+3 votes
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in Politics & Government ✌ by







6 Answers

+5 votes
by

Hi Dan,

I enjoyed your links...and here are three possibilities...

1. The first Persian Empire, ~ 550 BCE to 330 BCE, ruled over 44% of the world's population. http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-5-most-powerful-empires-history-12296

2. The Roman Empire, lasted for something like 2200 years if you include the Eastern Empire. This period included the interesting and controversial Pax Romana, 207 years of relative peace, 27 BC - 180 AD.

3. The British Empire, which at one point ruled over about 24% of the Earth's land mass.

+3 votes
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Why wasn't the Soviet empire on the list? :O

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Soviet Union is there.

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OtherTink, I did some googling here...and the nominations are all over the place. The criteria of "power" varies greatly, with what people are studying. One historian I saw nominated the Song (I think) Dynasty in China. Others say the empires in the Far East were largely localized.

Intriguing question ty Dan.

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@ Dan:

The Soviets are only on the splash page, but not on the list. The empires the two videos list are:

10. Portuguese

9. Timurid

8. Nazi

7. Spanish

6. Mongol

5. Ottoman

4. American

3. British

2. Roman

1. Achaemenid (Persian)

No Soviets.  :O :ermm:


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@ Virginia:

But the Song (or Sung) dynasty fell rather easily to the Mongols, so I'm not sure why that historian would rank it so high. I would think part of being a powerful empire would be the subjugation of many peoples entirely foreign to the conquerors.

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OtherTink, I am wondering...what are the empires you might rank highly? Is the Soviet Union one of them? 

I am thinking I might look up a bit more about the Song/Sung Dynasty...one point I came away with is these empires often fell mainly from within...the squabbling...and then a relatively weak "conqueror" happened along at the right time to topple them off...

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@ Virginia:

Yes, certainly I would rank the Soviets in the top 10.

Actually, they were a continuation of the Russian empire. When the latter collapsed after WW1, what was the first thing the Communists did? They reconquered all the parts of the empire that had broken away, and very brutally.  Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, the Baltic states, etc. And of course, after WW2, they took over Eastern Europe. And while the communist revolution in China did not make China a satellite of the Soviets, it was another step in the declared intention of world domination by communism.

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OtherTink, somewhat of a tangent here...but the Romanov Dynasty, ruling Russia for 300 years...

The situation got so bad finally that there was a revolution 1917; full of hope, people giving their lives for freedom...and then the world ended up with the oppression of the Soviet Union! Do you ever wonder, what goes wrong? Why couldn't they bring the dream into a better expression than that?

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@ Virginia:

I think the horrible despotisms that followed the collapse of the royal houses of Russia, Germany and China may well have been historically necessary consequences of the political chaos that followed. Only desperate and ruthless people like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao would have been willing to take the near-impossible chances to seize power. I'm sure there were lots of others, like Ernst Thaelmann and Rosa Luxemburg, that never made it, but who would also have ruled brutally.

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You are a remarkable student of history OtherTink...I do not even know of Thaelmann and Luxemburg...however, I just thought of another Q I will prolly post anew, rather than bringing it up in this thread...

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Thaelmann was the leader of the German Communist party during the Weimar Republic. He was arrested and later killed in a concentration camp by the Nazis. Here is a picture of him (front left) at a demonstration of the Red Front Fighters' League in Berlin, circa 1930.

image

Notice the uniform. EVERY major political party in Germany at that time had its own private uniformed force, that protected its political gatherings and often brawled with other such organizations in the streets, notably the Nazi Storm Troopers.

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Noted ty, OtherTink

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YW, Virginia.

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Russian Empire conquered Finland and Poland in early 19th century. Soviet Union lost Finland and Poland in 1918. Russian Empire was bigger than USSR. 

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True, the USSR never got Finland back, but it got Poland back as a satellite state after WW2, and similarly took over much of the rest of eastern Europe, with the exception of Yugoslavia. It also acquired Mongolia into its empire.

+3 votes
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Isn't U.S.A a part of British empire?

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@ Dan:

Not since 1783.  After that, the US established its own empire.  :D

http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/treaty-of-paris

+3 votes
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Hi Marianne,

There are some unexpected empires documented on your links...for example, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (never heard of that!). Anyway, it was in existence for a LONG time, 1236-1795...and eventually covered a large area in Europe!

Prolly never a contender for "most powerful," but still...Europe has LOTS of history!

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@Virginia

Yes, there were many smaller, more or less known "empires" in history.

:)


+3 votes
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The biggest empires was British, Russian, Mongol and Roman Empire. 

+2 votes
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Depends how you look at it.

I'd say the Catholic Church and the world banking system are the greatest empires. One controls religion, and one controls the worlds money supply for which we are all part of.

...