Weird History Maps Comparing The Size Of Historical Empires  

Amanda Sedlak-Hevener
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You've no doubt heard the saying, "The sun never sets on the British Empire." This was true, until the 1920s when colonialism fell out of favor and the Brits lost a good number of their territories. Such was the case with many an empire throughout the ages, from the ancient Roman Empire to the Brazilian Empire of the 1800s. Though largely a product of the past now found mainly in history books, colonialism's effects still linger today.

Assembled below are maps of historical empires, some of which rivaled the British as far as sheer land mass. Though you may not be familiar with every power listed here, many are among the largest empires in history. Had they not fallen, Russia would own Alaska, saving Sarah Palin the effort of looking out her window to see what they're up to.

British Empire, 1920


British Empire, 1920 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Maps Comparing The Size Of Historical Empires
Photo: The_Red_Hat_of_Pat_Ferrick/Wikimedia Commons

Russian Empire, 1895


Russian Empire, 1895 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Maps Comparing The Size Of Historical Empires
Photo: Shadowxfox/Wikimedia Commons

Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912


Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Maps Comparing The Size Of Historical Empires
Photo: CIA (Background map)/Wikimedia Commons

Spanish Empire, 1580-1976


Spanish Empire, 1580-1976 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Maps Comparing The Size Of Historical Empires
Photo: Trasamundo/Wikipedia Commons