States with bigger populations conquered by states with lower populations

Aug 2018
182
America
#1
Some examples that come to my mind:
-The Western Roman Empire, conquered by the Goths
-Song China, conquered by the Mongols
-England, conquered by the Vikings and Normandy
-Achaemenid Empire, conquered by the Macedonians
-Ming China, conquered by the Manchu

I think it's clear that bigger populations don't always equate with higher military power.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,313
Dispargum
#2
Conquered? Or will you also accept defeated? Sweden under Gustavus Adolphus defeating Russia, Holy Roman Empire, and Poland would count, but perhaps only Poland was completely occupied by Sweden afterwards, and I'm not completely certain of that. Poland does seem to have had considerable independence despite Swedish occupation/annexation. But there's no arguing against Sweden as a minnow that swallowed whales.
 
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Aug 2018
182
America
#3
Conquered? Or will you also accept defeated? Sweden under Gustavus Adolphus defeating Russia, Holy Roman Empire, and Poland would count, but perhaps only Poland was completely occupied by Sweden afterwards, and I'm not completely certain of that. Poland does seem to have had considerable independence despite Swedish occupation/annexation. But there's no arguing against Sweden as a minnow that swallowed whales.
Bringing up defeats is also very interesting. Sweden would have very much conquered Poland under Charles XII had it not been for Russian intervention. And the Russians needed the help from the Danes and Prussians to wear down Sweden. However, I think an even more interesting case is Rurik and Oleg, who if I'm not wrong, created a state of some 1 million square kilometres and conquered virtually the whole of the eastern Slavs who had a bigger population than Sweden where the Rus' came from. Their descendants would later decimate the Khazars as well.
 
Likes: Futurist
Apr 2017
1,528
U.S.A.
#4
This would pretty much include every incident of barbarians conquering a state.
Moghuls conquering India.
Mongols conquering Russia, Persia, etc.
Huns conquering eastern Europe.
Vandals conquering north Africa.
Franks conquering Gaul.
British conquering India.
Dutch conquering east indies.
Lombards conquering Italy.
Arabs conquering middle east and north Africa.
Austria ruling its various territories.
Lithuania ruling much of Belarus and Ukraine.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,131
SoCal
#6
The Nazis conquered a huge part of the USSR in spite of them having a much smaller population than the USSR had. Ditto for Imperial Germany.
 
Aug 2018
182
America
#9
I can see how Panzer forgot how 1.400 spanish conquered 19.000.000 inhabitants....
That's not quite the same though. Spain's total population when counting not just Spain proper but also the Holy Roman Empire and Italy (and England even seeing how they were in a dynastic union thanks to Catherine of Aragon) numbered about the same population as Mexico.

Also, it was way more than 1,400. Try some 3,000 (1,400 would be the initial force of Cortés, before it got reinforced by another contingent of the same size from Cuba that was originally sent to arrest him but which came to ally with Cortés instead), who were basically mercenaries for Tlaxcalans who made up the bulk of the anti-Aztec army and even the army that invaded the Mayans.

Moreover, the Aztec kingdom proper, which is not Mexico as a whole, definitely had less population than the lands ruled by Charles V.
 
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