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
    + 7,932
    - 5,446
    Alexander The Great is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

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

  2. 2
    + 5,976
    - 5,024


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  3. 3
    + 5,203
    - 4,226


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  4. 4
    + 6,699
    - 4,820
    George Washington is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    George Washington

  5. 5
    + 5,756
    - 4,369


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  6. 6
    + 3,996
    - 3,338

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

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  7. 7
    + 4,268
    - 3,825
    Charlemagne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Charlemagne

  8. 8
    + 4,471
    - 3,868
    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
    + 3,899
    - 3,476

    added by Polar Bear

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  10. 10
    + 3,567
    - 3,311

    often listed

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  11. 11
    + 7,290
    - 5,481


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  12. 12
    + 6,796
    - 4,987


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  13. 13
    + 5,763
    - 4,659


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  14. 14
    + 9,228
    - 5,057


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  15. 15
    + 2,446
    - 1,648

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

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  16. 16
    + 2,192
    - 2,133

    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
    + 5,487
    - 4,117


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  18. 18
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    - 4,127


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  19. 19
    + 2,918
    - 1,900
    Thomas Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Thomas Jefferson

  20. 20
    + 1,610
    - 1,441

    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
    + 2,719
    - 1,656

    ranked low on reranks

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  22. 22
    + 2,546
    - 1,850
    John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    John F. Kennedy

  23. 23
    + 2,011
    - 2,523

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  24. 24
    + 1,703
    - 1,455

    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
    + 1,770
    - 1,457
    Alfred the Great is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Alfred the Great

  26. 26
    + 1,731
    - 1,222

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

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  27. 27
    + 2,071
    - 1,668


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  28. 28
    + 937
    - 779

    added by mikado

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  29. 29
    + 3,082
    - 2,096

    ranked low on reranks

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  30. 30
    + 2,047
    - 1,521
    Attila the Hun is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    added by kismarton0707
    Attila the Hun

  31. 31
    + 2,623
    - 2,197


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  32. 32
    + 1,163
    - 1,047

    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
    + 1,126
    - 952

    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
    + 1,481
    - 1,242
    Pericles is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Pericles

  35. 35
    + 926
    - 748
    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
    + 1,734
    - 1,900
    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
    + 699
    - 677

    added by mikado

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  38. 38
    + 2,281
    - 1,693

    added by ozgursuer
    The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

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  39. 39
    + 1,303
    - 1,126


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  40. 40
    + 1,184
    - 1,166


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  41. 41
    + 800
    - 849

    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
    + 1,238
    - 1,897
    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
    + 738
    - 812

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

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  44. 44
    + 598
    - 333

    ranked low on reranks

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  45. 45
    + 1,855
    - 1,645
    Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Franklin D. Roosevelt

  46. 46
    + 385
    - 311

    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
    + 767
    - 554

    added by Polar Bear

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  48. 48
    + 796
    - 564

    added by mikado

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  49. 49
    + 476
    - 530

    often listed & added by sebbzor

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  50. 50
    + 8,484
    - 18,123

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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