United States

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Kingdom rankUnited States
United States.png
Primary culture
American (British)

Capital province
Manhattan (965)

Constitutional RepublicGovernment republic.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
American ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+1 Merchant
+20% Religious unity

No religion penalty.png Freedom of Religion

Negative religious tolerance no longer gives any penalties. Heretic and heathen provinces do not give us any penalty to religious unity.

National unrest.png Bill of Rights

−2 National unrest

Colonists.png Empire of Liberty

+1 Colonist

Morale of armies.png Lessons of Valley Forge

+10% Morale of armies

Goods produced modifier.png Workshop of the World

+15% Goods produced modifier

Prestige.png Shining City on a Hill

+1 Yearly prestige

Cb on primitives.png Indian Removal

Can fabricate claim overseas in colonial region.

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+0.5 Yearly republican tradition

The United States are a nation born from the fires of European colonialism. Instead of owing allegiance to a European monarch like so many other colonies, its capital and heartland are in North America. Once ties are cut with nations across the Atlantic, the United States may fulfill its manifest destiny for all future Americans.


Main article: American missions

United States's missions focus on the revolutionary war and expansion in North America.


Main articles: American revolution events, American Dream events

The US' events mostly focus on the American revolution. The American Dream DLC adds many other historical events.


The United States can be formed by any former colonial nation with its capital in ‘Colonial Eastern America’ (colonial region).[1]

Execute decision.pngForm American Nation

Long have these proud colonies been subject to the greed and oppression of the European powers, but no more! The surge of liberty in the colonies has granted us an opportunity of forming a proud federation of independent states free from tyranny. The United States of America!

Potential requirements

The game is not using a random New World.
The country:

If this country is AI-controlled, it must own at least 3 provinces.


The country:

Flag of United States United States does not exist.


The country:

  • changes to Flag of United States United States.
  • gains a permanent claim on every non-owned province of Colonial Eastern America.
  • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png−0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    • National unrest.png+1 national unrest.

If the country:

  • is a member of the Holy Roman Empire and not an elector or the emperor
    • then all its provinces are removed from the HRE.
  • is a duchy
    • then it becomes a Kingdom rank kingdom.
  • does not have custom ideas


Forming the United States by Releasing a Colonial Nation[edit]

This strategy requires players to behave a little unnaturally for the first century or so of the game, but if done correctly, it will produce an American empire stretching "from sea to shining sea" many years before 1776. Playing as a colonial European power such as Flag of England England, Flag of Portugal Portugal, Flag of Castile Castile, or Flag of France France, focus on colonizing above all else. Access to the Eastern America region may be gained most often through Iceland and the Azores leading, respectively, to Greenland and Bermuda. The Azores and Iceland are low-cost military targets, but are often hard to fabricate claims on, so another casus belli must be used.


The first idea group acquired should of course be Exploration idea group.png Exploration, followed by Expansion idea group.png Expansion, though it can be wise to wait until reaching Diplomatic Technology Level 7 before investing any monarch points in ideas. The third idea group needs to be a military idea group. As of 1.28, only Plutocratic idea group.png Plutocratic Ideas unlocks a policy that boosts settler growth. However, completing Humanist idea group.png Humanist Ideas along with Exploration unlocks a policy that gives a +50% bonus to Native assimilation.png native assimilation, which can be very useful if paired with the Native Trading Policy.

All policies benefiting colonization should be implemented as soon as the requisite idea groups are completed.

Gameplay as the Mother Country[edit]

Complete every mission and take every event decision that grants the Colonial Enthusiasm modifier or otherwise helps colony growth. For example, a player can boost Global settler increase.png Global Settler Increase by +10 every ten years by using the Grant New World Charter interaction with the Burghers.png Burgher Estate. Colonial Eastern America is usually a low priority for other nations' colonization efforts; wise players will use this to their advantage and get the Pope to recognize their right to the area before anyone else has arrived. (This will result in a Catholicism Catholic United States, but it's worth it to discourage competitors from colonizing provinces the United States will want later on.) Countries with a parliament, like Flag of England England, should use it to get an extra colonist as often as possible. Resolving parliamentary debates immediately will shorten the length of time a player must wait before the Charter Colonies debate option comes up again. If playing with the Golden Century.png Golden Century expansion, a player can take advantage of expelling religious minorities to the colonies to give them a development boost.

Colonize the entire Eastern America region, focusing on the coastlines first. Conquer any Native American tribes in the region as soon as the fledgling colonial nation can successfully absorb them. With the incentive of an adjacent province, the colonial nation may declare a few of these colonial conquest wars on its own. Note that as of 1.18.3, these tribes will embrace institutions quickly, losing their status as "primitives" and therefore the Colonial Conquest causus belli. If left alone for too long, a player will need to fabricate a claim on their provinces like any other nation.

It can be helpful to establish tiny colonial nations in adjoining regions like Canada and Mexico. These will give a Catholic mother country a Treaty of Tordesillas claim on these areas to keep rivals out, but at the same time will leave plenty of open land for the United States to expand into once it's independent. To prevent giving these nations any land the future United States might desire, use the subject interactions in the Subjects tab to grant provinces to the correct colonial nation. Note that a player may only grant provinces that are directly controlled, not provinces belonging to another colonial nation, so the single day when a colony is self-sustaining but not yet granted to its normal colonial nation is often the only possible day to grant it to the future United States. Note also that it is not possible to grant provinces while at war, so time wars carefully!

During all this colonizing, do not neglect European expansion. A player needs to maintain a strong European power base so that the colonial nation’s liberty desire stays below 50% until the player is ready to release it. For the same reason, it’s best to keep tariffs as low as feasible. Granting provinces will also decrease liberty desire, as will investing in the colonial nation's development. A wise player will do a lot of both to give the future United States the best starting position possible. If playing with the Mandate of Heaven.png Mandate of Heaven DLC, don't be afraid to take a Golden Age as the European power; since the United States will be a new nation, it will be able to have a golden age of its own later on.

Releasing the Colony[edit]

Once the entire Eastern America region is colonized (or more, if a player is intent on gifting provinces outside that colonial region) and the nation is ready to be released, a wise player will make sure that the newly independent United States doesn’t have to immediately compete against the colonizing powerhouse of the mother country. It is therefore best to send all the mother country’s colonists to the most remote, slow-growing, uncolonized land within reach (jungle provinces in Africa, for instance), or abandoning the Exploration idea group.png Exploration and Expansion idea group.png Expansion groups altogether and using the regained monarch power to further develop the colonial nation. If the newly released American nation is likely to come into quick conflict with its mother country, it is possible to sabotage the European country before releasing the colonial nation. If the two are likely to be allies because of their shared cultural ties, however, it’s often best to leave the European power in as strong a military position as possible before releasing your colonial nation. If other colonizing nations have established colonies that America will want to absorb, it can be helpful to have the European mother country rival the owners of those colonial nations.

If the mother country has, as this strategy guide suggests, established small colonial nations near the United States, it's advisable to release these nations as well, just before releasing the United States (make sure not to play as them, though!). This allows America to have some neighbors to interact with, and possibly vassalize and annex.

Now it's time to release the colonial nation. Make sure to check the box to play as the released nation!

Gameplay as the United States[edit]

Once in the driver's seat of the newly independent nation, a player has a lot of important decisions to make. The first is to get the right idea groups. The colonial nation should already have completed Expansion idea group.png Expansion Ideas and Plutocratic idea group.png Plutocratic Ideas, but the extra colonist and the colonization-boosting policies from Exploration idea group.png Exploration Ideas will help America reach the Pacific before other nations do (or, at least, in time to keep their colonial nations in California and Cascadia small). It is worth abandoning two of the uncompleted idea groups in order to access Exploration and Quantity Ideas immediately. Don't worry about the loss; these idea groups can be chosen again later if needed. Abandoning these idea groups should refund a small amount of monarch power that can then be spent on the new idea groups. It may be wise to get the first few ideas in these groups before forming the Flag of United States United States—a colonial nation's generic national ideas include one that reduces the cost of ideas; the American national ideas do not. Instead, they grant an extra colonist, which will be needed, so don't delay forming the United States for too long. (Plus, once the United States is formed, a player gets access to all the fun events from the American Dream DLC, almost all of which are helpful.) Later on, the Number of states.png +5 states bonus granted by completing Administrative idea group.png Administrative Ideas and the +1Attrition attrition for enemies bonus from Defensive idea group.png Defensive Ideas can both be extremely useful.

If a player has followed this strategy guide and colonized the entire Eastern America colonial region and the coastal provinces of Louisiana, all of the United States' nation-specific missions will be automatically completalbe once the nation is formed, giving instant access to their bonuses.

Once the United States has formed, a wise player will change the country’s religion to either Reformed.png Reformed or Protestantism Protestant. America's first national idea makes this transition essentially painless other than the prestige hit, and the penalty is worth it—as a Catholic nation, colonizing any colonial region that's already claimed by another Catholicism Catholic power, including America's mother country, will damage America’s relations with that country and hurt settler growth in that region. As a Protestant or Reformed nation—even if the majority of America’s provinces are still Catholic—the United States faces neither penalty. (And if a Protestant United States adds the Heretics Deported aspect of faith, her colonies will grow even faster.) The relations penalty for being a different religion than most of Europe is much more easily overcome than the penalty for repeatedly breaking the Treaty of Tordesillas.

For the moment, America’s focus should be the same as it was for the mother nation: colonize, colonize, colonize. With luck, the nation's colonist may have already encroached into Louisiana or Canada before the nation was even released. Expand upon this advantage. Focus on coastlines; if other nations can't get an easy foothold into a region, they're likely to leave it alone. The four coastal provinces of Louisiana are the first priority; after that, consider cutting off expansion into Canada. Then make a beeline toward the Pacific. Try to prevent the Europeans from colonizing California if at all possible. If someone else gets there first, make sure they can't expand eastward through Arizona or Oregon. Conquering native tribes can be very helpful in getting west quickly. Focus on choosing event options that boost your colonies' growth, and make sure to core provinces once they reach 1000 inhabitants.

While colonizing, try to stay out of fights with European powers until America’s technology is at least equal to theirs and the United States has a stalwart European ally who can keep most of a European enemy’s troops busy. Often, the mother nation is the best bet for such an ally. It can be useful to delay declaring rivals for a time to avoid being called into European wars before America is ready for them. Quantity idea group.png Quantity Ideas are essential for America to defend her vast borders from European invasions and internal insurrections.

An Alternative Strategy[edit]

As of 1.22, colonial overlords are no longer called in to defend colonial nations when they are attacked (despite the tooltip indicating the contrary). America can take advantage of this fact by allowing other nations to colonize California, Alaska, and Mexico and then cheaply and easily conquering those colonial nations before they gain independence. While this allows North America to be colonized more quickly overall, it does so at the cost of having to deal with different religions and cultures in the conquered provinces. Provinces directly colonized by the United States do not face these penalties.

Institution Spread[edit]

Colonial nations have a generous bonus to institution spread while under the control of their mother country. Once the mother country embraces an institution, its colonial nations will do so shortly thereafter. This bonus ends the moment the colonial nation is released. A wise player will plan proactively to embrace future institutions by building the appropriate buildings—trade buildings for Global Trade; manufactories, plantations, and trade stations for Manufactories; and universities for the Enlightenment. (Much of this can be done as the European power developing its subject.) Make sure the requisite buildings are built in at least 10 percent of the country's development, ideally before the institution is even born. With aggressive colonization, America's economic base should expand sufficiently to cover the costs of all this construction (and the construction, in turn, will boost America's economy—especially the plantations and trade companies). Even so, the United States will likely have to save up two or three thousand ducats to fully embrace the institution—that's the downside of colonization: each province added to the nation increases the cost of embracing institutions. It may be necessary to take out loans to embrace an institution and avoid falling behind Europe technologically, but it is usually worth the cost, if for no other reason than obtaining or maintaining great power status and the benefits that come with it.

Manifest Destiny[edit]

Done correctly, the United States can reach the Pacific and potentially colonize parts of Siberia, Australia, Indonesia, and Oceania before turning its attention inward and settling the Great Plains of North America. (Once all the available land is colonized, owners of the Dharma.png Dharma expansion can employ their colonists to improve settled provinces.) By this time, especially if America has conquered another colonial nation or two, the United States should be a great power able to compete directly with any nation in Europe. Support the Independence of any large New World colonial nations that America doesn't intend to invade (such as ones in Brazil or La Plata), and America can gain some consistent, reliable allies who probably have some of the same European rivals that the United States does. It can be very hard for two or even three European powers to invade the combined territory (and military might) of the Flag of United States United States, Flag of Chile Chile, and Flag of Brazil Brazil. Eclipse enough European rivals, and America may even find herself in a cold war with Flag of Russia Russia—a century and a half early.


Note: Unlike other achievements, this one requires starting on a non-1444 bookmark:

Liberty or Death icon
Start as United States in 1776 bookmark and own all your cores while being at peace.


  1. For the script code of the decision see in /Europa Universalis IV/decisions/USANation.txt.
Country guides

Western technology group Western.png United States.png United States
Mesoamerican technology group Mesoamerican.png Maya.png Maya
North American technology group North American.png Caddo.png Caddo Cherokee.png Cherokee Iroquois.png Iroquois

Central African technology group Central African.png Mutapa.png Mutapa
East African technology group East African.png Kilwa.png Kilwa
Muslim technology group Muslim.png The Mamluks.png MamluksTunis.png Tunis
West African technology group West African.png Mali.png Mali

Eastern technology group Eastern.png Jerusalem.png Jerusalem
Muslim technology group Muslim.png Arabia.png Arabia Hisn Kayfa.png Hisn Kayfa Oman.png Oman
Indian technology group Indian.png Assam.png Assam Bahmanis.png Bahmanis Bengal.png Bengal Orissa.png Orissa
Chinese technology group Chinese.png Bali.png Bali Brunei.png Brunei Dai Viet.png Dai Viet Japan.png Japan Khmer.png Khmer Korea.png Korea Majapahit.png Majapahit Malaya.png Malaya Pagarruyung.png Pagarruyung Pasai.png Pasai Sunda.png Sunda
Nomadic technology group Nomadic.png Jianzhou.png Jianzhou Timurids.png Timurids Uzbek.png Uzbek

Andean technology group Andean.png Chachapoya.png Chachapoya Cusco.png Cusco Muisca.png Muisca
South American technology group South American.png Mapuche.png Mapuche