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Old 11-20-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Scotland
8,024 posts, read 10,668,055 times
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When I say impressive I mean on scale and legacy etc not affection! Heres a few maps of a few impressive empires, theres many more. What do you think are the most impressive?
File:Mongol Empire map.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:British Empire Anachronous 7.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Map Anachronous of the All French Empire (1534 -1970).png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fileutch Empire35.PNG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:The Russian Empire-en.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Po...th_century.jpg
File:Umayyad750ADloc.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rashidun Caliphate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The measure of the "impressiveness" of an empire would in part depend upon the degree of penetration and influence by the central empire. For example, much of the French and British empire consisted of little more than a few coastal locations from which there were few or no ventures into the interior. A great majority of the lands and peoples remained under tribal day to day jurisdiction, most of the people blithely unaware that they had been colonized.

One might argue that the unilateral Monroe Doctrine constitutes American imperial authority over the whole of the Western Hemisphere, in spite of the fact that over most of the territory, it has been applied in practice loosely if at all. Add in the territory placed under US trusteeship after the world war treaties, Spanish American war acquisitions, and areas under control of the US military in recent decades.

Last edited by jtur88; 11-20-2012 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,718 posts, read 2,001,234 times
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The British is the most impressive in scope on your list. The home island is so small and the empire is so far flung. If language is a measurement of impressiveness, then I think that is another vote for the British - English is the language of business learned all over the world.

I don't think the British have any singularly striking figure like Genghis Khan, though.

Maybe someone more informed could say how much the Roman Empire influenced the British, but I don't think it was hugely significant - wasn't Rome unable to take Britain? Likewise, perhaps Alexander influenced Rome, so maybe the Greco/Macedonian legacy is the greatest?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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Christendom. One to rule them all.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:17 PM
 
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The greatest empires (in terms of expansion) were the British and the Spanish, so I guess those two.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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Don't mean to nit-pick but we don't actually have a firm criteria for deciding what identifies an event as an "empire" do we? Help?

FWIW.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint. View Post
wasn't Rome unable to take Britain? Likewise, perhaps Alexander influenced Rome, so maybe the Greco/Macedonian legacy is the greatest?
Rome occupied Britain up to the border with the Caledonia (Today's Scotland) The conquest was completed in 43 CE during the reign of Claudius. The Roman occupation lasted nearly 400 years, with the Romans beginning withdrawals in the late 4th Century and leaving Britain on its own by about 410 CE. In their four centuries as Britain's rulers, the Romans had an enormous influence on the culture.

I agree with your second comment above. The OP had specified legacy as part of the criteria, and since modern western culture originated with and was shaped by the Greco/Roman empires, it certainly must be the most impressive western empire.

When we speak of having a Oedipal complex, when we run in a marathon, when we say where all roads lead to, mention someone's achilles heel or after making a final decision proclaim that we have crossed the Rubicon...or when Perry White exclaims "Great Caesar's Ghost!"....we are leaking our Greco/Roman roots.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:31 AM
 
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I always find it strange when people say the British were the best imperialists. They always claimed that the British left behind a system that helped the colonized people. Bangladesh, Burma, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan (now North and South), Uganda, and Zimbabwe aren't by any stretch successful countries. The white settler colonies have done well but they are very different from the countries I mentioned.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:36 PM
 
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I'm going to throw out the suggestion of considering the Assyrian Empire, circa 900 BC. I know it was short lived, but it's generally considered to be the first "empire." I'd say that counts for something.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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The Mali Empire, Mansa Musa, the ruler of the empire threw off the price of gold of the whole Mediterranean for about a decade on his pilgrimage to Mecca. The Mali Empire was also home to Timbuktu... Pretty impressive if you ask me
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