History The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History  

Mike Rothschild
7k votes 597 voters 3.2k views 32 items

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.

1
267 121
Ottoman Empire is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Ottoman Empire Ruled Southeast Europe and Western Asia for centuries.

2
226 122
Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Roman Empire The bastion of the ancient world. All roads led there.

3
227 139
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
190 107
Mongol Empire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Mongol Empire Largest contiguous land empire in history.

5
145 140
Spanish Empire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Spanish Empire Dominated Europe for over three centuries.

6
117 115
French colonial empire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
French Colonial Empire Second largest Empire in the 19th century.

7
116 125
Golden Horde is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Golden Horde Mongol successor state that controlled much of Eastern Europe.

8
121 152
Byzantine Empire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Byzantine Empire The western part of the Roman Empire. Ruled for over 1,100 years.

9
118 147
German Empire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
German Empire Controlled large parts of Europe from 1870 until the end of World War I

10
123 162
Russian Empire is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Russian Empire Had more land than any except the British and Mongolian.

11
117 161
Holy Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Holy Roman Empire Controlled most of central Europe for 900 years.

12
77 119
Abbasid Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Abbasid Caliphate Controlled 20% of the world's population at its height.

13
76 127
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
81 149
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
69 126
Hunnic Empire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Hunnic Empire Tribal confederation founded by Attila the Hun.

16
64 139
Empire of Japan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Empire of Japan Conquered most of Asia during World War II.

17
58 141
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
52 142
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
50 143
Umayyad Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Umayyad Caliphate Had over 29% of the entire world's population in the 7th century.

20
43 136
Rashidun Caliphate is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Rashidun Caliphate Second largest land empire before the 7th century CE.

21
41 156
Portuguese Empire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Portuguese Empire Vast maritime and colonial empire.

22
40 153
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
36 154
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
31 158
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
25 143
Mughal Empire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Mughal Empire Persian empire that ruled over India from the 1500s until 1857.

26
23 147
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
21 138
Akkadian Empire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Akkadian Empire Likely the first empire in recorded history.

28
17 144
Gupta Empire is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Powerful and Influential Global Empires in History
Gupta Empire Ancient empire that marked the Golden Age of India.

29
14 139
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
9 143
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
9 143
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
6 140
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.