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!
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 209 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 8,017
    - 5,491

    the people's #1 & most listed

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  2. 2
    + 6,028
    - 5,067


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  3. 3
    + 5,254
    - 4,261


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  4. 4
    + 6,763
    - 4,859


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  5. 5
    + 5,802
    - 4,403


    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,025
    - 3,375

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

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  7. 7
    + 4,304
    - 3,850


    ;
  8. 8
    + 4,493
    - 3,906


    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,926
    - 3,519

    added by Polar Bear

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  10. 10
    + 3,587
    - 3,340

    often listed

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  11. 11
    + 7,372
    - 5,517


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  12. 12
    + 6,856
    - 5,016


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  13. 13
    + 5,819
    - 4,700


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  14. 14
    + 9,312
    - 5,091


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  15. 15
    + 2,204
    - 2,155

    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.

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,461
    - 1,676

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

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  17. 17
    + 5,544
    - 4,136


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  18. 18
    + 5,443
    - 4,153


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  19. 19
    + 2,946
    - 1,919


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  20. 20
    + 1,623
    - 1,459

    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
    + 2,747
    - 1,670


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  22. 22
    + 2,580
    - 1,874


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  23. 23
    + 2,040
    - 2,550

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  24. 24
    + 1,716
    - 1,469

    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
    + 1,786
    - 1,468


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  26. 26
    + 2,090
    - 1,677


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  27. 27
    + 1,741
    - 1,237

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

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  28. 28
    + 949
    - 796

    added by mikado

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  29. 29
    + 3,119
    - 2,111


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  30. 30
    + 2,073
    - 1,532

    added by kismarton0707

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  31. 31
    + 2,639
    - 2,210


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  32. 32
    + 1,169
    - 1,061

    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
    + 1,136
    - 964

    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
    + 1,498
    - 1,250


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  35. 35
    + 941
    - 756

    added by sebbzor

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  36. 36
    + 1,763
    - 1,939

    often listed & added by Peckerwar

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  37. 37
    + 2,309
    - 1,701

    added by ozgursuer
    The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

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  38. 38
    + 707
    - 687

    added by mikado

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  39. 39
    + 1,313
    - 1,135


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  40. 40
    + 1,202
    - 1,175


    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,258
    - 1,912

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

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  42. 42
    + 802
    - 861

    often listed & 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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  43. 43
    + 744
    - 820

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

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  44. 44
    + 613
    - 340

    ranked low on reranks

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  45. 45
    + 1,885
    - 1,657


    ;
  46. 46
    + 781
    - 562

    added by Polar Bear

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  47. 47
    + 394
    - 321

    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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  48. 48
    + 812
    - 576

    added by mikado

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  49. 49
    + 488
    - 541

    often listed & added by sebbzor

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  50. 50
    + 8,536
    - 18,159

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
412 +

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