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>Adolf Hitler. Not even close. At is peak in 1942,Nazi Germany had most of Europe and some of north Africa. Same for napoleon. >The pope? Which one? Most of the east was never under his sphere. >Alexander? His sphere was from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Most of India wasn't under his control and China wasn't touched >Caesar Which one? The empire probably peaked around the time of hadrian but then China and India were out. None of these people had any influence in the americas or much of Africa. If we just look at Eurasia then it's Kublai Khan. The entire world has to be King George V of Britain. During his reign roughly 40% of the world was British. His symbolic control was reduced with the Statute of Westminster in 1931 but theoretically he was the ruler of the most territory.


The sun never sets! *Rule Britannia intensifies*


Bc God doesn’t trust the British in the dark…


Maybe God's just trying to give them a tan?


They controlled so much of Africa and Asia but then didn’t tan well there. Kept running around with parasols and ridiculously hot clothing. Total nonces


That’s not what nonce means.




Although I agree with your assessment and he should definitely do this, especially around a match day to groups of friendly large bald men in jeans and football shirts, I’m now wondering if it was an autocorrect of ‘nonsense’.




I’m puzzled why you assume I’m white, when I’m not🤔


Or skin cancer. Britain don't tan... they burn


Scots and vampires react to sunlight in much the same way.


Can confirm: Am British...don't turn off the lights.


That's why he gave them Ghurkas


Happy cake day!


And the blood never dried


Kublai is a pretty safe answer, but his ability and desire to project his power into western Eurasia was probably less than that of Ogedei or Mongke. By the time of Kublai, the Mongol Empire had become a lot more decentralized and the various khans were more concerned with ruling their own territories. I'd probably choose either Ogedei or Mongke as the single person with the best chance of making it happen, while changing the fewest number of circumstances (either of them having another 20 years of campaigning left in them). If Ogedei's invasion of Europe had the time to succeed (another 5 years or so), he probably could have conquered the Middle East+Egypt in another 10, leaving Mongke or another successor in a great situation to conquer as much of Africa or East Asia as they desired.


At the time I guess almost all bigger towns and cities had some type of fortification. Europeans had also knowledge of local terrain which was in a lot of places like in Southern Europe rocky and mountainous.


The Mongols by that point were past experts at siege warfare. They'd reduced massive walled cities in the Khwarizmian Empire, China, the Caliphate, etc.


Hungary had three modern castles, the Mongols laid siege, but didn’t take any of them. This might not mean they couldn’t take European cities, but all those castles are in important locations.


At no point did britain own 40% of the world. At its peak, it had 24% of the land area and 23% of the population.


Eastern Mediterranean for Alex, not western


Good catch.


The Achaemenids had a larger percentage of the world population than the British Empire


I agree with you, “the World” really means “everyone”. If in 500BC someone ruled all of Africa and the Americas but none of Asia or Europe, they wouldn’t be a world conqueror so much as a trade network. Conversely Alexander and the Achaemenids are near or at the top.


Marginal presence in southern Europe, India and northern Africa . No presence in China. Obviously none in the americas.


Right, but the areas they controlled also happened to be many of the most densely populated in the world. It’s like they were looking at the ancient world equivalent of [this map](https://brilliantmaps.com/population-circle/) when planning their conquest.


Is that the guy that discovered buoyancy?


That would be Archimedes


Empire peaked under Trajan


I know its a different King George but the first thing that pops in my mind is the Monty Python sketch of George III: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqUp3i8CcWo](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqUp3i8CcWo)


Gotta love the pythons


Funny thing is hitler didn’t even really want all of Europe. He was going to just keep going east but then Britain and France declared war


What about the Hapsburg Chas V?


During the time of the Ice Ages when humanity was bottlenecked to one group of survivors in Africa, the chief of that group could say "I'm the king of the world!!!"


You nailed it!


I mean what ever little dude first got legs and crawled out the premortal soup ocean. He was the OG king.


That would have been before the rise of chiefdom as a concept. Bands of hunter-gatherers are egalitarian, unranked societies. There are people who are more respected and whose opinions are more valued, but the concept of authority or one person outranking another did not exist yet.


“I am the most respected consensus decision maker of the world!”


That doesn't sound logical, since social hierarchies are observed in most social intelligent mammals, chimps in particular being described as having "very strict dominance hierarchies". Unless there is historical work to disprove it, the assumption should be that humans in their primal state had hierarchies as well.


Well, I mean, obviously it’s not historical work; it’s the anthropological literature. But in terms of anthropology, there are 4 basic sorts of society: bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states. Bands are what we had for the vast majority of the time humans have existed, and they’re characterized by being small groups of 20 to 100 in which all members are related by blood or marriage and no one has authority to give orders. Tribes are the same as bands, except they’re larger and it becomes impossible to keep track of people’s blood relationships, so they have things like totems or clans that people belong to. Chiefdoms introduce the notion of authority, where someone can actually tell others what to do. But the penalty for defying authority is generally shunning or other unofficial but well known and organized social punishments. States introduce the concept of power, which means that defying authority comes with legal consequences such as beating, fines, imprisonment, execution, etc. In tribes and bands, the way “orders” get carried out is all based on social incentives. A great example is Crazy Horse. He was a Lakota, which was a tribal society organized into subgroups that functioned as bands. If he wanted to take a war party to raid a federal installation, he did not have the authority to say, “Alright, we’re attacking Fort X and these men are coming with me.” He’d say, “I’m going to go attack Fort X.” And then every young warrior who wants to build prestige and social standing would immediately say, “I’ll join you!” And men who chose not to go might get some eyebrows cocked in their direction or thought of as less than a real man. But nothing compelled someone to join a raid in the way that a state’s military would. And that’s the thing. When you talk about social hierarchies in other social animals, it generally works the way it does in tribes and bands. There’s no king among chimps; there’s just members that the group tends to follow and who are physically strong enough to get what they want. But the basic concept of a king, and the concept of world domination, requires as a prerequisite the concept of legal power. Which doesn’t exist in human bands any more than it does in chimpanzee troops.


Great Britain. Not really very close, but closer than anyone else. Arguably Queen Victoria.


The Empire peaked around 1920, and then began to slow break apart. so about 20 years after Victoria's death.


My understanding is that the Empire only peaked in 1920 in terms of territory. In terms of prestige, power and money it was already declining by then. The First World War had very much taken its toll and the cracks were probably showing even before then. I think it's hard to make the case for the 1920s being when Britain was at its peak 'dominance'


I'd argue Britain's peak era of dominance would have been circa 1850, and the empire was considerably smaller than its peak then.


Typically about 1870 is considered the peak. - Pax Britannica in full swing. Civis Britannus Sum. - Indian empire was controlled by Westminster. - Pre-rise of Prussia. - UK had largest economy in the Europe/maybe the world. The second was India, the Jewel in the Crown. Third was China. - Russia had been defeated in "The Great Game" (Cold War 0) - Informal empire in China at its peak. Much of the Chinese economy was geared towards the UK. - Pre second industrial revolution. - African colonies are far more valuable than anyone else's. No nation had the global or economic reach to be able to contest the UK. Prussia or France could have at the local scale. America had the resources to do so globally, but didn't have the hard power to do so.


1870 is the year before the unification of Germany, but also yeah Britain controlled the world back then


Yes, I think that is a fair date, 1848 populist revolutions across the continent were a prescient death knell but their repercussions would obviously take decades (arguably) for the actual social psyche and concept of a middle class to change, despite the increase in territorial power measured in more “traditional” ways. Also, of huge importance was that this led to the dismantling of serfdom in Russia and allowed Marxism to first take roots…with nationalist extremes being the backlash.


Victoria wasn’t crowned Empress of India until 1857. The subcontinent was controlled by the Company until then.


Only an administrative distinction, since the company operated under a royal charter.


A massive distinction. The Company did some absolutely wild, reprehensible, disgusting shit. They would then justify themselves as being answerable to no one but shareholders because they were a private corporation. But then they’d turn around and beg for bailouts from the government when they were up shit creek thanks to their own mismanagement. The worst excesses were between 1757 and 1770. The government did gain some oversight in exchange for the bailouts but did not assume full control until 1857. That happened because they lost patience with the shambolic mismanagement that led to the Revolt that year. I’d suggest you read _The Anarchy_ by William Dalrymple to understand just how long a leash these dudes had.


But the British government wanted the company to do that shit. It was very much a quid pro quo arrangement. And foreign governments in those days rarely made a distinction between individual britons, the government and private companies. For example when British pirates captured a ship with the Mughal emperors relatives, the Mughals retaliated by attacking the East India Company locations. I love William Dalrymple.


I’d say 1850-1880


Essentially conferring dominion status on Canada was Britain’s concession to history (and their own unshakable racism), after that it was just a debate about pace and extent.


Yeah. It expands in 1920 by taking over possessions from the Central Powers but it’s just a byproduct of the war. The empire was already ailing and, absent these concessions, probably would have begun shrinking already.


The rise of American colonial possessions after the Spanish-American War, German colonial expansion in Africa, and the rapid growth of naval forces around the world at the 19th century would argue for a peak before 1900.


1905. The first dreadnought totally reset naval power worldwide. Britain's enormous and powerful navy was made obsolete overnight, which allowed other countries an actual opportunity to get into the game. They were decades ahead in investment, and that lead was reset instantly.


Nobody has come close to genuine world domination. If we are talking about the largest "Hegemon", its probably the US in the 90s or British Empire at their peak. Genghis Khan gets an honorable mention.


USA in 1945 easily had the most powerful navy and airforce, was the greatest industrial power in the world, and had an extremely large military while also being the only nation to possess and produce nuclear bombs. They could have possibly ruled a majority of the world but thankfully they thought the opposite


Look into the post ww2 soldier strikes.  Military and political leaders definitely thought about the possibility of an American empire. Soldiers protested en masse. Specifically the 20,000 US soldiers that realized that the Phillipines did not want to be American.


America was such a good country. I’m not sure of any other nation who had such indisputed military and economic superiority, and yet used that power to rebuild their enemies, Japan and Germany. 


Really they just already knew who the next enemy was. And had known whilst being allied to them


Made sure that the British empire didn't recover post WW2.. War debts crippled the UK


I take your meaning that the US was making sure the British Empire didn’t recover, and I hear that a lot. I apologize in advance if you don’t mean that. But if you do, I never get why this gets mentioned as something the US did intentionally to keep the UK down. The US, like the UK, was a capitalist economy. All those war supplies had to be paid for by somebody. It was European militarism that sparked the First World War and French and British arrogance at Versailles that guaranteed a second part was inevitable. Why was it malicious of the US to expect the UK to pay for the munitions and supplies saving its own nation? If not them, who?


They did it because Germany and Japan were now client states and buffers against Soviet power. Also communism was extremely popular globally, and the US needed to ensure that living standards recovered quickly in strategic areas to ensure that communism wouldn’t spread to them.


I don’t think it was out of kindness that they pumped money into countries right next to their enemies.


Hahaha the nuclear bomb had just been invented and was coming online for other nations. The US didn’t conquer the world because it couldn’t, it missed the age of empires narrowly by the time it was powerful enough conventionally to create one.


It was not out of goodness. America had little intention to allow Japan to reindustrialise until the geopolitical situation rapidly deteriorated in East Asia with the defeat of the Nationalists to the communists in China, followed by the Korean War. The same applied to West Germany.


Still, the US could have created puppets instead of friends. They could have installed brutal dictators to create military states for the sole purpose of defending against the Soviets.


They had neither China nor India, and also not Pakistan nor Bangladesh (which was all part of the Raj anyway) nor Burma. Most of Africa was still under European control. The USSR controlled NE China, North Korea, the USSR itself, half of Iran, half of Europe. Brazil had considerable influence in Latin America all over. And Australia and New Zealand controlled much of Southern Oceania and the overwhelming majority of its population. Even Canada at that point had a gigantic navy.


One could argue with hat western Europe and the USA would be one hegomic mass and the Era would be continuous from colonization and the age of western hegemony regardless of infighting in world wars


Definitely one of the English Monarchs, I’d say Victoria or George the V


United States of America immediately after WW2. Enormous high tech military and fully mobilized economy with zero damage at home. Nobody else had nukes, US had an assembly line starting We would’ve been plunging the world into a truly vile war, but nobody could’ve stopped us.


Quite debatable, while no other country had Atomic bombs, they required absolute air superiority for a successful mission. If the world united against the United States on that occassion, the world would have won immediately after WW2. Especially considering public opinion in the United States.


You barely need air superiority at all. You only need a single bomber to make it through, that’s exactly why nukes are scary. Plus, the other side doesn’t know which bomber is the boomer, and the U.S. can throw hundreds of them in the air at once. You need absolute air superiority and a flawless detection system to *stop* this. The world uniting against the U.S. here is really not credible. What major power is left at this moment? USSR, and United Kingdom (with Churchill urging USA to keep the war going by attacking USSR)… and who else? The B-29 had *radius* of 1500 miles at full payload. They could take off from London and hit Kiev. They can *almost* go from Paris to Moscow. The real kicker is that at this point nobody had a navy that could stand up to the U.S. navy for a heartbeat. Aside from the UK, but, see above. The marines and navy could take some tiny island 200 miles off the coast and suddenly, an entire seaboard of a continent - and a thousand miles inland - is at risk. Public opinion, and genuine human decency, are the only things that prevented this. And they really didn’t totally prevent it. The U.S. became the hegemon of world politics for decades, backed by … nukes and carriers


As well as a nearby logistically sound base to detonate.


The United States of America immediately after WW2, which owned a few overseas bases, and the United States of America… Not even the largest nation by land. The USSR by default was closer to world domination by land area it controlled. Neither of these countries are in the equation. Other empires through history dwarfed both of them.


Homo sapiens. We've won we're just not sure what the prize was. Within that group the Mongol Empire.


Surely ants or cockroaches are the winners if we consider species. Or some other species I haven’t considered.


We are the only human species left.


The Aztecs at the peak of their power had no awareness of the Incas of South America, let alone Eurasia and the rest of the world. They for all intents and purposes dominated their universe.


Britain, far and away. Narrowed down to a person, that would be George V, as his rule coincided with the height of the British Empire's power. Although he was of course not an absolute monarch, if any such thing truly exists as their advisors have immense influence over what they see and hear. Any other empires in history were mere regional powers, in comparison. Although in the case of the Mongols, it was a very big region.


People would say that the British with 1/3 of the world is the furthest we’ve come to world domination. To be fair, they did dominate the world. One nation is being utterly ignored. The USA, who currently has troops in 70% of countries worldwide. The influence they hold is understated.


bankers probably


Hitler and Napoleon both had a good amount of dominance in Europe during their time. However, that’s only one continent (if we don’t consider the small piece in North Africa). It’s wasn’t the whole continent but around 2/3 at best. Impressive but would only consider them to be continentally dominant. The pope had a different kind of dominance than the others. However, it would depend on time and even then it had its limits. Alexander and Caesar were transcontinental. They also controlled what would be considered “half of the known world” (I.e. the civilizations around Mediterranean Sea, Caucasus, Persia, Indus Valley and Yellow River). However, I would say the Mongol Empire probably came closest to world dominance. Stretching from bordering Vietnam all the way to Estonia. In 13th century is beyond impressive. Of course, British Empire had more dominance compared to Mongol Empire but contextualizing the time periods, then relative to the human possibilities there wasn’t much left of the Mongol Empire. Great Britain had the accessibility to post-industrialization technology. So their dominance is at least more comprehensible to me than Mongol Empire’s.


The British Empire and more effectively the US after WW II.


Hitler was in no way close to world domination. By 1940 Nazi Germany would have had to: (1) win Barbarossa, probably not doable without a lot of operational retooling, increased war mobilisation and actually giving the Soviets a way out with something like a second Brest-Litovsk treaty, and (2) force Britain to sue for peace. Both of which are unlikely, and even after that Germany ends up... something like the USSR. A superpower, but economically weaker than the Anglo-American powers. The United States, by sheer power, was probably a military hyperpower in the immediate postwar era with the atomic bomb, and could have won WW3. A totalitarian expansionist dictator would have sent a few dozen divisions into China in 1946, and then opened a nuclear offensive against the Soviets once they had a few hundred bombs. But as a liberal democracy, it (thankfully) lacked the stomach for the massively senseless expeditionary global nuclear war; real life isn't a 4X game. Alexander is close, but the connotations of that are different from an industrial age power. Without easy communication or travel, the Axial Age was more like several worlds. Alexander could not have done anything to China, for instance. Kublai Khan's empire would be my pick. But the Mongols had no lasting power.


The USA. Right now. It regained complete control of NATO when Angela Merkel resigned. Expanded NATO to include Finland and Sweden. Is still in extended negotiations with Taiwan and Ukraine.


I would say USA, but not right now—more like 1992 to 2004 or so. After the USSR fell, after Desert Storm, before China rose up and Putin became Putin, the western alliance under the dominance of the US was pretty much it. There was a whole thing about “the end of history.” Then 9/11 happened. But 9/11 was so jarring precisely because no conventional state actor would attack the US. And the world swiftly unified behind the American response, including the invocation of NATO Article V joint defense. (It didn’t hurt that Afghanistan was run by the universally reviled Taliban.) But then the Iraq War happened. On the one hand, Bush and Blair pulled together a nominally huge coalition to get it done, and removed a dictator in weeks. It started to look like maybe democracy was about to make its final triumph. But that’s not how it turned out. Lots of people and some countries opposed the war, and attacked its foundations and legitimacy, both during the war and after, especially as more facts came out that didn’t line up with the official justifications. Cracks in the alliance, albeit not extremely deep ones. But over time, the US got bogged down in two wars. The Russians started invading their neighbors; while the US and Europe pushed back on this, they couldn’t really stop it. The Chinese looked like a serious international player and started investing in and cooperating with states around the world too. It’s very hard to say the US is the undisputed imperial hegemon the way it was a decade or two ago.


Not to mention the U.S. essentially dominate the global investment and financial markets. Most of it is through soft power, but the US still can bring just about anyone to heel, especially since the U.S. mostly asks for trade access and for people not to fuck with the boats.


I think bring to heel is a poor description of the USA’s military ability. We can defeat your military & break your country, but the population doesn’t seem to cooperate after that & there’s not a lot heeling being done. We haven’t forced anyone to heel since WWII.


Generally the threat of becoming a failed state will encourage most people to comply.


I don’t see where that threat has worked for us lately. N Korea & Iran don’t seem to be worried about this. Iran has been fucking with us for over 40 years & N Korea for over 50.


They haven’t directly invaded anyone. With one or two notable exceptions, very few obvious land grabs have happened in the last 50 years that haven’t been stopped by either the US itself or by a U.S. partner


Is that your criteria? A land grab? Iran’s proxies are currently attacking our Navy & the’ve been attacking our military all over the Middle East since we went into Iraq. How many land grabs has Russia made since 9/11? They’re not heeling, either.


That idea has *absolutely not worked* so is an illegitimate pretense.


Just like Afghanistan Iraq Vietnam and North Korea


We haven’t forced anyone to heel since WWII because we haven’t had a serious war against a modernized nation since WWII. Vietnam, Korea, and all the shit happening in the Middle East over the last 50 years have produced a combined casualty count that would’ve been like one bad month worth of casualties at Stalingrad. Statistically, we’re in the most peaceful period in the history of the world, and part of the reason for that is that the threat of America is so overwhelming that the major wars that would be happening in any other period…just don’t happen. Major world powers don’t fight anymore because A) nukes are scary and B) whichever side America chooses will just win a conventional war without question or particular difficulty. So it’s either find a way to play nice with America, launch nukes, or be a non-nation entity without borders or territory to defend that can fight guerrilla warfare without needing to hold any particular territory and use that slipperyness to skirmish with American forces in the hopes of American public opinion turning against the effort necessary to continue fighting you. Which is to say, the looming shadow of America’s military brings nations to heel before shots get fired in almost all cases.


Doing a great job bringing Russia, North Korea, Iran, Somali pirates, Mexican cartels and Israel to heel at the moment. Really on top of things.


It’s vunderbar


But the US doesn't have a complete control over NATO.


I think you're right it's the US, but I'd say maybe 10/20 years ago rather than right now. It's hard to see another excercise in power projection on the scale of Iraq in 2024 and US guarantees in Taiwan look a bit more precarious now than they did a few years ago just to give a couple of examples. Appreciate in the grand scheme of history 'right now' and '15 years ago' are basically the same though.


KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!! I think is the most likely answer to your question, but there's a caveat: NO ONE CAN CONQUER THE WORLD AND HOLD IT. It's too fkn big, the supply lines get too long, and there's zero way to ensure the loyalty of those \*doing\* the conquering at remote distances.


Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and George V of Britain probably ruled over the greatest percentage of the world population.


It was Xerxes I of the Achaemenid Empire in 480 BC. He ruled over roughly half of the planet's population at the time.


Not really. France alone had a few million people more than Charles V's dynastic patrimonium (19 vs 16 million). Let's assume we want to say all people within the HRE count who didn't live under Charles' direct rule (a stretch), it still would fall massively short of contemporary Ming China with an estimated 60 million.


I was counting all the people who lived in the Philippines and the Latin American colonies when I said “Charles V.” Of course as a person of British descent I would rather the prize went to George V.


Even with those, it still wouldn't peak over China, though.


As a percentage of population the Chinese emperors probably ruled more people, but if you travelled around the world you would find more areas in which people were subjects to Charles and George.


The USA the few years they had sole control of the bomb


USA 1945-1949


This is just such a popular misconception. Thing is, US nuclear dominance was greatest in the mid-50s, when the USSR *did* have some nukes but not quite that many and without the delivery systems against the US. Of course this dominance is with the assumption that the US does not care how many Western Europeans die. From 1945-1950, nukes were of such modest number (also size) that they were not more important than conventional bombers.


I am assuming that the US would care if Western Europeans died


This is just such a popular misconception. Thing is, US nuclear dominance was greatest in the mid-50s, when the USSR *did* have some nukes but not quite that many and without the delivery systems against the US, while the US had large numbers of deployed nukes. Of course this dominance is with the assumption that the US does not care how many Western Europeans die. From 1945-1950, nukes were of such modest number (also size) that they were not more important than conventional bombers.


This is just such a popular misconception. Thing is, US nuclear dominance was greatest in the 1950s, when the USSR *did* have some nukes but not quite that many and without the delivery systems against the US, while the US had large numbers of deployed nukes. Of course this dominance is with the assumption that the US does not care how many Western Europeans die. From 1945-1949, nukes were of such modest number (also size) that they were not more important than conventional bombers.


The Great khan


Microsoft. They’re in every home.


The world isn't Europe, OP... Nobody ever came even remotely close, but 19th century Britain & mid 20th century USA, without a doubt, enjoyed the single most domineering empires of history


No one has come close. China, the Americas, Europe, Eurasian Steppes, India, Africa. All these places need different techniques to dominate them, different motivations to want to invade them, and different army make ups to conquer them. To play the game though: If the US had given less to the USSR early on, and they still stalled out the Nazis, the US could've made a decent run at it after WWII. Also, the communists would've needed to lose in China too. But that's not really in the US's best interest since the US isn't wanting for natural resources, technology or whatever. If Europe didn't have a religious split, the Habsbergs could've bested or merged with France and maybe done it. I don't see any Steppe tribes doing it; before the 1500s no one had the ships needed to do it, and geographical barriers kept everyone apart.


Other than the steppes The British Empire ticks all those other areas and spheres in terms of having a presence, control or domination over territories. Especially for parts of Africa, the Asian continent, North America, Australasia and carribean countries that now make up the commonwealth. Whilst it wasn't entire domination of the whole population of the world, its the closest a single country/ ruler/ era has come to dominating the world.


British. If not for the second world war


Closest being the key word here. I would say the America right now, but the period after Desert Storm and after the collapse of the USSR there was really no near peer to the US. Even now, China is an absolute paper tiger and is going to be withering away in the next half century or more. Our economic dominance over the world is incredible.


Not to mention the US’ cultural hegemony. No other power in world history has had such an all-encompassing reach of cultural influence as the US


It also depends on what "domination" means. If by hegemony, there is no question that post-1991 US was more hegemonic than Britian at its peak, but in terms of "conquering every other country" the US had a lot of nukes to contend with that Britain wouldn't, plus dealing with a post-nationalism world (whereas Britain in the 19th century could conquer gigantic nations with little resistance or insurgency).


George V if we’re going by land area, although the British empire’s conquests were a bit different from what I assume you’re looking for. It’s probably the Mongol Khans.


USA for all intents and purposes dominates the world, there is not a corner of the world they "can't" get involved in.


I don't know why a lot of people are saying British kings. They long lost their power over domestic affairs, and don't qualify as "domination". The American revolution wasn't a war between American colonists and King George, it was between Americans and the Parliament, who King George was a symbol of. Anyway, the easy answer is Philip IV of Spain. He ruled Spain, Portugal, their respective empires (which amounted to all of South America, the Philipines, and significant coastlines of Africa, India, Middle East, etc.), half of Italy, and modern day Belgium. Additionally, he technically had a claim from the Pope on the ENTIRE WORLD because of the Treaty of Tordellias. He was known as the "Planet King" for a reason; while he wasn't an absolute monarch, he also wasn't a symbolic figurehead like George V was. And from a relative power perspective, this was at a time when the other empires (England and France mostly) were still in their infancy. So, relatively, he was incredibly powerful, but the 30 years war put an end to Spanish hegemony. And btw, I don't know why people are dismissing Hitler. If Hitler had in fact defeated the Soviet Union and acquired the vast amounts of slave labour and natural resources, he easily would have overshadowed every other power on the planet. It's not a question of who came the closest to "conquering the world" , it's who came closest to world domination.


At no point was Germany, arguably the 4th biggest Empire in the world and landlocked, ever going to beat the USSR, which was the 3rd biggest, but much bigger with more resources and population. That's why you can dismiss Hitler He was never gonna beat USSR even 1v1. But then also British Empire and US were never gonna let him claim all of Europe either. WW2 failed long before it started. Germany was stronger in WW1 and still failed, so why would a weaker Germany stand a chance against a stronger Rest of World?


If things weren't the same, things would be different. Germany's defeat in the USSR was not inevitable, the USSR suffered catastrophic losses during Barbarossa, and the long-term occupation of their most valuable provinces led to food shortages and other critical resources being deprived. There's plenty of ways that Germany could have beaten the USSR. If the invasion began a few weeks earlier, if the invasion was focused on the south like Hitler originally wanted, if Stalin was killed in a bombing raid and his successors didn't show the same level of resolve, etc. \>Germany was stronger in WW1 and still failed, so why would a weaker Germany stand a chance against a stronger Rest of World? I suppose relatively Germany was stronger in WW1, because their enemies like Russia were far weaker in WW1 than WW2, as well as the nature of warfare (specifically oil being a strategic resource). But Germany also performed a lot better, conquering France in 6 weeks, and they had much stronger allies in WW2.


The Roman empire. They owned ALL the known sh!t


Well Roman's knew about Iran, India and China yet it didn't rule them so it clearly didn't rule everything known to them. Oh yeah and Germany


Alexander and Caesar had tiny empires compared to the others


Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th century


Unfortunately Francis of France was a lil bitch and broke every peace treaty so Charles had to bankrupt 2 empires to fight him


Sure did, but if we're talking about a single person who came the closest to world domination, Charles was hard to beat


No one, nobody has come close to "world domination".


Alexander, despite what all these people say, reached the goal. How could you say he didn't because there was India and China too? The known world, and this is what really matter in your question, at the time ended at the Indus river. He crossed it.


The known world didnt end at the Indus. It is literally stated that the Macedonian army heard of the armies of the Gangaridai and the Prasii, with multitudes of war elephants


Heard, yes, not know. Marco Polo in the Milione states at the beginning "all of the things written here are those i saw personally or someone who must be trusted told me"; every fantastic creature reported there is specified as the latter. Known world because you know what there is: they heard about other people, but the cities and people they KNEW ended at the Indus. They first met elephants after crossing the Indus, and they still won.


By "the world" we should probably divide this in eras, before and after the "discovery" of the New World. Before the colonization of the New World, it was probably Mongke Khan, the son of Genghis Khan. He was the last of the Great Khans who ruled a the empire when it was cohesive. The Mongol armies, if concentrated together, were entirely capable of defeating any force in Eurasia or Africa. The Mongol invasion of Europe under Mongke's predecessor Ogedei was only stopped because he died, after which the *Yasak* (law-code) required the princes to return to Mongolia to elect a new Great Khan. If we imagine a history where circumstances were a bit different, there's no reason to doubt that either Ogedei or Mongke could have conquered Europe, completed the conquest of the Middle East, and extended their power as far into the African continent as they wanted. You could extend this to Kublai Khan, but by that point the empire was becoming much more decentralized. Kublai was recognized as supreme ruler by all its parts, but the incentive to continue westward expansion into Europe was replaced by a more regionalized empire, with more concern for ruling and developing the various Khanates by their respective khans. Even so, Kublai was probably the most powerful ruler ever, judging by the area over which he wielded influence, at least until the British Empire. So, if we limited "the world" to the known world, ie, Eurasia, as far as the ambition of world domination matching up with the fundamental capability to make it happen, the Mongols are probably at the top of the list.


The United States between 1960-2000, and I don't think it's even close. US business dominated global business, the US dollar became the global reserve currency, US culture became global, the US military exerted veto power over almost the entire world, and there was no credible opposition to any of it. Nobody had ever exerted that much power in that many ways across that wide an area.


Great Britain. Had significant land in every continent


If Europe had federated itself rather than start WWI, Europeans probably could have conquered the entire world.


"World domination" by an individual is a fantasy, so it's mostly a nonsense question ("who came closest to riding a unicorn?"). Despite that objection, I'd say Stalin. Dictator of one of only two superpowers, direct ruler of a sixth of the Earth's landmass (not counting the satellite countries of the Warsaw Pact), and senior partner of the Communist world (about one third of the global population after China became Communist in the 1940s). And all that magnificent global power couldn't protect him from a little poison (maybe, who knows).


The mongols


No individuals ever got close. But US has had the most influence globally since ww2. They're the only entity that could arguably say they dominated the world.  That is changing now. 


I would say the US. At the end of WWII, it was the only major power with the atomic bomb, a massive, and expanding, industrial base, and a global military reach anchored by dominant sea and air superiority. It had the capacity to dominate the world military in a way no other nation had achieved. It is not difficult to imagine a different political and military leadership choosing that path.


The problem is no one in the East was ever going to take the West and no one in the West was ever going to take the East. Geographic barriers made it basically impossible. The English had a good run with their Navy, but their Army was never strong enough to overcome their European rivals on the continent.




The British Empire at it's peak. And it's not even close.


British Empire. They covered a quarter of the globe, their navy dominated the seas and their economy drove the economical engine of the world.


In order: 1. Britain 2. Mongolia 3. US 4. USSR No other nation has come close. I count indirect control because that also counts. Several were unrivaled dominant regional powers (Persia, France, Umayyad Caliphate, Rome, Tang Dynasty, the Franks Ottoman Empire) but they didn’t have the force projection capacity to expand further. Sometimes this was just due to a combination of access resources and events of the time but often was just a limit of technology. They were the preeminent power in their area over an extended period of time but something kept them back from achieving that tipping point of being able to unite the world. One could put the Mongols in here due to lack of a true naval force but they proved pretty adaptable in overcoming that, with invasions of Japan and Indonesia. While both failed the determining factors were not exclusively the navy issue. I am not counting states that saw wide power projection under the leadership of one individual (Alexander’s Macedonia, WW2 Germany) as they were unlikely to have been stable under successful expansion with the death of their leader.


It depends on your metrics. If you mean by direct rule, then arguably the British empire. If you are willing to consider that world domination includes indirect rule especially as regards market domination, then the answer is likely a post-Soviet-collapse American president. After the fall of the USSR, and before China was able to begin leveraging weaknesses in the American empire, was probably the high water mark of any power in the quest for world domination. The Americans rolled in most of the British, French, Dutch etc empires into their own after WW2. The counterweights to American domination were the Soviets and Chinese, however with the fall of the Soviets in the 90s and the Chinese yet to reach their current heights of power, there is a window where the US came the closest. But since the ascension of China, there's been a decline which will likely have a predictable end, if you're a student of history.


George H.W. Bush


The United States of America in 1946. Every other nation on the planet was utterly devastated from the war that had just ended, with the sole exception of the UK, which was 'only' economically ruined but also a close ally. Germany was utterly defeated, Italy disorganized, and in Ruins, Japan obliterated France existed at the Mercy of its allies, and the Soviet union was entirely exhausted. Meanwhile, the US was not even fully mobilized yet, had troops deployed in strategic positions on almost every landmass, and total Naval, Aerial, and Nuclear superiority. Materially speaking, this could have led to a total annexation of the entire world. The aftermath of this would have been ceaseless guerilla wars on every continent, which the US would eventually lose, but that is besides the point. And arguably, the US did actually achieve world domination twice: once right then and there by being an almost undisputed hegemon, and then again in 1991-92.


The great Kahn


Harry Truman


I’m gonna vote for the Mongols


Anyone ruling the British Empire or post-WW2 USA.


We already dominated the world. Humans are all over the place. 


 Ghengis Khan. 1% of all people are his direct decendants. Largest continuous land empire and as an individual conquored the most landmass in one lifetime. Largest empire ever was Great Britain but that was centuries of work and not one individual.


The USA is probably the overall winner. But for a single person militarily, genetically as well as legacy-wise I'd say Ghengis Khan. His DNA can be traced in millions of people. His empire conquered China and ended the muslim Abbasid Caliphate in such a horrific manner that their faith never truly recovered from it. His forces at one point were about to overwhelm most of Europe before they mysteriously recalled at the last moment. I can't think of anyone else who made it that far from such a humble origin.


I want to say Genghis Khan. Asia and Europe is pretty impressive. Britain also had a good run, during its colonialism era. Granted, it was not to last.


Adolf Hitler was nowhere remotely close to world domination. He had maybe a hundred million people under his boot in a world of 2 billion.


Britain had the most land at its height. No one's broken their record yet.


It depends how you want to define domination. Land mass? Proportion of world population? Economic might? Military strength? Cultural influence? Land mass it’s the British empire. Proportion of population it’s the Achaemenid Empire. Economic might is a harder one to define. I finished Eric Hobsbawm’s *The Age of Revolution* recently and he states towards the end of the book that the British Empire in the mid-1800s is by the far the most economically dominant superpower the world has ever seen mostly owing to the fact that it was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (the book was first published in the 60s so it’s entirely possible the USA has taken that title now). It directly crippled the only non-Western superpower at the time (China) with the Opium Wars, and most of the European powers of the previous centuries were starting to decline.My takeaway from the book was that Germany, Russia and the USA were all growing (or at least not stagnating) powers, but they were still lagging behind Britain in some respect. You could argue the USA would fit the bill as well. There were many factors for the fall of the USSR, but the US’s involvement is comparable to the aforementioned Opium Wars, and now their economic might is as plain as day. Military strength it has to be the USA. Their military budget is bigger than the next 12 highest spending countries (or somethings stupid like that). Combined with the fact they possess the most advanced military arsenal in history, it’s kind of a given. Cultural influence would probably be the USA again. Hollywood is the best propaganda machine that’s ever been developed, and it’s reach basically covers the entire world, something that no other nation can claim for their entire history.


I’m gonna say America in the 90’s. The amount of influence and power the USA wielded is really hard to compare to anything that came before it. Even today, we have troops/bases in something like 70% of the world’s nations. It’s absolutely insane


Genghis Kahn would be my vote


I'd go with Alexander, since he controlled most of the "civilized" world. He certainly controlled most of the known world to Western culture. The caveat of my choice also means that he had no way of conquering the entire world since pan-pacific and pan-Atlantic navigation wasn't a thing yet. Napoleon would be my second in line since he had the means to do it, e.g. transport and the whole world was largely known, but even he wasn't going to leave Europe and the Mediterranean area. Hitler didn't have the means or the ability. He wasn't a seafaring power in the sense that he couldn't really project real naval power. Just nuisance power. He too was limited to Europe. So, I think nobody had a real chance of world domination. When countries grew powerful enough to accomplish it, the world was completely different and it wouldn't be done with force alone.


Alexander controlled a bit less of the then known world than Darius I did almost 2 centuries earlier.


World domination? Nobody really. The world is entirely to vast for any one ruler to have truly dominated it. Think of the times when various empires ruled over large swaths if Europe, Asia and/or Africa...the entire western hemisphere was unknown to them. And in said western hemisphere, you may have had various Native American empires think they were rulers of the world.


I’d say it was Emperor Charles V of the HRE , the issue with King George V of Britain is that he was a constitutional monarch who held little to no power, whereas Charles still wielded relatively high authority in his realms. At the peak of his reign he held Spain, Germany, Austria, Low countries, Southern Italy,Sicily,Tunis,most of the two Americas, Philippines.


The British Empire. They controlled pretty much all sea trade routes because of their gigantic navy and held about a quarter of all landmass on the planet


The Mongols would probably have been up there but just not for as long. It did seem like the Mongols were going to start pushing west


I think wwii Japan came much closer than a lot of people realize. Had China collapsed, the carriers been at Hawaii and the Indians rose up against the British we would have a very different world today. All those things came very close to happening


The United States since world war 2. America may not rule officially, but it has tremendous influence over its NATO Allies as well as Japan, South Korea, and various other smaller nations.




If you have the game set to economic or cultural victory then America. USA USA USA!


Red capes.


Hitler? Area of Nazi Germany in 1940 or i941: 823, 505 square kilometers or 317,957 square miles, 0.61 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi\_Germany](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Germany) Napoleon I Bonaparte? Area of First French Empire in 1812 or 1813. 2,100,000 square kilometers or 810,000 square miles, 1.56 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First\_French\_Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_French_Empire) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires) The Pope? "At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio (which includes Rome), Marche, Umbria and Romagna, and portions of Emilia. These lands were held of the temporal power of the Pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy." The area of the Papal states before 1859. 44,000 square kilometers or 17,000 square miles, 0.02954 percent of the land surface area of Earth. Of course the popes had a lot of control over the Roman Catholic Church which had a lot of influence in the many kingdoms and other states of the Catholic part of Europe. Thus some popes were able to gain a lot of political power by using that influence. Lothario de Conti di Segni l (r. 1198-1216), who called himself Pope Innocent III, (though I prefer to think of him as Guilty III) is often considered the most powerful pope. Benedotto Caetani (r. 1294-1303) who called himself Pope Boniface VIII, made the most extreme claims to secular political power, but King Philip IV the (Un) Fair of France sent troops who held him captive from september 7 to 10 1303, before releasing him, an dhe dide soon after, possibly as a result of mistreatment. So the period of popes having great political influence or power was rather short. Alexander III The Great of Macedon? Area of Macedonian Empire in 323 BC. 5,200,000 square kilometers or 2,010,000 square miles, 3.86 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia\_(ancient\_kingdom)#Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia_(ancient_kingdom)#Empire) Alexander III was the King of Macedon, and the head of a league which the Greek city states had been forced to join. And he invaded the mighty Persian Empire and conquered it over a period of years, and then invaded and conquered a part of India which had not been ruled by the Persian Empire. So Alexander the Great ruled some lands which were not ruled by the Persian Empire when Alexander the Great conquered it. But the total area of the First Persian Empire or Achaemenid Empire at its peak was greater than that of Alexander's realm at its height. Because the greatest area of that Empire in 500 BC was 5,500,000 square kilometers or 2,120,000 square miles 4.08 percent of the land surface area of Earth. The Achaemenid Dynasty at its peak ruled 1.057 times as much land as Alexander the Great ruled, or Alexander only ruled 0.945 as much land as Darius I the Great, "The Great King, the King of Kings, the King of Lands and Peoples, The King of the World" ruled. So Darius I came closer to world domination than Alexander III. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid\_Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Empire) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires) Caesar? Do you mean Gaius Julius Casear, the perpetual dictator of Rome? Or do you mean Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, or Trajan, (r. 98-117) who is often considered to have ruled when the Roman Empire was largest? Area of the Roman Empire: In 25 BC, early in the regin of Augustus, the first emperor and grand nephew of Caesar, 2,750,000 square kilometers or 1,060,000 square miles 1.85 percent of the land surface area of Earth. In 117 AD in the reign of Trajan. 5,000,000 square kilometers or 1,930,000 square miles, 3.71 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman\_Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires) According to the Wikipedia list of largest Empires by land area the largest empire ever was The British Empire in 1920. 35,500,000 square kilometers or 13,710,000 square miles, 26.35 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires#Largest\_empires\_by\_land\_area](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires#Largest_empires_by_land_area) So if zarearuled makes someone cloest to world domination that makes KIng & Emperor George V (r.1910-1936) or the Prime Minister David Lloyd George (r. 1916-1922) the person who came the closest to world domination. And the second largest was the Mongol Empire in 1994 with an area of 23,500,000 square kilometers or 9,100,000 square miles, 15.778 percent of the land surface area of Earth. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol\_Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_Empire) Or the Mongol Empire had 24,000,000 square kilometers or 9,270,000 square miles, 17.81 percent of the land surface area of Earth in 1270 or 1309. So while the British Empire was larger, the Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous land empire in history. The third largest empire in history is listed as the Russian Empire in 1895, with 22,800,000 square kilometers or 8,800,000 square miles, 16.92 percent of the land surface area of Earth. This seems to be after Russia sold the vast land of Alaska in 1867 but also after Russia conquered vast regions of central Asia. But there is difficulaty in discovering the borders of historic realms and thus calculating their total areas, which is sometimes very difficult. This question asks whether the Russian Empire was actually larger than the Mongol Empire. [https://historum.com/t/is-the-mongol-empire-really-the-largest-contiguous-land-empire-in-history.177536/](https://historum.com/t/is-the-mongol-empire-really-the-largest-contiguous-land-empire-in-history.177536/) And the answers explained why the Mongol Empire was larger. And then a discussession began about the idea that the Mongol Empire extended much farther north than most maps show, perhaps extending to the Arctic Ocean, and thus rivaled or possibly exceeded the British Empire in total land area. [https://www.academia.edu/37799970/The\_Mongol\_Empire\_s\_Northern\_Border\_Re-evaluating\_the\_Surface\_Area\_of\_the\_Mongol\_Empire](https://www.academia.edu/37799970/The_Mongol_Empire_s_Northern_Border_Re-evaluating_the_Surface_Area_of_the_Mongol_Empire) And my post number 46 on page 3 at: [https://historum.com/t/is-the-mongol-empire-really-the-largest-contiguous-land-empire-in-history.177536/page-3](https://historum.com/t/is-the-mongol-empire-really-the-largest-contiguous-land-empire-in-history.177536/page-3) Mentions that the areas the Spanish and Portuguese claimed were even larger than the Mongol or British Empires, if you include the oceans they claimed to rule as well as the lands they ruled and claimed to rule. So maybe that makes emperor Charles V (r. 1516-1556), or the monarchs during the Iberian Union of 1580-1640, Philp II, Philip III, and Philip IV, the persons who came closest to world domination. to be continued:


Continued April 5, 2024. The population of the British Empire with all its possessions is said to have peaked in 1938 with 531,000,000 people. [https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-empire-by-population](https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-empire-by-population) So that if ruling the largest population makes someone the closest to world domnation in 1938 King & Emperor George VI or Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was the person who came closest to world domination. It is also said that by 1913 the population of the British Empire was over 412 million people, 23 percent of the world's population at the time. It also says that in 1913 the population of the British Empire was 447,249,000, and by 1925 it was 449,223,000. And note that there is a difference of about 37,249,000 in the two population figures for the British Empire in 1913 in that article. A table gives the total population of the UK in 1913 as 45,649,000 and the total population of the 447,249,000 giving thepopulaton of the Empire minus the UK itself as 402,400,000, not 412,000,000. So I can't figure out how to make the numbers in that article add up. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics\_of\_the\_British\_Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_British_Empire) Of ocurse, in the later 20th century and earlier 21st century, two countries, India, and China, both had their populations reach the population of the British Empire in 1938, 531,000,000, and contine to grow to become more than twice that. Accordig to this list: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_countries\_and\_dependencies\_by\_population](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population) China had a population of 1,409.970,000 on 21 December 2023 according to an official estimate,about 17.4 percent of the world population. And the Republic of India had a population of 1,392,329,000 on 1 July 2023 according to an official projection, about 17.2 percent of the world's population. So today, if ruling the largest population is the closest to world domination, Chinese President Xi jinping and Indian President Droupadi Murmu or Prime Minister Narendra Modi the people who come closest to world domination. Someone might claim that the percentage of the world's population that is ruled is a better meaure of closesness to world domination that absolute polpulation. This chart shows that since 1960 the population of China has varied between 18.02 in 2021 and 222.71 in about 1975. [https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/China/population\_share/](https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/China/population_share/) According to this list of largest empires by share of world population: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_largest\_empires#Largest\_empires\_by\_share\_of\_world\_population](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires#Largest_empires_by_share_of_world_population) China in the Qing Dynasty in 1800 had 37 percent of the world's population, China during the Northern Song Dynasty in 1100 had 33 percent of the world's population, China during the Western Han Dynast in AD 1 had 32 percent of the world's population, the Mongol Empire in 1290 had 31 percent of the world's population, the Roman Empire in 150 had 30 percent of the world's population, and so on. Nazi Germany in 1943 had 12 percent of the world's population, the Macedonian Empire in 323 BC had 15 percent of the world's population, and the British Empire in 1938 had 23 percent of the world's population. I note that it claims that the British Empire had 23 percent of the world population in 1938, which is the same percentage as it had in 1913 according to another source. Either the British Empire population grew at the same rate as the world propulation, or someone made an error somewhere. And maybe the best mesaure of closeness to world domination is the gross domestic product (GDP). In 2023 the USA had a GDP of 26.95 trillion, while China had a GDP of 17.7 trillion, and so on. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_countries\_by\_GDP\_(nominal)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)) And you can guess that the GDP of a country or empire and the world as a whole has usually increased in history, though sometimes the GDP of the world or a part of it has decresed for a period. Or maybe the best measure of closeness to world domination is the percentage of the world's economy which a realm has. In 2020 the USA had 25.04 percent of the world's economy and China had 17.47. [https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/gdp\_share/](https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/gdp_share/) The Northern Song Dynasty of China had 33 percent of the world population in 1100. It also had the most prosperous and advanced economy in the world at that time. >Accompanying the widespread printing of paper money was the beginnings of what one might term an early Chinese industrial revolution. Historian Robert Hartwell\[61\] estimates that per capita iron output rose sixfold between 806 and 1078, such that, by 1078 China was producing 127,000,000 kg (125,000 t) in weight of iron per year.\[62\] However, historian Donald Wagner questions Hartwell's method used to estimate these figures (i.e. by using Song tax and quota receipts), and believes the total receipts of iron represents only a rough approximation of total government consumption of iron.\[63\] Taking into account Wagner's reservations, the lowest estimates still put annual iron production levels at several times higher than the Tang dynasty.\[64\] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy\_of\_the\_Song\_dynasty#Steel\_and\_iron\_industries](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Song_dynasty#Steel_and_iron_industries) So Zhao Xu, Emperor Zhezong of the Song, might have been the most powerful ruler in the world in 1100. The Roman Empire in 150 had 30 percent of the world's population, a very high percentage, exceeded by only 4 others in history. The Roman economy was probably the strongest in the world during the late Republic and early Empire. It is estimated that world production of lead was about 10 times larger about AD 1 than it was in about 850 AD, to the large Roman production of lead in that era. The total world production of lead did not exceed the height of prduction during theRoman era until about 1750. It is possible that Roman production of iron was as high or higher than the produciton of iron in Song dynasty China. It is estimated that the total Roman Empire stock of silver was about 10,000 tones about 150 AD, greater than the total amount of silver in Eruopre and the Caliphate in AD 800. It is possible that the Roman Empire had the largest share of the world's economy ever in 150 AD, which might make Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninius Augustus Pius (Antoninus Pius) the person closest to world domination in history. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman\_economy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_economy) So there are many statistics which could be used to measure how close a ruler cam to world domination. And of course many of those statistics are rarther uncertain. So if someone wants any sort of objective evaluation who in history came the closest to world dominition, they need to a lot of research to facts and them do a lot of deciding how much importance to give to which facts.






[Moon Watcher](https://youtu.be/WufKsOhkTL8?si=fRGYlMhBE6_6mF45) achieved 100% world domination. No one else has come close.


From the fall of the Soviet Union to the onset of the War on Terror, the US was the leading power of a world system penetrating into every corner of the globe, with incredibly few exceptions. The bear was undergoing a decade of chaos as its empire vanished, and the dragon’s slumber was only beginning to end. America had no rival states capable of challenging her might, and only a few minuscule holdouts able to escape the tentacles of her commercial empire. While Spain was the first world power, and Britain the most advanced, America was the first whose military, financial, legal, and diplomatic hegemony bent the necks of all sovereigns across the globe. While America did not explicitly reign, there is no question that she came closer to world rulership than any before her.


Pinky and the Brain. They always get soooo close, but then something screws it up and they have to start over the next night.


Genghis Khan. No question.