Do any of these geniunely change anything? I noticed that I could max out my taxation and levies laws and no doubt the doge has risen his 'crown authority' in Venice. Do these actually have an effect on you as a player? as a nation? Would it require the buildup of several settlements and counties first or what? I've only played the first 100 years and I'm liking it so far but I'm not quite sure if these have an effect or not.
Additionally, is there no factions in republics? I have yet to see one form (even if its just the independance one).