The world has always been in a state of conflict and change.
Throughout all of human history, empires have risen only to then be overtaken and fall to some combination of internal pressures and external assaults. But generally, such broad sweeps of history are generally hard to picture — especially contextually with the rest of the world.
Fortunately, Ollie Bye has created a YouTube video which shows the entire history of the world’s empires rising and falling. We have GIFed some of the pivotal moments of human history below.
The Persian Achaemenid Empire is overthrown by Alexander the Great, who marches from Macedonia to the borders of India. Alexander's Macedonian Empire splinters apart upon his death.
In large part due to the generalship of Julius Caesar, the Romans conquer modern France, helping to set up Rome as the predominant power in the west.
China is split among competing dynasties and Rome splits into its eastern and western branches. The Western Roman Empire steadily loses ground, and the Huns take much of eastern Europe, foreshadowing the theme of invaders from Central Asia terrorizing the west.
The Tang Empire solidifies itself in China, the Rashidun Caliphate quickly eats away the Persian Sassanian Empire and much of the Byzantine Empire, and the Göktürks form a massive Empire across Central Asia.
Europe is beginning to form into nations that are familiar in the present day, and the Mongol Empire stampedes across much of Asia, the Middle East, and eastern Europe.
By the 1600s, the South American civilizations have been colonised by the Spanish, the Ottomans have conquered much of Southeastern Europe and reached their fullest extent, and Russia rapidly conquers throughout Siberia.
The Qing Empire conquers out to Central Asia foreshadowing modern China's boundaries. European powers also compete over North American territories.
World War I shatters the empires of Europe, leads to the creation of modern Turkey and the colonization of the Middle East, and the rise of the Soviet Union.
By the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapses and the borders of the vast majority of contemporary states are set.
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