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Despotism (Civ2).png

Despotism is a Government type in Civilization II.

In a Despotism, the ruler has absolute control over his or her subjects, and this control is usually enforced by the military. This system has a tendency to minimize individual freedom, and reduce the efficiency of production efforts.[1]

Game Effects[]

Unit Support[]

  • Each unit above the city size costs one Shield (Civ2).pngShield per turn.[1]
  • Settlers eat one Food (Civ2).pngFood per turn.[1]


  • Up to three military units in each city institute "martial law". Each of these units makes one unhappy citizen content.

Corruption and Waste[]

  • Because of Despotism's high rate of corruption, it is almost always an inferior form of government. Try to switch to a Monarchy as soon as possible.[1]


  • Under a Despotism, Tax/Luxury/Science rates cannot be set higher than 60%.[1]
  • Any terrain square that ordinarily produces three or more of any resource (Food (Civ2).pngFood, Shield (Civ2).pngShields, or Trade (Civ2).pngTrade) produces one less.[1]


The default title of a despotic ruler is "emperor" (male) or "empress" (female).

An Egyptian despot is known as a "pharaoh". A Roman despot is known as a "dictator". A Sioux despot is known as a "chief". A Viking despot is known as a "warlord".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Transcribed directly from Civilopedia
Civilization II Governments