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20 May 2006

The Last Empire


An empire is defined as: “A set of regions locally ruled by governors in the name of an emperor; a large, multi-ethnic state ruled from a single center at least partly by coercion based on greed.”

Empires began to appear soon after the first cities made the necessary administrative structures possible. Approximately 77 empires have existed in world history. Understandably, historians are not in complete agreement regarding the starting and ending dates of each one, and whether or not some should qualify.

P.R. Sarkar describes the psychological root of imperialism. When people become increasingly engrossed in materialism (what he called “carbonic pabula”) their mind gradually sinks towards crude matter. Greed increases, desiring the wealth of others. “Capitalism, state capitalism, communism, nationalism, communalism [groupism based on religion], parochialism [selfish pettiness or narrowness of views], provincialism [sense of superiority because of one’s province or area], socialism, caste-imperialism, male chauvinism, lingualism [that one’s language is superior]… are all the same psychic ailments in various forms and figures.”

The list below is arranged chronologically according to when the empire began. The present-day country where the seat of the empire was located is included if not obvious from the name.

  1. Abyssinian Empire (Ethiopia, 3000 BC–1974 AD)
  2. Elamite Empire (Iran, 2700-539 BC)
  3. Akkadian Empire (Iraq, c. 2350–2150 BC)
  4. Ur III Empire (Iraq, c. 2100–2000 BC)
  5. Old Babylonian Empire (Iraq, c. 1900–1600 BC)
  6. Egyptian Empire (1550–1070 BC)
  7. Hittite Empire (Turkey, c. 1460–1180 BC)
  8. Israelite Empire (c. 1000–922 BC)
  9. Assyrian Empire (Syria, c. 900–612 BC)
  10. Magadhan Empire (India, c. 550–350 BC)
  11. Persian Empire (Iran, c. 550–330 BC)
  12. Athenian Empire (Greece, c. 477–404 BC)
  13. Macedonian Empire (Greece, c. 338–309 BC)
  14. Seleucid Empire (Greece, 323–60 BC)
  15. Mauryan Empire (India, 321–185 BC)
  16. Teotihuacano Empire (Mexico, c. 300-700 BC)
  17. Chinese Empire (221 BC–1912 AD)
  18. Parthian Empire (Iran, c. 200 BC–224 AD)
  19. Goguryeo Empire (Korea, c. 100 BC–668 AD)
  20. Roman Empire (27 BC–476 AD)
  21. Second Persian Empire (224–651)
  22. Gallic Empire (France, 260–274)
  23. Palmyrene Empire (Syria, 260–272)
  24. Britannic Empire (286–297)
  25. Gupta Empire (India, c. 320–550)
  26. Byzantine Empire (Turkey, 330–843)
  27. Islamicate Empire (Saudi Arabia, c. 630–1924)
  28. Tibetan Empire (c. 7th–11th century)
  29. Bulgarian Empire (681–1018; 1185–1396)
  30. Ghana Empire (c. 750–1240)
  31. Khmer Empire (Cambodia, 802–1462)
  32. Holy Roman Empire (843–1806)
  33. Chola Empire (South Indian Tamil, c. 9th–13th century)
  34. Venetian Empire (Italy, c. 900–1797)
  35. Tu'i Tonga Empire (Pacific Islands, 950–1875?)
  36. Irish Empire (1005–1014)
  37. Kongo Empire (Congo, 1100-1884)
  38. Genoa Empire (Italy, c. 1100–1797)
  39. Danish colonial empire (c.1200-1953)
  40. Latin Empire (Turkey, 1204–1261)
  41. Trapezuntine Empire (Greece, 1204–1461)
  42. Nicaean Empire (Greece, 1204–1261)
  43. Mongol Empire (1206–1394)
  44. Mali Empire (c. 1240–1541)
  45. Majapahit Empire (Indonesia, c. 1293–1500)
  46. Ilkhanate (Iran, c. 1256–1338)
  47. Ottoman Empire (Turkey, 1299–1922)
  48. Serbian Empire (1345–1371)
  49. Siam Empire (Thailand, 1350–1909)
  50. Vijayanagara Empire (India, c. 1350–1700)
  51. Aztec Empire (Mexico, 1375–1521)
  52. Timurid Empire (Turkey, 1401–1505)
  53. Inca Empire (Peru, 1438–1533)
  54. Songhai Empire (Burkina Faso, 1464–1591)
  55. Spanish Empire (1492–1898)
  56. Portuguese Empire (1495–1975)
  57. British Empire (c. 1497—1960s)
  58. Mogul Empire (Pakistan, 1526–1857)
  59. Swedish Empire (1561–1878)
  60. Dutch colonial empire (1602-1975)
  61. Maratha Empire (India, 1674–1761)
  62. Russian Empire (1721–1917)
  63. Vietnamese Empire (1802–1883)
  64. Austrian Empire (1804–1867)
  65. French Empire (1804-1814, 1815, 1852-1870)
  66. Haitian Empire (1804–1806, 1849–1859)
  67. Mexican Empire (1822–1823, 1864–1867)
  68. Brazilian Empire (1822–1889)
  69. Belgian Empire (1865–1962)
  70. Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918)
  71. German Empire (1871–1918)
  72. Italian Colonial Empire (1889–1943)
  73. Korean Empire (1897–1910)
  74. Japanese Empire (1910-1945)
  75. Soviet Empire (Russia, 1922–1991)
  76. German Third Reich (1933–1945)
  77. AMERICAN EMPIRE (1898- ?)

76 empires have ended. Only one remains. It began in 1898 when it stole Maharlika (the Philippines), Guam and Puerto Rico at the close of the Spanish-American War. See http://www.americanempireproject.com/.

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