In the past, it was very common for nations to expand their territories relentlessly. Conquering other nations was a favorite activity for almost all the leaders, including Greeks, Ottomans and the Romans. The desire to amass nations, resources and to form powerful legacies and build the largest empire in history played a significant role in the rise and fall of various kingdoms. The following are some of the largest empires that ever existed. 

Largest Empire in the History


British Empire

Empire Area: 36.6 million km

Under the Control of: George V of the United Kingdom in 1922

This British Empire is considered to be the largest empire in history. It covered almost a quarter of the total area of the earth, and had controlled about 500 million people. The empire was spreading English language. As a result, the language is the second most used language across the world today. This is by far one of the most influential empires to ever exist in the history of mankind.


Mongol Empire

Empire Area: 33.2 million km

Under the Control of: Kublai Khan in 1268

In his youthful days, Temujin, who came to be known as Genghis Khan, had vowed to rule over the entire world. In doing this, he first brought together the Mongolian tribes who were initially scattered. To begin on his mission, he set out for China, where he established the Mongol empire, the largest contiguous empire known to mankind. Although the Mongols were some of the most ruthless and fearless fighters, they lacked administrative skills. As a result, the kingdom had no unity and it was defeated by Ming builders. The Mongols empire is remembered to date for its brutality.


Russian Empire

Empire Area: 24.8 million km

Under the Control of: Alexander II in 1866

This empire had a ground cover that total up to about 15 percent of the total land on earth. By the year 1913, the kingdom had a population of 176.4 million. Before the World War I, the Russian empire was one of the great European powers. The empire was brought to an end by the bloody Russian Revolution that occurred in 1917 and became the last European absolute monarchy.


Spanish Empire

Empire Area: 16 million km

Under the Control of: King Charles III from 1759 to 1788

This was one of the first global empires that started during the age of Exploration. It comprised of colonies like Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and Africa. It was during this period that Spain gained substantial political as well as economic power. The total area covered by this empire is about 13% of the total landmass of the earth and had a total of 68.2 million people for the period between 1740 and 1790.


Umayyad Arab Caliphate

Empire Area: 13.2 million km

Under the Control of: HishamibnAbd al-Malik between 723 and 743

This is the second most influential of the four Islamic caliphates, which was set up after the death of Mohamed. The empire was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty. This family was originated from Mecca. The name Umayyad was derived from the great-grandfather in the initial Umayyad caliph, UmayyaibnAbd Shams. The capital of this empire was in Damascus. The empire covered more than five million square miles, hence the largest empire in history and the fifth largest contiguous empire. The Umayyad managed to establish the biggest Arab-Muslim state of all the ancient empires.


Qing Empire

Empire Area: 13 million km

Under the Control of: Emperor Qianlong in 1851

The Qing Dynasty is the last known ruling dynasty in china, which existed between 1644 and1912. By the year 1851, the dynasty had a population of 432 million. The dynasty was succeeded by the Republic of China. The dynasty was introduced by Aisin Gioro, a Manchu clan in the current northeast China, initially known as Manchuria. Later on, the dynasty expanded by conquering China proper and its surroundings to form the Great Qing Empire. The Qing Dynasty was later overthrown through the Xinhai Revolution in 1912.


French Empire

Empire Area: 12.5 million km

Under the Control of: President Albert Lebrun in 1938

The region that was under this empire was initially under French rule. This was between the 17th century and the 1960′s. For the period between the 19th and the 20th  century, this empire was the second largest empire in the world, with the British Empire taking the first position. This empire existed during the greatest civilizations in history, when the France people believed that the higher races had the right to civilize the lower ones. As a result, the empire extended to Southeast Asia and Africa.


Portuguese Empire

 Empire Area: 12.4 million km

The Portuguese Empire, also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire, was the first global empire. It started in 1415 and lasted for about six centuries. The territory that was under this empire is currently part of 53 sovereign states. The history of this empire stretched back to the time when Ceuta was captured and ended when Macau was handed over to East Timor in 2002. The advancement in maritime, cartography and navigation technology allowed the Portuguese sailors to rediscover new places and routes within the surrounding territories.


Ming Empire

Empire Area: 6.5 million km

Under the Control of: Jingtai Emperor in 1450

This empire is described by many as the greatest era, with regards to social stability and orderly government. It is also the second to the last royal era in the history of China and the last dynasty in the country to be ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Later on, the dynasty crumbled due to man-made and natural catastrophes. It was then succeeded by the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty in China.


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  • JosepeMay.13 17:08
    Hard to believe the Portuguese empire started in 1414 when America was discovered by C.C in 1492.
  • JSchreiberAug.30 22:48
    @ : You're right, began in 1415 with the conquest of Ceuta, in Africa.
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