An interest group is a collection of pops that support certain political views and want to change the country to be more in line with those views. Interest groups are drawn from a number of different templates, but will vary in their exact views from country to country, based on factors such as the local religion, which social movements have appeared in the country or the personal views of their leader.
All individuals in all pops are either members of an interest group or politically inactive, with the ratio in each based on factors such as profession, wealth, literacy, etc. It's important to note that a single pop can potentially have individual members supporting every interest group in the game (albeit in different numbers).
Interest group categories
Interest groups form the nucleus of Victoria 3's political gameplay. There are 8 interest groups in the game (and an additional politically inactive group):
Note: Interest groups' names may differ depending on the circumstances in the country. For example, the devout interest group may have its name based on the country's dominant religion.
- Main article: Ideology
Interest groups have a number of ideologies which determine their views on which laws the country should or should not enact – interest groups will generally favor laws that align with their beliefs and benefit them in some way.
Different interest groups will have different ideologies (for example, the landowners are significantly more conservative than the trade unions), but these are not entirely set in stone. Ideologies can change over the course of the game and will also vary based on the current leader of the interest group, who comes with their own personal ideology and view of the world.
Additionally, some interest groups in certain countries have unique ideologies colored by their religion and culture, such as the Confucian Scholars interest group in Qing China who support a Confucian ideology.
The default ideology setup for the interest groups are as follows:
|Interest group||Armed Forces||Devout||Industrialists||Intelligentsia||Landowners||Petite Bourgeoisie||Rural Folk||Trade Unions|
Note: Interest groups' ideologies may differ based on country or law. For example, landowners gain the Pro-Slavery ideology, if Slavery is allowed in the country.
Individuals inside pops contribute political strength to their interest group of choice, with the amount they contribute again dependent on multiple factors, the main ones being their material wealth and the status (and/or votes) they are offered under the nation's power structure. For example, a single wealthy aristocrat in an oligarchy will provide hundreds or even thousands times the political strength of a poor laborer.
Some pops have no political strength at all, usually due to being disenfranchised under the nation's laws (such as people of a religion or culture that is discriminated against, or women in countries that haven't instituted women's suffrage). These pops are "outside the system" so to speak, unable to demand reform through the regular political system of interest groups, and instead having to rely on other methods to put pressure on the government.
All pops have attraction scores toward various interest groups and divide up their political strength proportionally among them.
Not all pops can be attracted to all interest groups. Various pop conditions, such as discrimination status, religion, culture, employment, literacy, but primarily profession determine which pops are able to support which interest group. The pop divides its support among the interest groups according to their relative weight, as determined by the table below.
|Armed forces||Devout||Industrialists||Intelligentsia||Landowners||Petite bourgeoisie||Rural folk||Trade unions|
Pop is not discriminated
Pop's profession is Aristocrats, Officers, or Servicemen
|Pop follows the state's religion||Country must be centralized||Pop's Literacy is over 25%
Country must be centralized
|Pop has primary culture
Pop is employed in Manufacturing, Service, Urban Facilities, or Government
|Pop is employed in Agriculture, Ranching, or Plantations||Pop is not employed in Agriculture, Ranching, or Plantations|
Country must be centralized
|Other Weight Effects||+25 if not discriminated||-2 per 10% Literacy over 50% unless Clergymen||+10 if Literacy ≥ 50%
+2 per 10% Literacy over 50%
|Final weight multiplied by:|
x0.5 if not Egalitarianism
Clout and classification
The total political strength of all pops in an interest group is what gives it its level of clout – the amount of political weight it can assert on the country and the government. The interest group's clout value is the percentage of the political strength it holds out of all the political strength in the country. For example, if all pops in the country have 100k political strength and the industrialists have 30k political strength, then they control 30% of the clout in the country.
Clout, in turn, will determine the interest group's classification within their country – whether they are considered powerful, influential or marginalized.
A political group becomes marginalized if their clout drops below 4%, unless they are in government. They will become influential again if it increases above 5%.
Similarly, a group will become powerful if their clout rises above 20%, and influential again if it drops below 18%.
- See also: Political movement
Interest groups have a level of approval, which is based on factors such as how much they approve of the country's Laws, whether they are in government or in opposition, and how many of their individual members are loyalists or radicals. There are numerous other factors that can affect approval as well, such as the player's reaction to certain events or the decisions that they take.
It is possible for one (or several) angry interest groups to start a civil war, potentially bringing in foreign countries to support them.
The base approval level is determined by the interest group's stance on the nation's laws. Their stances depend on the interest group's Ideologies, which have some defaults, but may change based on country, current leader, and other events. This base approval ranges from -2 for Strongly Disapprove to +2 for Strongly Approve, added up for all currently active laws. There are 21 law groups in the game, so their total base approval could range from -42 to +42, but those extremes are highly unlikely. The final value for the base approval is capped between -5 and +5.
If a law is being changed, instead of the base approval of it, there is a temporary approval modifier equal to 5x the difference in approval. For example, if you are changing from a law they Disapprove (-1) to a law they Strongly Approve (+2), there will be a temporary +15 approval modifier. The modifier will stay as long as the law is being debated, and will immediately go away if the change is cancelled. If the law is passed, the base approval will change, and the modifier will be retained, ticking down to 0 over the next 36 months. So current and recent law changes are likely to be the most significant factor in the approval of your interest groups, but over time they will mellow out to the base level (unless you keep changing laws of course).
In addition, if a large portion of the interest group's population is Loyalists, they gain some base approval from that, and of course the counterpoint is if a large portion is Radicals. So if you treat your pops poorly, some of them will become radicals and their interest groups will lower their approval, but if you treat your pops well, some of them become loyalists and their interest groups will favor you. This way your actions in the economy, such as making some pops very rich, or making others lose their jobs, will be reflected in politics.
If a group is powerful and in opposition, their approval will drop by 1.
Your budget considerations are also not ignored. Government wages affect Intelligentsia and Petite Bourgeoisie approval between -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2, from low to high wages, and Military wages affect Armed Forces by the same amount.
Finally, there are many events, especially surrounding law changes, that add temporary approval modifiers to various interest groups.
If a group's approval is below -10, they are Angry. Their negative trait is active, they cannot be put into the government, but will not leave it if they're already in it. They will also contribute their clout to radicalization of any movement they support, possibly starting a revolution.
Between -9 and -5, a group is Unhappy.
Between -4 and +4, a group is Neutral, providing no special effect.
Between +5 and +9, a group is Happy, activating their first positive trait. They will also stop backing any movements.
Above +10, a group is Loyal, activating their second positive trait.
Each group has three traits associated with it, one negative, and two positive. If group's approval is -5 or less, their negative trait will be active. Approval of +5 activates their first positive trait, and +10 activates both of their positive traits.
Traits of a powerful group will be twice as powerful, while marginalized groups cannot activate their traits at all.
Government and Opposition
Government is made up of interest groups placed into power. All other non-marginalized groups make up the opposition. A marginalized group cannot be placed into government. Angry interest groups cannot be placed into government if they are insurrectionary. Additionally, when reforming the government, the groups will want to join their other party members - if all groups are already in government, they can only be removed together, and likewise, if they are all in opposition, they can only be added together. If the party is split between the government and the opposition, they'll need to be placed on the same side when reforming the government, though there is no penalty for keeping them separate.
A group in government contributes its clout to success change of passing the laws they support, and to stall chance of the laws they oppose. Groups in opposition don't contribute their clout directly, but, if neutral or lower, can start a movement opposing a law change, or demanding that a law is passed, thus adding their clout to movement support, which in turn increases the change of success or stall.
Adding a group to the government can be done freely as long as they are not marginalized, but removing a group will make their members more radical, increasing the amount of radicals and decreasing the amount of loyalists. Elections provide an opportunity to reform the government without angering the groups - the first reform done within 180 days of a finished election will not radicalize the groups.
Government composition, particularly the total clout of the groups, how much the group's opinion diverge on laws, whether or not the ruler's interest group is in the government, and if election exists, the total portion of polls won by the groups last election, are major contributors to government legitimacy.
Countries that have Distribution of Power laws that allow elections give interest groups access to another source of political strength in the form of votes. Pops do not vote for interest groups directly but rather for political parties, therefore interest groups that do not join a party will miss out on a large amount of potential political strength. Parties are often composed of multiple interest groups over a shared issue. If the player is attempting to empower a particular interest group through votes then care must be taken to ensure that group has desirable party allies.
Interest groups will update their party affiliations at the beginning of each election campaign and will join the party they have the highest attraction towards, discounting parties that do not meet the requirements to exist or that the interest group is otherwise prohibited from joining. All Interest Groups have a base attraction of -5 towards all political parties and must have a final attraction of at least +1 in order to join a party. If an interest group does not have positive attraction towards any valid party then it will not join any party nor participate in the current election.
Below is a partial list of each interest group's attraction factors towards political parties as well as which other interest groups share those same factors. These tables only take typical core ideologies into account; leader ideologies in particular can greatly affect an interest group's party attraction. See Political party for a full list of all possible attraction factors.
|inherent to ideology||+5 Conservative, +4 Fascist||Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Is Powerful||+10 Military|
|Country has Peasant Levies||+6 Agrarian, +3 Anarchist||Rural Folk|
|Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation, Proportional Taxation or Graduated Taxation||+3 Communist, +3 Fascist, +3 Social Democrat|
|Country has Guaranteed Liberties||+2 Conservative||Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Researched Law Enforcement and country has No Police||+3 Conservative, +3 Fascist, +3 Military||Petite Bourgeoisie, Landowners|
|Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation, Proportional Taxation or Graduated Taxation||+3 Military||Trade Unions|
|Country has Consumption-Based Taxation||+3 Social Democrat|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Conservative||Landowners|
|Is Powerful||+10 Religious|
|Country has Public Schools||+2 Conservative||Industrialists|
|Country has Total Separation||+5 Conservative|
|Country has Freedom of Conscience||+3 Conservative|
|Country has Women's Suffrage||+3 Conservative, +3 Religious||Landowners|
|Country has Women in the Workplace||+2 Conservative||Landowners|
|Researched Law Enforcement, Country has Right of Assembly or Protected Speech||+3 Conservative||Landowners|
|Country does not have Monarchy or Theocracy||+3 Conservative||Landowners|
|Country has Theocracy||+5 Religious|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Free Trade|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Liberal||Intelligentsia|
|Is Powerful||+10 Free Trade|
|Country has Serfdom||+10 Agrarian, +5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +5 Liberal, +3 Radical, +5 Social Democrat||Intelligentsia, Rural Folk, Trade Unions|
|Country has Universal Suffrage||+5 Conservative||Landowners|
|Country has Graduated Taxation||+2 Conservative||Landowners|
|Country has Public Health Insurance||+2 Conservative|
|Country has Public Schools||+2 Conservative||Devout|
|Country has Regulatory Bodies or Worker's Protections||+5 Conservative, +5 Free Trade||Landowners|
|Country has Wage Subsidies or Old Age Pension||+5 Conservative, +5 Free Trade||Landowners|
|Country does not have Child Labor Allowed||+3 Free Trade|
|Country does not have Free Trade||+3 Free Trade|
|Country does not have Oligarchy or Wealth Voting||+3 Free Trade|
|Researched Currency Standards, country does not have Per-Capita Taxation or Consumption-Based Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has Graduated Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Landowners, Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Researched Central Planning, country has Command Economy||+3 Free Trade||Landowners, Rural Folk|
|Researched Academia, country has No Schools or Religious Schools||+3 Free Trade||Intelligentsia|
|Country has No Schools or Religious Schools||+3 Liberal, +3 Social Democrat||Trade Unions|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Liberal, -15 Religious|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Liberal||Industrialists|
|Country primary culture has Scandinavian Heritage||+10 Agrarian||Rural Folk|
|Country has Local Police Force or Militarized Police Force||+6 Agrarian||Rural Folk|
|Country has Serfdom||+10 Agrarian, +5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +5 Liberal, +3 Radical, +5 Social Democrat||Industrialists, Rural Folk, Trade Unions|
|Country has Debt Slavery||+10 Agrarian|
|Country has Outlawed Dissent||+3 Anarchist, +3 Liberal, +6 Radical, +3 Social Democrat||Trade Unions|
|Country has State Religion||+3 Anarchist, +3 Communist, +3 Liberal|
|Country has Slave Trade or Legacy Slavaery||+5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +3 Radical|
|Country has Monarchy or Theocracy||+3 Anarchist, +3 Communist, +3 Liberal, +10 Radical, +3 Social Democrat||Trade Unions|
|Country has Autocracy||+3 Free Trade|
|Researched Academia, country has No Schools or Religious Schools||+3 Free Trade||Industrialists|
|Country has Hereditary Bureaucrats||+3 Liberal||Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has Legal Guardianship||+3 Liberal||Trade Unions|
|Country has Ethnostate, National Supremacy or Racial Segregation||+3 Liberal|
|Country has Local Police Force or Militarized Police Force||+3 Liberal||Rural Folk|
|Country does not have Universal Suffrage||+10 Radical||Trade Unions|
|Country has National Guard or Secret Police||+6 Radical|
|Country has Legacy Slavery or Debt Slavery||+5 Social Democrat|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Conservative||Devout|
|Is not marginalized||-5 Religious|
|Clout >= 15%||+5 Conservative|
|Country has Free Trade||+6 Agrarian, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Rural Folk, Trade Unions|
|Country has Universal Suffrage||+5 Conservative||Industrialists|
|Country has Universal Suffrage||+3 Fascist|
|Country has Graduated Taxation||+2 Conservative||Industrialists|
|Country has Graduated Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Industrialists, Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has Women's Suffrage||+3 Conservative, +3 Religious||Devout|
|Country has Women in the Workplace||+2 Conservative||Devout|
|Researched Law Enforcement, Country has Right of Assembly or Protected Speech||+3 Conservative||Devout|
|Country does not have Monarchy or Theocracy||+3 Conservative||Devout|
|Country has Regulatory Bodies or Worker's Protections||+5 Conservative, +5 Free Trade||Industrialists|
|Country has Wage Subsidies or Old Age Pension||+5 Conservative, +5 Free Trade||Industrialists|
|Researched Law Enforcement, Country has No Police||+3 Conservative, +3 Fascist, +3 Military||Armed Forces, Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation or Consumption-Based Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Rural Folk|
|Researched Central Planning, Country has Command Economy||+3 Free Trade||Industrialists, Rural Folk|
|inherent to ideology||-3 Communist, +5 Fascist|
|inherent to ideology||+5 Conservative, +4 Fascist||Armed Forces|
|Country has No Migration Controls||+6 Agrarian||Rural Folk, Trade Unions|
|Country has Land-Based Taxation||+6 Agrarian, +3 Anarchist, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Rural Folk|
|Country has Multiculturalism||+2 Conservative|
|Country has Guaranteed Liberties||+2 Conservative||Armed Forces|
|Researched Law Enforcement, Country has No Police||+3 Conservative, +3 Fascist, +3 Military||Armed Forces|
|Country does not have Proportional Taxation or Per-Capita Taxation||+3 Fascist, +3 Military|
|Researched Currency Standards, Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation or Consumption-Based Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Industrialists|
|Country has Graduated Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Industrialists, Landowners|
|Country has Hereditary Bureaucrats||+3 Liberal||Intelligentsia|
|Is powerful||+10 Agrarian|
|Country has primary culture with Scandinavian Heritage||+10 Agrarian||Intelligentsia|
|Country has No Migration Controls||+6 Agrarian||Trade Unions, Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has No Migration Controls||+5 Fascist|
|Country has Local Police Force or Militarized Police Force||+6 Agrarian, +3 Liberal||Intelligentsia|
|Country has Land-Based Taxation||+6 Agrarian, +3 Anarchist, +3 Social Democrat||Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has Free Trade||+6 Agrarian, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Trade Unions, Landowners|
|Country has Lassiez-Faire||+6 Agrarian, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Trade Unions|
|Country has Peasant Levies||+6 Agrarian, +3 Anarchist, +3 Communist, +3 Fascist, +3 Military||Armed Forces|
|Country has Serfdom||+10 Agrarian, +5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +5 Liberal, +3 Radical, +5 Social Democrat||Trade Unions, Intelligentsia, Industrialists|
|Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation or Consumption-Based Taxation||+3 Free Trade||Landowners|
|Country has Command Economy||+3 Free Trade||Landowners, Industrialists|
|Country has Debt Slavery||+5 Liberal|
|Country has Serfdom or Debt Slavery||+3 Radical|
|inherent to Trade Unions||+2 Communist, -2 Fascist|
|Country has No Migration Controls||+6 Agrarian||Rural Folk, Petite Bourgeoisie|
|Country has Free Trade||+6 Agrarian, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Rural Folk, Landowners|
|Country has Laissez-Faire||+6 Agrarian, +3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat||Rural Folk|
|Country has Serfdom||+10 Agrarian, +5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +5 Liberal, +3 Radical, +5 Social Democrat||Intelligentsia, Industrialists, Rural Folk|
|Country has Outlawed Dissent||+3 Anarchist, +3 Liberal, +6 Radical, +3 Social Democrat||Intelligentsia|
|Country has Monarchy or Theocracy||+3 Anarchist, +3 Communist, +3 Liberal, +10 Radical, +3 Social Democrat||Intelligentsia|
|Country does not have Graduated Taxation||+3 Communist, +3 Social Democrat|
|Country has Serfdom||+10 Agrarian, +5 Anarchist, +5 Communist, +5 Liberal, +3 Radical, +5 Social Democrat||Intelligentsia, Industrialists, Rural Folk|
|Country has No Schools or Religious Schools||+3 Liberal, +3 Social Democrat||Industrialists|
|Country has Legal Guardianship||+3 Liberal||Intelligentsia|
|Country does not have Per-Capita Taxation, Proportional Taxation or Graduated Taxation||+3 Military||Armed Forces|
|Country does not have Universal Suffrage||+10 Radical||Intelligentsia|