The English people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Victoria, under whom their default colors are red and white; and (with Gathering Storm) by Eleanor of Aquitaine, under whom their default colors are pink and white.
The English civilization ability is British Museum, which provides additional Artifact slots and Archaeologists in their Archaeological Museums, and automatically themes them once they are filled. In Gathering Storm, this ability is replaced by Workshop of the World, which increases the amount of Iron and Coal resources extracted from Mines, allows for Military Engineers to be built faster and with additional charges, increases the yields provided by powered buildings, increases Production towards Industrial Zone buildings and makes Harbor buildings increase the amount of Strategic Resources the player can stockpile. Their unique unit is the Sea Dog (which replaces the Privateer), and their unique District is the Royal Navy Dockyard (which replaces the Harbor).
An exploration, colonization and seafaring powerhouse, England is a versatile civilization that can employ an array of strategies to sprint towards the finish line. Whether a Cultural powerhouse in Vanilla and Rise and Fall or a bustling industrial hub in Gathering Storm, assisted by their powerful navy, England is a force to be reckoned with.
Vanilla & Rise and Fall: British Museum
This ability is decent, but feels rather boring and underwhelming, as it basically just gives you sort of a unique building that does not grant Era Score upon building the first copy. An English Archaeological Museum has twice as many slots as a regular one, and automatically receive theming bonus when filled. A hidden change to this building is that the city it is built in can now host up to 2 Archaeologists with 6 combined charges, or one Archaeologist with 6 charges. If you have plenty of Gold to spend or that particular city is high in Production, you can produce 2 Archaeologists so they can fill your Museum up faster. This is not always recommended, but in a tight race against other Cultural civilizations, this can ensure you can always fill up all your slots, and since you can only move Artifacts when all the slots are filled, 2 half-filled Museums cannot give you 1 full Museum for the theming bonus to kick in. You can also always trade with other empires for extra Artifacts, too or use your army to force them to hand them over.
With all of their artifacts, it is strongly recommended that England recruits the Great Scientist Mary Leakey, achieves Suzerainty of Anshan, and builds the Terracotta Army. With this combo, a full Archaeological Museum will produce +6 Science, +36 Culture, and +108 Tourism. Additionally, your Archaeologists can enter foreign lands without open borders, if you have the Terracotta Army, making filling your museums easier than ever. If you are unable to build the Terracotta Army, use the Gunboat Diplomacy Policy Card to compensate, which will grant you open borders with city-states. If an England players wishes to further boost the Tourism output of their Artifacts, use the Heritage Tourism policy card, which doubles all Tourism from not only Artifacts, but all types of Great Works, as well. Also, in Rise and Fall, don't forget to assign Reyna with the Curator title to your main Tourism hub to further enhance these numbers.
Gathering Storm: Workshop of the World
England got a much needed civilization ability overhaul to have more tie-ins with new mechanics like Power and Strategic Resource accumulation. From a dull and passive ability in the Vanilla version, England now truly claims their place as an industrial powerhouse, much like in history. This is a really composite, multifaceted ability.
Faster Coal and Iron accumulation and higher stockpile cap
England and Canada are the only civilizations in Gathering Storm whose civilization abilities provide faster resource accumulation; unlike Canada, however, England will not run into low stockpile cap problems for not building Encampments because of their much superior and cheaper Royal Navy Dockyard. Nevertheless, England's bonus only applies to Iron and Coal. In terms of Iron, most of the time you will only use it for trading with other empires, as England does not have any warfare bonus early on, as well as an edge in terms of land battles, to produce Swordsmen, Knights, and Cuirassiers en masse, but of course, that can still be a choice. Coal is used to build Ironclads, Battleships, railroads (combined with Iron) and fuel Coal Power Plants, all of which is much more useful and plays directly into England's Industrial Era power spike. Make sure you unlock Industrialization as fast as possible to reveal Coal, scout out good landmasses and start to colonize them. With the Pax Britannica ability and the Royal Navy Dockyard, even lands far from your territory are not out of your grasp.
Higher stockpile limit also means you can store every other types of Strategic Resources better, including Uranium for later nukes and Giant Death Robots, and Aluminum for aircraft and a possible Scientific Victory.
Better Military Engineers
In order to be able to build Military Engineers, you need an Encampment with an Armory. As England, since your military prowess lies at seas, and buildings in your Royal Navy Dockyards also boost Strategic Resource stockpile, you do not have a lot of incentives of building Encampments, but you should still have at least one copy of the district to make use of Military Engineers. In Gathering Storms, Engineers are much more useful, besides constructing usual tile improvements, they now can also spend charges to complete 20% Production of engineering districts (Aqueducts, Dams, Canals), all of which provide major adjacency bonuses to the Industrial Zone, a must-build district in every English city when the Industrial Era comes. An English Engineer has 4 charges, instead of 2, meaning they can complete up to 80% Production of an engineering district. Later on, they can be used to construct Railroads, which is really good for England considering their considerable income of Iron and Coal, and Mountain Tunnels. Both of these improvements further boost military mobilization inside English territory and yields from Trade Routes. Unlike other civilizations, England should not ignore the use of Military Engineers. With their massive Industrial Zones with impressive adjacency bonuses thanks to all these Aqueducts, Dams and Canals, plus a more powerful Factory, England will be a Production powerhouse that can take any victory type they want.
Stronger Powered Buildings
The Gathering Storm expansion introduced the concept of Power, together with a number of late game buildings whose yields are improved when their parent cities are fully Powered. They consist of the Factory, Stock Exchange, Food Market, Broadcast Center, Research Lab, Shopping Mall, Airport, Aquatics Center, and Stadium. The English civilization ability provides additional yields appropriately to all of these buildings except for those which provide Amenities, as Amenities do not count as turn by turn yields in the same sense that Gold, Science, Faith, Culture, Food and Production do. By saying that, this ability completely ignores the Stadium and the Aquatics Center, as these two buildings still provide the normal amount of Amenities when Powered compared to other civilizations. Regarding the Shopping Mall, the +4 bonus applies to its Gold yield only, not the Tourism or Amenities.
There are a number of ways to get your cities Powered, each of which comes with its own own advantages and disadvantages:
- Through Power Plants: This is the most common way to provide Power to your cities. The drawback is that they discharge a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, especially the Coal Power Plant that England loves using since they have plenty of Coal. This can negatively affect your relationship with other leaders or your amount of Diplomatic Favor earned per turn, leading to weaker influence in the World Congress. However, this is still the most probable way to power your empire when playing as England, as it is available right at your Industrial power spike upon unlocking Industrialization.
- Through improvements and Dams: These sources are considered "clean energy," so they do not discharge carbon. However, the improvements are unlocked very late into the game, wasting your huge potential for multiple eras; the "0 carbon emission" victory method which relies completely on improvements is definitely not recommended for England. Hydroelectric Dams, on the other hand, are great for England because they have an easier time building Dams with Military Engineers. Still, this building is unlocked with Electricity, a Modern Era technology; by that time, a whole era will be wasted if you wait for this building and solely rely on it. Furthermore, the Power supplied by the Hydroelectric Dam is localized (supplied to its parent city only). Considering that the Dam is a district with strict placement requirements, many of your cities which cannot build this district may go unpowered.
- Through running Industrial Zone Logistics projects: When this project is being run, the parent city is always fully Powered. The downside is that you cannot do anything else with that city, so this should be a last resort. It is especially helpful when you need to rush for a desirable Great Engineer.
Overall, Coal Power Plants are still your best friend. Do not worry too much about the Diplomatic Favor penalty, as it will take a while to kick in. If you want to go for a Diplomatic Victory, you can still use Coal Power Plants and gradually phase them out when more advanced power sources are unlocked.
Pax Britannica (Victoria)
No matter which expansion you are playing in, the one goal when playing as Victoria is to scout out a new continent, put down a city and gradually spread your colonies all over that continent, and do that again and again. In Rise and Fall and the vanilla version, you can get up to two melee units for the first city on a foreign continent, which is not much but still a good incentive to build up your army. In Gathering Storm, the stake is much higher, since now you can get a melee unit and a new Trade Route for the first city on a foreign continent. The first district you should put down in these cities, without a doubt, is your unique Harbor. Remember, although you only gain a melee unit and a new Trade Route from the first city on a continent away from your home continent, you will get a naval unit after building a Royal Navy Dockyard anywhere! This district gives you the Loyalty you need to establish a foothold on that new continent, especially when you have neighbors around that area, and even when you do not look to colonize new continents, just the navy you will have from building this district can help you tremendously wrest control of the sea on any water-dominated maps. Most of the time, the strongest naval unit will be the most recently unlocked unit that you have, except for 2 cases: Quadrireme and Aircraft Carrier, both of which you can never earn. When the Quadrireme is unlocked, it still has less Combat Strength than the Galley, and Aircraft Carrier is unlocked at the same tech as the Destroyer, which has higher Combat Strength.
The number of continents available on the map scale upward according to the map size as follows: Duel (1), Tiny (2), Small (3), Standard (4), Large (5) and Huge (6) (Basically, you will not be able to get anything out of a Duel map with this ability, beside the free naval units). With your free units, especially when you unlock the Redcoat in the Industrial Era, your army of Redcoat, Frigates and Sea Dogs should have no problems pushing deeper in land from your one coastal colony. Note that, units received this way are not totally "free" (like those of Byzantium's Hippodrome), as you still have to pay for their maintenance, in both Gold and resources.
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The best thing about the Redcoat is that it appears for free when the English found cities on other continents (after Military Science is researched, of course). This means additional defense for these cities right from the start, not to mention the free unit. And, as with all civilization-specific units, the Redcoat requires no strategic resources in vanilla Civilization VI and Rise and Fall, which is a great boon during a game in which the player has been unable to secure Niter for Musketmen, and his or her melee infantry is stuck in the Classical Era. Unfortunately, they won't be able to upgrade to Redcoats.
A great tactic for these troops is to mass them until you're ready to launch an offensive. Since you receive a Redcoat every time you found/conquer a city on a different continent, you will be constantly gaining more and more military strength that you can turn against your opponents. Bear in mind, however, that Redcoats are quite expensive to maintain, so if you conquer too many cities you won't be able to afford the Redcoats and may go bankrupt. If you plan on making a Redcoat army, you must make sure your economy can handle it.
Should you face a Redcoat invasion, try to take them out before they can hit your shores. If they land, then try to out-range them with Field Cannons!
Court of Love (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
Court of Love is a weird ability since it is impossible to evaluate its power level in a vacuum: it ranges from completely useless to totally broken. The reason for this is that this ability, in nature, is very similar to a game of conquest. It is all about snowballing: once you are able to conquer one neighbor city, it will trigger a domino effect to every nearby one. The main difference between Court of Love and a traditional warmongering ability is that it is utterly passive, and you need a whole lot of luck for certain factors to align perfectly in your favor to get this snowball rolling. In a true warmongering situation, on the other hand, you can just amass your army and use strategies to run your neighbors over (which can be totally controlled by you).
The following factors affect this ability's efficacy:
- How fast you can accrue Great Works.
- Your neighbor needs to be in a worse Age than you (or at least the same Age). While you can control what Age you will receive (for the most parts), you cannot decide that for the enemy.
- Population size of the neighboring cities. The bigger they are, the harder it is to Loyalty-flip them. If you happen to spawn next to civilizations with a tendency of going tall (Khmer, India, etc.), you are just out of luck.
- In order to successfully flip one city to trigger a domino effect, you will need to surround the enemy empire with your cities, which is considered as a transgression and may trigger an unwanted war even before your Loyalty pressure starts to kick in. As a cultural civilization, you most likely just want to stay away from war since you do not like building a large army.
- Who your neighbors are is also an important factor. There are civilizations that come with an innate bonus to loyalty that making loyalty flipping their cities onerous, or downright impossible. They are England (when playing as French Eleanor, with their +4 Loyalty from the Royal Navy Dockyard), the Netherlands (+1 Loyalty from Trade Routes), Persia (+5 Loyalty from occupied cities with a garrisoned unit), Spain (+2 Loyalty to cities on foreign continents with a Mission next to the City Center), and the Zulus (+3 Loyalty in cities with a garrisoned unit, +5 Loyalty if cities garrisoned by a Corps/Army). The worst neighbors you can have as Eleanor, however, are Phoenicia and the Ottomans, since both of these civilizations have the ability to negate Loyalty pressure completely.
- This ability can only work in single player, not all the time, but when it does, it works wonders. In multiplayer, however, human players are much more intelligent in terms of dealing with Loyalty pressure; they are less bound by warmongering penalties or Grievances, so they will just wage war on you if your empire is deemed to pose a threat to theirs. The best you can get out of this ability is to force other players to put Governors where they do not want to balance the Loyalty pressure, or to spread Governor titles out to many Governors instead of spending many titles on one.
Nonetheless, there are certain measures you can take - not enough to ensure the odds will always be in your favor, but they can definitely help your peaceful conquest:
- Build Entertainment Complexes and run Bread and Circuses. This is a kind of high risk, high reward play. When you surround enemy cities with your own cities in which Entertainment Complexes are built, you can run Bread and Circuses at the same time in all of them to exert a large wave of Loyalty pressure. If it works, great, your snowball has started to roll; if it doesn't, well, basically you shoot yourself in the foot. Entertainment Complexes are still the weakest specialty district in the game, and while you may want to build only one for the Colosseum, having to expend Production not only to build them but to run their equally unimpactful projects without getting anything in return can just ruin your gameplay and set you back a ton. Definitely not something you would want to do in a multiplayer game since, again, human players can deal with this with relative ease. In single player, only attempt this when you are in or anticipate a better Age than your neighbor, or they have forward-settled next to you and now their cities are dwindling. Never attempt this when their cities are full Loyalty and exerting a high amount of pressure, as it is suicidal.
- Your most valuable asset: Spies. Neutralize Governor and Foment Unrest are the two missions to focus on. Aim for Diplomatic Service and build the Intelligence Agency, as this is the fastest way to earn the first 2 Spies; send both of them to a nearby city and run both of these missions together. Foment Unrest can be run on repeat. This is more effective when the enemy has a worse Age than you, most ideally if they are in a Dark Age and you are in a Golden Age. If your Age is not favorable to you, it is better to run other traditional missions, like Steal Great Works or Steal Tech Boosts; otherwise it will feel like a Sisyphean task.
- Always try for a Golden Age. This goes without saying, since when you cannot control what Age your neighbor will get, you can (relatively) control what Age you will get, and it is important for Eleanor to be in a Golden Age, since the worst case scenario, the enemy may just have a similar age, not better, so your Great Work loyalty pressure can kick in. The Taj Mahal can be a great Wonder in this scenario.
- Earn Great Works (duh!). This goes without saying as well, since this is the core of your power. However, consider this paradox: Genghis Khan can be as "cultured" as Eleanor if he builds Theater Squares en masse, meaning Eleanor has an interesting incentive to accrue Great Works, yet has absolutely no upper hand in getting them compared to any non-cultural power. Therefore, any edge you can create for yourself in the race of earning Great People is greatly appreciated. The easiest combo is Ancestral Hall + Colonization to go wide, plus the City Patron Goddess (preferably) or Divine Spark pantheon and put down a Theater Square first and foremost in every city. Of course, you can go for other more extravagant strategies like Holy Sites + Oracle + Divine Spark + Pingala (Grant promotion), which is also extremely strong if you can get your hand on the Oracle. City Patron Goddess is more reliable than the Divine Spark strategy because you do not have to rely on the possibility of getting a certain Wonder, and City Patron Goddess is unlikely to be picked up by the AI, also faster Theater Square construction benefits all types of Great Works, not just Great Works of Writing. Or if you cannot earn great works yourself, you can buy them off from the AI with reasonable price.
Overall, Victoria is the more reliable leader choice for England, especially in the first playthrough when you are still trying to get a feel for the civilization. Eleanor's bonus can often feel inconsequential if you are not sure what you are doing, especially on a naval map where the rest of English kit really thrives.
French Eleanor vs. English Eleanor
At first glance, it seems like Eleanor of Aquitaine has better synergy with the French arsenal than with the English. When playing as the French leader, the civilization ability, the unique unit and the unique infrastructure all play into a Cultural game when she herself has a Cultural incentive but without a strong starting Cultural foothold. However, France overall is a below average civilization, Catherine de Medici used to be its saving grace due to her exceptional leader ability with espionage, England has a much better support network for any leader, even when Eleanor's ability does not seem to combo well with it. Think of it this way: French Eleanor is passive and more relying on luck while English Eleanor requires a much more aggressive gameplay to be successful, but it also means English Eleanor can take matter into her own hands. France is a land civilization, with average bonuses towards Tourism and building Wonders. Loyalty pressure spreads well on any land map, since empires settle close side by side, or can even surround each other if done right, and their unique unit is mostly for defensive purposes. England, however, is a naval/colonial civilization, if you just wait for loyalty flipping, most likely nothing will happen, because loyalty is almost a non-factor on any naval map as it can never spread across a body of water. Here is what you should do with England: scout out a continent of another civilization, invade them with your strong naval power, take at least two cities on the coast with Harbors, and you should choose the two that are next to each other, with the highest combined number of Population. These Harbors will then turn into the stronger Royal Navy Dockyard, which then gives you the Loyalty you need to get a foothold on that continent. From here, you can continue attacking deeper into land, or let your leader ability go to work. Do not make peace now, two cities are probably not enough to flip the entire empire on their own. Go pillaging their all of Luxury resources to drop their Amenities (this is very important!), building Theater Squares if those cities do not already have one, and then move Amani and your Great Works there, and use your network of Spies to start pumping up the Loyalty pressure. With no Amenities from resources, flipping should be much easier and smoother. By this time (around Medieval Era, when you unlock your unique unit and your territory at home is pretty much well developed), you should have Reyna with the Contractor promotion, so that you can put down the two Theater Squares quickly, you will not have any Gold problem when playing as England.
Playing as England, you should make your navy a priority. Research Celestial Navigation and Shipbuilding as soon as you can. While you research these techs, make a couple of Galleys to explore and find new continents. Once you research Shipbuilding make several Settlers, send them across the sea to continents, and build Royal Navy Dockyards in your new cities.
After you finish Shipbuilding, you can do one of two things. You can either rush Cartography and Square Rigging to get powerful naval units, or focus on Science and rush Redcoats (which Victoria's leader ability will provide). The instant you get Redcoats, it's basically over for every other civ. Since they are so expensive to maintain, however, you need to have enough Gold to support your army, which will grow larger every time you conquer a city on another continent. Keep your economy strong by building Commercial Hubs and economic buildings in your cities and sending Trade Routes to city-states and neighbors with whom you aren't at war.
With Royal Navy Dockyards on every continent, you'll soon attract Great Admirals who can help you achieve naval supremacy. If you get Gaius Duilius (whose ability forms a Fleet out of any naval unit), save him until you get your first Frigate, then use him on it. An early game Frigate Fleet will absolutely destroy coastal cities. Even better, if you get Santa Cruz, you can use him to form a Frigate Armada and own the ocean!
However, controlling the ocean will do you no good if you can't see what's hidden over the horizon, and other players will become suspicious if they see a Frigate Fleet or Armada near their borders. To solve this problem, discover Mercantilism as quickly as possible and begin producing Sea Dogs, then send them out to certain strategic spots on the map so they can patrol the ocean without being seen. If someone tries to turn the tables on you and launch a surprise assault on your shores, you'll know it's coming and be able to capture their ships with your Sea Dogs while the rest of your navy deals with any embarked units.
Another incredible strategy you can utilize with this district is pre-building a few of them to 1 turn, then rushing to Square Rigging and finishing them all in one turn, instantly creating you a powerful and advanced navy, and likely the economy to support it provided they have good adjacency.
Compared to the Privateer which it replaces, the Sea Dog has a minor Combat Strength edge but, more importantly, it can capture enemy ships! If it is adjacent to an enemy naval unit that would be destroyed by its attack, there is a chance that the unit is captured instead. This chance is based on the difference between the Sea Dog's base Ranged Strength and the enemy's Combat Strength, and does not take into account any modifiers from Promotion, policy cards, Great Admirals, or any other sources. The capture chance is 100% if the difference is 20 or more in favor of the Sea Dog and 0% if the difference is 20 or more in favor of the defender.
The Sea Dog's ability has the potential to turn the English into the strongest naval civilization in the game, if used correctly. Build a fleet of 3-4 Sea Dogs, then immediately declare war on a nation with a fleet. It doesn't even need to be a neighboring nation, and you don't even need to conquer any of its territory - just send your own fleet and start marauding on their coasts. When they react, proceed to take possession of their fleet and enhance your own!
Sea Dogs work best as Armadas - a Sea Dog Armada has a 67% chance of capturing an enemy Battleship, and can even capture a Nuclear Submarine 17% of the time. However, they lose the ability to capture ships when upgraded.
Another unique characteristic of this unit is that it is unlocked with Mercantilism on the Civic tree, meaning you should try for somewhat good Culture generation in the early game. Aim for Exploration afterwards so you have access to Press Gangs, considering the Sea Dog has a rather high Production cost. Better yet, if you are in a Dark Age, you can also run Letters of Marque just to build your fleet of Sea Dogs a little bit faster.
Before or after the release of Gathering Storm, England is versatile through and through, as it takes a number of playthroughs for players to experience every strength of this multifaceted civilization. The only victory route that England does not have any explicit power in is religious; every other route is viable to different degrees.
Vanilla and Rise and Fall
The English civilization ability grants them power on the cultural path while Victoria's leader ability, the two unique units and the Royal Navy Dockyard allow a smooth Domination Victory. These two can also go hand in hand since militaristic and colonial power can help capture Antiquity Sites from other empires. Scientific Victory can be an effective backup as well: the Free Inquiry Golden Age dedication can make Royal Navy Dockyards provide considerable amounts of Science, providing a meaningful early Science lead.
With the introduction of a new leader, England is even more versatile than before. Besides their already impressive skew towards Domination and Cultural Victory, England can now also pursue a Scientific Victory well, thanks to the massive amount of Production it will get from the Industrial Era onward (from both the better Factory and the high adjacency bonus of the Industrial Zones from rushing Canals, Dams and Aqueducts with your Engineers). Although both leaders have similar Victory preferences, they have very different ways of doing so. Overall, Victoria is more reliable as a leader than Eleanor, she is more suitable for new players in the first few playthroughs.
Vanilla and Rise and Fall
The best way to counter England's impressive Cultural Victory prowess is to deny them your Artifacts. Make sure to deny them the Terracotta Army, and always ask for a Promise not to dig up your artifacts as soon as possible. In addition, if you must war with them in the Renaissance Era onward, try to fight mostly by land, because the Sea Dog can cause problems for even a very well-prepared navy.
In this expansion, England has gained a new and versatile ability which is countered by different methods. The first and most important step is to try and have a monopoly on all the Power-giving strategic resources you can, especially Coal. If they have to rely on you for their strategic resources, their boosted Power bonuses won't do a thing. Also make sure to settle strategically: if playing against Victoria, create a wall of cities on your continent and deny her Open Borders so that English Settlers cannot get through, and if playing against Eleanor, avoid settling nearby, because she will surely try to flip your cities.
Until the Normans put an end to all the foolishness, the “Sceptered Isle” had been invaded by anyone who could row a boat: Celts, Bretons, Angles, Romans, Saxons, Vikings and sundry. The kingdom of Britain can be reliably dated from their arrival during the “Norman Invasion.” Others had tried to unite the squabbling nobility of England before; legendary Arthur had supposedly done so; William the Conqueror (also known to history as “William the Bastard” for assorted reasons) actually accomplished the task. Today, “Great” Britain (having overrun the kingdoms of Scotland and Wales) is one of the leaders of the European Union, world’s economy (ranking sixth), and humanity’s culture, home to about 64 million inhabitants.
Having out-survived the rival claimants to the English throne – the Anglo-Saxon Harold Godwinson and Norwegian Harald Hardrada among them – William of Normandy quickly captured Dover, Canterbury, Kent, Southwark, and the royal treasury at Winchester. The stubborn English earls and clergy caved, and in December 1066 AD William was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. He spent the rest of his life consolidating his rule, putting down revolts and beating off Viking raids, as well as trying to hang on to his lands back in Normandy. But by 1135 his royal line petered out, and after a brief spell known as “The Anarchy,” the House of Anjou sat upon the English throne.
With the latest (but certainly not the last) of English civil wars settled by the Treaty of Wallingford of 1153, the four Anjevin kings – including the famous Richard the Lionheart and his brother the infamous John Lackland – were undisputed lords of the land. These men formulated the royal coat of arms, bearing a rampant golden lion, a beast not native to Britain’s cold shores … then added two more just to be sure everyone got the message. So bad was John’s rule in England (he also managed to lose Normandy to France) that he was forced to agree to the Magna Carta Libertatum, essentially a peace treaty between the crown and rebellious barons signed in 1215, and then modified over following years. Heretofore, the kings had ruled by “force and will,” making unilateral and arbitrary decisions; now the basis had been laid for a “government by law” guaranteeing the rights of the people – at least, of the landed gentry; the unfortunate peasants would remain chattel for some centuries yet.
English history isn’t just about the affairs of a few dozen royals and nobles, of course; it’s also about the thousands of little people: the serfs, servants, soldiers, tradesmen, priests, merchants, scribes, barkeeps, goodwives, artists and authors and rest of the common folk. The country became self-sufficient as agri- and aquaculture flourished. Trade thrived, and English goods – especially woolen fabrics and hardwood crafts – were in demand throughout Europe. During the Middle Ages, Britain developed a vibrant culture; the Bayeux Tapestry was woven, Chaucer and Mallory penned great works, soaring Gothic cathedrals and castles were built, and folk tales (such as that about the bandit Robin Hood) took root. These upstart commoners were beginning to feel... entitled.
The Anjevins were followed onto the throne of Britain by the even more self-serving Plantagenets, whose main claim to fame was launching the Hundred Years' War (actually, 116 years, 1337-1453, but who’s counting), a blatant attempt to grab the crown of France to add to their collection. Their term came to an end when the thoroughly unpleasant Richard II was deposed in September 1399 and died (rumored by starvation) a few months later while in captivity. The House of Lancaster took the throne, but in short order their right to rule was challenged by the House of York, also a cadet branch of the Plantagenets. Commencing in 1455, a sporadic conflict – the bloody if colorful Wars of the Roses – raged between the two, marked by much intrigue and changing of sides by the opportunistic barons. In the end, with York and Lancaster having pretty much annihilated each other, Henry Tudor, a relatively undistinguished scion of the Beauforts, having defeated the last Yorkist king, Richard III (who was slain in the battle), at Bosworth Field, became the new King of England.
Henry Tudor, dubbed the VII, promptly married Elizabeth of York to end any rival claims. And set about restoring political and financial stability to the government, mainly through ruthless mechanisms of taxation that stretched the bounds of the law, and then created the King’s Council to keep the nobles in check. But it was his long-reigning son Henry VIII (1509-1547) and granddaughter Elizabeth I (1558-1603) who really shook things up. Betwixt beheading various wives and rival claimants, Henry in his hubris created the Church of England to challenge the Pope’s word – making the English sovereign head of the church, naturally – and Elizabeth defended it by challenging the greatest Catholic powers. It was a busy hundred years in England.
Meanwhile, those commoners kept becoming less common. In 1295 the House of Commons was created, where elected representatives who were not “Lords Temporal or Spiritual” could voice the concerns of the people and offer advice to the monarch; while Henry generally ignored them (except when he was executing them), Elizabeth maintained close relations with them, recognizing both their financial as well as patriotic worth. Under Henry and especially Elizabeth, the arts flourished and bards wrote some of the world’s greatest works for theater, giving all those commoners something to do with their hard-earned pence. Having absorbed the Catholic holdings in England, the monarchy could afford to patronize English composers and foreign-born painters and architects. Renaissance fairs and festivals became embedded in daily life.
The “virgin Queen,” alas, died childless. A couple of Stuarts – who ruled both Scotland and England – were followed by the Puritan Revolution, an interlude of a Commonwealth (kicked off by the execution of the luckless Charles Stuart I), the House of Stuart restored, the Glorious Revolution and the Acts of Union in 1707 AD, whereby the United Kingdom of Great Britain was formalized. Meanwhile, under a policy begun by Elizabeth, the kingdom was financing or chartering exploratory missions and colonial settlements all over the world, initially in the New World and later further afield. Also under a policy begun by Elizabeth, under the duress of the Spanish Armada, the British Navy was establishing itself as “monarch of the seas.”
The lovely Queen Anne, having had 17 pregnancies but no surviving children when she died in 1714 at the age of 49, was succeeded by her second cousin George of Hanover, who couldn’t speak English. Not surprisingly, given the long-lived Georges’ (there were four of them in the span from 1714 to 1830) tendency to inattention and madness, the period was marked by a transition to the current system of a cabinet government led by a prime minister under a “constitutional” monarch. George the Third managed to lose the American colonies, but was around (though largely unaware) when the British finally put paid to Napoleon at Waterloo. So perhaps it was best that a prime minister was now in charge, as the monarch became more figurehead and symbol than ruler. The House of Hanover was followed by the unremarkable single monarch of the House of Saxe-Colberg, which was changed to the House of Windsor in 1917 to avoid anti-German sentiment during the First World War.
Britain, that land of revolutions, had yet another commencing in the mid-1800s. The glittering “Second” Industrial Revolution was marked by the pall of coal smoke, din of factories and shipyards, and web of railroads across the island. As the new slums in the new manufacturing centers filled up with new wage-slaves, Englishmen enjoyed a standard of living never seen before in civilization. Virtually every aspect of life was affected by the prosperity, products and power now available to anyone who could pay to enjoy the Victorian Age (named after the dour but long-lived queen). In 1901 the first three-phase high-voltage electricity power plant near Newcastle upon Tyne opened; by 1912, Britain had the world’s largest integrated power system. British factories ran 24-7 producing every commodity imaginable, enough of everything – save food – to remain free of unsavory international entanglements.
Whether this industrial revolution contributed to empire or vice-versa, Victoria’s reign also witnessed the creation of an empire “on which the sun never set,” as Britain took up the “White Man’s Burden.” Although it had been claiming bits of the globe since the late 1600s, the advent of steamships, trains and undersea telegraphic cables – not to mention lots of repeating rifles and dreadnaughts – gave the British government the ability to administer a far-flung empire more-or-less efficiently. The agricultural and raw materials of Canada, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, New Zealand and numerous scattered outposts poured into the sprawling English ports, carried by the mighty English merchant marine. Word of troubles in distant lands flashed to Whitehall along telegraph lines, and the sturdy British army and vaunted British Navy arrived rapidly to quell any unpleasantness.
In the midst of all this, the costly First World War came as something of a shock to the complacent British. Worse still was the Second World War a couple decades later. With its continental allies all overrun by the able German Wehrmacht, desperately defending the lifeline to its holdings in the Far East that ran through Malta and the Suez Canal, the doughty and stubborn English managed to hang on until Soviet Russia and the United States (which had surreptitiously kept the UK afloat with favorable trade deals) entered the fray on their side, thanks to the arrogance of the dictators of Germany and Japan. By the end, the British economy was exhausted, nearly 450 thousand of its citizens were dead, it was saddled with crushing debt and runaway inflation, its empire fell apart (the remaining holdings ostensibly becoming a commonwealth of nations), and it was embroiled in a Cold War not of its making... but it had won.
A progressive, democratic state, enamored of its sports and symbols and traditions, with a gross national product of 1.6 trillion pounds sterling (roughly 2.5 trillion dollars), Great Britain remains relevant in most realms, from art to science, politics to finance.
- Main article: English cities (Civ6)
|Males||Females||Modern males||Modern females|
- The English civilization's symbol is a stylized version of Saint Edward's Crown, the centerpiece of England's coronation regalia.
- The name of the civilization can be a source of considerable confusion. For all intents and purposes, the English Empire is actually a representation of the British Empire. Civilization VI has chosen not to make such a distinction, and as such the civilization is called the English Empire in the game.
- The English civilization ability is named after the world's first national public museum, which is located in London.
- England is also playable in The Black Death, in which it is led by King Edward III.
Majestrix of the Court of Love
Win a game as Eleanor of Aquitaine
I Am Amused
Win a regular game as Victoria
For Queen and Country
Taxation Without Representation
As England, lose a city to disloyalty which has an established Financier Governor
|Civilization VI Civilizations |
|American • Arabian • Australian1 • Aztec • Babylonian1 • Brazilian • Byzantine1 • Canadian • Chinese • Cree • Dutch • Egyptian • English • Ethiopian1 • French • Gallic1 • Georgian • German • Gran Colombian1 • Greek • Hungarian • Incan • Indian • Indonesian1 • Japanese • Khmer1 • Kongolese • Korean • Macedonian1 • Malian • Māori • Mapuche • Mayan1 • Mongolian • Norwegian • Nubian1 • Ottoman • Persian1 • Phoenician • Polish1 • Portuguese1 • Roman • Russian • Scottish • Scythian • Spanish • Sumerian • Swedish • Vietnamese1 • Zulu|
|1 Requires a DLC|