BASE DIFFICULTY 2
Part of the Jagged Earth Expansion.
From the Rulebook
Ruler: Emperor Joseph I (Habsburg Monarchy)
Emperor Joseph I inherited The Habsburg Monarchy upon the death of his father, Leopold I, shortly after the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession, a short-lived attempt by Emperor Leopold to put Joseph’s younger brother Charles on the Spanish throne. Secure in his alliance with Sweden and Prussia, Emperor Joseph stepped back from territorial conflicts in western Europe and focused on growing the wealth of the empire for his son and heir Leopold Joseph.
Joseph I chartered the Ostend Company in 1697 to bring trade from the East and West Indies through his Belgian provinces, setting up overseas colonies and beginning a program of resettlement of Hungarian peasantry.
Habsburg colonies are newer than those of any European power save Russia but have grown quickly due to their focus on nomadic herding rather than farming and infrastructure. Habsburg control of Belgium allows easy access to Atlantic trading routes but puts the Habsburg fleets in direct competition with those of England, Scotland, and France.