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Politics The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History  

Mike Rothschild
9.3k votes 879 voters 4.1k views

List Rules Vote up the empires that had the biggest and longest-lasting effects on world history.

The most powerful empires in history united warring factions, controlled great swaths of land, and had vast colonial resources at their control. From the first global empire, likely the Akkadian Empire founded by Sargon in 2300 BCE, to the great dynasties of antiquity, all the way through the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires of the 1900s, these empires ruled huge parts of the world - until they were defeated by empires even more powerful than their own.

A great empire has a huge population, controls huge amounts of land, and can control both with a strong military. On this list you'll find the empires that brought the world some of the toughest warriors, greatest military leaders, and strongest armies. But they also inspired the greatest art, literature, engineering, and scientific feats in human history. Many nations were part of many different empires, and each one added their own legacy to their history.

Here are the greatest, most powerful global empires. Vote up the ones that truly stood above the rest.
list ordered by

1
379 170
Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
The bastion of the ancient world. All roads led there.

2
338 196
British Empire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
British Empire
Highest population of any empire in history, over 550 million.

3
381 242
Ottoman Empire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Ruled Southeast Europe and Western Asia for centuries.

4
251 163
Mongol Empire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Largest contiguous land empire in history.

5
232 172
Spanish Empire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Dominated Europe for over three centuries.

6
190 180
German Empire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Controlled large parts of Europe from 1870 until the end of World War I

7
205 208
Holy Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Controlled most of central Europe for 900 years.

8
151 154
French colonial empire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
French Colonial Empire
Second largest Empire in the 19th century.

9
145 171
Golden Horde is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Golden Horde
Mongol successor state that controlled much of Eastern Europe.

10
162 223
Russian Empire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Had more land than any except the British and Mongolian.

11
143 194
Byzantine Empire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
The western part of the Roman Empire. Ruled for over 1,100 years.

12
112 155
Abbasid Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Controlled 20% of the world's population at its height.

13
113 175
Macedonian Empire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Macedonian Empire
The dominanate state of ancient Greece.

14
94 168
Achaemenid Empire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Achaemenid Empire
First centralized empire with postal and highway systems.

15
90 160
Hunnic Empire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Tribal confederation founded by Attila the Hun.

16
88 169
Empire of Japan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Conquered most of Asia during World War II.

17
77 169
New Kingdom of Egypt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
New Kingdom of Egypt
Ancient Egypt's most prosperous empire - three dynasties over five centuries.

18
73 169
Umayyad Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Had over 29% of the entire world's population in the 7th century.

19
64 174
Tang dynasty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Qing Dynasty
Ruled China from 1644 through 1912.

20
60 164
Rashidun Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Second largest land empire before the 7th century CE.

21
58 184
Portuguese Empire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Vast maritime and colonial empire.

22
53 182
Austro-Hungarian Empire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Unified states of Austria and Hungary. Disolved after World War 1.

23
46 181
Ming Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Ming Dynasty
Ruled China for over 300 years.

24
38 170
Mughal Empire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Persian empire that ruled over India from the 1500s until 1857.

25
40 186
Yuan Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Yuan Dynasty
Established by Kublai Khan and unified China in 1271.