Throughout history, there have always been a few countries that have exerted military, cultural, technologic, economic and political dominance, on which the other nations relied upon. Even though at one point or another, such core countries are recognized as wealthy with a plethora of resources and sometimes with advantageous geographical locations, they cannot maintain their position forever. Let’s review the nations and empires that left strong trademarks in the world’s history.
1. Soviet Union
What was first perceived as a salvation army for many countries in Eastern and Central Europe, turned out to be a terrifying monster. In spite of the fact that most people associated Communism with Lenin and Stalin, let’s not forget the atrocities of the other dictators brought to power in the Soviet Union and who have systematically killed millions of civilians simply because they chose not agree with them. Yet, Communism was not only about slaughters, but also about keeping the population in constant fear and isolation from the rest of the world.
2. Nazi Germany
Despite the fact that the Nazi regime did not hold power for too long in Germany, it was a superpower at its time that has significantly affected the world as we know it. The Nazis are not only responsible for the beginning of the Second World War, but have also been the promoters of genocide and unimaginable atrocities. Even though the records speak of 4 million people killed in the Holocaust, many historians claim that the number of Jews and Eastern Europeans killed exceeds 11 millions.
3. Roman Empire
While the story of the beginning of the Roman Empire is controversial, one thing is for sure: we have the Romans to thank for the model of state prevalent today. In fact, many look back on Rome as the perfect empire where everything was fair and always working smooth. The Roman Empire was an extraordinary power in its time and its influence was felt over the centuries in Europe: simply put, Romans contributed to the development of technology, architecture, war, law, literature and the religion in the Western World.
4. The British Empire
In all honesty, the British Empire is the largest kingdom this world has ever known. Measuring over 13 million square miles and controlling over 500 million people, the British can truly be considered the rulers of the world at that point in history. Interestingly enough, the effects of the administration over a quarter of the world’s population are still visible these days as people continue to follow the political reforms, way of life and culture promoted by the British. Furthermore, English is the second most spoken language in the world and numerous linguists consider it the “de facto” standard language on Earth.
5. The Spanish Empire
Constructed mainly during the Age of Exploration, the Spanish Empire incorporated vast territories in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania. However, the power and dominance exerted by the Spanish on the world only lasted a century and it was downhill all the way for them after they suffered a harsh defeat and lost almost the entire army to England. Nonetheless, Spain’s influences on the conquered territories are still visible today, two of the most noticeable ones being the Spanish language (considered the third language of the world) and Catholicism.