I'm now playing Tropico 5. On Friday, I learned how to make large-scale capitalist societies function at least into the Cold War. Today after raking leaves, I'm going to see if I can make a totalitarian state last as long.
It's fun game, combination city builder and ruler simulator.
You start sometime in the late 18th century or early 20th century as the governor of a colony of the British Empire. You spend some time playing nice with the British Empire, letting the East India company exploit you, etc. as you slowly build up your forces and cash to declare independence. At this point in the game, you subsist mostly by selling cash crops and raw materials. The only industrial building available to you is a lumber mill so you can sell planks instead of logs. Once you declare independence, you can pay for your independence. I'm not sure if the British ever actually go to war with you over your independence bids. I usually try to keep my relations with them pretty cordial so they're willing to accept 10,000 or 20,000 cash for my independence (which is a LOT of money, especially in the early going). I think it's based on relationship though, and they will probably invade if you've pissed them off a lot.
After you declare and win your Independence it is January 1, 1914, no matter how much or how little time it took you to become independent. You enter the World Wars stage, and new buildings become available. (Including some real industry like steel mills, canneries, and cigar factories.) You also start to determine your constitution, things like voting rights, religious freedoms, and army recruitment. My capitalist society, for example, allows only the wealthiest portion of the island to vote, is a secular state (no state religion, but religion isn't forbidden), and conscripts its soldiers. (Meaning no education is required to become a soldier.) The game kind of combines events from the first and second world wars, including the "Axis" and "Allies" factions. You can trade and ally with either of them, but honk one of them off enough and they'll invade. My island was invaded by the Axis faction twice in my game, but my forces beat them back. (They don't send very many troops so far from home.)
At some point, you sign a treaty with both sides and time advances to 1946 and the Cold War era. That's where I am now. New constitutional decision, etc.
Anyway, it's a fun game, and it's on sale for another couple of days for only $19.99 on Steam. It may be the 5th in the series, but it's quite possibly the most approachable entry. Just... don't waste your money on the DLCs unless they're in the 70-80% off range (as they probably will be during the holiday sale). They're $3.99 apiece, but probably worth $.99 on a good day.