The Most Important Leaders in World History Politicians
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The Most Important Leaders in World History

List Criteria: Remember: "most important" doesn't necessarily mean "best."

For good or for bad, our leaders can be powerful forces for change in the world. But who are the most impaction people to ever hold prominent positions of power? This is a list of the most important and influential leaders in the history of the world.

Who are the most important world leaders? Anyone can vote on this definitive list of the men and women who shaped our civilization – for better or worse – making it a collaborative list of the greatest leaders of all time.

Visionaries, pragmatists, conquerors, and humanitarians all share this list. Rank these famous world leaders in terms of importance and add anyone you see missing. But remember: the most influential leaders (those who changed the face of world politics and forever altered their own countries) weren't necessarily good leaders. Some famous conquerors changed the world but let destruction in their wake. Others actually worked for the good of their people and became the great leaders in history.

So, who are the historical leaders that left their permanent mark (for good or bad)? Find out below!

  • 153 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 4240
    - 2878

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Alexander The Great

  2. 2
    + 2836
    - 2480


    Ajaccio, France

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3290
    - 2261


    Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 3033
    - 2178


    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 3848
    - 2350


    Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2234
    - 1840
    ) open
  7. 7
    + 4033
    - 2667


    Porbandar, India

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1908
    - 1787


    Francia

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1458
    - 1192

    added by DaleGribble
    Schönhausen, Germany Lead to the unification of Germany in 1871, and first chancellor of the German Empire.

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 3202
    - 2266


    Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1867
    - 1647


    Palace of Placentia, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1360
    - 1148

    often listed & added by Polar Bear
    Joan of Arc Turned the tide in the Hundred Years' War. Was burned by the British suppressors. French national heroine.

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 6248
    - 2845


    Thessaloniki, Greece

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 3142
    - 2019

    ranked low on reranks
    Martin Luther King Jr.

  15. 15
    + 1423
    - 1313

    often listed
    Château de Falaise, Falaise, France

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 3155
    - 2086

    ranked low on reranks
    Mvezo, South Africa

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 3171
    - 3018

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Braunau am Inn, Austria

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1512
    - 948

    ranked low on reranks
    Shadwell, Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 796
    - 873

    often listed & added by Polar Bear
    Arminius Turned the tide in the endless wars for Germanic independence against the Roman suppressors with his great victory in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in the year 9.

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 868
    - 537

    added by Polar Bear
    Moscow, Russia Important Russian Tsar from 1682 - 1721, enforced the Europeanisation of Russia. Maybe the greatest Tsar ever.

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1522
    - 900

    ranked low on reranks
    Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 574
    - 558

    often listed & added by Polar Bear
    Otto I the Great, Holy Roman Emperor Great German King, stopped the Magyar invasion of Europe in 955. Founder of the Holy Roman Empire in 962.

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 2230
    - 1412


    Sultan Mehmed II

  24. 24
    + 767
    - 676

    added by Polar Bear
    Richard I. of England Great English king and Duke of Normandy in the 12th century, glorious crusader, scored much great victories against Muslim armies.

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 1438
    - 964

    ranked low on reranks
    Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1044
    - 1285

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Gori, Georgia

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 1808
    - 1449
    ) open
  28. 28
    + 1193
    - 1127
    ) open
  29. 29
    + 1385
    - 849

    added by kismarton0707
    atilla the hun

  30. 30
    + 1517
    - 1068

    added by ozgursuer
    Suleyman The Magnificent The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

  31. 31
    + 817
    - 603

    added by Polar Bear
    Leif Ericson Brave Viking explorer, discovered Vinland (America) in circa 1000 AD.

  32. 32
    + 949
    - 773


    Wantage, United Kingdom

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 622
    - 570

    added by Polar Bear
    William I., German Emperor Founder of the Second German Empire. Together with his Minister President Bismarck he united Prussia and the North-Western principalities to the North German Confederation in 1866. Five years later,

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 1298
    - 1060


    Hyde Park, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 927
    - 822


    Athens, Greece

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 234
    - 203

    added by mikado
    Nebuchadnezzar II

  37. 37
    + 1795
    - 1229

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 198
    - 177

    added by mikado
    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 634
    - 419

    added by Florenc
    Mother Teresa

  40. 40
    + 551
    - 476

    added by Polar Bear
    Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden Great Swedish king, turned the tide in the 30 years war for the protestant side.

  41. 41
    + 787
    - 746


    Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 915
    - 1039


    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 405
    - 400

    added by Polar Bear
    Theoderic the Great Great Ostrogothic king, defeated Italian king Odoacer. Temporary united Ostrogoths and Visigoths.

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 402
    - 402

    added by Polar Bear
    Dmitry Donskoy Defeated the Tatars at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. First step of the liberation of the Russian people from the Mongolic suppressors.

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 793
    - 1209

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Shaoshan, China

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 372
    - 246

    ranked low on reranks & added by Polar Bear
    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 848
    - 799


    Iraq, Babylon

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 242
    - 205

    added by sebbzor
    Huntingdon, United Kingdom

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 571
    - 392

    added by Polar Bear
    Philip II of Macedon

  50. 50
    + 592
    - 442

    added by Polar Bear
    Eric the Red Great viking explorer. Founded the first European settlement in Greenland.

    ) open
206 +

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