- British Empire
- Mongol Empire
- Russian Empire
- Spanish Empire
British Empire (peak 1920)
In 1497, King Henry VIII sent John Cabot on an expedition to North America. Cabot landed in Newfoundland modern day Canada. In 1583, Humphrey Gilbert set up a colony in Newfoundland. Gilbert died on the journey back to England. In 1584, sir Walter Raeligh founded the Roanoke colony in North Carolina, but the colony failed due to lack of supplies. In 1607, the Jamestown colony was set up in Virginia. In 1620, the Plymouth bay colony was established in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
In the 1620s colonies St. Kitts and Nevis and in Barbados were set up. A colony in Bermuda was also set up. In the Americas, many states were set up for different types of Christain. For example Maryland was for Catholics and Connecticut was for Congregationalists. In west Africa multiple colonies were also set up. In the 1710s the British gained colonies in Canada from the French and in Newfoundland. In the recent war Britain had defeated Spain and conquered Gibraltar and parts of the Balearic islands. In 1739 the War of Jenkin’s Ear began against the Spanish. The war had started because Captain Robert Jenkin, a British sailor had his ear cut off by Spanish Pirates.
During the middle of the 1700s the British East India Company had been gaining ever more control over the Mughal Empire in India. In 1770 British sailor James Cook had found many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The main islands were Australia and New Zealand, but there were also other ones like the Cook Islands. In 1756 the Seven Years’ War had started as a result of British and French strife. It was a global conflict but most of the fighting was in North America. In 1760s Britain had been economically weakened by the Seven
Years’ War, so they made new taxes on the Thirteen Colonies to pay for it. In 1776 the American Revolution began. Lasting until 1783, the Americans won.
In the early 1800s tensions rose once again between the British and the Americans. The British had been sailing their navy over to America and forcing men at gunpoint to join the navy. So in 1812 the War of 1812 started. It went on until 1814. After the defeat of Napoleon Britain started to rapidly expand. In 1811 they colonized Java, in 1819 they colonized Singapore, in 1824 they colonized Malacca, and in 1826 they colonized Burma. During the First Opium War the British captured Hong Kong from the Qing Dynasty. During most of the 19th century Britain and other European countries all rushed to colonize Africa. It is commonly known as the “Scramble for Africa.” In 1875 Britain gained full control of Egypt and held it for most of the 20th century.
In 1914, World War 1 started. Britain didn’t join until the Germans had started their invasion of Holland. During the war Britain lost hundreds of thousands of men, but they had gained lots of territory, mostly from Germany’s colonies in Africa. They gained lots of land in the Middle east from the Ottomans. Britain also gained land in the Pacific. In 1921 Britain had reached its territorial peak. The countries it had was: Canada, Bahamas, Many Caribbean islands, Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Falklands, South Georgia, Egypt, Sudan, Somililand, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Tangakiya Territory, Rhodesia, South Africa, Namibia, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Singapore, parts of Thailand, parts of Malaysia, Brunei, parts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and lots of Pacific islands.
Mongol Empire (peak 1259)
The Mongol Empire was one of the largest empires in history. It came from Mongolia and East Asia. When Genghis Khan became emperor in 1206 he decided to start conquering every country around him. One of the first countries he attacked was the Jin Dynasty (modern day China). He took some of the far northern parts of China. Then he fixed his attention to the west. He took all Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and others. He also conquered most of Siberia and even reached Ukraine.
Genghis Khan died in 1227. His successor was Ogedei. He won a great victory against a Chinese warlord and took Manchuria. He defeated the Bulgars (Turkic/Bulgarian tribe) also. In 1230 he led a campaign against the Jin Dynasty. In 1234 Ogedei defeated the Jin Dynasty. In Southern Persia some of the tribes there joined the Mongols willingly. Ogedei tried to invade Korea but had little success. They also started an offensive against the Song Dynasty of China. The Song Dynasty actually helped them fight the Jin Dynasty. Batu Khan was the new leader of the Mongol Empire. Batu destroyed the Principality of Vladimir at the Battle of Sit River.
The Mongols started their invasion of Poland and Hungary, and after this a couple of the countries in Europe formed an anti-Mongol alliance. In 1241 Ogedei died causing the Mongols to retreat from Central Europe. Although Ogedei was not the leader of the Golden horde, they still had to have a ceremony for his death. In 1246 Batu’s brother, Guyuk succeeded the throne. In 1248, Guyuk died, and Mongke Khan was elected. In 1258 Monge invaded parts of the Middle east and Southern China. In 1258 he sacked Baghdad the capital of the Islamic Empire. He took Syria also. He attacked lots of Christain regions in the middle east and sacked all of the cities that wouldn’t surrender. A different “General” at that time was attacking the Baltic States and Ukraine. In August of 1259 Mongke died of a disease. This was the peak of the Mongol Empire and after Mongke’s death civil war began in Mongolia. In 1259 the Mongol Empire had reached its territorial peak. The countries it had was: Mongolia, most of Russia, most of China, Korea, parts of Vietnam, parts of Laos, parts of Burma, Bhutan, parts of India, Nepal, Iran, parts of Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, parts of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, parts of Jordan, Syria, parts of Turkey, parts of Ukraine, parts of Romania, Hungary, parts of Bulgaria, and parts of Poland.
Russian Empire (peak 1810)
The Russian Empire started under Peter the Great (1672-1725). Before Peter it was known as the Tsardom of Russia and earlier known as the Kievan Rus. He renamed it to the Russian Empire. He built a new city to be the capital of Russia. That city was Saint Petersburg. During his reign, Peter made the Russian Empire into an Autocracy. After Peter died in 1725, his wife Catherine I became tsarina for a short time. After her, Anna Ionavonna became tsarina for a short time also.
Peter III eventually came to the throne but was couped by his wife, Catherine the Great. She expanded the borders to the Baltic States. She reformed the death sentence too. The old punishment was drawing and quartering but she made a less harsh punishment. Catherine waged war against the Ottomans and conquered the southern lands on the Black Sea. Catherine also took some more Polish land too. In 1796, when Persia attacked Georgia she declared war on them. She was victorious and all of Persia and the Caucasus were under Russian rule. Catherine died in 1796, but had established Russia as a world power. Her successor, Alexander I, started more wars. At this time Sweden had modern day Finland and Sweden. Alexander attacked the Swedes and conquered Finland. He also annexed Bessarabia from Moldova. After all these wars, Russia was in grave debt. In 1812 Napoleon Bonaparte, leader of France, had launched an invasion of Russia. Napoleon was defeated, and he retreated. After he won the war, tsar Alexander I took control of Poland. After the death of Alexander, Nicholas I became tsar. In December of 1825, there was a revolt in which the people tried to make Nicholas’s brother tsar. The revolt was repressed. In 1854-1855 the Crimean war started against Turkey and Britain.
The Russians were severely defeated in this war. In 1855 when Alexander II came to the throne, he abolished serfdom. From 1858-1860 Russia gained lands from the Qing Dynasty. They had gained Outer Manchuria. In 1877 another war against the Turks began. The Russians were very successful and had taken most of their land when they surrendered. They gained lots of territory in modern day Georgia and Azerbaijan. In 1881, Alexander III came to the throne. He was a very Autocratic tsar. This is the peak of the Russian Empire. Russia at this point, although it had lots of land, was very weak and unstable. The countries it had was: Russia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, most of Poland, parts of hungary, Ukraine, parts of Romania, Georgia, parts of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, most of Iran, parts of Afghanistan, parts of Mongolia, and parts of China.
Spanish Empire (peak 1810)
In 1492, Spain had reconquered all of Iberia from the Islamics. After they had conquered Iberia, they decided to take North Africa. In 1497 they took Melilla, in 1505 they took Mazalquivir, In 1508 they took Penon de Velez de la Gomera, In 1509 they took Oran, In 1510 they took Algiers, In 1510 they also took Bougie, and Tripoli, and in 1476 they took Santa cruz de la mar Pequena. In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed west, trying to reach Japan. Instead of finding Japan, he found America.
In 1502, the first settlement was made in the new world. It was in modern day Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. A colony in Cumana, Venezuela was also set up in 1510. The Spaniards conquered the Aztec and Incan Empires in Central America. Lots of more colonies were set up in Hispaniola (modern day Cuba and Puerto Rico). In 1496, Santo Domingo was colonized by Columbus’s brother. In 1498 the Spanish started to reach the mainland. By 1508, Spain had conquered the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. In 1510 they expanded greatly, taking Nicauragua, Panama, and Costa Rica. In the 1520s, Mexico was colonized.
In 1545, Potosi was discovered. A settlement was made there and massive amounts of silver were found. In 1572, the last ruler of the Incan empire was executed. From 1560-1580 Spanish pirates and English pirates engaged in a series of battles trying to steal from each other. The spanish defeated a fleet of British at the Battle of San Juan de la Ulua in Mexico. By the late 1500s most of Central and South America had been conquered. In 1564, the Spanish decided to take a country in Asia. The Philippines were conquered by the Spanish in that year. Luis de Velasco, had also found the “Spice Islands” which is a modern day Archipelago of islands in Indonesia. In 1571, the Spanish attacked Brunei, which at that point had almost all of the island of Borneo. Brunei was conquered and it was made the capital of the Spanish East Indies.
In 1578, another war broke out between the Spanish and the Muslims from Brunei. In April of 1578 the Spanish captured the capital of Kota Batu. In 1598, Philip III came to the throne. Between 1600-1623 the plague hit Europe, and about 20% of the Castilliean population in Spain died. During the reign of Philip IV (1621-1665) Spain was in economic decline. In 1776, during the American Revolution, Spain helped the colonies mostly because of their hatred with the British. In 1810, Spain had a vast quantity of land in the New world. The countries it had were: Spain, parts of Italy, Philippines, parts of Indonesia, Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Equator, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, about half of the United States, and parts of Canada.