What if the Byzantine Empire Reunited Today?

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The Byzantine Empire was practically the largest and most powerful empire of its time and is still widely regarded as one of the most significant in history, today. At its territorial peak in the year 555AD, the empire controlled a huge portion of the known world at the time and nearly dominated the entire Mediterranean Sea, stretching all the way from modern-day Spain in the west, all the way to modern-day Syria in the east. However, like all empires, the Golden Age for the Byzantines didn't last forever and gradually it began to lose the power and influence it once had in control by major world events like the Black Death of the Middle Ages and other invasions from outsiders, until finally, in the 1453, the Ottoman Turks sieged its capital, Constantinople, marking the end of the empire, which in the end, lasted a whopping 1,131 years. But what if it reunited today?

Population and Land

So the first thing we need to think about a reunited Byzantine Empire is the population and land that it would control. For starters, a total of 36 different modern-day countries would lose all or some of their territory to the empire: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Vatican City. 23 of these would be located in Europe, 8 would be in Asia, while the remaining 5 would be in Africa.

Due to so many countries making it up, the empire would have a massive land area, at around 1,040,000 Square miles (2,700,000 Sq km). This would easily be enough to make it the 10th largest country in the world, larger than some other big countries like an independent Algeria (2,381,000 Sq km) and DR Congo (2,344,000 Sq km), but slightly smaller than Kazakhstan (1,052,000 Sq km) and Argentina (1,073,000 Sq km).

As well as a massive land area, the Byzantine Empire would also have a huge population, standing at 384 Million, which would be enough to make it the 3rd most populous country in the world, even putting the population of the United States (331 Million) and Indonesia (273 Million) to shame, but, of course, still well behind the gargantuan mammoths of India (1.38 Billion) and China (1.44 Billion). Egypt would be the most populous country within the empire, with a massive population alone of 102 Million, accounting for nearly 1/3 of its entire population.

The Byzantine Empire would also boast some significant and very big cities within its borders, housing huge populations and cultures within them. The capital city of the empire would most likely be Istanbul, in modern-day Turkey, as not only was it its historic capital back in 555AD, but is also still one of the most significant hubs in its area today, with a population of 16,200,000. Despite this, however, Cairo, in Egypt, would be the biggest city with a population of 21,500,000, slightly larger than Istanbul's. Here would be the rest of the top 10 biggest urban areas in the empire:

  1. Cairo (21,500,000)
  2. Istanbul (16,200,000)
  3. Milan (6,150,000)
  4. Alexandria (5,950,000)
  5. Amman (5,700,000)
  6. Ankara (5,150,000)
  7. Naples (4,150,000)
  8. Algiers (4,030,000)
  9. Damascus (3,850,000)
  10. Rome (3,500,000)
Land area of a reunited Byzantine Empire on a map

Money and GDP

Similar to its population and land, a reunited Byzantine Empire would have a big economy, bringing us to the next topic. In total, the Nominal GDP of the empire would stand at around a whopping $4.382 Trillion. This would be enough to put it in 4th place, in terms of Nominal GDP, beating up other huge economies like Germany ($4.319 Trillion), the United Kingdom ($3.124 Trillion) and India ($3.049 Trillion), but significantly behind Japan ($5.378 Trillion) and China ($16.64 Trillion).

Despite having a huge economy, the empire wouldn't have such a sustainable Nominal GDP Per Capita, mainly due to some quite impoverished areas within it like Syria, Egypt and a few others. Taking all of this into consideration, the average yearly income for the average Byzantine citizen would be $11,411, which would still be just above the Global Average of $11,339 and ahead of the conditions in Bulgaria ($11,321) and Nauru ($10,125), but poorer than the conditions in Malaysia ($11,604) and an independent Russia ($11,654).

The Byzantine Empire would also control a portion of the world's oil reserves, mainly located in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa, which would boost its status to a major oil exporter around the world. This would also most probably become its largest export too. In addition to this, the empire would also find two of the most important trade routes and chokepoints in the world in possession, the Bosporus Strait and the Suez Canal, which would both undoubtedly be of vital significance to it.

Religion and Ethnic Groups

The next topic we need to think about a reunited Byzantine Empire is the religious and ethnic groups prevailing within its borders.

Starting off with Religion, Islam would be the most followed faith in it with the majority of the population at 70%, split between 58% Sunni and 9% Shia, adhering to it. Christianity would be the second largest religion in the empire, collectively representing 18%, split between 14% Catholic and 4% Orthodox. Judaism would be the last major religion prevalent within its borders, at 2.3%, while the final 9.7% of the population would be a mix of Atheists, other irreligious people and religions with only a tiny following.

Focusing on Ethnic Groups now, Arabs would be the largest ethnicity prevalent within the empire representing just under half of the population at 46%. Turks would be next at 16%, while Italians would be slightly less at 14%. This would be followed by Kurds at 3.1%, Greeks at 2.5%, Bulgarians at 1.8% and Castilians at 1.3%. The final 17.3% of the population would be a mix of various other tiny ethnicities within the Byzantine Empire.

Purple = Christianity


Green = Islam


Light Blue = Judaism


Grey = Atheism

Prevailing religions in the rough area of a reunited Byzantine Empire on a map

Languages

Continuing off its demographics, the languages of a reunited Byzantine Empire would also be a interesting topic to consider. Like its Ethnic Groups, Arabic would also be the most spoken language in its border with just about 43% of the population natively speaking it. Turkish would be next at 20%, which would be closely trailed by Italian at 14%, Kurdish at 2.6%, Greek at 2.4% and Hebrew at 1.5%. The final 16.5% of the population would be a mix of many languages with only a tiny speaking in it.

One specific official language of the empire would be difficult to hypothesize but I predict that there would be a few official languages based on the most spoken, in this case, Turkish, Italian and Arabic, similar to the current situation in South Africa where there are 10 different official languages.

Military Size

Finally, the last topic we need to think about the Byzantine Empire is its military. Starting with manpower, the empire would possess a huge 1,834,650 active-duty personnel which would give it the 4th largest force in the world, even larger than some other formidable militaries like North Korea (1,280,000 troops) and Russia (1,014,000 troops), but slightly smaller than the United States (1,388,100 troops) and India (1,455,550 troops)'s numbers. In addition to this, it would also possess an extra 1,147,350 troops placed in reserves bringing its army to a total of 2,982,000.

The budget to fund this enormous military would also be staggering, standing at around $64.01 Billion, or 1.4% of the empire's entire Nominal GDP. This would be enough to place it as the 5th highest budget in the world, larger than either Saudi Arabia ($61.9 Billion) or France's ($50.1 Billion) budgets, but smaller than Russia ($65.1 Billion) and India's ($71.1 Billion).

A reunited Byzantine Empire may also possess Nuclear weapons, inheriting all of Israel's apparent arsenal of what is said to be between 80 and 400 warheads, which would roughly be the amount of nukes at its disposal too.

Overall, if it were to reunite today, it seems like the Byzantine Empire would definitely become a very powerful country, one with enough strength to maybe even rival India or Russia. And with a military the size of North Korea's and an economy around the size of Germany's it may even possibly achieve Global Superpower status. However, this definitely wouldn't be easy to work towards mainly due to a few factors like its noticeably poverty and the growing instability from the east of the empire with countries like Syria being filled with terrorists. The rest of the empire's future would be practically impossible to accurately predict but as always, any theory can be possible. Another big problem the Byzantines would face however would be who to rule the country and in my opinion, the only people capable of handling such a task would be none other than The Quadruple Alliance, themselves! Anyway, here are the voting options for this vote:

Brazilian Empire | A united CANZUK | Confederate States of America | Qing Dynasty

And finally, that brings us to the end of this part of the series. If you have any other new suggestions for any empires you want me to cover, that I have not yet, then please let me know in the comments. But for now, I would like to thank you all so much for reading and goodbye! :)
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Level 63
Nov 25, 2021
Voting has ended! The request to unite the CANZUK Federation has won with 6 votes. Here are the final standings:

A united CANZUK | 6 votes | 1st Place

Confederate States of America | 5 votes | 2nd Place

Brazilian Empire | 3 votes | 3rd Place

Qing Dynasty | 1 vote | 4th Place

+2
Level 68
Nov 21, 2021
First! lol

Amazing blog, like all the others in the series! :D

My vote goes to the CSA (MG please don't kill me)

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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
Thanks a lot lol! And I'll add your vote to the polls :)

I'm sure MG won't be that harsh on you lol

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Level 43
Nov 21, 2021
Yeah. You don’t know me.
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Level 43
Nov 21, 2021
*casually gets a gun (LEGAL) from my dad*
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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
says : Legal

reality : Illegal

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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
No. It is legal.
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Level 48
Nov 21, 2021
Second, do Brazilian empire
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
I'll add that to the polls lol :)
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Level 60
Nov 21, 2021
Third! CSA. Like the other blogs, this one is amazing.
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Level 52
Nov 21, 2021
Fourth!

👏 👏 👏 👏

CSA!

I’m trying to keep this comment compact. I may have to use the emergency word to describe this series

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Level 43
Nov 21, 2021
No. CSA won’t be promoted to Serie A (I think). One more year of Serie B together with CRB. This mean, second. While the first is Brazilian Empire :)
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
@MiecraftMan, Thanks a lot! I'll add your vote to the polls :)

@ZooTuber, Yes lol. Even in one day I already have 30 notifications. I'll add your vote to the polls :)

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Level 65
Nov 21, 2021
Adzail! Amku akul ciribatolida l'ak ika bahaci vi lo-Pakarilba! Icodzo pokovale udzo-ye bahacikodzu! Kã ici blog va cer gori! Lan Bidzantininur ve ak gori garadzi, kã satonale cer k'hai. Vava cer iciril ha ikunaikohate! Pasone midzo-ye lan caticikur.

Kãi, kaibona kulai KONDZRU.

Can you understand that lol?

I vel'lekusatone, ic'ya'k paca!

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Level 43
Nov 21, 2021
Sir, there isn’t this option on the poll. Wait, this means Brazil, so... :)
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Level 65
Nov 21, 2021
Try to translate it lol!
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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
Hmm Google gave me this. I suspect it doesn't speak Naturian.
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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
Adzail! Amku akul ciribatolida l'ak ika bahaci vi lo-Pakarilba! What a wonderful way to screw people over! Kã ichi blog va cer gori! Lan Bidzantininur ve ak gori garadzi, kã satonale cer k'hai. Vava cer iciril ha ikunaikohate! Pasone midzo-ye lan caticikur.

Kãi, kaibona kulai KONDZRU.

Can you understand that lol?

I vel'lekusatone, ic'ya'k paca!

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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
It thinks it's a language called Nyanja
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Level 60
Nov 21, 2021
idk I tried in Telugu then it said translate from Nyanja so I tried that but it didn’t translate. I think it’s Naturian.
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Level 65
Nov 21, 2021
Yes lol

Translation: Fifth! My first comment in another language will be in Naturian! Now you can't use translator! But this blog is very great! The Byzantines were a great empire, but I don't know much about them. It would be very interesting if they reunited! I liked seeing the statistics.

Anyway, I want CANZUK.

And I almost forgot, here is a song!

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Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
Naturian is very difficult to understand. Aficionadoan is easy to understand and speak and hence can be proclaimed as the new "global language".

Sabba specst Aficiobaasaa! Aficiobaasaa ist badi osan ift tu specst Ingles, Dwitsches, Sanskrit, Hindbaasaa, Urdes arre todal Pulikates. Asli ich ilan i'lig konstruksui baasaa hus di srasanik baasaa!

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Level 65
Nov 22, 2021
Pakarilba va maina! Lo-Pakarilba van bahinur k'Angalba, k'Andzaralba, k'Indzulba, i k'Isupalba! Lalagoha-cul dzaxa kodzova ayi lan bahacinur xi ha-kontriboha. Kã pasona Apicilba ika :)

Translation: Naturian is better! In Naturian there is English, Telugu, Hindi, and Spanish! It only looks hard because of all the languages that contribute to it. But I like Aficionadoan too :)

+3
Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
Let's make both global languages and topple the superiority of English! All who support me and Thread, say aye or ysui (Aficionadoan term for yes) or ahi (Naturian term for yes)!
+2
Level 65
Nov 22, 2021
Ahi! Ysui!

Ahi is yes in Naturian

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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
Quí trem-di-doido é êssi sô!
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol good thing I didn't have to translate it on my own because I would spend literally five hours continuously on my PC trying to decipher Naturian lol.

@Thread, I'll add your vote to the polls :)

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Level 52
Nov 22, 2021
cr z supr 2 ol conlangd
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Level 43
Nov 21, 2021
Brazilian Empire. Just that. And as Thread said, “Baptiste and BGG in the same day, is the best thing of the world” :)

Incredible. Just incredible.

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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
+1
+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol thanks MG! I'll add your vote to the polls :)
+1
Level 71
Nov 21, 2021
CSA
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
I'll add that to the polls :)
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Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
Ugh CANZUK will never get a blog....

I'll go for...Brazilian Empire.

Sorry MiecraftMan

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Level 65
Nov 21, 2021
No, GO CANZUK!
+2
Level 15
Nov 21, 2021
Yes GO CANZUK! They get my vote!
+2
Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
The one time I don't vote for CANZUK and suddenly everyone is voting for them!
+3
Level 73
Nov 21, 2021
Psst, McKenzie! Change your vote. It is allowed to change your vote even on the last day.
+2
Level 63
Nov 21, 2021
Ok vote changed to CANZUK.
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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
Don’t make these stupids change your life. Now you are gonna buy a horse? Paint you house of green? Sleep with suit and tie?
+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol that's 3 more votes for CANZUK (Sorry MG) :)
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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
Once you vote, you cannot change it. Does it happen on the Election for President? No. So, McKenzie vote is for Brazilian Empire.
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
I'm sorry MG, but that is allowed here lol. You just can't change your vote too many times. McKenzie just changed their vote once so It's fine.
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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
I was waiting for some answer agreeing with me, but at the same time I was doing a joke for get votes for Brazilian Empire lol
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Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
Geweldige blog! Omdat ik bijna geen woorden meer heb om in het Engels te zeggen, heb ik in het Nederlands geschreven.

Copied that from Translate, not sure if that is correct.

For the first time the comment section on a BGG blog is so dynamic! I think I'd go for CANZUK. :)

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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol thanks a lot! I believe that language is Dutch? I'll add your vote to the polls :)
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Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
Yes, it is! Though CANZUK is a boring option, the other options (except Brazilian Empire lol) are even more boring!!
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Lol I'm starting to run out of empires to do so I couldn't really think of any more interesting ones.
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Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
Does it mean that this series will end soon? 😟
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Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Oh no lol, of course it won't! This series is probably going to go on until either I completely run out of empires or I just decide to stop it. As long as all of you want the series to keep going, it will lol. After all, I could always get some suggestions of empires from you guys lol ;)
+1
Level 65
Nov 22, 2021
By the time you run out of empires, there will already be new countries lol
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Level 73
Nov 22, 2021
You can do continents after the empires and add my flags as thumbnails. Then, onwards to planets lol.

What if the Earth Reunited Today?

+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
@Thread, I know right lol ;)

@Aficionado, That's actually not a bad idea lol. But I'm definitely going to have to change it the blog titles permanently to "What if ___ United Today?" lol :)

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Level 65
Nov 22, 2021
Also where's the vote displayer lol
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Level 43
Nov 22, 2021
Gato comeu. :)

(That’s actually a Brazilian joke, and it keeps, keeps, keeps...)

E o gato só vai vomitar regurgitar, se vocês votarem pelo Império Brasileiro. AVE IMPÉRIO!

+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
@Thread, I'll do it now lol :)
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Level 60
Nov 23, 2021
If you do ever run out you could continue Yako’s DOTJE series.
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Level 63
Nov 23, 2021
That's a good idea but I don't think I'll do that since the idea isn't really mine. I'll try and think about what to really do but I can definitely assure you that I'm not going to run out of ideas anytime soon :)
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Level 59
May 22, 2022
A DOTJE series would be cool, although they are changing pretty frequently so it would be hard...
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Level 63
May 23, 2022
Yes, that's true.
+3
Level 37
Nov 22, 2021
Awesome blog! I'm going with Brazilian empire again.
+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
Thanks! I'll add your vote to the polls soon :)
+2
Level 15
Nov 22, 2021
I vote CANZUK. It would be interesting to see how the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand's statistics would be together.
+1
Level 63
Nov 22, 2021
I'll add that to the polls :)
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Level 73
Nov 24, 2021
I can already predict the stats of CANZUK lol.

With a humongous area of 18 million km2, it would become the largest country. It would have a population of around 136 million.

With its capital at London and the official language being English. There's certainly no doubt about it. The Head of State will be the Queen, as she is already ruling over these "realms". The demographics: mostly English and Irish, some Scottish and Welsh as well. A huge South Asian population and relatively smaller East Asian one. Africans too! And lastly, others like the Maori, Australian and Canadian first nations.

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Level 63
Nov 24, 2021
Oh lol!
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Level 40
Nov 22, 2021
my vote goes to= qing dynasty
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Level 63
Nov 23, 2021
I'll add that to the polls :)
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Level 43
Nov 23, 2021
Thai sua traídora!
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Level 63
Nov 23, 2021
Lol!
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Level 40
Nov 23, 2021
oq foi
+1
Level 40
Nov 23, 2021
eu tinha recomendado pra ele fazer um blog sobre qing dynasty
+2
Level 43
Nov 23, 2021
If they reunited, I would definitely say, they would probably be top 3 in power potentially behind USA and China. This would probably one of the most powerful historic empires if it came back today compared to others like the Holy Roman.
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Level 59
Nov 23, 2021
i vote CANZUK bc idk what that is
+1
Level 63
Nov 24, 2021
I'll add that to the polls :)
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Level 40
Nov 24, 2021
According to Wikipedia:

CANZUK is an acronym for a proposed alliance comprising Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as part of an international organisation or confederation similar in scope to the former European Economic Community.[5] This includes increased trade, foreign policy co-operation, military co-operation and mobility of citizens between the four states, tied together by speaking English.[6] The idea is lobbied by the advocacy group CANZUK International[7] and largely supported by British conservatives.[8] Other supporters include think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute,[9] the Henry Jackson Society,[10] Bruges Group[11] and politicians from the four countries.

+1
Level 59
Nov 26, 2021
thx
+2
Level 54
Nov 25, 2021
Confederate States of America!
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Level 63
Nov 25, 2021
I'll add that final vote to the polls before it closes :)
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Level 25
Nov 26, 2021
Didn't Constantinople fall in 1453? You wrote 1461
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Level 63
Nov 26, 2021
Yes, I think you are right. I will fix the mistake now.
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Level 68
Nov 26, 2021
Great Quiz! For the largest cities, what about Tel Aviv, Tunis, Athens, or Casablanca
+1
Level 63
Nov 26, 2021
I'm going by urban area with the population so Athens, Tel Aviv and Tunis all have populations that are smaller than Rome's so are not on the top 10 and the Byzantines didn't effectively control Casablanca at its peak.