United States of America

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United States of America
United States of America.png
Government type Democracy
Ruling party Democratic Party (conservative)
Capital Washington (ID 220)
Population 4 million
Primary culture Yankee
Literacy 42%
National value Liberty
Tech school Business Schools & Tycoon Capitalism
Status Great power

The United States of America or USA is initially the only great power outside of Europe and controls a large portion of North America. While it starts in only moderately favorable conditions, it has enormous growth potential. It is a forgiving start for a new player that allows a wide variety of strategies, from pursuing America's historical path of Manifest Destiny and the establishment of hegemony over the western hemisphere, to competition with the other great powers for the creation of a colonial empire in Asia and Africa. With A House Divided the US has access to a wide variety of country-specific decisions and events.

Historical path[edit]

The 19th century was a time in which the United States rose to become the dominant power in the Americas. Under the guise of Manifest Destiny, the idea that the American people were destined to "conquer the west", the young nation expanded greatly. In the northwest border conflicts with British-held Canada were settled peacefully, with the border line being drawn at the 49th parallel. In the west and southwest the United States absorbed Texas after that country's successful bid for independence from Mexico, while the Mexican–American War and the Gadsden Purchase (not modeled in the game) led to an enormous cession of Mexican-claimed land to the United States. The issues of slavery and states' rights led to the vicious Civil War, resulting in the defeat of the secessionist states and the abolition of slavery. Now stretching from coast to coast, the US would grow still further with the purchase of Alaska. At home the Monroe Doctrine and later the Roosevelt Corollary ensured that the Americas saw only limited influence from other Great Powers and that the US was able to assert its dominance against minor countries in the region. Abroad America began to establish its own empire, obtaining concessions in China and Panama, forcing open trade with Japan, annexing Hawaii and most of the Spanish colonies, and rapidly laying claim to uninhabited Pacific islands.

Starting conditions[edit]

In 1836, the United States is already a large country and a great power. Its military, population, and economy are lacking, but opportunities for growth abound, especially considering the high American literacy rate and starting research.

Territory[edit]

The US has grown far past its original thirteen states, but control of much land in the west is tenuous; many regions are not yet full states, are populated by non-accepted cultures, and have a very low population. The northern population is mostly Yankee, the primary culture, while southerners are mostly Dixie, an accepted culture. The regions of Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho, and British Columbia are still open for colonization, and successful colonization of Idaho brings access to Oregon and Washington. To the southwest, Texas will apply for statehood if it wins its war of independence and has a good relationship with the US, and further west great swathes of Mexican territory will receive American cores with the Manifest Destiny decision. One American core, Caribou, is in British hands; it can be obtained peacefully through the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

Government[edit]

The conservative Democratic Party has broad control over America's democracy. Some of their party issues are jingoism and interventionism. No social reforms have been enacted except the 10-hour workday, while in the political sphere, the states are represented by two members each in the upper house, voting is biased towards the wealthy and suffers from gerrymandering, slavery is allowed in certain states, but unions and meetings are entirely free.

Economy[edit]

America is in the enviable position of controlling a broad range of resources, and having the option of obtaining many more. Timber is available in New England, coal in West Virginia, and iron in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the south is filled with cash crops like cotton and tobacco. Few factories dot the landscape, however, and its low population and interventionist economics mean that the US will not readily industrialize initially. More craftsmen and capitalists are necessary to bring the nation's full economic potential to bear.

Foreign relations[edit]

The United States borders Texas to the southwest, the United Kingdom to the north, and Mexico to the west. The Russian Empire controls Alaska to the far northwest. The UK may release Canada, Newfoundland and Columbia as dominions, while Deseret and the Californian Republic may split off from Mexico. Many countries start the game with a positive view of the United States and are willing to form an alliance with it; the primary exception is Mexico and the UK. Texas is especially eager for help from its large northern neighbor and once it is at peace it will seek statehood if relations are above 175. The player should improve relations with the UK from day one and work on getting them to max if no other pressing matters need attending. Ocassionally, the UK may decide that a land grab of some sweet colonial states from the large, but feeble USA is in order, but good relations can somehow diminish the chances of that happening.

Decisions and events[edit]

The United States has many decisions and events relating to its historical path. Most are centered around the Civil War, as this was the focus of the expansion A House Divided. Because these events and decisions are largely related, they are grouped separately.

Civil war[edit]

Decisions[edit]

Events[edit]

National decisions[edit]

National events[edit]

Guide[edit]

The United States' first priority is to make full use of its capacity for territorial expansion. Colonization, the annexation of Texas and war with Mexico (after enacting Manifest Destiny) are sensible directions to go in. After this, promoting capitalism and economic development will allow the US to build up a massive power-base from which to project diplomatic and military power, both in the western hemisphere and further abroad. The conscience gain from many slavery-related events may be exploited to enact desirable political reforms, but is also likely to lead to rebellion. The Civil War seems like an almost inevitable occurrence and players should prepare accordingly.

Early colonization[edit]

Colonization provides an almost free way to expand American territory, and means that fewer wars will be required to obtain all of America's Manifest Destiny cores. It is thus in the US' best interest to colonize everything it can. At the start, USA should colonize whatever "border" state Mexico is colonizing and one more, and later compete for the one that remains. That way, it should always be able to easily outcompete Mexico in all three contested states. Don't worry about the UK snatching Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, which are up for grabs while you're busy with Mexico; the AI tends to leave them alone for some reason. USA should not make any attempt to seize anything in Canada, except maybe Yukon and Northwest Territories much later in the game. Due to the starting political makeup and the AI's behavior, UK would have it all colonized anyway by the time the US got there, and spending effort even attemtping it would give Mexico free pass on some of the states bordering it. Converting territories into states retrieves invested colonial points and should thus be a priority; using the national focus to encourage bureaucrats in territories containing accepted cultures will accelerate this process.

Texas and the Mexican-American War[edit]

The first order of business military-wise should be disbanding the US Navy for the time being. It will not be useful anytime soon, and it costs maintenance money direly needed elsewhere. America should also secure alliance with the USCA and Colombia before unpausing. Both should readily accept and provide a very helpful second front in the upcoming wars against Mexico. Allying them will also prevent Mexico from doing so instead.

At the game start Mexico is attempting to annex a freshly-independent Texas. Texas' war goal is simply to make peace though it can demand two of its cores still held by Mexico if the war goes well. Because Texas can and will apply for statehood once it and the US are at peace it is in the US' best interest to ensure it wins the war. Unfortunately, the Texan military is much smaller than the Mexican army. Texas benefits from having a strong defensive general, Sam Houston, but will usually lose the war. Once Texas begins to lose, US can come to its aid as Texas has a "Friendly" opinion of America. Keeping troops on the Texan border, ready for intervention, is advisable.

An interesting strategy is to not intervene conventionally. Instead, at game start, justify an acquire state CB against Mexico (or some other CB) and get Texas to give your troops military access. When the CB becomes available, declare your own war on Mexico. This allows the United States to destroy Mexico's army, allowing Texas to go on to not only win their war, but add a war goal of acquiring the rest of its cores from Mexico in the process. When both wars are complete, the United States can annex the Lone Star State whole and proper, instead of just partially and later having to fight Mexico again for the remaining part, and also gains whatever its goal was from Mexico.

Upon enacting the Manifest Destiny decision the US gets cores on all of its modern-day contiguous territory. Mexico is weak and the territory is valuable, so a war with Mexico to obtain these core provinces is logical. A typical approach would be to place one's main force in Texas to defeat any Mexican armies, while weaker forces spread out of the cores to occupy them. If Mexico has developed the territories too much it may not be possible to obtain all of them in one war; their war score will total up to more than 100. In this case a second war is necessary. It is advised that the player watches out for other GPs getting influence in Mexico, discrediting them as necessarry. If a GP is friendly to a country and someone attacks it, the GP in question may choose to join the war in that country's defense, and the AI will often do.

Avoiding the Civil War[edit]

By pushing Northern consciousness high it is sometimes possible to bypass the Civil War by enacting the Abolish Slavery political reform prior to the Slavery Debate event. The normal way to do this is to take a state off mexico, make it a slave state, and all colonies become slave states. This will push Yankee consciousness up very high, which will aid in getting a proper Upper House. Note, if Slavery Debate event comes up, there is no way to enact the Abolish Slavery reform.

Industrialization[edit]

Building factories and infrastructure can give the US an economic edge over the rest of the world. As always, industrialization requires enough resources, infrastructure, craftsmen, clerks, capitalists, and capital. The American political parties offer a choice between interventionism and laissez-faire as economic policy. The US is not shy for resources, but lacks in infrastructure and the right POPs. The US should be able to obtain more than enough funds by cutting down on the army and navy, and potentially raising tariffs. Using interventionism to build up infrastructure and to subsidize burgeoning industry can make development quicker, while laissez-faire will allow the economy to grow well once it has reached critical mass. Craftsmen tend to become available as necessary, leaving clerks and capitalists as the limitations on American industry. The population of both can be increased through use of national foci, but increasing literacy and lowering taxes on the rich is a more systematic way of encouraging their growth.

Civil War[edit]

The various slavery-related events almost unavoidably lead to A House Divided, which releases the Confederate States of America and starts the civil war. Players get the choice to continue as the USA or switch the CSA. Because the player has foreknowledge of the Civil War it can be stacked against either side. Only slave states will get CSA cores, and soldiers from CSA states will come under CSA control when the war happens. Depending on the side the player intends to choose they may limit the CSA to only the original slave states and have a large blockade in place at the start of the war, or they may grant it cores on all newly acquired states and rob the USA of its navy. Either side's army can be neutered by disbanding Yankee or Dixie troops sometime before the war breaks out. Winning the Civil War as the Union allows the Afro-American culture to be added as an acceptable culture. Rarely, the civil war may be prevented if the player manages to declare slavery illegal before the civil war has triggered.

Further expansion[edit]

Once the Mexican cores have been acquired and the Civil War has been dealt with(and even before, in the interludes between Mexican wars, but before the Civil War looms close enough), the US has a lot of options open to it. Encourage bureaucrats in continental homeland colonies(if they have some primaray/accpeted culture folks in them already, otherwise it's of no use) to turn them into states to free up colonial points. Encourage soldiers in the most populous states to gain a more sizable manpower pool.

Sindh and Panjab are interesting early game grabs, with fairly rich an populous states, yet without a GP protecting them. If the US builds a well-composed army and ships it over to Sindh, it will be able to easily annex the country. Ask France for access and amass the army piecemeal on some island nearby if you don't want to build a large transport fleet. Sindh can then be used as a beachhead to launch an invasion into much stronger Panjab. Be wary of fighting the Panjabi in the mountains though, your armies are not invulnerable to irregulars yet. The fact that Panjab can be gobbled up in one go makes this option all the more tempting.

Decisions allow for the Alaska purchase and annexation of Hawaii, the latter being a useful jumping board for colonization of the Pacific islands. Pacific isn't the most profitable colonial venture, but with any luck, the islands can be realistically turned into full states later in the game, as opposed to almost all African and Asian colonies.

If the Ostend Manifesto decision was enacted before the Civil War, Cuba will be an American core, and can be wrestled from Spain.

Sphering Colombia and building the Panama canal as a sensible choice. Suez, along with some other land while you're at it, can be gained from Egypt, although this is not a priority. At the start, Egypt often fights with Ottomans wanting their cores back, and its army gets annihilated. This is your chance. Get there before the UK does. Do not bother sphering, Egypt will call you into its defensive wars against the Ottos and the UK is hell-bent on sphering Egypt themselves once they can build the canal themselves, making it a pain in the butt to hold.

Expanding into Mexico is no great military challenge, nor is annexing other countries in the western hemisphere, but the infamy is an everpresent limitation. Seizing colonies from other GPs or expanding into Canada, however, requires careful thought and military preparation, though they are by no means out of reach for a player willing to take the infamy penalty.

States can be taken from China with one well-composed army of roughly 25 regiments(Infantry/guards supported by artillery, cavalry, and engineers) and some second or third tier army techs researched. The player has to go on defeating small 10-regiments strong Chinese armies to gain warscore and wait for China to beg for peace, which happens pretty fast. Do not add wargoals though, the Chinese will for some reason never accept them based on battle warscore alone and you are not yet in good enough shape to truly occupy China. A Chinese state is an incredibly valuable prize, with just one having population close the the entire US combined and being capable of solving all of your money problems forever.

If planning to participate in the Scramble for Africa, the player should prepare ahead of time by seizing some starting land there before it happens. The leading candidates are Oman along with its African holdings, the Portuguese starting colonies, or the richer parts of Egypt. Don't bother with Maghreb or the Egyptian hinterlands, they're poor and not worth the infamy. Same goes for starting colonies of various European nations that dot the coast, the infamy and work required is too much for one measly colonial province. Note that without gaining something in Africa beforehand or at least securing a naval base at a close enough range like Arabia or India, the US will not be able to colonize anything on the continent by the time other GPs get to it.