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History The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History  

Mike Rothschild
7.5k votes 641 voters 3.4k 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
283 137
Ottoman Empire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Ruled Southeast Europe and Western Asia for centuries.

2
246 129
Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
The bastion of the ancient world. All roads led there.

3
244 148
British Empire is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
British Empire Highest population of any empire in history, over 550 million.

4
209 112
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
155 145
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
129 129
Golden Horde is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Golden Horde Mongol successor state that controlled much of Eastern Europe.

7
124 124
French colonial empire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
French Colonial Empire Second largest Empire in the 19th century.

8
129 152
German Empire is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
125 164
Byzantine Empire is listed (or ranked) 9 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.

10
127 177
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
120 174
Holy Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Controlled most of central Europe for 900 years.

12
84 127
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
79 138
Achaemenid Empire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Achaemenid Empire First centralized empire with postal and highway systems.

14
87 158
Macedonian Empire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Macedonian Empire The dominanate state of ancient Greece.

15
71 137
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
68 151
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
60 152
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
55 153
Tang dynasty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Qing Dynasty Ruled China from 1644 through 1912.

19
53 152
Umayyad Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 19 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.

20
47 144
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
43 165
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
41 163
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
38 163
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
34 166
Yuan Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Yuan Dynasty Established by Kublai Khan and unified China in 1271.

25
28 150
Mughal Empire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Persian empire that ruled over India from the 1500s until 1857.

26
25 156
Aztec Empire is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Aztec Empire United the city-states of Central Mexico for nearly 100 years.

27
21 147
Akkadian Empire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Likely the first empire in recorded history.

28
19 153
Gupta Empire is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Ancient empire that marked the Golden Age of India.

29
15 149
Kushan Empire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Kushan Empire Had almost 20% of the world's population under it in the 2nd century.

30
10 152
Fatimid Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Fatimid Caliphate Ruled the Levant for over 250 years.

31
10 153
First Mexican Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
First Mexican Empire Lasted only three years, but was the only post-Spanish colonial monarchy.

32
6 150
Pala Empire is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Pala Empire Controlled India and Pakistan from the 8th to 12th century.