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United States

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]

 Form 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:

  United States does not exist.


The country:

  • changes to   United States.
  • gains a permanent claim on every non-owned province of Colonial Eastern America.
  • gains  25 prestige.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    •  −0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    •  +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.
  • does not have custom ideas


Forming the United States by Releasing a Colonial NationEdit

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   England,   Portugal,   Castile, or   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, followed by   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 Ideas unlocks a policy that boosts settler growth. However, completing   Humanist Ideas along with Exploration unlocks a policy that gives a +50% bonus to   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 CountryEdit

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 by +10 every ten years by using the Grant New World Charter interaction with the   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   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   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 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 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 ColonyEdit

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 and   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 StatesEdit

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 Ideas and   Plutocratic Ideas, but the extra colonist and the colonization-boosting policies from   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   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   +5 states bonus granted by completing   Administrative Ideas and the +1  attrition for enemies bonus from   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 or   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   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 Ideas are essential for America to defend her vast borders from European invasions and internal insurrections.

An Alternative StrategyEdit

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 SpreadEdit

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 DestinyEdit

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 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   United States,   Chile, and   Brazil. Eclipse enough European rivals, and America may even find herself in a cold war with   Russia—a century and a half early.

Starting at the 4 July 1776 BookmarkEdit

Getting StartedEdit

Obtaining the achievement “Liberty or Death” is actually fairly easy, in large part because the starting scenario is somewhat ahistorical. Before unpausing, a player has several decisions to make, such as adopting policies and starting diplomacy. Select policies that will be most beneficial to the war effort, such as the Land Inheritance Act, Local Army Organization, and The Fleet Is our Wooden Wall. The United States also starts with an overabundance of generals. Fire the lowest-ranked three (at least) and hire an admiral instead—he will be needed.

Don’t bother sending out colonists or missionaries; the Revolution will require taking out loans, and superfluous expenses like these should be eliminated to minimize the debt. Do, however, send America’s currently idle merchants to nearby trade nodes to maximize trade revenue. Promoting English to be an accepted culture will also benefit America’s balance sheet.

A player can send diplomats to improve relations with Great Britain’s European rivals, such as   France,   Spain, and the   Netherlands, but don’t expect them to lead to an alliance without the help of an event—the distance between borders penalty is simply too great, especially when American army and navy strength declines as the United States takes casualties. Luckily (and ahistorically), a player doesn't need them to win.

Military ManeuversEdit

The first order of business would seem to be taking care of the rebel stack in the Ticonderoga province. But before sending the American Army stack north, split off one unit and send it to capture the two British provinces in Illinois. This will prevent a player from being harassed in Kentucky and allow the player to claim those two provinces at the end of the war. Then go crush the rebels.

Defeating the rebels will leave the US Army near the border with Newfoundland. Unlike the historical American invasion of Canada, which ended in disaster, this campaign doesn’t have to result in defeat. Newfoundland usually gathers their army in the province of Quebec. Superior American numbers can force them to retreat to Halifax. Lay siege to the fort at Fundy, using bombardment to shorten the time (and casualties) required to capture it. Then annihilate the Newfoundland Army. Capture Newfoundland provinces to amass warscore.

The US Navy is at least as important as the Army in winning this war. A wise player will use the Burghers interaction “Draft Ships for War” and will also begin construction on 3-5 other heavy ships before unpausing. The first order of business is to destroy the small blockading fleets from British Florida and the British West Indies; this can usually be done before ships from the British Navy proper appear in American waters. The British usually begin the war by sending a task force of 30 transports to land a 30k army in North America (usually in Nova Scotia or Massachusetts). Preventing their landing is critical. It is far easier to destroy a British regiment by sinking its transport than it is to defeat it in a land battle. Usually, however, the British transport fleet will retreat to Bermuda at the first sign of an approaching American Navy. Bottling up British troops on the island (where they will often suffer attrition from being over the supply limit) is a viable strategy, though using the fleet to blockade coastal forts in Canada is useful as well. But do not engage the British Navy in an even fight; if the British sink too many American ships, they will be able to land troops with impunity, which is the worst possible scenario for the United States.

Another important decision is whether to ask for military access from Creek, and if so, when. British Florida (oddly called “Thirteen Colonies” in-game) is completely separated from the United States by the   Creek nation. Without military access, they can be safely ignored; with it, their provinces can be occupied for some extra war score. Their level-1 capital fort in Mobile is a particularly soft target, and capturing it will cause the nation’s war enthusiasm to plummet. But if America’s forces will be engaged elsewhere, count on a 5K enemy army besieging Savannah, Augusta, and Charleston. It can be worthwhile to hire a small mercenary unit to defeat that army and capture the Gulf Coast.

By preventing the British from landing and keeping the Newfoundland Army busy in Canada, a player can easily achieve the war goal of defending Philadelphia and the full 25 warscore that comes with it. Conquering a Canadian fort or two will allow the player to demand several neighboring provinces in the peace deal (including those two in Illinois). Congratulations on completing the Liberty or Death achievement!

After the WarEdit

After peace is signed, the remaining thirty or forty years of the game consist of repaying war loans and figuring out the right order in which to conquer the neighboring Native American tribes. There is just enough time for an ambitious player to finish the unique missions on the American mission tree.


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

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     United States
Mesoamerican technology group     Maya
North American technology group     Caddo   Cherokee   Iroquois

Central African technology group     Mutapa
East African technology group     Kilwa
Muslim technology group     Mamluks  Tunis
West African technology group     Mali

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

Andean technology group     Chachapoya   Cusco   Muisca
South American technology group     Mapuche