Merchant Republic is a type of government that is unlocked when completing the Exploration civic. It heavily favors an economic playstyle. Along with fielding two Wildcard slots, Merchant Republic's unique effect and double Economic card slots makes patronage of Great People considerably easier.
Civilopedia Entry Edit
In the early Renaissance, a number of small, wealthy, trade-based nations embraced republican ideals, notably across Italy and the Baltic. In these “mercantile republics,” the leaders – usually a council of merchants headed by a doge or mayor – were elected by the citizenry with the primary duty of increasing the city-state's collective wealth. Thus, while military affairs were of importance, these were usually focused on opening or guarding trade routes. And diplomacy was centered on such matters as tariffs, customs duties and financial matters. In short, a pragmatic approach to governing. Although occasionally the leaders suffered misguided visions of glory, as when the aged Doge Dandolo joined the Fourth Crusade and helped sack Constantinople.
In general, these mercantile republics arose in regions of Europe where feudal control by an absolutist monarchy was minimal or absent completely. In the Holy Roman Empire, 51 “free imperial cities,” many later composing the Hanseatic League, established chartered mercantile republics. To the east, two Russian cities – Novgorod and Pskov – pursued republicanism into the 15th Century until Muscovy put an end to any pretensions of independence. But it was in Italy that mercantile republican aspirations reached their culmination, with powerful city-states such as Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Florence and others dominating the landscape until the Napoleonic Wars subsumed their greed.