S, I think you're doing a pretty good job. Nice diplo relations and strong tech trading as well. I don't think defiance of the possible resolution to end the war with Monty is a big deal but I don't see how you can sustain an economy given the current lack of infrastructure if you conquer more turf. Now that he is so tech backwards, I think you'd be able to build up what turf you have while teching to rifles, and then have a quick and decisive elimination of Monty on the continent (nationhood, vassalage, theocracy and drafting should result in 4 xp rifles, no?). This should segue well towards transitioning towards a CE and given a rather modest empire size, you might be able to run a free market economy and use all those great people you still have coming to use corporations as fuel towards a space race or late game golden ages; perhaps a combination of both.