The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous land based empire in history. So what would a modern Mongol state look like today if it hadn’t disappeared?
Well here are a few facts and a map courtesy of reddit user Trapper777_:
- It would be by far the world’s largest country at 35 million km2 (twice the size of Russia)
- It would be by far the world’s most populous country with 2.2 billion people (60% more than China)
- It would be by far the world’s largest economy at $29.2 Trillion USD (PPP) (70% bigger than either the US or China)
- It would have by far the world’s largest army with 9.75 million active military personnel (6.5X larger than the military of the United States)
- It’s biggest city would be Shanghai, which while not the largest metropolitan area on earth, is the biggest city based on city limits.
Many people on reddit have criticized the map because it’s based on modern borders, which while fair, misses the point slightly. Trapper777_ responded that:
First, how would you organize it otherwise? Especially with GDP and Active Military personnel, you would be hard-pressed to find good data at the subnational level.
Second, the modern borders match the old ones pretty closely. I count five countries – Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and Romania – where there is any ambiguity.
Given that this is just a thought experiment, I think that their approach makes the most sense. In case you’re wondering the amazing map below shows the actual growth (and partition) of the Mongol Empire overlaid on modern borders:
Want to learn more about the Mongol Empire or other What If history? Then have a look at:
- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
- The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History: How Genghis Khan’s Mongols Almost Conquered the World
- What If?: The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been
Would you want to live in a modern Mongol Empire? Why or why not? Leave your comments below: