Top 10 Most Influential Countries in the History of the World

History is a mosaic of nations, each adding its own color to the world. Some countries have been more influential than others, shaping the global story with their culture, science, politics, and philosophy. This is not just about power or wealth. It's about how these nations have touched our humanity, affecting every part of our modern world.
The Top Ten
1 United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain is a Sovereign State located of the Northwestern coast of Europe. It is a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy currently lead by Monarch Queen Elizabeth II and its current prime minister is... read more

USA number 1? Pah! England and Britain have invented world-changing things such as television, trains, the discovery of DNA, and various sports like football, rugby, cricket, tennis, and golf. They also invented the telephone, the first police force, underground travel system, and the internet. We gave the world the English language. America has to contend with just having a bad accent.

England has the most famous royal family in the world, and our Queen is the most powerful woman in the world. England has to be number one just for the fact that we are such a small country but we are the most powerful and influential country on Earth. I'm so proud to tell everyone that I am ENGLISH! Long live this green and pleasant land. The world would be nothing without this tiny but mighty country. VOTE ENGLAND!

2 United States of America The United States of America, or the U.S.A. for short, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, 48 of them are contiguous states. There are two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, which are north and south of the contiguous states, respectively. The United States declared its independence from the... read more

For being such a short-lived country, no other in history has accomplished so much. There are many flaws and abuses. However, no conquering country has been as lenient and helpful to the conquered as the U.S. (Germany, Japan, and the former Soviet bloc). The current Pax Americana has led to more world freedom and prosperity than any other ruling civilization in history.

The U.S Constitution is the longest-living ruling document in history and continues to serve the U.S. very well - a tribute to its writers. Even the lower middle class of the world lives better than most kings of antiquity. Without the U.S. and its pivotal role in stopping tyranny in the 20th century, this would not be the case.

3 Greece Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey... read more

Greece is the most influential! The world runs with Greece's achievements! The people of ancient Greece lived nearly 4,000 years ago. Yet, even today, their culture impacts our lives. We received many gifts from the ancient Greeks, and we should respect and acknowledge them.

The largest accomplishment of the ancient Greeks was that they developed and introduced philosophy, literature, theater, poetry, music, physics, beauty pageants, astronomy, laws, mathematics, and just about everything to the West, and to the whole world, which forms the basis of their own cultures today. Greece should be first without question!

4 France France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to... read more

France, the largest country in Western Europe, ranks sixth on the list of the world's most powerful and influential countries. The education level in this country is renowned worldwide.

The main earning industry of this country is the perfume industry, from which the country earns a lot. According to a survey report issued by WHO, France has top-class health facilities infrastructure. France is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and there are no religious laws in its legal framework.

The space industry in France is very powerful, and its army is strong. It is said that, in addition to providing, the air force of this country is well-equipped with the latest helicopters and aircraft. By "countries," I mean current countries based on current boundaries, so France is of course in the top eight. Based on the last 500 years, France is in the top three.

5 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area... read more

I am a proud Chinese. Yes, the Americans have played a significant role in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, but China is the origin of the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures. China had been the strongest nation on Earth some centuries ago. Its culture is the only one of the four great ancient civilizations (Egyptian, Indian, Babylonian, and Chinese) to last to today.

If the Europeans and the Americans had not attacked China, and if China had been a part of the Industrial Revolution, China would be way stronger than America now. It is very possible that China will rise to a world superpower in the 21st century. China will eventually get out of communism and have real democracy. Though China will be a big nation, it would not invade any nation on Earth because the most important Chinese value is to make peace between every man.

6 Italy Italy (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) is a sovereign state and unitary parliamentary republic in south-central Europe.

Italy covers an area of 301,338 km². With almost 62 million inhabitants, it is the third most populous EU member state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares... read more

Italy was known as "The Mother of the World" during the Roman period, thus implying its major contributions to the world. From art and food to language and government, every corner of the world has a piece of Italian influence. Latin America was colonized by Spain and Portugal, but the languages of Spanish and Portuguese are based off Latin, which was Proto-Italian. China was visited by Marco Polo.

The African country of Somalia got its name from Italian. There is speculation that the first non-native people to set foot onto North America were Romans. Needless to say, Europe as a whole was influenced by Italy as well, especially during the Roman period and the Renaissance.

7 India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad... read more

India has a strong, diverse history. It is big and complicated, with tons of different kinds of people. Some areas are very wealthy, while some are dirt poor. Some Indians are tech workers and doctors, while others pick up trash along the beach.

India is a country where there is humanity. People in India care for others, often forgetting about themselves, which I experienced in India. The number system, zero, plastic surgery, algebra, and Pythagoras' theorem were first invented in India. Ayurveda and yoga also originated here.

There are great warriors who are equal to hundreds of Alexanders in India. It is true that these warriors existed before Christ. Alexander the Great himself said that the Indian soldier, King Puru, was more powerful than Alexander. King Puru is from India. The Indian marine commandos are among the most powerful in the world. Contractor Hafeez is the greatest civil engineer in the world and is from India. Many world records have been set by Indians.

8 Japan Japan is an island country in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean. It lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland (east of China, Korea, Russia) and stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and near Taiwan in the southwest... read more

Japan was the country to end imperialism while also participating in it. It was the first Asian country to modernize and surprise the West. This demonstrates the strength of Japan. Napoleon once said that we should let China sleep, for one day she will shake the world. However, Japan was the true sleeping giant, as it has become one of the most influential capitalist cultures in the world. All of East Asian modern history owes its roots to Japan.

The whole 'cute Asian trend' came from Japan, as did the amazing electronics. People don't really see Japan for what it is: the true shining star of Asia, culturally and economically. Japanese culture will continue to influence the youth of other countries for years to come.

9 Iran Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. The capital city is Teheran and the major city is also Tehran. The country's official language is Persian... read more

Iran should be ranked number one. Modern civilization and democracy originated in Persia, and the Achaemenid Persian Empire is still the most powerful empire in human history, more powerful than Rome, Britain, or even the US today. They had the highest percentage of the world's population and were the first superpower. Unlike their rivals, they promoted social tolerance and outlawed slavery. Never has one country exerted as much power as ancient Iran.

History is always written by the winning side, and therefore, ancient Greece took credit for a lot of Iran's accomplishments. Anti-Iranian sentiment is so prevalent today that people like to overlook that it was the Persians who created the world as we know it. Furthermore, Iran really is the only country on Earth that has consistently remained powerful for over 5,000 years.

10 Russia Russia, or the Russian Federation (RF), is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17,125,191 square kilometres (6,612,073 sq mi), and encompassing one-eighth of Earth's inhabitable landmass. Russia extends across... read more

Do you think a country like "New Zealand" is more influential than Russia? The Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretched from Poland to Alaska. And the Soviet Union, which was the most powerful nation at the time, had a relationship with every nation on earth and was one of only two superpowers. They were primarily responsible for the Allied victory in World War II, and they also put the first satellite and human in space. Russia is the most powerful country of the 20th century... And possibly of all time, next to the British Empire. Vote for Russia, my comrades!

The Contenders
11 Germany Germany was formally united in 1871 under the initiative of Bismarck with King Wilhelm of Prussia as emperor. The previous 'Holy Roman Empire', basically a continuation of the empire of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse was dissolved in 1806... read more

The diversity of ideas the thinkers of this country spread over the centuries led to the highest pinnacles of human achievement, but also to the greatest terrors humankind could face. The ability of its people to stand up again after grave mistakes, acknowledge what went wrong, and try to do right the next time, is probably why Germany's achievements in science, technology, philosophy, the arts, and warfare can only be matched by a few countries - if not by none.

Germany produced the most pure souls who deepened our understanding of nature and humankind to a tremendous extent. One only needs to consider the number of influential philosophers, physicists, mathematicians, and chemists that exceed any country. There is even no need to mention the inventions originating from there, like the car, rocket, bulb, TV, and more.

12 Scotland Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is the most mountainous, and least densely populated country in the United Kingdom.

Scotland is in with a shout. Just a short look on wiki shows the sheer impact. Contrast with England, where military and weapon innovations are notably less. However, scientific and medical innovations are much the same or greater, which says a lot about the country's priorities.

I would also say the significance of some of these is quite staggering, such as the discovery of electromagnetism, identification of its origins, and treatment of malaria. Go Scotland!

Stop naming Scottish inventions as English or British. They are Scottish inventions. Just like English inventions are England's. If we did so, England would be way down in the list. Also, the US is laughable being at the top. They have provided very little, especially in their short existence.

13 Netherlands The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in north-western Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the... read more

The Dutch deserve a higher place since modern capitalism, the Declaration of Independence, and even the success of the British Empire were based on Dutch ideas. No nation had as much influence on modern Western ideas as they did. Truly the Athens of modern history. For a long time, many great thinkers flocked to Amsterdam in search of freedom and tolerance and contributed to the enlightenment of Western civilization. I bet John Adams and Peter the Great would agree.

The Dutch East India Company was arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers. These included the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies. Many economic and political historians consider the Dutch East India Company as the most valuable, powerful, and influential corporation in world history.

14 Turkey Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia,... read more

Rulers of the world from the Mongols to the Seljuks to the Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire is regarded as the most important, powerful, and longest-lasting empire in recent history. The Turks effectively controlled all of Asia, Northern Africa, and half of Europe.

Any poll not including Turks in the top 3 is complete nonsense. From the fifth century to today, every great event owes its place to Turks as enemy or friend. If you take Turks out, there won't be any history for two millennia.

Admit it... Turkey had a ton of influence before the fall of the Ottoman Empire! Now, it's looking to rebuild a new Ottoman Empire under Erdogan. I don't know if ultra-conservative Erdogan will be able to pull it off, though.

15 Spain Spain, or the Kingdom of Spain, is a country in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands... read more

If the Iberians had never declared war against the Moors, the peninsula would still be an Arab state, and another failure for the crusaders. If they hadn't won the war 500 years ago, the Portuguese would have never sailed south to Africa and begun the slave trade. Most importantly, the Spanish would have never sailed west to the Americas. This was a huge point in history that literally changed the world and is among the most important. Although they haven't made any changes after their American colonies gained independence in the 1800s, this would not have been possible if they had never won the war. Spain also helped to spread new ideas, like math and science as well as art and literature during the Renaissance.

Spain should be ranked above not only the US but also France, Germany, Italy, England/UK, Russia, and Japan since their changes are more recent. The only other countries that should be above Spain are Greece, China, Ancient Egypt, Persia/Iran, the Roman Empire, and India.

16 Egypt Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip (Palestine) and Israel to the northeast,... read more

Egypt is one of the first civilizations of the world. Their knowledge undoubtedly shaped the world today. It is a shame that the countries dominating the top 10 - except a few - were only influential for some hundred years. You can see that the top aren't "Influential in the history of THE WORLD", but rather in the history of EUROPE.

I am not from Egypt, but since it is one of the cradles of civilization, it contributed the very first innovations that are still used today and began the journey to scientific discovery. It was not as influential after the decline of Ancient Egypt's power, but it should be a little bit further up this list.

17 Iraq Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia.

Iraq is currently led by President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. It is currently ranked 160th in the Institute for Economics & Peace's Global Peace Index, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the... read more

Ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq) is the place where modern civilization started. Things like writing, reading, building, and the most essential part was from Iraq. All other civilizations are based on Iraqi civilization. Iraq laid the foundation for modern civilization. Is that not enough to be on the top list?

Iraq has a long and mysterious history. After the war with the USA, they became economically and mentally impoverished.

18 Portugal Portugal (est.1152), officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes... read more

Without Portugal, there would not be Brazil and Mozambique! We were the richest country, yes, more than The British Empire, for 400 years. We were the ones that brought curry to India, and we are much older than Spain! We are the Longest Global Empire In The World. Without us, 900 million people would not be Christians as they are today. At least we should be in the top 10!

Portugal is definitely among the top 10 most influential countries.

There is something everyone keeps forgetting: the Portuguese introduced the concept of diplomacy, imposing themselves through their trading power instead of military force.

Viva Portugal!

19 Mongol Empire

Great Genghis Khan took over almost half of the world with the smallest army in the world, equipped with the toughest and wisest warriors and the best tactics of the 12th century. The Mongols could have conquered all the discovered lands at that time, but due to Genghis Khan's children competing for the throne, the Mongol Empire was divided into pieces and fell. In modern days, Genghis Khan's war tactics are still being used and admired among the powerful nations' armies, like the U.S. Army and Russian Army.

20 Croatia Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia (independence since 1991), is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb. It is a member of the European Union. During the Cold War it was part of Yugoslavia. It is a cultural... read more
21 Canada Canada is a country in North America that is next to the United States, and it's the 2nd largest country in the world by area (size is 9.985 million km²). This country has 10 provinces, and 3 territories. Canada became a dominion on July 1, 1867. Its 10 provinces are: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec,... read more

Erasing Canada from the world would result in the loss of many important cities, like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, etc. It would be the loss of once the tallest tower in the world (CN Tower), followed by the loss of skyscrapers that defined many important things today (1000 De La Gauchetière: the center of Bell, First Canadian Place: One of the tallest structures in the world). It would also erase a huge portion of Niagara Falls, an important tourist attraction. Thinking about it, Canada shapes the world.

22 Roman Empire The Roman Empire was a post-Republican period of ancient Rome that lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD. It was characterized by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. The Roman legal system and Latin language have had a lasting impact on the... read more

Ruled over the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, the Roman Empire was the standard for civilization for a long time after its dissolution and is still revered heavily today.

Art, music, engineering, architecture, politics, military, religion, food, culture... And the copious list could keep going. The most significant innovations in human history have come from Italy/the Roman Empire. I don't believe anyone could argue that.

Rome is one of, if not the most, influential empires in history, perhaps even up there with Greece.

23 Denmark Denmark is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark, a constitutionally unitary state that includes the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean. European Denmark is the southernmost... read more

Behind Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, and all of the above... It's so unfair. We discovered America first, we have a Viking culture, and we are one of the travelers in Europe. We rule the north, and we also have the oldest flag in the world. I can't believe it's in the top 20. This should be in the top 3.

A country once full of fierce Vikings who exerted great control over the surrounding area. Now, a somewhat tiny country whose influence can, however, still be felt. Lego was born in Denmark. It is a nice, happy country with a great economy.

24 Austria Austria was Celtic (Hallstadt) then as Noricum, part of the Roman Empire, Alaric, who took over Rome, studied at a monastery near Vienna. In the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Emperors moved to Vienna, then Austria became separate. Medieval documents from Eastern Europe as far as West Ukraine were often... read more

Overlooked. Austria was one of the main powers in Europe in modern history and left us with a huge amount of cultural heritage. Also, Austrians caused both World Wars, events that have had an enormous influence on life nowadays.

Many people overlook the fact that Austria was a major world power until 1918 when her empire was split apart.

A rich and beautiful country, Austria is economically powerful and rich in natural landscapes.

25 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country on the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It has a land area of about 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in Western Asia. It is bordered... read more

The Abrahamic faiths are spread across the globe. (I know this should include the Arabian Peninsula as a whole) People who are religious put more importance on their faith than other things. And their faith can change their opinions on everything.

This is where the fastest-spreading religion in the world started. What more can we say? What a shame Saudi Arabia is ranked 23rd! By the way, I am not an Arab.

From here, the whole world witnessed one of the greatest movements in history: Islam.

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