Wow, amazing! Yes, I know, Europa Universalis etc. I never played that game, I prefered Imperialism 1 and 2.
Never tried Imperialism 1 or 2, want to tell me about it?
I used to play EU 2, and I play EU IV quite often. Having a run as Defending Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Years is close to 1800, didn't start any wars on my own. They were either through events, or dragged into one thanks to allies that were attacked or somebody attacking a Catholic state as defender of the faith.
It went really well for a long time until last ~30 years in the game. There was no religious war in the HRE, got Sweden as Union Partner through inheritance which the Moscovites challenged and lost their capitol for it.
Spain nr one in terms of great power thanks to colonies mainly, Ottomon Empire nr two thanks to Imperial conquest (They mainly attacked their religious "brethren" since Poland and Austria was too scary most of the time.) and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which I play thanks to land development. Spending as much as possible on cheapest possible advisors, let me create basically zero tension while growing economically without having to declare any wars.