The Indian subcontinent has been unified numerous times in recorded history, however the only time it has been fully unified have been under the rule of the British Raj (British colonial rule) and he current Indian republic ( excluding Pakistan and Bangladesh). The other empires to successfully control large portions of what is now know as India have been the Moghul Empire and The Mauryan Empire. The unification processes were very similar to those that occurred in China and the Near Eastern empires, for the primary reason being that all the unification processes involved some form of conquest or warfare. The unification processes were also similar, due to the fact that in each case the resulting empires or states were all united by similar cultures. They shared similar languages and religious beliefs (in the case of India, Hinduism or its derivatives) and had a shared political history.