The Most Important Leaders in World History

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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
    + 7,947
    - 5,451

    the people's #1 & most listed

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  2. 2
    + 5,984
    - 5,032


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  3. 3
    + 5,213
    - 4,232


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  4. 4
    + 6,711
    - 4,828
    George Washington is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    George Washington

  5. 5
    + 5,767
    - 4,373


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  6. 6
    + 3,999
    - 3,347

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

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  7. 7
    + 4,277
    - 3,830


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  8. 8
    + 4,474
    - 3,876
    Elizabeth I of England is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Elizabeth I of England

  9. 9
    + 3,903
    - 3,487

    added by Polar Bear

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  10. 10
    + 3,571
    - 3,317

    often listed

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  11. 11
    + 7,301
    - 5,489


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  12. 12
    + 6,805
    - 4,994


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  13. 13
    + 5,771
    - 4,670
    Winston Churchill is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Winston Churchill

  14. 14
    + 9,254
    - 5,066
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

  15. 15
    + 2,449
    - 1,655
    Peter the Great is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

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

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  16. 16
    + 2,195
    - 2,139

    often listed & added by Polar Bear
    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.

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  17. 17
    + 5,497
    - 4,121


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  18. 18
    + 5,391
    - 4,134


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  19. 19
    + 2,921
    - 1,906
    Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Thomas Jefferson

  20. 20
    + 1,612
    - 1,447

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

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  21. 21
    + 2,724
    - 1,659


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  22. 22
    + 2,552
    - 1,855
    John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    John F. Kennedy

  23. 23
    + 2,020
    - 2,530

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  24. 24
    + 1,708
    - 1,460

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

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  25. 25
    + 1,772
    - 1,461
    Alfred the Great is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Alfred the Great

  26. 26
    + 2,077
    - 1,671


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  27. 27
    + 1,732
    - 1,227

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

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  28. 28
    + 939
    - 783

    added by mikado

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  29. 29
    + 3,091
    - 2,100


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  30. 30
    + 2,052
    - 1,525

    added by kismarton0707

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  31. 31
    + 2,629
    - 2,201


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  32. 32
    + 1,165
    - 1,051

    added by Polar Bear
    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, the North German Confederation

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  33. 33
    + 1,130
    - 956

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

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  34. 34
    + 1,485
    - 1,245
    Pericles is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Pericles

  35. 35
    + 929
    - 752
    Catherine the Great is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    added by sebbzor
    Catherine the Great

  36. 36
    + 1,740
    - 1,905
    Vladimir Putin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    often listed & added by Peckerwar
    Vladimir Putin

  37. 37
    + 701
    - 682

    added by mikado

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  38. 38
    + 2,287
    - 1,696

    added by ozgursuer
    The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

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  39. 39
    + 1,306
    - 1,129


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  40. 40
    + 1,187
    - 1,170


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  41. 41
    + 801
    - 854

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

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  42. 42
    + 1,242
    - 1,901
    Mao Zedong is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mao Zedong

  43. 43
    + 741
    - 816

    often listed & added by Polar Bear
    Great Ostrogothic king, defeated Italian king Odoacer. Temporary united Ostrogoths and Visigoths.

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  44. 44
    + 602
    - 336

    ranked low on reranks

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  45. 45
    + 1,858
    - 1,651
    Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Franklin D. Roosevelt

  46. 46
    + 388
    - 314

    added by Polar Bear
    Definitely stopped the Arab invasion of Europe by his victory in the Battle of Tours in 732.

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  47. 47
    + 772
    - 558

    added by Polar Bear

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  48. 48
    + 798
    - 571

    added by mikado

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  49. 49
    + 479
    - 534
    Oliver Cromwell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    often listed & added by sebbzor
    Oliver Cromwell

  50. 50
    + 8,489
    - 18,128

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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