The 10 Greatest Countries in the History of the World

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

The 10 Greatest Countries in the History of the World

Yeah, we’re childish. And we’re a Dallas marketing firm, not an academic enclave.

But these are exactly the kinds of questions that pop into our head all the time — especially as Cathy is forcing us to watch Extra or somesuch.

So we decided to put this list together and welcome your input. Here are the ground rules:

1. By “countries,” we mean current countries based on current boundaries.

2. Any past accomplishments are credited to the current country; modern Iraq, for example, gets credit for Mesopotamia.

3. Seminal achievements score the biggest points; however, some points are deducted for long periods of backwardness.

4. For our descriptions, our own commentary is mixed with direct pulls from Wikipedia in most cases; we didn’t demarcate which was which so it would be easier to read. Just assume it’s all borrowed if you’d like.

OK, here we go — the Top 10, starting with the greatest country in the history of the world:

1. Italy. What can we say? Ancient Rome created what we now call “Western society” — including our laws, our culture and our religion. After Rome fell and Europe spent 1,000 years in darkness, Italy reclaimed it with the Renaissance. To create a civilization is achievement enough — but to save it 10 centuries later is truly remarkable.

2. United Kingdom. The dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, the United Kingdom is often credited with being the nation that “created the modern world”, by playing a leading role in developing Western ideas of property, capitalism, and parliamentary democracy as well as making significant contributions to literature, the arts, and science and technology. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-quarter of the Earth’s surface and encompassed a third of its population.

3. United States. The U.S. is, by any measure, the wealthiest, most powerful and most influential country in the history of the world. Only its brief lifespan keeps it from topping the list. Buoyed by victories in World War I and World War II as the only major power not devastated, and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union following the Cold War, the U.S. has emerged as the world’s sole superpower.

4. China. The once and future superpower. China was one of the earliest centers of human civilization. It has one of the world’s longest periods of mostly uninterrupted civilization and one of the world’s longest continuously used written language systems. Today, it is the likely successor to the United States as the most powerful country in the world.

5. Greece. Regarded as the cradle of western civilization and being the birthplace of modern democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western Literature, Political Science and drama, including both tragedy and comedy, Greece has a very long and remarkably rich history during which its culture has proven to be especially influential in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Today, Greece is a developed nation, member of the European Union since 1981 and a member of the Eurozone since 2001.

6. Egypt. The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world’s great civilizations. A unified kingdom was founded circa 3200 BC by King Narmer, and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty, known as the Thirtieth Dynasty, fell to the Persians in 343 BC who dug the predecessor of the Suez canal and connected the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. Later, Egypt fell to the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Muslim Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the seventh century to the Egyptians, who gradually adopted both. Unfortunately, it’s been pretty much downhill since then.

7. Iraq. The Republic of Iraq sits on land that is historically known as Mesopotamia, which was home to some of the world’s first civilizations, including the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian. These civilizations produced some of the first writing, science, mathematics, law and philosophy in the world, making the region the center of what is commonly called the “Cradle of Civilization”. Downhill since then.

8. India. The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9,000 years ago, and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, a centre of important trade routes and vast empires. India has long played a major role in human history. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Ayyavazhi, and Sikhism — all have their origins in India.

9. Iran. Iran (formerly Persia) has been inhabited by human beings since pre-historic times, centuries before the earliest civilizations arose in nearby Mesopotamia. Following the Islamic conquest of Persia, the country was at the heart of the Islamic Golden Age, especially during the 9th to 11th centuries.

10. Chad.Michel Brunet’s 2002 discovery places the origins of humanity here, about six million years ago. Where in Africa life began remains a mystery — until Brunet, Kenya and Ethiopia were the best theories — but we’ll give Chad credit for being our best guess at the moment.

By our measure, Russia, Japan, France, Germany and a few others just missed out. OK — who did we miss?

The 10 Greatest Countries in the History of the World

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289 thoughts on “The 10 Greatest Countries in the History of the World

  1. Matthew Stibbe

    You’ve rightly included the United Kingdom in your list, but of course it is made up of separate countries, a principality and some islands. So, I would vote for England (i.e. not Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales etc.) We gave the world warm beer, Monty Python (apart from the American guy) and Shakespeare which is pretty much all you need for a happy life. Of course, your mileage may vary!

    But since I am also half-Dutch, I would have to mention Holland. Bourgeois Democracy may not be terribly hip, but the Dutch did it first and they have a very practical, reasonable and tolerant approach to life. Also, think of all those wonderful paintings: Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer.

    It’s a nice idea to try to think about what makes a country good without getting hyped and patriotic. Good for you. It’s something we Brits feel embarassed about but shoudl do more often.

  2. Kirk

    You missed Israel, Scott. Were it not for Israel — Jerusalem in particular — Western (JudeoChristian) Civilization and Islamic Civilization would not be the same as they are today. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I don’t know.

  3. SB

    Yeah, they probably should bump out Iran. But then again, the spread of Christianity and Islam was driven by forces in Europe and the Arab world. If not for Christianity’s embrace of non-Jews, it might have been dismissed as just another Middle Eastern cult.

  4. SB

    The Spanish and Dutch were both big maritime powers that preceded the the Brits, but the Brits did it better.

    The Spaniards also lose points for the Inquisition, and the Dutch lose points for colonizing South Africa — making them effectively responsible for apartheid.

  5. Casually Me

    You missed Detroit. The great nation of Detroit gave us cars and NBA championships. Lost it’s luster this year with a poor showing against Shaq daddy and his little puppet Wade. Been downhill ever since. (LOL)

  6. Anonymous

    Lot’s of technological advances linked to certain countries has been greatly left out…

    Honestly, this list is a pipedream by someone, who by my guess, only has taken general history classes and read some news articles.

  7. Dave Chakrabarti

    I would have added under India that it is the world’s largest democracy, and that it is quickly positioning itself to become a superpower in the IT age, where knowledge and information have become the dominant industry. Conversely, one of the main reasons for the US’s decline as a superpower is a failure to embrace the information age, since we’re still paying homage to the telco gods.

  8. Anonymous

    And where is Portugal? At one point in time they ‘owned’ two thirds of the known world, were the first to sail around Africa, and so many other things. The Brits didn’t do it better then Portugal. They would have remained a world power had the retarded king of the time not spent all the money on building a castle encrusted with gold.

  9. SB

    this list is a pipedream by someone, who by my guess, only has taken general history classes and read some news articles.

    Actually, I mainly just watch pay-per-view.

  10. Feline Nursery

    Yes, I read your ground rules. But attributing part of Italy’s greatness to Rome is like attributing the greatness of the United States to Hopi Indians from 2000 years ago. Ancient Rome does not share a religion, language, political system, economy or military custom with Italy. In short, they are two entirely different cultures. I don’t think that simply sharing a geographic area should identify different cultures from different periods under different political states as being from one “country”. You wouldn’t chalk up American, British and Canadian activity in France during WWII as greatness on the part of France, would you?
    I only write all this because I think what you’ve done is a cool idea. I’d like to see what would happen with slightly different, more exacting ground rules.

    1. Antrax

      Isn’t true at all. Romans and Italians, is both descendants of ancient Italic tribe.
      From Greek: Italic – Italos (Bull)/ Italia – Witaloi (sons of bull).
      So yes Italic is father of romans as romans are father of italians. So Roman Empire was more italian than you believe.

  11. John G

    You missed CANADA, we stand way above the US when it comes to human rights, and the care of our own peoples.

    The fact you missed Canada states that you picked most of these out of your a**

  12. Feline Nursery

    Also, you’ve got to dump Chad. Female literacy is 12%. Male life expectancy is 43 years. 20% of children die before age 5. The watchdog group Transparency International ranked them the 4th most corrupt nation out of 145 nations in 2004. I’ve never been, but it sounds like a pretty suck ass country. At the very least, not one of the top ten. I don’t believe that a country should only be judged in terms of “What have you done for me lately”, but you’re citing events of 6 million years ago.

  13. Feline Nursery

    John G: You’re right, Canada does stand way above the United States, not only latitudinally but on alphabetized lists of countries as well.

  14. Zervas

    yeah, see canada can be all those things because they are protected by the U.S. Canada is the trustafarian of countries. It’s ability to be all socialist and moral comes from the security and trade that daddy/U.S. provides. of course your natural resources help too. canada: gold card hippy with big boobs. should be on the license plates.

  15. splashngo

    if you’re going to make spain lose points for the inquisition u have to knock the UK or england down as well. the english killed over 100,000 in the inquisitions compared to the meer couple thousand or less than the spanish.

    1. Jason

      Whoa whoa, England/UK has done sooo much, industrial revolution. And it was the UK who invented the TV as well as every single kind of Engine the world has know look it up. Fact and england was a protastant state we didnt do the inquisition stuff. learn you're history like seriously.

  16. Anonymous

    I’d have to put the US as # 1. There is no country that has had a direct impact on every person on the planet for over 100 years. The US has directly touched more lives than Jesus, Buddha and Mohamed combined.

    Short list: electrical grid, electric light, digital computer, transistor, airplane, telephone, internet, petroleum, assembly line, modern stock market, credit cards, cell phone, TV, telegraph, machine gun, atomic energy, atomic bomb, elevator, sky scrapper, air conditioning, modern central heating…

    No other society is close to the contribution the US has made to humanity.

  17. Anonymous

    If you knock out Italy on the Hopi Indian technicality, then you could probably make an argument for Romania being the sad remnents of the Roman civilization.

    And Canada is about 2 thousand years from being in this list. But, you know, give us time.

  18. Anonymous

    I think India could be pushed up a few notches. Remember Calculus was invented there two hundred years before Newton.

  19. PSGInfinity

    …Not to mention space travel, creative destruction, Hollywood, Madison Ave, Levis, Coca-Cola, the golden arches, superdrugs (legal and non), modern farming, the McCormick harvester, the trans-continental railroad, the Panama canal (ditto?), the Model T, the Constitution, checks and balances, the cel phone, the telegraph, the Hoover Dam, pop culture, …

    …and this list STILL isn’t exhaustive!

  20. swarms

    Casually Me brings up a good point: where is Detroit on the list? Detroit has long been the driving force of music in the world: motown, techno, Madonna, Eminem, and most of all Kid Rock. Detroit is so well off that it can spare to have all these empty buildings all over.

    But seriously, Israel should be on there. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.

  21. RanDomino

    -Germany and France have continuously been powerful since the fall of Rome

    -Spain, again: Spanish isn’t the second most widely-spoken language in the world because it’s easy to use or anything like that.

    -The European Low Countries and Netherlands should go on if you’re looking for a per-capita thing… No one else has ever been so disproportionately powerful for their size.

    -Ethiopia/Abyssinia was counted among Rome, Persia, and China as one of the most powerful empires around in the 4th century, back when it controlled all the way over to Yemen. They were the only African country to resist European colonialization. Not even China can say that. It’s quite possibly the longest-lasting independent civilized country ever. Humanity started right nearby; Abyssinia is one of the longest continuously inhabited places in the world. If you want to put Chad, Abyssinia is 10x better. And they might have the Ark of the Covenant.

    -Turkey (Anatolia) was home to the Hittite empire (probably the first civilization to use Iron), Hellenistic Seleucid empire, Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and Ottoman Empire. Who else has had four distinct empires??

  22. Anonymous

    “Yes, I read your ground rules. But attributing part of Italy’s greatness to Rome is like attributing the greatness of the United States to Hopi Indians from 2000 years ago. Ancient Rome does not share a religion, language, political system, economy or military custom with Italy. In short, they are two entirely different cultures”
    Not at all. Roman culture was the biggest influence on all of postclassical Western Europe, and while it certainly changed over the years, the culture evovled from the classical Empire into Italian city-states. Latin spawned or influenced the major postclassical languages and Catholicism was the official religion of Rome for some time.

  23. Anonymous

    “I’d have to put the US as # 1. There is no country that has had a direct impact on every person on the planet for over 100 years.’
    Yes, but it is supposed to be a good influence.

  24. Anonymous

    To the guy that wanted to separate the UK in to its consituents..

    Fine, therefore you’ll have to disregard the minor achievements by scots.

    1) TV
    2) Antibiotics
    3) Modern Science methods
    4) Shipbuilding which enabled the empire.
    5) Hatred of self centred, self important english w+nkers

    I rest my case m’lord.

  25. Bobby

    What, no love for Sudan? Sudan has held a Human Rights seat on the UN Security Council even while being at perpetual civil war since its independence in 1956. If this were not enough, the Darfur region of Sudan was being investigated for ethnic cleansing atrocities even while being reelected to this security council seat. Did I mention that crucifixion is still one of the preferred methods of execution there? It’s amazing that this nation is in the UN, much less not on your list. You should be ashamed.

    Otherwise, great list!

  26. Anonymous

    Short list: electrical grid, electric light, digital computer, transistor, airplane, telephone, internet, petroleum, assembly line, modern stock market, credit cards, cell phone, TV, telegraph, machine gun, atomic energy, atomic bomb, elevator, sky scrapper, air conditioning, modern central heating…

    A couple of problems there, skipper. The inventor of the telephone was Canadian, not American. The invention of the “internet” did, indeed, happen when two computers were linked in a U.S college. The World Wide Web that actually encompasses the internet, however, was invented by CERN in Geneva.

    As for all the Americans coming out saying the U.S. should be #1, I’m guessing none of those people were history majors…

  27. Strabo the Lesser

    Perhaps Turkey. The Ottomans were a great empire.

    Iran I would put on the list for the Parthians as well.

    And I think Russia should be on the list, probably over India.

  28. Strabo the Lesser

    Iran: Don’t forget the Parthians as well. They were a rival to rome in their day.

    Turkey: The ottomans were great in their day.

    Mongolia: The Khanate should be #1 on the list. Comprising everything between Vietnam and the edge of the Hungarian border, it was the largest empire ever.

  29. Smarter than you

    You’ve got Iran completely wrong…BAGHDAD was the center of Islamis civlization. You give other civilizations, notably the British, credit for lands and peoples they conquered. You accurately note that Iran was conquered by the Arabs, but then invert the relative power structure. I think it’s important to recognize the imprint of Arabs on Persians, and not vice-versa; after all, Iranians are the only Indo-European people using an ARABIC alphabet! The Turks are Muslim, but they use a modified Roman script. Farsi, in constrast, is a modified Arabic script. “Downhill” after Babylon? Get it right — Iraq went downhill after Baghdad’s sack by the Mongols in 1258 (at the same time, the Mongols were dominating Iran).

    On that note, why no mention of the Mongols or the Japanese? Iranians should be off, and the Mongols added. I think they left much more of an imprint on the world than most. And having Mongolia on the list would be cool, too.

    1. morteza kalantar kotoki

      lol what do you say ???

      in islamic state persians were minister not arabs

      in islamic state persianss were doctors like

      abo ali sina

      Chemist were persian like zakariaye razi Discoverer

      of Alcohol

      Mathematician were persian like khayam

      and kharazmi who makes algorithms and al jebra or jabr

      oh and persian language or farsi just use arabic
      alphabet with diffrent sound and it has more Phonemes like گ چ پ ژ
      and persian language is Fully diffrent language from arabic

      mongols in iran have persian ministers and soldiers

      iran was a important and big country before 200 years age but mongols not

      they like Plague

      and about mongols everybody know that mongols were a Poison

      we most forget them

  30. transformerofcultures

    The USG, United States Government carried out a systematic genocide against native americans during the 19th century. Over 100,000 Filipinos died during their insurrection against American rule, following the Spanish – American war. Hawaii was anexed illegally….the USG has done and created most of greatness through illegal use of force and breaking treaties. The USG routinely cripples UN reselutions because of the implications towards USG employees.

    Rome and the slaves, the USG the slaves, no apologies and no resitution.

    History is written by the victors their version of events is what prevails, however there are those who dissent and take note of the nasty tid bits of Victory.

    Winning at all costs? is that what it comes down to be the best…Norway was ranked the best place to live on Earth by a UN Study, the United States 6th.

    The reason I am critizing the USG so much is that their is too much blind support.

    The industrial revolution began in the US after plans for a cotton gin were stolen and brought to the US.

    Same way China has stole so much from the USG and is funding their economic revolution. The Chinese now have nuclear warheads similar to US W-88 warheads because of the security breaches at Los Alamos.

    This is the way it goes from Empire to Empire, I rather have the Republic of the United States of America anyday over anything else on this planet, it is just such a terrible shame our nation once again has been hi-jacked by corporations and people who do not hold the consitution and American values dear to their hearts but more so the abberation of money.

    You could very much state and show the struggle of the American people has been against coporations and corrupt minds. The Boston Tea party targeted a corporations tea and policy, (the coporation influenced the king)…much how the Telcos want to charge you for using the internet at the same speed as you are using it now….

  31. ubiquitous!

    What about Poland? Poland was a cultural center centuries ago. Jagellonian University (1364) was one of Europe’s first, and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth proved to be one of history’s strongest and most culturally fruitful. There have been many influential Poles in many fields, from Copernicus to Pope JP II. In recent times, Poland showed an impressive rebound from its communist government to become a dynamic EU member.

    Russia/Soviet Union should be on this list. There was so much innovation to come out of Russia/CCCP, culturally, artistically, politically. I would hedge a bet their star will rise again in coming years.

  32. Anonymous

    What about Poland? Poland was a cultural center centuries ago. Jagellonian University (1364) was one of Europe’s first, and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth proved to be one of history’s strongest and most culturally fruitful. There have been many influential Poles in many fields, from Copernicus to Pope JP II. In recent times, Poland showed an impressive rebound from its communist government to become a dynamic EU member.

    Russia/Soviet Union should be on this list. There was so much innovation to come out of Russia/CCCP, culturally, artistically, politically. I would hedge a bet their star will rise again in coming years.

  33. Anonymous

    I’d say the list was fairly accurate. If we put yhe US as #1 it’s due to the fact that we got our workforce from India, our tax laws from Egypt, our fascism from Italy and our gall from Israel.

  34. Anonymous

    You borrowed several paragraphs from Wikipedia. You should have acknowledged that, otherwise it becomes plagiarism.

  35. SB

    You borrowed several paragraphs from Wikipedia. You should have acknowledged that, otherwise it becomes plagiarism.

    I believe I acknowledged that with great specificity:

    “For our descriptions, our own commentary is mixed with direct pulls from Wikipedia in most cases; we didn’t demarcate which was which so it would be easier to read. Just assume it’s all borrowed if you’d like.”

  36. Anonymous

    the U.S. is Canada’s geological bitch. We’re bigger, we’re on top and if you look at Ontario, we’re pounding you in the ass!

  37. KazeKaizokuSama

    I tend to agree on leaving out Japan. The culture of the Japanese civilization is undoubtedly great in many ways, but for much of history this greatness has existed in isolation. We do start to see some cultural influence leaving Japan at some point in the 18th century in the form of art, but Japan has only had a large impact on the world as a whole for slightly less time than the USA. Furthermore, they easily lose out to the USA in influence as the spread of Japanese culture is mostly passive where as the USA takes an active role in influencing the global society.

    I’d like to qualify that this opinion does come from a full fledged Otaku!

  38. Zero

    I’m surprised at the choice to omit France. Though their history has been largely militaristic, through the 9th to 20th centuries they’ve held off some frightening forces, and discovered a lot of new places to conquer.. err.. I mean colonize.
    Perhaps I give the more modern times more credit, especially understanding the events of the Napoleonic and World wars.

    Spain were similarly responsible for so much discovery and bringing together – it was perhaps only their blind stupidity/faith in religion that caused them to wage a war which without, we might now all be speaking Spanish.

  39. Anonymous

    Ubiquitious already said it, but he said it in a non-humorous way, so I’ll say it again…

    (in the words of a “great” president, lol)

    You forgot about Poland!

  40. Darrin

    Maybe you are forgetting that Canada has one of the best health care systems. Also we kicked USA’s Ass in every war in the 1800’s and we still have those same guns in use today. LOL

  41. Anonymous


  42. Anonymous


  43. SB

    Hmmm. Let’s see. Is there anything that Germany did that might cause us to deduct, say, 1000 points?

    Nope, can’t think of anything.

  44. Anonymous

    I dont know those lederhosen kind of suck, and oh yea that holocaust thing, but other than that I can’t think of anything meritting a 1000 point deduction my friend!

  45. Anonymous

    What, no love for Sudan? Sudan has held a Human Rights seat on the UN Security Council even while being at perpetual civil war since its independence in 1956. If this were not enough, the Darfur region of Sudan was being investigated for ethnic cleansing atrocities even while being reelected to this security council seat.

    There’s no such thing as a “Human Rights seat on the UN Security Council.” The Security Council is made up of the Permanent Members and a handful of other member states from the General Assembly, the latter of which are rotated through, not elected. Get it right.

  46. Anonymous

    Sorry, the 10 non-permanent members are elected, for 2-year terms, but there’s still no such thing as a “Human Rights seat on the Security Council.” They might have a seat on the Human Rights Committee – there are dozens of U.N. Committees – but what you said simply doesn’t exist.

    “Ten other members (other than the 5 permanent members of the United States, the French Republic, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, and the Russian Federation) are elected by the General Assembly for 2-year terms starting on January 1, with five replaced each year. The members are chosen by regional groups and confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly. The African bloc chooses three members; the Latin American, Asian, and Western European and Others blocs choose two members each; and the Eastern European bloc chooses one member. Also, one of these members is an Arab country, alternately from the Asian or African bloc. [1]
    The current (2006) elected members are:
    Argentina (L. America)
    Republic of the Congo (Africa)
    Denmark (W. Europe)
    Ghana (Africa)
    Greece (W. Europe)
    Japan (Asia)
    Peru (L. America)
    Qatar (Asia, Arab)
    Slovakia (E. Europe)
    Tanzania (Africa)”

  47. Anonymous

    Iran was the center of Persian empire whereas Mesopotamia/Iraq was the center of Moorish culture (later to become Arabic). Turkey over Chad would make sense. Someone cracked about how Holland and other European countried have have the highest impact-to-geographical area ratio of any country. Israel tops any of them

  48. Anonymous

    This list was WAY eurocentric. As great as Rome was, it influenced the lives of fewer people than ancient China (which I would rank #1). USA and UK belong on the list but maybe not at #2,#3. The other thing was that Arab states get underrecognized. The region was after all the birthplace of largescale agriculture, also by your the rules of inheritance, Turkey probably deserves as spot as the Ottoman succesors. Also, Greece should have superceded rome, as a huge portion of Roman culture was bastardized Greek culture and the Greeks made a much greater contribution to art and philosophy (they also get Alexander’s empire). Oh, and what about Mongolia, only the most militarily effective nation EVER who spawned the Mughals, the Yuan dynasty, a Persian regime and even influenced Eastern Europe and were the geographical predecessors of Russia?

    Mainly I think its important to remember that for most of the last 4000 years the majority of humans have been in what is today China and that until about 1650 China was only sporadically challenged as the leader in any of the following fields: population, technology, productivity, military might, seafaring and bureacratic sophistication. There was a time just 600 years ago when your #4 had a STANDING ARMY 3/4ths as big as the entire population of your #2 and a population almost 100 times as large. So overall, I’d say too Eurocentric. I think the top 3 should be the most influential from Europe, the Mid-east and the far-east respectively. I’d say: #1:China (most innovative, populous and powerful for most of history), #2:UK (global dominion and credit for some of American culture, also 1st on earth to industrialize), #3: it’s tough to pinpoint one mid-east nation as supreme (Iran/Persia or Turkey/Ottoman), so maybe I’d substitute Greece (foundation of western theatre, philosphy, credit for much roman culture, great accomplishments a LONG time ago).

  49. SB

    This list was WAY eurocentric…

    The other thing was that Arab states get underrecognized.

    The list has 3 European countries and 3 Middle Eastern countries.

  50. Anonymous

    While this list is eurocentric, world culture today is heavily based off of the Western world. Currently nations such as China are following capitalistic ideals, which originated through the expanisitionist policies of Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. If this list is attempting to rate how influential societies have been towards today’s culture, then Western Europe cannot be emphasized enough.

  51. Thingfish

    To the anonymous German: If Germany is so wonderful, why did most of your heroes emigrate? And coming from ‘THE FIRST FULLY LITERATE CONTRY’ why can’t you spell their names correctly?

  52. Anonymous

    YOU LEFT OUT SOUTH AFRICA! .. Small we may be but we are responsible for a few things.. heart transplants, great wine, creepy crawlies lol, pronutro and last but not least.. nelson mandela, who was the only president capable of converting from apartheid to democracy without a war. 🙂

  53. Anonymous

    I notice no one’s disputing Greece’s place on the list, and since the Romans got their architecture, their pantheon of dieties, their government, their record-keeping, their phalanx warfare and their foundation of philosophy and engineering from the Greeks, you can cross out Italy and give the credit to the Greece.

    Unlike the Roman Empire/Italy, the Greeks are the same people speaking (almost) the exact same language they’ve spoken throughout their entire existence.

    The Greeks were also singlehandly responsible for saving Western society from vanishing under Persian domination. If the Greeks hadn’t fought the Persians at Themopylae and Plataea, none of us would have ever heard of democracy, freedom or hard science, and we’d probably all be worshipping Ahura Mazda.

    Greece may not be significant nowadays, but we owe everything we have now to the Greeks.

  54. Anonymous

    Canada should definately be on that list. Also, to those who think that we are protected by the States, we not in wars because we don’t go over to Iraq and start wars.

  55. Anonymous

    the middle ages was not a period of darkness. during that time the modern idea of the university was formed, advances (especially in europe) grew by leaps and bounds in agriculture and war fare.

    The idea of the middle ages as a period of darkness and regression for man is a bunch of enlightenment bullshit. While it may not have been a time of great scientific revolution, it was a time of innovation and growth for the common man in the arena that was most important to him.

  56. Anonymous

    “You missed CANADA, we stand way above the US when it comes to human rights, and the care of our own peoples.

    The fact you missed Canada states that you picked most of these out of your a**”

    The only category where Canada stands above the US is on a map. Other than that, they have very little influence on the world as a whole, either in history or today.

  57. Anonymous

    I just have to make a comment to the person who said the US should be #1. First off get your facts straight, that list you made of what the States contributed to the world is way off. The telephone was invented by a Canadian! and the internet is a European invention, you dumb Americans think everything evolves around you. This is why US is not number one. You are not educated. That is why on the UN’s list of country’s with the greatest standard of living United States is WAY down on the list, while Canada makes the top ten.

  58. Anonymous

    Canada has been voted the best country to live in by the UN for many years now, and the fact that your not including them is just ignorant.

  59. Anonymous

    I think Chad is on the list because its assumed that HUMANS evolved there kinda makes it a top 10 nation. Everyone is missing that point.

    Also is Canada still a part of the British Empire?

    Anyways Im American and I will say that the more socialized parts of the world like the Nordic countries and Canada are far superior. I would rather live in a nation where everyone can goto college and not have to pay insanely high college loans. Where health care is cheap but costs less per resident then in America, or like in America where all of the Hospital equipment is made in Germany haha.

  60. Anonymous

    why does everyone put united kingdom!!! if it wasnt for england the uk wouldnt be on the list, so why not put england instead of the uk?

  61. PSGInfinity

    To anonymous

    First, Bell was working and living in America, so we tend to count that as American. You’re laughably wrong about the internet, which was invented by ARPA, a U.S. Dept. of Defense agency. You’re thinking of the WWW Protocol, which was invented by a Brit.

    And yes, everything would tend to revolve around a country with the largest economy, largest and best military, highest standard of living, highest per capita income (of all countries larger than principalities), and most influential culture…

  62. Anonymous

    Canada is a great country, but there is absolutely no way in hell that it belongs in the Top 10 when you’re taking all of the civilizations in the history of the world into account. Canada would probobly be somewhere around 20th place. And regarding the telephone, A.G. Bell wasn’t Canadian, he was born in Scotland and he lived in the US when he invented the telephone; and Europeans had nothing to do with the Internet, unless they were working for the US military in the 70s and 80s.

  63. Anonymous

    What about Latveria? There’s never been a better leader than our beloved Dr. Doom.
    Latveria boasts freedom from the racism that the Roma are greeted with in other countries.

    Due to technological advancements far beyond anything in any other nation, Latveria has managed to remain unfoulled by industrial pollutants. Because of Doom’s many weapons and forces and his mere presence in Latveria, the country is considered a world superpower.

    Hail Doom!


  64. wileycount

    What’s the deal with all of these disgruntled Canucks claiming the greatness of their land? They only achieved sovereignty from Briatin less than a quarter century ago! And they still have the queen! And some people there think they are French, but really speak drawwwl

  65. Anonymous

    If this was called “Most influential countries in history” then it might have some small merit. Greatest though? The criteria is so loose and the ranking so arbitrary that it loses all worth.

    Those of you bashing Canada and claiming any good it has done or created is just because of its proximity to the U.S. really need to educate yourselves on its history and values. I’m not sure if it should be on the list or not, but if it was such an incidental useless place without any power or influence then Canadian politics and its foreign policy would not have nearly as much impact as it does especially considering its relatively small population to its southern neighbour.

  66. Anonymous

    I think a much more interesting list would be which are the 10 Greatest Countries in the last 200 years or so.. because I find it unjust to credit modern day Iraq or Greece for their history hundreds of years ago because they have differed greatly since.

  67. Anonymous


    You are assuming that bigger is better. The U.S. may have the largest military but that does not automatically equate to the best, nor does the U.S. have the highest standard of living.

  68. SB


    Good point. Of course, you can credit the partitioning of India to the greatness (influence) of the Brits. That, or the stupidity of religious strife.

  69. Anonymous

    This is coming from a Canadian. Canada is a great place to live. Truly fantastic.

    Influential? No. But a great place to live.

  70. Mike Reed

    If we are going to cause Spain to lose points for the inquisition, Italy should be much lower, since it was under the orders of Rome, (i.e the Vatican), that the inquisition took place at all, and STILL, to this day, not only maintains an office of the Inquisition, but in third-world countries where they hold sway today, they still kill dissenters.

  71. SB

    I think a much more interesting list would be which are the 10 Greatest Countries in the last 200 years or so.. because I find it unjust to credit modern day Iraq or Greece for their history hundreds of years ago because they have differed greatly since.

    I guess we all know the greatest countries of the past two hundred years.

    Part of the reason for the exercise is to remind us that many countries (places) — including those we may currently consider our enemies — have contributed greatly to the evolution and progress of mankind.

    It occurred to me as I was starting the list that, damn — could both Iraq and Iran, two “Axis of Evil” members, actually be two of the 10 greatest countries of all time?

    In my mind, you can certainly argue that.

  72. Anonymous

    Palestine has a lot of relegious history specially jeruslem where christians, jews, and muslims all beleive is a holy place….btw i am palestinian WOOT!!!

  73. Mike Reed

    OO! OO! What about Anvilania? It gives us our anvils, and without them, we could never have worked our metals, not dropped them on unsuspecting cyotes or overweight hunters!

  74. Anonymous

    How about suadi arabia and U.A.E., suadi arabia has a lot of islamic history abd contains the holy Mecca and is also full of oil. and U.A.E. is the fastest developing country in history and in dubai there is so much activity it’s just amazing, it also has oil for our cars which we go zoom zoom in.

  75. Mike Reed

    Speaking of overweight hunters, my little fat fingers sure have a hard time hitting these keys! Maybe an anvil would help?
    Seriously, though, when it is considered that every country has succeeded by use of force, be it Rome, Greece, Assyria, Egypt, and the list goes on, it should in no way cause the U.S. to lose any place, just because our tender sensibilities are hurt by that fact. If we have used force at times, it has, in fact, made the world a better place, at least from a technological and economical standpoint. We may have lost our way from the original intent of the Founders, leaving the Christian foundations and “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people” behind, but it’s still better than anywhere else, and I’ve been in a lot of other places!

  76. SB

    To Hakim again, and to the Palestinian:

    When I read your comments, I realized that if India and Pakistan were united as a single country as they should be, and if Israel and Palestine were as well, both of the combined entities would be high on the Top 10 list.

    Religion gets in the way in both cases.

  77. Anonymous

    You should be deducting points for religious ‘accomplishments’, not adding them. I’m looking at you, Italy.

  78. bodydrop

    Historically speaking, your list isn’t very accurate. US, historically, didnt change much of society. What happened in the past 50 years dont make up for other nations 2000 or more years of influence. But, all things considered (politics, todays economy, modern society concepts) maybe it should make the list. However, many other nations should come first.

    Like..China. Yes, once the greater empire in the world (Mongolian/chinese king Kublai Kahn built a even greater empire than Alexander, if i’m not mistaken — if i am, it was the second), the country with the largest population in the world, major influence in today’s economy. Historically, it superpasses nearly all other countries but Italy, Greece, Iraq and Egypt. Gave society, as we know it, many things we take for granted, and was, by all means, the most advanced and modern society while europeans were still in the dark ages. It did not, however, pay that much importance in Western society, which, i guess, is the point of your article. Even though, in world history, it was a “superpower” (if we can call the most advanced and modern country — by a huge margin — at a given time only “super”) before US was even “discovered”.

    Another country that i think should deserve some more respect is Iraq. Yes, many will disagree because of its history in the XX and early XXI century. However, Iraq was the home of the world’s first city: Uruk. The importance of that alone should boost Iraq up to top 5 at least. Also, Mesopotamia should be given much higher credit, since it was a very developed society dating back to the 3rd millenium BC. All that, many MILLENIUMS before the US, Britain empire, or any modern “great country” you may name.

    One other thing: if you put the United States on the 3rd spot, and dont even mention Russia (on the actual list i mean), something is wrong. The criteria is wrong. I’m guessing you have put the United States on this list for its importance in todays society, the XX century history, industry achievments and political influence. For that, the US should indeed be on the list. However, through that same criteria, Russia would be just next to it. Russia (Soviet Union) meant just as much to the XX century as did the US. Maybe even more. Russia was the first country to consolidate comunism (even if in its deprecated form), and introduced the world to its bipolar state after World War II. The dispute between Soviet union and United States after WWII promoted all the technological achievments and knowledge we know today. The Soviet Union was the other “superpower” on the Cold War period, and influenced the world the same way the US did. Weather its influence to todays society and todays geopolitical structure was a bad thing, is beyond the point.

    Russia also has something the US doesnt have: history. Not 500 years colony history, but history as a known superpower in what was the center of the world for many years: Europe. Russia was crucial in Europe’s history. in WWI, had it not left the war (which did due to the comunist revolution) the outcome would probably be different. Maybe the US wouldnt even have helped. Or in WWII, had it not held the Germans, and had it not broken through all the way to Berlin, maybe the outcome of that war would have been different. Russia was even crucial in the Napoleonic wars, long before the US exerced any power what-so-ever on the world’s political/military situation.

    From those points of view, Russia should be on the list. Do not, however, say i’m an anti-US person, i’m just pointing out as many reasons for Russia to be on it. I too think US should be on the list, and it should be maybe in 1st or 2nd if the list was about world’s greatest countries on the XX century. But the lack of historical influence dating back to anything prior to 1800 makes it a probable 7th or so (maybe higher, maybe lower, because i didnt consider all the possible countries, but definitly not 3rd).

    From a Western point of view, the list is somewhat fair (besides what i’ve pointed out earlier). But i cant help thinking: whats going on with Japan? I mean, given the same criteria used on US, Japan is one of the most influencial countries in the modern society (given Japan’s history from the Meiji era to today) and probably THE most important country on modern technology. From a Eastern point of view Japan would be a close 2nd on the list.

    And, pointing out Japan just gave me an insight on how China should be even more considered: how many nations have such and influence on a given country (given country not beign a colony) that manages to insert an alphabet on that given country? Because thats what China did. The Kanji japanese alphabet is a direct influence from China.

    I could probably make a case for many other countries, but i already wrote way too much for a comment (if this was an open forum, i should probably make my own thread 😀 ). The ones above were the first ones on the top of my mind. I also object the position of others on that list, but as i said, enough already. I have absolute no objection to Italy beign first (although, by the same criteria, Greece should be 2nd). That beign, from a Western point of view. I would love to see my own country on the list, but given the criteria I assumed myself, it would be distant from top 10. The criterias i have assume (if you have been wondering all this time) were historical importance, from as early as the country’s history goes, its influence in todays society and how it influenced other countries. Those criterias are very similar to that of the original poster (well, if i understood it right 😛 ).

    Well, i’ve probably said enough (or maybe even much more than enough 😀 ). I did not mean to hog your blog for my personal intentions, but i couldnt help giving my insight on a personal interest of mine, which is History. I hope people can read my comment with an open mind.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to exercise my brains and make me curious about many other things.

  79. SB


    Some good thoughts. Why don’t you post another comment — or do your own blog post — giving your own Top 10? I’d be interested in seeing it.

    As you probably figured as you were putting your comments together, it’s a tricky exercise — but fun.

    Oh — the reason I left out Russia has to do with world economic history.

    Russia was a peasant society for hundreds of years, then picked the wrong horse (historically speaking) in Communism.

    The growth and expansion of trade and markets — and the increasing freedom of these markets — has been the most influential force in economic history. In that context, Soviet Communism was a blip.

    Some would argue that the Dutch should be ahead of the Russians, because the Dutch were so influential in expanding world trade.

  80. Anonymous

    Greece would be near the top of my list, for yet another reason not mentioned: the development (if not the creation) of sophisticated technology 2500 years ago … tech which has only come to light in recent decades because it mostly disappeared in the wars with Rome.

  81. Anonymous

    1) China. The past 400 years have been a bit rough, but the previous 2000 were pretty damn good.
    2) UK. Went from a impoverished backwater of Europe, to the massively succesful industrial superpower that spawned the USA, todays lone superpower.
    3) Iraq. It’s hard to choose between Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran, since all three were major Islamic powers who retained the knowledge that Europe forgot during it’s “dark age”. Then they were kind enough to teach the Euros what they forgot several hundred years later. Also they were the driving force behind OPEC, which had a major (and perhaps under recognized) influnce of our world today.
    4) Germany. Despite having a horrible early half of the 20th century, earlier german influences cannot be forgotten. Germany was preceeded by the Holy Roman Empire, which was key to the defence of europe from the invading Arab powers. Europe would not be what it is today without germany.

    I would put the United States much farther down the list, only due to the fact of it’s short history. It only became a real major player during the 20th century, but it’s fantastic success would place it in the top 10.

    It is hard to make such a ranking due to our bias towards recent events. The US is an amazing country, but its true greatness will be determined when it enevitably falls in status (all superpowers fall eventually)

  82. Jake

    In a list compiled by historians in the 1980’s of the 100 most influential people in world history, one country beat out all others by a significant extent. Which one? Scotland. Why? Because so many things that have impacted the human experience have been invented by Scots.

  83. bodydrop

    SB, thanks for reminding me that. IndeEd, Russia was a peasent company entering the XX century while other countries already had their Industrial revolution. And yes, i agree that hsould discount some points.

    Maybe i will make my own top 10 list, and then we can compare and understand each other’s point of view even better. Ido own my own blog. In fact, the only reason i made a Blogger account (and a blog, consequently) was to post my previous comment on your article. I gues i should thank you 😀

    But since i have a blog for like 1 hour, I’ll work on it and maybe post my top 10 list.

    However I think we’d both square off better with a top 15 or 20 list (too many countries!).

    Thanks again. And again, great topic.

  84. Anonymous

    Yes, all the Canadians need to chill out. And this is coming from a Canadian.

    I believe democratic, first world nations without imperialistic ambitions that take care of their people with proper social programs are clearly the best places to live. I.e.: Australia, New Zealand, all of Scandinavia, Canada, Switzerland and so on. If this list was about “quality of living” of course Canada would be in the top ten.

    But we just don’t have the long history that other nations have, and therefore don’t belong on this particular list. And that’s ok. It’s nothing to get upset about. This also means America shouldn’t be so high up on the list. As one poster mentioned less than a century of influence can’t compare with thousands of years.

    Also, after living in Europe for over five years I can say that people can get so proud of their nation’s past history that it leads to hyper nationalism and xenophobia, which makes tolerance of immigration very low. Not a good thing when immigration can be a solution to a declining birth rate. So perhaps Canada is better off anyway.

    ….And whoever said Greece should be ahead of Italy was spot on.

  85. Anonymous

    It’s unfortunate that Canada was not included on your “10 Greatest” list. Without some darn intelligent canucks, none of you people would have telephones(Alexander Graham Bell), insulin(Frederick Grant Banting), Superman (Joe Shuster), basketball (James Naismith), electric light bulbs (no, Edison did NOT invent it, he bought the patent from Henry Woodward in 1874), zippers (Gideon Sundback), garbage bags (Harry Wasylyk), the JAVA programming language (James Gosling), snowmobiles (Joseph-Armand Bombardier), or walkie-talkies (Donald L. Hings). So before you guys start bashing Canada, keep in mind that we have contributed a lot more to the modern world and human rights than many other countries. Oh, and as far as the comment that basically said that Canada is riding the gravy train of the U.S.? That’s a crock. Explain to me why you’re wanting all of our resources (lumber, water, oil) all the time if we’re the ones begging? But I’m not going to bicker, I’m sure the U.S. has great things going for it, I’m just content to live in what I think is the greatest country in the world.

  86. Juice

    telephones(Alexander Graham Bell), insulin(Frederick Grant Banting), Superman (Joe Shuster), basketball (James Naismith), electric light bulbs (no, Edison did NOT invent it, he bought the patent from Henry Woodward in 1874), zippers (Gideon Sundback), garbage bags (Harry Wasylyk), the JAVA programming language (James Gosling), snowmobiles (Joseph-Armand Bombardier), or walkie-talkies (Donald L. Hings)

    Alexander Graham Bell is Scottish. Superman isn’t at all important in the grand scheme of things, neither is basketball, garbage bags are no different from regular LDPE bags, walkie-talkies aren’t much of an accomplishment considering that mobile phones were invented 6 years later.

    I’ll concede that insulin and the light bulb are excellent inventions which are indeed Canadian.

    And to everyone who think England should be placed in favour of Britain, here are some of the most important Scottish acheivements.

    The steam engine (James Watt)
    The bicycle (Kirkpatrick Macmillan)
    The pneumatic tyre (John Boyd Dunlop)
    The first all-steel ship to cross the Atlantic
    Telephone (Alexander Graham Bell)
    Television (John Logie Baird)
    Penicillin (Alexander Fleming)
    Radar (Robert Watson Watt)
    Cloning (Dolly the Sheep)

    Not to say that the English haven’t invented some excellent things such as the dynamo, and not to forget the many great discoveries made by Charles Babbage and Isaac Newton. And kudos to getting most of the world to speak English. A huge population has English as their primary language, and it is the most commonly known secondary language. But all you English people, please get off of your high horse and realise that Scotland is just as intrinsic, if not more so, to the advancement of human technological achievements than England.

    By the way, I have nothing against Canada, but that guy needed corrected. I mean garbage bags? Seriously? That’s what he thinks it takes to get into the top ten countries in the world. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a TV than a bin bag.

  87. hacker not cracker

    personally, i think russia should be in the list. i mean, the US and russia were head to head superpowers in the cold war!

  88. Anonymous

    chad……I mean chad kicks ass i walk a little to my left and I lose my arm to gorilla war fare. If there wa sno canada there would be no phone and no garbadge bags and walkie talkies and insulin and light blub. Now i know some one said eww garbagede bag whats so good about that. try hauling 120 bags of garbedge to the curb. and ALEXANDER GRAHIM BELL grew up in canada and if youre going to pull that you might as well say that all of US and canadas achivements are british cause to tell the the truth same people.

    plus people saying USA is a shield for one has ever tried to attack us and untill recently never had. The USA has done alot more then canada but we still deserve to be on there. more then Chad.

  89. Anonymous

    well i agree with most of the list. but i have to say the USA should not be on the top ten, maybe top twenty, but not number 3. it hasnt been around long enough, nor made enough contribution to the history of the human civilized world compared to the others on this list to earn such a respectable position.

  90. SB

    it hasnt been around long enough, nor made enough contribution to the history of the human civilized world compared to the others on this list to earn such a respectable position.

    Actually, the U.S. has made an incredible number of contributions in a short period of time. That’s partly a function of being the most dominant power today, a time when progress — particularly technological progress — is happening at a pace many, many times that of the ancient Greeks or Romans, for example.

    So the U.S. does benefit from being dominant today rather than 1,000 or 2,000 years ago — because its power enables it to accomplish as much in a decade as its predecessors did over centuries.

  91. Anonymous

    Alexander Graham Bell did not “grow up in Canada.” Stop reiterating the same false point. He was a Scot who emigrated to Canada when he was twenty three years old. By the time he actually invented the telephone, he was living in the United States.

  92. Anonymous

    I dont think that the US was only included due to its superpower. The fact is that in recent years, foreign countries opinions of the US have been unfavorable. The US has always been a violent country since the war with the english. Many americans also tend to be over-patriotic when talking about their country. While the States is a great country, it did not deserve to be number 3.

    Also, to all the canadians, you are all being egotisticle and arrogant. While Canada may be a great country, its overall participation on the international scene has only arose since the early 20th century whereas the other countries have had a much longer and larger reputation.

    I tend to agree with those against Chad being on the list. It should be a simple fact that a country with such a poor economy and overall quality of life should not be one of the greatest countries.

  93. Anonymous

    Honestly people Canada? I assume I’m speaking to a bunch of Canadians here so I won’t go far into detail but not being a citizen of Canada I can say I have heard much about the countries on the list (accept Chad) and how they have influenced the developement of human life but I have never heard anything about Canada so far through my education that makes it worth being on this list. I mean no offense to any Canadians I’m just telling you how you look to other countries.

    And the person who said Americans were dumb? You wouldn’t be living the way you are if it hadn’t been for Americans and their ideas as well as inventions from other countries. Sure there are some Americans who are what you would call “dumb” but they are the minority and I would say most I know are respectable. And I’m speaking as an American here.

  94. Anonymous

    What about Norway, Sweeden or Denmark? They were the Vikings (not a ton of applause there), but their Kingdoms were ran as a tight ship. Now-a-days, these countries top the list as treating their citizns the best and they are neutral coutires as well.

  95. Anonymous

    I think we can all agree that while the United States is a great country and is clearly a superpower it is a baby as compared to the rest of the world. Also the United States is made up of almost entirely immigrants one way or the other. So technically ALL of the advancements and achievements can be credited to other countries. You can put us on the list, even high on the list, but not at number one. Give us some time though we may get there in a couple thousand years.

    – A true patriot

  96. Anonymous

    Has anyone else noticed how many people have posted since the 10th? Put some advertising on this site and make some damn money!

    Also I wanted to add that I think this list was a very good list when you consider the ground rules and how objective the writer had to be. While critism is in general good for anybody and anything I think that the fact that it is being discussed so ferverently is a testament to what a good idea the article was and how close he got it to being perfect.

  97. Anonymous

    Hey! You’ve missed Norway.. Small and beatiful, rich and friendly. Home of a many great writers, musicians and artists. Anyways, did you know who invented the paperclip? Haha, probably not. You only know about the things that America and England invented. Have a nice day. By the way, Belgium is also a wonderful country. I think now my conclusion is that it is not fair to make a list of the greatest countries. Did you look at the crime rates in the US? What is it like, living in Iraq at the moment?

  98. Anonymous

    I don’t see Belgium in your top-10: without Belgium no plastic (or backeliet), stock market, saxophone, cheques, banks, atlas, Rubens, Breughel, …

  99. Anonymous

    Your missing Canada, how can you have a country called Chad on there(a country i never even heard of) and not have a country like Canada on your list? You are also missing countries like Russia; and Germany.

    I think you need to look into this more before you name any countries as the best!!!

  100. Anonymous

    i say for the sake of argument that we should just leave Bell out just because he is “from” too many countries.
    Also internet WAS invented in the U.S. by Al gore (joking). But for real now, it(the internet) was made by the U.S. government and it was originaly called ARPANET but its name was changed because “internet” sounds cooler. I peronally think that the internet is the one invention that is truley bringing the world together, and the wealth of infomation provided by the internet is almost unlimited. In addition through the internet people from every nation are able to voice thier opinion and also news can be delivered and recived at a simple click of a button. this would be my deciding factor if i could only choose one thing to put a ounty in the top ten list.

    P.S. sorry for the bad spelling and grammer if there is any 🙂

  101. Anonymous

    US???? should have not even made the finals for the list. Land of polluted, depraved and diseased…

    Your city’s, are cesspools of filth and crime, while your people consider stabbing each other in the back to make a buck, a qualification for employment. The gap between the rich and the poor is so vast, that any hope your people once had, for a better life, died eons ago. At least 80% of the rest of the world’s population is gunning for you, and that’s a conservative estimate at best, and your government considers fear mongering as a ‘viable re-election strategy’.

    Putting the US on the list is like putting Tel Aviv on the cover of Better homes and gardens. Losers.

  102. Anonymous

    I am sorry guys but this is a shear ignorance of history.
    Otomans ruled the entire med for appr. 500 years. And during these 500 years everybody’s life in western culture was effected.

  103. Anonymous

    USA gets atleast 1000 points reducted for being the only country in the world that has used the atomic bomb to kill civilians. Also for inventing the big lie of the american dream.

  104. AmericansRDum

    Canada has been considered the gretest (if not one of the top 3 or 4) countries in the world for a long time, according to yearly United NAtions polls. That is, EVERY country votes on it. What is taken into consideration are things like literacy rate, GDP, and overall quality of life.

    Oh, and to the dude who said that the states can “come up and take Canada over any time;” you guys actually already tried that. (the War of 1812)

    Read some books, dudes. YOu can;t get history and information from chest-pumping, neo-cons and get the whole picture.

  105. Anonymous

    The only category where Canada stands above the US is on a map. Other than that, they have very little influence on the world as a whole, either in history or today.

    without Canada, WW2 would have lasted YEARS longer.

    as for global impact through art, policy, etc – the criteria for this list is “Greatest Countries in the History of the World.” I can comfortably say that Chad has NEVER been a “great” country.

    Any country that provides for its population (not just healthcare but social programs and policies) can be considered “great” – any country that unjustly starts wars cannot.

  106. Anonymous

    US should not be that high, or even in the chart, it is obnoxious and anoying, they have given the world nothing but war when it does no need it and as for the two world wars, you did NOTHING in them, it was the europeans that did all the work and you lazey sods just walked in when you could be botherd, i could continue like this for 3 A-4 sheets but…..i cant be botherd, ‘part from that its an excelent list, keep up the work p.s. world trade centers? its the most egocentric thing the US has ever called something, the WORLD trade center should not be fixed in one place or it sould be in an anciant country or atleast one with a reasonably interesting history

  107. Anonymous

    Are some of you people for real?, go do some research before you go spouting off inventions that where not actually invented by a native of your country.

    Alexander Graham Bell is Scottish, there is no if`s or but`s about it, he was born in Scotland ,he was bread in Scotland and he went to Edinburgh high school and studied at Edinburgh university – he has Scottish blood running through his veins and he talked with a thick Scottish accent ,

    he only left here when he was 23- and invented the Phone 5 years later in the USA,,,,,Now you tell me.,,, how the fuck is he Canadian.

    And yes i agree, we should not have the UK we should just have Scotland and England (and NI and Wales),
    Because the British empire would be nothing without Scotland, I’m not going to give you history lesson here, but go read a book and educate yourself.
    And as a side note, Italy topping the list due to Rome. Who is the only country to have been invaded by the Romans and not been conquered by them?,,, yep Scotland

  108. Anonymous

    Are some of you people for real?, go do some research before you go spouting off inventions that where not actually invented by a native of your country.

    Alexander Graham Bell is Scottish, there is no if`s or but`s about it, he was born in Scotland ,he was bread in Scotland and he went to Edinburgh high school and studied at Edinburgh university – he has Scottish blood running through his veins and he talked with a thick Scottish accent ,

    he only left here when he was 23- and invented the Phone 5 years later in the USA,,,,,Now you tell me.,,, how the fuck is he Canadian.

    And yes i agree, we should not have the UK we should just have Scotland and England (and NI and Wales),
    Because the British empire would be nothing without Scotland, I’m not going to give you history lesson here, but go read a book and educate yourself.
    And as a side note, Italy topping the list due to Rome. Who is the only country to have been invaded by the Romans and not been conquered by them?,,, yep Scotland

  109. Ed

    You have to give France points for its contributions to the Enlightenment. That was the foundation of so much of what we view as human rights today.

  110. Anonymous

    as for the two world wars, you did NOTHING in them, it was the europeans that did all the work and you lazey sods just walked in when you could be botherd


  111. Anonymous

    Erm, the Europeans did all the fighting in World War 2? Your ignorance is truly shocking. The French, Dutch, Belgians and Poles folded almost immediately before Germany’s might. The only reason that all of Europe isn’t speaking German and Italian right now is because of 1) The USSR which deserves credit for doing about 60% of the work in the war and losing millions of their own people in the process and 2) The Allies, mainly the US, UK and Canada in that order. The US may have joined the war late but it was their involvement that tipped the balance in favour of the Allies. That and they single handidly defeated Japan which had been ravaging every European colony in Asia. As for the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was believed that an invasion of Japan would cost more than 1 million American lives, and millions more Japanese lives, both military and civilian. It seemed like the best option at the time (and keep in mind, the effects of nuclear weapons and radiation were not fully understood at the time)

  112. Anonymous

    One country that deserves some recognition is Mexico. It was home to the Maya, who developed, among many other things, the concept of zero, and the Aztecs. While they are abviously not quite as remarkable as say, Rome or Egypt, their many valuable contributions are certainly worthy of some note.

  113. Anonymous

    I will tell only this: in the town I come from people are living in buildings that are older than the great USA. Those were build a few ages (two is stiil a few;)) before Columbus went first time to the sea.

    (cancelled again)

    This is the last trial to keep it simple:

    Whoever discovered/invented /created whatever in the USA – it wasn’t an American, unless he really was an DESCENDANT of those who were conquered and had their land stolen. All others are just immigrants or their descendants – it is obvious for everyone but some citizens of the USA.
    It makes no sens to type anything more since – in my fellings – even this will not get trough the moderator’s “freedom of speech” cutting machine.
    It if gets, however, I will be happy if anyone think this over instead of feeling offended instantly by my being so straight.

    On the other hand, there is no need to type more in fact.

    You are mighty and you rule the World – but all you think is right is no t necessarily the only and best way it could be. There are many in the “outer” World who can see that and think so. It simply can not be that all of them are wrong. This is only to make you aware of that.
    There is something out there – the USA is NOT the whole World neither the World is the USA.

    You – the USA – are surely great!

    Some say the shark is great too…

    I am from Poland. I am proud of being Polish.
    I know both Polish history and “Polish jokes”.
    I lived in “all times” and I live in new times now. Sure I am wrong on many things, sure I am sometimes right. What I have written in here is just the way I can see thing from my perspective.
    I have worked with Americans, both in the USA and outside. Some were great people, some were not very impressive. As any other in the World I met. No sex, age, nationality, religion, skin etc. difference. People. Just like that.

  114. Anonymous

    Mmm. It seems a lot of the comments here are just to vent what they think-not exactly to give actual facts. I’m not saying that I’m all that informed, either.

    But with what I know, I disagree with Chad being on the list- Who cares if they were ‘great’ MILLIONS of years ago- they definately aren’t now! And, Canadians? Yes, your country is cool. I admire your way of living in some cases. BUT- Can you really say you guys were all that influential? More so then others? I think not. And although Japan is quite influential now, they lived in seclusion for a long time, and then decided to ally with Germany in WWII? Not exactly a stellar recommendation. And Israel was the birthplace of Christianity, which is big in these times-but then you have to consider that it was really the Roman Empire and Europeans that helped it along.

    I think a better list would be, say, Most Influential Countries in the Modern World- as in, say, RIGHT NOW, or maybe in the past hundred years.

  115. Anonymous

    Everybody needs to get over themselves. None of us are so great as to be “one upping” eachother with who killed the most and who killed the least and why that makes this country or that so great…Shut up. Just be proud of your history for what it is. And the person who touted Canada’s importance due to it’s invention of trashbags, for the love of God-you can’t be serious?

  116. BvBfan4evah

    Sahelanthropus tchadensis, the specimen referred to on the list as the reason for the “great” nation of Chad making the list, is not even in the Homo family at all. Chad belings nowhere on the list. If Chad gets on for this, then we have to put Ethiopia on the list because Lucy and the First Family were found there, or Tanzania on for the findings of Mary Leakey in Olduvai Gorge. Simply embracing more recent discoveries as more significant doesn’t make them so, and it certainly doesn’t put Chad on the list of Ten Greatest Countries.

  117. Emre

    where is Ottoman Emprire ? in that times, Ottoman was biggest in the world.
    and where is Seljuk Empire ?

    dont forget Turkish Culture.

    dont forget year 1071.. year 1453..and year 1918-1923

  118. Anonymous

    Is there a dispute that the US could totally kick the crap out of any of these so called great countries in history. Rome, please. Day 1, tomahawk in yo coliseum! jk, The US, because of its infancy, should be between 5-10, but is no doubt the country of the modern era, NO DOUBT, and likely isnt going anywhere for a while.

  119. Anonymous

    This list is totally wrong including countries like chad (?????), iran (????) and even the us (only 100 years of history) and leaving out israel (please), france (i don’t like french people but they had 200-300 of world domination), portugal/spain (rule the world together).
    This is a very one-sided list, made of course by someone with very little culture.

  120. Mongboy

    All Scottish People who cling to the tired, and hypocritical, criticism of their association with the ‘self important’ English need a good ‘William Wallacing’ outside Smithfield.

    At least it would provide them with a contemporary excuse to whine about it.

  121. KG in NS

    This is a very interesting list, subject to much debate. The criteria for “greatest” could be clarified a bit more however. Greatest countires and greatest civilizations are two completely different things. I think we are being a little short sighted in including the USA , (and all the calls for Canada) in the top ten of the greatest countries in the history of the world. In the current world it would be a completely different story. I agree that scotland should be mentioned. It shouldn’t be forgoten that everything outside of rome in europe was occupied by the celts aside from the nordic areas. If they could’ve taken a break from killing each other and actually organized themselves, the roman empire would’ve stayed only in rome. Instead they all got chased into Scotland by the romans, who promtly built a wall and hoped never to deal with those crazy barbarians again. These barbians then did a fine job at civilizing. Much of what we have in the modern world (post 1700s) is thanks to the scots. Capitilism??? America. you can thank Adam Smith for recognizing the history and impending future of trade and the writing a how-to of the best way to exploit it. I don’t think he said anything about importing your labour force in from Negroe countries and paying them nothing, you bright folks figured that out all on your own. If the UK was one of the most dominant kingdoms in the history of the world, Scotland was the engine behind it. The scottish enlightenment which occured in the 1700s basically laid the groundwork for civilization from there on in. You can thank the way the world works today to Scots. (free trade/public school system/the concept of putting the people of the country as the highest importance over the extreme wealthy and those in power)…too bad america didn’t adopt that last one. I’d just like to make the point that the UK would be nothing without the innovation and intellect of Scotland, and in turn America would be nothing without Scotland. And all of this arose from the poorest nation in western europe at the time.

    As for the America/Canada debate. I agree that more has come out of America to influence modern society, but it should be remembered that America’s wealth and power was built on the back of slaves. If your proud to be an American you should at least thank the next black person you see for your country’s place in the world. As you know there was no slavery in Canada and we managed just fine. If the term “greatest” refers to the legacy of a country,
    I’m for Canada, perhaps I’m biased because I live here, but I think most people outside America will agree. If not right now wait 20 more years, when your middle east peace plan fails and you need to buy all your oil from us…not to mention your drinking water.

  122. Anonymous

    It is truly a nice idea to make a list about the greatest countries in history. I’ ve read nearly all the comments, and many European countries have been mentioned throughout these comments. As being a Hungarian i could have mentioned Hungary. It was the Hungarians who protected Europe through many centuries from the 13th century all the way to the Turkish invasion. Who knows what would have happened if the Turks marched through us. I could also list different inventions which helped the world to develope. Many nationalities could list a lot of these inventions. My opininon is that this list is quite good, except for the USA which does not deserve such a high rank. Truly it has been influential in the past century, but JUST the 20th century. Not more. Few centuries later it will deserve its place. But not today. All in all there is nothing wrong with this list. I could say Hungary is missing, but i don’t because compared to the other ones in the list it’s less important. Top 30 it deserves :). peace

  123. Anonymous

    If Spain will lose points for the Inquisition, then the US should lose points for SLAVERY, which built it up and it continues to benefit from. And the lack of any real effort of providing reparation to the desendants of slaves, the African Americans.

  124. Anonymous

    my gawd am I tired of Americans taking credit for victory in WWI and WWII.

    Check the history books written in the countries where the war actually happened – not the ones written by American over-patriotic homers…. Canada deserves the credit that the Americans take all the time.

    Iran? Iraq? A dozen countries should be on this list ahead of them… “all downhill ever since” puts it correctly.

  125. Anonymous

    I love the fact that someone is attributing the accomplishments of Canada and the US to European nations. Yes, you could argue that many great peoples were of European descent, and although the time scale changes, where did the Europeans come from? Uh oh, Looks like Chad just moved up the list a little. Civilizations build on the peoples before them, this is what allows the growth and expansion that we see culminated in the americas and other new countries. I think there are a lot of other countries that could have made the list, but based on your criteria I think it is a damn good job, really made me think.

  126. Anonymous

    1. Why isnt AZTEC on the list

    2. Giving Italy credit for Rome is like giving Iraq credit for Mesopotamia. Wait, you actually did that. Wow. Retard.

  127. Anonymous

    This list is OK, but it is missing Portugal/Spain (navigations); France and Germany (Napoleon and Hitler dominated almost all Europe)

  128. Anonymous

    Can you really have such a list without including the immeasurably influencial and wealthy (especially in respect to it’s size) Vatican?

    No sir, you Vatican’t.

  129. Anonymous

    “A couple of problems there, skipper. The inventor of the telephone was Canadian, not American.”

    Really, I love that Canadians claim this. Bell was born in Scottland, emigrated to Canda at 23, stayed about 2 weeks before going to Boston and inventing the telephon-American Patent. So, he might be Scottish, but he certainly isn’t Canadian.

  130. Anonymous

    Let’s have a new list – “the list of countries that the united states has bombed in the last 20 years” . . . . err . . . . or 20 days rather?

    this list would be much less contentious AND wouldn’t be too small either. surely there are 10 countries that fit this description, right?

  131. Anonymous

    qbSpeaking of keeping facts straight. Hello…..Rome was succesful militarily because it adopted the Greek Phalanx/NOT!! Anyone ever hear of the Roman Legion? This type of fighting unit employed complete different weapons and tactics than a phalanx. They could literally run rings around the stiff and unmaneuverable phalanx. It was precisely this change of combat technique away from the old Greek & Persian style of fighting that built the Roman Empire.

  132. Anonymous

    It’s interesting that the two biggest empires in the history of the world (geographically speaking)were left out: the Mongols of Ghengis Khan and the USSR. I’m not sure what the Mongols gave to us, but I do know that the USSR gave us vodka, Anna Kournikova, and their greatest gift: Proof that socialism/communism does not work…so that ought to count for something. And saying the U.S. shouldn’t be ranked #1 because of our age is like saying LeBron James shouldn’t be NBA MVP because he’s only 21 years old. We did manage to defeat the United Kingdom in a war at the height of their power, after all…

  133. Anonymous

    Slavery cannot be so wholly damning to the American legacy- at least not in European eyes. Slavery only existed in the USA for 87 years. Granted, that is 87 years too long but people are mistaken when they point to the hundreds of years slavery existed and thrived in this country. 1776-1863- those are the only years it was legal in an independent United States of America and its current form of government. And even during those years it was largely confined to the Southern states and [some] MidWestern territories.

    Most of those years “America” was just an amalgam of European colonies [wherein slavery was practiced]- English, French, Dutch, Spanish, etc. Indeed, the first slaves were brought to this country [read: English colony in Virginia] by a Dutch warship in 1609. And slavery was legal in the British empire until 1835 [around the same time the American slave TRADE was made illegal]- decades after several Northern American states [formally] made it illegal.

    Add to this there was a civil war fought in which the issue of slavery played a huge role [yes, Lincoln’s views would be seen as quite backwards now but we was a man of his time]. There were also several constitutional amendments intended to further emancipate and enfranchise black people and a civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s that brought them further into the fold. These factors must be taken into account when assessing the stain of slavery on American history and its possible greatness as a country.

    Brits- you would have lost WWI and WWII without American assistance. It is insulting to someone who even has a basic grasp of mistory to say otherwise. It’s true we were late comers in both wars- but we pushed the Allies over the top in both instances. The UK was losing to Germany both times- especially in WWII. D-Day would not have happened without American materiel and manpower. Would the Soviets had won by themselves? Maybe. But your situation would’ve hardly been improved in regards to whom you were staring at across the Channel. You had El Alamein and Battle of Britain in your column, well done- you also had Dunkirk, the abortive Norwegian landings, the Dieppe Raid and Market Garden [wow-losing a major land campaign AFTER D-Day-well done!]

    Canada- even if we were to accept your assertions as facts those things do not a great country make. Historians and antiquarians study Rome and Egypt, not the ancient equivalent of Finland or Belgium. In short, standard of living and healthcare may make a country desirable to live in [if you consider waiting six months for non-emergency surgery and possibly coming to the US to have it done desirable]- but it does not jibe with the term “Great” as it is being used in this context.

    Second- you lost the war of 1812. And I use the terms “you” loosely- your troops were largely British imports as you were part and parcel of the Empire. You’re still a commonwealth nation and your head of state is The Queen. Canuck: “I’d rather have The Queen then some illiterate, inarticulate, war-mongering, dry-drunk who thinks God wanted him to be President.” Well, I’d still take Bushie and I wouldn’t look back. He is our own after all- warts and all.

    The US was repulsed in Quebec- yes; you [the British] had your asses handed to you in Baltimore [and even took it on the chin in the Chesapeake campaign leading up to the capture of DC] and New Orleans [I know, I know- the war was over but that made very little difference to the thousands dead there]. Forcible conscriptions of American sailors at sea stopped. The White House was rebuilt with nary a redcoat within in sight and a treaty favorable to the US was negotiated.

  134. Anonymous

    I agree with the exclusion of Germany and Russia as these ‘nations’ (in their hayday) were made up of disparate states concerned with fucking each other up as much as possible.
    The UK had more to offer than just 19th century industrial revolution/agricultural evolution. Stonehenge? Anglo-Saxons? Doomsday Book? Magna Carta? Shakespere? Modern Medicine/Surgery (Lister)? Colonialism spawning USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa. Spurring revival of China (after having suppressed them for years over the opium trade).
    Whilst Rome was important and the ‘Rennaisance’ (well, ‘Florence’ really) a pretty distraction they are both built upon previous achievement and endeavour in democracy and art.
    Italy sure looks nice and Da Vinci was one sure fire genius when it comes to everything, but, it lacks the variation and originality that makes for true greatness as a ‘country’ or ‘nation’ (the Italian ‘nation’ was formed pretty late in the day (19th century/Garibaldi) it was essentially a collection of city states at war with each other for a lot of the middle ages and the rennaisance).
    The USA? Well…I don’t know. I’m waiting to see if they actually manage to do something original or positive and non-capitalist in the next few years (very much doubt it).
    Any Islamic nation should immediately get up there. Mathematics, medicine, religion, art, language, exploration, conquest (see north africa, southern spain, most of middle east). I would say Iraq/Iran number 3/4.
    The impact of the development of medicine and mathematics by Islamic intellectuals should never be underestimated (not to mention the vast collection of literature in the world’s first multi national/cultural public libraries available to the general population of these ‘countries’, and as we know knowledge/information is power).
    The middle ages or medieval or ‘dark’ ages were not that bad. Gothic arcitecture is far more original than ‘rennaisance’.
    As such France shoots straight up for me. Combined with the Revolution (the true start to the modern age, although inspired by American rev which is really a colonial war) it represented ‘people power’ and the ability of intellectual middle class to over throw the yoke of the status quo in their own country (and not just kicking out some troops from a country on the other side of the atlantic). They loved it so much they kept it up for the better part of 100 years (which probably hindered colonial progress/exploration and internal structure/development in the 19th century). Anyhow Napoloen revolutionised modern war fare and transformed the face of Europe. kick starting the whole idea of nation hood and ‘countries’ in the first place. Upon entry into the french armed forces/revolutionary army entrants were asked a simple question. ‘What country do you/are you fighting for?’ Napoleon was astounded by the answers many gave. ‘What is a country?’ ‘I don’t know’ etc. This discovery kick strated the modern state school structure where kids are taught where they are from and why their country is the best! This in turn led to the rise in nationalism/patriotism and the birth of the modern military state. it is also possibly responsible for both world wars and countless bar room brawls over football matches plus your little blog question “The 10 Greatest Countries in the History of the World” Napoloen and France win it for me every time. Viva la middle class/patriot/military industrial complex were gonna fuck up the rest of the world!

  135. Anonymous

    The only reason America wasn’t devastated in the world wars is because they didn’t join until (WWI) everyone else was dead or (WWII) Germany was already getting pwned by Russia.

  136. Anonymous

    If you take away points from the U.S. for slavery, then take away points from the Romans, the Greeks, the Spanish, the Portugeuse, and all Middle Eastern Empires. It is well known that when ancient empires conquered a people they often sold them into slavery, not just to work, but to use as entertainment(Gladiator anyone)
    And to say that the U.S. hasn’t contributed anything to society is kidding themselves. Three inventions have changed the way people live today.
    1.Internet, what your using to read this
    2.Cars, that thing with four wheels and an engine that you use to get around (unless you live in China, you probably ride a bike)
    3.Airplanes, Long distance travel would take waaay longer without them(plus their very good at droping bombs)
    I know the U.S. doesnt have much history and doesn’t deserve to be top five, but at least top ten for the sheer fact that the U.S. has risen so far and done so much in such a short time. It took the Romans many hundreds of years to go from seperate city-states to a enormous empire. Rome wasn’t built in a day people.

    But seriously Chad?

  137. Anonymous

    i understand your list but you forgot one of the best countrys Ireland has a very rich culture and a huge impact on the top two countrys

  138. Anonymous

    i understand your list but you forgot one of the best countrys Ireland has a very rich culture and a huge impact on the top two countrys

  139. Anonymous

    I love to hear all of the anti-US talk- jealous maybe? If the US is so terrible, why do so many emigrate to the US?

    Admittedly, the US has been guilty of many atrocities(Native Americans, slavery, etc.), but very few nations would escape the same verdict. America has contributed much to the freedom and well being(social and economic) of the world.

    As to the “low cost of Canadian helath care(one attribute that is claimed to make Canada superior) this luxury is mostly possible because Americans pay the costs of the research and development of the drugs through the higher prices they pay.

    Lastly, I agree that many Americans do indeed act as though they live in the greatest nation and that no other nation compares. However, based on the above blogs, it would seem that this sentiment is consistant throughout all nations.

  140. Anonymous

    To all those who want to put Canada on the list think about this. Mexico deserves to be on that list before you. You want to know why, it is because of the Mayans and Aztecs.

  141. Anonymous

    “The USA? Well…I don’t know. I’m waiting to see if they actually manage to do something original or positive and non-capitalist in the next few years (very much doubt it).”

    Well that’s a silly comment. I very much doubt it too, considering the United States is a nation based on capitalist principles.

    Whether or not you believe the USA is an imperialist bully or a global watchdog, it’s ridiculous to say that nothing original or positive will come of us.

    The United States gave $16 billion in foreign aid in 2003, more than any other nation in the world. Japan, second on that list, gave only half that amount. If that’s not a positive, I don’t know what is.

    It’s far too easy to crucify the United States for the current problems in Iraq (even though the United Kingdom jointly invaded Iraq back in 2003). At the same time, our own people are asking for U.S.-led aid in dealing with the ethnic-cleansing in Darfur. It’s a lose-lose situation for America. We can’t win or lose.

    I believe the US will eventually begin to isolate itself. Our titanic budget deficit and skyrocketing healthcare costs will force us to decrease our role in international affairs.

    And unless another nation steps in to do the policing, the world will be a more dangerous place.

  142. Anonymous

    whoever said that the american dream is a farce, is a fool. If it weren’t for the dream that a country could offer it’s people religious, political, and social freedoms, the U.S. would not be a melting pot of world cultures that it is today.

    Oh, and i prefer my beer cold but props to the country that invented beer.

  143. kphughes

    Everything created by humans is a result of standing on the shoulders of giants. Yes, even all the way back to Chad or wherever humanity originated. And wherever that may be, it certainly deserves to be on this list. I believe you all fail to grasp that the greatest discovery of any person from anywhere at any time is when the first pre-human stood up on two feet. EVERYTHING is a result of that. EVERYTHING. As for the U.S. not being included due to its infancy in the scope of history, that’s just ignorant. Just because we’re rookie of the year doesn’t mean we can’t win the championship also. Despite any hatred you may have for the U.S., you’re just denying to yourself the truth: It is a great country, has contributed as much or more as any of the countries on this list to people’s lives TODAY, and has had an astouning impact on the world. It’s so easy for all of you in other countries to focus on the negative aspects of the U.S. out of ignorance or just blind hatred. I’m truly hurt at some comments. I, as an American, recognize the great achievements of other countries accordingly and give them great respect for said accomplishments. It’s just a shame to me that because of your own personal bias and bigotry you should strip people of their achievments. Saying the U.S. had no impact on either world war is so offensive and idiotic to so many people that fought and died to protect not only the U.S. but all of your countries as well that it is appalling.
    Everyone has a right to be patriotic for their country if they chose, and I love America dearly. To say the American dream is a lie is personally offensive to me. Many people do get deluded into thinking cash is king, and it is a shame. However, this is a problem in most countries and cannot be attributed soley to America. The beauty of it is, the people that don’t fall into that trap can and do follow thier dreams and do what they want for a happy life quite often.
    I’m sorry if this went off on a tangent defending America, it’s just a shame that I have to do so because so many people attack it. The majority of America never wanted any thing to do with the war in Iraq and are extremely pissed at the minority of people that control the majority of our country.
    All that being said, I believe this list is fairly spot on with only a few debateable alterations.

  144. Anonymous

    I just want to thank SB and everyone who has left comments. This might seriously be the best blog thread I’ve ever seen, if only because you’ve made an extraordinarily bold list (with a few bold choices and omissions), and have stirred some extremely intelligent conversation.

    If I could read blog entries like this even once a month, I would be a happy man – as it is, gems like this are hard to come across these days. Again, many, many kudos to SB and everyone who has contributed to this discussion.

  145. Anonymous

    to all the alexander graham bell debate. He was born in Scotland, moved to Ontario. Then settled in Boston where he invented the telephone. He would return to Canada for the summers. He only lived in the states for his career. He moved permantly to Nova Scotia after his time in Boston, where he continued to invent many things. Hydrofoil boat (and set a world speed record in the process), a sign language based on phonetics, which is much more effiecent. He lived the rest of his years in Cape Breton and is buried here. If anyone one can lay claim to Bell is say its scotland. but Canada has more claim than the states.

  146. garymeg

    include USA? the only country to ever nuke another? the country that is still denying the existance of global warming despite the near dissapearance of a whole island just off alaska? the home of modern slavery? the killers of millions of native americans? the killers of thousands of iraqi civialians and the cause of the said country’s near civil war. yeah stick nazi germany on the list too while you’re at it.

  147. Anonymous

    Nazi Germany was completely dominating France and England before the U.S. stepped in in WWII. Then, for over forty years, the U.S. protected Europe from the Soviet Union.

    Other countries are constantly bashing the U.S., but when the sh*t hits the fan, who do they come running to for help? The U.S. provides more aid than any other country.

    People are jealous because the U.S. is just far more wealthy than other countries. Look at the list of billionaires in the world. The U.S. has over 200, the next closest country has less than 30.

    There is a big gap between rich and poor and I love it. It puts a premium on working hard to make things better. You can start out with nothing and end up disgustingly wealthy. The incentive and possibility of wealth is why America has far outpaced all other countries in terms of economic development and output. That attitude is why our companies run the show.

  148. Anonymous

    Hey, what about Lebanon? Lebanon is the world’s punching bag! Without them, we would all be overstressed.. and.. obese…wait, that’s not a real country! Look, a bird! *poof*

  149. Almiria

    Just a second there.

    Some anonymous person posted the followng.

    This list is totally wrong including countries like chad (?????), iran (????) and even the us (only 100 years of history) and leaving out israel (please), france (i don’t like french people but they had 200-300 of world domination), portugal/spain (rule the world together).
    This is a very one-sided list, made of course by someone with very little culture.

    By Anonymous, at 6/13/2006

    I know the US doesn’t have that many years, but we have more than 100! Do the math… 2006-1776 (or thereabouts)230. Not 100. Duh. Because, you know, we were around before 1906. My great-grandfather emigrated here around 1906 because the US seemed better than where he was. (Which was, in fact, Norway.)

    And I love how the US is being rebuked for bombing Hiroshima to stop the war, and people don’t care that Germany, under Hitler, killed… How many was it, again? And Napoleon. Can’t forget him. I’d burn my capital too, if he wanted to take it. And then his country abandoned him. Poor Napoleon.

  150. Almiria

    garymeg said…
    include USA? the only country to ever nuke another?

    And the reason was, sir, to STOP THE WAR. So many more people weren’t killed. They did not know the full extent of what they did until it was too late- do you remember what came out of the pilots mouths after they saw what they had done?

    the country that is still denying the existance of global warming despite the near dissapearance of a whole island just off alaska?
    Not everyone in the country is denying global warming, and I’m sure that many other countries are at the same point.

    the home of modern slavery?
    We haven’t had slavery for over 100 years. If you’re talking about human trafficking, that’s happening EVERYWHERE, thank you. If you even thought of that.

    the killers of millions of native americans?
    Yes, this wasn’t the best thing to do. But many people’s ancestors weren’t even involved- mine were still in Scandinavia.

    the killers of thousands of iraqi civialians and the cause of the said country’s near civil war.
    So… You like Saddam? You like fearing for your own life and having a so-called voting process that if you didn’t vote for him, you were killed? And the person you voted for was, too? And… Civil war? VIVE LE REVOLUTION- Many others have had Civil Wars.

  151. Anonymous

    I agree that the U.S. should be on the list, but maybe not as high. I know that the U.S. has influenced many lives (good or bad, it’s still history). But listing all the accomplishments is a little hollow, since planes for example have been the result of a long time with many people from many different countries working on it. It’s like taking an axe and cutting down a tree, only that five seconds before you’re done someone else grabs the axe and finishes the job. Who should get the credit?

    I would put Greece on top, they have a very long list of accomplishments as well, and they kept their language until today. In my opinion, a country should not only be judged on how long it existed, but it should be one factor, since it is about the 10 greatest countries in HISTORY!

  152. Anonymous

    You Canookian’s need to take the knot out of your underwear. While I will admit you have a nice country, and I wouldn’t mind living there, but in no way has your young country contributed much to the rest of the world. You seem to be heading towards a civil war since you can’t even decide whether you will be french or english. I don’t think Canookia would crack the top 20…

  153. chris

    I must have missed something. What was exactly that USA gave to the world? Oh yes! War, death, honger,that’s why they are included in the list. Honestly I feel shame that the human kind includes such as their president (among others). If this is the list of shame I can understand it, you see U.K is also in the list….

  154. Anonymous

    I think this list is very superficial.

    Every nation (or country) has it’s own values, you just have to discover them … how many of them you know?

    A country can’t be called great, because in the history book or in a TV show a fellow told you so, a country is great because you actually discovered the greatness of that country.

    Visit those countries, and tell us your personal thougths about these, and you may want to include some other countries. I found in different countries very nice people, who discovered great things and they are great people, and they don’t need a list to be called GREAT.

    Think about this.

  155. Anonymous

    I strongly disagree with this list. I think No. 1 belongs definetely to Greece and the second place to Italy. Italy just adopted the ancient Greek civilization and through mixtures gave it to the western world and made it what it is today. In the third place I would put Egypt, because it sure is more important than Great Britain and US, which – by the way – began its existence with nothing more than what the emmigrants brought with them from Britain. Do you really believe that western countries just sprang up from nowhere, ready and complete on their own?

  156. Anonymous

    one more previously-mentioned canadian miscue (or misqueue, if that’s how you spell it up there) – the modern interlocking zipper was created by canadian (swedish-born) gideon sundback, but was based on designs by the widely-credited inventor of the zipper, whitcomb l. judson (who happens to be my great great uncle), an american, who was sundback’s boss and eventual father-in-law. not particularly important or influential, but i like to get the facts right.

  157. George D.

    Why not Romania?
    A romanian invented the fountain pen (Petrache Poenaru).
    A romanian invented the reactive airplane (Henri Coanda)
    The best geriatric treatment influencing the aging process was invented by a romanian (Ana Aslan)
    The ejection seat was invented by a romanian (Anastase Dragomir)

    And the list can be very long.
    We cannot make a top of greatest countries just with the biggest ones, or to put one in the list just beacause they have a big army or won some battles (by the way the wars are stupid)

  158. Anonymous

    You said Greece … Well what about Greece ?
    Well what I mean is
    Ancient Greece, then there is Helenistic Greece .. You know Alexander The great and stuff. Scientific Advances at the time put Ancient Greece to shame. Oh, how about Byzantine Greece. If you wanna know what heppend to the Roman empire, well it flurished when Europe went thru the dark ages. With science, relegion, culture … as well as been the firewall to invasions from the east.

    Oh well, at this rate Europe (A Greek word) will soon get an entry as well …
    Guess how the Roman Empire becamse a Greek empire …


  159. SB

    To Greece-lovers:

    I love Greece, too. I have it at 5, but considered having it at 3 initially. My first ordering was:

    1. Italy
    2. China
    3. Greece

    Then I thought about the incredible impact that global capitalism has had on the world, and I had to bump the U.K. and the U.S. up on the list.

    I understand that the Byzantine Empire was more progressive than anything going on in Western Europe at the time, but it failed to amount to much in the end. Serving as a buffer to protect Western Europe until the Renaissance came along is good — but not as good as being responsible for the Renaissance itself.

  160. Anonymous

    I would like to point out that this is all in service of reinforcing a very specific, white, western idea of what is good. I can’t see how Israel, and other middle eastern countries don’t beat out Italy. Where do you think they got their ideas?
    And last, Chad SHOULD be on the list, but as low as it is? Oh, yeah, humanity comes from here… but humanity isn’t as important as capitalism or industrial supremacy.

  161. SB

    To the most recent poster:

    Of the 10 countries, two are African (one black African) and two are Asian. Three are European, three are Middle Eastern, and one is North American.

    If because I appreciate the achievements of Western civilization I am biased and racist as you seem to suggest, please provide me with your alternative list.

    You could certainly argue (and I agree) that the agrarian, preliterate societies of pre-colonial Africa, for example, are morally equal to Western cultures. But the purpose of this list is to compare accomplishments — not lifestyles.

    If you’ve got a better list, let’s see it. That’s the whole purpose of the exercise.

  162. Alison

    With only 105 years of being Australia, (The land was settled in 1788 but we only became the Commonwelath of Australia in 1901) I think Australia has made some major accomplishments. This doesn’t even include the 40 000 years of Aboriginal history. While I don’t think Australia makes the top 10, here’s why I believe it should be in the top 20!
    1. The Bionic Ear – helping hundreds of thousands of people hear for the first time!.
    2. South Australia was the first Government in the world to allow women the vote and to stand for elections. Australia also invented the secret ballot
    3. Invented Torrens Title – First method of land registration
    4. The aircraft Black box
    5. While Alexander Fleming might have discovered penicillin, an Australian Howard Florey developed it into a usable medicine.
    6. The stump-jump plow, latex gloves, 2-stroke lawn mower, the refrigerator, ultrasounds and Aspro – all Aussie’s
    7. Had the world’s first codefied sport, Australian Rules Football.
    8. Created the world’s first feature film, The Ned Kelly Gang
    9. If you were a IVF baby, you’ve got Australia to thank, also thank us for the baby capsule.
    10. The only country to compete in every modern summer olympics
    11. World Series Cricket and racecams also invented in Australia.

    This is just a short list and why we may not have the powerful and long history of other countries, we sure are making up for lost time!

  163. Alison

    With only 105 years of being Australia, (The land was settled in 1788 but we only became the Commonwelath of Australia in 1901) I think Australia has made some major accomplishments. This doesn’t even include the 40 000 years of Aboriginal history. While I don’t think Australia makes the top 10, here’s why I believe it should be in the top 20!
    1. The Bionic Ear – helping hundreds of thousands of people hear for the first time!.
    2. South Australia was the first Government in the world to allow women the vote and to stand for elections. Australia also invented the secret ballot
    3. Invented Torrens Title – First method of land registration
    4. The aircraft Black box
    5. While Alexander Fleming might have discovered penicillin, an Australian Howard Florey developed it into a usable medicine.
    6. The stump-jump plow, latex gloves, 2-stroke lawn mower, the refrigerator, ultrasounds and Aspro – all Aussie’s
    7. Had the world’s first codefied sport, Australian Rules Football.
    8. Created the world’s first feature film, The Ned Kelly Gang
    9. If you were a IVF baby, you’ve got Australia to thank, also thank us for the baby capsule.
    10. The only country to compete in every modern summer olympics
    11. World Series Cricket and racecams also invented in Australia.

    This is just a short list and why we may not have the powerful and long history of other countries, we sure are making up for lost time!

  164. Anonymous

    Althought I do not think that Canada deserve to be in the top 10, I do not like the way you make it sound so inferior. It is one of the few countries who haven’t lost a war (including two against the US… which one could argue they still belonged to the UK then, nevertheless). But what really fascinates me about Canada is that they are treated so well around the world. Americans will even put Canadian flags on the bags when they go hiking through Europe or go in the Caribeans. If they are so inferior, why do Americans want to be us in these circomstances?

    Despite this, I do beleive Switzerland and Mongolia should have been somewhere on your list. Switzerland is currently rated the best place to live in right now and it has a rich past as well. Althought big wars were fought by other nations half of the soldier on both sides were Swiss Mercanaries. And for Mongolia, it owned at one point more land than what Julius Cesear, Napolean Bonaparte and Alexandre the Great had conquered combined, and they used primitive ways.

    Since you were only using Wikepedia as your only source, I don’t deam it a worthy ressearched project (I won’t even let my students quote it on their papers for obvious reasons), but you did a good job to bring out pride in people’s nation and created some heated debate, in which case, I do applaud you for that. (Sorry for my bad english, I am a french-canadian)

  165. Anonymous

    -I agree with the people wondering why Russia and Germany are not on the list.

    -Canada, no. I can’t believe you (well some of you) are trying to convince everyone you invented the telephone. Why does it matter? Even if you do get credit for that, that is one invention. One.

    -I agree the UK should be the list but maybe not so far up.

    -The US should be on the list too. Again, maybe not so far up but definately on the list. To have so much power in the little amount of time it has been around is astounding.

    That’s all I have to say.

  166. SB


    1. We have lots of people saying there aren’t enough European countries on the list;


    2. We have lots of other people saying the list is Euro-centric.

    The list currently has three European countries:

    1. Italy
    2. U.K.
    3. Greece

    I still think those are the top three European countries based on total historical influence.

    However, if I were going to do a Euro-only list, here would be my top 10:

    1. Italy
    2. U.K.
    3. Greece
    4. Spain
    5. Russia
    6. Turkey
    7. France
    8. Germany
    9. Holland
    10. Austria/Hungary (tie)

  167. Anonymous

    Emm … since when did the US win WW2 ? Talking about Iraq how many of you out there would actually like to live there … since we are talking about the current state of the countries !

  168. 99wazza

    If influence around the globe is a criteria to make this list, then India should be number one. They have more direct influence than any other nation on earth on the average western family. They are fast becoming a telemarketing superpower and can directly call into almost every western home on a daily basis. Of course I am only joking as there is no greater nation on earth than Australia.

  169. Anonymous

    In reply to Mathew Stibbe (You’ve rightly included the United Kingdom in your list, but of course it is made up of separate countries, a principality and some islands. So, I would vote for England (i.e. not Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales etc.)

    The first half I agree, however Scotland should be voted well before England, we created the Television and fought many of your wars, and held out against the invading Romans, gave the world whiskey, shared our poetry with the world, invented most things blah blah blah,

    Basically Scotland is better than England as is Ireland and Wales

  170. Anonymous

    WTF.. why is everybody talking sh*t about Canada we should be up there but were not saying anything about you so shove it up your a** Canada rules!

  171. Ed

    The list is pretty well balanced. I suspect Mongolia was left off the list since while Khan did conquer so much territory, it did not last. Additionally, no real innovations came out of the Mongol Empire. Japan, has been secluded and not very influential for a long time as well. I do have to agree that Turkey as the decendant (?) Ottoman Empire should have made the list.
    Surely all those posts for Canada were jokes, right? It may be a great place to live, but influential in history? I earned my History degree and while there have been some important people and inventions, it pales when compared to the development of capitalism, mass production, steam engine, codified tax structures, and philosophical developments of the countries on the list.
    Thanks for the Forum.

  172. Anonymous

    Wow, the first time I’ve ever been to this website and I get to read a cool list of countries and achievements and then read comments from a bunch of people arguing with each other.

    I think I’ll join in the fray.

    1st – “Countries” rarely invent / think / design anything – it’s individuals who have strived through education and hard work to create. Unless you believe in some sort of genetic superiority, it’s doubtful that any one race is more or less capable of invention than another. It has more to do with opportunity. And, each new generation builds on the accomplishments of past generations – regardless of where they are from.

    2nd – To the Canadians. You are such wonderful people and have a beautiful country. No doubt it is a great place to live. Undoubtedly your fate is closely linked to that of the United States. Once you shared the longest unarmed border in the world. Why has that changed?

    3rd – As an American, if I had my way, we would not be involved in so many conflicts around the world, but nor would we provide any sort of aide to other nations; not for natural disasters, not for genocide; not for famine or disease. We would not welcome anyone into our country for medical care or education and we would not go to your country either. You could live as you wished and we would live as we wished. We would not move to your countries and you would not be allowed to move to ours.

    Lastly – to the poster who said America does not believe in global warming. First, like it or not, there is truly no consensus among climatologists as to whether this is a naturually occuring phenomonon or not. Regardless of what mass media may publish. Is the earth getting hotter – seems so. But why wait on America – go ahead, end all manufacturing, end all use of cars and fossil fuels. That should be enough to make a difference without America. The U.S. did not sign the Kyoto treaty b/c it would harm the American economy and jobs (the few manufacturing jobs we seem to have kept). So have a nice day and get off the internet, b/c it takes electricity to run…and that means fossil fuels … and that means global warming. Save the planet and sign off.

  173. Anonymous

    If nobody had left their country to go to America then the USA you see today would not exist. Credit to old Britannia for the empires achievements with both Canada and the USA!

  174. Anonymous

    This shabby piece of left wing dribble
    somehow mannaged to leave out the most impotant country of all: AMERICA>

    Oh say can you seee,
    by the dawns early light
    that freedom rings
    into the night

    im just kidding

  175. Anonymous

    I do not get how people are always brining up Hitler when talking about Germany. Hitler killed approximately 6 million people. Stalin on the other hand killed 60 million people. That is ten times as many. But you never hear people saying anything about that. Only Hitler, Hitler, Hitler.

  176. MW

    Why is it that when ever people are talking about Germany they always bring up Hitler and how many people he killed? There are a couple of points I want to bring up. First, less than ten percent of Germany’s population was a member of the NSP (National Socialist Party) Also Hitler killed approximately 6 million people. Did you know that Joseph Stalin killed over 60 million people? That is more than ten times the amount. In my opinion Russia should never get on that list.

  177. Anonymous


  178. Anonymous

    I think that the world sucks with humans who ruined it and made all of are good countries competetors and ruined our rescources

  179. Anonymous

    Come on, you can’t give the credit of an old country to a present one. That’s just not cool. Besides, your label is “The 10 Greatest Countries in the History [of] the World.” Not 10 greatest present countries. By the way, if you put Chad on that list you gotta be mental. There in a conflict that has killed millions of people, they’re poor as dirt, and I can’t think of anything that they’ve done sice the beginning of human life. You should make a list of the truly greatest countries in HISTORY. I’d start with Rome, then maybe Greece,
    then probably Phoenicia.

    P.S. Hey leave Bush alone, not the best prez, but better than Kerry.

  180. Anonymous

    Greece should be number 1. Starting Western Civilization which blossomed into the U.S. and U.K. and all of the rest of Europe.
    Italy copied pretty much everything they did.
    Germany definatly should be on there. How could you not put Germany on there if they were the ones to start WWI and WWII?????
    Japan has got to be on there. They have such a heavy influence on the world esspecially in Technology. And right now its the most succsessful country in Asia.
    Israel has to be on the list i mean come on they are the center of world conflict!
    oh yea and…..
    Get Chad off the List!!!!!!!

  181. O E G

    I think the greatest country on earth should be the long lost civilization of the Jesuit reductions, in a time of great colonial savage and disgusting empires, fanaticism worst than today.. and greed thats saw no end, in the middle of the jungle, a group of no more than 300 priests managed to create a society of 300000 guarani, who were the first fully literate society in human history, a work day of 6 hours, which included the production of the most complex of clocks, and musical devices, they made a land worth nothing worth 13million gold pesos when they were finally kicked out, they lasted 150 years before they were finally destroyed and dispersed, think about it, no society since then has been so equanimous, or so industrious, and more so, so respectful of the natives. Now that, is a golden realm to me.

  182. Zain

    You said you would credit any past accomplishments to the current country ecnompassing the area. The Indus Valley Civilization is located in current day Pakistan, not India.

  183. a Chinese from mainland China

    The rank should be based on the contributions to the world in human’s history:
    1. United Kindom
    2. China
    3. Greece/Egypt/Iran/Iraq
    4. USA
    5. Italy
    6. India

    One correction to the comment from a Mogolian I’d like to make is:

    Attlia Han is not a Mogolian, he belongs to another group which had been harassing China for years. Later Emperor Han Wu (the real name is Liu Che) defeated them by using several battles and drove them far way. They escaped to Europe later on and settled down in today’s Hungary area.

    But Mogolian made nothing to Human Being’s civilizatin.

  184. Anonymous

    i think if your talking about the influence on human history, germany must be included, after all not all influence has to be good to create change and it was their internal politics that made europe implode, giving rise to american power, which only began to be exercised during wwII, i think the list should be

    1) europe (which i hope will soon combine, we are brothers with shared history and culture anyway i think its time to take the next step, and anyone who for a second believes that europe isn’t no 1 think of any list of sceintists artist, writers, conquerers, anything you like we are unsurrpassed.)
    2) china
    3)islamic world. (to think of this culture being hemmed in by borders is stupid, even in pre- islamic times the various empires of the near east covered the same area.)
    (all others either irrelevant or so based on one of the above cultures as to make it hard to see them on thier own terms.

  185. Anonymous

    this is why the uk should be number one on the list.
    writers: Shelly, Colderidge, Byron, Shakespere, Austin, Bronte (sisters)Blake, Milton, Eliot, Woolf, Laurence, Wordsworth, Marlow, Conan- Doyle, C. S Lewis, Tolkien, Orwell, Chaucer, Steveson, Defoe, Dickens,Bunyan, Mary Shelly, Trollope, H.G Wells, Lewis Caroll, Donne, Dryden, Conrad, Wilkie Collins, De Quincey,Forester (Both), Huxley, Hardy, Keats, Kipling, Edward Lear, Somerset Maugham, Terry Pratchet, J. K Rowling, Tennyson, Waugh, Robert Burns, Dylan Thomas, Rould Dahl, Thomas Moore, i could go on. this is just one list you could pick any area. Science, Newton, Darwin, Faraday, Boyle, Dalton, Watt, Maxwell, Davey(Basically just read any history of modern science and you will understand)Philosophy; Russell, Hume, Paigne, Adams. Music: Beatles, Stones, Zepplyn,Queen, Sex Pistols, Kinks, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Elgar. Leaders: Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Victoria, Elizibeth I, Wallace, The Bruce. This could be done in any area. Our language is the most spoken, we created the modern rule of law, the jury system, parlimentary democracy (all of which are now used globally). Founded cities from one corner of the globe to the other, colonized every continent, out of which arose new great nations. Shaped the borders of a large percentage of the nations on earth. Fought in every significant war for the last 400 hundred years ( and usually won). We were the first industrialized nation on earth and were (some say) the creators of the modern world.Played a major role in the development of the modern economic system. All this and we consitently managed to beat the french since 1066. I am sure every person reading this can think of another influence Britian has had on the world and another influencial Briton. Not Bad for a small island off the coast off europe.

  186. Anonymous

    Great List, Seriously no joke!!!
    But some are close mostly the top three so heres what I think, Just my opinion.

    1. Republic of Italy/Roman Empire
    the first success and influence of mand kind (World Wide), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland/British Empire, The second greatest influence of mandkind, and built off of the Roman Empire and first overseas success world wide (not first ever), “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!”(Sorry I am American had to show some respect and pride for my country, and have some fun, no hard feelings “I HOPE”) The third and current greatest influence of man and womankind (first to free womans rights) and built on the Great Roman Empire AND British Empire. Now my reason for putting the USA with the Romans and British is not because I am American, but because of its success in such a short time of

    Plus, Each of these three have done a great deal for the world in all areas of humanity at some point in time, FOR THERE TIME PERIOD. i.e. Computers (USA), Military (British, USA, and Romans), Land conquest (British and Romans), etc.

    4. People’s Republic of China
    5. Republic of Greece
    6. Republic of Egypt
    7. Republic of Iraq/Mesopotamia
    8. Republic of India
    9. Republic of Iran/Persia
    10. Republic of Chad


    HAHA – Just having some fun go ahead put your countries favorit chant!

  187. Anonymous

    Ok Guys Now What the F*CK! Here!

    This is suppose to be a list/talk about the top ten nations of all-time.





  188. Anonymous

    interesting list and i’m sure it was great to make it. 🙂
    The thing is that our minds are all made up by the countries we best know like USA, UK, Italy… but there is many and more history they aren’t telling mist of you at school.
    Even if you look at the western world you can’t have UK in that list for what they’ve accomplished world wide wihtout mentioning Portugal. It wasn’t Spain who started or “found” the world, it was Portugal. The postuguese were the first to go to Africa, America and Australia and the first to reach Asia by sea. Even Colombo was portuguese, Fernão Magalhaes was portuguese. if we talk about influence you have to list the portguese. The globalization started with Portugal, and that’s beeing influent. Of course cars and airplanes are good, but when talking about influente countries that isn’t exactly what matters.
    i know it’s not your fault they don’t teach you this at school, i didn’t too. But I majored in history and my final work was based on the 15/16 century, that’s when i learnt all of this.
    Portugal comes first then Spain, Netherlands and UK. Why do you think Portuguese is speak in every continent? and if we think they’re a very small nation that makes then even bigger.

  189. Anonymous

    PORTUGAL! i am portuguese but i live in america and i cant wait to move to portugal! it was one of the greatest influences of the world!! exploration, and colonization are just some of the many many things they have done for the world, and they deserve to be given credit for them. and also, cristiano ronaldo is portuguese… just saying he is the hottest guy on the earth!!! =]]

  190. Anonymous

    It should take into account
    1. The changes it has brought to the world.
    2. Cultural influences
    3. Land and the number of people they ruled.
    4. The impact on sciences and knowledge.
    5. Miltary supremacy
    6. Duration of rule.

    Some of the list is fine. Considering recorded history all together, the list should be

    1. United Kingdom

    – Largest rule the world has ever seen.
    – English is now the world language
    – Greatest propellers of Chirstianity and western civilization
    – Spread over 5 continents extensively in their glorious times over 100 years.
    – Introduced to the world Cricket, Soccer and Tennis.
    – Imperialism and Industrialization together ruled the world for long.
    – Wonderful civilization after renaissance times in Europe after 15th century.
    – Introduced modern democracy.
    – The birth of capitalism and the estate.
    – One of the first countries to give equal importance to women.
    – The United State’s Americans are primarily British in origin and some still retain their roots.
    – They introduced guns, marching lines of gunmen, diplomatic land grabbing, use of allies extensively, long-bow men, tankers and grenades in warfare.

    2. Italy

    – The Romans
    – First preachers of Christianity
    – Warfare aquired art, thanks to them
    – Scientific endeavor in war
    – Pursuit of religion and first strong political establishments
    – First senate
    – The greatest military force for a long time
    – Art, Literature and Architecture remains surrounded to Roman styles.
    – Used their own number system.
    – Currently it is working out means of income lacking human resources primarily.
    – Mussolini’s loss in the second world war brought Italy to an all-time low.

    3. India

    – The land with origins of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism
    – Currently the largest democracy in the world.
    – The inventors of zero, number system(mistakenly attributed to Arab traders for some time), pi, plastic surgery, brain surgery, cotton, first scripted language(and a 100 more later), astronomy and drainage system(Harappa)
    – Strong powerful kings with different cultural settings including the first naval fleets of the world, elephants in war and games like Chess and Hockey.
    – Vast natural resources, fertile lands and huge numbers of people.
    – Trade connections in the world. First trade is also found in the Indus valley.
    – The first civilizations to cross Stone age, Bronze age, Iron age and Medieval age – stop there(they still seem to linger there)!!
    – First democratic rule is in the Harappan civilization.
    – The first civilization to find a cure for small pox(the deadliest disease in the world). Traded gold, diamonds, spices, iron-ore, wheat and rice. Founded Ayurveda, Yoga and also wrote literary works and poetry comparable to the English and Greeks.
    – In search of the rich Indians, the West Indies and America were found and the tribes there were mistakenly named after Indians.

    4. Greeks

    – Science and Philosophy before 10th century were dominantly Greek.
    – New war techniques.
    – Pushed Europe to unknown heights from the scientific development in medieval ages.
    – Astronomy, Architecture, Mathematics, Medicine, Philosophy, Art, Warfare, Economics all have great impressions from the systematic development of the Greeks.
    – Retained their culture over 2 milleniums.
    – The source to all European languages in one way or the other.
    – Under Alexander, the Great; they are the first Europeans to conquer Persia and venture as far as the Ganges. The empire stretched to it’s peak under him.

    4. Persia

    – They super fined the solar calendar. Refined calculation and navigation beyond no other.
    – The symbols of trade.
    – Islam is found in it’s later stages.
    – Their art, architecture and lifestyle is still evident over central asia and northern India but their religion nearly vanished.
    – One of the greatest civilization in terms of consolidating agriculture, religion, war and trade on even terms unlike no other.(NO, unlike in 300, They weren’t barbarians)
    – Ruled by famous kings like Saladin, Darius, Xerxes etc., the empire ruled greater areas and people than most European civilizations then did.

    5. France

    – The true bringers of revolution and renaissance.
    – Free thinking started with the French.
    – The land of modernism in art and medicine.
    – Stretched over a great region of the world, French ruled over all continents.
    – They were the mainstays in most of the crusades.
    – Although, they match the British to a great extent, they surely lacked the impact the British innovators and empire created on the world.
    – The world sure loves their wine, language and food.
    – They sure had great kings including Napolean Bonaparte, Louis XIV etc and more importantly great thinkers and artisans to revolutionize eras.

    6. China

    – One of the wealthiest nations ever.
    – Practiced their own language, medicine and forms of warfare.
    – Preserved their culture over 3000 years which is a record.
    – Chinese influence can be seen over Asia-Pacific very clearly.
    – Abundant in natural resources and population, their richness was dependent only on consolidation like no other. A highly self-dependent economy.
    – If you consider Mongols, Chinese may not accept them as brothers but they are genetically brothers, they had the greatest stretching civilization and it was a Mongol(son of the commander of Artilla) that disposed the last Roman.
    – Their invenntions include silk, gun powder, new kinds of bows, umbrellas etc. They were innovators of lifestyle.
    – The country now stands as possibly the next super power after USA. Under communism it is the largest country by population. Mandarin is the largest spoken language in the world.

    7. Spain

    – They brought disease to the Americas. They ruled south and north americas almost dictatorially with little or no competition.
    – Spanish is one of the fastest spreading languages in the world today.
    – They are mostly traders, sailors and depended on agriculture under different regimes but are now self-sufficient.
    – Their greatness in history should be solely attributed to the land area they ruled and were the envy of most european countries and feared by the great british at times.
    – They do not hold great significance now, but their influence on the Americas & Pacific belt got them the number 7 position.

    8. Germany

    – The land of barbarians as it was, Germany along with the Scandinavians took its time to enter the medieval ages but then on they threatened every nation of the world.
    – Formed mainly of Barbarian tribes from Eurasia, Germans lacked proper civilization and most importantly, they lacked a ruler or kingdom until the Huns almost destroyed them.
    – The Germans are the most influential in the 20th century while the second world war is almost attributed completely to Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany.
    – Their inventions in warfare including the submarines, warships, plane attacks and biological warfare.
    – They killed more people in war than any others.
    – They were leaders in industrialization, science, politics and imperialism.
    – They are currently leaders in automobile industry, fibers, defense armory and technology.

    9. Russia

    – After 19th century, no other country has a greater political and economic impact than Russia.
    – Envied by every European country, they brought communist ideas to the fore and had the fastest industrialization era ever.
    – Their leadership in energy produce, military and space matches the likes of USA.
    – Although, it went of similar lines of USA when it was USSR, it failed to stay united and therefore lost its power.
    – During cold war times, Russia at many times held more power than USA and European union combined just by its benevolence to other states and lack of outside enemies.
    – With their impact, many nations in the world took Socialism and Communism causing two world groups.
    – They stopped Adolf Hitler into controlling the world.
    – Had every first space innovation except the man on moon mission.
    – They are the first to bring strikes, revolutions as a legal right of people.
    – Most of us know what Russia is!!

    10. USA

    – No other country has had a greater impact on a world all together than this one country.
    – The first country capable of destroying the world all together.
    – Militarly unsurpassable by any other country ever.
    – Economically stronger than the Eurpean union combined.
    – Is envied and influences every country on the planet today, extensively.
    – Trade is in Dollar. The currency of the world is dollar.
    – They are politically influenced by the English and settled in USA properly just about 200 years ago.
    – They only have a modern age and post-modern age.
    – They are most industrialized and innovating.
    – Everyone knows, so remain silent.

    The other great cultures that are not listed are Turkey, Egypt, Japan, Arabia, Holland, Mongolia, Hungary, Portugal, Mexico, Israel, . They might be given 11 – 20 respectively.
    I have taken into account the ages from 2000 BC to Present. which means a total of 4000+ years.

  191. Anonymous

    As of right now im not sure, but Peru has a rich history, look at Macchu Picchu. Probably the greatest sight in the history of the world. They also have IMO the best foods in the world. and from what i’ve heard, the incan empire was just amazing and full of history. BTW im american, but after I went to Peru I was completely amazed at everything, I mean everything. and thats coming from someone that travels around the world as much as I can

  192. blitz

    i think you should seperate modern history & ancient cann't compare america to greece or china,or chad!because america does not have a long history.
    & i think there is no reason to put iraq & india upper than iran,even putting china,greece,italy & egypt upper than iran is a little hard,why?iran or persia was:1,the biggest united empire ever(landmass)
    2,first creators of human rights(for ex there were no slaves in construction of perspolis)
    3,connector of western cultures & easterns
    4,many great kings
    5,greatest poets(like khayyam)
    & more

  193. Anonymous

    I agree with the first five countries completely. However i do believe that perhaps a few other countrys should have replaced some of the bottom five.
    for example:
    These are all great candidates that could have made the list. Each greatly influenced our society and shaped history.
    In regard for canada, i love you guys but you have not made a big enough world influence to make the top ten.
    In my oppinion i would agree that china, engand or UK, and the U.S. are three of best and most important countries to the world.
    I am speaking on behalf of Spain

  194. Zander

    No, blame Canada,
    Blame Canada,
    With all their beady little eyes,
    And flapping heads so full of lies,
    Blame Canada,
    Blame Canada,

  195. joesel

    why did they not put PHILIPPINES there philippines is a subcontinent of the ancient mu the most powerful civilization on earth ever witnessed philippines is the ancient maharloka the mu’s center of governance and the ancient world’s center of prosperity!?

  196. Mukesh SIngh

    Who made the list! I think he/she should first go through the histories of the greatest countries. You are keeping India on the 8th number, isn’t it seems nonsense. India has a vast history infact the first civilization of the world. Orginator of the top religions which impact the world. The great and remarkable thing is “India had never attacked any country since yet”

  197. Anonymous

    I think you need to learn a little more about history. Indian history is extremely extremely huge and diversified. Apart from the indus valley civilizations, harappan civilization, the great age of mauryans, guptas and mughals, India also boasts the birth of many different religions, the largest economy of the world from 300bc to 1800 ad (1/3rd or 35% of world’s GDP during that time), great vedic culture and literature, extremely diversified population and culture. Need I also point out that after almost 250 years of dormancy, India is back on track to becoming the biggest economy in half a century or so.

    I think you should take the country and it’s historical relevance over the entire age of known human civilization. There are very few countries/regions which have been prominent throughout the human civilzation.

    Overall, I actually like the countries you have mentioned but not the order in which you have mentioned them.

    and people who have mentioned countries like Canada and Australia…are you seriously kidding me?
    and others who have only included european countries in their list – you are only looking at the past 500-600 years of history. Look deeper.

    My list would be something like this –

    1) India
    2) China
    3) Italy
    4) UK
    5) Egypt
    6) Persia
    7) Iraq
    8) Mongolia
    9) Greece
    10) USA

  198. none

    I agree that Russia should definetly be on the list. But seriously us should definetly be on the top 3. They have invented so many things , including electricity, which fuels the world today. Also we invented most things every other countries used today. And if it was not for them, Europe would be control of the Nazis

  199. John Smith

    England are the greatest country the world has ever seen. We have set the foundations for science and technology, and have only ever been invaded a handful of times. We defeated many wars outnumbered, out-gunned, and out-shipped, which is highly impressive considering our tiny size. We are legends, we are great, we are England. EN-GER-LAND….EN-GER-LAND!! Fuck you Europe!!!

  200. Anonimus


    What mongolians have invented you idiot British colonisators made the wolrd map that is today europians invented everything art philosophy science all mos useful invents are done by europians like car spaceship aioplane all modern world today uses the europians invents not mongolians one you even today are undevloped without strets railway etc when europians colined the world and invented evrything you were on Ottoman Rule I guess.

  201. Fiona

    I don’t really know much, that’s why I wanted to see who the great nations were… but i would have to ask, why the Mayans are not in there? just asking??

  202. Unknown

    can we just say that every nation has its goods and bads, they have all inspired one another.
    we can not make a list from best to least becuase they are all good…thats what makes them GREAT!!! hello!!! 🙂

  203. bishal

    how could a country like america, australia n canada come in top ten these are the country formed by immigration from all over the world n are developed by immigrants. what r the parameter u set. its sounds more like coutry being rich to hold greatest history. what about nepal where lord gautam buddha was born n place of brave gurkhas who was defeated by british doing culprit never been colony of any coutry and holds cultural diverification. no matter how poor the country is but has the greatest history. america wasn’t even discovered when the palace in bhaktapur,patan n basantapur was built.

  204. Yer right

    America in the top ten? It is still a young country and the point of ww1 and 2 should not even hold as in both cases they came into the war very late and more than likely profiteered from the European powers need for supplies thereby not “devastating” themselves from the wars.

    The premise that the US of A is the world’s sole superpower is also ridiculous, if you are basing this on vanity then you win, what about Russia, China, the UK, France and the EU as a whole. That in itself could be classed a superpower.

    So the US it the most influential, most powerful and the wealthiest in the history of the world? It sounds to me as you cannot base you “decision” on actual facts and that your are only deluding yourself and your US citizens.

  205. Ant

    I’m sorry to say so, but I believe that it’s ludicrous to claim about the US that “only its brief lifespan keeps it from topping the list”. America’s (as in the United States) achievements in the arts (be it painting, poetry, literature, architecture, philosophy and music) may be significant in the past century but can obviously not measure to those of France and Germany (not least, due to their history.) Whilst I would still say that its standing as the (current) No 1 superpower should give it a place in the, if not the top ten, at least the Top 20, number three is evidently placing it far too highly. It merely shows the insularity of Americans, I am afraid and could only be stated by by an American living at this precise moment in time. Where the future will lead: no one can tell. But as it stands for Western Civilisation Greece is the most important country by a mile. Modern Greece on the other hand is the most troubling and under-developed member of the European Union.

  206. Lol

    Only an American could have made this list.
    There is no way any new world country should even be in this list.
    And no the USA isnt the sole superpower, the European Union, Russia and China are superpowers aswell.
    I think the list should be more like this:
    1: China
    2: Iran
    3: Greece
    4: Italy
    5: Egypt
    6: England
    7: France
    8: Spain
    9: India
    10: Germany

    Number 3 USA? What a joke, that country isnt even 300 years old, get lost you offend others with your arrogance.

  207. someone

    I think you are forgetting that india gave us studies we now call Trigonometry, calculas and Pythagora. It taught us how to count(the zero), and was the first country to figure out the correct time of the Earths orbit (365.25 days).

    Medecine basically comes from india. The surgical stitch was invented in India and anesthesia was also used in India first. It gave us modern methods of how to perform surgeries and diagnose illnesses.

    Democracy originated in a small Indian village first. Also, agricultural advances were made by india before any other nation.

    I am not saying that India deserves to be at the top, but it deserves so much better than 9th. I mean come on! seriously?

    The country which has the most precise language (sanskrit) taught the western world how to read and write. We also musnt forget that the main reason of success of countrys like Britain was the fact that they could exploit the riches and the knowledge of India and Indians at the time.

    Plus, there must have been a reason that India was consistantly one of the richest nations on Earth until the British raj?

  208. someone

    I would also like to point out that India has continuesly been inhabited by humans during its history, without feeling the need to once attack a country during a 100000 year period, although i am not sure about this fact. i could be wrong.

    I honestly dont know why the US was even considered. The US has no history what so ever which streches beyond 500 years. WTF?

    Arabia and China were very very advanced civilizations along with India. I would even go as far as saying that everything we have today (as in inventions etc) can be traced back to roots in either Arabia, India or China.

    P.S I am taking Arabia as the entire Middle east.

    Just look at the monuments left befind by these great civilizations. Many many years older than the Roman buildings and still very much intact.

  209. me

    This is just someones opinion, and is based on no facts whatsoever.

    Theoretically, the list would go as such:
    1 – China
    2 – India
    3 – Iraq
    4 – Greece
    5 – Italy
    6 – Iran
    7 – France
    8 – Egypt
    9 – England
    10 – Israel

    PS i am not being biased, as i am english, and england is pretty low down in the list.

  210. azzzzzzzzzz

    why is india so low down on the list?
    It has given the world so much more than places like the UK, the US(which shouldnt even be in the list), Italy and Greece.
    Obviously this is your opinion, but make sure it isnt so biased. I mean come on. Why on Earth is a country less than 300 years old even on a historic list?

  211. azzzzzzzzzz

    ^^I am talking about the US by the way.
    India gave the world modern maths and modern medecine. It taought us how to count, and worked out the earths orbit time and so much more that if i state them all i would be here for ever.
    Even Einstein said that without India a lot of great discoveries and inventions could not have taken place.

  212. Yousif

    Iraq (Mesopotamia) should really be first..
    Civilizations in Mesopotamia created the first writing, science, mathematics, law, philosophy, arches, wheels, as well as so many other things. It is the cradle of all civilizations ! It has one of the 7 wounder of the world, and its history starts from the Iron age…
    Iraq is a national with the most civilizations..
    those the civilizations that were formed in Iraq :
    Sumerian = 6th millennium BC
    Akkadian = 2334 BC
    Babylonia = 1654 BC
    Assyrian = mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC
    Neo-Assyrian = 934 BC
    Neo- Bablonian = 626 BC
    The Abbasid (Islamic) great Empire (est: 750) , was also established in Iraq. This Empire was from Spain until India ! The capital was Baghdad.

    Iraq was also part of many empires like :
    Persian empire(s), Roman Empire, as well as the Islamic empires after that.

    Not even a book can be enough for the history of Iraq, and in this list its 7th ? seriously ? LOL

  213. James

    First of all to all the people bashing on America I think you’re taking for granted everything they have contributed to the world. The immense cultural input through American literature, music and the film industry, the revolutionary technological and medical breakthroughs, plus the fact that they saved a lot of the world from speaking German/Japanese. To bishal: Sorry no, Nepal would not be considered at all, the achievements of one man “Siddartha Gautama” does not make a country great. There have been great people from pretty much every country on the planet. Eg. You would have to put Israel on this list considering Jesus was born there. Also your argument that countries like Australia, Canada and the USA are somehow inferior because of all the immigration is very disrespectful, and considering the human species originated in Africa and the migrated to the rest of the world you could argue that nearly every country in the world was at some point an “immigrant country”. To “lol”, yes the USA is the sole superpower in the world in this day and age,Russia and China are what they call ’emerging superpowers’ but they’re not there yet I’m afraid. The EU is not a country it’s a transnational cooperative organisation. For the record I am not American, have no American ancestry in me whatsoever, and live absolutely nowhere near the place, I just appreciate all they have contributed to the world in the short time of existence. They surely deserve the spot they’ve been given on this list.

  214. DJ Fox

    This is a joke – France, Germany, England – top 3 in that order. British Empire was the largest ever, but Britain has not been consistently a great power. Rome wwas techinically a part of Germany (Holy Roman Empire) until the 1840s, Italy was created then! to say they are first is a joke. many Northern Italians say theyre closer to being German and thats correct. it would be Germany for me, but considering German was not a country for centuries, it would have to be France, they are the greatest and have always been considered a world power. they have had the most victories ..

  215. Girum Getachew

    I think It’s better to give the 10th place to Ethiopia than Chad,because of two things.1)Lucy is great evidence of archiological findings in addition to other many evidences 2. Ethiopia is considered as one of ancient civilization of Axumit kingdom and ancient Cristian kingdom.

  216. legioxii

    To all you USA haters, spare me your idiocy, all those nations you listed are not superpowers. China for gods sake just came out with its first jets fairly recently, they don’t have any sort of military projection capabilities. Russia is still swimming in its own weakness economically, they are a military superpower but not a economic one, the EU is disunited, they couldn’t make a decision to DO anything if WWIII was starting. They continually budget for a smaller and smaller military too pay for their socialistic programs, and expect the USA too continue our defense welfare of their land. France has suffered defeats many many times, the English language is becoming the global language for a reason. The British and the Americans. The British empire’s influence has only been matched by the USA except for we don’t export our founding ideas which has allowed far too many dictators too take over in third world countries. I can’t think of the last time Germany created something good for this world. They destroyed Rome, they began world war 1, they perpetrated the holocaust. Spare me your German obsession.

  217. legioxii

    Furthermore to anyone who wants to put Mongolia on this list, they were not great at anything except fighting, their culture sucked, their people were nomads who knew how to ride a horse and shoot a bow, and they didn’t last. The most important factors in determining the status of any nation is industrialization/improvements and form of government. Last I checked the most successful forms of government are democratic or republican in nature. Although India may have had the first republic which they did. This is not where the idea really comes from. Ancient Rome and Greece are the true creators of this idea in that not only did they practice it for far longer than the Indians, they spread the ideas around their world. The Romans created the basis of western civilization and lets face it western civilization has contributed far more to every form of science and industry there is. Western civilization is superior, lets not be naive all you anti-westerners.

  218. legioxii

    I will now comment on those who wish to include South American and Central American civilizations. Once again, the contributions of these civilizations is minimal if not non-existent. The only thing I can say for them is that they left a few cool archaeological sites. The Mayans were bloodthirsty morons with a penchant for astrology and mathematics. The Incans couldn’t even write, they used quipu, little knots as their form of writing.

  219. legioxii

    One revision besides excluding Chad, Egypt was fairly impressive, they had a decent amount of influence on Greeks who in turn influenced the Romans, for this reason you may want to include them somewhere.

  220. legioxii

    To those who put Scotland. How is resisting Rome admirable? The Romans although very brutal at times are perhaps the single greatest nation ever, the Scots had balls so what? Furthermore, yes Adam Smith is awesome, however many modern concepts of economics although pulled out of capitalism in many ways come from the US. Fordism? Post-Fordism? The US took European civilization moved it west modified it and created our own culture which has contributed more to the modern era than every nation except Rome and the British Empire. And to those who say our power only began after WWII spare me. We had the worlds largest economy by the 1890’s if you consider only domestic product. Theres a reason the Brits who quite frankly are awesome, asked the US to help them in both World Wars. In a very brief span the US has contributed more to the modern world than most other nations have through their entire history. From planes to computers to the internet. We do belong on this list, we are a great nation. End of Story.

  221. legioxii

    One more thing, if points are deducted for backwardness then Russia and China should never ever be included on this list. Both China and Russia have killed millions upon millions of their own people just in the past 100 years, all in the name of the greater good and communism.

  222. British man

    I personally would put GB first, then countries such as Italy, Egypt, France, Germany etc etc.

    GB should be first because of the british empire, sure it didnt last as long as we would have liked but it did cover a portion of the world that has never been seen before and probably will never be seen again. We developed most of what is the Modern World.

    For those that still suggest Italy etc. ask yourselves, what langage are you typing in?

  223. Wergana

    What was the first country ever in human history?
    In: Decade – 1920s, Babylon [Edit categories]
    At school we were always told that the earliest civilization was that of Egypt, and that it just appeared out of nowhere about 3000 BC.

    Since then, however, time has marched on. Today, because of newer archaeological discoveries, research, computers, electron microscope, DNA and MtDNA analysis, but especially because of the internet and the rapid distribution of knowledge to all by many different authorities, our view of early civilizations has changed somewhat.

    The earliest developed area of the world was the ‘Fertile Crescent’ , (known as such because it was fertile land ), and the most-fertile part was the area that we know as Mesopotamia. This was the area that people and families gravitated to, and a country is just an enlarged group of families.

    The earliest culture that we know of is that of Sumer, but don’t take my word for it – check it out and follow it through.
    Moreover , the first boundary which can be named a country was Iran and The first state consisting all of western Iran was founded by the Proto-Elamite with their capital at Susa & Anshan which lasted from around 3200 BC to 2700 BC, they were followed by Elam (2700 BC-550 BC) and Medes who created the first Iranian empire, which encompassed all of Iran and lasted from 728 to 550 BC, Cyrus The Great, founded the world’s first superstate, stretching from Greece to India. The last reunification of Iran happened in 1501 AD by the Safavid dynasty. Iran was referred to in the West as Persia until March 21, 1935 when it was officially recognized as Iran which has been the local name. Iran has had roughly the same geographical boundaries since its inception and has been using Persian as the official language in addition to Iranian calendar.

    i do not know why every one put CHINA in first place dont you just think then talk?

  224. Beizhus

    France is probably the greatest country in the history of mankind. Behind France: England/UK, Prussia/Germany, Rome/Italy, Ancient Greece, Egypt, Persian Empire, Spain. Then, probably the United States of America (the only superpower in the 20th century). Finally, probably China.
    What is sure in my opinion is that Europe is the greatest continent in the history, no doubt about it. Europe has shaped and enlighted the world

  225. anush

    i more or less agree with the list but what bothers me is 3 lines to describe india’s contribution !!! 3 lines ! seriously ? not that pages were devoted to other nations but there was certainly more detailed explanation. granted that today it is a poor third world nation but everything eventually runs out of juice. india was rich, prosperous and powerful for thousands and thousands of years but ultimately couldn’t survive the continuous onslaught of invasions and it fell into decay ; the british finished the job and left a broken pathetic shell behind. to our credit we are one of the fastest growing economies set to be the 3rd largest in a decade and are one of the very few ancient civilisations that still exists without much change. the contributions made by india are as follows:

    1) one of the oldest civilisations and certainly the largest one (the indus -saraswati) .cities that put to shame india’s present cities to shame .
    2)the oldest book/scriptures (THE RIG VEDA) in the world.
    3) greatest epics ever written – THE MAHABHARATA AND RAMAYANA.
    4)first (certainly one of the) universities in the world – NALANDA, TAKSHASHILA, ODHANTAPURA, VIKRAMSHILA…
    5)THE VEDAS – rig veda , atharva veda, yajur veda, sama veda and THE UPANISHADS proved the knowledge possessed by indians when much of the world was barbaric and nomadic.
    6) YOGA
    8) AYURVEDA – ancient medical science
    9) SANSKRIT – the most perfect language ever also called the language of gods.
    10) CHESS
    11) one of the oldest surviving city – VARANASI
    12) AMERICA was found because columbus was looking for a sea route to INDIA and other south east asian nations
    13) SHAOLIN KUNGFU was inspired by KALARI an indian martial art (introduced to china by ‘bodhi dharma’.
    14) until the 18th century india was the only source of diamonds.
    15) india costituted 25 % of worlds gdp in the 18th century and according to many historians the richest nation throughout history.
    16) the industrial revolution was possible because of the revenue , raw material from india.

    * some of the greatest works and discoveries in the field of astronomy, mathematics , medicine etc came from india.

    1) Button , Carbon pigment, Calico, Carding devices, Chintz, Crescograph, Crucible steel, Incense clock, Indian club, Iron and mercury coherer,kabbadi, ludo, muslin, mysorean rockets, palampore , pre fabricated home, prayer flag, ruler, shampoo,seamless celestial globe, single roller cotton gin, snakes and ladder game, stepwell, stupa, suits game,toe stirrup, wootz steel, cashmere wool , cotton cultivation, indigo dye, jute cultivation, sugar refinement, cataract surgery, cure for leprosy,
    plastic surgery, lithiasis treatment, Visceral leishmaniasis, treatment of, diamond mining and diamond tools, zinc mining and medicinal zinc
    Ammonium nitrite, synthesis in pure form: Prafulla Chandra Roy , Ashtekar variables, Bhatnagar-Mathur Magnetic Interference Balance, Bhabha scattering, Bose–Einstein statistics, condensate and Boson, Braunstein-Ghosh-Severini Entropy, Chandrasekhar limit and Chandrasekhar number, Galena, applied use in electronics of, Mahalanobis distance, Kosambi-Karhunen-Loève theorem, Mercurous Nitrite, Ramachandran plot, Ramachandran map, and Ramachandran angles,Raman effect, Raychaudhuri equation, Saha ionization equation.

    AKS primality test, Finite Difference Interpolation, Algebraic abbreviations, Basu’s theorem, Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity, Brahmagupta formula, Brahmagupta matrix, and Brahmagupta theorem: Discovered by the Indian mathematician, Brahmagupta (598–668 CE, Chakravala method, Hindu number system, Fibonacci numbers, Law of signs in multiplication, Madhava series, Pascal’s triangle, Pell’s equation, integral solution for, Ramanujan theta function, Ramanujan prime, Ramanujan summation, Ramanujan graph and Ramanujan’s sum, Shrikhande graph, Sign convention…….

    mahavira (mathematician)
    He discovered algebraic identities like a3=a(a+b)(a-b) +b2(a-b) + b3.[3] He also found out the formula for nCr as [n(n-1)(n-2)…(n-r+1)]/r(r-1)(r-2)…2*1.[10] He devised formula which approximated area and perimeters of ellipses and found methods to calculate the square of a number and cube roots of a number.[11] He asserted that the square root of a negative number did not exist.[12]

    another great mathematician
    Parameshvara’s most significant contribution is his mean value type formula for the inverse interpolation of the sine. He was the first mathematician to give the radius of circle with an inscribed quadrilateral, an expression that is normally attributed to Lhuilier (1782), 350 years later. With the sides of the cyclic quadrilateral being a, b, c, and d, the radius R of the circumscribed circle is:

    R = \sqrt {\frac{(ab + cd) (ac + bd) (ad + bc)}{(a + b + c – d) (b + c + d – a) (c + d + a – b) (d + a + b


    He was the first one to mention in his work Pañcasiddhāntikā that the ayanamsa, or the shifting of the equinox, is 50.32 seconds.

    *Vishnu Sharma (Sanskrit: विष्णुशर्मन् / विष्णुशर्मा) was an Indian scholar and author who is believed to have written the Panchatantra collection of fables.[1] The exact period of the composition of the Panchatantra is uncertain, and estimates vary from 1200 BCE to 300 CE.[1] Some scholars place him in the 3rd century BCE.[2]

    Vishnu Sharma is one of the most widely translated non-religious authors in history. The Panchatantra was translated into Middle Persian/Pahlavi in 570 CE by Borzūya and into Arabic in 750 CE by Persian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa as Kalīlah wa Dimnah (Arabic: كليلة و دمنة‎).[3][4] In Baghdad, the translation commissioned by Al-Mansur, the second Abbasid Caliph, is claimed to have become “second only to the Qu’ran in popularity.”[5] “As early as the eleventh century this work reached Europe, and before 1600 it existed in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Old Slavonic, Czech, and perhaps other Slavonic languages. Its range has extended from Java to Iceland.”[6] In France, “at least eleven Panchatantra tales are included in the work of La Fontaine.”

    zero was discovered by aryabhatta and his disciple bhaskara.
    1234… these are hindu numerals.

    one raid into one small province of india was enough to make the afghans rich for years. taxes used to lifted in afghanistan during medieval times for years after such raid.
    indias cultural influence spans a large area from present day afghanistan (eastern afghanistan was in ancient india, kandahar name is derived from ancient indian place gandhara ) to indonesia. cambodias national monument is an indian temple built by a south indian king.

    “India is not only at the origin of everything; intellectually, religiously or politically and even the Greek heritage seems pale in comparison.”- Frederich Von Schlegel, great German Philosopher.

    “Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like school boys”- T. S Elliot, great American poet, philosopher and Nobel Laureate.

    The University of Nalanda in 5th Century A D had about 9 million manuscripts but the Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews (1600s) University libraries combined even today may not have as many books in print is a fact worth considering to appreciate the scale of this ancient “primitive” Indian library. It is believed the American Congress Library is the world’s largest and perhaps it is worth contacting them to find out the number of books they have in 2010.

    “We owe a lot to Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made”- Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, philosopher, mathematician and humanist.

    “After conversations about Indian Philosophy some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense”- Werner Heisenberg, physicist and Nobel Laureate.

    “I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganga- Astronomy, Astrology, Spiritualism etc. It is very important to note that some 2500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganga to learn Geometry. But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ Science not been long established in Europe.”- Francois M Voltaire, one of the greatest of all French philosophers.

    “India is the land of religions, cradle of human race, birth place of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that men with intellectual bent desire to see once even by a glimpse would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined” – Mark Twain, American satirist, writer and humanist.

    “The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural real way of life. We Western veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator’s hand”- George Bernard Shaw, great dramatist, novelist, thinker and Nobel Laureate.

    “The motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus 4500 years ago vary not even a single minute from the modern tables of Cassine and Meyer”- Jean Sylvain Bailly, French Astronomer who computed the orbit for Hailey’s planet.

    Will Durant, American historian: “India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all”.

    Max Mueller, German scholar: If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.

    Sir William Jones, British Orientalist: “The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity is of wonderful structure, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.”

    P. Johnstone: “Gravitation was known to the Hindus (Indians) before the birth of Newton. The system of blood circulation was discovered by them centuries before Harvey was heard of.”

    Sylvia Levi: “She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim … her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!”

  226. salah

    i think the greatest nation list as follows :
    1- Italy
    2- United Kingdom
    3- United States
    4- China
    5- Egypt / Greece
    6- Germany
    7- Iraq / Iran
    8- India
    9- France / Spain
    10- Russia / Japan/ south Korea
    based on the accomplishments in all Fields thru history

  227. rajarejin

    Yeah ,I knew usa is very wealthiest country,,but people please dont say we are Americans ,and,we have most evaluated history and you knew about the fact ,China and India had most climatic and adventures of history and know about Chandragupta mouria