonizer. Both areas should be prioritized as they effectively add directly to the home nation size and allow the nation in question to use them as stable "anchor points" in the New World, serving as collections of provinces with the proper culture and religion that can be made into states and developed without fear of them 'defecting' to a colonial nation.

Second, colonial regions can be truly huge, and the colonial nations formed in them may therefore attain great size and power, making them harder to keep under control than anything found on the standard map. While this should not deter a player from colonizing them, one should stay aware of the colonial nations' growth and consider taking steps to appease them and keep their liberty desire in check, steps that might not be required for smaller colonial nations.


Main article: Countries#Dynamic_tags

Colonial nations use a special set of nation tags to identify them. The first colonial nation formed in the game will be assigned the tag 'C00', followed by 'C01', 'C02', 'C03' and so on, assigned in the order that they were formed and from the game's starting overlord. If a colonial nation becomes independent and form a nation they gain the tag of that nation.


Turn the Table icon
As a colony, break free and vassalize your former overlord without forming any other nation..

Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology

  1. 1.0 1.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua.