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Being a republic run by peasants in an age still dominated by feudalism is most certainly an interesting experience. Sadly, if you want to play as one, you will have to wait until the reformation happens and the “The Great Peasants’ War” event fires. Unless you begin the game as one, of course!
If not starting as one, you need to succumb to a peasant rebellion as an HRE member during the “The Fate of the Peasantry” imperial incident.
The exact details are quite convoluted and will be presented in more detail below.
But you can always choose to start as a Peasant Republic though! There are three nations starting with the “Peasant Republic” government reform:
- East Frisia
All three are situated in the German lowlands, bordering the North Sea. Friesland and Dithmarschen start as members of the HRE. East Frisia is surrounded by HRE members and gets an early event to join the empire.
How To Become a Peasant Republic
First you must wait until the Age of Reformation begins and the “Reformed” faith is enabled.
Sometime after that, the “The Great Peasants’ War” event will happen. More specifically, the event’s conditions are:
- Current Age is the “Age of Reformation”
- HRE leagues are NOT enabled
- HRE has no official faith
- HRE has no religious treaty
- HRE has at least one member
- “Reformed” faith is enabled
These conditions will always be fulfilled in a normal campaign, so you do not really have to worry. You only need to wait.
Generally, you can expect the event to trigger somewhere around the 1550s. It can trigger in any member of the HRE.
After the event triggers, all members of the HRE will suffer +6 National Unrest until the “The fate of the peasantry” imperial incident is resolved.
During this period, (and after it if the peasants are victorious in the incident) peasant rebellions in an HRE nation can also enforce their unique government type if the following conditions are met:
- Is an HRE member
- Has less than 100 development
- Is NOT the emperor
- Is not the lesser partner in a union
- Is not the Papal State
If you leave the HRE as a Peasant Republic, you will of course keep the government.
After this pop-up, you should have a peasant revolt in the making (unless you have stacked a lot of National Unrest reduction modifiers). Simply go to the “stability and expansion” tab and accept the rebels’ demands.
This will trigger an event giving you the choice between losing a lot of prestige and ousting the nobility, thus forming a peasant republic.
Playing as a Peasant Republic
Except for the unique tier 1 reform, the rest of the government reforms are the same as any other republic.
However, as a Peasant Republic after the “Great Peasants’ War” event has triggered, you will get a unique casus-belli to forcibly change a neighboring nation’s government.
This is a very powerful CB for expansions as well, as it yields 75% aggressive expansion targeting all the target’s provinces.
Choosing a Nation to go Peasant With
My personal recommendation is to start as a Peasant Republic from the get-go.
Dithmarschen is an excellent candidate. They sport a uniquely hilarious mission tree and have an achievement “Lessons of Hemmingstedt” tied to them.
Their mission tree guides them towards establishing more similar republics in Germany and eventually spreading the revolution all the way to Russia and deposing the Tsar.
On top of that, they can easily form some very strong and flavorful formable nations, such as the Netherlands, Hannover, and Westphalia.