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Thread: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

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    Wink Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Just wanna know from everybody what they think about the mightiest empires of europe around 1700. Make a list please:) Wanna see what everybody thinks.

  2. #2
    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Here are some of the big boys, in no paticular order. (Incidentally this list closely resembles the playable factions for ETW, no suprise there.)

    1. Good Old Blighty (Britain)

    Britain had the biggest Empire ever. Ever. That's of all time. Quite impressive, no? (Even if much of it was uninhabited wilderness.) Basically the top power of the time, Britain ruled the waves with a hugely powerful navy. Indeed it was bigger than the next two biggest navies combined (the Rule of Two as it was known at the time).

    2. Those Snooty Foreigners (France)

    The strongest continental European power of the time. Ruled over a large area of land at the start of the period, and they only got stronger. Then some charismatic Corsican guy got a hold of the reigns and woah. Boy was the rest of Europe suprised (and bloody worried to.)


    3. Spain

    Once drew a line around the world that split it eavenly between them and Portugal. Spain was the major power in the preceeding century, and was still a force to be reckoned with in 1700. They had large amounts of land in South America, North America and a sizeable chunk of Europe. Well known for transporting vast quantities of gold on the famous 'Manilla Galleons', the treasure fleet.

    4. Portugal

    Portugal are much like Spain. A colonial power with huge amounts of land in South America and North America. They held less of Europe, however. On the way out in terms of power, they preceeded to get less and less important as the century wore on. Still a signficant naval force at the start of the century however.

    5. Ottoman Empire

    The major power in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They owned a huge amount of land around the Med. They were in danger of becoming old fashioned, but managed to revitalise enough that they held onto power long after they could have succumed to obsolescence. The Ottoman Empire were never much of a colonial power, but they were plenty powerful enough around the Med to make up for it.

    6. Russia

    The big guy in Eastern Europe. The really, really big guy. Russia is a vast, vast country that dwarfs any other European power for owning land all in one place. Unfortunately however most of that land is either frozen, muddy, covered in snow, or all three at the same time It works to their advantage however, making the Russian steppes and tundra a very, very unforgiving place to invade, especially in winter.

    Rich in resources, rich in manpower, not so great for training. Russia's favourite tactic is to overwhelm the enemy with its massive numbers of poorly equipped infantry. And it works really, really well. Eventually they got a little more 'modern' however.


    There's a start. There are other factions who deserve a mention, but I'm too tired to list them right now.
    Last edited by Sir Beane; 01-15-2009 at 22:58.


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    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Actually, in this era, Russia's standing army was pretty decent in terms of quality. Certainly during the Great Northern War standards dropped a bit, but they tend to do that after twenty years of hard fighting, and the Swedes were in the same boat.

    Peter the Great was very keen on getting his army up to snuff, and did a pretty good job of it. The Russians more or less maintained an army worthy of a great power until after the Napoleonic Wars, when they let the army stagnate. Resting on your laurels just isn't an option for great powers.

    I would say that, during the height Peter the Great's era, Russia may well have been THE greatest power in the world. Unfortunately, two rather poor rulers (Peter III and Paul) mucked things up a bit, however, they also had some decent rulers who managed to put Russia in a position of power, Catherine II (also called 'the great', who was one of the better rulers of the era until she started getting senile and paranoid), Alexander (he beat Napoleon at the height of his power, what more do you want?)

    As to tactics, the 'human wave of cannon fodder' is from a later era. The 18th century Russian army had Suvurov, who probably would have rivaled Napoleon if he'd lived a few more years. After that they had Kutusov, De Tolly and Tolstoy (not the writer :P).

    I think it is rather unfair that history has stereotyped the Russian military in the way it has. The portrayal of the entire army as a drunken, bumbling, incompetent mess that is only saved by the Russian winter flies in the face of historical evidence which often shows Russians as almost excessively brave, if lacking in initiative and creativity. However, those who broke that mold tended to be great generals.
    The primary origin for this depiction of the Russian army comes from the Soviet era (WWII) and the Crimean War, when it was generally accurate.

    I strongly suggest reading up on Suvurov. He was really a remarkable man, one of the very few generals who never lost a battle and one of approximately five people in the history of the planet to win the respect of the Cossacks

    Also, I believe that the Mongol Empire was larger than the British Empire at its height

    Also, on the note of the British, it should be said that they really didn't come into their own until the mid-late 19th century. Until then, while certainly a great power, they were definitely not the undisputed superpower of the world.
    Last edited by Sheogorath; 01-16-2009 at 01:17.
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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    I just knew that you would come along and pick holes in my Russian write-up Sheo. :P

    Keep your historically accurate facts to yourself sir! I prefer my Russians to be stereotypical, human wave, lemming like men off their face on vodka!

    Actually I had a nagging feeling while I was writing it that Russia's army may have been more reliable than the stereotype. I somehow got it into my head that the mass wave tactics were what they started with and they phased them out later. Thanks for the correction

    As for Suvorov, I gather you are a big fan of his. You do a great job of making him seem like a fantastic guy, so you'll be pleased to know I'm going to read up on him to find out what all the fuss is about :P

    Incidentally you are right about the British blooming in the 19th century, but I was going for a simplified outlook on them (also I was both tired and lazy :P)


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    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Just doin' my job. In my time off from being the Prince of Madness I see it as my duty to correct peoples views of Russia :P

    Anyway, I do admit, the "UURAH! CHARGE AND DAMN THE MACHINE GUNS!" attitude/stereotype does have its appeal in some situations. However, it annoys me when brilliant individuals get ignored by history because nobody wants to admit they got beaten by the Ruskies :P

    Good to know. Suvurov is one of the greatest forgotten generals (outside of Russia) in history. And his personality quirks were apparently right up there with MacArthur :P
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    Member Member ConnMon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    I'd have to add Prussia to the list, though I'm not sure where. They didn't control much land, nor many resources, but they sure as heck could put an army together. Especially with such large neighbors around, Prussia held its own and then some.

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by ConnMon View Post
    I'd have to add Prussia to the list, though I'm not sure where. They didn't control much land, nor many resources, but they sure as heck could put an army together. Especially with such large neighbors around, Prussia held its own and then some.
    While Prussia was certainly a powerful country I wouldn't really class it as an Empire, so thats why it wasn't included initially.

    When I think 'Empire' I think expansive areas of land comprising several countries. Prussia never really expanded much oputside of the German and Baltic area.


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    Member Member Pinxit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    While Prussia was certainly a powerful country I wouldn't really class it as an Empire, so thats why it wasn't included initially.

    When I think 'Empire' I think expansive areas of land comprising several countries. Prussia never really expanded much oputside of the German and Baltic area.
    Sweden!

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinxit View Post
    Sweden!
    Norway!

    Assuming we aren't just shouting random scandinavian countries at each other, and that you were suggesting Sweden for the list, I didn't add it for the same reason as Prussia. By global standards they were both pretty small.


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    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?


    Assuming we aren't just shouting random scandinavian countries at each other
    Waits for someone to say "Finland!" and get lynched.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Actually in 1700 Sweden was on it’s way to Empire! They had had some overseas colonies but lost them or most of them by the time of the Great Northern War.

    Everyone ganged up on them but they will still winning until the got bogged down in Southern Russia.


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    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    'Cause the Swedish king tended to take things personally :P


    Now, speaking in terms of history, I believe the 'big five' pretty much stayed the same from about 1700 to the early 20th century.

    In no particular order:

    1. Austria
    2. Russia
    3. Prussia
    4. France
    5. The UK

    Those five typically maintained a position as the strongest nations on the planet, hence they were known as the 'great powers'. While they tended to fluctuate as to two was the 'strongest', obviously, as I have said before, none of them ever really gained a supreme advantage, otherwise the others would have ceased to exist.
    Even at the height of its power, controlling the worlds oceans, the UK probably could not have taken on one of the other great powers by itself with the intention of destroying that power and won.
    Thus we get the 'balance of power' and similar things.

    Now, if we go back another hundred years, we remove Prussia from the list because it doesn't exist and add the Ottoman Empire, who were, indeed, a major entity during that era. Of course, the mid-1600's were the start of their decline, when the Janissary corps started to gain power and corruption ran rampant, but they were still a presence even up until the 1900's.

    There is also the matter of China who were, arguably, the strongest, richest, and most advanced nation on the planet up until about 1800. The trouble, of course, comes in the form of a lack of English records on the subject that aren't simply BS made up by the European powers to make themselves look good during the invasions and occupations of the late 1800's-early 1900's.
    However, generally, the Qing were a state to rival any other until the series of crippling rebellions and wars, not to mention technological ignorance, pretty much screwed them and opened the door for European 'intervention'.
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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    I would have mentioned china but the OP specifically stated 'the mightiest Empires of Europe' so I missed them out.

    Your list is a good one for the majority of the era Sheo. Mine is more biased towards the start of the century (and therefore the start of the game.)


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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    I'm fairly sure France was considered as the world superpower in the 18th c. Despite ruling over less lands than the UK, France itself was still the most populated European country, with the most modern and effective army.

    The economy was sure not in a good shape, since well, the country had been at war with everyone else for decades, and because Louis XIV was mostly interested in warring and building huge stuff to show how great he was.

    Things got bad after the death of the so-called Sun King, only to start to improve again at the end of the century, under Louis XVI, who somehow ended up getting his head separated from his body, even though he was by all standards a decent king. Then, against extraordinary odds, Revolutionary France achieved to fight off most of European powers, and to succesfully - that's where the fun starts - establish a continental Empire over most of Europe.

    Feel free to debunk that as nationalist crap (I'm French duhu), but that's more or less what I understood from my readings (most of them being the work of anglo-saxon historians).

    Serious contenders were obviously the British Empire, and the Russian Empire. Both were clearly the principal winners of the Napoleonic Wars, even though the British Empire quickly got the upper hand and became the new superpower, while Russia got stuck into an economical and social crisis that would last quite a while.

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil View Post
    I'm fairly sure France was considered as the world superpower in the 18th c. Despite ruling over less lands than the UK, France itself was still the most populated European country, with the most modern and effective army.

    The economy was sure not in a good shape, since well, the country had been at war with everyone else for decades, and because Louis XIV was mostly interested in warring and building huge stuff to show how great he was.

    Things got bad after the death of the so-called Sun King, only to start to improve again at the end of the century, under Louis XVI, who somehow ended up getting his head separated from his body, even though he was by all standards a decent king. Then, against extraordinary odds, Revolutionary France achieved to fight off most of European powers, and to succesfully - that's where the fun starts - establish a continental Empire over most of Europe.

    Feel free to debunk that as nationalist crap (I'm French duhu), but that's more or less what I understood from my readings (most of them being the work of anglo-saxon historians).

    Serious contenders were obviously the British Empire, and the Russian Empire. Both were clearly the principal winners of the Napoleonic Wars, even though the British Empire quickly got the upper hand and became the new superpower, while Russia got stuck into an economical and social crisis that would last quite a while.
    You are most certainly correct that France was the number one power in Europe. Britian however was generally much stronger overseas than any other country, France included, especially towards the end of the century.

    It impossible to rank one as stronger than the other really. In continental Europe France would destroy Britain. At sea and in foreign lands however Britian tended to have the upper hand. No one power had a clear advantage, and they never fought in an all out war to destroy the other.

    Who wins in a battle or war is all about situational advantages anyway. Despite all of its tremendous power and size the British Empire lost to a bunch of uppity colonists in America. Had Britain not been distracted by France at the time then things might have been a different story.

    Likewise Napoleon rampaged across Europe in an incredibly succesful military campaign. Without Napoleon however France may never have conquered anyone at all.

    So basically what I mean is that Empires can be classified in terms of things like area of land held, or wealth, or number of men, but power and strength are both relative and situational. The question of who was the most powerful superpower don't really have an answer (at least not one that can stand up to every argument.)


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    Member Member Pinxit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheogorath View Post
    'Cause the Swedish king tended to take things personally :P


    Now, speaking in terms of history, I believe the 'big five' pretty much stayed the same from about 1700 to the early 20th century.

    In no particular order:

    1. Austria
    2. Russia
    3. Prussia
    4. France
    5. The UK

    Those five typically maintained a position as the strongest nations on the planet, hence they were known as the 'great powers'. While they tended to fluctuate as to two was the 'strongest', obviously, as I have said before, none of them ever really gained a supreme advantage, otherwise the others would have ceased to exist.
    Even at the height of its power, controlling the worlds oceans, the UK probably could not have taken on one of the other great powers by itself with the intention of destroying that power and won.
    Thus we get the 'balance of power' and similar things.

    Now, if we go back another hundred years, we remove Prussia from the list because it doesn't exist and add the Ottoman Empire, who were, indeed, a major entity during that era. Of course, the mid-1600's were the start of their decline, when the Janissary corps started to gain power and corruption ran rampant, but they were still a presence even up until the 1900's.

    There is also the matter of China who were, arguably, the strongest, richest, and most advanced nation on the planet up until about 1800. The trouble, of course, comes in the form of a lack of English records on the subject that aren't simply BS made up by the European powers to make themselves look good during the invasions and occupations of the late 1800's-early 1900's.
    However, generally, the Qing were a state to rival any other until the series of crippling rebellions and wars, not to mention technological ignorance, pretty much screwed them and opened the door for European 'intervention'.
    Why Russia? Assuming we are not counting the years from 1701 and beyond, Russia was backwards and, as far as I know, didnt win any significant battles at all until later on. At least not against the Swedish Empire. Russia was a huge pile of nothing in progress of being a huge pile of something. But it wasnt at the time?

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    Member Member Pinxit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hax View Post
    Waits for someone to say "Finland!" and get lynched.
    Finland was (and had been for several hundred years) a part of Sweden. Consider yourself "lynched".


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    Member Member Hax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    However, to call Finland Scandinavic is somewhat..dubious.
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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Re : Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    So basically what I mean is that Empires can be classified in terms of things like area of land held, or wealth, or number of men, but power and strength are both relative and situational. The question of who was the most powerful superpower don't really have an answer (at least not one that can stand up to every argument.)
    While I see where you're coming from, the notions of power and strenght are not always relative.

    Since the early 90's, the US have been the only superpower, and I don't think anyone can deny that. Other regional powers don't have the capacity to rival the US, either militarily or economically, and thing will probably stay that way for a few more decades.


    Things were far less clear-cut in the 18th, most notably because the notion of total war wasn't entirely perceived, and because no country could realisticly have achieved total dominance over the other powers, but I still think it is assumed that France was the #1 superpower for most of the 18th, and was then replaced by Britain after Napoleon's fall (with Britain slowly being caught up by Germany - who got her ass kicked - and the US). That's how things are seen for International Relation studies purpose.
    It doesn't mean that France was teh awesome for a while, while UK wasn't. But us political sciences students like to rank stuff for the sake of ranking stuff ;-)

    Since the OP asked for a list, here shall be mine :
    1 - France
    2 - The United Kingdom (or whatever was the official name)
    3 - Russia
    4 - Austria
    And then, it's about it. Spain and Portugal, though still Empires, were in an increasingly dire shape, Sweden almost became an Empire but ultimately failed, and Prussia despite her glorious achievements, can't be considered an Empire.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 01-17-2009 at 01:18.

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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    To all people who said Britian, Learn your history! Britian was little more than a fishermans community in 1700! The British Empire only really rose to power after the Napoleoinic Wars. The 19th Century, and the early 20th Century, was Britains time of might.

    I would say Spain, or Portugal would have been very powerful in 1700. And the Russians as stated before.
    Last edited by darrin42; 01-17-2009 at 02:51.
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    Member Member Sol Invictus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Spain and Portugal were well past their prime and Britain was much more than a fishermans community in 1700. I think you got a bit carried away.
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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    And you just fed the troll.

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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hax View Post
    However, to call Finland Scandinavic is somewhat..dubious.
    Not at all. Depends on how you define Scandinavic. There are three definitions according to Wikipedia.



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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    This thread is quickly gaining the potential to turn into a big nationalistic argument. Lets not get to worked up over this eh? If you think a nation should be regarded as the best around then wait till Empire comes out then take it and make it so, simple as that.

    Also on Finland as a Scandinavian country? Some say it is, some say it isn't, but frankly it isn't the point of this thread.

    Like I said earlier, we will never reach a cler agreement on the most powerful factions. Not even if we argue points for years. :P


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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    This thread is quickly gaining the potential to turn into a big nationalistic argument. Lets not get to worked up over this eh? If you think a nation should be regarded as the best around then wait till Empire comes out then take it and make it so, simple as that.

    Also on Finland as a Scandinavian country? Some say it is, some say it isn't, but frankly it isn't the point of this thread.

    Like I said earlier, we will never reach a cler agreement on the most powerful factions. Not even if we argue points for years. :P
    But its fun to argue points for years, and we dont need to agree. And you learn quite a lot doing so.

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinxit View Post
    But its fun to argue points for years, and we dont need to agree. And you learn quite a lot doing so.
    True, true. Just keep it friendly like and no one will have a problem. Capiche? (This came across as much more threatening than intended, but what the heck )

    In the interest of sparking healthy debate I propose that you all acccept the obvious truth that The Duchy of Savoy was by far the mightiest Empire of the time. Discuss.


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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    In the interest of sparking healthy debate I propose that you all acccept the obvious truth that The Duchy of Savoy was by far the mightiest Empire of the time. Discuss.
    Well the Dukes became kings of Italy, and Italy clams the heritage of Rome, so yes I guess in a back handed way you could say that.


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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    That was, of course, after the game's timeline.

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    The Dam Dog Senior Member Sheogorath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinxit View Post
    Why Russia? Assuming we are not counting the years from 1701 and beyond, Russia was backwards and, as far as I know, didnt win any significant battles at all until later on. At least not against the Swedish Empire. Russia was a huge pile of nothing in progress of being a huge pile of something. But it wasnt at the time?
    Not counting 1701 and beyond, you'd be right. Russia was fairly backwards, although Peter did modernize it a bit during that era. Roughly between the death of Ivan IV and the rise of Peter I.
    However, I'm assuming the author of the thread meant the '18th century', in which case, Russia would be a prominent world power.
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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Mightiest empires of the 1700 century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil View Post
    I'm fairly sure France was considered as the world superpower in the 18th c. Despite ruling over less lands than the UK, France itself was still the most populated European country, with the most modern and effective army.

    The economy was sure not in a good shape, since well, the country had been at war with everyone else for decades, and because Louis XIV was mostly interested in warring and building huge stuff to show how great he was.

    Things got bad after the death of the so-called Sun King, only to start to improve again at the end of the century, under Louis XVI, who somehow ended up getting his head separated from his body, even though he was by all standards a decent king. Then, against extraordinary odds, Revolutionary France achieved to fight off most of European powers, and to succesfully - that's where the fun starts - establish a continental Empire over most of Europe.

    Feel free to debunk that as nationalist crap (I'm French duhu), but that's more or less what I understood from my readings (most of them being the work of anglo-saxon historians).

    Serious contenders were obviously the British Empire, and the Russian Empire. Both were clearly the principal winners of the Napoleonic Wars, even though the British Empire quickly got the upper hand and became the new superpower, while Russia got stuck into an economical and social crisis that would last quite a while.
    After the reign of the Sun King France was no longer the de facto hegemon of Europe, indeed it was brought quite quickly and brutally down to earth, and certainly after the Seven Years War its global pretensions of Hegemony had been dashed, as had everyone elses, by the United Kingdom.

    France was also hugely in debt, having commited itself to massivley costly yet very limited wars under The Sun King, whereas the Seven Years War waged almost half a century later was a catastrophic defeat of unimaginable scale.

    Sig by Durango

    Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
    -Oscar Wilde

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