View Full Version : If you could make a timeline of "most powerful european country/ies"


Pages : [1] 2

brachy-pride
Aug 18, 2006, 10:42 PM
How would it look

I just made an example of that:
First with Spain as the most powerful euro country from 1492 to the battle of rocroi.
Then France as the most powerful country till the french indian wars where France lost the almost parity with england on the sea.
After that I have both france and england sharing the most powerful euro country title.
Later, when Napoleon is exiled to elba I have england as the most powerful euro country.
England keeps the title for herself, till the french prussia wars, after that war she shares the title with germany.
Finally the Soviet Union gets the title, and after the fall of the soviet block I dont know who has it, the EU maybe?


Please, criticize it, it is just an example I made in 10 minutes for this thread with my microsoft paint skills :p

I will be first to do that, and say I should have included the ottoman empire, at least till lepanto, and maybe mentioned the netherlands because of their hegemony on the seas for much of the XVII century.

Anyway, what do you all think?

brachy-pride
Aug 18, 2006, 10:46 PM
Oh, and I am idiot, please move this to history forum, I am very sorry

Cheezy the Wiz
Aug 18, 2006, 11:24 PM
This is how I would do it:

Rome, to AD 476, with the death of Romulus Augustulus

Theodoric's Ostrogoths in Ravenna pick up after that (454 to 526 AD)

Justinian takes back Rome (536 AD), Ravenna (540 AD), and most of the old Empire, putting the Eastern Roman Empire on top again.

Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire, from 714 to 814

with the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the honor falls to the Kingdom of the Franks.

England picks up in 1337, with the outset of the Hundred Years' War, when she beats France over and over again. No real gains are made; England does not operate the large armies that France does, and cannot capitalize on her victories.
in 1453, the last of the Hundred Years' War is over, and, ironically, Constantinople falls. The Ottoman Empire becomes the most powerful civilization in Europe.

in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Spain builds her massive 'New Spain,' I give the title to Spain from 1521 to 1714, when the War of Spanish Succession destroys her European holdings, and the Spanish Habsburgs go down the royal drain.

France, again, is the European power until 1815, when Britain and Prussia triumph at the Battle of Waterloo.

In 1815, the Congress of Vienna restores the status quo.

Thus the Concert of Europe begins, until 1866, when Italy and Germany beat the living crap out of Austria, and Germany begins her climb to the top. The deal is sealed with the Franco-Prussian War, and the declaration of the Second Reich in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

Germany is large and in charge, with an army the size of Britain and France combined. From 1871 until 1918, Germany is numero uno.

The Treaty of Versaillies cripplies Germany, and France and England are the big boys until 1939, when Hitler's Germany begins World War Two.

The USSR becomes the new power in Europe with the fall of Berlin in 1945. This title holds until 1991, when the Soviet Republics declare independence.

I'm snot sure who the power in Europe is today, there aren't any hostilities anymore in Europe. I'd venture to say the most militarily capable would be Britain.

So that's my lineup.

Elta
Aug 18, 2006, 11:33 PM
What about Poland you both forgot Poland. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Israelite9191
Aug 18, 2006, 11:36 PM
This needs to be in history, not OT. Also, today I would say the EU has the most power in Europe. After that France (or maybe Britain) followed by Britain (or France) and Germany. If I could, I would say that besides the EU, the France-Germany block is the most powerful in Europe, but they do not always agree with each other.

Oh, and I would keep te Byzantines on top for longer.

brachy-pride
Aug 18, 2006, 11:46 PM
I have already apologized and mentioned the thread should be moved.

----

I only started the timeline from 1492 to make the example short, in an extended timeline I think I would have the byzantines on top more or less from the end of the controversies about icons till the battle of manzikert (and also from the end of the western roman empire till the islamic conquest)

brachy-pride
Aug 19, 2006, 10:27 AM
bump, mods, please move this thread to history forum

zenspiderz
Aug 19, 2006, 03:23 PM
I'd say that at the moment the most powerful country in europe is the US :crazyeye: that is until the EU finds their testicles :rolleyes: and then we are looking at the EU being possilbly the most powerful political block in ze vorld (fake german accent) woo haa hahaa...:king:

luiz
Aug 19, 2006, 05:32 PM
By 1492 Portugal was probably still more powerful than Spain, or at least they were richer. It took some decades before Spain really begun to cash in on their conquest of the New World.

kryszcztov
Aug 19, 2006, 06:33 PM
I'd say that today, France and the UK share the title for number 1. We both have the same population (roughly, going better for France), the same wealth (roughly, still better for the UK), about the same army (not sure at all, but France certainly isn't a pu$$y, compared to the UK). There is one big difference, and it's about how both countries stand on the international scene : France always searches to follow her thoughts, whereas the UK is the USA's sucker. :p

The result is that, as long as the UK doesn't go deep into the EU, the EU won't be that strong. Add the UK in and the EU stands as the strongest block in the world.

Oh, and I think that France is the greatest country in Europe (maybe the world ? (Chinese Empire ?)) during Louis XIV's reign.

Plotinus
Aug 19, 2006, 08:32 PM
What about Poland you both forgot Poland. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Exactly. When it was united to Lithuania, Poland was one of the most powerful countries in Europe, and certainly the most powerful in eastern Europe.

Also, what of Bulgaria in the ninth century?

brachy-pride
Aug 19, 2006, 09:29 PM
By 1492 Portugal was probably still more powerful than Spain, or at least they were richer. It took some decades before Spain really begun to cash in on their conquest of the New World.

Yes, it was the wealthiest, but Portugal, like the Netherlands in the second half of the XVII century, lacked the manpower to be considered most powerful countries-

For example, I think in 1492 Portugal had a population of around 1 million, and Spain 6 millions and a half

sydhe
Aug 19, 2006, 11:26 PM
From 924 until 1190 It should be the Holy Roman Empire. (The end point is the death of Frederick Barbarossa) France was very weak in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

You can also make a case for the Plantagenet domain from 1154 until about 1204.

France was the strongest from 1643 until c1750, but I think a case could be made for Russia from 1763 until the 1790s.

Adler17
Aug 20, 2006, 03:53 AM
A list:

- Until 476: Roman Empire (end by the forced resigning of Romulus Augustulus due to Odoaker)

- Until 800: East Roman Empire (indeed all Germanic empires in Italy recognized the East Roman emperor as sovereign, at least nominally, like he accepted the kingdoms as his "vassals")

- 800- 911: Frankish empire (starting with Carolus Magnus becoming Roman emperor)

- 911- 1556: Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (After the breaking of the Frankish Empire and the coronation of Otto the Great 962; as the Kaiser lost more and more power in this time, we can discuss about the end, but I still don't see another power strong enough to dominate Europe)

- 1556- 1648: Spain (After the abdication of Charles V. as also Spanish king in 1556)

- 1648- 1815: France (After the end of the 30 years war with weakened neighbours (Spain due to revolts, Germany due to the war).

- 1815- 1870/ 71: Britain (after Waterloo)

- 1870/ 71- 1919: Germany (after the unification)

- 1919- 1939: Britain (after Versailles)

- 1939- 1945: Germany (under the rule of an Austrian)

- 1945- 1989: USSR (after ww2)

- 1989- : European Union (fall of the Iron Curtain; if not, perhaps again France and Germany)

As here are dates given and history is mostly a thing to evolve we can discuss the beginnings.

Adler

Willowmound
Aug 25, 2006, 08:10 AM
Also, today I would say the EU has the most power in Europe. After that France (or maybe Britain) followed by Britain (or France) and Germany. If I could, I would say that besides the EU, the France-Germany block is the most powerful in Europe, but they do not always agree with each other.


The EU is France and Britain and Germany. Amongst many others.

Archduke Otto
Aug 25, 2006, 12:01 PM
Thus the Concert of Europe begins, until 1866, when Italy and Germany beat the living crap out of Austria, and Germany begins her climb to the top. The deal is sealed with the Franco-Prussian War, and the declaration of the Second Reich in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.


I agree with this; however, Italy didn't beat anything out of anyone. Rather, Italy made itself the laughing stock of Europe in this war.

ParkCungHee
Aug 25, 2006, 12:47 PM
I don't agree that England and Germany had comparable power between 1871 and 1945. If Germany had not already done so by 1871, by 1914 Germany was clearly the most powerful nation in Europe. Italy, England, France and Russia all declared war on Germany and nearly lost. After 1919 England takes over until some point until the 1930s where Russia takes over until 1988, Germany never quite achieved parity with the Soviet Union, it came closest in 1941 and still lost.

Cheezy the Wiz
Aug 25, 2006, 12:52 PM
I agree with this; however, Italy didn't beat anything out of anyone. Rather, Italy made itself the laughing stock of Europe in this war.
Didn't Italy grab Venice during this war?

sydhe
Aug 25, 2006, 11:53 PM
Italy lost both on land and at sea (Lissa) to Austria. They only got Venice because Prussia beat Austria and forced it to give up Venetia to Italy.

Adler17
Aug 26, 2006, 01:28 AM
sydhe is right. Even the next war they only won because of German assistance, as the French troops guarding the Vatican state were retreated. So the Italians were able to win. The next war against the Ottoman empire the Italians won, too, but that was not a war for a hero's epic. The next war was lost, as they were unable to conquer Ethiopia. In ww1 they switched the sides and attacked Austria in a mountaineous area with not many Austrian regular troops. Although they were in majority, Austrian militias and regular troops were stopping them in the Alps. In the following time the Italians tried 11 times to break through the Austrian lines at the Isonzo. Never they were successful. In 1917 the Austrians started the last Isonzo battle, with German assistance. And they were successful. This de facto KOed Italy from the war. Indeed the last battle the Italians started and won, was a few days before armistice...
The next war is the second war with Ethiopia. Also not a glorious victory. And a little later, they finally decided to join Germany, but not before France was beaten. In ww2 German troops had to help the Italians several times, in Greece and North Africa. Then again the Italians switched the sides but despite a great offensive in Italy, Northern Italy was still German occupied in May 1945.
In the next wars they lead they did not play a very important role.

Adler

Plotinus
Aug 26, 2006, 05:42 AM
How are you defining "powerful"? The last few posts seem to be assuming that it's just military power. What about economic power, cultural power, etc...?

Archduke Otto
Aug 26, 2006, 07:19 AM
Indeed the last battle the Italians started and won, was a few days before armistice...


Well, about 'Vittorio Veneto': the battle was, if I remember correctly, 'fought' after the armistice, that is why there was no resistance from the Austrians...

Israelite9191
Aug 26, 2006, 02:15 PM
The EU is France and Britain and Germany. Amongst many others.
If you count the EU as a unified power, then I say the EU. If you do not consider the EU a unified power (and on everything aside from economy they tend not to be) then it is a contest between France, Germany, and Britain.

willemvanoranje
Aug 26, 2006, 08:20 PM
Everyone is leaving out Holland! :lol: Does no one realise that it was the Dutch that literally ruled the world between the Iberian supremacy, and that the English needed 4 wars to take over this leading position? The 17th century was Dutch, it was the Lingua Franca! We took all the Portuguese colonies in Asia, planted a few extra ourselves.. from the coast of Africa through India, Indonesia and Japan there were hundreds of Dutch trade posts. The Dutch discovered Australia and New Zealand. The Dutch founded New Amsterdam (today's New York) which was a far stronger and more thriving colony than any of the New England colonies at that time. The Dutch created the first multinationals. Holland was in fact the center of the world, especially economically and also culturally.

willemvanoranje
Aug 26, 2006, 08:27 PM
I will be first to do that, and say I should have included the ottoman empire, at least till lepanto, and maybe mentioned the netherlands because of their hegemony on the seas for much of the XVII century.


Well, I just overlooked that for a second. But yes, you should have mentioned Holland. The Dutch army at the time, although for over 50% consisting of mercenaries from Switzerland, German countries and several other areas, was not much less than any of the other continental armies for the first half of the 17th century. After 1648 a great part of the Dutch army was dissolved as the war with Spain was over, for which a price was paid in the first English war, the beginning of the end.

Roughly you can say the Dutch hegemony lasted from 1602 (creation of United East-Indian Company) to 1691 (after Glorious Revolution). The economic dominance of Amsterdam went on a few decades longer, but there was no army, and all of the colonies in the western hemisphere were retaken by Portugal or conquered by the English (with the exception of some islands in the Caribbean).

One could, by the way, even say that the series of three English-Dutch war ended in the conquest of England. Government leader and Chief-in-command, Stadhouder Willem III van Oranje-Nassau, was *invited* by one of the parties in the "glorious revolution" to become king of England. He landed with a small army, and (very) basically took over. The result however was that finally England got rid of internal struggles and had a lot more financial capital thanks to Willem III's connections...so despite Holland "conquering" England, the result was the final loss of their hegemony.

simonnomis
Aug 26, 2006, 08:29 PM
Well, the Dutch certainly ruled in terms of merchants, banking and trade; basically the economic side of things, as well as having a kick-ass fleet. Technically speaking, the Dutch 'conquered' Britain towards the end of the 17th century. However, they shot themselves in the foot, as all their expertise in banking, shipping, and merchants came over with them and set up shop in London, thus propelling the British into eventual world dominance and sucking Amsterdam dry of capital and expertise.

willemvanoranje
Aug 26, 2006, 08:37 PM
Yup.. that was my edit too haha. And well, I might want to add that the omens were evident earlier. The first English-Dutch war was undone by the second, when the Dutch fleet bombarded and sunk some English ships on the Thames itself and reconquered all lost possessions... but in the third one France, England and Germany (well, some parts of it) ganged up on Holland.. and still 1672 is known as 'the year of disaster' over here.

jonatas
Aug 26, 2006, 08:42 PM
Willem,

so the Portuguese/Dutch rivalry is not limited to the World Cup? But Empires, Brazil and Asia? Que surpresa ;)

Seriously, it's a shame this thread overlooked Holland/Portugal.

willemvanoranje
Aug 26, 2006, 09:25 PM
Eu concordo! Yes, there is a long history here, but it has been such a long time...:D You guys didn't know how to manage those trade posts anyway. :p And still a lot of people in Brazil say that they would've been off much better if the Dutch had stayed in command. I honestly made various attempts to prove that, eventhough some things might have been better, they would have been exploited the exact same way, and would probably have other, new problems. Can't really say Indonesia or Surinam are such thriving countries.

On the other hand.. Batavo is a company made by Dutch in Brazil. The colonists from the 1950'ies were and are very succesful! :p

jonatas
Aug 26, 2006, 09:42 PM
Eu concordo! Yes, there is a long history here, but it has been such a long time...:D

That's what makes our rivalry so sweet Willem :D

simonnomis
Aug 26, 2006, 09:59 PM
If you count the EU as a unified power, then I say the EU. If you do not consider the EU a unified power (and on everything aside from economy they tend not to be) then it is a contest between France, Germany, and Britain.

A contest beween Britain and France certainly. But not Germany. Germany, though having potential, behaves like a castrated power, not unlike fellow WW2 loser Japan.

willemvanoranje
Aug 27, 2006, 05:13 AM
Inside the EU it has been a fight between Germany and France though. On the world scale indeed, Germany should be replaced by England. The problem is of course WW2..for decades Germany was fighting for its reinstitution and acknowledgement, and were trying to prove they had changed.. now that this era is coming to an end, maybe they will become a bigger player in the international politics.

simonnomis
Aug 28, 2006, 11:17 AM
Yes I agree with that. But really, you would think Germany would have moved on after 60 years. This is also true of military/defence research, where Germany still takes more of a back seat, and yet once had one of the most active research programmes in the world.

MCdread
Aug 28, 2006, 11:39 AM
The 17th century was Dutch, it was the Lingua Franca!

That's not true. :p The supremacy of the dutch in the Indian Ocean and to a lesser extent in the western seas too in the 17th century is undeniable as well as the importance of the dutch in the origins of modern capitalism, thought and institutions, but several european observers relate that at least up until the mid 18th century, the lingua franca of the indian ocean was portuguese or some sort of portuguese pidgeon or creoule, and many dutch employees and service men for the VOC ain India, Ceylon or the East Indies were instructed to learn portuguese in one year in order to communicate with the locals and merchants. Even as late as the 18th century the calvinist missionaries in Java were told to express themselves in portuguese so that the locals could understand their sermons.
Check out Ostler's "Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World" for info about this and much more. :)

willemvanoranje
Sep 07, 2006, 01:59 PM
Ok ok so I was a bit too enthousiastic. ;) I wonder how long they needed to learn the ão..:p

Hey Joni
Sep 14, 2006, 08:35 AM
Also, what of Bulgaria in the ninth century?

I agree! Bulgaria had its Golden Age in the late ninth and early tenth century.

In terms of culture, Bulgaria was converted to Orthodox Christianity. The slavic alphabet that is used today in all of Russia and many other slavic countries was created at this time in Bulgaria.

At that time, the country had the strongest army in Europe, its power being acknowledged by the Byzantine Empire - their arch-opponent. In fact, there were several attempts by Bulgarian rulers to capture Constantinople, all of which failed. I would say that only the strong walls of this famous city saved the Byzantines from destruction.

After the death of tzar Simeon I in 927 this power slowly declined, until eventually, the First Bulgarian State eneded in 1018 when Bulgaria fell under Byzantine rule.

Orthodox Warior
Sep 15, 2006, 01:06 AM
What about Serbian, Montegroan, Greek alliance in first Balkan war. Ottomans couldn't defend against joint forces of "small Antanta" and lost all of their posessions in Europe except todays european Turkey near Carigrad (Istanbul/Constantinople)?

~Corsair#01~
Sep 15, 2006, 09:51 AM
Any simplification of the power of European countries would have to be a Civ-style histograph, rather than a simple list.
With arbitrary units created through a merging of (what the consensus assumes to be) the wealth, power, influence of a given country measured against time.

It would be innacurate obviously, but would still be quite a useful tool for those looking for very simple information.

Stolen Rutters
Sep 15, 2006, 10:44 AM
Also, don't forget that before the 18th century, Europe was still run by royal families jockying for power and shifting resources from Country to country.

Remember Charles V inheriting Austria, the Low Countries AND Spain, uniting these separate parts of western Europe under one king before abdicating and splitting it in two (Austria/Low Countries and Spain/Colonies), so it's hard to keep a long time block of one country being dominant in that period. Some of those shifts were pretty arbitrary based on who in which family held which crown.

Here's the wiki of Carlos I, Charles V
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V,_Holy_Roman_Emperor

There are better sources, but the Wiki is the most basic once I could find.

~Corsair#01~
Sep 15, 2006, 11:40 AM
That would probably be indicated by the line of eg. Charles V's kingdom disappearing and new lines beginning at that point in time for the successor states.

Israelite9191
Sep 15, 2006, 01:58 PM
Yes I agree with that. But really, you would think Germany would have moved on after 60 years. This is also true of military/defence research, where Germany still takes more of a back seat, and yet once had one of the most active research programmes in the world.
Germany has only been united for approximately a decade and a half (I believe 15 years, but I won't risk making a definate statement), which is a very small amount of time to get back on their feet. The Germans have the economy, man-power, and political power to come to the front in Europe, and many of them realize that. The only reasons Germany hasn't totally dominated European politics are: 1) the power of Britain and France, and 2) the anti-European integration setiment that persists in Germany. If Germany asserted themselves, they could easily become totally dominant in Europe. They could also become real players on the world stage if they just found something to unite around and show force on. Germany could easily be given the title of the most powerful nation in Europe, the real question is who uses that power.

Hey Joni
Sep 16, 2006, 01:17 AM
The problem for Germany after the unification is that Britain and France were also great colonial powers. Post-Bismark it was indeed the most powerful state in Europe, if we leave colonies out. Germany had none cause they were too lately unified to grab any. On the other hand, be it a little late, Germany had the power and desire to support colonies. So naturally, Germany found its rivals exactly in the great colonial powers, this competition finally resulting in World War I.

fing0lfin
Sep 16, 2006, 01:26 AM
What about Serbian, Montegroan, Greek alliance in first Balkan war. Ottomans couldn't defend against joint forces of "small Antanta" and lost all of their posessions in Europe except todays european Turkey near Carigrad (Istanbul/Constantinople)?

You forgot one of the main components of this alliance- Bulgaria. If you want, you can search iin this forum, and you will find a few good topics about the balkan wars ;) But i don't think that this alliance was the most significant power in those times..

Orthodox Warior
Sep 16, 2006, 01:37 AM
You forgot one of the main components of this alliance- Bulgaria. If you want, you can search iin this forum, and you will find a few good topics about the balkan wars ;) But i don't think that this alliance was the most significant power in those times..

My mistake for missing Bulgaria... I think alliance was significant in liberation Balkans from Ottoman influence, not wider.

fing0lfin
Sep 16, 2006, 01:45 AM
My mistake for missing Bulgaria... I think alliance was significant in liberation Balkans from Ottoman influence, not wider.

I absolutely agree. Not only the Balkans, but Europe itself.

Israelite9191
Sep 16, 2006, 11:09 PM
The problem for Germany after the unification is that Britain and France were also great colonial powers. Post-Bismark it was indeed the most powerful state in Europe, if we leave colonies out. Germany had none cause they were too lately unified to grab any. On the other hand, be it a little late, Germany had the power and desire to support colonies. So naturally, Germany found its rivals exactly in the great colonial powers, this competition finally resulting in World War I.
All very true. Since we are talking about power in Europe itself (or at least that is the impression I have recieved) and not European countries on the world stage, then Germany easily becomes the most powerful at several points post-Bismark.

willemvanoranje
Sep 17, 2006, 05:25 PM
I think that before opening another thread like this we should set some clear criteria on which we define the most powerful nation/country/kingdom/empire in a certain era. :D

simonnomis
Sep 17, 2006, 06:02 PM
In my opinion 'Power' is all the resources, armies, economics, navies, influence, etc etc, that can be brought to bear by each European nation. The fact that some of those armies or navies (for instance) are in another part of the world is irrelevant. The fact that they are under the control of that European country is what is important, and what defines their 'power' relative to every other country in the world or, indeed, Europe.

Israelite9191
Sep 17, 2006, 08:34 PM
But look at it this way. It may be true that, say, India cares more about Britain than Germany, but it is also true that, say, Denmark cares more about Germany than Britain. In world affairs Britain is able to exert more force than Germany, but in European affairs Germany is able to exert more force than Britain. So, which are we discussing here? The power of European nations on the world stage or the power of nations on the European stage? And yes, I do realize that the borders are extremely blurry, but they still exist and are quite important to thsi discussion.

Hey Joni
Sep 18, 2006, 05:57 AM
I think that the key word when determining the power of a state, or power in general, is "influence". Influence as the ability to affect and create historical events. Influence is also the ability to make and apply important decisions, that concern a lot of people.

Territory, resources and armies are all secondary factors for power. In the most common case, these relate to influence but it is not obligatory. For example, the Vatican has so little material power and yet, so much influence on European and world history. The opposite is also possible: after gaining their independance, the United States had vast territories, rich in resources. However, for a long time they were unable to exercise the corresponding influence on other countries as they can and do now.

Israelite9191
Sep 18, 2006, 09:11 AM
Wonderfully put Joni! This is part of what I was trying to get at. While on the world stage the British have much more influence, Germany could be said to have more on the European stage. This is why we need to decide if this timeline should be of the most powerful European nations of the world stage or the most powerful nations on the European stage.

willemvanoranje
Sep 18, 2006, 01:50 PM
So let's put forward some people that spoke about hegemonic cycle theories for example..a to my opinion pretty complete thingy was made by Modelski (it is about the most powerful in the world though):

1494-1580 Portugal
1580-1688 the Netherlands
1688-1789 Great Britain
1789-1815 France
1815-1914 Great Britain
1914- ? United States (with decline starting 1973)

Oruc
Sep 19, 2006, 09:52 AM
Nope!

Orthodox Warior
Sep 20, 2006, 08:46 AM
Wouldnt the USSR be in their somewhere?

Absolutely. In 1945. Red Army was the most powerfull force that ever existed on this planet.

willemvanoranje
Sep 20, 2006, 09:38 AM
Well, it ain't all about armies..

Oruc
Sep 20, 2006, 01:38 PM
Nope!

Tank_Guy#3
Sep 20, 2006, 01:52 PM
What about Poland you both forgot Poland. :mad: :mad: :mad:
You read my mind, Poland was a major player for quite a while. Ever hear of John Sobieski (III)?

You cannot forget the Prussians either, they were fairly big, and from looking at this map, they were predominantly Polish. While I'm not trying to say Poland, Prussia and Lithuania were all Polish, you must admit that they were very similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ac.prussiamap2.gif

Tank_Guy#3
Sep 20, 2006, 02:00 PM
Absolutely. In 1945. Red Army was the most powerfull force that ever existed on this planet.

Most powerful in numbers and perhaps in tank quality, but in commanders, I believe the West was the victor.

I know there were good generals for them (i.e. Zhukov, Malinovsky, Koniev, and perhaps Timoshenko).

But I believe had the Western Allies and Germany aligned against the USSR in the beginning and had launched a cooperative assault, they would have toppled them.

Oruc
Sep 20, 2006, 03:12 PM
Nope!

Nobody
Sep 20, 2006, 04:10 PM
Wasnt the dutch the best for a little while?

Adler17
Sep 21, 2006, 01:31 AM
The Prussians were (resp. are) Germans! They were never Polish. At least a small history of Prussia:
The Prussians, a Baltic people, resisted to accept christianity. And they resisted to get under Polish reign. So Conrad of Masowien asked the Teutonic Order to solve that problem. Therefore they should get the lands of the Prussians. When they did that, they indeed made their state there. They could later aquire lands at the Baltic coast up to Kurland. In that time Poland and Lithunia united, leading to a series of wars with the Teutonic Order. At last, they had to accept the loss of West Prussia and most other territories, except (mostly) that, what was later known as East Prussia. At this moment the Teutonic Order was dying out. The last leader, Albrecht von Brandenburg- Ansbach, asked Luther for help and he gave the advice to make a duchy out of the Orderstate. Albrecht introduced the Reformation and transformed the Duchy- with the willing of his feudal lord Sigismund I. of Poland. In 1618 Albrecht's last heir died and so the duchy came to his relatives in Berlin. So Prussia was now belonging to the Elector of Brandenburg. It was a difficult time with the Plague and the 30 Years war, but in 1640 the Grand Elector was ruling. He managed it to get rid about the feudal lordship of the Polish king for East Prussia. From this day, Brandenburg- Prussia became more and more known as Prussia. His son became the first king in Prussia. Frederic the Great, after aquiring West Prussia finally by the Polish, became the first king of Prussia as now all of the areas were reunited.
The population of these areas was, until 1945, mainly German, even in Western Prussia. So they never were Polish!

Adler

Archduke Otto
Sep 24, 2006, 05:18 AM
@Tank Guy3: Sure, the Polish are a noble and heroic people with a great history of their own. However, Prussia was a German state; you have to consider that until 1945, Silesia, Pomerania, Eastern Prussia, Western Prussia and in part also the province of Posen (Poznan) were predominantly inhabited by Germans, even in times pre 1772 (when Posen and Western Prussia were Polish). Since in 1814/15 the area of Warsaw came under Russian control, what remained Prussian, was almost entirely German-speaking, save for a Polish minority in the provinces of Western Prussia and Posen.

For the territorial extent of the German language in about 1900 see this map:

http://www.jenskleemann.de/wissen/bildung/media/a/a3/deutsche_mundarten.png

Now to all Polish who read this: This is not meant to be revisionistic or anything, just trying to put the facts right.

sydhe
Sep 24, 2006, 12:33 PM
Of course, that brings up what happened to the Old Prussians. Some were massacred, some were relocated from southern East Prussia to what's now the Kaliningrad Oblast, some were sold into slavery (I think), and some remained in their homeland, and over the centuries their language died out and they became assimilated with the Germans, Poles and Lithuanians.

A lot of the people removed from East Prussia after World War II would have been the descendants of the assimilated Old Prussians.

Oda Nobunaga
Sep 24, 2006, 06:14 PM
My ranking, from the Renaissance onward, and based on political power ; ignoring the Ottoman Empire for the sake of having something to say for the first few centuries :

1453-1521 - France
1521-1630 (or so) - Spain+Austria (Habsburg Empire)
1648-1713 - France
1713-1791 - England/United Kingdom
1791-1815 - France
1815-1871 - United Kingdom
1871-1918 - Germany
1918-1939 - United Kingdom
1939-1944 - Germany
1944-1990 - USSR
1990-2006 - France & Germany as the European Union.

Poland was, certainly, repeatedly a major power, but never really to the point of claiming number one Europe-wide (Eastern Europe is another story) - their nearly landlocked status (their only access to the sea when they had any being in the Baltic, effectively locked by the Danes, and for a while in the Black Sea, locked by the Ottomans), combined with their remote location mean they had virtually no ability to project power in much of Europe (and mostly everywhere that mattered to actually be become a political major player), and theoretical might that you can't actively use is not power.

Verbose
Sep 25, 2006, 05:05 PM
1453-1521 - France
1521-1630 (or so) - Spain+Austria (Habsburg Empire)
1648-1713 - France
1713-1791 - England/United Kingdom
1791-1815 - France
1815-1871 - United Kingdom
1871-1918 - Germany
1918-1939 - United Kingdom
1939-1944 - Germany
1944-1990 - USSR
1990-2006 - France & Germany as the European Union.
Looks reasonable to me.

Only the bit...
1918-1939 - United Kingdom
1939-1944 - Germany
...depends if one looks at the relative top European power on a global scale or the top dog in Europe.
In the latter case it might rather be:
1918-1933 - France
1933-1944 - Germany

Oda Nobunaga
Sep 25, 2006, 10:38 PM
Not sure. UK might have had less "muscle" in Europe directly than France, but all the colonial & commonwealth backing they could bring to bear significantly increased their power on the European theater.

As for Germany, even with Hitler in power it would take time a bit to come back on top. 37 or so, maybe - the Spanish Civil War is a good point.

willemvanoranje
Sep 27, 2006, 05:11 PM
My ranking, from the Renaissance onward, and based on political power ; ignoring the Ottoman Empire for the sake of having something to say for the first few centuries :


What variables (criteria so to say) did you use to determine political power? It's a pretty tricky concept to measure..

Vietcong
Sep 27, 2006, 05:55 PM
the ottomans, even tho thear not from europa, thay whear a big bower
and the golden hord?

malborough
Sep 29, 2006, 08:17 AM
until 150 BC : greece
150 BC - 476 : rome
476 - 700 : byzantine empire
732 - 814: frankish kingdom poitiers victory to the death of carolus magnus
814 - 900 : viking
900 - 1071 : byzantine empire
1071 - 1346 : france
1346 - 1492 : ?
1492 - 1648 : spain
1648 - 1763 : france
1763 - 1793 : united kingdom
1793 - 1815 : france
1815 - 1870 : united kingdom
1870 - 1914 : united kingdom and germany
1918 - 1940 : united kingdom and france
1945 - 1989 : urss
1989 - 2006 : united kingdom, france and germany

Oda Nobunaga
Sep 29, 2006, 02:54 PM
What variables (criteria so to say) did you use to determine political power? It's a pretty tricky concept to measure..

It really rather depend.

But primarily, it's by surveying diplomatic relations between nations. The formation of leagues against a nation, and who joined them, is generally a good indicator of a major power. The same goes for alliance being formed despite religion (see France joining the protestants side in the 30YW despite being Catholic).

There are exceptions to this : there were no 19th century anti-England leagues, for example. But generally it's pretty obvious anyway.

willemvanoranje
Sep 30, 2006, 01:01 PM
Allright. :)

Fox Mccloud
Sep 30, 2006, 08:12 PM
Would the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s and 1600s count as European?

magritte
Sep 30, 2006, 08:27 PM
What about the Caliphate of Cordoba in the 10th and early 11th centuries? As far as the Ottomans--well, Istanbul and a good part of their land was in Europe. The vikings consisted of a number of states, so I don't think they can be counted.

Possibly consider England after Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The precise boundaries of Spain's preeminence are tricky, but I'd tend to say they were not the most powerful until the conquest of the Aztecs and Incas (1519) and union with Austria (1516). And Spain was in serious trouble by the end of the 16th century.

It's hard to say who was the most powerful through the 17th century. The Dutch were economically preeminent, but the Ottomans were stronger militarily and probably had more territory even with the Dutch overseas posessions.

malborough
Oct 01, 2006, 02:32 AM
after the bouvines victory in 1214, without no doubt france is the most powerful country in europe.
we can't consider caliphate of cordoba as an european country, they were moors and the turk aren't european, they are asian conqueror. culturally, too they can't be considered as european people.

willemvanoranje
Oct 01, 2006, 04:48 AM
It's hard to say who was the most powerful through the 17th century. The Dutch were economically preeminent, but the Ottomans were stronger militarily and probably had more territory even with the Dutch overseas posessions.

Without a doubt. Colonies were usually barely more than a fortress with direct surroundings and a few trade posts. Small towns at best. Don't forget though, that economic power buys military power. Holland had enough money to hire all the mercenaries it wanted.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 01, 2006, 04:59 AM
In terms of actual politics, European politics tended to gravitate around Vienna and Madrid (ie, the Habsburgs) in the first half of the 17th century, and around Paris/Versailles after the Thirty Years War ended.

The Ottomans are best considered as an outsider (ie, non-European) factor, much as with Russia before Peter the Great.

Fox Mccloud
Oct 01, 2006, 08:45 AM
The Ottomans are best considered as an outsider (ie, non-European) factor, much as with Russia before Peter the Great.

Russia is definately European.

Squonk
Oct 01, 2006, 03:43 PM
@Tank Guy3: Sure, the Polish are a noble and heroic people with a great history of their own. However, Prussia was a German state; you have to consider that until 1945, Silesia, Pomerania, Eastern Prussia, Western Prussia and in part also the province of Posen (Poznan) were predominantly inhabited by Germans, even in times pre 1772 (when Posen and Western Prussia were Polish). Since in 1814/15 the area of Warsaw came under Russian control, what remained Prussian, was almost entirely German-speaking, save for a Polish minority in the provinces of Western Prussia and Posen.

For the territorial extent of the German language in about 1900 see this map:

http://www.jenskleemann.de/wissen/bildung/media/a/a3/deutsche_mundarten.png

Now to all Polish who read this: This is not meant to be revisionistic or anything, just trying to put the facts right.

:lol:
While the post you're arguing with is wrong - Prussia was a German state,
your post is as ignorant.
"Western Prussia", "Posen region", even Upper Silesia were NEVER majorly german. Your claims are, to say the least, funny, and the map is completely wrong. When on Earth had Germans time to become, as someone would think after seeing this map, a third of population of Congress Kingdom?
I have different pre-ww1 maps, by German schollars, depicting german -speaking territiories in what You call West Prussia and Posen region, Upper Silesia, Warmia and Masuria and none are near the extravagancy of your map.
There are more Germans on it than in official german polls, it seems. More germans in Ukraine, than Poles... No Lithuanians in Klajpeda region...
This map is simply worthless


The Prussians were (resp. are) Germans! They were never Polish. At least a small history of Prussia:
The Prussians, a Baltic people, resisted to accept christianity. And they resisted to get under Polish reign. So Conrad of Masowien asked the Teutonic Order to solve that problem. Therefore they should get the lands of the Prussians. When they did that, they indeed made their state there. They could later aquire lands at the Baltic coast up to Kurland. In that time Poland and Lithunia united, leading to a series of wars with the Teutonic Order. At last, they had to accept the loss of West Prussia and most other territories, except (mostly) that, what was later known as East Prussia. At this moment the Teutonic Order was dying out. The last leader, Albrecht von Brandenburg- Ansbach, asked Luther for help and he gave the advice to make a duchy out of the Orderstate. Albrecht introduced the Reformation and transformed the Duchy- with the willing of his feudal lord Sigismund I. of Poland. In 1618 Albrecht's last heir died and so the duchy came to his relatives in Berlin. So Prussia was now belonging to the Elector of Brandenburg. It was a difficult time with the Plague and the 30 Years war, but in 1640 the Grand Elector was ruling. He managed it to get rid about the feudal lordship of the Polish king for East Prussia. From this day, Brandenburg- Prussia became more and more known as Prussia. His son became the first king in Prussia. Frederic the Great, after aquiring West Prussia finally by the Polish, became the first king of Prussia as now all of the areas were reunited.
The population of these areas was, until 1945, mainly German, even in Western Prussia. So they never were Polish!

Adler

You forgot to mention that southern Prussia (Masuria) was inhabited by Poles since medieval times and polish remained the language of majority of rural population until ww2.
You forgot to mention that Teutonic Knights were supposed to subdue Prussia to Konrad, not to get it on their own.
You forgot to mention that so-called Western Prussia is in fact polish province of (eastern) Pomerania, taken by teutonic knights by deception and force.
majority of population in s-c Western Prussia was always polish and kashubian.
this area was under german administration only since the beginning of XIV century to 1466 (with pauses), and since 1772 to formation of Poland after ww1. Of course, majority of population of Gdansk was German, but it didn't mean it didn't feel loyal to Poland until XIX century

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 01, 2006, 05:03 PM
Russia is definately European.

Geographically, yes.

But culturally speaking, Russia was, for much of history until the 17th and 18th century, effectively isolated from european politics and affairs. Thus me qualifying them as outsiders until them.

You can't really be the most powerful in Europe if nearly all of Europe just pretends you're not there.

Fox Mccloud
Oct 01, 2006, 05:42 PM
But politicaly speaking, Russia was, for much of history until the 17th and 18th century, effectively isolated from european politics and affairs. Thus me qualifying them as outsiders until them.

fixed

Since their language, traditions etc. were Slavic, Russia was still European even if they were rarely involved in the politics of Europe.

willemvanoranje
Oct 01, 2006, 06:04 PM
I too think we should qualify the Russians as Europeans, but they have never had the dominance in the continent, not even in political aspect, did they?

sydhe
Oct 01, 2006, 06:44 PM
Possibly for a few years after 1815.

Adler17
Oct 03, 2006, 03:37 AM
Squonk, I have to disagree here totally. We should not discuss if Konrad gave the Order the land of the Prussians, why else they should come?, or not. However, Western Prussia was mostly inhabited by Germans when some of them asked the Polish king for help in their internal struggle against the Order. However as there are no real figures I can only give you new ones: In 1825 there lived 68% Germans and 32 % Poles and Kashubs (sp.?) in Western Prussia. That changed little to 1910 with 28 % Poles, 7 % Kashubs and 65% Germans. Since there were no deportations in 1772 these figures should be also quiete accurate for that date.
Also Upper Silesia was mainly German inhabited. At least in the referendum of 1920 nearly 60 % of the population wanted to stay in Germany rather to come to Poland- regradless of their mother languages.
Masuria was indeed mainly Polish speaking until about 1910. But here we have to see that these Poles were mainly Protestant refugees to settle in Prussia to flee of discriminations and even worse things in the Catholic Poland.

Adler

Archduke Otto
Oct 03, 2006, 03:21 PM
Hi Squonk,

At least you think I'm funny. I like that bardzo. Thanks.

I'm a bit short of time. But bear with me, I'm ready to learn. I'll reply to your post once I'm back from my holidays in ten days time. Besides: I'm gonna stay with my girfriend's family in Lublin.

So cheers, and see ya.

willemvanoranje
Oct 03, 2006, 05:50 PM
Hi Squonk,

At least you think I'm funny. I like that bardzo. Thanks.

I'm a bit short of time. But bear with me, I'm ready to learn. I'll reply to your post once I'm back from my holidays in ten days time. Besides: I'm gonna stay with my girfriend's family in Lublin.

So cheers, and see ya.

Well, you need to explain the map a bit better to me too. I'm pratty damn sure we Dutch haven't had the same mothertongue as most of today's Germany since middle medieval times...

Sure, most people over here speak German, and they also did back then, but not as a mother tongue.. so what does the map show exactly?

I suspect this map is not of the German language, but rather of Germanic languages or the Western-Germanic subgroup..

Squonk
Oct 05, 2006, 10:48 AM
Squonk, I have to disagree here totally. We should not discuss if Konrad gave the Order the land of the Prussians, why else they should come?, or not.


because he gave them Ziemia Chelminska, a large part of his duchy, as a fief?


However, Western Prussia was mostly inhabited by Germans when some of them asked the Polish king for help in their internal struggle against the Order.


Are You kidding? How do You imagine turning a large land into majorly german during 150 years, when there weren't any, or hardly any, germans before?
That's a very strange thing to say.


However as there are no real figures I can only give you new ones: In 1825 there lived 68% Germans and 32 % Poles and Kashubs (sp.?) in Western Prussia. That changed little to 1910 with 28 % Poles, 7 % Kashubs and 65% Germans. Since there were no deportations in 1772 these figures should be also quiete accurate for that date.


A couple of things to say:
Germans in Pomerania were mostly living in cities, of which the large ones - true - were majorly german.
I seriously doubt these numbers, would have to check them with my books.
No deportations doesn't mean no change in ethnic structure.
I should also ask what territory exactly do You mean by western Prussia, for it makes a difference as well. polish post-war pomeranian voivodship had a definite polish majority, but it consisted of the lands that were considered majorly polish. Perhaps with addition of Gdansk/Danzig, Elblag/Elbing, Kwidzyn/Marienwerder or whatever, and other lands, there would be a german majority


Also Upper Silesia was mainly German inhabited. At least in the referendum of 1920 nearly 60 % of the population wanted to stay in Germany rather to come to Poland- regradless of their mother languages.


Nationality and wish to remain in one state or another is a different thing.
Keep in mind that 10% of votes for Germany were votes of so-called "emigrants". Polish side was so dumb to ask for their participation, but, unlike Germany, had no means of getting them to Upper Silesia and vote, not to mention it is, for me, pretty obvious they'd vote for the country they stay in, Germany, and not Poland.
Also, remember that Poland won on majority of Upper Silesian territory, it's the votings in major cities that made Germany win.


Masuria was indeed mainly Polish speaking until about 1910. But here we have to see that these Poles were mainly Protestant refugees to settle in Prussia to flee of discriminations and even worse things in the Catholic Poland.

Adler

I think You are mistaken. They were protestants, just because they lived in a protestant state. Keep in mind that the line of polish presence in Prussia goes through catholic and until 1772 polish-gouverned Warmia... it shows clearly your claim is false.
I agree, however, that their ties with Poland were pretty weak.

raen
Oct 05, 2006, 12:16 PM
1415-1578 - Portugal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Empire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Portugal

Squonk
Oct 05, 2006, 01:06 PM
gross overestimation, sorry;)

Adler17
Oct 05, 2006, 01:35 PM
Squonk, we do had no national states in medievel times. To say soemthing was Polish is not quiete correct. However we can see the population figures of that areas. And here indeed a German colonisation wave into the barely populated east started. The Slavs in that were soon assimilated and can't really count as Polish. However we should let this time aside, as there are too many problems (legal issues (Goldbulle of Rimini), lack of figures, etc.). Only one sentence: The land east of the Oder river was barely inhabited. So there might have been few Germans- but also few Poles. But now to the new time after 1772.
At this date Prussia was reunited under Frederic the Great. The census of 1825 (source http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westpreußen) gives figures of 68% Germans to 32 % Poles and Kashubs. There might have been changes in the ethnic structure. However I do not think, that there was such a huge wave of German immi- or Polish emmigration. At least I have no source ever seen mention that. And not only the cities were majorly German populated, but also the areas of the Danziger Werder, the areas west of the Weichsel river and the area of Flatow, Deutsch- Krone and Schlochau were mostly German populated. So all in all a majorly German population was inhabiting West Prussia.
You can critizise your government in the referendum of 1920, but nevertheless you should keep in mind that even many ethnical Poles did not want to become "real" Poles but voted for Germany. Also if you question the modus, you have to admit the fact, that Polish militias also tried to force Germans out of their homes or to vote for the Polish side. In "German" areas this did not happen (except single cases perhaps, but not that systematically). At last keep in mind, this referendum was made by the Entente.
The Ermland was indeed catholic, but only due to the fact it was tied to the Pope. That it was catholic does not mean that it was Polish. However because of the reformation and the struggles after many states were forcing their protestant poupulations to leave the country. That happened in France (Hugenots) and Austria (Salzburger Protestanten) as well as in Poland, where the protestant population left the area to settle in the area called Masuria. It got the name after these settlers.

Adler

Adler17
Oct 05, 2006, 01:35 PM
gross overestimation, sorry;)

Here we do agree totally.

Adler

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 05, 2006, 07:57 PM
Owning bits of land in various random areas (mostly backwaters, at that) doesn't make you the most powerful European country, or the most powerful country in Europe.

Unlike what some Portuguesse (and dutch, for that matter) like to say.

jonatas
Oct 06, 2006, 05:57 AM
Owning bits of land in various random areas (mostly backwaters, at that) doesn't make you the most powerful European country, or the most powerful country in Europe.

Unlike what some Portuguesse (and dutch, for that matter) like to say.

Controlling the spice trade's flow into Europe was the single most lucrative activity you could possibly do. The real backwater was the Mediterranean in the early 1500s after the original trade route had been squashed. Portugal was certainly the richest nation for a brief period, not to mention they pioneered European exploration of the Atlantic, Africa and contacts with Asia (India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Iran), essentially setting up the first global empire, conducting warfare against the Ottomans in the persian gulf and Ethiopia and controlling the coast of Morocco, setting up the Atlantic slave trade, initiating closer global integration and cultural exchange etc. Portuguese outposts were generally strategic and commercial (esp. in Asia) and innovative for their time (the very opposite of backwaters- are you going to criticize them for controlling portions of South America and Africa because it wasn't developed enough in your opinion? They were the first Euros there). As the first European modern empire, it certainly makes them worthy of consideration/mention in any list. In any case, you are dead wrong in characterizing the areas they controlled as backwaters, since after the Morocco and then West African phase (which was innovative Atlantic exploration), most efforts were invested in Asia with the most strategic outposts in the world. Brazil really came much later. Perhaps you should do some more reading...

Squonk
Oct 06, 2006, 05:10 PM
Squonk, we do had no national states in medievel times. To say soemthing was Polish is not quiete correct.


therefore, to say something was german is not quite correct as well


However we can see the population figures of that areas. And here indeed a German colonisation wave into the barely populated east started. The Slavs in that were soon assimilated and can't really count as Polish.


The Drewnianie tribe, which lived on the western banks of Elbe/Laba river (Wendenland or whatever), survived 800 years under german rule until they finally got extinct. To say that pomeranians got assimilated or extinct in 150 years is strange. Kashubs and Poles survived on these lands up till today.
In Silesia, villages under Wroclaw/Breslau were polish-speaking until XIX century, despite that the city had a german majority for a couple of centuries already. Germanisation was a slow process, perhaps the fastest in XIX century, when it was not a by-the-way process, but a part of state politics


Only one sentence: The land east of the Oder river was barely inhabited. So there might have been few Germans- but also few Poles. But now to the new time after 1772.


the lands east to Odra were also not densely (I wouldn't say barely) inhabited. It was an important factor, but I am very suprised You think the incomers could outnumber the autochtons in first generations. There were many uninhabited areas, but also many inhabited ones. Keep in mind that many locations on german law, most of them even, were done with use of locxal population, just their status was changed. Of course, there were german settlers - in entire Poland but Masovia and eastern extremes, but they got assimilated except where state power turned german.
I am very suprised that You think Germans were able to settle and become a majority population of eastern Europe overnight.


At this date Prussia was reunited under Frederic the Great.


Reunited? A very revisionist expression, to say the least.


The census of 1825 (source http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westpreußen)


Please, not in german


gives figures of 68% Germans to 32 % Poles and Kashubs.


As I've suspected, german Western Prussia province consisted not only of polish Eastern Pommerania, but adjactent, by that time definitely german-speaking, areas
Again, these are the official numbers. And while I wouldn't be VERY suprised if they were closer to true than false when it comes to the late XIX - early XX century, your claim Germans were a majority there in XV century already I find simply silly.


There might have been changes in the ethnic structure. However I do not think, that there was such a huge wave of German immi- or Polish emmigration.


Frederic II supported german immigration to newly acquired lands, but I've ment something different. Poles were in Prussian state under persecution, polish language was banned from schools, and sometimes also from churches.
German state and state-supported organisation fought polish culture and catholic church. Not to mention that german culture stood on a higher level and was more attractive to many than culture of fallen Poland.


At least I have no source ever seen mention that. And not only the cities were majorly German populated, but also the areas of the Danziger Werder, the areas west of the Weichsel river and the area of Flatow, Deutsch- Krone and Schlochau were mostly German populated. So all in all a majorly German population was inhabiting West Prussia.


please, translate the german names for me. Schlochau, Deutsch Krone are marginal, on the edge of the region. The core of it, the one given to Poland after ww1, remained polish.


You can critizise your government in the referendum of 1920, but nevertheless you should keep in mind that even many ethnical Poles did not want to become "real" Poles but voted for Germany. Also if you question the modus, you have to admit the fact, that Polish militias also tried to force Germans out of their homes or to vote for the Polish side. In "German" areas this did not happen (except single cases perhaps, but not that systematically).


are you kidding? In Silesia, until second silesian uprising I believe, the police was entirely german. Polish activists were persecuted or killed, as Styczynski in my hometown.


At last keep in mind, this referendum was made by the Entente.


Both Italy and, especially, Britain favoured Germany, while France was more or less pro-polish. Britain wanted Silesia to remain german, so that the payment of war contributions by Germany would be more likely


The Ermland was indeed catholic, but only due to the fact it was tied to the Pope. That it was catholic does not mean that it was Polish.


You didn't get me, it seams. The rural population of southern Warmia/Ermland or whatever was Polish, and the line of polish settlements is the same as in Masuria. It shows your claims that Poles of Masuria are Poles exiled from evil catholic Poland, false - Poles were there before reformation


However because of the reformation and the struggles after many states were forcing their protestant poupulations to leave the country. That happened in France (Hugenots) and Austria (Salzburger Protestanten) as well as in Poland, where the protestant population left the area to settle in the area called Masuria. It got the name after these settlers.

Adler

Deary, You may not be aware that in the times of reformation, Poland was perhaps the most tolerant christian country in Europe, bah, one of conditions of electing Henry de Valois as polish king was introducing religious freedom in France. When he didn't want to, he was told. persecuted religious minorities from Bohemia, Netherlands and Russia settled in Poland.
Protestants were very influential and had the highest offices. Only for about a half century since 1717 were protestants banned from helding offices. Only once was some religious minority banned from Prussia - Polish Brothers (antitrinitaries), after 1655-1660 war; they were accused of supporting the Swedes. Indeed, many settled in Prussia, but this denomination was never very numerable, and - unlike Masurians - they were not lutherans, but a denomination of their own.

Adler17
Oct 07, 2006, 03:46 AM
Okay, let's talk about the medievel times. I am sorry that I can not give you Polish names as I do not know them. I have to stay with the German names.
At first we have to see the area of the Oder river to the Persante, mostly later known as Hinterpommern, Eastern Pommerania. In this area the Polish tried to annex that country into Poland as well as tried to christianize the population. That was not successful. To make a long story short: When the land came to Germany the Polish influence on that area was for a relative long time minimal. The next area is the one from the Persante to the Weichsel (Vistula) river. In this area Polish, German, Kashubs, Prussians, Vikings and Danes were living up to ca. 1000 AD. As there are nearly no written sources and an ammount of different archaeological artifacts make the situation even worse. Only in the time after 1185 there are finally sources. The Pommerellen were a fief of the Marquis of Brandenburg ruled by the childless Mestwin II. He wanted to prevent that the fief would return to Brandenburg and donated the land to Przemyslaw II., king of Poland. Brandenburg did not recognize the treaty and opposed against that. The Pope parted the land and gave some to Brandenburg and some to Poland. But after Mestwin's death (1194) Poland tried to annex most of the other land. Brandenburg opposed again. In this struggles Przemyslaw was murdered (1196). He was followed by Wenzel II. of Bohemia, resp. his son Wenzel III. (1305). Wladislaw IV. wanted the crown himself and so invaded Poland and also Pommerellen. There the captain (govenor) was driven away and had to flee to Brandenburg, where he found an ally. He gave the area back to Brandenburg. In the following time Brandenburg attacked the Pomerellen. Wladislaw now asked the Teutonic order for help. They attacked the Brandenburger and took Danzig (Gdansk), where a big part of the population, not only Poles, but mainly Germans, were murdered (So called Danziger Blutbad).
Now the Teutonic order wanted the promised money for the task. But Wladislaw was not able to pay. So they stayed and paid 10.000 Mark to Brandenburg for all claims Brandenburg had. Although this was seen as treachery in Poland it wasn't. It also wasn't an ethnical struggle. In the next time until 1466 (2nd peace of Thorn), the area remained in the hand of the Teutonic Order.
Later, as so called Royal Prussia, it was much more something we would now call autonomous region, as still German was the main language, there were also a German government (still under the Polish crown), own coins, own armies for the big cities and others.
To say it was originally Polish territory is wrong.
The next are is the area east of the Weichsel river, aka East Prussia. The Polish tried to annex the land of the pagan Prussians. Here the German designation, Prußen, might be a bit better, not to confuse them with the later Prussians (who were not only Prußen).
The Prußen however were able to resist the Polish invasions. So Konrad von Masowien asked the Teutonic order for help. The Kaiser, the Pope and Konrad gave the land to the Teutonic order as the core land of the Order state.
You also question my figures. You can do that, but these are the only ones I found. If you have other or if you can find hints, that they are wrong, please tell me. However, until that is not so, we should keep the figures.
Polish activists, as you tell them, are here called terrorists, as many of them tried to subpress Germans by force. However there were some bad actions by both sides and partly also against innocent population. However these incidents remained in an "acceptable" (well nothing of that is acceptable) frame. At least there were (mostly) fair elections.
Also Britain and Italy favoured, after the referendum, to keep Silesia to Germany. Only France, eager to beat the Germans, used the situation to give parts of Upper Silesia, where the Polish were in the majority, to Poland.
The next point is that you misunderstood me. I never said there were no Poles before the reformation in Prussia. I only said the Masurians left Poland and settled on Prussian soil. You already said, that they had little ties to Poland.

Adler

willemvanoranje
Oct 07, 2006, 05:58 AM
Controlling the spice trade's flow into Europe was the single most lucrative activity you could possibly do.

Portugal certainly did control this, although they weren't that effective on it. "Portugal's comparative advantage lay in the use of organized violence, not in trading per se, particularly because most Indian Ocean merchants were not armed." (Schwarz 2000:34). So the Portuguese got the idea to arm their ships, they created feitorias in the East (trading posts + forts), run by the Estado da India. Forts and armed ships then controlled the choke-points in the searoutes, and only ships that had bough a cartaze could pass through. If a shipper lacked one, the Portuguese would seize the ship and its cargo (Schwarz 2000:34-35).

After 1550 the decline of Portuguese dominance began though. Dutch traders started taking over, having adopted ship armament. Besides, the Estado da India proved a rather ineffective organization, and the Portuguese never got control over the sale of goods in Europe, that was centered in Antwerp and Amsterdam. For some times the Portuguese controlled the ocean through military domination, but as soon as other traders also started to arm their ships, the decline started. The Portuguese only 'taxed' the trade, the Dutch then took over and controled production, transport and especially sale. After about a hundred years the English took over by adding long-distance trade of other goods than just the luxury spices..

jonatas
Oct 07, 2006, 02:20 PM
Willem

I agree with everything you said. Strategic feitorias were set up to control trade. And there was certainly violence (consider the Ottoman/Portuguese Gulf war I already mentioned). The early Portuguese empire could be especially brutal and increasingly decadent/ineffective. I never deny either of these things.

I put emphasis on strategic because Portugal was not strong enough to directly control powerful Asian empires and kingdoms. They had to co-exist. [isto nao e o castelo da mina*, e uma terra onde existem muitos reis e senhores - tr. This is not the Castle of St. George*, it is a land of many kings and lords] Afonso de Albuquerque (vice-rei 1509-1515, and probably the greatest vice-rei) in a letter to D. Manuel I o Fortunado about India (Madeira Santos. Goa Quinentista: A Cidade e a Capital). The Portuguese couldn't go into the depths of the Indian sub-continent and start setting up an empire. And it's true their ultramar empire was limited and primitive (actually half-medieval), but considering its time frame it's not so out of place. Really it all started as a kind of Medieval crusade in Morocco under Henry and then Afonso V o Africano, who truly was a medieval king in his perspective- basically crusading in Morocco (the difference being Henry also had an eye for exploration down the West African coast).

Portuguese dominance on Asian sea trade was short lived (a few decades). The installation of the Portuguese inquisition in the 1530s and expulsion of New Christians and Jews, many of them wealthy banking families, did not help either. Some went to Antwerp and Amsterdam. In Goa, the twin and Asian capital of the Empire, any earlier co-optation of Indians and Indian culture was eventually reversed in favour of a hardline Jesuit stance in following decades. This is all traditionally interpreted as signs of decadence.

There are other phases of the empire to consider to get a full view of this history. In any case, I'm not arguing Portugal was the strongest European country. Like the Dutch IMO, they ultimately lacked the manpower. But they were key explorers from Europe in Africa, the Americas and Asia, and really possessed an unrivalled set of international contacts in Asia at their height (before the Dutch started coming after them). This is a response to Oda's comment about imperial backwaters. Asia was no backwater (use Hormuz as an example).


*The Castle of St. George was a key early Portuguese outpost in West Africa for moving gold by ship into Lisbon... taken later by the Dutch.

willemvanoranje
Oct 07, 2006, 06:10 PM
[isto não é o castelo da mina*, é uma terra onde existem muitos reis e senhores -

Ah yes.. is this what we call Elmina? I guess so.. it was the first fortress the Dutch conquered..and many followed.


Portuguese dominance on Asian sea trade was short lived (a few decades). The installation of the Portuguese inquisition in the 1530s and expulsion of New Christians and Jews, many of them wealthy banking families, did not help either. Some went to Antwerp and Amsterdam.

Later the ones from Antwerp went to Amsterdam as well. The Spanish became even more serious about their religion and inquisition.. so Antwerp lost many many traders and Amsterdam could finally establish a quase-monopoly since its biggest competitor knocked itself out.


There are other phases of the empire to consider to get a full view of this history. In any case, I'm not arguing Portugal was the strongest European country. Like the Dutch IMO, they ultimately lacked the manpower. But they were key explorers from Europe in Africa, the Americas and Asia, and really possessed an unrivalled set of international contacts in Asia at their height (before the Dutch started coming after them). This is a response to Oda's comment about imperial backwaters. Asia was no backwater (use Hormuz as an example).


True indeed. The Portuguese were the first to really go that far towards the East, and in the West only Spain was at a similar level I guess.

And we Dutch.. well, we explored Australia and New Zealand. :D That counts for something right?

jonatas
Oct 07, 2006, 06:50 PM
Ah yes.. is this what we call Elmina? I guess so.. it was the first fortress the Dutch conquered..and many followed.


Yep, it's modern Elmina, the original center of Portuguese power in West Africa. The Dutch would launch attacks all over the Portuguese empire as you know... Brazil, Angola and in Asia.


Later the ones from Antwerp went to Amsterdam as well. The Spanish became even more serious about their religion and inquisition.. so Antwerp lost many many traders and Amsterdam could finally establish a quase-monopoly since its biggest competitor knocked itself out.


This is an important point. Ideology sometimes played a very important role, with religious fervour and even Messianism directing some of the Portuguese empire's actions. The Inquisitions effectively turn Portugal backwards and cut it off from key Jewish elements in its society and also the peoples it was coming into contact with on other continents. Even worse, in Dom Sebastiao we have a mad, inbred king who literally destroyed the first empire in a wild, idealistic crusade in Morocco at the Battle of the Three Kings (Alcacer-Quibir), where all three kings died and the Portuguese nobility and army were cut to pieces. This directly led to the end of Portugal's sovereignty as it passed under the Spanish Phillip, also leaving the Ultramar empire open to the Dutch. Sebastiao's body was never found, so an empty tomb supported on Elephants (symbolizing Africa) was made for him in Mosteiro de Jeronimos in Lisbon (a majestic Manueline Monastery/Church build entirely on the Spice tax from India - really it is the monument to the Descobrimentos/Discoveries) and also Sebastanism was born - a mystical belief that Sebastiao would re-appear some day and liberate Portugal. Religious fervour really guided key actions at times, with the most pronounced example in Dom Sebastiao.

True indeed. The Portuguese were the first to really go that far towards the East, and in the West only Spain was at a similar level I guess.

And we Dutch.. well, we explored Australia and New Zealand. :D That counts for something right?

The Dutch role in early modern history is pivotal, without doubt. Essentially the Dutch became the next direct European competition to the Portuguese and fought them everywhere. The only other comparable rival so early was the Ottoman empire, but that was generally confined more to the Gulf. The Spanish were not really rivals in the same sense.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 09, 2006, 02:23 PM
It's certainly true that not EVERYTHING Portugal controled was a backwater, but most of what physical territory they had pretty much was (read : Brazil + their African colonies when they got them...that's, in geographic size terms, most of the Portuguesse empire right there). Hence my saying "MOST of it..."

OTOH their trading posts in Asia certainly don't belong in the backwater column, and Portugal, though never really close to being the number one power in Europe, was certainly a major player, especially in the exploration game.

AL_DA_GREAT
Oct 10, 2006, 05:33 AM
Sweden 1650-1730

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 10, 2006, 10:35 PM
Sweden on top during the Sun King era?

Sorry, but no. Sweden was doubtless very powerful after the thirty years war, but France gained as much as Sweden, if not more, from that particular conflict, and started out stronger.

Versailles, not Stockholm, was the center of Europe from 1650 to 1713.

Hakim
Oct 11, 2006, 10:19 AM
It would be interesting to see a CIV IV-style graph with each nations power marked out.

MCdread
Oct 11, 2006, 11:03 AM
This is an important point. Ideology sometimes played a very important role, with religious fervour and even Messianism directing some of the Portuguese empire's actions. The Inquisitions effectively turn Portugal backwards and cut it off from key Jewish elements in its society and also the peoples it was coming into contact with on other continents. Even worse, in Dom Sebastiao we have a mad, inbred king who literally destroyed the first empire in a wild, idealistic crusade in Morocco at the Battle of the Three Kings (Alcacer-Quibir), where all three kings died and the Portuguese nobility and army were cut to pieces. This directly led to the end of Portugal's sovereignty as it passed under the Spanish Phillip, also leaving the Ultramar empire open to the Dutch. Sebastiao's body was never found, so an empty tomb supported on Elephants (symbolizing Africa) was made for him in Mosteiro de Jeronimos in Lisbon (a majestic Manueline Monastery/Church build entirely on the Spice tax from India - really it is the monument to the Descobrimentos/Discoveries) and also Sebastanism was born - a mystical belief that Sebastiao would re-appear some day and liberate Portugal. Religious fervour really guided key actions at times, with the most pronounced example in Dom Sebastiao.


I would say that Sebastião is just the excuse for sebastianism, he's just the face added to a sentiment that soon superceded the figure of the king. When the poems of Bandarra appeared the king would have been some 80 years old. I think that sebastianic ideologies have been one of the most profound roots of everything that is portuguese nowadays and in the past few centuries, especially if combined with fado mentality (XX century fado that is, because its origins are quite different I think).

Btw, jonatas, have you seen the most recent stupid idea of RTP, the show to elect the "greatest portuguese"? On their site they have a list of sugestions, and that most inept of kings is featured...

though there are crazier options.

Pokurcz
Oct 11, 2006, 03:44 PM
In 1634 Poland was the largest country in Europe with the second largest population. With approximately 10% of the population being noblemen with the right to bear arms, one of the most heavily militarised, at that being a republic where all male noblemen had the right to vote and allowing all citizens religious freedom, one might claim culturaly advanced beyond all rivals.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 12, 2006, 10:54 PM
Powerful, yes, but as I've explained elsewhere - too poorly positioned.

Specifically, the fact that they only ever had access to two locked seas (Black, blocked off by the Turks at the Bosphorus, and Baltic, blocked off by the Danes at the Sund) put them at an enormous disadvantage compared to other European powers. And, unlike Russia, they did not have a little-inhabited area next door (Siberia) to colonize.

Combined with an increasing reliance on the institution of serfdom (Which had fallen into disuse, though not officialy abolished, in a number of parts of western europe by then ; so much for "culturally advanced"), and being surrounded by other powerful nations, it made a recipe for disaster, and disaster was indeed Poland's fate. Several time overs (first partition, second partition, Molotov-Ribentrop, Red Army "liberation"), even.

Verbose
Oct 13, 2006, 01:10 AM
In 1634 Poland was the largest country in Europe with the second largest population. With approximately 10% of the population being noblemen with the right to bear arms, one of the most heavily militarised, at that being a republic where all male noblemen had the right to vote and allowing all citizens religious freedom, one might claim culturaly advanced beyond all rivals.
But for all the wealth and power there wasn't enough centralisation to make it really competitive in a new political environment. It was going up against these centralised states coming into being. There's still a disparaging Swedish saying, referring to something confused and disorganised as "a Polish diet". (An old enemy would say that tho');)

But rightly or wrongly, Poland didn't look like a powerhouse at the time. And France would still beat it for population and get the centralisation as well. And things had started to go "clonk" economically in the success story that was Poland by the 17th c. I would think a better argument could be made for putting Poland in the top spot in the 16th c., but then it would be going up against Spain instead.

Poland was impressive, but not quite enough to take the cake here I would think.:)

Verbose
Oct 13, 2006, 01:23 AM
Sweden on top during the Sun King era?

Sorry, but no. Sweden was doubtless very powerful after the thirty years war, but France gained as much as Sweden, if not more, from that particular conflict, and started out stronger.

Versailles, not Stockholm, was the center of Europe from 1650 to 1713.
Quite.

Sweden in that period is interesting rather for what it did to overcome the natural disadvantages of being dirt poor (too little farmland in a harsh climate) and underpopulated (unable to feed a large population).

Setting itself up as a major player in European politics should have been impossible in view of how power was calculated at the time; it was all about manpower and bullion. Sweden had neither. It was just painfully well run, with a modern administration adpet at always extracting the maximum amount for milk for the minimum amount of mooing out of its people.

Pokurcz
Oct 13, 2006, 02:21 PM
Oda Nobunaga

What a country lacks in one field it often makes up for in a different one. The abolishment of serfdom in Western Europe had only just started in the 17th century and didn’t happen in France until 1789, France often being depicted as the most highly cultured nation in Europe.
So much for: “so much for "culturally advanced"”. :mischief:

I claim that religious freedom more than compensates for serfdom in 17th century Poland.

As for the 18th century, Poland was the first European nation with a modern written constitution, the one of may third 1791.


Verbose

I can not but concur with your analysis, Poland had all the prerequisites, but lacked of want, the noblemen were content in their leisurely state of comfort and decadence, whilst the king just did not have the power. That is the unfortunate story of Poland. Things where so good that nobody noticed the need for reforms.

One could claim Poland being the most powerful European country with the circumstance of the power being dormant because of lack of centralisation. Poland did beat France as to military power and size. :D

Then again, what is power without direction?


Speaking of power, the Lithuanian/Polish Jagiellonian dynasty did have a lot of power in the 15th century.

As you can read on Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagiellon

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 13, 2006, 08:18 PM
You have to distinguish between ABOLITION of serfdom (which didn't occur until 1789 in France) and it falling into DISUSE.

The institution still existed. However, many nobles had begun moving toward a more proto-capitalist system already, because it was simply more advantageous for them.

willemvanoranje
Oct 14, 2006, 07:28 AM
Powerful, yes, but as I've explained elsewhere - too poorly positioned.

And they were economic periphery of England and the Netherlands. Nobles went as far as starving their own population in order to sell more to these countries. At some point in time there was just one day a week where farmers could work for themselves, as where i used to be one day a week for the nobleman.

Verbose
Oct 15, 2006, 03:48 AM
And they were economic periphery of England and the Netherlands. Nobles went as far as starving their own population in order to sell more to these countries. At some point in time there was just one day a week where farmers could work for themselves, as where i used to be one day a week for the nobleman.
I beleive that was agricultural competition from elsewhere pushing the prices of this kind of produce down in England and the Netherlands beginning in the 17th c. Selling the Polish agricultural surplus was much more profitable in the 16th c.
And then it was the nobilities decisions to try to maintain their own level of "ostentatious consumption" by squeesing the commoners harder to make up for their dwindling income.

willemvanoranje
Oct 15, 2006, 01:28 PM
I did some reading and all I could find (in my limited resources) was:

"Through law and force the Polish authorities prevented their peasants from moving and then obliged them to work on nobles' estates, producing grain for export.
...
Increased compulsory labour, of course, left peasants little time to work on their own plots. The natural result was economic stagnation and the risk of demographic collapse from chronic malnourishment." (Schwartz 2000:56-57)

Polish policies prevented innovations; the peasents were not working for themselves and were not touched by the market. In Denmark things were different for example; the Danes also produced grain and cattle for the Dutch, but there the king allied with the peasants in order to control the nobles. The result was that the peasants did not produce for the nobels, and were supported by the king to produce for export.

RickFGS
Oct 21, 2006, 04:51 PM
Where´s Portugal? We divided the world in two along with Spain in the 1500´s, we ruled all world sea trade for 100 years, Spain camed after us.

RickFGS
Oct 21, 2006, 04:57 PM
Owning bits of land in various random areas (mostly backwaters, at that) doesn't make you the most powerful European country, or the most powerful country in Europe.

Unlike what some Portuguesse (and dutch, for that matter) like to say.

Bits of land of Portuguese empire as you say:

Brazil - largest south amerika country and one of the largest in the world with almost 200 million poplutation nowadays;
Angola, Moçambique, Madeira, Açores, Cabo Verde, Macau, Goa, Damão, Dio, Urmuz, Singapura (yes it was ours), and all major cities across African Coast.
Ceuta and Tanger (Marrocos).

We were the first to reach Japan and introducing guns.
We where the first to circumnavigate the entire world with Fernando Magalhães.
We discovered America, not Columbus, oh and Columbus is son of Portuguese by the way, and was working in Portugal´s sailing company, after the king of Portugal refused to finance his expedition beacuse we already knew of the existence of land north of Brazil.
We discovered the way to India.

Before us there was Europe, after us The World. Simple and easy.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 21, 2006, 06:32 PM
Pointing at Brazil at the time Portugal controled it, or Angola, or Mozambique, is like pointing to Russia being powerful because they controled Siberia in the 18th century, or England because they controled the North-West territories, etc. Backwaters with few inhabitants, no matter how large they were, are worth very little in the balance of power. It's only relatively later that Brazil became a noteworthy power.

Macau, Goa, etc, were not backwaters - but they were few in numbers, and small.

Even so Portugal was powerful, and important. But powerful enough to be called the most powerful european countries? Like Netherland, never.

willemvanoranje
Oct 22, 2006, 05:13 PM
I still have to say this very much depends on how you look on it. Portugal, and after them the Netherlands, had hegemony.

RickFGS
Oct 23, 2006, 02:41 PM
Netherlands? lol, were never as powerfull as Portugal, you guys must read up in history, just the gold we brought from Brazil could buy 100 times Netherlands resources in its best time.

In 1540, Portugals continental harbors alone produced over 1000 ships per year, from Nau´s (War frigate) to Caravels, Galleons and merchant ships.

We pratically owned Antuerphe in the 15th and 16th century.

Besides what did Netherlands ever had anyway? Singapura for 10 years?

Portugal is one of the most important nations in history, and so far history cant be erased, although the anglo-saxon hegemonia of the 21th century is always trying to pass everything that happened as their own.

The portuguese language is one of the most spoken in the world, even more then french, we just need a little more economic influence to make it noticable nowadays. How many people speak dutch in the world i ask?

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 24, 2006, 12:03 AM
I think the next time we hold one of those thread, "anyone caught talking about the country they live in or were born in should have his post mercilessly deleted" should be a default rule :-D. (see sig)

Rick, I have university-level training in history, including classes concerning XV-XXth century Europe, so I'll thank you not to assume I'm uninformed.

THAT said, answering your argument.

The number of ships produced, and the influence in Antwerp (that's how they spell it in English, for reference), are rather irrelevant in the grand scheme of one nation's power.

The problem with Portugal is that, while it was always a very strong nation in the economic field, it was never particularly strong at anything else. Portugal's military was, let's be blunt, nothing to write home about. Portugal's population was similarly relatively small, and its colonies did not allow it to overcome that deficiency (as opposed to Spain, and later the British Empire.

Moreover, to a smaller extent than Poland and Sweden, but still so, Portugal was poorly positioned to exert influence over. They were better off than the above two by virtue of having unlimited access to the Atlantic, but that was as far as it went - with Portugal's only land border being with a larger and generally none-too-friendly Spain, it was hardly able to wield much influence in European politics.

As I said, the Portuguesse were indeed extremely important. But never so important

THAT said.
Regarding Dutch Importance, I'll note :

-There were indeed many portuguesse merchants in Antwerp...would you care to hazard a guess as to why they were there? The fact that Fernand Braudel, one of the most respected historians of early modern Europe, described it as the center of the entire international economy in the sixteen century might help...

-When Antwerp lost its importance (...ie, when it stopped being a Dutch city), Amsterdam essentialy replaced it, playing the same role. In a very real sense, Antwerp and Amsterdam were the New Yorks of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

-And finally, regarding what the Dutch had, you may want to look up Indonesia, or who exactly had control of the one-ship-to-Japan-per-year after Portugal lost it.

jonatas
Oct 24, 2006, 12:57 AM
@Oda

Rick may have overstated his case but I feel you have also mischaracterized things, such as referring to Africa and Brazil as backwaters when in fact they were rather groundbreaking frontiers of exploration (initially Atlantic) for Europeans. Brazil would certainly become an important source of wealth (gold) in later phases, much as Western Africa was a similar earlier source (gold and slaves) and a strategic region to control. You mischaracterize these fronts as simply backwaters because of their significance as part of the Age of Exploration, strategic nature and in some cases the immediate wealth they generated and resulting dislocation of populations - I mean the Atlantic slave trade.

Portugal's geographic position couldn't have been more ideal for proximity to the Atlantic coastal region of Africa (esp. West Africa) and setting up the initial strategic route to Asia and exploring the Atlantic. Now while it's true it was peripheral to Europe proper, this is where there is difference in interpretation. Portugal's "golden age" was precisely of greater significance to Global history than to European (that is to say its focus was on expansion beyond Europe)and has to be considered in that respect to be properly appreciated. While it was peripheral geographically and too limited in land power to exert power over Europe, it did have gigantic influence (for its size) in foreign theaters, much like the Netherlands, to the point where it is somewhat lacking to talk about powerful/influential European civs without mentioning the impact of either during their apogee, since both did briefly hold hegemony overseas and accordingly benefited in terms of wealth and knowledge. It seems shortsighted to consider power only in terms of the European continent. Why not include overseas empires? Isn't that the definition of an empire in the modern age anyway, that it had overseas colonies?

We should also clarify that Portugal's primitive modern empire focused on strategic control of trade ie. such the Spice tax, West African Slaves, and Gold from across the Sahara, the West African coast or eventually Brazil. There was a military component and there was quite a bit of violence (and willingness to use it) in places all over the globe to acheive strategic dominance. Certainly the Portuguese fought extensively against Berber dynasties in Morocco, the Ottomans, and some campaigns in the Indian sub-continent and Africa. Later, when Portugal fell under the Spanish Phillip, it would compose much of the "Spanish" Armada. Conversely it should be mentioned the gold rushes which helped bring opulence to the Portuguese court (along with the Spice tax) also led to eventual economic stagnation, as the country was not industrialized in later stages and as a result largely remained in a primitive feudal state. I agree with you about the Dutch. I'm going to stop posting in this thread, as I never really intended to and initially tried to stay out of it. Even I'm getting bored of listening to myself ;)

jonatas
Oct 24, 2006, 01:18 AM
I would say that Sebastião is just the excuse for sebastianism, he's just the face added to a sentiment that soon superceded the figure of the king. When the poems of Bandarra appeared the king would have been some 80 years old. I think that sebastianic ideologies have been one of the most profound roots of everything that is portuguese nowadays and in the past few centuries, especially if combined with fado mentality (XX century fado that is, because its origins are quite different I think).

Btw, jonatas, have you seen the most recent stupid idea of RTP, the show to elect the "greatest portuguese"? On their site they have a list of sugestions, and that most inept of kings is featured...

though there are crazier options.

MC, you're right. I guess what I was referring to was the existence of sometimes messianic and crusader ideologies that were intertwined with the governing of the empire. And no I haven't seen the poll and am very surprised to see that inbred maniac make the list ;)

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 24, 2006, 02:00 AM
Jonatas, your points are well-made. The description as backwaters of the African and American holdings of Portugal, to be fair, was a description with regard to what they could contribute to Europe at the time (ie, not much), not what they represent about worldwide portuguesse influence.

(And I'll point out again that in this thread, I am discussing which european nation was most powerful on the European theater. On the worldwide theater, the case for Portugal in the late 15th and eartly 16th century is indeed very strong. But then again, if we look at the worldwide theater, we should probably consider the most powerful country without restricting ourselves to Europeans)

willemvanoranje
Oct 24, 2006, 08:29 AM
Netherlands? lol, were never as powerfull as Portugal, you guys must read up in history, just the gold we brought from Brazil could buy 100 times Netherlands resources in its best time.

Yeees.. and that's why Portugal never returned to the world stage.. once the industrialization had taken-off, Portugal sadly enough became nothing more than periphery of the British island.


In 1540, Portugals continental harbors alone produced over 1000 ships per year, from Nau´s (War frigate) to Caravels, Galleons and merchant ships.

Sure. That was in the middle of Portugal's hegemony. The Dutch weren't close to taking over back then. Portuguese hegemony lasted roughly 80 years, the Dutch roughly 100 years, and the English that followed roughly 250 years... the American hegemony is almost completing it's 100th birthday, although they never really accepted the job until after WWII.


We pratically owned Antuerphe in the 15th and 16th century.

No you didn't. Portugal and Spain shot themselves in their foot with their religious fanaticism and the inquisition. Rich Jews and Muslims fled to Antwerp and Amsterdam, and as said in the post before this one, when Antwerp definetly became Spanish, all of those traders fled to Amsterdam as well.


Besides what did Netherlands ever had anyway? Singapura for 10 years?

Most of these were conquered from the Portuguese, and most of them were taken by the English at some point in time.

Indonesia
Surinam
Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St.Eustasius, St.Martin)
Goldcoast (coastal Ghana, see back in thread for more info)
Berbice
Cayenne (French Guyana)
Guyana (British Guyana)
Dutch Brasil (mainly Pernambuco, for a period of 25 years)
Dutch Virgin Islands
Dutch Tobago
Arguin
Angola (really short period of 10 years)
Senegal
Slave Coast (areas in Nigeria, Benin, Togo and even São Tomé at different points in time)

Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Formosa (Taiwan)
Maluku
Malacca
Cape Colony (southern South-Africa)
New Amsterdam (nowadays the states of New York, Delaware)
Coromandel-coast (South-East India)
Mauritius
Timo'r

Trade Posts (with or without production centers, but without sovereignty) in:
Bengal
Persia
Suratte (North-West India)
China
Birma
Siam (Fortresses)


Portugal is one of the most important nations in history, and so far history cant be erased, although the anglo-saxon hegemonia of the 21th century is always trying to pass everything that happened as their own.

I agree. And well, the Anglo-Saxon hegemony isn't just from the 21st century.. it started out late 17th already.


The portuguese language is one of the most spoken in the world, even more then french, we just need a little more economic influence to make it noticable nowadays. How many people speak dutch in the world i ask?


Just about 22-23 million people. So if might is measured by the number of people speaking your language, Portugal indeed is more powerful than the Netherlands. It's not really thanks to Portugal though; more thanks to the fertility of Brasileiros, and to a lesser extent Angolanos and Moçamiquanos.

Hitti-Litti
Oct 24, 2006, 09:17 AM
We discovered America, not Columbus, oh and Columbus is son of Portuguese by the way, and was working in Portugal´s sailing company, after the king of Portugal refused to finance his expedition beacuse we already knew of the existence of land north of Brazil.

No. Portugal didn't discover America, Spain didn't discover America. Vikings did. They had a colony in Newfoundland around something like 1000AD.

The portuguese language is one of the most spoken in the world

Yeah, people speak it as their native language in few countries. And if language is an important thing when we investigate most powerful countries, then China would be über-important.

Portugal was important, but like Oda said, not THAT important.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 24, 2006, 02:08 PM
Just about 22-23 million people. So if might is measured by the number of people speaking your language, Portugal indeed is more powerful than the Netherlands. It's not really thanks to Portugal though; more thanks to the fertility of Brasileiros, and to a lesser extent Angolanos and Moçamiquanos.

More thanks to the fact that the Indonesians decided to go with their own language, post-colonization, since there are more Indonesians than Portuguesse speakers....

RickFGS
Oct 24, 2006, 02:13 PM
And regarding Ducth you say...let me see...nothing...just like the Dutch did in history basically nothing compared to Portugal.

Sorry you have no arguments. Netherlands in history is yet to realize something of value in comparison to Portugal as so Poland and many other Countries, rather you like it or not, facts are facts.

As for degrees i have one in Management, so dont think i´m ignorant also.

As for military, have you ever wonder that, if we are so "weak" and "small" and have no strenght, then why were we never conquered in battle?? Weird....we were weak for sure lol. For your information Spain did invade us countless times, only to be slaughtered and slaughtered. True they did ruled us for 60 years, but then again 60 years isnt that long, i´m quite proud to be portuguese because we may be small, but we are big in every thing else.

Sugestion: Visit Portugal someday and you´ll see that theres tons of history all around the country.

Hitti-Litti
Oct 24, 2006, 02:21 PM
IMO Netherlands could be compared to Portugal in importance. Portugal colonized Africa and Brazil coz they were first there. Netherlands colonized pretty much when compared to how late they came to other continents. And Dutch explorers found Australia too. AFAIK Netherlands produced huge amount of ships too, for example 250 warships for war against Ebgland.

RickFGS
Oct 24, 2006, 02:31 PM
Just about 22-23 million people. So if might is measured by the number of people speaking your language, Portugal indeed is more powerful than the Netherlands. It's not really thanks to Portugal though; more thanks to the fertility of Brasileiros, and to a lesser extent Angolanos and Moçamiquanos.

Come on! Its not thks to Portugal, Brazil speaks Portuguese? Then why does americans speak english?

Fertility? Portugal is one of the most fertilly countries in the world, sure our population is 10 million, but you are forgetting the portuguese abroad, they alone count for 20 million (France, Germany, Italy, England, America, Brazil, Macau, Angola and other former colonies) that have double nationality, retain or are second generation luso-french for example making us 30 million in total. Counting the entire luso speaking people in the world we nearly hit 250 million.

Considering we where less then 1 million in XI century, i´d say we have come a long way.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 24, 2006, 02:40 PM
And what, praytell, is the relevance of a degree in management in the matters of HISTORY? None whatsoever, that's what.

And I said nothing for Netherlands?

Because the primary commercial port of Europe from 1500 to 2006 essentialy always being Dutch is nothing?

Because controling (longer than you controled Brazil) a country that today has 220 millions inhabitants (that's nearly as much people right there as speaks Portuguesse in the entire world) is nothing?

It's strange how "nothing" seems to be synonymous, in your language, to "anything that's too inconvenient for me to acknowledge".

As far as being able to stave off invasions go, whoooo. Big deal - power is not about maintaining your independance (because, face it, lots of other countries have managed to maintain their independance, and it doesn't make them powerful), it's about being able to project power toward other nations. Something Portugal did sort of, well, never as far as European countries are concerned.

And most world countries have seen their population multiplied 10x since the XIth century, so kindly get off your high horse about that one.

RickFGS
Oct 24, 2006, 03:02 PM
Actually its 250x times more in population...

You controled 220million? Again, how many speak deutch today? errmmmm...looks a bit laking "power" there the netherlands influence....

Primary commercial port? well your in the middle of France, england, Germany and all other, so i guess you are great because of your neighbours....

Now lets see, Netherlands history achievement to put on some sort of golden book, it only ocurrs to me the East Indies Company....which you didnt even refered so i guess its not that important...

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 24, 2006, 03:49 PM
The population of PORTUGAL today is 10 millions. Trying to act like Brazil is still part of Portugal as you do is completely ridiculous. Brazilians today are no more portuguesse than Americans are Englishmen.

The fact that you're trying to claim otherwise displays pretty clearly how disconected from reality you are.

(and for the record : I'm from Montreal (well, suburbs, actually), so don't "you" me when talking about the dutch - I'm a Quebecer)

(And for the records 2 : The fact that the Brazilians kept your language and the Indonesians didn't keep Dutch has very little to do with how powerful you are, and a lot to do with the fact that Brazilians natives were a whole lot more primitive than Indonesian ones when colonists arrived, and much more easily assimilated. If anything, the whole debacle is heavily slanted in the Neth's favor: you colonized an area of mostly primitive natives. They colonized one that was inhabited controled by well-organized states)

Oh, and lastly - if you want to go down the deterministic road (ie, "Netherlands were only economically important because of their neighbor", it's just as easy to say "the only reason the portuguesse made any sort of major exploration is because they had nowhere else to go and were too weak to expand in Europe". In both case, it completely ignore the fact that those countries, while they benefited from their position, still had to do plenty of hard work to turn that position to an advantage.

Afterall, having plenty of powerful neighbor as the Neth did means they were under constant threat of military annexation, too.

jonatas
Oct 24, 2006, 04:06 PM
Ok guys, I admit it. RickFGS is just a double username I created to post under when I get drunk and I'm surfing CFC History forum... think of him as my evil twin :D

willemvanoranje
Oct 25, 2006, 05:03 AM
Well, most point have been cleared by Oda... but I'll give it a go.

And regarding Ducth you say...let me see...nothing...just like the Dutch did in history basically nothing compared to Portugal.

I did give you a list of colonies, but I'll agree that it was a bit lame. If you read through the pages you might actually learn something about history though. I suggest you do some reading and you'll realize that the Dutch had some influence on history, although not necessarily bigger than any other European nation.

Sorry you have no arguments. Netherlands in history is yet to realize something of value in comparison to Portugal as so Poland and many other Countries, rather you like it or not, facts are facts.

How about the European Cup of 1988? :p

IMO Netherlands could be compared to Portugal in importance. Portugal colonized Africa and Brazil coz they were first there. Netherlands colonized pretty much when compared to how late they came to other continents. And Dutch explorers found Australia too. AFAIK Netherlands produced huge amount of ships too, for example 250 warships for war against Ebgland.

I agree. The Dutch were never particularly good at actually creating settler colonies. One of the most succesful ones, New Amsterdam, was taken over by the English and became New York. Same goes for South-Africa's Cape Colony.

Oh, and don't forget New Zealand. It's named a after a Dutch province. ;)

Come on! Its not thks to Portugal, Brazil speaks Portuguese? Then why does americans speak english?

Of course Portugal gave Portuguese to the Brazilians, I just said it's thanks to imigration and the fertility of the Brazilians that there are so many people speaking it today.


Because the primary commercial port of Europe from 1500 to 2006 essentialy always being Dutch is nothing?

Ah yes, good one. Rotterdam was the biggest worldwide from I don't know when till about halfway 2004. Shanghai took over.


The population of PORTUGAL today is 10 millions. Trying to act like Brazil is still part of Portugal as you do is completely ridiculous. Brazilians today are no more portuguesse than Americans are Englishmen.

Brazilians even make jokes about Portuguese. :p


You controled 220million? Again, how many speak deutch today? errmmmm...looks a bit laking "power" there the netherlands influence....

I don't think there is a lot of people speaking German in Indonesia nowadays. Only people that are there for business I guess, and the ones working on the embassy of Germany. How is this relevant though, and how/why should the Dutch have taught the Indonesian natives German?


Primary commercial port? well your in the middle of France, england, Germany and all other, so i guess you are great because of your neighbours....

Right, it is our neighbours that made us great because they did not want the greatness themselves! :lol: Sure, the Dutch always profited from their neighbours.. who else to sell to? The Dutch market is not big enough. But the fact that they had and in many cases still have to come to Holland for their business, means something doesn't it?


Now lets see, Netherlands history achievement to put on some sort of golden book, it only ocurrs to me the East Indies Company....which you didnt even refered so i guess its not that important...

If you know about the existence of this company, you know that all the colonies I named were actually possessions of this company (VOC) and the it's western counterpart, the WIC. The first multinational companies around. The colonies were owned by the companies, not by the country.. there wasn't even a real country, just a confederation of states. Only later on ownership was transfered.

As for degrees i have one in Management, so dont think i´m ignorant also.

Good for you! Parabens viu! I clearly have to broaden my perspective; I had no idea history was so important in management courses.

Ok guys, I admit it. RickFGS is just a double username I created to post under when I get drunk and I'm surfing CFC History forum... think of him as my evil twin :D

Hahaha, we'll have to report that. :p

Verbose
Oct 25, 2006, 05:06 AM
Ok guys, I admit it. RickFGS is just a double username I created to post under when I get drunk and I'm surfing CFC History forum... think of him as my evil twin :D
561 posts drunk and 1802 sober?!:eek:
You most have one hell of a party life style!:lol:

willemvanoranje
Oct 25, 2006, 05:14 AM
To sum-up my position:

* Both Portugal and Holland have experienced short period (about a century long) hegemony. Portugal was the first hegemone, the first nation to dominate the oceans and has 'discovered' (let's not get in the debate as to how far inhabited lands can be discovered) some very important areas and searoutes.
* Portugal lost its hegemony over the ocean once Dutch traders assumed and elaborated Portuguese tactics. The Dutch also armed their ships, and instead of only 'taxing trade', they also controlled the salesmarket. This salesmarket was of course Amsterdam, partially thanks to the at that time very intolerant Spanish and Portuguese.
* Holland lost its hegemony in a series of wars with England. The first was won by England, the second by the Dutch.. the third technically ended with a Dutchman becoming king of England, but effectively resulted in the end of Dutch rule over the seas. England adapted the Dutch tactics in world trade, and added bulk goods to their system and took over world trade.
* So, Portugal had an important role in this part of history, as did the Dutch. Fact is that either side was at no point in time able to conquer Europe, or was even dominating it politically.



Oh, and to name one recent Dutch discovery:

The CD!

It was developped by Philips. They needed Sony to make it big though.:p

Just thought I'd mention for the fun of it.

MCdread
Oct 25, 2006, 07:06 AM
This thread became funnier than it ever could have been imaginable for such a dry (from my perspective) theme. Good job guys! :D
Btw, Portugal has been kicking Holland's ass since football was invented. And since in Europe, football is now the true sublimation of war :yup:, that's all that counts! :p

willemvanoranje
Oct 25, 2006, 07:49 AM
This thread became funnier than it ever could have been imaginable for such a dry (from my perspective) theme. Good job guys! :D
Btw, Portugal has been kicking Holland's ass since football was invented. And since in Europe, football is now the true sublimation of war :yup:, that's all that counts! :p

I already introduced football in one of the previous posts to prove that we are actually stronger. :p

We have an official international title, the European Cup of 1988. We have more Champion Cups, more UEFA-Cups, just as many Cup Winner Cups, more World Cup participations, better results in those World Cups.. it's just in the head-to-head confrontations where statistics smash us. :D But let's continue this part in the Sports Forum, shall we?:D (although this is history of sports;))

MCdread
Oct 25, 2006, 08:19 AM
I already introduced football in one of the previous posts to prove that we are actually stronger. :p

Yeah, you see. I am jonatas and Rick! :D When I'm serious I'm jonatas, when I'm drunk I'm Rick and when there's football, it's me. So, when football started, I had to post with this alias. :D

We have an official international title, the European Cup of 1988. We have more Champion Cups, more UEFA-Cups, just as many Cup Winner Cups, more World Cup participations, better results in those World Cups.. it's just in the head-to-head confrontations where statistics smash us. :D But let's continue this part in the Sports Forum, shall we?:D (although this is history of sports;))

You only won 88 because we weren't there. We weren't there because our pla... soldiers were on a strike for the National Te... Army, probably getting used to the european social model and bourgeois modes, since we entered EEC a couple of years before.
Anyway, like I said, football is war. Is there a World Cup for war? No, wars are between two blocks of opponents. Now, gimme more of that sweet orange juice. :yeah:

Hitti-Litti
Oct 25, 2006, 09:54 AM
HA! Wait until you hear what Finland has achieved!

Nothing.

But if you discuss about football, do it in ST.

Note:Champions Cup win of Ajax 1995 happened because Litmanen played there. :smug:

willemvanoranje
Oct 25, 2006, 11:22 AM
HA! Wait until you hear what Finland has achieved!

Nothing.

But if you discuss about football, do it in ST.

Note:Champions Cup win of Ajax 1995 happened because Litmanen played there. :smug:

Finland fought of the Russians in WWII. That's not bad you know. I know a man by the way, German, who faught in Finland after they had called in the help of the Germans.

And Litmanen happened because he played for Ajax. :p j/k Best #10 around.

Hitti-Litti
Oct 25, 2006, 11:31 AM
I meant football achievements. If we don't talk about football, I woild say these:

Nokia, Moomins, Sibelius, Litmanen and sauna.
And Martti Servo. :p

We in Finland will miss Litti a long time after he's gone. Damn, he is injured again.

RickFGS
Oct 25, 2006, 03:55 PM
You fail to realize that Portugal actually did something in history, while Netherlands came later along with england, france and germany, just to pick off the portuguese and spanish colonies. We did the hard work, others just stoled it.

Brazilians do make fun of Portuguese, and americans dont do the same to england? and other ex-colonies? Where are we different from others? And trust me, we make fun of Brazilianzs too, dont think its just one way. Portuguese economic influence in Brazil is steal great although they try to deny it.

Fact: Brazilians speak portuguese, as any other ex-portuguese colonie does, like it or not.
Fact: Indonesians speak indonesian, so Netherlands influence in my view failed here (in fact i need a little refreshing of memory, where else but netherlands is the deutch language spoken????).

Oh, and indonesians were an advanced people compared to south american natives? Lol, gimme a break, now you´re the one whos out of reality.

jonatas
Oct 25, 2006, 04:36 PM
I already introduced football in one of the previous posts to prove that we are actually stronger. :p


This is clearly PC revisionism and a vandalization of history. Let's not go there...

willemvanoranje
Oct 25, 2006, 05:17 PM
You fail to realize that Portugal actually did something in history, while Netherlands came later along with england, france and germany, just to pick off the portuguese and spanish colonies. We did the hard work, others just stoled it

I am not sure if I am the person adressed here. In case it is me, then I think you have misread or misunderstood me. On various occassion I have confirmed Portugal's contribution to history.

However saying that you did the hard work is just idiocy and you know it. You know very well that especially in those beginning days colonies were little more than a fortress with a trading post.

Brazilians do make fun of Portuguese, and americans dont do the same to england? and other ex-colonies? Where are we different from others? And trust me, we make fun of Brazilianzs too, dont think its just one way. Portuguese economic influence in Brazil is steal great although they try to deny it.

Of course. Every country makes fun of countries it has tight historic relations with. No need to defend yourself. I do not have numbers nor have ever seen them, but I amhonestly interested in the Portuguese influence on Brazilian economy.

Fact: Brazilians speak portuguese, as any other ex-portuguese colonie does, like it or not.

Well not all of them, but the major ones that were under long enough influence yes. And a beautiful Portuguese it is!


Fact: Indonesians speak indonesian, so Netherlands influence in my view failed here (in fact i need a little refreshing of memory, where else but netherlands is the deutch language spoken????)..

Wrong there. There is no such thing as an Indonesian language. The most common is Bahasa Indonesia, but there are hundreds of different languages in Indonesia, as there are hundreds of different peoples too. In this Bahasa Indonesia you will find a lot of Dutch influences though; Dutch words literally copied into the language. That is some influence. I still fail to see how language can be so decisive.

And Deutsch (Alemão) is spoken in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, a small part of Belgium, some cities in Southern-Brazil, and a few isolated places around the world. Dutch (Holandês) is spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium, French-Flanders, Suriname, some Caribbean islands and a few isolated places around the world (in Canada, Australia, Brazil). Clear difference here. I put the names of the languages in Portuguese behind it.


Oh, and indonesians were an advanced people compared to south american natives? Lol, gimme a break, now you´re the one whos out of reality.

Their immune-system was. That's enough. Ever wondered why Europeans never colonized Asia the way they colonized the Americas? Because there was no empty land. The diseases that killed of the natives of the Americas were brought there by Europeans, but actually originated in Asia. When Europeans went to Asia, it was the Europeans getting sick.

Verbose
Oct 25, 2006, 05:24 PM
Oh, and indonesians were an advanced people compared to south american natives? Lol, gimme a break, now you´re the one whos out of reality.
Ok, what bit of Brazil at the time compared to the court of the Javanese Sultan in Yogyakarta?:scan:

Where are the Brazilian elaborate sword-smithing techniques that could produce blades comparable to the "kris"?:scan:

Where are the native Brazilian equivalent of the 1000 elephants and 200 artillery pieces of the Sultan of Acheh?:scan:

Have you, in fact, done any reading about the societies of Java and Sumatra?:confused:

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 25, 2006, 09:54 PM
What native Brazilian wonder even begin to compare with Borobudur? How many of them existed in 1000 CE? In 850 CE, when Borobudur was completed?

Where were the native Brazilian traders, when Indonesia was part of a trade network ranging from the Swahili coast (that's Africa) all the way to China?

What were the borders of the ancient Brazilian states, when the Majapahit empire (yes, they were local, not foreigners) controled almost all of present-day Indonesia? How many chiefs had more than two or three villages under their sway?

And that's only beginning to scratch the surface.

It almost seems the only (historical) reading he's done is Portuguesse nationalist tracts, unfortunately. Or possibly "historians" who really should call their work nationalist tracts.

willemvanoranje
Oct 26, 2006, 05:23 AM
Mainly old-fashioned high school education I guess..

I understand the need to get Portugal on the map. I tried the same with my country. :D It's just his tactics that surprise me because of..well, the lack of tactics. Just screaming your country is the greatest doesn't convince anyone. :p

brachy-pride
Oct 31, 2006, 09:31 AM
I agree that Portugal and Spain did all the hard work, the portuguese were the first europeans to circumnavigate africa, reach india, ceylan, china, japan, the spice islands, they basically did all the exploring that mattered.

The dutch basically dedicated themselves to conquer the Portuguese colonies in asia, while Portugal had been annexed by Spain, and all the resources of the state had been diverted to fighting european wars or protecting spanish american colonies, making the defense of the portuguese asian colonies quite difficult.

Portugal opened the sea route to india and east asia, Spain discovered America (I know about the vikings, but this one mattered), and the circumnavigation to the world was started by Magallanes, a portuguese, and finished by Elcano, a spaniard.

And I agree that the fact Portugal was able to expand her language and religion talks about a deeper colonization of the lands they ruled, while Indonesia was just a huge factory for the netherlands.

Pretty much in every Portuguese, Spanish or English colony ruled for a considerable time (which would be like 300 years for the dutch in indonesia, reight?), they succeded in imposing their language, at least as a co official lingua franca of the country.
The only exception I can think of is the Philippines, but there Spanish was killed by the USA administration and replaced with english.


And anglo hegemony certainly did not start in the middle XVII century, I cant think of any way in which england was hegemonic in 1650, for me England as a super power starts in the middle VXIII century (and continues being a super power till world war 2), because until that point France was clearly the european continent suporpower and there was an almost parity on the sea.

Oda Nobunaga
Oct 31, 2006, 12:14 PM
That sounds about right. Portugal did play a very important role, there's no denying it, but that doesn't make it the most powerful European country, at least not most powerful in Europe proper. (There is little doubt Portugal was for a long time the most powerful European country outside the continent, especially at sea - right up until England and some of the others got involved in the naval arms race, at which time Portugal faded away from the world scene. And yes, spain helped a lot).

As far as the deeper colonization bit - again, we're debating entirely different realms. Portugal ruled for the most part over either primitives (Brazil, southern Africa), or over geographically small areas (ie, trading posts). Not exactly in the same league, again, as what Indonesian civilization already existed by the time the dutch arrived.

willemvanoranje
Oct 31, 2006, 06:15 PM
And anglo hegemony certainly did not start in the middle XVII century, I cant think of any way in which england was hegemonic in 1650, for me England as a super power starts in the middle VXIII century (and continues being a super power till world war 2), because until that point France was clearly the european continent suporpower and there was an almost parity on the sea.

I agree, of course not 1650, that was still the Dutch days in economic/commercial/financial hegemony!

Sure, it's hard to chose a certain point.. but if one has to chose it has to be somewhere around the end of the Third Anglo-Dutch War or the Glorious Revolution.

brachy-pride
Oct 31, 2006, 08:08 PM
I agree that portugal was never the msot powerful european country, they always lacked the manpower, they barely had more than 1 million inhabitants.

RickFGS
Oct 31, 2006, 09:15 PM
Portugal was the most powerfull country in the world, not just europe, in over 100 years period, theres no question here. Argument all you want facts are facts.

The gold reserves alone could buy europe 3 times. I´m not metioning the tax revenues from monopoly overseas commerce, military conquests and the giving away of the city of Macau as a present to Portugal after we defeat Chinas enemies in sea battles.

Portugal at the time had the largest navy, most advanced weaponary, most advanced vessels, best trade system and exclusiveness in goods not existing in europe. Almost every city in the country was covered with an luxurious palace, monument or basillicas. These reamin today and thks to this we have hundreds of "world patrimony" status.

When the Pope took any decision the first guest was the King of Portugal.
Foreign powers before trade demanded Portugal´s seal of insurance on the good.

The only countries that rivaled Portugal where of course Spain, England and France. Others never had this kind of power.

As for manpower, we colonized Brazil, Açores, Madeira, Cabo Verde, Angola, Moçambique, Serra da Mina, Macau, Goa, Damão, Dio, Singapura, and many other...And still we had the manpower to pilote an numerous and powerfull navy, secure trade between Portugal, Brazil and Japan! Quite a long distance no? this for a long period of time.

Portugal lost its power not because we are weak, or undeveloped or short of manpower, we lost our power beacuse of the rulers that followed the death of D.Manuel II, it takes 100 years to build something, but it only takes 1 year or less to destroy and waste it all.

History above all teaches one thing, a nation is worth by its citizens no doubt, but it´s his leader´s ability that drives it forward or backwards making all the difference in the long run.

Note: When Netherlands had lost all his colonies Portugal still had a lot of them in the XX century, of course this lead us into a bloody and brutal war which our people still cary many scars from it nowadays. The fact is that Portugal´s "low" manpower had always a bigger control then netherlands "high" manpower. Kinda makes you think...

The correct history assuption is therefore: Netherlands and others did played an important role, but always lacked power to impose its culture, economy and language on its neighbours.

shortguy
Oct 31, 2006, 11:50 PM
Portugal was the most powerfull country in the world, not just europe, in over 100 years period, theres no question here. Argument all you want facts are facts.

Facts are facts, of course. But interpretation is not fact.

Verbose
Nov 01, 2006, 12:44 AM
The bit about the Portugese colonial empireI find most interesting is that there were never enough Portugese to run it. So Portugal had to, and did, enlist the locals, very successfully too. It made for a differet kind of situation from the Spanish or English empires.

Compared to the other great overseas colonial empires of its day the Portugese colonies played a considerably greater role as compared to the motherland.

And I still find the claim that the Dutch somehow shouldn't be reconed with daft.

Not only were they finacial innovators, and the Low Countries had been an economic and demographic powerhouse in Europe since the High Middle Ages, but there's a very interesting story about technological and administrative innovation putting the Dutch up in such a way that they were able to in fact go after large parts the Portugese overseas empire (this being the soft option compared to taking on the Spanish and English, which the Dutch of course also did both at home and abroad). The Dutch literally invented the means to claim their country from the sea.

All northern European languages are shock full of Dutch nautical term. They might as well have invented sailing and shipbuilding, or to be precise, they did to a great extent invent those lines of ship types and handling skills that became phenomenally successful in the 17th c. They were the ones to copy back then, not the powers of the first wave of European overseas colonial expansion.

As for a possible lack of a Dutch cultural impact on their colonies, it's a matter of both who got colonised how and with what agenda. All Dutch colonial ventures were business and orinted towards trade and quick profits, not controlling local politics. Most importantly religion wasn't really a big Dutch motive, and prior to the 19th c. religion was the main reason for imposing yourself culturally on other people. The Dutch had made religion a private issue, meaning their country was just about the only working mix of Protestants, Catholics and Jews in 17th c. Europe.

It's not like Indonesia was conquered and occupied in some kind of blanket campaign in the 17th c. Dutch rule was extended gradually. By the late 18th c. they had established (or rather the VOC, not the Netherlands per se) had superimposed itself as a central administrative layer on top of the local political rulers.
But not all of it. Some parts of Indonesia, like the very tough nut of the Sultanate of Ache, weren't conquered until the 19th c. (The Achinese today still claim not to properly belong in Indonesia.)
Indonesia is in some ways better comparable to british India. Early access, trade and huge profits, but only direct control of most of it in the 19th c. Prior to then "control" mostly meant making sure you could keep your European competitors away anyway, which the VOC did. Indonesia wasn't in fact "colonised" in a way resembling what we today think of when using the word until after the Napoleonic wars, when the Netherlands had taken control of the Company.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:06 AM
Facts are facts, of course. But interpretation is not fact.

Truth is always hard to read or ear about. In current days it´s even more since northern and central powers of europe dominate economical power and the tendency is to re-write history, making them the greatest and others a "good try", so typically.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:14 AM
All northern European languages are shock full of Dutch nautical term. They might as well have invented sailing and shipbuilding, or to be precise, they did to a great extent invent those lines of ship types and handling skills that became phenomenally successful in the 17th c. They were the ones to copy back then, not the powers of the first wave of European overseas colonial expansion.

Ermm, i´m sorry, but again Portugal was the first and we pratically invented all there was about sailing and note that the following achievements were all made in the 15th century, not the 17th century:

The Sextante - first instrument capable of determine almost the exact sea location combining star location and magnetic points through mathematical calculations (used since 1434, almost 100 years earlier then everyone else).

Fisrt capable ship to travel against wind in every directions - the caravela, African coastline travelling south has winds and both water flowing north.

Fisrt military large port ship - The Nau.

Fisrt large port comercial transcontinental ship - the Galleon.

Fisrt capable fleet of circumnavigation of the globe - Fernão de Magalhães Expedition and many others that followed.

First full detailed cartography maps and discoveries made around mathematical map coordinations still in todays use. Many portuguese were hired by Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and England at this point to teach and work in their navies.

Later powers including Spain just captured portuguese ships, straped them apart and copied like crazy in early days.

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 01, 2006, 03:22 AM
Portugal was the most powerfull country in the world, not just europe, in over 100 years period, theres no question here. Argument all you want facts are facts.

Easy to say when you have only the most tenous grasp on facts.

The gold reserves alone could buy europe 3 times.

That's the problem, Rick. Gold reserves don't do you any good on their own, just sitting there, in terms of power. Oh, sure, it's around for problems, but untli the problems come - it's just wasted looking good.

To have any sort of use whatsoever on the power scale, gold must be invested in your nation.

-You improve your army, to better defend yourself, and even stand a chance of claiming new lands.
-You buy new domains, preferable valuable ones. However, good territories are rarely for sale - and in the 15th century, Burgundy did an awesome job of snagging up virtually any piece of real estate that wound up being for sale (the Netherlands, primarily).
-You improve those domains you already have, by hiring skilled engineers, etc, and having them build useful military, urban or commercial infrastructure (a Palace, a basilic, etc, does NOT fit the definition of "useful" infrastructure).

Putting aside what Portugal did in the rest of the world - it didn't do all that much of it Europe ; or at least, if it did, it was to no great effect.

Portugal at the time had the largest navy

Which doesn't bring you that much power and influence in Europe proper, not unless you have the ports to use it well. England did (was in position to enforce large-scale blockades ; Spain maybe too, but not Portugal.

most advanced weaponary,

Most of which, according to my sources, came from the Holy Roman Empire...including the Netherlands.

most advanced vessels, best trade system

Right up until the Dutch- and English- style capitalism put in an appearance, anyway, ie, not all that long.

Almost every city in the country was covered with an luxurious palace, monument or basillicas. These reamin today and thks to this we have hundreds of "world patrimony" status.

And none of this translates into *power* Rick. From the "power" perspective, building a palace is ultimately a waste of money. It won't make other kings more likely to listen to you, won't make your armies more likely to win battles, etc.

When the Pope took any decision the first guest was the King of Portugal.

Which never stopped Castille (and later Spain) among others from using their own papal influence to get the pope to annul decrees in favor of Portugal that they (Castille) did not like.

As for manpower, we colonized Brazil, Açores, Madeira, Cabo Verde, Angola, Moçambique, Serra da Mina, Macau, Goa, Damão, Dio, Singapura, and many other...And still we had the manpower to pilote an numerous and powerfull navy, secure trade between Portugal, Brazil and Japan! Quite a long distance no? this for a long period of time.

And none of this means much manpower-wise. The vast majority of Portuguesse colonies only had a relatively minimal portuguesse population, and a comparatively much larger slave and native population (Brazil especially had numerous black slaves there), and even then those populations remained relatively small.

In addition, due to distance, travel times, etc, people in the colonies simply could not be of any help with regard to power in Europe ; it would take several more years before colonial troops would become useful during European conflicts.

As far as fleets go, color me unimpressed. Here are some numbers to put this in perspective :

Total Crew of the Portuguesse carrack San Antonio : 86.
Total Crew and Passenters of the Spanish Caravels Nina and Pinta : 18 and 26, respectively.

You could crew a lot of ship with very few men.

The blunt facts, manpower-wise, however, are these population figures - excluding, for all nations, their colonies, as these were, for most of the era, extremely small, with much of the population being native, and in any event too far away to be of much help if a conflict developed in Europe :

Portugal :
1500 : 1 000 000
1600 : 2 000 000
1750 : 2 400 000
1850 : 3 800 000
2000 : 10 000 000

England (NOT including Scotland) :
1500 : 2 000 000
1600 : 4 400 000
1750 : 5 800 000
1850 : 17 900 000
2000 : 52 100 000

Spain :
1500 : 6 000 000
1600 : 8 000 000
1750 : 9 200 000
1850 : 15 700 000
2000 : 39 400 000

France :
1500 : 15 000 000
1600 : 20 000 000
1750 : 24 000 000
1850 : 35 600 000
2000 : 59 300 000

(For the records : MODERN Netherlands was generally a bit behind Portugal in terms of manpower until the late nineteenth century - 900 000 in 1500, 1 800 000 or so in 1600, etc. The ratio right now is 15 000 000 to 10 000 000 favoring NETH, though,

You wanted facts? Here they are. At EVERY point in modern history, even the weakest of the big three powers of Europe had at least twice your population. In fact, even today, you still have not caught up to the population France had *eight hundred years ago*.

History above all teaches one thing, a nation is worth by its citizens no doubt, but it´s his leader´s ability that drives it forward or backwards making all the difference in the long run.

Simplistic vision of history. A great ruler can hasten a nation's fall, or delay it, but ultimately, economics, demographics, geographics, infrastructural and

Note: When Netherlands had lost all his colonies Portugal still had a lot of them in the XX century, of course this lead us into a bloody and brutal war which our people still cary many scars from it nowadays. The fact is that Portugal´s "low" manpower had always a bigger control then netherlands "high" manpower. Kinda makes you think...

And THIS, ladies and gentleman, is mister "Facts" at work. For his eduction, therefore, major colonies of each of these fine two nations (excluding various trading posts).

For your education, first, Rick, BOTH Portugal and the Netherlands still hang on to some of their old colonies : Madeira and the Azores for Portugal, against the two group of Dutch Antilles for the Netherlands.

Of course, you could exclude islands and small trading posts. In that case, both Portugal and the Netherlands lost their last colonies within days of each other - Dutch Guiana (now Suriname) on November 25, 1975, vs East Timor (if you REALLY stretch definitions) 3 days later on November 28, or (if you're being a bit more honest), Angola on November 11.

Then, of course, you could be talking about Indonesia, which did become independant thirty years before Angola and Mozambique, true enough. However, Angola and Mozambique, as far as colonies go, were nowhere near being in the same class as Indonesia. The one Portuguesse colony that was anywhere near comparable to Indonesia was Brazil, and as I recall, Portugal lost THAT one in 1825.

As you like facts so much, there you go.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:35 AM
Easy to say when you have only the most tenous grasp on facts.



That's the problem, Rick. *IN THE RESERVES*

Gold that's just sitting around looking pretty won't do you any good (note : unless you print out a massive quantity of slips of paper representing ownership of part of that reserve).

To have any sort of use whatsoever, gold must be spent - wisely.

How do you translate gold into power?

-You build yourself an army, or give yourself the means of doing so. Without a sizeable population (Which Portugal never had), this generally means relying on mercenaries.
-You buy new domains, preferable valuable ones. However, good territories are rarely for sale - and in the 15th century, Burgundy did an awesome job of snagging up virtually any piece of real estate that wound up being for sale (the Netherlands, primarily).
-You improve those domains you already have, by hiring skilled engineers, etc, and having them build useful military, urban or commercial infrastructure (a Palace, a basilic, etc, does NOT fit the definition of "useful" infrastructure).

Putting aside what Portugal did in the rest of the world - it did very little of any of these things in Europe. That just plain isn't power.




Lol, no comments, someone needs to learn economics...

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:36 AM
Most of which, according to my sources, came from the Holy Roman Empire...including the Netherlands.


OMG, our techonology camed from the Holy Roman Empire and Dutch? Cheez this one is even better.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:38 AM
Right up until the Dutch- and English- style capitalism put in an appearance, anyway, ie, not all that long.



And none of this translates into *power* Rick. From the "power" perspective, building a palace is ultimately a waste of money. It won't make other kings more likely to listen to you, won't make your armies more likely to win battles, etc.


Controlling world commerce, sea and enourmous economical influence is not power of course, your analisys are indeed very accurate....cof cof...

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:40 AM
Which never stopped Castille (and later Spain) among others from using their own papal influence to get the pope to annul decrees in favor of Portugal that they (Castille) did not like.


Oh? The Pope didnt favour us at all, we just divided the world along with Spain, i dont recall Netherlands beiing on the meting though...must had caught some traffic along the way, happens to the best...

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:43 AM
As far as fleets go, color me unimpressed. Here are some numbers to put this in perspective :

Total Crew of the Portuguesse carrack San Antonio : 86.
Total Crew and Passenters of the Spanish Caravels Nina and Pinta : 18 and 26, respectively.

You could crew a lot of ship with very few men.



And this statement proves what? nothing. I´ll just research around a put let me see, Afonso the Albuquerque´s flag ship - 15 crewmen - against your Nina and Pinta 18:26, and remenber this guy took Urmoz from the Arabs, Damão and Dio and discovered the way to India on the process.

Which means we could took on everyone one with only 15 men per ship....

AND for your education, the Santa Maria, Pinta and Nina were atual replicas of portuguese ships that Columbus took for Spain, ups....

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 01, 2006, 03:48 AM
And for your education, the point I was making was that a large navy did not mean a lot of manpower. I mentionned "spanish" here because these two ships were spanish ; so your "oops" is really quite besides the point. Who actually invented the caravel was UTTERLY irrelevant to that particular part of the debate.

Also, you're supposed to reply with a single post, not fifty separate ones.

Oh, and regarding economics - the thesis that state a nation's wealth is based on the amount of precious metals it own is, I believe, Mercantilism - which has been more or less outdated for several centuries. Owning gold doesn't make you powerful.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:49 AM
And none of this translates into *power* Rick. From the "power" perspective, building a palace is ultimately a waste of money. It won't make other kings more likely to listen to you, won't make your armies more likely to win battles, etc.

Oh? 100 palaces doesnt translate you have money? :crazyeye:

The resources were well aplied till D.Sebastião, continetal Portugal and colonies had all state of the art improvements and one of the must cultural minds of the time.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:53 AM
For your education, first, Rick, BOTH Portugal and the Netherlands still hang on to some of their old colonies : Madeira and the Azores for Portugal, against the two group of Dutch Antilles for the Netherlands.


My education is fine....I have a little doubts on your sources though. Açores and Madeira were never colonies, they are 100% blood portuguese. The islands were deserted. Its portuguese soil and will remain as such.

As for the dutch Antillas i´m open for discussion.

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:58 AM
Facts:

As quoted from Wikipedia - "The Portuguese Empire was the earliest and longest lived of the western european colonial empires (1415-1999)." Weird....? My education is really bad no doubt...

Since you like facts also go read up, you might learn somemore:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Empire

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 03:59 AM
[edit] Largest empires by landmass

[edit] All empires
British Empire - 36.6 million km² [1] (under King George V in 1921)
Mongol Empire - 33.2 million km² [1] (under Khublai Khan in 1279)
Russian Empire - 22.8 million km² [2] (under Tsar Alexander III in 1895)
Spanish Empire - 19 million km² [1] (under King Phillip II)
Portuguese Empire - 18 million km²[1]
Arab Empire - 13.2 million km² [1] (under the Umayyad Caliphate)
Qing Empire - 12 million km² [3] (under Emperor Qianlong)
French Empire - 12 million km² [1]
Persian Empire - 7.5 million km² [4] (under the Achaemenid Dynasty)
Japanese Empire - 7.4 million km² [1] (during World War II)
Ming Empire - 6.5 million km² [2]
Han Empire - 6 million km² [2]
Ottoman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1]
Roman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1] (under Emperor Trajan)
Tang Empire - 5.4 million km² [2] (under Emperor Gaozong of Tang [5])
Macedonian Empire - 5.4 million km² [1] (under Alexander the Great)
Maurya Empire - 5 million km² [2] (under Ashoka the Great)
Mexican Empire - 4.7 millon km² [1]
Timurid Empire - 4.4 million km² [2]
Mughal Empire - 4 million km² [2]
Hunnic Empire - 4 million km² [2] (under Attila the Hun)
Seljuq Empire - 3.9 million km² [2]
Seleucid Empire - 3.9 million km² [1]
Italian Empire - 3.8 million km² (during World War II)
Dutch Empire - 3.7 million km² [1]
Nazi German Empire - 3.6 million km² [1] (during World War II)
Gupta Empire - 3.5 million km² [2]
Ghaznavid Empire - 3.4 million km² [2]
Delhi Sultanate - 3.2 million km² [2]
Khazar Empire - 3 million km² [2]
Median Empire - 2.8 million km² [2]
Byzantine Empire - 2.7 million km² [2]
Chola Empire - 2.5 million km² [6] (under Rajendra Chola I)
Neo-Assyrian Empire - 1.4 million km² [2]
Aksumite Empire - 1.3 million km² [2]
Srivijaya Empire - 1.2 million km² [2]
Harsha Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Egyptian Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Almoravid Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Khmer Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Akkadian Empire - 650,000 km² [7]
Neo-Babylonian Empire - 500,000 km² [7]

[edit] Overseas empires
British Empire - 36.6 million km² (under King George V in 1921)
Spanish Empire - 19 million km² (under King Phillip II)
French Empire - 12 million km²
Portuguese Empire - 10 million km²
Japanese Empire - 7.4 million km² (during World War II)
Italian Empire - 3.8 million km² (during World War II)
Dutch Empire - 3.7 million km²
Chola Empire - 2.5 million km² (under Rajendra Chola I)
Srivijaya Empire - 1.2 million km²


Enjoy ;)

And this rests my case. Cheers mates and tip - read up, history channel alone is not enough.

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 01, 2006, 04:09 AM
Oh? 100 palaces doesnt translate you have money? :crazyeye:

The resources were well aplied till D.Sebastião, continetal Portugal and colonies had all state of the art improvements and one of the must cultural minds of the time.

Having *MONEY* and having *POWER* are not quite the same thing, especially not in early modern Europe.

Regarding your comment on Azores et al, the term "colony" in english has nothing to do with the presence or absence of native people, and there Azores were most certianly colonized by Portugal in the 1400s, although if you want to count them as something other than (ex) colonies, that's quite alright with me. You might not realize it, but I was doing Portugal a favor by counting htem, since otherwise Netherlands still have some of their old colonies - and you do not.

EDIT : Landmass is, in itself, relatively meaningless in this thread. Siberia is much larger than the United States, but someone who controls the States is MUCH more powerful than someone who controls Siberia. In fact, this very point was already discussed in this thread, so your little list of largest empires by landmass is QUITE besides the topic here. Especially since much of the Portuguesse empire landmass was the Amazon rainforest.

Oh, and "longest lived" doesn't mean "last to let go of its colonies". England, France and the Netherlands all STILL hold some of their old colonies (as oversea territories of various sort, now, of course).

Thorgalaeg
Nov 01, 2006, 06:00 AM
[edit] Largest empires by landmass

[edit] All empires
British Empire - 36.6 million km² [1] (under King George V in 1921)
Mongol Empire - 33.2 million km² [1] (under Khublai Khan in 1279)
Russian Empire - 22.8 million km² [2] (under Tsar Alexander III in 1895)
Spanish Empire - 19 million km² [1] (under King Phillip II)
Portuguese Empire - 18 million km²[1]
Arab Empire - 13.2 million km² [1] (under the Umayyad Caliphate)
Qing Empire - 12 million km² [3] (under Emperor Qianlong)
French Empire - 12 million km² [1]
Persian Empire - 7.5 million km² [4] (under the Achaemenid Dynasty)
Japanese Empire - 7.4 million km² [1] (during World War II)
Ming Empire - 6.5 million km² [2]
Han Empire - 6 million km² [2]
Ottoman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1]
Roman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1] (under Emperor Trajan)
Tang Empire - 5.4 million km² [2] (under Emperor Gaozong of Tang [5])
Macedonian Empire - 5.4 million km² [1] (under Alexander the Great)
Maurya Empire - 5 million km² [2] (under Ashoka the Great)
Mexican Empire - 4.7 millon km² [1]
Timurid Empire - 4.4 million km² [2]
Mughal Empire - 4 million km² [2]
Hunnic Empire - 4 million km² [2] (under Attila the Hun)
Seljuq Empire - 3.9 million km² [2]
Seleucid Empire - 3.9 million km² [1]
Italian Empire - 3.8 million km² (during World War II)
Dutch Empire - 3.7 million km² [1]
Nazi German Empire - 3.6 million km² [1] (during World War II)
Gupta Empire - 3.5 million km² [2]
Ghaznavid Empire - 3.4 million km² [2]
Delhi Sultanate - 3.2 million km² [2]
Khazar Empire - 3 million km² [2]
Median Empire - 2.8 million km² [2]
Byzantine Empire - 2.7 million km² [2]
Chola Empire - 2.5 million km² [6] (under Rajendra Chola I)
Neo-Assyrian Empire - 1.4 million km² [2]
Aksumite Empire - 1.3 million km² [2]
Srivijaya Empire - 1.2 million km² [2]
Harsha Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Egyptian Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Almoravid Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Khmer Empire - 1 million km² [2]
Akkadian Empire - 650,000 km² [7]
Neo-Babylonian Empire - 500,000 km² [7]

[edit] Overseas empires
British Empire - 36.6 million km² (under King George V in 1921)
Spanish Empire - 19 million km² (under King Phillip II)
French Empire - 12 million km²
Portuguese Empire - 10 million km²
Japanese Empire - 7.4 million km² (during World War II)
Italian Empire - 3.8 million km² (during World War II)
Dutch Empire - 3.7 million km²
Chola Empire - 2.5 million km² (under Rajendra Chola I)
Srivijaya Empire - 1.2 million km²


Enjoy ;)



And this rests my case. Cheers mates and tip - read up, history channel alone is not enough.
Well i dont think that any of those numbers are very relevant or credible indeed, in any case it is a good habit to post the links to your sources becuase It seems you used wikipedia but precisely the numbers in your post for Portuguese empire landmass are not the same like in the wikipedia article, :confused: the real ones in the wikipedia article being:


Largest empires by landmass

All empires

1. British Empire - 36.6 million km² [1] (under King George V in 1921)
2. Mongol Empire - 33.2 million km² [1] (under Khublai Khan in 1279)
3. Russian Empire - 22.8 million km² [2] (under Tsar Alexander III in 1895)
4. Spanish Empire - 19 million km² [1] (under King Phillip II)
5. Arab Empire - 13.2 million km² [1] (under the Umayyad Caliphate)
6. Qing Empire - 12 million km² [3] (under Emperor Qianlong)
7. French Empire - 12 million km² [1]
8. Portuguese Empire - 10 million km² [1]
9. Brazilian Empire - 8 million km² [1]
10. Persian Empire - 7.5 million km² [4] (under the Achaemenid Dynasty)
11. Japanese Empire - 7.4 million km² [1] (during World War II)
12. Ming Empire - 6.5 million km² [2]
13. Han Empire - 6 million km² [2]
14. Ottoman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1]
15. Roman Empire - 5.6 million km² [1] (under Emperor Trajan)
16. Tang Empire - 5.4 million km² [2] (under Emperor Gaozong of Tang [5])
17. Macedonian Empire - 5.4 million km² [1] (under Alexander the Great)
18. Maurya Empire - 5 million km² [2] (under Ashoka the Great)
19. Mexican Empire - 4.7 millon km² [1]
20. Timurid Empire - 4.4 million km² [2]
21. Mughal Empire - 4 million km² [2]
22. Hunnic Empire - 4 million km² [2] (under Attila the Hun)
23. Seljuq Empire - 3.9 million km² [2]
24. Seleucid Empire - 3.9 million km² [1]
25. Italian Empire - 3.8 million km² (during World War II)
26. Dutch Empire - 3.7 million km² [1]
27. Nazi German Empire - 3.6 million km² [1] (during World War II)
28. Gupta Empire - 3.5 million km² [2]
29. Ghaznavid Empire - 3.4 million km² [2]
30. Delhi Sultanate - 3.2 million km² [2]
31. Khazar Empire - 3 million km² [2]
32. Median Empire - 2.8 million km² [2]
33. Byzantine Empire - 2.7 million km² [2]
34. Chola Empire - 2.5 million km² [6] (under Rajendra Chola I)
35. Neo-Assyrian Empire - 1.4 million km² [2]
36. Aksumite Empire - 1.3 million km² [2]
37. Srivijaya Empire - 1.2 million km² [2]
38. Harsha Empire - 1 million km² [2]
39. Egyptian Empire - 1 million km² [2]
40. Almoravid Empire - 1 million km² [2]
41. Khmer Empire - 1 million km² [2]
42. Akkadian Empire - 650,000 km² [7]
43. Neo-Babylonian Empire - 500,000 km² [7]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_largest_empires

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 06:24 AM
You must add Brazil 10 +8 ;) Cause we had Brazil.

Thorgalaeg
Nov 01, 2006, 06:29 AM
You must add Brazil 10 +8 ;) Cause we had Brazil.
So, Do you think they didnt include Brazil in Portuguese Empire landmass? Why?

RickFGS
Nov 01, 2006, 06:30 AM
Cause that way we would be even more important ;) (French for example) ..its history re-writing, you dont "lie", you just change the interpretation of statistics.

willemvanoranje
Nov 01, 2006, 07:38 AM
The ratio right now is 15 000 000 to 10 000 000 favoring NETH, though,

The one Portuguesse colony that was anywhere near comparable to Indonesia was Brazil, and as I recall, Portugal lost THAT one in 1825.

Nono.. we have over 16 million at the moment (wow:p)! And Brazil was 1822. ;)

Lol, no comments, someone needs to learn economics...

That's probably the worst point tried to be made in this discussion so far. Gold reserves is nothing more than POTENTIAL power.


Controlling world commerce, sea and enourmous economical influence is not power of course, your analisys are indeed very accurate....cof cof...

That's what I said at first too. The consensus within this thread though, is that it's more about the ability of one nation to conquer another, or to stear the other nation's behaviour. It's more focussed on political and military power, than on economic power.

Oh? The Pope didnt favour us at all, we just divided the world along with Spain, i dont recall Netherlands beiing on the meting though...must had caught some traffic along the way, happens to the best...

Don't be so stupid now. How many times must we acknowledge that Portugal was the greatest seafaring nation in at least the first half of the 16th century (and the last decade(s) of the 15th)? The treaty of Tordesillas you speak of was signed in 1494.. I think we have stated many many times that those were the days of the Iberian peninsula and both the Netherlands and England didn't have the same status. In fact, there was no such thing as the Netherlands. It was still part of Austrian Habsburg and later the Habsburg empire of Carlos V.

My education is fine....I have a little doubts on your sources though. Açores and Madeira were never colonies, they are 100% blood portuguese. The islands were deserted. Its portuguese soil and will remain as such.

As for the dutch Antillas i´m open for discussion.

Didn't you say before that they were colonized by Portugal?

You must add Brazil 10 +8 ;) Cause we had Brazil.

That's already included.

Cause that way we would be even more important ;) (French for example) ..its history re-writing, you dont "lie", you just change the interpretation of statistics.

What happened to facts are facts?

shortguy
Nov 01, 2006, 10:12 PM
Oh, and regarding economics - the thesis that state a nation's wealth is based on the amount of precious metals it own is, I believe, Mercantilism - which has been more or less outdated for several centuries. Owning gold doesn't make you powerful.

I think the more appropriate term is "bullionism," actually. It's sort of a proto-Mercantilism, I think.

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 01, 2006, 10:20 PM
I think the more appropriate term is "bullionism," actually. It's sort of a proto-Mercantilism, I think.

Possibly. My economic classes didn't go that far back.

We were more concerned with somewhat more recent theories (ie, Smith onward).

brachy-pride
Nov 02, 2006, 12:52 AM
I always wanted to ask this (about the netherlands), I think here would be better than starting a new thread

Lets imagine, year 1700, I am a dutch and leave the netherlands in a ship, planning on reaching India, which stops would the ship do on its way at least till the Cape Colony in south Africa? I doubt in that time they could go all the way from the netherlands to cape colony without getting new water, food etc?

Did they have other colonies I dont remember right now? were they allowed to stop in territories of other countries?

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 02, 2006, 01:36 AM
Most likely, if they were at peace with those nations.

willemvanoranje
Nov 02, 2006, 07:09 AM
As far as I know they did go all the way to the Cape.. if they'd sail away from Amsterdam, they'd make a stop or two within the territory of the United Provinces still, and then just go.

The only other important trading post on the route was Elmina, conquered from the Portuguese, in today's Ghana.. but that wasn't used as a stop on the way to the Indies I think. It was a tradepost for trade with the Americas (slaves).

brachy-pride
Nov 02, 2006, 09:55 AM
argh, what a long trip

:P

willemvanoranje
Nov 02, 2006, 10:12 AM
Well, this part is just my high school knowledge speaking, so it might very well be incorrect. :p

brachy-pride
Nov 02, 2006, 11:09 AM
I guess it is possible, the Manila Galleon that went from New Spain (Mexico) to the Philippines, was a similar distance (maybe even greater?) with no stops at all

Oda Nobunaga
Nov 02, 2006, 12:29 PM
The ship probably had the range for it ; the question is more whether they would have stopped along the way.

The manilla galleon was close to starvation by the time it finished its crossing, if it did at all. A resupplying stop along the way might not have been a bad idea, though it needs not have been a Dutch colony.

Or possibly as I noted stopping along the shore and sending parties on land to find food and water, or trade with natives for it.

Steph
Nov 08, 2006, 04:15 AM
You must add Brazil 10 +8 ;) Cause we had Brazil.
I'm very impressed to see how brainwashed you are.
In your own list
all empire: Portugal = 18,000,000 km²
oversea empire : Portugal = 10,000,000 km²

Do you really try to make us believe Portugal itself is 8,000,000 km² to explain the difference? :lol: And for what purpose? Just show your empire was larger than the French? :rolleyes: If we count the total land the French controlled with our two colonial empire, instead of just the maximum extent, we are much bigger :p

Portuguese empire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/10/Portugal_Empire.jpg/800px-Portugal_Empire.jpg

Dutch empire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/DutchEmpire.png/800px-DutchEmpire.png

Britsih empire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/BritishEmpire1921.png/800px-

French empire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6b/France_colonial_Empire10.png/800px-

Thorgalaeg
Nov 08, 2006, 11:07 AM
Dont forget this one:

Spanish Empire
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a2/Spanish_Empire.png/800px-Spanish_Empire.png

RickFGS
Nov 08, 2006, 11:11 AM
[QUOTE=Steph]I'm very impressed to see how brainwashed you are.
In your own list
all empire: Portugal = 18,000,000 km²
oversea empire : Portugal = 10,000,000 km²

Do you really try to make us believe Portugal itself is 8,000,000 km² to explain the difference? :lol: And for what purpose? Just show your empire was larger than the French? :rolleyes: If we count the total land the French controlled with our two colonial empire, instead of just the maximum extent, we are much bigger :p [QUOTE/]

Lol, does this need an answer? Hello, weak up McFly.....Portugals oversea empire exvluding brazil = 10,000,000, Brazil alone 8,000,000, the both 18,000,000 and no its not included as someone sugested...

Thorgalaeg
Nov 08, 2006, 11:24 AM
Portugals oversea empire exvluding brazil = 10,000,000
This is absurd. Of course it is INCLUDING BRAZIL.

You are arguing for the sake of arguing, arent you?

willemvanoranje
Nov 08, 2006, 11:34 AM
Rick, please WAKE up. The Brazilian Empire is also in that list, but as you should know there was no such thing as a Brazilian Empire that belonged to Portugal. It is in there as an independent nation. Portugal is listed at the maximum of its territorial possessions, and of course this INCLUDES Brazil.

Also I find it quite strange that the Dutch only get dots for trading posts, whereas the Portuguese just get the entire coastline coloured. Also the maps seem to display different things. Is it all the possessions a country had at one point in time when it was the greatest? Is it just all possessions it once had? The English map doesn't show the US, so probably for that map the former counts.. but the Netherland virtually never had New Netherlands (in the US) and Suriname at the same time, except for a few months in the 1670ies I think. But the inlands of Indonesia hadn't been conquered back then.

And chose a different football team to support. :p

Steph
Nov 08, 2006, 12:27 PM
Lol, does this need an answer? Hello, weak up McFly.....Portugals oversea empire exvluding brazil = 10,000,000, Brazil alone 8,000,000, the both 18,000,000 and no its not included as someone sugested...
Sure, it's obvious someone who makes a list of Portugal oversea empire will not include Brazil, everyone knows it's not oversea :goodjob:

Also I find it quite strange that the Dutch only get dots for trading posts, whereas the Portuguese just get the entire coastline coloured.
That's not true, look at India and Asia, Portugal has lots of trading spot there.
For the Dutch map: Dark Green= West India Company, Light Green = East India company
It shows the territory the Dutch controlled at various point of history.
For Portugal, it's the maximum extent (16th century), for France it's first (light blue) and second (dark blue) colonial empires, for the British it's in 1921, when it was the largest

MCdread
Nov 08, 2006, 01:52 PM
It shows the territory the Dutch controlled at various point of history.
For Portugal, it's the maximum extent (16th century), for France it's first (light blue) and second (dark blue) colonial empires, for the British it's in 1921, when it was the largest

I want to see all our colonial empires combined in one map too. :cry:

Anyway:

And chose a different football team to support. :p

Best damn thing that was said in this damn discussion. :goodjob:

brachy-pride
Nov 08, 2006, 10:23 PM
Whats the name of the dutch settlement aroung (Ghanna??) in the dutch empire map?

Steph
Nov 09, 2006, 12:43 AM
Whats the name of the dutch settlement aroung (Ghanna??) in the dutch empire map?
Cape Apollonia (Benyin): Fort Apollonia (16.-1768 / 1868-1872)

Abacqua (Duma of Egwira): Fort Ruychaver (Jul./Aug. 1654 - 1659)

Monding van Ankobra: Fort Elise Carthago (1650)

Axim: Fort Santo Antonio (Feb. 1642 – 1664 / 1665 – 1872)

Poquefoe of Pokesu (Princess Town): Fort Hollandia (Gross-Friedrichsburg) 1725 fort - 1814/1815 - 1698/1711 – 1712/1732 - 1804

Dixcove: Fort Metaal Kruis (1868 - 1872)

Butri: Fort Batenstein (1656 - 1665 / 166..-1872)

Takoradi: Fort Witsen

Sekondi: (1782 – 1785)

Sekondi: Fort Oranje (1640 of 1670/75 - 1872)

Shama: Fort San Sebastian (1637 - 1664 / 1664 – 1872)

Komenda: Fort Komenda (1868 - 1872)

Komenda: Fort Vredenburgh (1688 fort – 1782 / 1785 – 1872)

Elmina: Fort Elmina, Fort Conraadsburg of St. Jago, Fort de Veer (1810/1811), **Fort Naglas (1828), Fort Java (1828), Fort Scomarus (1828), Fort **Batenstein (1828). (28/9 Augustus 1637 - 6 April 1872)

Cape Coast: Cabo Corço of Oguaa (Zweedse naam: Carolusborg of Carlsborg) (16 April 1659- Mei 1659/ 22 Apr. 1663 - 3 Mei 1664

Cong (Cong-hoogte): - 1659 opgegeven

Mouri: Fort Nassau (1598 of 1611 / 12 – 1664/1665 – 1782/1785 - 1867 )

Cormantin: Fort Amsterdam (1665 – 1721 / 1785 - 1867 )

Anomabu: (1640-1652)

Egya: (1647 - ? / 1663 - 1664)

Apam: Fort Leydsaemheyt of Lijdzaamheid (Patience) (1697/1698 – 1782/ 1785-1868)

Senya Beraku: Fort Goede Hoop, (1667 or 1705/06 fort – 1782/1785 - 1867/68)

Ussher Town (Accra): Fort Crêvecoeur (1649-1782/ 1786-1868)

Kpone: (1697 - Apr. 1700 / 1706 - ?)

Keta: Fort Singelenburgh (? - 1737)

Kumase: (1837-1842 / 1848-1853 / 1859-1869)

Petit Popo of Popo / (Anecho of Aneho) (1731 - 1760)

Great Popo(1680 - ?)

Ouidah (1670s. or 1687 / 1702 - 1724 or 1726)

Jaquim] of Jakri (Godomey) Fort Zelandia (1726 – 1734)

Offra(1675 - 1691)

Appa of Ekpé(1732 - 1736)

Savi

Allada of Ardra

willemvanoranje
Nov 09, 2006, 05:50 PM
Wow, that's a long list.. full of places I've never heard of haha.

The fortress around Ghana which has been important to us is Elmina. It wasn't founded by the Dutch, but by the Portuguese. We just conquered it. It was basically the start of the Dutch trading empire.

Russian Soviet
May 29, 2008, 04:26 PM
Well This is From Me......


44 B.C.-476 A.D. The Roman Empire
476-565 The Byzantine Empire
565-800 No One (IMO)
800-1337 The Holy Roman Empire (Which Lasted Untill 1806)
1337-1492 The English Empire
1492-1721 The Spainish Empire (The Largest oN earth at the Time With The Colonies)
1721-1795 The Russain Empire (Which Was The Largest Untill 1917)
1795-1814 France Under Napoleon
1814-1945 Great Britan
1945-1989 The Soviet Union
1989-? ???

RedRalph
May 30, 2008, 04:14 AM
I think there really has been no dominant power since 89, I suppose the only entity which would fit would be the EU

aronnax
May 30, 2008, 06:19 AM
962-1154: Kings of German lands and it elected leaders form the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, who with papal blessing become Europe's most Powerful State.

1154-1429: The House of Plantagent inherits the throne of England among many of its possesions. Ruling Europes Largest Empire consisting of Ireland England and Half of France. It retains the title till...

1429-1492: Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orleans. The slow but steady reconquest of France from England allows France to be the most powerful state in Europe.

1492-1498: Attention shifts to Spain after Granada falls to the Catholic Monarchs. Their Empire stetching from Castillian lands in Andulasia to Aragonese Naples makes them formidable until...

1498-1519: Their tiny neighbour Portugual discovers a route to India and gains a monopoly on spice become frigging rich. However their new found wealth was overshadowed by...
1519-1588: When Charles V, King of Spain and Austria, Netherlands and Bohemia, all of Spanish America and more is crown Holy Roman Emperor. Spain rises to the stage and power of Europe with the wealth and gold of so many provinces.

1521-1571: Suleiman captures Belgrade and begins his romp into Hungary and Europe, seriously scaring the . .. .. .. . out of Europe. However their reign falls after their defeat at Lepanto destroyed their naval power.

1588-1603: England upstaged Spain by defeating the Spanish Armada. However their sucess profited the Dutch so they can...

1603-1623: Secede from Spain and found the Dutch East Indian Company to gain a 20 year hold and monopoly on Asian trade.

1623-1660: ???

1660-1753: France becomes dominate under the many wars of Louis XIV. However their sucess can not prepare them for...

1753-1789: Great Britian, annexing almost all of France's colonies in Norht America remaining in power until

1789-1815: French Revoulutionary Armies took back the title and smashed Prussian and Austrian troops. Napoleon leads his troops to victory in Poland and Germany, then to defeat in Russia and the Battle of Waterloo.

1815-1871: Great Britian snatches back the title after kicking Nappy to Elba and leads ahead in the Industrial Revolution until...

1871-1918: The German Empire is formed and replaces France as Europes biggest threat til...

1918-1937: Treaty of Versailles lets Britian claim title of Top dog til...

1937-1945: Germany rearms under Nazism and starts WWII

1945-1989: The Soviet Union rises, its influence secures half of Europe.

1989-2008: Germany, Britian and France sit at sides of the round table, staring at each other til the other cracks

scy12
May 30, 2008, 01:29 PM
Your lack of faith to the eastern roman empire disturbs me.

TheLastOne36
May 30, 2008, 03:14 PM
I just want to point out that Poland was the most powerful european country from 1350 - 1425

aronnax
May 31, 2008, 01:19 AM
Your lack of faith to the eastern roman empire disturbs me.

Byzantium Empire lost the title after the Arab soilders seized Egypt, Libya and Syria and the Bulgars were breathing down their necks in 650 AD

I just want to point out that Poland was the most powerful european country from 1350 - 1425

The combined population of Britian, 1/2 of France and Ireland seem to the larger than the emptier steppes of Poland and Lithuania. A higher population means more soldiers and workers. More soldiers means more powerful. More Workers means more production.

Sorry I just dont see it. Maybe Most powerful in Eastern Europe. The Ottomans wasnt such a threat yet, Russia was still feuding and the Balkans were fighting the Ottomans.

scy12
May 31, 2008, 09:43 AM
Byzantium Empire lost the title after the Arab soilders seized Egypt, Libya and Syria and the Bulgars were breathing down their necks in 650 AD



The combined population of Britian, 1/2 of France and Ireland seem to the larger than the emptier steppes of Poland and Lithuania. A higher population means more soldiers and workers. More soldiers means more powerful. More Workers means more production.

Sorry I just dont see it. Maybe Most powerful in Eastern Europe. The Ottomans wasnt such a threat yet, Russia was still feuding and the Balkans were fighting the Ottomans.

Byzantium Empire lost the title after the Arab soilders seized Egypt, Libya and Syria and the Bulgars were breathing down their necks in 650 AD


What is Byzantium Empire ? Power is not only relevant to control of some areas. The reason the Eastern Roman empire has such longetivity was the fact that it didn't have only some declines but it was also an empire that increased it's power over different timeframes.

The Macedonian dynasty saw a great increase of power in the empire. For several decades it should been first. Though soon after they where contacted with the Turks which eventually lead to Manzikert.

aronnax
Jun 02, 2008, 12:01 AM
What is Byzantium Empire ? Power is not only relevant to control of some areas. The reason the Eastern Roman empire has such longetivity was the fact that it didn't have only some declines but it was also an empire that increased it's power over different timeframes.

The Macedonian dynasty saw a great increase of power in the empire. For several decades it should been first. Though soon after they where contacted with the Turks which eventually lead to Manzikert.

Okay fine... The Eastern Roman Empire did hit a revival of strenght under the macedonian dynasty during the last few centuries of the first millenium. But at that point, the Turks were pushing their way into Anatolia, the Empire lost all Western Latin Allies in the Great Schism, Normans began their march into Sicily and Fragmentation began just a few decades after death of Basil. During the revival the Empire was strong. But in my eyes, all the German provinces, then still not as fragmented as 400 years later, were a powerful force to be reckon with.

If you like, you can make your own timeline

Dachs
Jun 02, 2008, 09:02 AM
But in my eyes, all the German provinces, then still not as fragmented as 400 years later, were a powerful force to be reckon with.
If the German provinces were so powerful, why couldn't they fuel a proper war on the Pope? The HRE's failure at Canossa indicates serious weaknesses in the Empire, that it couldn't even overcome pissant Greg VII and Matilda of Tuscany.
If you like, you can make your own timeline
Woo. Starting with the fall of the Western Empire in 476...

476 - 687: Eastern Roman Empire
687 - 800: Frankish Kingdom
800 - 814: Holy Roman Empire
814 - 1176: Eastern Roman Empire
1176 - 1248: Holy Roman Empire
1248 - 1265: Kingdom of France (Note: this is by default; the HRE had recently lost Frederick II and the English were first ruled by the weak Henry III and then forced to fight a civil war between the party of the de Montforts and that of Prince Edward, later Ed I)
1265 - 1369: Kingdom of England
1369 - 1385: Kingdom of France (default again, sorry)
1385 - 1415: Jagiellon Personal Union of Poland and Lithuania
1415 - 1429: Kingdom of England
1429 - 1495: Kingdom of France (for real this time :p)
1495 - 1516: Trastamara Personal Union of Castile, Aragon, Leon, etc.
1516 - 1556: Habsburg Personal Union of Castile, Aragon, the Holy Roman Empire, etc.
1556 - 1658: Habsburg Personal Union of Castile, Aragon, etc.
1658 - 1691: Kingdom of France
1691 - 1702: Orange Personal Union of England and Scotland, with the United Dutch Provinces (not in personal union) of William III
1702 - 1707: Stuart Personal Union of England and Scotland
1707 - 1745: Kingdom of Great Britain
1745 - 1792: Kingdom of France
1792 - 1804: Various Governments of the French First Republic (Convention, Directory, Consulate)
1804 - 1813: French Empire
1813 - 1855: Russian Empire
1855 - 1870: French Empire
1870 - 1871: North German Confederacy
1871 - 1918: German Empire
1918 - 1939: French Third Republic
1939 - 1943: Third German Reich
1943 - 1989: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Note that I refer primarily to countries that are powerful in Europe itself, neglecting their colonial might, whatever it may be.

Steph
Jun 02, 2008, 11:10 AM
I like your timeline

scy12
Jun 02, 2008, 11:53 AM
Seconded.
......,..

Adler17
Jun 03, 2008, 12:58 AM
Very good timeline!

Adler

scy12
Jun 03, 2008, 06:06 AM
I would add , from 91 to now Germany.

Arwon
Jun 06, 2008, 10:05 AM
1495 - 1506: Kingdom of Spain of the Catholic Monarchs
1506 - 1556: Habsburg Personal Union of Spain, Burgundy, and (from 1519) the Holy Roman Empire (and other associated territories)
1556 - 1658: Kingdom of Spain

Just some minor pedantry! You could equally describe it as a personal union between the Aragon and Castille during this period since no Kingdom of Spain existed legally, it was just shorthand that could equally be used to describe Portugal (Hispania, Spain and the Spains were all effectively terms for Iberia). This was the case until 1716 when the Crown of Aragon was abolished and its territories (Valencia, Aragon, Catalonia, the Balearics) were absorbed into one state with the same laws as Castille, after the war of succession, by the Bourbon king Felipe V.

More substantially though:

The Hapsburg period didn't start til 1516 or 1519 in Spain. It was still the House of Trastámara until then. Isabella died in 1506, but her daughter Juana took over with her Hapsburg husband Philip the Handsome (Felipe el Hermoso) as regent, whilst Charles inherited Burgundy and the Low Countries with somebody else as regent. Then Felipe el Hermoso died in 1506 as I said, and in Spain the regency went back to Ferdinand, still king of Aragon, and the last Trastámara until his death. Only then did the crown pass to the Hapsburg Carlos, Juana and Felipe's son. And with some difficulty, at that.

Also, between 1580 and 1640 it was the personal union of the crowns of Aragon, Castille and Portugal, under three successive Hapsburgs named Felipe. You could call it the Iberian Union, too.

Dachs
Jun 06, 2008, 11:48 AM
Just some minor pedantry!
Not at all - if I've got something wrong there be my guest to correct it. I never really was clear on the official legal status of Spain and later the Habsburg territories...maybe I should just merge it all into "Trastamara Personal Union of Castile, Aragon, etc." and "Habsburg Personal Union of Castile, Aragon, etc."

Arwon
Jun 07, 2008, 05:15 AM
Yeah, it gets quite confusing, partially because it's so political. Spain's founding myths revolve around Castille, the Reconquista and the Catholic monarchs--the nationalistic take is that the country was created by the union of those two kingdoms, but the reality was a much slower and more hesitant process, and hardly unidirectional. It's not as though nations or nation states existed then, a "nation" was a group of people who spoke the same language, shared customs, etcetera, and one could talk of the "Germans" or the "Spanish" but that had no political significance before modern liberal-inspired nationalism developed. Hell, the doctrine of the absolute monarch, with an administrative bureacracy supporting them hadn't even really developed, nobles and local elites were still much stronger than later on... the concept still was, by and large, the medieval one of a pact between lords and vassals and the King merely as the highest lord except for God.

I mean the only reason "Spain" is Catalonia and not Portugal is that the Portuguese successfully kept out of Castille's orbit while Aragon was utterly crushed and absorbed in the War of Succession as a result of its elites backing the wrong horse. People tend to ignore Portugal as an anomaly, but the 60 year union and subsequent dissolution illustrates that the way Spain was solidified into a country was never set in stone.

Studying in Aragon gives me quite a different perspective, and probably a more balanced one than the nationalistic revisionism that's going on in Catalonia... The other political complication is that regionalism has always been a strong centrifugal force here, stronger than in countries with more successful centralisation projects like France (compare the French and Spanish parts of Catalonia and the Basque Country). The thing to remember is that Castille was merely the template and "core" for modern Spain, much as Prussia was imposed on Germany and England on the United Kingdom. And Catalans are even more resentful than Scots about it, possibly because Catalonia had a realistic chance of being the template, itself, for imposing itself on parts of Spain. Aragon's dynamism really came from Catalan trade and, later, industry. It could potentially have followed a similar trajectory to the Dutch, runs the argument.

So basically, I tend to think it's better to refer to the ruling families in this era. There was no Spain regardless of what outsiders and nationalists tend to think. It's more accurate because really, the armies were fighting for Charles V and the lands of his feudal patrimony, not for "Spain" or "Austria" or "Naples" or "Holland". I also tend to think the historiography of other countries, especially Anglophone ones, tends to ignore Spain's internal dynamics a little, partly as a legacy of a few events in 1588, the scribblings of some German monk, and other ways in which the Black Legend has filtered into popular culture--Spain was always an "other" and an antagonist for the English, the antithesis to everything England thought it was.

Huayna Capac357
Jun 09, 2008, 06:46 AM
A list:

- Until 476: Roman Empire (end by the forced resigning of Romulus Augustulus due to Odoaker)

- Until 800: East Roman Empire (indeed all Germanic empires in Italy recognized the East Roman emperor as sovereign, at least nominally, like he accepted the kingdoms as his "vassals")

- 800- 911: Frankish empire (starting with Carolus Magnus becoming Roman emperor)

- 911- 1556: Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (After the breaking of the Frankish Empire and the coronation of Otto the Great 962; as the Kaiser lost more and more power in this time, we can discuss about the end, but I still don't see another power strong enough to dominate Europe)

- 1556- 1648: Spain (After the abdication of Charles V. as also Spanish king in 1556)

- 1648- 1815: France (After the end of the 30 years war with weakened neighbours (Spain due to revolts, Germany due to the war).

- 1815- 1870/ 71: Britain (after Waterloo)

- 1870/ 71- 1919: Germany (after the unification)

- 1919- 1939: Britain (after Versailles)

- 1939- 1945: Germany (under the rule of an Austrian)

- 1945- 1989: USSR (after ww2)

- 1989- : European Union (fall of the Iron Curtain; if not, perhaps again France and Germany)

As here are dates given and history is mostly a thing to evolve we can discuss the beginnings.

Adler
If we're going by "succession"
I'd say:

Rome until 476 AD
Ostrogoths until 536? AD
Byzantines until 1071 AD
Turks until 1571 AD (500 yrs, so ironic)
Spain until c. 1650 AD
France until 1763 AD
Britain until 1800 AD
France until 1815 AD
Britain until 1871 AD
Germany until 1919 AD
Britain until 1938 AD
Germany until 1945 AD
USSR until 1989 AD
France-Germany, then EU until ???

Dachs
Jun 09, 2008, 08:54 AM
If we're going by "succession"
I'd say:

Rome until 476 AD
Ostrogoths until 536? AD
Byzantines until 1071 AD
Turks until 1571 AD (500 yrs, so ironic)
Spain until c. 1650 AD
France until 1763 AD
Britain until 1800 AD
France until 1815 AD
Britain until 1871 AD
Germany until 1919 AD
Britain until 1938 AD
Germany until 1945 AD
USSR until 1989 AD
France-Germany, then EU until ???
Well, I had different stuff. Here's why...

The Ostrogoths weren't stronger than the Eastern Romans for any point of time. We're looking at most powerful single country here, and Theodoric just didn't have the ability to fight two wars at the same time. Constantinople did. What's indicative of the relative lack of Ostrogoth power prior to that state's destruction is how quickly things fell apart as soon as the Empire actually did invade, and the surprising longevity of the war is mostly due to Justinian's penury and jealousy, not any particular strength on the part of Totila or Teias. (Besides, the Ostrogoths can't be counted as "more powerful than the Eastern Romans" during the period in which they lived in the Empire; Odoacer's kingdom lasted until the early 490s after all.)

Referring to the "Turks" as a single power bloc up to about the mid-fourteenth century is fallacious; the Seljuq Turks weren't able to stand up to Crusaders all that well, and they signally lost many of the lands that they'd taken from the Romans. They had no power projection into Europe itself (and this is "most powerful European country/ies) until John Cantacuzenus invited them across the Hellespont anyway. As to after that...I figured that post-Edward I England up to the time of Constable du Guesclin was superior to the Turks, mostly because at this point they (the Ottomans) were just pushing aside dead wood, and because they were able to launch part of a Crusade and beat up the French and the de Montforts and pretty much everyone who fought them (save for a brief, albeit famous Scottish reversal) for about a hundred years, then added the Henry V and VI up to the Siege of Orleans because it was after all a turning point. France up to about the Battle of Fornovo was definitely more powerful than weakening, civil war-torn England and the decentralized HRE, and they did very well in Italy until Fornovo itself (and afterward managed okay despite fighting against a huge Habsburg monolith...)

The Trastamaras and Habsburgs after that are clearly ascendant, even over the Turks. Charles V, for one, was able to keep fighting in Italy and against the French, the Turks, and the German petty nobility and peasants very well. After him, the Spanish half of the Habsburg dynasty was more powerful than the HRE half, mostly due to maintaining a naval war in the Mediterranean and providing the best damn infantry in Europe for a century and a half. Only with Rocroi and the Dunes and the resulting defeat of the Treaty of the Pyrenees does Spain's crown switch to France, who was merely less exhausted than everyone else in Europe (but who of course later justifies its position at the top of the heap during the reign of good, sunny King Louie).

After the Glorious Revolution, I figured that the Netherlands + England/Great Britain had not only more diplomatic clout and more military power (counting naval forces, natch) than France, but also wayyyyy more money; after the War of the Spanish Succession, Britain retained that with that handy thing called the Bank of England (which basically allowed the Brits to spend more than anyone else in the world on any given war) and the Royal Navy. Britain was also able to deploy forces effectively on the Continent, as we see with the use of the Pragmatic Army, which won at Dettingen. I figured that the top spot would switch from them to the French with that minor event (:p) that takes place at Fontenoy, when the British lose their power in Europe itself (irrespective of British colonial and other extra-European strength, which is IMHO unmatched even after Fontenoy) to the French, who retain their position of "strongest single European country" until the Battle of Leipzig under various governments despite some embarrassing losses to the Prussians in the Seven Years' War.

After the Battle of Leipzig, France definitely didn't have the strongest forces in Europe. Neither did the UK, either, IMHO: the Peninsular Army was all well and good, but it wasn't very big, and it did have a lot of Portuguese and Spanish guerrillas to help out as well. Russia, on the other hand, mobilized massive troops during 1812 and 1813, and it was on the backs of the Russian, not Austrian or Prussian, armies that the march to Paris was made in 1814. Russia was the country that underwrote the Vienna solution in 1815 and did its best to prevent it from altering much for years. Russian troops restored order to Hungary (the Habsburgs would've been utterly boned without Nicholas I) and served as the "gendarme of Europe". This nice illusion was shattered in the Crimean War, where it turned out that while everybody sucked at fighting a war, Russia did it worse than Britain and France. Actually, as it turned out, France came out of the Crimean War stronger than the Brits did (again, we're talking about inside Europe, not counting colonies or any of that janx), and Napoleon III was the one who completely changed the Vienna settlement in Italy and it was partly with his acquiescence that Prussia defeated Austria in 1866. That latter bit brought about his downfall, of course, and after Sedan and Gravelotte-St. Privat the NGC and its successor the German Empire were the strongest countries in Europe.

I again quibble with the use of the UK as opposed to the French in the period between the two World Wars; France benefited most from the Treaty of Versailles, and it was French armed support most countries would need to count on in the event of German revanche. British power lay mostly in backing up France and in doing stuff in the colonial sphere, not in Europe. And as a final note, Nazi Germany was definitely losing to the Soviet Union in 1943, not '45; while the outcome could conceivably have been in doubt before then, after Kursk there was simply no chance for Hitler to crush the Soviet Union.

scy12
Jun 09, 2008, 09:39 AM
Well, I had different stuff. Here's why...

The Ostrogoths weren't stronger than the Eastern Romans for any point of time. We're looking at most powerful single country here, and Theodoric just didn't have the ability to fight two wars at the same time. Constantinople did. What's indicative of the relative lack of Ostrogoth power prior to that state's destruction is how quickly things fell apart as soon as the Empire actually did invade, and the surprising longevity of the war is mostly due to Justinian's penury and jealousy, not any particular strength on the part of Totila or Teias. (Besides, the Ostrogoths can't be counted as "more powerful than the Eastern Romans" during the period in which they lived in the Empire; Odoacer's kingdom lasted until the early 490s after all.)

Referring to the "Turks" as a single power bloc up to about the mid-fourteenth century is fallacious; the Seljuq Turks weren't able to stand up to Crusaders all that well, and they signally lost many of the lands that they'd taken from the Romans. They had no power projection into Europe itself (and this is "most powerful European country/ies) until John Cantacuzenus invited them across the Hellespont anyway. As to after that...I figured that post-Edward I England up to the time of Constable du Guesclin was superior to the Turks, mostly because at this point they (the Ottomans) were just pushing aside dead wood, and because they were able to launch part of a Crusade and beat up the French and the de Montforts and pretty much everyone who fought them (save for a brief, albeit famous Scottish reversal) for about a hundred years, then added the Henry V and VI up to the Siege of Orleans because it was after all a turning point. France up to about the Battle of Fornovo was definitely more powerful than weakening, civil war-torn England and the decentralized HRE, and they did very well in Italy until Fornovo itself (and afterward managed okay despite fighting against a huge Habsburg monolith...)

The Trastamaras and Habsburgs after that are clearly ascendant, even over the Turks. Charles V, for one, was able to keep fighting in Italy and against the French, the Turks, and the German petty nobility and peasants very well. After him, the Spanish half of the Habsburg dynasty was more powerful than the HRE half, mostly due to maintaining a naval war in the Mediterranean and providing the best damn infantry in Europe for a century and a half. Only with Rocroi and the Dunes and the resulting defeat of the Treaty of the Pyrenees does Spain's crown switch to France, who was merely less exhausted than everyone else in Europe (but who of course later justifies its position at the top of the heap during the reign of good, sunny King Louie).

After the Glorious Revolution, I figured that the Netherlands + England/Great Britain had not only more diplomatic clout and more military power (counting naval forces, natch) than France, but also wayyyyy more money; after the War of the Spanish Succession, Britain retained that with that handy thing called the Bank of England (which basically allowed the Brits to spend more than anyone else in the world on any given war) and the Royal Navy. Britain was also able to deploy forces effectively on the Continent, as we see with the use of the Pragmatic Army, which won at Dettingen. I figured that the top spot would switch from them to the French with that minor event (:p) that takes place at Fontenoy, when the British lose their power in Europe itself (irrespective of British colonial and other extra-European strength, which is IMHO unmatched even after Fontenoy) to the French, who retain their position of "strongest single European country" until the Battle of Leipzig under various governments despite some embarrassing losses to the Prussians in the Seven Years' War.

After the Battle of Leipzig, France definitely didn't have the strongest forces in Europe. Neither did the UK, either, IMHO: the Peninsular Army was all well and good, but it wasn't very big, and it did have a lot of Portuguese and Spanish guerrillas to help out as well. Russia, on the other hand, mobilized massive troops during 1812 and 1813, and it was on the backs of the Russian, not Austrian or Prussian, armies that the march to Paris was made in 1814. Russia was the country that underwrote the Vienna solution in 1815 and did its best to prevent it from altering much for years. Russian troops restored order to Hungary (the Habsburgs would've been utterly boned without Nicholas I) and served as the "gendarme of Europe". This nice illusion was shattered in the Crimean War, where it turned out that while everybody sucked at fighting a war, Russia did it worse than Britain and France. Actually, as it turned out, France came out of the Crimean War stronger than the Brits did (again, we're talking about inside Europe, not counting colonies or any of that janx), and Napoleon III was the one who completely changed the Vienna settlement in Italy and it was partly with his acquiescence that Prussia defeated Austria in 1866. That latter bit brought about his downfall, of course, and after Sedan and Gravelotte-St. Privat the NGC and its successor the German Empire were the strongest countries in Europe.

I again quibble with the use of the UK as opposed to the French in the period between the two World Wars; France benefited most from the Treaty of Versailles, and it was French armed support most countries would need to count on in the event of German revanche. British power lay mostly in backing up France and in doing stuff in the colonial sphere, not in Europe. And as a final note, Nazi Germany was definitely losing to the Soviet Union in 1943, not '45; while the outcome could conceivably have been in doubt before then, after Kursk there was simply no chance for Hitler to crush the Soviet Union.


i am wondering what would change in your time line if you did consider colonies and all that janx .

Dachs
Jun 09, 2008, 10:31 AM
i am wondering what would change in your time line if you did consider colonies and all that janx .
The Brits and the Spanish would be on the list a lot more. :p

scy12
Jun 09, 2008, 10:38 AM
The Brits and the Spanish would be on the list a lot more. :p

Netherlands , Portugal ? I think you must create another list (with colonies mattering ) so that we can compare.

Squonk
Jun 11, 2008, 08:55 AM
I think I never did post my own opinion, so here it is:

Egypt
Assyria
Egypt
Chaldean Empire
Median Empire
Persian Empire
Alexander's Empire
Seleucid Empire
Roman / Byzantine Empire since II Punic War until the death of Mauritios
Sassanian Empire (just for a couple of years)
Roman Empire under Heraclius
Teh Khalifate until early X century
Byzantine empire since early X century until 1071
Great Seldjuk Empire since 1071 for circa 20 years
(H)RE ex aequo with Byzantines until 1204
HRE alone until the advent of Ottoman Turks
Spain ex aequo with Ottoman Turks until XVII century
France since Louis XIV until 7-year war
Britain until American independance, ex aequo with Russia
France until 1815
Britain until ww1, perhaps ex aequo with Germany since late XIX century, ex aequo with Russia
America until 1939
Germany 1939-45, ex aequo with UK and USA
USA and USSR 1945-1989
USA

Dachs
Jun 11, 2008, 08:26 PM
Netherlands , Portugal ? I think you must create another list (with colonies mattering ) so that we can compare.
If I were any good with economic statistics, or if I hadn't loaned out my copy of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, then I would do that. :p Dis would be a better person IMHO.
I think I never did post my own opinion, so here it is:
Outside of the requirement "most powerful European countries" - which would change a lot of your rankings I imagine - and disregarding my silly personal limitation on non-extra-European power, that looks pretty much like what I had, save for a few minor date quibbles and my belief that the HRE can't really be considered the "most powerful European country" during the time of the Interregnum, and that it wasn't as good at power projection as the Plantagenets were. And the bit about France being somewhat superior to the Habsburgs during most of the 15th century, mostly because they managed to beat off the English, centralize with the attendant conflicts that brings, and then invade Italy with significant success while the Habsburgs attempted to gain more power in Germany and didn't do too well at it - they didn't retain Switzerland for example. Other than that, it's all stuff I've previously addressed.

LightSpectra
Jun 27, 2008, 08:23 PM
Wasn't Austria-Hungary the most powerful nation from 1814 to 1848?

TheLastOne36
Jun 27, 2008, 09:50 PM
i'll try

Greece
Celts/Pheonicans
Romans
Celts
Romans/Byzantines
Various powers in western europe/Vikings/Huns/Byzantines
Carolingian Empire/Huns
England/France/Italian City State/HRE/Mongols/Whoever else i missed
Italian city states/HRE
Poland (1450-1500)
Portugal/Italian City States/Ottomans
Spain/Ottomans
France/Portugal/Ottomans
France/Spain/Netherlands/England/Ottomans(ottomans to 1683)
France/Austria-Hungary/Prussia-Brandenburg
England/Austria-Hungary/Prussia-Brandenburg
England
Then WWI
Then WWII
Then Now.

Dachs
Jun 27, 2008, 11:20 PM
Wasn't Austria-Hungary the most powerful nation from 1814 to 1848?
No. First off, it wasn't called "Austria-Hungary", it was called simply "Austria". The Ausgleich didn't happen yet. Secondly, while Metternich may have been the original architect of many parts of the Vienna settlement, he wasn't really able to enforce it everywhere he desired, and most of what did stay intact before the age of Napoleon III and von Bismarck was due to the support of other European Powers. Notably, when Russia, France, and Britain told Metternich to shove off with regards to Greece and Belgium, he didn't have much of a choice. Basically the only places where Austria was supporting the system from the Congress of Vienna actively were Germany (crushing the Burschenschaften) and Italy (restoring order in Naples).

By contrast, Russia was clearly the preeminent power in Europe itself in that period. They had the biggest army, and due to the reforms enacted under Pavel and Aleksandr it was one of the most well trained. It had proven the ability to project power as well during the 1812-4 campaigns, and Russia was also deploying troops to engage Napoleon had he won at the Battle of Waterloo. After all, it was the Russian Army that defeated the Grande Armee, and Russian troops provided the backbone for the Allied army that pushed its way through Poland and Prussia to win the great Saxony campaign in 1813...and, further, Russia went all the way to the other side of the continent to march down the Champs-Elysees in '14 when Napoleon surrendered. In many ways, the Napoleonic Wars were Russia's 'coming-out party' as a powerful European nation and member of the world stage, going from a parvenu backwater barely able to hold its own against tiny Prussia to the destroyer of Napoleon's Empire. In the later part of this period, Palmerston's UK even relied on Russia as a diplomatic partner in the Middle East to defeat the French attempt at gaining Syria and Egypt and for signing the Straits Convention. And in 1848, the army that rescued the Habsburgs wasn't their own for the most part; while Windischgratz and Radetzsky beat up on the weak Slavs and Italians, the truly dangerous Hungarian revolt was crushed largely through the strength of the armies of Nikolay I. Marx's "specter" was defeated in Prussia partly by the moral intervention of the Russians as well. They had the best army, the most influence, were in charge of the Holy League, and had an economy that was finally starting to lift itself out of the feudal ages with increased iron production and some actual railroads.

Also, LastOne, don't you want to make some decisions as to which of the listed countries is actually the most powerful there? :p Seems a bit wishy-washy to list multiple countries for a given time period at a time. Phoenicia isn't in Europe, and most of their colonies weren't either. I'd also like to know at what point after Rome became preeminent in Europe that the Celts became more powerful than the Romans. And Greece wasn't united. Neither were the Vikings. In fact, mashing the Huns and the Vikings into the same "time period" without really giving any dates is a little sketchy. As is citing "Italian City-States" as a preeminent power when they relied on the condottieri, for God's sake.

TheLastOne36
Jun 28, 2008, 08:15 AM
Also, LastOne, don't you want to make some decisions as to which of the listed countries is actually the most powerful there? :p Seems a bit wishy-washy to list multiple countries for a given time period at a time. Phoenicia isn't in Europe, and most of their colonies weren't either. I'd also like to know at what point after Rome became preeminent in Europe that the Celts became more powerful than the Romans. And Greece wasn't united. Neither were the Vikings. In fact, mashing the Huns and the Vikings into the same "time period" without really giving any dates is a little sketchy. As is citing "Italian City-States" as a preeminent power when they relied on the condottieri, for God's sake.

1. i probably did make some mistakes because i find that time period of european history incredibly boring. I remember reading about Islamic history at that time period as opposed to European.
2. Weren't the Celts invading and raiding Roman and Greek towns and monuments/temples?
3. When i put in Romans/Byzantines i meant the Romans as the Byzantines.
4. i just noticed that i put the vikings there... Mistake by me...
5. Italian city states is i guess another mistake made by me.
6. European history iirc almost never had (excluding early history ex. Romans) only 1 country as the most powerful. There were always several. (Except in 1450 because of the black death).
7. And before you go on about Poland, we were the most powerful in europe at one point. :p

shortguy
Jun 28, 2008, 05:30 PM
2. Weren't the Celts invading and raiding Roman and Greek towns and monuments/temples?

Well, the Celts did sack Rome in 390 BC, but Rome was little more than a poor, pissant cow town then, and it would be little more for at least 50 years or so. The Celts invaded the Balkans (I don't know that they quite ever reached Greece) about 100 years later, but I still don't think they would be the strongest force in Europe. In any event, to speak of the Celts as some monolithic entity doesn't really make sense.

Dachs
Jun 29, 2008, 04:07 AM
6. European history iirc almost never had (excluding early history ex. Romans) only 1 country as the most powerful. There were always several.
If you mean "no one country is dominating all of Europe without any serious rivals, then yeah, pretty much, but if you take "most powerful" to mean "first among equals or something roughly similar" then there were clearly countries in Europe that, while not having a ridiculous margin of superiority like Rome did, were more powerful than everybody else. Hence the point of the exercise.
(Except in 1450 because of the black death).
Black Death was the mid-fourteenth century, a hundred years prior...:confused:...and it didn't create a single 'most powerful' country all by its lonesome, IMO the English (who were under Edward III and the Black Prince at that point, with the attendant tactical genius and all-round wiping out of large quantities of French persons) were the most powerful already.
7. And before you go on about Poland, we were the most powerful in europe at one point. :p
Well, on my timeline, I never had Poland in there for about thirty years around the year 1400, but before and after that I believed that the English and French were more dominant.
Well, the Celts did sack Rome in 390 BC, but Rome was little more than a poor, pissant cow town then, and it would be little more for at least 50 years or so.
Not quite true - Rome was the head of a Latin league of city-states at the time and had just finished putting the kibosh on the neighboring powerful city of Veii (Civ III city list FTW), and were probably the most powerful single city in Central Italy, especially after the Battle of Lake Regillus. The Celtic invasion, launched when Rome had its pants down (so to speak), set the clock back about fifty years, but didn't really change Rome's preeminence in Latium. Still, outside of that immediate region, Rome wasn't all that powerful, that's true.
The Celts invaded the Balkans (I don't know that they quite ever reached Greece)
Reached Greece, torched a few things, gave Antigonos II a heart attack (metaphorically), then went into Anatolia and settled in the aptly named 'Galatia' around Ancyra. The Seleukids beat up on them though and vassalized them, and they were more or less culturally assimilated by the time of the Romans. The famed sculpture "The Dying Gaul" was inspired by this particular horde IIRC.

TheLastOne36
Jun 29, 2008, 07:26 AM
If you mean "no one country is dominating all of Europe without any serious rivals, then yeah, pretty much, but if you take "most powerful" to mean "first among equals or something roughly similar" then there were clearly countries in Europe that, while not having a ridiculous margin of superiority like Rome did, were more powerful than everybody else. Hence the point of the exercise.
Exactly. No country was "ridiciculously Superior" except for Rome.

Black Death was the mid-fourteenth century, a hundred years prior......and it didn't create a single 'most powerful' country all by its lonesome, IMO the English (who were under Edward III and the Black Prince at that point, with the attendant tactical genius and all-round wiping out of large quantities of French persons) were the most powerful already.
Mistake by me. I meant 1350-1400. I agree that England was powerful at that time, but so were we.

Verbose
Jul 01, 2008, 06:40 AM
Black Death was the mid-fourteenth century, a hundred years prior...:confused:...and it didn't create a single 'most powerful' country all by its lonesome, IMO the English (who were under Edward III and the Black Prince at that point, with the attendant tactical genius and all-round wiping out of large quantities of French persons) were the most powerful already.
Just a point I think worth considering:

When we talk about "most powerful" I get the feeling we're kind of using a somewhat sliding scale here.

England in the HYW was a lot less populous, wealthy, and in fact powerful, than France was - going by demography and wealth combined.

The way things were set up however, the KING of England was a lot more powerful than the king of France. It took a pretty radical shake up of France to assemble enough royal power to start make it start telingl on the English counterpart, but that done, the already existing advantages of France asserted itself.

I'd say Poland could well be a similar case in point. Not the most shining example of royal power, but quite a lot of power and wealth around.
(Though, and The Last One May think what he likes about this, there's no way the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth was more populous and prosperous than France at the same time.)

Later you get reversals of this order. It's not like England in the 17th c. was poor or weak, quite the opposite in fact, with the whole gamut of commercial activities ticking over nicely in the hands of private entrepreneurs, but the kings of England were pretty much broke all the time (at times dependant on handouts from France), and certainly weaker compared to their royal absolute monarch cousins the kings of France, who could use the immense coffers of the French state as their personal spending purse.

So, it's not only a matter of wealth and power assembled in a society in general, but also who gets to use it and how.

In the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth you get a bunch of Magnates each individually more powerful than the king of Poland for instance. Makes it a bit tricky to compare such a monarch, and such a state, with the English situation, which has had a fair amount of centralisation of power since William the Conqueror's days.

TheLastOne36
Jul 01, 2008, 07:56 AM
(Though, and The Last One May think what he likes about this, there's no way the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth was more populous and prosperous than France at the same time.)

did i say populous? looking back, yes i did >.< well mistake by me.

If by prosperous, you mean wealthy, then yes Poland was very wealthy at that time. I'm not sure about france though.


In the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth you get a bunch of Magnates each individually more powerful than the king of Poland for instance. Makes it a bit tricky to compare such a monarch, and such a state, with the English situation, which has had a fair amount of centralisation of power since William the Conqueror's days.

Ironically, Poland not having the black death, saved us, but in the end killed us. :p
In the rest of europe, Serfdom collapsed due to the lack of workers, dukes and stuff got less power, In Poland however, this was not the case, even though serfdom did eventually collapse as well, the szlachta (or Magnates as you call them) did however still have great power.

The effects of this wasn't noticed into you swedes invaded us, and when some szlachta actually sided with the swedes. As the szlachta had alot of power(sometimes greater then the king) there was nothing the king of Poland could do.

When the Austrians,Prussians and Russians invaded us, the same thing happened, except on 3 fronts. Considering that we were fought in 3 fronts, and some of our szlachta decided to side with the invaders, it's lucky(for us) that it took 3 wars for them to conquer us.

Dachs
Jul 01, 2008, 08:46 AM
So, it's not only a matter of wealth and power assembled in a society in general, but also who gets to use it and how.
That's pretty much the idea; you can have the biggest, most expensive, and most well appointed house in the world, but what good is it if you lost the keys? (In the case of Poland, they decided not to break a window to get in and ended up having their house stolen by the Austrians, Prussians, and Russians. :p)
If by prosperous, you mean wealthy, then yes Poland was very wealthy at that time. I'm not sure about france though.
France was a lot more developed than Poland and, in addition to, of course, agriculture, could rely on the strength of the Flemish magnates' economic boom (because Flanders is usually a fairly rich area to hold onto in Europe) and a growing Mediterranean and Italian trade, which at that point (the Habsburgs weren't dominant in the Mediterranean yet) was actually fairly lucrative, and one of the reasons Charles VIII decided to plunge down into Italy in the first place. (Another reason was that he wanted to launch another Crusade against the vile Turk...:rolleyes: )

As to everything else...yeah, that is a good part of it. Although I'd like to see any country that could stand up to Maria Theresa, Friedrich II, and Ekaterina II at the same time. :p

TheLastOne36
Jul 01, 2008, 09:39 AM
France was a lot more developed than Poland and, in addition to, of course, agriculture, could rely on the strength of the Flemish magnates' economic boom (because Flanders is usually a fairly rich area to hold onto in Europe) and a growing Mediterranean and Italian trade, which at that point (the Habsburgs weren't dominant in the Mediterranean yet) was actually fairly lucrative, and one of the reasons Charles VIII decided to plunge down into Italy in the first place. (Another reason was that he wanted to launch another Crusade against the vile Turk...:rolleyes: )

As to everything else...yeah, that is a good part of it. Although I'd like to see any country that could stand up to Maria Theresa, Friedrich II, and Ekaterina II at the same time. :p

First of all, i want to say that my wording was off, When i said "i'm not sure about france though" i meant that "i'm not sure how prosperous france was".

but your post makes 100% sense and i agree with you. :goodjob:

say1988
Jan 19, 2009, 09:37 PM
I was thinking about this (and no I am not reading 12 pages of replies) and I was thinking about situations where, like 18th and 19th centuries, Britain's economic power, power of her fleet around the world, and the power of her diplomacy (which generally came from economic power), vs. French and others power on the continent from their army. Not directly comparable. I mean, Britain would have been butchered by a fraction of Napoleon's army, if he could get it over, but her navy and economy ended up defeating Napoleon, by supplying allies and hurting the French throughout the rest of the world.
Power comes in many forms, not always comparable

Exactly. No country was "ridiciculously Superior" except for Rome.
Soviet Union post WWII was "ridiculously Superior" to any European country alone (or collectively). But there is the aspect of diplomacy with outsiders that changes things.

SeleucusNicator
Jan 20, 2009, 01:12 AM
Here is what I came up with in 5 minutes:

Rome
Byzantium
Charlemagne's Empire
Ottonian Empire
France
Charles V (yes, I'm counting him as his own country)
Spain
France (Louis XIV)
Austria
France (Napoleonic)
Russia
Great Britain
Germany
France
Germany (Nazis)
USSR

SeleucusNicator
Jan 20, 2009, 01:15 AM
Honorable mentions:

* Hungary was pretty powerful for a while, at least until the mid-1200's
* Austria was pretty powerful during the reign of Louis XIV. Gained a ton of land in the Great Turkish War. Fought France to a standstill many times (with the help of allies)
* France was a close second to both Charles V and Spain during the Habsburg-Valois wars

Dachs
Jan 20, 2009, 01:16 AM
Seleucus, no Angevin Empire or Plantagenets? And what about the unspeakable Turks? :(

SeleucusNicator
Jan 20, 2009, 01:18 AM
If you want a Polish monarch who looked very powerful on paper, look at Wladyslaw III. He was the son of Jagiello, who united Poland and Lithuania, both of which were already large at the time, so he ruled that large stretch of land. Then, he was also elected King of Hungary, which was also huge back then.

At the age of 20, Wladyslaw III could have walked from the Baltic to the Adriatic without ever leaving his own territory. I think he also touched the Black Sea because Lithuania stretched all the way into the Ukraine, but I'm not sure.

And then he lost everything while he was still in his early 20's by leading a charge of a few hundred knights directly into the Turkish Janissary corps.

SeleucusNicator
Jan 20, 2009, 01:20 AM
Seleucus, no Angevin Empire or Plantagenets? And what about the unspeakable Turks? :(

I love the Turks, but they are an interesting question as far as Europe goes. From 1526 to the 1680's they were pretty powerful, but did their power in Europe exceed the power of Austria and France? I'm not sure. They might have been only the third most powerful country in Europe at their height.

If you count their assets in Asia and Africa, then, yes, they were probably the most powerful country in Europe for a good 150 years.

tom123
Feb 18, 2009, 02:29 PM
I think that until about 400 Ad, it would be Italy, with the Roman Empire.
Then it would be the Holy Roman Empire until around 1100.
Next, I would say the Byzantine Empire until 1261.
Following that, I would say England until the mid 1900's.
From about 1950 to 1989 would be Russia.
From then it would be the EU.

I say that England would be the most powerful European Nation for nearly 700 years for several reasons.
1) During the Hundred Years War there were several decsive battles against the Frech, notably Agincourt.
2) The reign of the Tudors from 1485-1603 marked the start of the British Empire. This was an age of discovery for all European nations, notably Spain and Portugal, but constant raids on their treasure ships ensured that large parts of the wealth of the New World went back to England. Also included in this time period was the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 decisevly established Englands place as the dominant European country, also establing the largest, most powerful, navy in the world.
3) Although the French were undoutably powerful during the Napoleonic conquests, Napoleans forces were defeated consistently in battles ranging from Waterloo to Trafalgar.
4) The 1800's marked the reign of Queen Victoria, a golden age for England. The Empire was the largest the world has ever seen, covering large parts of Africa, Asia and Australasia.

There is bound to be someone who disagrees with me, but thats my opinions.

Steph
Feb 18, 2009, 04:25 PM
I say that England would be the most powerful European Nation for nearly 700 years for several reasons.
1) During the Hundred Years War there were several decsive battles against the Frech, notably Agincourt.

What land could the English claim in France at the end of the hundred years war?


3) Although the French were undoutably powerful during the Napoleonic conquests, Napoleans forces were defeated consistently in battles ranging from Waterloo to Trafalgar.

:lol: That's a really weird way to present things. France was defeated by coalition of most European nations, including Russia, Austria, Prussia...
At Waterloo, a good part of the "British" army was made of Dutch soldiers..
Yet, England was the most powerful at the time :rolleyes:...
England was not the most powerful. France defeated consistently almost all opposition from 1789 to 1812, with the notable exception of Trafalgar.
England became stronger AFTER the Napoleonic wars, not during it.


4) The 1800's marked the reign of Queen Victoria, a golden age for England. The Empire was the largest the world has ever seen, covering large parts of Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Mid XIX century I can accept it was stronger. Early 1900, it's debatable: England couldn't have beaten Germany alone, it needed France, Russia, and the US to do so.

Dachs
Feb 18, 2009, 04:40 PM
I think that until about 400 Ad, it would be Italy, with the Roman Empire.
Then it would be the Holy Roman Empire until around 1100.
Next, I would say the Byzantine Empire until 1261.
I label this bit "screwed up". HRE didn't exist until 800 (de facto) or the tenth century (de jure), and during that time could not project more power than the Eastern Roman Empire until probably the coming of the Hohenstaufens. Plus, there's the Rashidun Caliphate to consider. I'd probably put the Eastern Romans up top from ~420 to 1204. Possible breaks in that include Big Chuck's empire back when he was alive, and the Norman Kingdom. After that, the HRE to the death of Friedrich II, and then possibly England, possibly France for awhile.
Following that, I would say England until the mid 1900's.
What, no love for the two Reichs?

say1988
Feb 18, 2009, 05:09 PM
That's a really weird way to present things.
Militarily it wasn't as powerful, but was economically dominant and provided massive support to keep its Allies fighting as much as possible.

As to early 20th Century:
The German Empire was most powerful on the continent, but it could not have defeated the British Empire. You get the same issue, Britain lacks the military power to win decisively, but if it has the will to fight for long enough and keep its Allies in the fight, it will succeed, just like a century before.

Taking into account economy and diplomatic relations, Britain was more powerful than Napoleon or the German Empire. And at these times it was at least a leading partner.

Yui108
Feb 18, 2009, 05:48 PM
Gauls until 300 B.C., Rome until ~750 A.D.., Frankish kingdoms until about 1000, HRE till 1500, Spain until 1750, France until 1815, Britain until 1870, Germany until 1918, Britain until 1936, Germany until 1943, Russia until 1990, Britain now.

Yui108
Feb 18, 2009, 05:49 PM
Militarily it wasn't as powerful, but was economically dominant and provided massive support to keep its Allies fighting as much as possible.

As to early 20th Century:
The German Empire was most powerful on the continent, but it could not have defeated the British Empire. You get the same issue, Britain lacks the military power to win decisively, but if it has the will to fight for long enough and keep its Allies in the fight, it will succeed, just like a century before.

Taking into account economy and diplomatic relations, Britain was more powerful than Napoleon or the German Empire. And at these times it was at least a leading partner.


Britain Vs. Napoleon alone, Napoleon would have won handily. If it weren't for the pesky Spaniards and Russians...

Dachs
Feb 18, 2009, 06:21 PM
Gauls until 300 B.C.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Arwon
Feb 18, 2009, 06:58 PM
2) The reign of the Tudors from 1485-1603 marked the start of the British Empire. This was an age of discovery for all European nations, notably Spain and Portugal, but constant raids on their treasure ships ensured that large parts of the wealth of the New World went back to England. Also included in this time period was the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 decisevly established Englands place as the dominant European country, also establing the largest, most powerful, navy in the world.

Um no, all it established was that England didn't become some random island backwater province of the Habsburg dominions.

say1988
Feb 18, 2009, 07:20 PM
Britain Vs. Napoleon alone, Napoleon would have won handily. If it weren't for the pesky Spaniards and Russians...
Napoleon could never defeat Britain. And you can't take anything in a vacuum, Britain was based around money and Allies, Napoleon on the strength of his army.

privatehudson
Feb 18, 2009, 07:35 PM
That's a really weird way to present things. France was defeated by coalition of most European nations, including Russia, Austria, Prussia...
At Waterloo, a good part of the "British" army was made of Dutch soldiers..
Yet, England was the most powerful at the time ...
England was not the most powerful. France defeated consistently almost all opposition from 1789 to 1812, with the notable exception of Trafalgar.
England became stronger AFTER the Napoleonic wars, not during it.

I guess by "almost all opposition" you mean "pretty much everyone but the British". :D

After all it wasn't so much that Trafalgar was the notable exception in that period but the British in general. Wellington, Moore, Graham and men like them had a consistently good record against French forces. Barossa, Salamanca, Talavera and Corunna didn't exactly go against the flow for major Anglo-French battles after all. The less said about the French navy's performance against the British (even without considering Trafalgar) in that period the better.

As for the comment about the use of foreign troops, well 35% (British contingent at Waterloo) is hardly that far off 43% (French contingent in Invasion of Russia) when you get right down to it is it?

But yeah, I don't think the British were as strong as the other poster suggests during the Napoleonic Wars. We played a crucial role in the conflicts against Napoleon's France but as always required continental allies. Each country plays to its strengths, something the Emperor didn't always heed when it came to naval affairs.

cool3a2
Feb 22, 2009, 03:36 PM
I'd also say that under the reign of Saint Stephen I. and later under Corvinus Hungary was pretty powerful. Well, maybe not the most powerful, but quite powerful. It controlled a lot of land and also under cultural aspects it was quite strong. On the other side it had no navy which made Britain, Spain and France quite powerful.

Dachs
Feb 22, 2009, 03:48 PM
Yeah, Hungary in the late 15th century was pretty kickass. Possibly stronger than France or Castile-Aragon. Corvinus is one of the most overlooked great leaders of his era.

Huayna Capac357
Feb 22, 2009, 05:58 PM
Poland Lithuania was pretty big, too.

Dachs
Feb 23, 2009, 12:36 AM
Poland Lithuania was pretty big, too.
Size ain't the same thing as power. Poland-Lithuania proved that it was an extremely fragile state during the 17th century. I personally would rate Corvinus higher than Kazimierz the Great during their times of respective power; during the first half of the 16th century the Habsburg state kind of dominates Great Power calculations, and later than that I'd probably keep Spain up top until long after Poland-Lithuania grants the sejmiki the liberum veto and erases any possibility of rating it particularly highly in terms of power.

Eskel
Feb 23, 2009, 10:57 AM
Poland Lithuania was extremely powerful in XVth and first half of XVIth century, both in manpower in treasury, even if many of the wrong constitutional decisions, that led to later P-L downfall, were taken at this time.

TheLastOne36
Feb 23, 2009, 04:27 PM
Size ain't the same thing as power. Poland-Lithuania proved that it was an extremely fragile state during the 17th century. I personally would rate Corvinus higher than Kazimierz the Great during their times of respective power; during the first half of the 16th century the Habsburg state kind of dominates Great Power calculations, and later than that I'd probably keep Spain up top until long after Poland-Lithuania grants the sejmiki the liberum veto and erases any possibility of rating it particularly highly in terms of power.

Well in the 17th century our political system was to messed up for Poland to defend herself properly. The nobles had to much power in comparison to the king. Some nobles even sides with the invaders for their own personal gain! (which is what happened in many wars in the 16th to 18th centuries.

Before that we were pretty strong though, probably one of the strongest in europe, but their was one point in history when Poland was arguably the most powerful nation in Europe, during the 1350-1400. The only other state to rival Poland at the time was France iirc, but it had huge problems cause of the black death etc.
------
Aside from that, by the beggining of the partitions, it was clear that Poland wouldn't survive being invaded by 3 more powerful neighbours at the same time, 3 times. Not with our weak govornment, and our general problems.

Dachs
Feb 24, 2009, 04:05 AM
during the 1350-1400. The only other state to rival Poland at the time was France iirc, but it had huge problems cause of the black death etc.
Going by other regional states alone, Karel IV and his successors in Bohemia were at the very least an equal to Poland, and during that period the Teutonic Order had a clear upper hand over Poland in the struggle over Pomerellia and Danzig.

TheLastOne36
Feb 24, 2009, 02:56 PM
Bohenia was also strong, but it was already losing influence. Just because the Teuton's were more succesful in that half-century in it's struggle in the north, doesn't mean it was doing better then Poland in general. imo i don't think there was a time when the Teutonic order was stronger/more influencial then Poland. As i said, the only state that was doing as powerful at the time imo was France.

Besides, let us have this little pride :p all the other states get their moment later on/before :D

Dachs
Feb 24, 2009, 03:01 PM
Bohenia was also strong, but it was already losing influence.
They had the leadership of the Empire, they had their core Bohemian territories, they had Brandenburg, and scattered lands across the Empire, and they were able to intervene repeatedly in Poland during the Pomerellian Wars.
Just because the Teuton's were more succesful in that half-century in it's struggle in the north, doesn't mean it was doing better then Poland in general. imo i don't think there was a time when the Teutonic order was stronger/more influencial then Poland. As i said, the only state that was doing as powerful at the time imo was France.
So you've said this but you haven't backed it up at all. :rolleyes: Come on, some kind of concrete evidence would be nice. If Poland can't even lord it over the Teutonic Order, how the hell are they the most powerful country in Europe?
Besides, let us have this little pride :p all the other states get their moment later on/before :D
Not all other states get a moment in the Sun as the most powerful European country. It's not an entitlement.