The Most Important Leaders in World History

451k votes 43k voters 1.4M views 413 items tags f p @
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!
Collection Photo:  Pete Souza - White House
  • 409 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 7,220
    - 5,082

    most listed

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  2. 2
    + 7,248
    - 5,204


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  3. 3
    + 3,229
    - 2,077


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  4. 4
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    - 5,660


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  5. 5
    + 758
    - 528

    added by TammyWakefieldLaughlin

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  6. 6
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    - 228
    Thomas Paine is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    added by j.aureliazenobia
    Thomas Paine

  7. 7
    + 265
    - 96

    added by hug05612736

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  8. 8
    + 449
    - 953

    the people's #1 & added by thedonnyt

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  9. 9
    + 5,839
    - 4,281


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  10. 10
    + 6,234
    - 5,299


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  11. 11
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    - 3,961


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  12. 12
    + 5,435
    - 4,434


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  13. 13
    + 2,786
    - 1,989


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  14. 14
    + 5,970
    - 4,588


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  15. 15
    + 4,168
    - 3,537

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

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  16. 16
    + 2,909
    - 1,760

    ranked low on reranks

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  17. 17
    + 595
    - 452


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  18. 18
    + 4,616
    - 4,047


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  19. 19
    + 215
    - 91

    added by hug05612736

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  20. 20
    + 7,633
    - 5,665


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  21. 21
    + 4,047
    - 3,662

    often listed & added by Polar Bear

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  22. 22
    + 208
    - 105

    often listed & added by StacyWolfe

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  23. 23
    + 2,584
    - 1,781

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

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  24. 24
    + 267
    - 61
    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by Noahs Ark
    Martin Luther

  25. 25
    + 9,655
    - 5,245


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  26. 26
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    - 3,458

    often listed

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  27. 27
    + 2,257
    - 1,722


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  28. 28
    + 5,624
    - 4,265


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  29. 29
    + 1,856
    - 1,308

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

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  30. 30
    + 1,326
    - 913

    added by Florenc

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  31. 31
    + 1,878
    - 1,528


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  32. 32
    + 1,730
    - 1,531

    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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  33. 33
    + 1,811
    - 1,540

    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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  34. 34
    + 1,082
    - 828

    added by sebbzor

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  35. 35
    + 721
    - 392

    ranked low on reranks

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  36. 36
    + 2,290
    - 2,242

    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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  37. 37
    + 153
    - 52

    added by hug05612736

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  38. 38
    + 357
    - 176
    Moses is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History


    Moses

  39. 39
    + 6,098
    - 5,142


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  40. 40
    + 3,209
    - 2,180

    ranked low on reranks

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  41. 41
    + 1,009
    - 867

    often listed & added by mikado

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  42. 42
    + 2,158
    - 1,588

    added by kismarton0707

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  43. 43
    + 2,176
    - 2,917

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  44. 44
    + 600
    - 330

    ranked low on reranks & added by mainpleine

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  45. 45
    + 2,701
    - 2,271


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  46. 46
    + 2,384
    - 1,757

    added by ozgursuer
    The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

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  47. 47
    + 1,539
    - 1,296


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  48. 48
    + 1,215
    - 1,121

    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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  49. 49
    + 1,163
    - 1,021

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

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  50. 50
    + 951
    - 447
    Hazrat Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Important Leaders in World History

    ranked low on reranks & added by MuhammadAsad
    Hazrat Muhammad

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