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There are some dates in history which, in retrospect, are more significant than others. At these key moments in EU4's historical timeline, Paradox has put bookmarks. These selected start dates can also be called scenarios. They can be found under the Historical Start tab of the singleplayer or multiplayer start screens.

Bookmarks[edit | edit source]

There are 15 different Historical Start bookmarks in the game, four of which are set during the same date and are simply meant to add flavour to certain areas of the world. Several nations are designated as interesting, these are represented by large shields in the bottom part of the screen. A handful of those are marked as beginner-friendly, recommended for new players to play. Their shields glow green to differentiate them from other interesting nations.

Year Date Title Description
1444 November 11 Rise of the Ottomans The day after the crushing defeat of the Poles and Hungarians by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Varna, and the death of King Władysław III of Poland, ending the Crusade of Varna.

This left the Albanian armies under the capable general Skanderbeg to fend off the Ottoman armies alone, which they would do for the next 24 years.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1444 November 11 Empires of the Sands In 1444, Africa is a region full of emerging kingdoms. In the east, the Christian Ethiopian empire is experiencing a golden age under its celebrated ruler, Zara Yakob. In West Africa, the space left by the crumbling Mali empire is being filled by rising states such as Songhai. An ongoing crisis in the Maghreb will soon result in the rebirth of a strong Moroccan kingdom in the northwest, while the northeast becomes the playground of European and Turkish imperialists.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1444 November 11 The First Nations Fifty years prior its encounter with Columbus, the Americas are a huge and diverse region. In the south, Cusco has just begun its rise from a minor kingdom to the great Inca empire. In Central America, the newly formed Aztec Triple Alliance is but one of many strong regional powers. In North America, perhaps the most divided region of all, the Iroquois and Huron federations have just begun to form.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1444 November 11 Kingdoms of the East Home to the majority of the world's population and the origin of the majority of the world's manufactured goods Asia is still in many ways the clear centre of the world in 1444. From Ming China to the myriad of states in India and Indochina, to the crumbling Timurid empire and the wide steppes to its north, Asia so far remains fundamentally disinterested in conflicts such as the crusade of Varna or the Hundred Years' War.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1453 May 29 The Fall of Byzantium Begins just as Ottoman Emperor Mehmet II completes his conquest of the great city of Constantinople, sweeping away the last vestiges of Imperial Rome. Meanwhile, England and France are preparing for the Battle of Castilion, which will prove to be the last battle in the Hundred Year's War.

Also in that same year, in Mainz, Johannes Gutenburg set up his moveable type printing press.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1492 January 1 A New World! "In fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue..." - the beginning of the Quest for the New World. An ambitious Italian navigator under the patronage of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain landed on San Salvador in the Bahamas, originally believing that he had successfully found a westward passage to the East Indies.

Earlier that year Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile completed the Reconquista, a nearly eight-hundred year struggle against the Islamic invaders, expelling the last Muslim dynasty from the Iberian peninsula.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1508 December 10 War of the League of Cambrai The League of Cambrai was a coalition formed by "The Warrior Pope" Julius II, consisting of the Papal States, France, the Holy Roman Empire and Aragon to curb the growing power of Venice. However, midway through the war the sides began to change. Suddenly it was Venice and the Papacy against France and Ferrara. Then Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, England and Milan joined with the Papacy, forming the Holy League. Finally Scotland joined in on France's side.

This was the beginning of the intricate and internecine Italian Wars, which ravaged the peninsula for more than fifty years. Historically at the end of this phase of the wars, Venice and France came out ahead. The power of the papacy was checked, and would be further challenged by the onset of the Reformation.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1579 January 23 Eighty Years War Also known as the Dutch War of Independence, this conflict pits the recently-formed Netherlands under Willam, Prince of Orange and its allies (including England and France) against Habsburg Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. This war, fought between Habsburg-supporting Catholics and Dutch Calvinists, was one of the major wars fought during the Reformation.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1618 May 23 Thirty Years War Often considered one of the most destructive wars in history, the Thirty Years' War was both a Protestant-versus-Catholic religious war, as well as a Bourbon-versus-Habsburg war between the great dynasties of Europe. The scenario opens on the Bohemian Revolt, which got off to a spectacular start by throwing a few Catholic representatives of the the Emperor out of a window. Bohemia was taken by Protestants, and the zealous Catholic King Ferdinand was sent packing. The Protestant Elector of the Palatinate, Frederick V was installed as the new monarch. The revolution seemed to have succeeded marvelously.

The war might have remained a localized Bohemian rebellion except for some major conflating factors: other member states of the Protestant Union took it as a sign for a general rebellion, and began to occupy parts of Austria. An army was even sent to siege Vienna itself. Secondly, the Holy Roman Emperor Matthias promptly died in March 1619, and left his realm to none other than the ousted Ferdinand. Once Emperor, Ferdinand set about gathering allies, including his Habsburg nephew (who happened to be the king of Spain). Thirdly was the umbrage against involvement of the Turks.Bohemia was crushed. Frederick V was removed from power and exiled. For his short reign, he would be thereafter known as "the Winter King."

Meanwhile, in 1620 a truce in the Dutch wars expired, and the Huguenot minority population in France would rebel, bringing in a new theater of war. The conflict would continue to roil Europe in vicious infighting, inspired by hubris, avarice and by deeply philosophical differences in the interpretation of the word of God.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1701 September 1 War of the Spanish Succession Upon the death of Charles II, war broke out over who would reign over Spain's vast European and colonial empire. It pitted Catholic France and Spain (plus, at the beginning Bavaria) against the Holy Roman Empire, England (which, during the course of the war, would reform itself as Great Britain), Netherlands, Savoy and Portugal. In colonial North America, this conflict became known as Queen Anne's War.

Charles would prove to be the last Habsburg king of Spain. The Bourbon Philip V would eventually be recognized as his successor, but only by agreeing to give up his place in the succession of France.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1718 December 17 War of the Quadruple Alliance Philip V's reign was not to be a peaceable one after he reneged on his agreement to give up his ambitions for the French crown and invaded Sardinia, talking it away from the Holy Roman Empire. His ambition inevitably led to a coalition that formed to oppose him after the uncovering of the Cellamare Conspiracy, a plot to make Philip the Regent of France. In response, the Quadruple Alliance formed, consisting of France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire. Later they were joined by Savoy. The war was unique in that it was the only time during the century that the rivals France and England were allied.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1756 May 15 Seven Years' War With the decline of Spain, Great Britain and France emerged as the two main global colonial powers. And with the decline of the Holy Roman Empire, Prussia emerged under Frederick the Great of the house of Hohenzollern as the powerhouse of central Europe. The war opens on the isle of Minorca in the Balleares, where a small British force was under siege. After the disastrous naval loss for the relieving British squadron, war would engulf five continents.

Though there had been battles and skirmishes in colonial and overseas holdings before, the Seven Years' War can rightly be thought of as the first 'world war,' with conflict occurring in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and in the Pacific. In the campaigns between Prussia and Sweden, it would be known as the Pomeranian War. In North America, it was known as the French and Indian War. In India, the war would draw in the Mughal empire, and would be known as the Third Carnatic War.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1776 July 4 American War of Independence Great Britain had won French and Spanish colonial possessions in North America and India during the Seven Years' War, but what price victory? The taxes levied to pay off the war debts rankled the colonies of North America. This boiled over into the American Revolution. Though the conflict began de facto in 1775 at Lexington and Concord, on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, formally declaring, "That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown." Yet victory in the war was far from certain. Thomas Paine would gravely write of the conflict later in the year, "These are the times that try men's souls." General George Washington, though swept out of New York and New Jersey by the British Army in the following months, would, by Christmas, make a surprise Crossing of the Delaware and gain victory at the Battle of Trenton. This turning point proved that the Colonials were a force that even the greatest empire on the Earth needed to give due respect. From 1777 onward, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic aided the colonists, seeking to put an end to British hegemony. Also in this war, a submersible would be employed for the first time militarily, albeit unsuccessfully, in to attempt to mine a British ship.

And back in Britain, Captain James Cook set out on his third, final, and fatal expedition to the Pacific. While in Scotland, a book was published that would influence the course of global trade and capitalism thereafter: Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

The American Revolution was a symptom of underlying change occurring in the world. The Age of Enlightenment was challenging traditional notions of the rights of kings, and the Americans drew upon the republican arguments of philosophers like John Locke.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1789 July 14 The French Revolution The Seven Years' War and American Revolutions, as draining as they were to British coffers, were also costly for the ancien régime of France. Their participation in the American Revolution alone, for instance, had cost over one billion livres, all paid for by high-interest loans. Though Louis XVI had attempted Enlightenment-era reforms, such as the abolition of serfdom and tolerance towards non-Catholics, in the end it seemed that every reform he offered just fueled the popular desire for more. On July 14, 1789, these increasing resentments boiled over and the Bastille was stormed.

After seeing the American example, and now the French crisis, the monarchs of Europe did not take this republican threat idly. Once the nascent Republic declared war against the Bourbon Emperor of Austria, and the imprisoned French monarch Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were executed by guillotine they closed ranks. This became known as the War of the First Coalition. But the coalition fell apart, and France's victory in the war stunned the world.

By the turn of the century a daring officer would rise through the republican ranks following his campaigns in Italy and Egypt. This man, Napoleon Bonaparte, would transform the frail Republic into a powerful and terrifying Empire.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

1792 September 21 Revolutionary France During the French Revolution, the proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy was a proclamation by the National Convention of France announcing that it had abolished the French monarchy on 21 September 1792.

Fearing that the revolutionary fervor would spread to their countries, other European monarchs called for war against the new revolutionary government.

Interesting nations for this scenario:

Customized historical start[edit | edit source]

A player can use the Starting Date controls to change their game's start date to any they wish during the entire game period, from 11 November 1444 to 1 January 1821. (Though a game starting 1 January 1821 would abruptly end on the same day; not much of a game!)

At different Historical Start dates there are different nations to play. Nations may also have grown or shrunk from earlier start dates. Starting rulers, technologies, buildings, armies and navies will have also changed over time.

The political situation of every day in the entire world for the period of the game is recorded; changes to the map are visible even if you just scroll through the game one day at a time.

Time[edit | edit source]

Game time progresses linearly from the start in 1444 to the end in 1821. There are no leap years or leap centuries implemented in the game calendar.

End date[edit | edit source]

The game ends on 3 January 1821 if it is played in ironman mode. If the end date is reached in normal mode, pressing the continue button on the endgame screen will allow the player to keep playing beyond 1821.

See also[edit | edit source]