Amazing Facts About The Greatest Empires

 Whenever you need to research a historical subject, you come across information about Empires, right? I wonder if  the Imperial concept comes from and what it means in fact the name given to a particular community Have you ever wondered why? So what's the difference between a kingdom, a great country, and an empire?

Top 10 Greatest Empires Ever

In addition to learning about empires by taking a history lesson , in this article we explained what empire actually was, how this name was used in history and how this idea came from and spread. In addition, we will talk about the largest empires in the world, how these empires were born and rose, and after which point they fell.

The Greatest Empires

Content Titles in This Article :

  • What is Empire?
  • First Empire
  • Roman Empire
  • Mongol Empire
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Qing Empire
  • Russian Empire
  • British Empire

What is Empire?

First we need to understand what makes an empire an empire . It doesn't really matter how large an area it covers or how crowded its population is. So, as you can see, this has nothing to do with quantity.

We can say that there are basically two features that make up an empire. Conquests made in one ;  the fact that there are very different regions that joined their territory under the leadership of a powerful commander, and the second is entirely related to the languages ​​spoken.

Conquests and Lands :

Historians, in trying to analyze empires, initially defined them as territorial ensembles that were directly or indirectly subject to a single ruler . This means that although today's Russia is quite large in terms of area, it is not an empire.

But if he invaded Mongolia and overthrew the government then we could call it an empire because it would have two or more different lands. In addition, empires generally contain certain ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural differences .

Take the Ottoman Empire, for example. There was a time in the glorious Ottoman history when many different lands, including Egypt, Bulgaria, Greece and Lebanon , were considered within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. These countries consisted of different provinces, that is, narrow units, and were administered by the provincial governor attached to the Sultan. Such devotion and obedience, following the conquests and the day-to-day development of the empire, are also among the characteristics that define empires.

Land and Sea :

In this idea, we can say that there are two main types of empires. These are known as 'terrestrial empires' and 'thalassocracies'. The former conquered the lands by land , while the latter carried out their conquests by sea .

The Mongol Empire is a very fitting example of the former. In line with the instructions of Genghis Khan, they left the Mongolian steppes and captured a very large area. In the early days of the empire, Genghis Khan sent his armies to all directions to gain more territory as quickly as possible and demanded that they occupy wherever they went.

While territorial conquests provide the opportunity to spread towards nearby places, conquests from the sea do not have such a limitation. For example, the British Empire, with its incredibly powerful navy, has succeeded in conquering countries all over the world, as well as various regions such as islands and ports.

Name 'Empire' :

Sometimes the states that call themselves Empires have begun to be called briefly in this way. It's like a ruler removing 'kingdom' from the name of the country and putting 'empire'. It appears many times in history.

The Russian Empire is one of the best examples for this. Here, since Ivan the Terrible (Ivan the Great in Russian terms), as the Turks call it, and even before, the kings were engaged in imperial activities, in which they expanded their borders by invading and annexing various regions. The last time, in 1721, when Peter the Great changed Russia's name from tsar to empire, its official name was the Russian Empire .

Similarly, the Roman Empire had been expanding its borders for a long time before Octavian or Augustus added the title of emperor to its own name.

On the other hand, in 1897 Korea changed its name to the Greater Korean Empire , although it had no other territory than its own, and was razed eight years later by Japan.

Why Do Empires Collapse?

Although it brings peace and prosperity to its people , the statement that ' empires are doomed to collapse eventually' is quite realistic. The Greek historian Herodotus, who lived before the Roman Empire, knew this long ago. But historians today still struggle to come to a consensus on why empires collapsed.

As a result of the saturation of the rulers or, on the contrary, their weakening , they all collapse in one way or another. They may become too large to rule, as in the Mongol Empire, or subject to invasions from outside, as in the Roman and Qing Empires.

Four of these Empires either collapsed or were severely weakened by war. It is wars that make them stronger and cause their downfall !

First Empire :

The first imperial activity has probably been going on since the first appearance of human civilization . The first thing we know for sure about this is that BC. In the 3000s, King Narmer of the Upper Valley of Egypt conquered the Lower Valley and brought them all under one rule.

About six hundred years later, the Akkadian Empire had conquered most of Mesopotamia , which now includes Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey .

BC in China The Shang and Zhou Empires, which ruled from 1500 to 770 B.C., were both huge and existed for more than seven centuries before the Roman Empire.

The Greatest Empires : Roman empire

Roman Empire :

As far as it is known, the first to use the title 'Empire' in history are the Romans and the origin of the word is based on the Latin word 'impretor ', that is, commander.  The Romans established a system that formed the basis of the western imperialism that would follow in its footsteps and charted the administrative and political path to the western states that would later be established. 

The Roman Empire   ruled between 27 BC and 476 AD and dominated twenty-one percent of the world's population at that time, extending from Iran in the east to England in the west, and reached its most glorious times in the time of Emperor Trajan, whose heart beat in the Mediterranean .

Click Here To Read Extra History of Roman Empire.

The Greatest Empires : mongol empire

Mongol Empire :

The Mongol Empire , which is known as the only empire that established the greatest dominance in the lands close to each other in world history, was founded in 1206 by Genghis Khan, who united the nomadic Mongolian tribes . Then he set out to conquer the world, and he was almost completing that goal. It stretched from Beijing in East Asia to the Danube river and Persian Gulf in the west, reaching a total area of ​​33,000,000 km2. 

Although Genghis Khan established an unprecedented peace and prosperity in the places he conquered, called the Mongolian Peace,  this empire was divided into four parts in 1924 and lost its integrity. Each of these parts wanted to be politically independent and after a while they started to collapse one by one.

Click Here To Read Extra History of Mongol Empire.

The Greatest Empires : Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire :

After the Roman Empire was divided into two, the eastern half became known as the Byzantine Empire , and the region that kept this empire alive was Constantinople.

Constantinople of the Byzantines, which managed to last until 1453, passed into the hands of the Ottomans with the glorious victory of Fatih Sultan Mehmed. The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1301 by Osman I. The dynasty continued to be ruled from Istanbul after the conquest, and this dynasty reigned for a total of 624 years.

The spread of the Ottoman Empire on three different continents also proves to us how powerful the conquests from the sea ​​can be thanks to an incredible naval force. While the sultans and the Turkish people were generally Muslims, people of a wide variety of religions could live in the empire and there was never any religious coercion.

Click Here To Read Extra History of Ottoman Empire.

The Greatest Empires : Qing Empire

Qing Empire :

Beginning in the 17th century in Manchuria in northern China, the Qing Empire has been one of the longest surviving Chinese empires in China's history.

He succeeded in establishing the borders of modern China and uniting the Manchus, Mongols, and Han Chinese under the same rule. By the nineteenth century, troubles began to arise with the spread of Christianity , uprisings and revolution in China . 

One of the reasons for Qing's collapse was its inability to modernize in the face of incredibly technologically advanced powers. This means that when the war started, they had no chance against their opponents.

Click Here To Read Extra History of Qing Empire.

The Greatest Empires : Russian Empire

 Russian Empire :

The Russian Empire was only one incarnation of the Russian kingdom, which began as the Tsardom of Russia in 1547. In 1721, under the rule of Peter the Great, it changed its name to the Russian Empire and virtually became a world power .

At its height, under the rule of Peter the Great and Catherine II, the Russian Empire had greatly expanded, spanning three continents in Europe, Asia, and North America .

In fact, it was so large that it is considered the third largest empire after the British and Mongol Empires .

The Russian Empire entered a period of decline, in which rebellion and assassinations threatened the stability and security of the throne. The monarchy was overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and the Empire was replaced by a republican regime ruled by a popularly elected ruler.

Click Here To Read Extra History of Russian Empire.

The Greatest Empires : British Empire

British Empire :

The British Empire had so many colonies that it would be fair to say that it shaped the modern world today . Following the geographical discoveries of Spain and Portugal, Britain began to establish colonies in various parts of the world.

By the nineteenth century, there were countries colonized by the British Empire on every continent on earth , from Australia to the Caribbean, from India to parts of Africa . Twenty-three percent of the world's population at that time was under British rule.

With the independence and autonomy revolts of the colonies and Britain's recent weakening, the Empire fell into decline.

Click Here To Read Extra History of British Empire.

In this article, we talked about the British Empire and the empire, which is among the 9th grade history lesson topics, and the greatest empires in history, their rise and fall. Check out our other articles for detailed information on The Greatest Empires!

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