Empires

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Empires

Prussia
Off-topic, has nothing to do with tripleA but this is pure history.

What is the top 10 most powerful sovereign states of all-time?

Criteria: a combination of influence, size, portion of population ruled, military power, economical power, length of influence, etc.

Examples:

Napoleonic France (1805-1812)

Most powerful military in Europe
Had control over all europe except Britain, Russia, and scandinavia.
Ruled directly or indirectly 20% of world population at its greatest extent

Potential Candidates:

Ancient Persia
Ancient Macedonian Greece
Ancient Rome
Arab Caliphate
Mongol Empire
Ottoman Empire
Portuguese Empire
Spanish Empire
Qing China
Dutch Empire
French Colonial Empire
British Empire
Napoleonic France
Austrian Empire
Prussian Germany
Russian Empire
USA
Nazi Germany
Japanese Empire
Soviet Union
Modern China
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Re: Empires

Prussia
This post was updated on .
Rankings based on the total of seven categories. For each category, 5 is the best. Tie-breaker: number of categories that is superior to the other tied empire.

Categories Defined:
Size - land area. 5=over 30 million square meters, 1=under 5 million square meters
Population - % of world population. 5=over 35%, 1=under 5%
Economy - Estimated % of world GDP. 5=over 20%, 1=under 5%
Military - 5 is "unchallenged supremacy"
Influence - Subjective measurement of the impact of culture
Duration - how long did it last? 5=over 600 years, 1=under 100 years (only include "Great Power" status)
Fear Factor - Subjective measurement of whether other states will bow down to pressure (otherwise citizens will flee)

20. Dutch Empire: Dutch East Indies Company

Size 1
Population 1
Economy 4
Military 2
Influence 1
Duration 3
Fear Factor 1
Total 13

+Dominated global trade in early part of 17th century
+Conquestion of existing Spanish and Portugese colonies
+Small but effective army was complemented by a powerful navy

19. Japanese Empire: Land of the rising sun

Size 2
Population 2
Economy 1
Military 4
Influence 1
Duration 1
Fear Factor 2
Total 13

+Dominant power in the Far East after defeat of Russian Empire
+Third largest navy in the world, symbolized by the battleship Yamato
+Unequaled fighting spirit - Death in combat is the greatest honor

18. Austrian Empire: Let others wage wars; you, Austria, marry!

Size 1
Population 1
Economy 2
Military 1
Influence 2
Duration 4
Fear Factor 2
Total 13

+One of the first multi-ethnic feudal states in Europe
+Control over Holy Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, Balkans and Italy
+Secured alliances with many different countries by arranged marriages

17. Portuguese Empire: Age of discovery

Size 3
Population 1
Economy 4
Military 1
Influence 2
Duration 4
Fear Factor 1
Total 15

+Fore-runner of European Colonialism in exploring the new world
+Monopoly on lucrative trade with eastern colonies
+Portugese colonies included Brazil and parts of Africa, india, and southeast asia.

16. Prussian Germany: Blood and Iron

Size 1
Population 1
Economy 2
Military 4
Influence 2
Duration 3
Fear Factor 3
Total 16

+Obtained the status of "Great Power" under Fredereck the Great, and re-emerged under Bismarck
+Gradually dominated all German states after defeat of Austria and France
+Arms Race with Britain led to WWI

15. French Empire: The Acient Regime

Size 3
Population 2
Economy 2
Military 2
Influence 2
Duration 4
Fear Factor 2
Total 17

+Ruled colonies in North America, Caribbean, India, Africa and Southeast Asia
+Powerful challenger to Spanish and British dominance on land and at sea
+French was the dominant foreign language and is still the official language in 29 countries

14. Russian Empire: God is with the Tzar

Size 4
Population 2
Economy 1
Military 3
Influence 2
Duration 2
Fear Factor 3
Total 17

+Third largest empire of all time, ruled over much of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Alaska
+Successful checked Napoleon's advance in 1812
+Major Polictical power in 19th century Europe

13. Macedonian Greece: Alexander the Great

Size 3
Population 3
Economy 1
Military 5
Influence 3
Duration 1
Fear Factor 3
Total 19

+Most powerful military in the world under the reign of Alexander the Great
+Conquered all of near east, most of middle east and egypt
+Spread Greek Culture in successor states after breakup of the empire.

12. Revolutionary France: La Marseillaise

Note: Includes Napoleon's "First French Empire"

Size 2
Population 2
Economy 2
Military 4
Influence 4
Duration 1
Fear Factor 4
Total 19

+Born with the revolutionary ideas that threaten existance of all European Monarchies
+Armed with nationalism and briliance of Bonaparte, it took 7 coalitions to defeat
+Spread of liberty, equality and fraternity among feudal states

11. Nazi Germany: One people, one reich, one fuhrer

Size 3
Population 2
Economy 3
Military 4
Influence 2
Duration 1
Fear Factor 4
Total 19

+The most effective military machine on earth in the early years of WWII
+Conquered most of Europe under National Socialist ideologies
+In pop culture, it is depicted as the most evil and the most feared regime

10. Qing China: The Great Qing

Size 3
Population 5
Economy 4
Military 2
Influence 1
Duration 3
Fear Factor 2
Total 20

+Paramount power in East Asia until 1840, reaching its height of power in 1700
+Very large trade surplus with the rest of the world
+Decline in 19th century led it to be nicknamed "Sick man of the East"

09. Arab Caliphate: Champion of Islam

Note: Include four ruling dynasties based from four different cities

Size 3
Population 4
Economy 2
Military 2
Influence 4
Duration 4
Fear Factor 2
Total 21

+Conquered all of Arabia, Iran, Middle east, North Africa, and most of spain
+Founded by followers of prophet Muhammad in 7th Century, lasted until Mongol invasion
+Spead of Islam as the predominant religion in conquered territories

08. Ancient Persia: King of Kings

Size 3
Population 4
Economy 3
Military 4
Influence 2
Duration 2
Fear Factor 4
Total 22

+Ruled from the foothills of the Himalayas to the beaches of the Aegean by 500 BCE
+The first multi-ethnic empire: Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Hittitles, Greeks
+The first superpower whose infrastructure survived until the time of Alexander the Great

07. Soviet Union: Triumph of the working class

Size 4
Population 2
Economy 3
Military 4
Influence 4
Duration 1
Fear Factor 4
Total 22

+The first socialist state in the world sparked a wave of communist movement
+Direct control of half of Europe and influence over China, Korea, Cuba and many others
+Technology and military powerhouse

06. Ottoman Empire: The empire over three continents

Size 3
Population 3
Economy 3
Military 3
Influence 3
Duration 5
Fear Factor 3
Total 23

+Medieval superpower that conquered all of: North Africa, Middle East, Balkans
+Its large army in Europe and Naval Dominance in Mediterranean threatened existance of Christianity
+One of the most powerful states in the world in 16th century

05. Mongol Empire: Pax Mongolia

Size 4
Population 4
Economy 2
Military 5
Influence 3
Duration 1
Fear Factor 5
Total 24

+Nearly invincible military power, defeating all foes on Eurasia
+Largest continuous land empire in the world
+Brutal rule marked by mass repression and discrimination

04. Spanish Empire: Spanish Golden Age

Size 4
Population 2
Economy 5
Military 4
Influence 4
Duration 4
Fear Factor 4
Total 27

+The first true global empire: scattered lands in Europe and Asia, but vast holdings in Americas
+Extracted massive wealth from its colonies at the expense of the natives
+Charles V of Spain was dubbed "The most powerful man in Europe"

03. United States of America: Land of the free, home of the brave

Size 3
Population 2
Economy 5
Military 5
Influence 5
Duration 2
Fear Factor 5
Total 27

+A nation built on democracy, freedom and equality
+Economic, military and cultural superpower
+Strong influence over all other country's policies

02. British Empire: The sun never sets

Size 5
Population 3
Economy 5
Military 5
Influence 5
Duration 4
Fear Factor 4
Total 31

+Control territory in all seven continents; largest empire ever existed
+One century of unchallenged global dominance leading to emergence of English language
+Fuel by trade and the industrial revolution, it was the predecessor of modern economies

01. Ancient Rome: SPQR - The senate and people of Rome

Size 3
Population 4
Economy 5
Military 5
Influence 5
Duration 5
Fear Factor 5
Total 32

+Superpower of ancient history both militarily and economically
+Ruled almost all of the known world by 100 AD
+Roman influence on language, philosophy, architecture and government are still present today
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Re: Empires

eurofabio
In reply to this post by Prussia
Ancient Rome
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Re: Empires

Pulicat
In reply to this post by Prussia
The list of top 10 would be different depending on which criteria you used (land area, population size, etc.)

Instead of picking one criterion and looking at the top 10, I decided to pick my top 10 based on superlatives scattered across criteria -- "the first," "the largest," etc.

So in no particular order, here are my top 10:

+ Achaemenid Persian Empire = Largest percentage of world population, 44.5% (50.0 million out of 112.4 million in 480 BC)

+ USA in 1991 = Only remaining superpower in the world after the fall of USSR, still largest GDP in the world, largest "soft power" empire in history, cultural influence pervades the entire world.

+ Roman Empire (approx. 2nd century) = Largest economy in Eurasia besides China, regional military behemoth, unmatched organization and administration, cultural influence can be felt to this day.

+ Song Dynasty China = Largest per capita GDP (PPP) until the Industrial Revolution ($2,280 1990 US Dollars), in other words, wealthiest pre-industrial society.

+ British Empire = Largest empire by land area at its height in 1938 (33.7 million square kilometers), 20% of world population, largest navy, "the world's first superpower."

+ post-war USSR = Sphere of influence larger than the Mongol Empire (includes Warsaw Pact satellite states), one of two superpowers during Cold War.

+ USA in 1948 = Chief superpower during Cold War, leading the USSR in technology, economy, and military strength, held a monopoly on nuclear weapons (USSR acquired nukes in 1949)

+ Mongol Empire = Largest contiguous land empire, at 24 million square kilometers.

+ Dutch Empire (approx. late 17th century) = Largest commercial empire in the world at the time, dominated Indian Ocean trade, monopoly on spice trade, monopoly on trade with Japan, dominated trade in Europe from the Baltic to Mediterranean

+ Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 8th century BC) = "first real empire in history," spanning a multiethnic territory across the entire Fertile Crescent from Mesopotamia to the Nile, strongest regional military at the time, united with Aramaic as the state language

Honorable mention: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, at its height in late 17th century = Largest polity in Europe at the time; dominant power in Eastern Europe; unique check-and-balance political system that presages modern democracies, constitutional monarchies, and federations; high levels of ethnic diversity and religious tolerance
how now brown cow?
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Re: Empires

Anonymouse
In reply to this post by Prussia
Nazi Germany took on the other european powers almost single handedly, (Italy and other minor minor powers had much of their military strength come from German support).

Furthermore, its technology was incredible. And what caused the downfall of the Third Reich...

The United States! The US was building more weapons than every other nation combined during WW2
(at least according my old high school textbook).

While i believe these two are top 10, Rome is definenlty number one. It dominates in length on influence, lasting longer than any other nation and still influencing the world to this day and probably forever. Because many objects in space are named in legacy of Rome, its influence is actually far beyond the Earth itself.
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Re: Empires

eurofabio
In reply to this post by Pulicat
Chinese and people from Americas included?

Pulicat wrote
+ Achaemenid Persian Empire = Largest percentage of world population, 44.5% (50.0 million out of 112.4 million in 480 BC)
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Re: Empires

Pulicat
In reply to this post by Anonymouse
Anonymouse wrote
Nazi Germany took on the other european powers almost single handedly, (Italy and other minor minor powers had much of their military strength come from German support).

Furthermore, its technology was incredible.
The idea of the Germans having superior technology during the early war years (1939-1941) is purely a myth created in part by the Allied need to explain to themselves their catastrophic failures on the field, and in part by the Germans who took their own propaganda too seriously.

The truth is, the Germans conquered Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Low Countries, and France with quite ordinary weaponry, their logistics system was antiquated WWI style, and their equipment in certain areas were distinctly inferior to that of the Allies (especially tank technology). Hitler conquered vast tracts of Europe through a bit of innovative combined-arms tactics and a hell of a lot of political bluffing.

Anonymouse wrote
And what caused the downfall of the Third Reich...
The United States!
The Germans also did not mobilize into full wartime economy until 1944, but even if they did so during 1930, it is still my opinion that without Pearl Harbor and the United States entering the war, USSR and UK would eventually defeat Nazi Germany and Mussolini.
how now brown cow?
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Re: Empires

Pulicat
In reply to this post by eurofabio
eurofabio wrote
Chinese and people from Americas included?

Pulicat wrote
+ Achaemenid Persian Empire = Largest percentage of world population, 44.5% (50.0 million out of 112.4 million in 480 BC)
Yep. The Chinese population during the Han dynasty (2nd century BC - 2nd century AD) was about 50 million, and it was lower than that during the 5th century BC of Achaemenid Persia because at the time China was in constant conflict during the Warring States Period. So 30-40 million for China would be a reasonable estimate for this period. On the other hand the Persian empire spanned some of the populous areas in the world at the time, including the entire Fertile Crescent: All of Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt, plus Persia and Central Asia, plus all of Turkey, plus northern Greece.
how now brown cow?
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Re: Empires

Prussia
Here's the categorial winners

Size - British Empire (~25% of land area in 1920s)
Population - Ancient Persia (~40% of world population in 450 BC)
Economy - USA (~40% of world GDP in 1990s)
Military - USA (Military power equivalent of the next 14 strongest military combined)
Influence (i.e. can it exert effective pressure?) - USA (Need I say more?)
Duration - Ottoman Empire (7 Centuries). Byzantium after 1100AD is too small to qualify
Fear - Mongol Empire (feared in all known world in the communication constraint at the time)
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Re: Empires

eurofabio
Rome does not win any category?

Very disappointing.



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Re: Empires

Zim Xero
Are there any existing national borders which have been unchanged through time?... any peoples who have not been taken over by any foreign country and retain self-control to this day?... perhaps they should win.
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: Empires

Swobo
ottomans winning duration is ridiculous.  Rome was a contiguous society from the time of its kings in 800 bc til the fall of the eastern empire's capital Constantinople in 1453. people will argue this is not the same empire, but societies change, is America of 1812 comparable to America of 1986?  not at all really.  plus Constantinople was in existence for 1000 years before capitulating to the turks, who had to use the biggest cannon ever made by humans to knock a hole in the walls.

honorable mention for the americas should perhaps be the incas... they didnt last long thanks to smallpox, but what they accomplished in 50 years is nearly unmatched in human history
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Re: Empires

Prussia
To avoid listing 100s of empires, I think we should at least limit the discussion to "Great Powers" that satisify both of the following:

A. Has the ability to defeat, or deter/defend the invasion of another Great Power or a coalition of smaller states.
B. Has the ability to exert power and influence beyond its borders.

Example of A: Prussia under Frederick II successfully invaded Austria and fended off coalition of France, Austria, Russia and Sweden.

Counter-Example of A: Byzantine after 12th century were unable to defend against Ottoman empire in the east, nor was it able to defend against Serbia or Bulgaria in the west.

Example of B: Austrian Empire dominated large number of Italian, German and Balkan states in its existance.

Counter-Example of B: pre-Meiji Japan's closed-door policy.
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Re: Empires

Anonymouse
In reply to this post by Pulicat
USA soilders openly considered the German army the greatest in the world. Germany had the first Jet engines, first modern true assault rifle, advances in sub technology, and much much more. Blitzkrieg is in itself an innovation and UK and USSR barely held on with US support. There are reports of German tanks being hit by dozens of soviet explosives and still operating.

I suppose we must agree to disagree on this one...i believe if fear is a category Nazi Germany is a good choice.

As far as the main debate, America is great, but i feel it is overrepresented by Prussia in his rankings. And the Roman Empire lasted more than a thousand years in one way or another. It controlled most of what was the known world.



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Re: Empires

Prussia
I did not give any overall rankings yet.

I only posted the "Category" bests. Still studying the history lol.
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Re: Empires

Pulicat
I like the idea of category bests, as overall rankings would need a highly subjective way of weighing the categories, unless we could all agree to some meta-algorithm taking it all into account (is lasting longer worth more than military power? Is cultural influence more significant that economic size?)

puli
how now brown cow?
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Re: Empires

Pulicat
In reply to this post by Prussia
I like the idea of category bests, as overall rankings would need a highly subjective way of weighing the categories, unless we could all agree to some meta-algorithm taking it all into account (is lasting longer worth more than military power? Is cultural influence more significant that economic size?)

puli
how now brown cow?
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Re: Empires

Prussia
If in doubt, rank it equally lol. Assign values 1-5 for every state and tally up the total :) I'll be producing a copy in a few days
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Re: Empires

Prussia
Top 20 - 11 posted.
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Re: Empires

Amphere
Qing Empire - 36.6% (381 million out of 1.041 billion in 1820)
Maurya Empire - 33.3% (50 million out of 150 million in the 2nd century B.C.)
Umayyad Arab Empire - 29.5% (62 million out of 210 million in the 7th century)
Mughal Empire - 29.2% (175 million out of 600 million in 1700)
Ming Empire - 28.8% (160 million out of 556.2 million in 1600)
Achaemenid Persian Empire - 27.6% (42 million out of 152 million in the 4th century B.C.)
Han Empire - 26.5% (59.6 million out of 226 million in 2 A.D.)
Roman Empire - 26.5% (60 million out of 226 million in the 1st century A.D.)
Mongol Empire - 25.6% (110 million out of 429 million in the 13th century)
British Empire - 23.15% (531.3 million out of 2.295 billion in 1938)

Mongol isn't even the highest, In fact I would say it is on the low end. Further strengthening the fact that Roman Empire is the better.

Edit: Skimmed through 20-11, I think all of those are where I would put them.
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