12 largest and most powerful empires in stories

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Any power strives for absolutism. This also manifests itself in attempts to establish strict laws, and to expand territories. AND therefore, the history of mankind has many empires – huge States with an impressive area, often colonies, and also a tough sole ruler.

The main feature of each empire is its international significance. From decisions of foreign or domestic policy in such the state depends on the life of neighboring countries, and even the entire planet. For example, Britain in its best days ruled a huge the number of territories, and therefore each act of the ruler received most serious resonance. By this criterion, by the way, often to the list Empires are brought in both by the Soviet Union and the United States of America.

Nevertheless, in our ranking these two states will not be. we We were guided by other most important criteria – sizes, territorial significance, the presence of colonies, the conduct of predatory politics, as well as a form of government. Based on these parameters, we have compiled a ranking of the 12 largest and most powerful empires in stories.

Rating of the largest and most powerful empires in history

Nomination a place Empire area
Rating of the largest and most powerful empires in history 12 Holy Roman Empire (962-1806 A.D.) 1 MILLION HF KM
11 Roman Empire (27 B.C.E. – 476 B.C.E.) 5 MILLION SQ. KM
10 Kyrgyz Haganate (840-916 A.D.) 8.1 MILLION HF KM
9 Brazilian Empire (1822-1889 A.D.) 8.3 MILLION HF KM
8 Portuguese Colonial Empire (1415-1999 A.D., ) 10.4 MILLION HF KM
7 Abbasid Caliphate (750-1543 A.D.) 11.1 MILLION HF KM
6 French Colonial Empire (1534-1980 AD) 13 MILLION HF KM
5 Qing Empire (1644-1912 AD) 14.7 MILLION SQ. KM
4 Spanish Empire (1492-1976 A.D.) 20 MILLION SQ. KM
3 Russian Empire (1721-1917 A.D.) 22.8 MILLION SQ. KM
2 Mongol Empire (1206-1368 A.D.) 33.2 MILLION HF KM
1 British Empire (1707-1999 A.D.) 36.6 MILLION HF KM

12th place: Holy Roman Empire (962-1806 g. A.D., 1 million square meters km)

Rating: 3.9

Holy Roman Empire

Despite the name, the Holy Roman Empire had political and community center in Germany. And she began with the decisions of the German king Otto I to revive “glorious traditions ancestors. “For this, he made an alliance with Italians, Balkans, Frankish and even West Slavic peoples.

True, the Holy Roman Empire arose in a very unfortunate – for empires – time. Local feudal rulers have already tasted power, enjoyed it and therefore were in no hurry to swear allegiance to one kingung. The empire ended up being fragmented, decentralized, and its socio-political core in the form Germany was not so much dominated as the rule.

The history of the Holy Roman Empire is quite interesting. If a in the early stages of its existence, the ruler somehow, but tried hold on to absolute power, although it reached its contractual by the way, also already in the middle of the Middle Ages in the first place Papal court. Because of this, the state suddenly became theocratic, and in 1157 acquired the prefix “Sacred” in title.

In the middle of the 15th century, the political situation in the Holy Roman Empire has changed again. German King Charles IV turned out to be strong enough and powerful ruler. And the state renamed the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation, pointing to the idea of ​​Berlin as a political center.

And he had a hand in the fall of the Holy Roman Empire directly Napoleon Bonaparte. The war with the French turned out to be losing for Germany, and the rest of the states just rushed log off.

11th place: Roman Empire (27 B.C.E. – 476 B.C.E., 5 million sq. km)

Rating: 4.0

The Roman Empire

In the history of the ancient Roman state there was a period when republican power was ended and autocracy began. Besides Moreover, the rulers of those times conducted an active aggressive policy. This period is called the Roman Empire.

The geography of the Roman Empire, which lasted more than five hundred years, constantly changing. The political center, of course, was the south of Europe and the countries of the Mediterranean. In addition, rulers are constantly joined new states. For example, in 117 AD the composition of the Roman Empire also included part of the Middle East and North African territories.

The desire to expand territorial borders even speaks of that emperor Julius Caesar conducted an aggressive policy in regarding the British Isles. At the same time under his control there were French and Spanish lands.

The Roman Empire, despite its relatively small size – history knows many more large-scale superstates – remains an example of a powerful, majestic country. She is even on future rulers influenced. Five centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire German rulers decided to revive it. And so it appeared Holy Roman Empire, formerly located in rating.

10th place: Kyrgyz Haganate (840-916 A.D., 8.1 million square meters. km)

Rating: 4.1

Kyrgyz Kaganate

It may be a little hard to believe, but once Kyrgyzstan was a large-scale, powerful state. It’s today she is on the bottom lines in international indices. And between 840 to 916 AD The Kyrgyz Kaganate was at its peak its power and conquered the territory of southern Siberia right up to Tien Shan.

The “secret” is that during the 9th century the empire led extremely aggressive “foreign policy”. Steppe tribes of Kyrgyz actively conquering new territories, showing excellent “army” training – and settled settlements simply could not resist them. In addition, power in the Kyrgyz Kaganate was not just authoritarian – the entire Kagan clan was literally deified.

By the middle of the IX century, the Kyrgyz Kaganate occupied the territory Mongolia and Tuvan lands. Further warlike tribes reached to Amur and Irtysh. Traces of their possessions were found even on territory of the modern Chelyabinsk region.

Due to the fact that the Kyrgyz people in those days led a nomadic lifestyle and little documented what is happening, pinpoint the boundaries of the empire does not seem possible. But, as historians believe, at its peak the state had an area of ​​about 8.1 million square kilometers.

9th place: the Brazilian empire (1822-1889 A.D., 8.3 million sq. km)

Rating: 4.2

Brazilian Empire

In 1822, Brazil, once a former European colonies, like most other Latin American states, proclaimed independence. This was partly influenced by Napoleon. is he expelled the Portuguese royal family to Brazil they established self-government there, and then returned to their native Lisbon. And that was their mistake. After leaving the royal family in Brazil protests began, as a result of which the state proclaimed independence and established on the throne of his own monarch.

Pedro I, the first emperor of Brazil, first consolidated country, and then began to spread power. But its predatory politics was not active. For example, as a result Brazilian-Argentine war (which Argentina launched) to the territory of the state was attached to the site of the province of East Coast.

In general, the Brazilian empire is not too different from the current state of the country. In the fall of this state there was a revolution, as a result of which it separated from the territory only a few small southern provinces.

What is especially interesting, while being the empire of Brazil survived an unprecedented economic and industrial take-off. And even in during the crisis of power, he did not slow down. Apparently, just monarchy is not a form of government that suits the developed countries.

8th place: Portuguese colonial empire (1415-1999 g. e., 10.4 million square meters. km)

Rating: 4.3

Portuguese Colonial Empire

During the Middle Ages, the countries of southern Europe were very active colonial policy. They can be understood. Located in economic, industrial and manufacturing world center, these States literally needed to expand their holdings. because that “the higher the level, the greater the need.” And Portugal is not was an exception.

The power of continental Portugal over the past 6 centuries existence spread to the whole world. Her colonies met in South America (Brazil, Uruguay, French Guiana), North America (part of Canada), and especially in Africa. Continents Southern Hemisphere showed some value for Portugal, because they were sources of resources absent in Europe. Of Brazil imported fruits and other agricultural products, from Africa – gold and diamonds.

But what is interesting is not the heyday of the Portuguese empire (which is associated with at times pioneers), and her sunset. This is powerful the international state was destroyed by Napoleon. After him invasion of Lisbon Portugal lost almost all of its fleet, and the royal family urgently emigrated to territory of Brazil. Then, after the return of the rulers to Portugal, this South American “province” proclaimed independence, and itself became an empire. And the rest of the colony gradually began to “fall off.”

The last colonies showed independence or were transferred to other states already in 1999. For example, Macau ownership has become part of China. And East Timor returned to Indonesia. Now overseas possessions of Portugal are only the Azores and Madeira Island – and then on the rights of the autonomous regions.

Noteworthy, but Portugal, despite the politics and form board, never called herself an “empire.”

7th place: Abbasid Caliphate (750-1543 A.D., 11.1 million sq. km)

Rating: 4.4

Abbasid Caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate is a Middle Eastern state whose existence began in 750. And even then it was one of the largest regions on two continents at once. Territory which occupied the Abbasid caliphate, extended to modern Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and smaller Middle Eastern and North African states.

The history of the Abbasid caliphate began with the revolution in the Arab caliphate. And its cause was a deep economic and political a crisis. Abbasids – a dynasty of rulers – overthrew the existing power and began their own policies.

Their policies were characterized by special attention to internal development – but at the same time the caliphs did not forget the new territories to master. Even the first of them, Abul-Abbas al-Saffah, launched on territory of the country paper production and a little fought (successfully) with neighboring China.

The history of the Abbasid caliphate is very complex. In this state internecine warriors were constantly conducted, rulers succeeded each other not for natural reasons, but each more or less high the rising nobleman tried to launch his own dynasty. It was this fragmentation that led to the fall of the Abbasid caliphate.

6th place: French colonial empire (1534-1980 g. e., 13 million square meters. km)

Rating: 4.5

French colonial empire

In Europe, there are four countries that once were huge colonial empires (and some of them remain to this day Day): Portugal, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Each of them distinguished by excellent socio-economic development and availability of access to the sea.

France led an active expansion in two directions – North America and Africa. So, at the beginning of the existence of the colonial empire, it was this state founded provinces on the territory of modern Canada and the USA. Subsequently, they gained independence. And although Canada came out out of control of France back in 1763, it still has strong “colonial sentiment”. For example, the state language is French.

The second period of expansion occurred in the XIX-XX centuries. In this period France actively developed African territories. Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire), Niger, Chad – all these states became colonies. And existed in this status quite a long time. Some of them declared independence only in the 1960s.

The French colonial empire was one of the largest trading states of Europe. It’s her commercial company, especially the West Indies and East Indies, imported both slaves and agricultural products, and various raw materials.

5th place: Qing Empire (1644-1912 AD, 14.7 million square meters. km)

Rating: 4.6

Qing Empire

China, which is now the largest communist a country in the world, once was a monarchical power with a very aggressive foreign policy. And he reached his heyday in the late Middle Ages, when the Qing Dynasty ascended the throne.

China since the Qing Empire was a huge, multicultural country. It began as a Manchu state, stretching from Mongolia to Tibet. In the 1820s, when the Qing Empire reached its economic, social and political peak, in its the composition also included territories now owned by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam and many other Asian to states.

But the fall of the Qing Empire led to foreign policy of European states. In the second half of the XIX century, when the largest colonial countries quite interested in Asian territories, China had to actively defend its independence. In the north of the Qing Empire, conflicts arose with Russia, and in the south the case landed the British. And at the end of the 19th century, it was also barren year has happened. And in the end, the Chinese could not stand it and raised the national insurrection.

4th place: Spanish Empire (1492-1976 A.D., 20 million square meters. km)

Rating: 4.7

Spanish Empire

Spain was one of four European colonial super powers trying to take control of the province in North and South America. And she did it very successfully. For example, in South America The Spanish Empire in the person of Argentina constantly competed with the Portuguese Brazil, and led very predatory policy.

For example, when Brazil announced at the beginning of the 19th century independence, it was the Spanish subjects who attacked her in the hope of “grab a slice” of the East Bank province.

At the same time, the Spanish Empire itself began with fragmentation. IN late 1480s Catholic kings, rulers of their own possessions, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile, united. AND formally, they maintained independence, but pursued a common policy. Including external. Colonization began in 1492, with the capture of Granada and Iberia.

Then, at the end of 1492, the navigator Christopher Columbus, now already a Spanish citizen, opens the New World. And a superpower begins expansion to America. Colonies appear on the territory modern USA, Mexico, Central America, Argentina, Peru and even Brazil.

But America was not the goal of the Spanish Empire. Of course these two continents are very attractive, but most of all interest for European powers in those days demonstrated Asia. And Spain and there left traces, having landed on the territory of modern India. Here she had to compete for power with Britain.

In this case, the “golden age of Spain” are the XVI-XVII centuries. IN later this empire was powerful, but constant internal uprisings and reforms simply could not hold international authority. However, she was in a hurry with the colonies to part. She said goodbye to the latter only in the 1960s, granting independence to Equatorial Guinea and a small provinces in Western Sahara.

But even now, Spain has several that belong to it. territories in Africa. These are several islands and cities close to Morocco.

3rd place: Russian Empire (1721-1917 A.D., 22.8 million sq. km)

Rating: 4.8

The Russian Empire

The Russian Empire is the third largest state in the world history – began with Peter I. More precisely, with his victory in the North the war at the end of 1721. Then the senators asked Tsar Peter I to take the title of Emperor of All-Russian and Father Fatherland.

And the peak of the power of the Russian Empire fell at the end of the XVIII century. It was then that its territory extended from the North The Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, from the Baltic to Alaska. Besides Moreover, some of the countries of Eastern and Northern Europe were somehow controlled by the Russian Empire: Hetman, Finland, Poland. In expansion times were joined by Novorossia, Crimea, Georgia, Transcaucasia, a number of Asian and Far Eastern territories.

The Russian Empire pursued its expansive policy almost simultaneously with other superpowers. That’s just her expanded not by sea (if you do not take into account Alaska), but by land. But in Asia, she still faced the British Empire for a long time, but almost bloodless, competed with her for part of the territories. This the period is called the “Big Game” or “Shadow Games” – with a slight hands of Rudyard Kipling.

The fall of the Russian Empire began in the 19th century, long before February revolution itself. In fact, the start of the collapse became the reforms carried out by emperor Alexander II, as a result which serfdom in the country was abolished and are ending military operations in the Caucasus. In addition, at this moment the Russian Empire sold Alaska to the USA. All this leads to popular unrest, which in a few decades will turn into a full-fledged revolution.

2nd place: Mongol Empire (1206-1368 A.D., 33.2 million sq. km)

Rating: 4.9

Mongol Empire

In 1206, Khan Temuchin, who later became known under the household name Genghis Khan, founded a new country – the Great Mongolian state. And immediately began an expansive politics.

As a result, the Great Mongolian state – or the Mongolian empire – became the largest country in world history by related territories. Its western border was on the Danube, and its eastern border on Sea of ​​Japan. In the north, the Russian border became Novgorod, and in the south – Cambodia. The area of ​​the Mongol Empire at its peak amounted to 33.2 million square kilometers – and all this related territory. No overseas islands or colonies.

The expansion began with the war with the state of Jin. It was considered not as territorial, but as blood. Empire Jin executed the previous Mongol Khan, Ambagay, with shame. The war lasted a long time, it turned out to be very cruel and bloody – none of the parties was distinguished by humanism – and ended in victory Mongol Empire.

After that, making sure of his own power, Genghis Khan set off to conquer Central Asia. I got to central Eurasia – Russian and Ukrainian territories. Partly thanks to Genghis Khan in Kievan Rus temporarily stopped internecine war – the princes of the territories had to unite to get rid from the Tatar-Mongol yoke.

The Mongol empire began with China – and from there it came the fall. In 1368, the Yuan Empire created by the Mongol henchmen, survived the revolution, which went down in the annals of history like the uprising of the red blindfolds. Only 12 years later Battle of Kulikovo, after which the state left the Kievan Rus. And then in the Mongol Empire, by then “well-fed” and “respectable” country, internecine war.

1st place: the British Empire (1707-1999 A.D., 36.6 million sq. km)

Rating: 5.0


The British Empire is the largest state ever existed on the planet. In its heyday, the area of ​​its territory amounted to 36.6 million square kilometers. With all the colonies and provinces, of course.

And she had a lot of colonies and provinces. Ownership The British Empire extended to Canada, part of the regions United States, Colombia, Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand, Nigeria, Egypt, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, India Whole, Ceylon, Myanmar, Kenya, Republic of South Africa, Papua New Guinea and countless other small and large areas, including many islands, as well as, for example, Gibraltar in Spain. Total British Empire occupied 22% of the earth sushi.

The British Empire influenced formation and life not only controlled states, but the whole world. It is because of her expansiveness the most common language on the planet – English, and we study it to communicate normally with residents other countries. UK parliamentary system “inspired” former colonies to create their own government. Even after provincial independence continued to use English law. British metric system (imperial) is still in use, including in the United States.

That’s why the British Empire that changed the world is also the most powerful empire in history.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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