The Most Popular Empire: Exploring the Greats

Choose the empire you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:04
Welcome to StrawPoll's grand ranking of the most popular empires in history! Travel back in time, and cast your vote to decide which mighty civilization reigns supreme in the annals of human history. From the ancient Egyptians to the mighty Romans, the enigmatic Mayans or the formidable Mongols - we've gathered the world's most legendary empires all in one arena. But, there can only be one ruler! So, champion your favorite empire, explore the triumphs and tragedies of each contender, and make your mark on history. Don't see your preferred civilization on the list? Fear not, for you can suggest a missing option to join the ranks. Now, let the battle of empires begin!

What Is the Most Popular Empire?

  1. 1
    Considered one of the greatest empires in history, the Roman Empire lasted for over 500 years and left a lasting impact on Western civilization. Its military prowess, engineering feats, and cultural achievements make it a popular subject of study and fascination.
    The Roman Empire was a powerful and highly influential ancient civilization that lasted for nearly 500 years from 27 BC to 476 AD. It initially started as a republic in the city of Rome and expanded to become one of the largest empires in history, covering a vast territory across three continents.
    • Duration: Nearly 500 years (27 BC – 476 AD)
    • Territory: Covered parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East
    • Capital: Rome
    • Government: Initially a republic, later transformed into an autocratic empire
    • Language: Latin
    Roman Empire in other rankings
  2. 2
    At its height, the British Empire spanned a quarter of the world's land area and ruled over a quarter of its population. Its legacy can still be seen in the widespread use of the English language, the spread of parliamentary democracy, and the development of modern infrastructure in many parts of the world.
    The British Empire was a global empire that existed from the 16th to the 20th centuries, encompassing territories and colonies across the world under the rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1801) and later the United Kingdom (1801–1947). It was the largest empire in history and played a significant role in shaping the modern world.
    • Territory: Encompassed over 13 million square miles, covering roughly a quarter of the world's land area.
    • Population: At its height, it had a population of approximately 458 million people, which equated to around 23% of the world's population.
    • Colonies: Included territories such as Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Egypt, Hong Kong, and numerous Caribbean islands.
    • Economic Influence: Controlled vast resources and trade routes, establishing a global network of markets and facilitating the spread of British goods and services.
    • Language: Promoted the English language, which became widely used and served as a lingua franca in many parts of the world.
  3. 3

    Mongol Empire

    Genghis Khan
    Under the leadership of Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire became the largest contiguous empire in history, stretching from Eastern Europe to Asia. Its military conquests and cultural influence helped shape the world we know today.
    The Mongol Empire was one of the largest land empires in history, spanning from Europe to Asia. It was founded in the 13th century by Genghis Khan, a skilled military strategist and leader.
    • Territory: Covered 33 million square kilometers
    • Conquests: Conquered much of Central Asia, China, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East
    • Military Tactics: Innovative cavalry tactics and effective use of archers
    • Tolerance: Religious and cultural tolerance within the empire
    • Yam System: Efficient communication and governing system using relay stations
  4. 4
    Spanning three continents and lasting for over six centuries, the Ottoman Empire was a powerful force in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Its cultural and architectural legacy can still be seen in many parts of the world.
    Ottoman Empire in other rankings
  5. 5
    With a history spanning over 2,000 years, the Chinese Empire was one of the longest-lasting and most influential empires in history. Its culture, art, and philosophy continue to inspire people around the world.
    The Chinese Empire, also known as the Chinese Dynasties, refers to a series of imperial dynasties that ruled over China for more than 2,000 years. It is one of the most influential and enduring empires in world history.
    • Territory: The Chinese Empire encompassed a vast territory, covering modern-day China, as well as parts of neighboring countries.
    • Longevity: The empire lasted for several dynastic periods, from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), spanning over two millennia.
    • Centralized Governance: The empire was characterized by a centralized governance system, with power concentrated in the hands of the emperor and his administration.
    • Civil Service Examination: The Chinese Empire is notable for its Civil Service Examination system, which allowed individuals to gain positions in the government based on merit rather than solely on social status.
    • Great Wall of China: The empire oversaw the construction of the Great Wall of China, a monumental defensive structure that serves as a symbol of China's ancient military power.
  6. 6
    Russian Empire
    Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii · Public domain
    From the reign of Peter the Great to the Bolshevik Revolution, the Russian Empire was a major power in Europe and Asia. Its cultural and artistic achievements, including the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, continue to be celebrated today.
    The Russian Empire was a historical state that existed from 1721 to 1917. It was one of the largest empires in the world, spanning from Eastern Europe to North Asia and encompassing multiple ethnic groups.
    • Territory: It covered approximately 22 million square kilometers.
    • Population: It had a population of over 180 million people at its peak.
    • Government: The Russian Empire operated as an autocracy under the rule of a series of tsars.
    • State Religion: The Russian Orthodox Church was the official state religion.
    • Capital: The capital shifted between Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
  7. 7
    One of the largest empires in history, the Spanish Empire expanded across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Its cultural and artistic achievements, such as the works of Cervantes and Velazquez, are still admired today.
    The Spanish Empire, also known as the Spanish Monarchy, was one of the largest and most powerful empires in world history. It was created by the union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon in 1479 under the rule of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.
    • Territory: At its peak, the Spanish Empire covered territories in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
    • Colonization: The Spanish Empire was one of the pioneers of European colonial expansion, establishing colonies in the Americas, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.
    • Religion: The empire played a significant role in spreading Catholicism globally through its missionaries and the Spanish Inquisition.
    • Language: Spanish became one of the most widely spoken languages due to the empire's influence and colonization efforts.
    • Treasure Fleets: The Spanish Empire operated treasure fleets, known as the Spanish Armada, which transported vast amounts of silver, gold, and other precious goods from the Americas to Europe.
  8. 8

    French Empire

    Napoleon Bonaparte
    Under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Empire became one of the most powerful empires in Europe. Its art, architecture, and fashion continue to influence modern culture.
    The French Empire, also known as the First French Empire or Napoleon's Empire, was created by Napoleon Bonaparte and was established in 1804. It was one of the most powerful and influential empires in European history.
    • Duration: 1804-1814
    • Territory: Including France and numerous conquered territories in Europe
    • Capital: Paris
    • Governing System: Absolute Monarchy under Napoleon Bonaparte
    • Military Strength: Highly skilled and disciplined army
  9. 9

    Persian Empire

    Worldbox game developers
    One of the first empires in history, the Persian Empire was known for its military might, art, and architecture. Its influence can still be seen in many parts of the world, including Iran and Central Asia.
    The Persian Empire was one of the most advanced civilizations in Worldbox. It was created by the game developers and had a rich historical background and extensive territories.
    • Territory: Vast lands spanning from Egypt to India
    • Military Strength: Powerful armies and well-trained soldiers
    • Administration: Efficient bureaucracy and organized governance
    • Infrastructure: Advanced road networks, aqueducts, and buildings
    • Cultural Achievements: Promotion of arts, literature, and architecture
    Persian Empire in other rankings
  10. 10
    Located in modern-day Peru, the Incan Empire was one of the largest and most advanced civilizations in the Americas before European colonization. Its architecture, art, and agricultural practices continue to be studied and admired today.

Missing your favorite empire?


Ranking factors for popular empire

  1. Geographic extent
    The size and reach of the empire, including the number of territories or countries it controlled or influenced.
  2. Population
    The number of people living within the empire's borders, which can be an indicator of its influence and power.
  3. Duration
    The length of time the empire existed, as longer-lasting empires are often considered more successful and stable.
  4. Economic power
    The wealth and resources of the empire, including the extent of its trade networks, its production capabilities, and the overall strength of its economy.
  5. Military strength
    The size, power, and effectiveness of the empire's armed forces, which can be crucial in both expansion and defense.
  6. Cultural influence
    The impact of the empire's culture, ideas, and values on other societies, including the spread of religion, language, art, architecture, and other cultural elements.
  7. Technological achievements
    The level of technological progress and innovation within the empire, as measured by advancements in areas such as engineering, medicine, and science.
  8. Administrative efficiency
    The effectiveness of the empire's government, bureaucracy, and institutions in maintaining order, ensuring stability, and promoting prosperity.
  9. Legacy and historical significance
    The lasting impact of the empire on history, as well as its enduring influence on contemporary societies and cultures.
  10. Global reputation
    How the empire is perceived by people around the world, both during its existence and in the present day, taking into account factors such as its contributions to global history, its achievements, and its potentially negative aspects (e.g., colonization, exploitation, human rights abuses).

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular empire. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Empire is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Empire once every 24 hours. The rank of each Empire is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular empire

The topic of empires has always been a fascinating subject for historians and enthusiasts alike. Throughout history, empires have risen and fallen, leaving their mark on the world through their conquests, innovations, and cultural achievements. From the vast territories of the Roman Empire to the sprawling Mongol Empire, empires have shaped the course of human history. But what is the most popular empire? This question has been the subject of much debate and speculation, with many factors influencing the answer. In this article, we will explore some of the most influential empires in history and try to determine which one is the most popular among our users on StrawPoll.

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