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European Powers (Nations)

There are four European Powers in Sid Meier's Colonization. Each nation has certain advatages over the other nations, and their leaders have different traits. Leader traits come into play when a nation is controlled by the computer player. (See AI traits table)

In order to decide which nation to play as, check out this strategy article.

England | France | Netherlands | Spain

England (Immigration)


The Age of Expansion coincided with a period of religious strife in England. The Church of England -- theoretically a Protestant denomination but maintaining many Catholic traditions -- faced a series of challenges during the colonial period from would-be reformers, or puritans. The English monarchy shifted its support between pro-Catholic and various Protestant factions from generation to generation, and the English Civil-War (1640-1649) resulted in the execution of Charles I and a period of Puritan rule (1649-1660) under Oliver Cromwell. With so much conflict at home, the English government had neither the desire nor the ability to enforce religious conformity in its colonial posessions. The colonies became havens of religious freedom for gourp (e.g. Puritans, Anabaptists, Quakers) who faced persecution in the Old World.

Leader: Walter Raleigh

AI traits  
AggressiveNeutralfriendly
ExpansionistNeutralPerfectionist
CivilizedNeutralMilitaristic

Player Advantage: To reflect the great flow of immigrants into English colonies, the English player requires only 2/3 the normal number of "Crosses" to generate immigrants.

France (Co-operation)


Latecomers to the New World, France established her first secure American colonies in Canada along the St. Lawrence river, where the harsh northern climate proved more suitable for the fur trade than for large-scale agricultural endeavors. The French found the Great Lakes Indians to be ideal partners in the fur trade and formed long-term trading relationships with the Hurons, Algonquins and other tribes. Though French forts, missions, and trading posts soon dotted the Great Lakes region, French settlements were generally small enough to operate in relative harmony with the local native population. Although this relationship was not entirely without incident, the French were often able to cooperate profitably with the natives. This cooperation occasionally extended into the military realm.

Leader: Jacques Cartier

AI traits  
AggressiveNeutralfriendly
ExpansionistNeutralPerfectionist
CivilizedNeutralMilitaristic

Player Advantage: To reflect the superior ability of the French to cooperate with the native population, the French player's colonies and units cause alarm among the Indians at only half the rate of other European powers. They also start with a Hardy Pioneer.

Netherlands (Trade)


The Protestant Dutch provinces gained their independence from Catholic Spain during the Age of Expansion. A maritime country of fishermen and merchants, the Dutch Netherlands operated large merchant and fishing fleets in the North Sea and the Baltic. Upon achieving political independence in the early seventeenth century, this tiny nation found itself ideally poised to expand its overseas trade into lucrative new markets in the Far East and New World. Unlike their rivals and sometime enemies the Spanish, French, and English, the Dutch were ruled by their merchant class. This unique arrangement led them to focus all aspects of state: diplomatic, military, and economic policy around the interests of trade. Their strategy proved quite successful, and the Dutch economy and merchant fleet expanded so rapidly that the other European powers felt compelled to take drastic measures against the Dutch in order to prop up their own less successful enterprises.

Leader: Michiel De Ruyter

AI traits  
AggressiveNeutralFriendly
ExpansionistNeutralPerfectionist
CivilizedNeutralMilitaristic

Player Advantage: To represent the strength of the Dutch economy, as well as Dutch achievements in shipping, commerce, and banking, the Dutch player receives a bonus when trading with Amsterdam. Commodity prices in Amsterdam do not collapse as quickly as in other European ports and they recover more quickly.

Spain (Conquest)


In 1492, the same year that Columbus discovered America, the Spanish completed their centuries-long "reconquista" of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslim Moors. This victory left Spain with a generation of military men spoiling for a new avenue of expansion and more eager than ever to bring Christianity to the heathen at the point of a sword. The New World and its unsuspecting natives provided exactly such an opportunity, and the history of the first century of Spanish expansion in America is the history of the conquest, plunder, and destruction of countless Native American civilizations. The Spanish were the first Europeans to encounter the 'Indians,' and the otherwise mighty Aztec and Inca empires proved psychologically unprepared for the arrival of an alien power armed with muskets and thirsty for conquest. Conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived at Veracruz in 1519 with a few hundred men and, within two years, brought the Aztec Empire to its knees.

Leader: Christopher Columbus

AI traits  
AggressiveNeutralfriendly
ExpansionistNeutralPerfectionist
CivilizedNeutralMilitaristic

Player Advantage: To reflect the strategic surprise which Spain achieved over pre-Columbian American civilizations, the Spanish player receives a 50% combat bonus when attacking Indian villages. They always start with a Veteran Soldier, also on the harder difficulty levels.