We should start off by saying that the word ‘big’ in this context doesn’t refer to how large these empires were, but to how important they are to this day from a historical perspective. Also, from a cultural standpoint, we are hearing the echoes of mankind’s greatest empires every single day, the industrial revolutions they started, and the progress humanity made under their protection.
Nowadays, the world isn’t dominated by empires anymore. These days, multinational corporations dictate pretty much everything, not according to a political agenda, but as patrons of currency and influence worldwide. Let us, therefore, reminisce about older times, while gazing at the might of mankind’s greatest empires.
9The French Empire, 1534 – 1962
Stretching over 4.9 million square miles (10% of the planet’s surface), the French Empire is the second largest empire in history. The might of the French Empire made French one of the widely-spoken languages in the world for hundreds of years, and one of the widely-spoken languages in the world even today. After losing territories to other emerging nations throughout the world, the French Empire eventually ended in 1962 when Algeria gained its independence. Even though France still holds overseas territories to this day, it is nowhere near as big as it used to be.