Throughout history much of the world has been ruled by empires.
To be considered an empire an expanse of land must be politically led by either a monarch, an emperor, or be an oligarchy.
As the decline of the U.S. is being hailed in the news and opinion of the world, we thought it would be interesting to look at the biggest empires of the past.
Aside from their leadership model, the only other thing they all have in common is that each of them disappeared.
10) The Rashidun Caliphate continued Muhammad's legacy
The Rashidun Caliphate covered over 3 million square miles of land - almost 6% of the earth's land-mass.
This empire began when Mohammad died in 632 AD and his followers scrambled to acquire his empire while the great prophets family prepared for his funeral.
Despite being a Caliphate or religiously governed empire, the conquered of other faiths were given good treatment.
They were allowed freedom to practice their own religion as long as they paid taxes to the Caliph.
9) The Portuguese Empire outlasted everyone
The Portuguese Empire was the first global empire in history, as well as the longest-lived modern European colonial empires.
The empire began with the capture of Ceuta in 1415 and ended in 1999 with the handover of Macau. The empire's most valuable colony, Brazil, won its independence in 1822. Following a war in 1974 to overthrow the regime, the empire's government recognized the independence of all its colonies, except for Macau. Macau was returned to China in 1999.
8) The Abbasid Caliphate eventually lost out to the Turks
The Abbasid Caliphate covered 4.29 million square miles of land - more than 7% of the earth's landmass.
The empire had an unknown population number in 750 and claimed Baghdad as its capital.
While population numbers are unknown, the empire lasted from 750 to 1258 and only went into decline as the Turkish army rose to power.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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