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!

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  1. 1
    + 4012
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    the people's #1 & most listed Alexander The Great

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2717
    - 2374

    Ajaccio, France

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3148
    - 2174

    Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 2913
    - 2100

    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 3709
    - 2235

    Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 3839
    - 2502

    Porbandar, India

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 2095
    - 1769
    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1782
    - 1714

    Francia

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1335
    - 1118

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 3065
    - 2147

    Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1256
    - 1071

    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
  12. 12
    + 6109
    - 2746

    ranked low on reranks Thessaloniki, Greece

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1752
    - 1583

    often listed Palace of Placentia, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 3010
    - 1901

    ranked low on reranks Martin Luther King Jr.

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1326
    - 1251

    often listed Château de Falaise, Falaise, France

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 3019
    - 1979

    ranked low on reranks Mvezo, South Africa

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 3021
    - 2931

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1411
    - 909

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 719
    - 824

    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
    + 1425
    - 865

    Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 2162
    - 1337

    Sultan Mehmed II

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 985
    - 1225

    often listed Gori, Georgia

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1364
    - 924

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

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 706
    - 643

    often listed & 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
    + 780
    - 505

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

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 504
    - 531

    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
  27. 27
    + 1729
    - 1380
    ) open
  28. 28
    + 1455
    - 996

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 1130
    - 1105
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 900
    - 746

    Wantage, United Kingdom

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 759
    - 580

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 1315
    - 823

    added by kismarton0707 atilla the hun

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 589
    - 548

    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
    + 1248
    - 1017

    Hyde Park, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 888
    - 804

    Athens, Greece

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 202
    - 181

    added by mikado Nebuchadnezzar II

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 1760
    - 1191

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 752
    - 717

    Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 583
    - 375

    added by Florenc Mother Teresa

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 528
    - 453

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

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 856
    - 984

    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 748
    - 1165

    often listed Shaoshan, China

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 352
    - 229

    added by Polar Bear Rome, Italy

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 390
    - 380

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 175
    - 158

    added by mikado Rome, Italy

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 385
    - 386

    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
  47. 47
    + 552
    - 380

    ranked low on reranks & added by Polar Bear Philip II of Macedon

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 228
    - 186

    added by sebbzor Huntingdon, United Kingdom

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 372
    - 403

    added by Polar Bear Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Great Habsburg king and emperor, established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain.

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 819
    - 789

    Iraq, Babylon

    ) open
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