The closest Empires to world domination

In the past, nothing has caused more vehement disagreement and controversy than our videos on the greatest empires in history. It turns out that some of you can't agree on well,... anything really. So to resolve the debate once and for all, we've put together a list of 10 Empires That Came The Closest To World Domination. For this list, we've defined world domination as both direct and indirect control over a majority of the Earth's population. What this means is that, in order to qualify for this list, an empire would not need to control all of the world's land mass, it would just need to have come close to taking control over a majority of the Earth's population, while having the potentials to influence the rest of the Earth. Coming in at number 10 is the Portugese Empire. When most people think about massive colonial empires, Portugal often doesn't come to mind. But the fact is that Portugal, for a brief moment, had a chance at becoming a global empire that would have been on par with the British empire we all know from history. Portugal was actually the first European nation to seriously commit to colonial exploration, and they were the first European power to discover India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Brazil, and many portions of Africa. In East Africa, Portugese forces conquered Mozambique and in South America, Brazil was incorporated into it's colonial empire. And during the height of the Portugese empire, Portugal established trading ports at far flung locations, ranging from India to Arabia, Malaysia to China, and even Japan. As a result, Portugal dominated not only the trade routes between Asia and Europe, but also much of the trade between different regions of Asia itself. It's impressive that Portugal managed to establish such a powerful global empire at such an early time in history. In many ways, if Portugal hadn't declined after the 1500s, it's very possible they could have amassed an even larger empire than the British empire were able to obtain later in history. If Portugal had maintained total control over their Asian trade routes, the Portugese empire would have been the richest empire in all of history. It's probable that this enormous wealth could have financed conquests of India, Africa, China, South America, and the rest of the world. Number nine is "the Timurid Empire". The Timurid Empire was a nomadic empire that grew into prominence after the disintegration of the Mongolian empire. The Timurids controlled vast swaths of territory in the west of Turkey, Iran, the Caucuses, Mesopotamia, India, as well as much of Central Asia. Unlike the Mongols, whose conquests far outstripped their ability to govern, the Timurid Empire rose in the early 1400s where technology had advanced to a point where communications within massive empires could be maintained, but also hadn't developed to the point where civilized armies couldn't meaningfully oppose them. Tamerlane, who was both the founder and absolute ruler of the Timurid Empire, envisioned a restoration of the Mongol Empire of Ghengis Kahn. His rapid rise to power was mainly due to the fact that no other force in the planet could defeat his armored horse archers. Tamerlane routinely defeated both Arab and Indian armies alike, but what put Tamerlane on the verge of world domination was his plan to attack the Ming Dynasty in China. Conquering the population and resource rich Ming Dynasty would've put the Timurid Empire close to controlling a majority of the Earth's population. Tamerlane however, died before ever reaching China. But had he survived, it's very likely the Timurid Empire would have been on the path toward world conquest. Number eight is "Nazi Germany". Some historians have concluded that, if Hitler had made a few different decisions, he would have won the second World War, which undeniably would have handed Germany a chance at world domination. Perhaps if Hitler hadn't declared war on Russia prematurely, won the African campaigns, or successfully invaded Britain through Operation Sea Lion, Nazi Germany could have become the undisputed master of the planet. As a result, the Middle East, India, and the entire African continent would have fallen to German control. A slightly different version of history could have seen Hitler controlling half of the world's population, while maintaining this empire with a vast communications network and a fleet of jet aircraft that no other nation could have opposed. In actual version of history, Hitler had already created a system of alliances that put the modern European union to shame. Under Hitler's guidance, various European nationalities all fought toward the same goal. These include Romanians, who fought alongside Hungarians, Germans alongside Italians, along with Bulgarians, Slovakians, Croatians and Fins. This level of European unity was like none ever seen before and could have easily paved the way for a German-led European superstate. In many ways, World War II was the last time in history that the empires of the world could have had a chance at world domination and Nazi Germany was uniquely poised, albeit for a brief time, at achieving that. Coming in at number seven is the Spanish Empire. During the absolute height of the Spanish Empire, during the reigns of Charles the Fifth and Philip the Second of the House of Habsburg, the Spanish Empire had dominion over what was left of the Portugese Empire. The Netherlands, the Austrian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, as well as Spain's continent-spanning colonial holdings. For a brief moment in history, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Portugese armies all marched under the same banner towards a goal of European domination. This collection of allied states was a very unique moment in history, and if the Spanish had not been defeated on the battlefield, it's likely they could have reached even greater heights of power. The Spanish Empire, for a time, had the most gold, the best fleets, the best armies, and controlled more than 13% of the world's land mass. What gave the Spanish Empire a unique shot at world domination was that they had the potential to maintain control over large swaths of territory thanks to superior communications technology, unlike the Mongols. This ability is evidenced by the fact that much of Spain's colonial territory remained under Spanish control for centuries. Unfortunately though, the Spanish Empire declined in power as it was undermined by a string of military defeats and rampant inflation coming from the vast amounts of gold extracted from Spanish colonies. And number six is the Mongolian Empire. It cannot be denied that the Mongolian Empire probably came the closest to world domination. During it's rise, no other force on the planet could compete with the tactics of the Mongolian armies. And, if the Mongolians had desired to, it is very possible that they could have swept into Europe, conquered it, and beheaded the Pope, all before the year 1300. But instead, the Mongolians Empire's greatest achievement became it's greatest weakness. Despite Mongolian attempts to administer their massive, constant spanning territories, and to tolerate the diverse races and religions of their subjects, the Mongolian Empire quickly fractured after Genghis Kahn's initial conquests. Because, despite the Mongolian Empire's power on the battlefield, the logistics to maintain the communication across a racially diverse 33 million square kilometer empire simply did not exist in the year 1279. Still, the Mongolian conquerors managed to control over 22% of the world's land mass, stretching all the way from China to the edge of Poland, and one out of every four people on the entire planet lived under Mongolian rule. Meaning that for a brief moment, the Mongolian Empire came very close to world domination and had things been different, it is very possible they could have achieved it. Stay tuned for "part two" of this video, where we'll look at another five empires that came the closest to world domination. If we missed any, please let us know in the comments section and tell us which empires you'd like us to look at in part two of this video. And don't forget to leave a "like" and "subscribe" if you haven't already and we'll see you all in "part two".

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