Global Empires (Members Only)

Digital History of Global Empires

a key to global education: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

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Experience our digital history of global empires with WisdomMaps!


During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal and Spain explored the globe and established large overseas empires. The great wealth these empires generated provoked the envy of the English, the French, and the Dutch, who began to establish their own colonies and trade in the Americas and Asia. In a series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France, England emerged victorious and became the dominant colonial power in North America. It became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent as well after the East India Company conquered the Mughal territory of Bengal in 1757.

The British Empire began with the overseas possessions and trade posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. It grew to become the largest empire in history and the foremost global power at its zenith. By 1913 the British Empire held sway over 412 million people (then 23 per cent of the world population), and by 1920 it covered nearly one-quarter of the Earth’s total land area. Its constitutional, legal, linguistic, and cultural legacy was global, and it was described as “the empire on which the sun never sets”.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.


Spanish Empire: New WorldPhilippines | British Empire: AustraliaNew ZealandThe RajScramble for Africa: Belgian Congo | French Empire: New FranceFrench North AfricaFrench Indochina | Dutch Empire: Dutch East IndiesSouthern AfricaMalacca | Portuguese Empire in Brazil

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