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!
  • 142 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 3690
    - 2569

    most listed Alexander The Great

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2521
    - 2186

    Died at 52 (1769-1821)

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3477
    - 2065

    ranked low on reranks Died at 56 (1809-1865)

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 2931
    - 2039

    Died at 67 (1732-1799)

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2721
    - 1957

    Died at 56 (99 BC-43 BC)

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 3503
    - 2312

    Died at 79 (1869-1948)

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1927
    - 1603
    ) open
  8. 8
    + 5823
    - 2562

    ranked low on reranks Died at 57 (1881-1938)

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1175
    - 950

    added by DaleGribble Died at 83 (1815-1898) Lead to the unification of Germany in 1871, and first chancellor of the German Empire.

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 2803
    - 1976

    Died at 91 (1874-1965)

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1125
    - 914

    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
  12. 12
    + 1627
    - 1556
    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1608
    - 1457

    Died at 70 (1533-1603)

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 2743
    - 1764

    ranked low on reranks Martin Luther King Jr.

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1200
    - 1122

    often listed Died at 59 (1028-1087)

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 2745
    - 1836

    ranked low on reranks Died at 95 (1918-2013)

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 2778
    - 2717

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Died at 56 (1889-1945)

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1294
    - 830

    Died at 83 (1743-1826)

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 1295
    - 770

    ranked low on reranks Died at 84 (1706-1790)

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 631
    - 686

    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
  21. 21
    + 1230
    - 835

    Died at 46 (1917-1963)

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 692
    - 427

    added by Polar Bear Died at 53 (1672-1725) Important Russian Tsar from 1682 - 1721, enforced the Europeanisation of Russia. Maybe the greatest Tsar ever.

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 2020
    - 1212

    Sultan Mehmed II

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 628
    - 550

    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
    + 847
    - 1059

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Died at 75 (1878-1953)

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1569
    - 1272
    ) open
  27. 27
    + 428
    - 430

    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
    + 1222
    - 730

    ranked low on reranks & added by kismarton0707 atilla the hun

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 1295
    - 887

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

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 685
    - 495

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

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 1053
    - 1047

    Died at 65 (272-337)

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 831
    - 691

    Died at 50 (849-899)

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 547
    - 491

    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
    + 1162
    - 919

    Died at 63 (1882-1945)

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 1699
    - 1104

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 694
    - 656

    Died at 82 (1819-1901)

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 468
    - 275

    added by Florenc Mother Teresa

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 808
    - 757

    Died at 66 (494 BC-428 BC)

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 482
    - 398

    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
    + 299
    - 184

    added by Polar Bear Died at 59 (121-180)

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 357
    - 332

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

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 144
    - 122

    added by mikado Nebuchadnezzar II

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 760
    - 874
    ) open
  44. 44
    + 523
    - 370

    ranked low on reranks & added by Polar Bear Eric the Red Great viking explorer. Founded the first European settlement in Greenland.

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 686
    - 1079

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Died at 83 (1893-1976)

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 777
    - 740

    Died at 42 (1791 BC-1749 BC)

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 486
    - 341

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

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 337
    - 358

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

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 346
    - 340

    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
  50. 50
    + 460
    - 420

    added by Polar Bear T. E. Lawrence of Arabia British Army officer, led the Arabian revolt against the Ottoman suppressors.

    ) open
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