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Dev Diary #42 - Cultural Secessions

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Welcome back to another chapter in this rundown of features that might tear your lovely nation apart! Last week we discussed Revolutions, which is where politically engaged members of your society rise up to change your country in favor of a certain Law. Today we will discuss another type of Civil War: Cultural Secessions, which is where Pops in your nation of a certain culture demand their right to self-determination and carve out their own country from yours. These types of Civil Wars have some similarity in mechanics but ultimately serve two very different purposes.

Just like revolutions can be seen as a failure to balance the economic and political needs of different classes against each other, secessions can be seen as a failure to see to the needs of Pops of certain cultures within your borders. Often this can come about as the result of aggressive expansion or systematic oppression of Pops of certain cultures (or indeed, the religions commonly associated with those cultures). Just like revolutions there are several paths to go down in order to deal with the problems secessionists might cause.

Back in the Migration dev diary we briefly mentioned a mechanic called Turmoil. Turmoil is the effect of having too many Radicals in your country, and has effects both on the state level and on entire cultures worldwide. To understand cultural secessions we have to understand Turmoil a bit better first.

Turmoil measures social friction and conflicts between Pops. This can include crime, violence, angry protests, and more. When a substantial part of a state’s total population are made up of Radicals, Turmoil is created and negative effects start to be applied: there’s a certain amount of Tax Waste, modeling all the different costs of the types of unrest Turmoil represents; and the state’s migration attraction decreases substantially, because nobody wants to move to an area where trouble is brewing

Louisiana appears to be going through some difficulties. Could that be a slave revolt brewing?
DD42 01.png

As you might recall from the Political Movements dev diary, Radicals can originate from a number of sources, including drops in material wealth, being below the minimum expected Standard of Living, or supporting a movement that’s not being listened to. But one additional major cause of radicalism tends to be Discrimination - particular discrimination of literate Pops.

Which begs the question, if discrimination creates radicals, and radicals lead to turmoil, and turmoil hurts your economy - why would any country discriminate against parts of their population in the first place?

First, discrimination is governed by Laws, and most countries start out with Laws that would cause certain cultures or religions to be discriminated against - even if such Pops aren’t even present in the country at game starts. You don’t pick and choose which cultures or religions to discriminate against, it’s all based on your Laws and how similar other cultures and religions are to your country’s primary culture(s) and religion. These Laws are supported by Interest Groups, so while you can try to put an end to your discriminatory practices by changing your Citizenship and Church & State Laws, certain groups might not be pleased with you if you do.

Second, discriminated Pops get paid less than their non-discriminated peers. This in turn makes ownership shareholders - and potentially all non-discriminated Pops in states where discriminated Pops live - richer, as they get a larger piece of the productivity pie. Therefore, putting an end to discrimination would hurt their personal finances, which causes them to Radicalize - and they have more Political Strength to hurt you with than the discriminated Pops do.

Third, discriminated Pops have considerably less Political Strength than their peers. If you’re worried about potential uprisings, getting rid of discriminatory practices could certainly help you in the long-term, but in the short-term it will empower the formerly discriminated to make stronger demands. It might be tempting to retain the status quo unless you’re prepared to take the fight with both the conservative elements of your society and the newly equal citizens who might want to see a few changes.

But since discrimination occurs on a cultural basis (and if not cultural then often religious, which often maps back to a certain cultures anyway), this means that even if Pops of a certain culture represents a small proportion of the population in your country, the proportion of Pops within that culture that are Radical could be very large indeed. So in addition to measuring Turmoil on the state level, we also measure it on a culture level, and on a culture-in-country level.

The Maghrebi culture might not have very high Turmoil overall because most of them live in Tunis and Morocco where they aren’t discriminated against, but within France the Turmoil among Maghrebi Pops could reach higher levels.
DD42 02.png

As we know from the Migration diary, if a whole culture has high Turmoil, this can result in the emergence of Mass Migration targets - states across the globe that temporarily gain the ability for Pops of those cultures to mass migrate there. This is the “peaceful” resolution to Discrimination - eventually, Pops who suffer systematic discrimination and see no improvement to their material conditions to compensate will simply pack up and move to someplace where they’re accepted.

But if Pops in a country suffer high Turmoil and live on one of their Cultural Homelands, they may instead start a Secession Movement. This could be the case for the Maghrebi population of Algiers, for example: they’re not only being oppressed, but they’re being oppressed on land they feel is theirs by right, and the obvious solution is to kick the French out of there. However, an Algerian that moves to Nice after their homeland was colonized and introduced to the French market will not try to start a secession movement for a Maghrebian sovereign state in southern France.

A Secession Movement functions a lot like a Revolutionary movement. It will gradually escalate in intensity until it reaches a threshold, after which point one or several states will break off from the country to form their own, then launch a Diplomatic Play. Much like Revolutionary and Political movements, you can deal with these by trying to fix the underlying issues - whether the discrimination or the lack of material comforts - or by suppressing the troublemakers using decrees or the Home Affairs institution. If you can get the situation back under control you can dodge the secession for this time, but the movement might of course return if conditions worsen.

You can also deal with it more permanently by simply ceding the land to secessionists. In this case you would release a nation, including all Homelands of that culture in your possession. One benefit of this approach is that you can release the nation as a Subject, permitting you to still meddle in their affairs and exploit their economy even while you grant them at least some degree of self-determination. With no Homelands now left in your possession, the secessionist movement will vanish immediately.

Another option when releasing a nation is to play as them, which immediately puts you in charge of that country instead!
DD42 03.png

But if you do not do any of these things, the secession will take place. This launches a Diplomatic Play where the country seceded from automatically gains the “Crush the Uprising” war goal, which if enforced will return the seceded states to their possession. The secessionists on the other hand only need to defend themselves! Unlike with Revolutions, a secession can (sort of by definition) result in a white peace where the seceding country is simply left to exist.

Just like in Revolutionary Plays, other countries with Interests or certain Pacts are able to intervene on behalf of either country. Most importantly, if the culture seceding is already a Primary Culture in another country - for Maghrebi, that would be Tunis - that country is automatically invited to join the Play on the defender’s side. Should they succeed to beat France, the seceding states would then become part of Tunis.

In addition, as soon as such a Secession Play has commenced, there is a chance that secessionist movements for this culture will break out in other countries, even if they don’t meet the Turmoil threshold! The classic example for this is Poland. Polish Pops live on Homelands across Prussia, Austria, and Russia. If any one of these countries mistreat the Poles to the point where they break away and form Poland, Polish pan-nationalist movements might break out in the other two countries as well. This potentially means having to fight all three countries for their independence!

Will the three Great Powers unite in crushing the Polish nationalist movement? Or perhaps one will graciously give up their parcel of land to Poland and start bankrolling them instead, hoping to weaken their rivals and maybe gain a new puppet state in the process?
DD42 04 v1.png

Cultural Secession and Turmoil is a pretty classic take on anti-blobbing mechanics - if you aggressively expand too quickly your new subjects will get angry, will become more of a liability than an asset to you, and may even try to take their land back. But with Victoria’s thematic focus on nation-states and pan-nationalism, these interact with the core mechanics of Pops, Cultures, Homelands, Radicals, Turmoil, and Diplomatic Plays to give you more tools to influence the situation than just pacing your conquests. Perhaps you will be a benevolent imperialist conqueror, who abhors Discrimination and Incorporates every new state to extend the benefit of your Institutions to them, convincing the newly conquered that they’re better off under your rule? Or perhaps you will exploit their natural resources but release them as a Subject nation integrated into your market as soon as they get rowdy? Or you build good relations with a neighboring power who's also oppressing this population so you have a natural ally in case you need to put down a rebellion together? Or you stay in your own lane while putting Interests all around you, so you can get involved in these conflicts when they happen to others in order to create buffer states aligned with you?

That’s all for me for a little while! Next week Ofaloaf will give us a peek at how we handle a very special butterfly of a civil war that’s not really a revolution, not really a cultural secession, but that includes elements from both: the American Civil War.
 
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AskingForIt138

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Sigh... Of course, American Civil War is "special", and needs unique mechanics with its own Dev Diary, but Russian Civil War we can cast aside, despite the current oversimplified system not being able to even closely represent what an absolute mess it was. Well, I guess, it was not really that important of a historical event after all - definitely haven't defined the rest of the century, or something...
I feel like the American Civil War was definitely was more inevitable in 1836 than the Russian Civil War. I agree with your comment that socialist revolutions' need special mechanics but the American Civil War is a more unique event from a gameplay perspective. (An effective sovereign country at war with another sovereign country, although legally they were in rebellion.) I agree with you though that the Russian Civil War had more impact on the last century though.
 
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heniska

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Sigh... Of course, American Civil War is "special", and needs unique mechanics with its own Dev Diary, but Russian Civil War we can cast aside, despite the current oversimplified system not being able to even closely represent what an absolute mess it was. Well, I guess, it was not really that important of a historical event after all - definitely haven't defined the rest of the century, or something...
What makes you think the Russian Civil War won't have special mechanics?
 
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wilcoxchar

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Very nice. I'm curious if Cultural Homelands can be added to a state by event or journal. This could be an interesting dynamic with some of the African diaspora and other diasporic cultures, maybe having an event where if they become a majority population in a state they gain that state as a Homeland.

This also leads to the question of does every culture have a potential breakaway state with it as its primary culture?
 
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Sigh... Of course, American Civil War is "special", and needs unique mechanics with its own Dev Diary, but Russian Civil War we can cast aside, despite the current oversimplified system not being able to even closely represent what an absolute mess it was. Well, I guess, it was not really that important of a historical event after all - definitely haven't defined the rest of the century, or something...
This seems kind of disingenuous when 1) the American Civil War is being handled through the journal entry mechanic that is there for everyone and not a unique mechanic, 2) we've already seen a dev diary like this with the Opium Wars so we can and should expect more similar dev diaries outlining specific journal entry paths in the future, and 3) we don't even know yet that the Russian Civil War isn't getting its own journal entries.
 
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How will newly seceded nations form their laws?
Is it preset? Inherited from the former owner of the lands? Is it create by the newly leading IGs, and if so how are those IGs selected?
 
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Will a country be able to increase oe influence turmoil in other countries with pops of their culture (ie not owned homeland states), like in Vic2 where you had Increase flashpoint tension national focus?
 
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How does the cultural trait's language plays out?

Italians tried to evoke nationalism from Italian speaking Swiss people for twice. (As far as I know of course.) The response was minimum, but want to find out if these kind of interaction is possible or not.
 
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Very interesting Dev Diairy, thanks.

I order to be historically accurate it would be great if some more cultures were added compared to Vic2 :

For instance we would definitely need an Alsatian culture that would be separate from the Vic2 South German culture as France put in place discriminative laws against German in Alsace in 1918 but certainly not against Alsatians people.

Could a Province / State be considered as Homeland to several cultures? For instance could Kabylia make a secessionist movement with the Kabylian pops against Algeria (in case it is independent)?
 

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Is releasing nations give them automatically pre defined borders? If it is the case then it should not be, I want to choose what borders to give unless there is a massive independent war where they manage to force independence then yes, but if I am the one who want to release I should be choosing what states,borders they should have.
 
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Off the top of my head, 1848 (or its equivalent), the ACW, and Taiping Rebellion all definitely need unique mechanics, and the latter two are confirmed to have them.
The Russian Civil War is so late in the game's timeline it may not have any upon release, because, of course, there's no guarantee Russia will lose the First World War or otherwise become the first communist state.
Maybe something modeled on 1848 where you have an big spike in communist ideology attraction and militancy (which is probably how 1848 would work, beyond possibly unique content for big nations like France, Prussia, Austria, and Sardinia-Piedmont) sometime between 1900-20 (organically amplified by any major wars that happen occur/be occurring). 1848 is close enough to the start date to justify being a little more deterministic than with the others.
 
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Will terrorism be represented? Since turmoil seems to be people getting really riled up, to the point where they want to succeed, wouldn't they start by bombing buildings and other such things? Would that count as devastation?
 
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Great to have many options how to handle other cultures in your empire!

Is there any way to agitate nationalists in other countries deliberately? Like, could Tunis in your example urge the maghrebi in Algiers to throw the french out? Can an independant Serbia support Bosnian nationalists (by bankrolling them or offering them shelter from austria)
 
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I wonder how broken down cultures are. We see Maghrebi pops in France, but will we see Arpitans, Occitans, Alsatiens, Brettons? What about the Russian and American (Yankee) behemoths of Vic2? Will new cultures emerge over the course of the game? In 1836 you could probably easily divide the US into Yankee, Dixie, and Afro-American, but by 1900 would we be seeing New Englanders, Midwesterners, Rust Belters, etc.?

Will we see the different republics of modern Russia or other hypothetical ones becoming independent if the country is horribly mismanaged, i.e. Karelia, Siberia, the Far East? Will there be a Manhattan Commune if the US mismanages?
 
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MfgLuckbot

First Lieutenant
Mar 21, 2022
236
1.013
I know that it was said that the ACW is going to be a separate thing. But cultural secession does feel like the way the ACW might play out.
The Dixie culture wants to secede from the USA
It's also a fight over a single law just like revolution. And the Dixie aren't discriminated against, they preemptively left the Union in fear slavery might get banned.
 
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