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!
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  1. 1
    Up 3421
    Down 2398

    most listed Alexander The Great

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  2. 2
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    Down 1844

    100

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  3. 3
    Up 2709
    Down 1881

    1732

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  4. 4
    Up 2319
    Down 2048

    1769

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  5. 5
    Up 3207
    Down 1944

    1809

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  6. 6
    Up 1779
    Down 1484

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  7. 7
    Up 3237
    Down 2171

    1869

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  8. 8
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    Down 1452

    742

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  9. 9
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    added by Polar Bear Joan of Arc Turned the tide in the Hundred Years' War. Was burned by the British suppressors. French national heroine.

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  10. 10
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    Down 842

    added by DaleGribble 1815 Lead to the unification of Germany in 1871, and first chancellor of the German Empire.

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  11. 11
    Up 2602
    Down 1867

    1874

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  12. 12
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    ranked low on reranks 1881

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  13. 13
    Up 2523
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    Martin Luther King Jr.

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  14. 14
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    Down 1366

    often listed 1533

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  15. 15
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    Down 1729

    1918

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  16. 16
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    1028

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  17. 17
    Up 2528
    Down 2515

    1889

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  18. 18
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    ranked low on reranks 1743

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  19. 19
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    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.

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  20. 20
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    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.

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  21. 21
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    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.

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  22. 22
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    Down 947

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1878

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  23. 23
    Up 1200
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    ranked low on reranks 1706

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  24. 24
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    Down 1153

    ranked low on reranks Sultan Mehmed II

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  25. 25
    Up 1466
    Down 1219

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  26. 26
    Up 1114
    Down 751

    1917

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  27. 27
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    Down 364

    added by Polar Bear 1672 Important Russian Tsar from 1682 - 1721, enforced the Europeanisation of Russia. Maybe the greatest Tsar ever.

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  28. 28
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    Down 443

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

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  29. 29
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    272

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  30. 30
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    849

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  31. 31
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    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,

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  32. 32
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    added by ozgursuer Suleyman The Magnificent The Shadow of God and The Great Khan

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  33. 33
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    added by kismarton0707 atilla the hun

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  34. 34
    Up 1074
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    1882

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  35. 35
    Up 771
    Down 715

    495

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  36. 36
    Up 112
    Down 83

    added by mikado Nebuchadnezzar II

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  37. 37
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    1952

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  38. 38
    Up 332
    Down 288

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

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  39. 39
    Up 1627
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    ranked low on reranks

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  40. 40
    Up 628
    Down 606

    1819

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  41. 41
    Up 313
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    added by Polar Bear Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Great Habsburg king and emperor, established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain.

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  42. 42
    Up 629
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1893

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  43. 43
    Up 439
    Down 357

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

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  44. 44
    Up 914
    Down 932

    added by AkbarAliParyani UMAR IBN AL KHATTAB

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  45. 45
    Up 485
    Down 331

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

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  46. 46
    Up 457
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    added by Polar Bear Philip II of Macedon

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  47. 47
    Up 258
    Down 143

    added by Polar Bear 121

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  48. 48
    Up 381
    Down 209

    added by Florenc Mother Teresa

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  49. 49
    Up 736
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    1792

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  50. 50
    Up 412
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    added by Polar Bear T. E. Lawrence of Arabia British Army officer, led the Arabian revolt against the Ottoman suppressors.

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