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In Tropico 5 simply letting time pass will not unlock new buildings, edicts and constitution options.

You will have to advance through the era’s .  You will be able to play in the Colonial era, World War era, Cold war era and Modern era.  Getting from the colonial era to the world war era requires you to declare independence from the crown.

Colonial Era Mandate

In the colonial era you are not a dictator, at least not yet. You are a governor from the Crown and you have been given an mandate of 5 years. Meaning that after this time has passed you will be evicted from the island and will have lost the game.

Checking your mandate

The remaining time of your current mandate can be checked in the bottom left corner of the game, above the mini map.

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Extending your mandate

You can extend your mandate by keeping the Crown happy. In Tropico 5 you will receive quests from the Crown asking you to build certain buildings. Each time you listen to such a request you will get a quest reward.

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After a while you will also receive demands. For example the Crown will ask you to pay $5000 dollar. It is highly recommended to do this because one of the rewards is to extend your mandate for 12 months.

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Factions: Loyalists and Revolutionaries

During the Colonial era there are two conflicting factions; the loyalists and the revolutionaries.

The loyalists hate you and will always hate you. They want our island to stay under the influence of the Crown. The revolutionaries support you as El Presidente and want independence.

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In this example there are 56 supporters with 10 approval (hate) and 4 revolutionaries that like El Presidente with approval 70. The overall approval is therefore 10 of the 50 required.

Change your demographics

New immigrants have no loyalty to the crown. Therefore if you double your islands population you are likely to end up with at least 35% support. This can be explained by 50% of your population hating you (10/100) and 50% loving you (70/100) which would average 35%.

At some point the game offers you the ability to actually kill some of the loyalists.

Revolutionary support quests

There will be another quest line active during the colonial era; the revolutionary support. Completing a quest for the revolutionaries generally presents you with the following reward options

  • Import Revolutionaries (new citizens)
  • New trade routes
  • one time cash bonus

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Obviously to claim independence it is best to choose the import of revolutionaries. This will slowly shift the balance of power away from the loyalists.

Gaining independence

Claiming independent is not as hard as it might sound. All you need to do is get approval above 50%. Approval is displayed above the mini map (thumbs up).  However there is time pressure due to your mandate.

Step 1 – Build your economy

The first step to independence is a strong economy. In order to complete all quests you will need a lot of money. The stronger your economy, the quicker you have the cash to complete these quests.

Following my guide; making money in the colonial era , I recommend constructing:

  • 3 lumber mills
  • a Cotton and/or Cocoa plantation
  • 3 ranches
  • a mine (after research is complete)
  • additional dock (to get a beneficial export deal)

Step 2: Stay in power

Make sure you keep extending your mandate when possible.

Step 3: Get more revolutionaries

Create enough jobs so each ship will bring some immigrants. New immigrants tend to be revolutionaries so the bigger your population becomes, the lower the power of the loyalists. I recommend aiming for 120 inhabitants.

Don’t forget to complete the revolutionaries support quests mentioned earlier.

Step 4- Make your people happy*

When you are earning money you can start spending some to keep your inhabitants happy.

In the colonial era you need to keep in mind that the happiness graph is plotted on a scale of 0-100. However it is absolutely impossible to get to that 100  happiness in the colonial era.  In fact healthcare is not even possible.

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The figure that is important is the “average Caribbean happiness”. Beat this value by having sufficient catholic missionaries (Religion), food, employment (Job) and most importantly; housing!

Step 5: Army

The game keeps suggesting that you create a sufficiently sized army. For this purpose you will need to construct a military fort. Each military forts houses one infantry squad. So far I have not been able to find a direct relation between the number of forts and support. However, having 2 forts secures your island from future (pirate) invasions. Just keep in mind guard towers lower the “liberty” rating of the surrounding area. Making your inhabitants unhappy.

Step 6: Research!

You will have to research “Constitution”. Doing so will give a (huge) boost to your support level.

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Claiming independence

If you followed all the steps you will end up with something like this:

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In this scenario I managed to have 83 Revolutionaries and increased their support from the default 70 to 97. Therefore my total approval rating has skyrocketed to 55%. The mandate time remaining is 2 years and 4 months.

As you can see there is no need to kill all loyalists. In the next era there will be different factions and no one will care what he or she was in the colonial era.

Final step: Buy our freedom or Let them come!

The final step is a choice. You can start the next era $10.000 in debt (the game now has bonds that require you to pay interest) OR you can try to fight off his Majesties army.

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The choice is completely up to you!

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