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History of Some Great Empires

Misbah has always wanted to pursue writing as a career. She loves to write on different topics, and she loves to read about history as well.

What is an Empire?

Whenever we do research on history, we come across information about Empires, right? I wonder where the Imperial concept comes from and what it means? In fact, the name given to a particular community, have you ever wondered why? What is the difference between a kingdom, a great country, and an empire?

This article explains what empires were, how this name came into use, and from where this idea came from? How it was spread? We will also talk about the greatest empires of the world ever, how these empires were born and rose, and how they declined.

First, we need to understand what makes an empire an "Empire". It doesn't matter how large an area it covers or how much population it has.

We can say that there are basically two features that make up an empire. Some of them made conquests. The fact is that there were very different regions joining their own territory under one leadership of a powerful commander. The second one is all about the languages ​​spoken.

Conquests and Lands

When trying to analyze empires, historians initially defined them as the totality of territories that were directly or indirectly subordinate to a single ruler. This means that although Russia is quite large in its surface area, it is not an empire.

But if it was to invade Mongolia and topple the government, then we could call it an empire, because it would have two or more different territories. Besides, empires generally contain certain ethnic, religious, linguistic, and cultural differences.

For example, the Ottoman Empire had a glorious time in history that they ruled on many other lands, including Egypt, Bulgaria, Greece, and Lebanon, which were counted within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.

These countries consisted of different states, namely narrow units, and were administered by the provincial governor of Sultana. Such loyalty and obedience following conquests and the day-to-day development of the empire are also among the defining features of empires.

Land and Sea

We can say that there are two main types of empire in this idea. The first conquers the lands by land, while the second conquers by sea.

The Mongol Empire is a good model of the first. In line with the guidance of Genghis Khan, they came out of the Mongolian steppes and captured a very large area. In the early days of the empire, Genghis Khan sent his armies all over the place to gain more land as quickly as possible and demanded that they occupy wherever they went.

While terrestrial conquests provide the opportunity to spread towards nearby places, there is no such limitation of conquests from the sea. For example, the British Empire, with its incredibly powerful navy, managed to conquer countries all over the world and various regions, such as islands and ports.

The name 'Empire'

Sometimes, the states that call themselves, Empire have been started to be called briefly in this way. Like when a ruler removes 'kingdom' from the name of the country and puts 'empire'. It is known in the same way it happened many times in history.

The Russian Empire is one of the best examples of this. The Turks remember Ivan as Ivan the Terrible (according to the Russians Ivan the Great), and even before the kings were engaged in imperial activities, where they expanded their borders by occupying and annexing various territories. The last official name was the Russian Empire in 1721, when Peter the Great changed Russia's name from the tsarist empire.

In a similar move, the Roman Empire continued to expand its borders for a long time, before Octavian or Augustus added the title of emperor in its own name.

On the other hand, in 1897, Korea changed its name to the Great Korean Empire, although it did not own any land other than its own and was razed to the ground by Japan eight years later.

Why Empires Crash?

Although it brings peace and prosperity to its people, the saying that empires are doomed to collapse is quite realistic. Herodotus, the Greek historian who lived before the Roman Empire, knew this long ago. But today, historians still find it difficult to come to a common point as to why empires collapsed.

To reach the satisfaction of the manager or vice versa is weakening all the way because of crashes. They can become too large to rule, as in the Mongol Empire, or subject to invasion from the outside, as in the Roman and Qing Empires.

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These Empires collapsed or were severely weakened by the war. It is also wars that make them stronger and cause them to collapse! Here we will have a look at a few great empires.

First Empire

The first imperial activity has probably been going on since the dawn of human civilization. The first thing we know for sure about this is that BC. It is that in the 3000s, the King of the Upper Valley of Egypt, Narmer, conquered the Lower Valley and placed all of them under a single rule. After about six hundred years, the Akkadian Empire, now Iraq, Kuwait and Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey into some areas of Mesopotamia had seized most.

The Shang and Zhou Empires, which ruled between 1500 and 770 BC in China, were both vast and existed more than seven centuries before the Roman Empire.

Roman Empire

As far as it is known, the first people to use the title 'Empire' in history are the Romans and the origin of the word is based on the Latin word 'Imperator ', or commander. The Romans set up a system that formed the basis of western imperialism, which would later follow its steps, and that gave the administrative and political path to the later western states.

The Roman Empire ruled between 27 BC and AD 476 and dominated twenty percent of the world population at that time, reaching its most glorious times in the time of Emperor Trajan, extending from Iran in the east England in the west and beating its heart in the Mediterranean

Imperial aquila of Roman Empire

Imperial aquila of Roman Empire

Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire, which is known as the only empire that set up the greatest sovereignty in close lands in world history, founded in 1206 by Genghis Khan, who united the nomadic Mongol tribes. Then he set out to conquer the world and almost completed this goal. It stretched from Beijing in East Asia to the Danube River and the Persian Gulf in the west, reaching a total of 33,000,000, km2.

Although Genghis Khan made an unprecedented atmosphere of peace and prosperity in the places he conquered, which is called the Mongol Peace, this empire fell into four parts in 1924 and lost its integrity. Each of these parts wanted to be politically independent, and after a while they began to collapse one by one.

the Parliament building in Ulaanbaatar Mangolia

the Parliament building in Ulaanbaatar Mangolia

Ottoman Empire

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

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

The spreading of the Ottoman Empire to 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 be accommodated in the empire, and no religious enforcement was ever seen.

Qing Dynasty

The Qing Empire, which started in Manchuria in the north of China in the 17th century, has been one of the longest-surviving Chinese empires in China's history.

He succeeded in forming the borders of modern China and bringing the Manchus, Mongolian, and Han Chinese together under the same rule. In the nineteenth century, troubles began to rise in China with the spread of Christianity, riots, and revolution.

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

Sitting official, painted & gilded decor. Quing Dynasty.

Sitting official, painted & gilded decor. Quing Dynasty.

Russian empire

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

In its heyday, under the rule of Peter the Great and Catherine II, the Russian Empire had greatly expanded, spreading over three continents, 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 where revolts and assassinations threatened the stability and security of the throne. The monarchy was overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and the Empire passed to a republican regime led by a ruler chosen by the people.

Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire

Lesser Coat of Arms of Russian Empire

British Empire

The British Empire had so many colonies that it would not be wrong to say that it shaped the modern world today. Following the geographical discoveries of Spain and Portugal, Britain began to form colonies in various parts of the world.

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

With the colonial revolts of independence, autonomy, and Britain's recent failure, the empire fell into decline.


These empires had a peak period. Many have served and ruled very well. As always, there is a decline after every incline period. Nothing continues to shine forever. These Empires also collapsed or were severely weakened by the war. It is wars that make them stronger and war caused them to collapse as well!



History and facts about British empire

History and facts about Mongol empire

Roman empire

Growth of empires

Ottoman empire

Qing dynasty

Mongol empire

British Empire

Empire history and facts

History of Qing dynasty

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh


Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 10, 2021:

Thanks Ravi Rajan

There are so many to share

Maybe some other day


Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on March 10, 2021:

Well written article Misbah. Perhaps you should also mention the Persian empire with some of its greatest kings like Darius and Xerxes.Thanks for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 10, 2021:

Thanks a lot Devika for appreciating

This is so sweet and kind of you

I am glad you like it and am happy that you learned something new

Blessings to you dear

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 10, 2021:

Misbah786 Interesting and well-written article about the Great Empires. I enjoyed the read. Such a hub is a learning lesson and reminds us of Empires. Your idea is of this hub is in detail. History was never my subject, but you have taught me lots about it here.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

Yes Peggy, a human nature, our interests keep changing with time

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

I did not like studying history as a child either, but have grown to appreciate it as an adult.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

Thank you so much for the appreciation, Peggy

Yes to know about the history is always interesting

although I never like to study history when I was a kid but later It interests me


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2021:

Thanks for the history lesson on some of the world's greatest empires. How and why they grow and fail is always an interesting subject.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

Thanks a lot for appreciating, Pamela

I am glad you find it informative


Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

Salam Moondot

Thanks for the appreciation


Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

You are a great writer Manatita

I got your point, I will work on it

Yes you are true, I need to work on the ending

Thanks for bringing it into my notice

And thanks a lot for the appreciation

Blessings and take care

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on March 09, 2021:

This was a nice read, Misbah. Qing Empire seems to be interesting. I have never heard about it before.

manatita44 from london on March 09, 2021:

Excellent job and another very interesting historical account. You're doing a brilliant job!

I know how keen you are on your writing - unlike me - so re-read even after you publish. Some tiny errors here, which you can easily correct.

Also, it ends too abruptly, create a summary kind of ending, not limited to, but perhaps saying something about Empires in general, what pushes them and why they eventually fail. Salaam!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 09, 2021:

This is so interesting and also very informative about the history of great empires, Misbah. I think you are probably right about the British empire shaping the modern world.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 09, 2021:

Yes, Mr. Bill, You are right, with No doubt, The United States had a great history of world, financial, military, and cultural engagement that ranged back deep into the eighteenth century

I hope I will cover American Empire some other day, after some more research and study

Thanks for your kind comment


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 09, 2021:

I half-expected to see the United States in this article. I think it's a matter of definition when the U.S. is considered. Anyway, as always, an interesting and informative article, my friend.

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