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!

  • 149 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 4195
    - 2859

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

  2. 2
    + 2821
    - 2461


    Ajaccio, France

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3017
    - 2158


    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 3252
    - 2251


    Virginia, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 3834
    - 2312


    Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2198
    - 1820
    ) open
  7. 7
    + 3998
    - 2623


    Porbandar, India

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1873
    - 1765


    Francia

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1422
    - 1171

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 3165
    - 2230


    Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1834
    - 1625

    often listed
    Palace of Placentia, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1327
    - 1124

    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
    + 6236
    - 2811


    Thessaloniki, Greece

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 3108
    - 1980

    ranked low on reranks
    Martin Luther King Jr.

  15. 15
    + 1391
    - 1290

    often listed
    Château de Falaise, Falaise, France

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 3127
    - 2047

    ranked low on reranks
    Mvezo, South Africa

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 3151
    - 3004

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1475
    - 941

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 762
    - 866

    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
    + 838
    - 527

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

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1495
    - 895


    Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 2224
    - 1385


    Sultan Mehmed II

  23. 23
    + 1040
    - 1274

    often listed
    Gori, Georgia

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 1424
    - 957


    Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 741
    - 671

    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
  26. 26
    + 540
    - 555

    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
    + 1802
    - 1416
    ) open
  28. 28
    + 1513
    - 1036

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

  29. 29
    + 1171
    - 1125
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 926
    - 770


    Wantage, United Kingdom

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 792
    - 601

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

  32. 32
    + 1374
    - 848

    ranked low on reranks & added by kismarton0707
    atilla the hun

  33. 33
    + 610
    - 568

    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
    + 1295
    - 1050


    Hyde Park, New York, United States of America

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 918
    - 822


    Athens, Greece

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 229
    - 201

    added by mikado
    Nebuchadnezzar II

  37. 37
    + 786
    - 742


    Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 1794
    - 1222

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 631
    - 412

    added by Florenc
    Mother Teresa

  40. 40
    + 548
    - 475

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

  41. 41
    + 792
    - 1204

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Shaoshan, China

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 193
    - 176

    added by mikado
    Rome, Italy

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 907
    - 1034


    Saint Petersburg, Russia

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 401
    - 399

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

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 370
    - 245

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

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 397
    - 401

    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
    + 569
    - 391

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

  48. 48
    + 844
    - 799


    Iraq, Babylon

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 380
    - 415

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

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 1074
    - 1096

    added by AkbarAliParyani
    UMAR IBN AL KHATTAB

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