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!

  • 144 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 3886
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    the people's #1 & most listed Alexander The Great

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2643
    - 2317

    Ajaccio, France

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 2854
    - 2052

    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 3644
    - 2173

    Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 3081
    - 2130

    Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 3706
    - 2417

    Porbandar, India

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 2018
    - 1698
    ) open
  8. 8
    + 2955
    - 2066

    Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1706
    - 1631

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Francia

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1259
    - 1047

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

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 5996
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    ranked low on reranks Thessaloniki, Greece

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1181
    - 1002

    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
    + 2895
    - 1826

    ranked low on reranks Martin Luther King Jr.

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 1677
    - 1534

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Palace of Placentia, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1256
    - 1193

    Château de Falaise, Falaise, France

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 2911
    - 1901

    ranked low on reranks Mvezo, South Africa

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 2953
    - 2865

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1356
    - 879

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 658
    - 752

    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
    + 1367
    - 826

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

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 910
    - 1141

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Gori, Georgia

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 2096
    - 1271

    Sultan Mehmed II

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1303
    - 892

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

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 651
    - 596

    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
    + 724
    - 469

    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
    + 1643
    - 1313
    ) open
  27. 27
    + 449
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    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
  28. 28
    + 1371
    - 935

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 1097
    - 1082
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  30. 30
    + 1282
    - 779

    added by kismarton0707 atilla the hun

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  31. 31
    + 705
    - 536

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

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 850
    - 724

    Wantage, United Kingdom

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 1216
    - 963

    Hyde Park, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 556
    - 528

    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
  35. 35
    + 549
    - 323

    added by Florenc Mother Teresa

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 1741
    - 1144
    ) open
  37. 37
    + 855
    - 784

    Athens, Greece

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  38. 38
    + 724
    - 696

    Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 503
    - 434

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

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 718
    - 1134

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Shaoshan, China

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 819
    - 947

    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 168
    - 159

    added by mikado Nebuchadnezzar II

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 323
    - 214

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 367
    - 363

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 803
    - 768

    Iraq, Babylon

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 523
    - 367

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

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  47. 47
    + 362
    - 371

    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
  48. 48
    + 153
    - 143

    added by mikado Rome, Italy

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 1007
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    added by AkbarAliParyani UMAR IBN AL KHATTAB

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 541
    - 405

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

    ) open
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