Greatest World Leader?

Posted by: General-Z

Greatest Leader of all time? None of the listed here are still alive.

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27 Total Votes
1

Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni, or simply the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Born in the Shakya republic in the Himalayan foothills, Gautama Buddha taught primarily in northeastern India.Bud... dha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one." "Buddha" is also used as a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha of our age.Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Sramana movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and account of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later   more
6 votes
1 comment
2

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party. He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler was at the centre of Nazi Germany, World War II in Europe, an... d the Holocaust.Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War I. He joined the German Workers' Party in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup in Munich to seize power. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf. After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. Hitler frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as being part of a Jewish conspiracy.Hitler's Nazi Party became the largest democratically elected party in the German Reichstag, leading to his appointment as chancellor in 1933. Following fresh elections won by his coalition, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France. His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the denunciation of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, and the annexation of territories that were home to millions of ethnic Germans, actions which gave him significant popular support   more
4 votes
1 comment
3

Other

The Other or constitutive Other is a key concept in continental philosophy; it opposes the Same. The Other refers, or attempts to refer, to that which is other than the initial concept being considered. The Constitutive Other often denotes a person ... Other than one's self; hence, the Other is identified as "different"; thus the spelling is often capitalized   more
3 votes
2 comments
4

Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, Consul, and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus, and Pomp... ey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative ruling class within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman territory under arms. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome   more
3 votes
0 comments
5

Emperor Meiji

Emperor Meiji, or Meiji the Great, was the 122nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912. He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as t... he nation quickly changed from a feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by Japan's industrial revolution.At the time of his birth in 1852, Japan was an isolated, pre-industrial, feudal country dominated by the Tokugawa Shogunate and the daimyo, who ruled over the country's more than 250 decentralized domains. By the time of his death in 1912, Japan had undergone a political, social, and industrial revolution at home and emerged as one of the great powers on the world stage. The New York Times summed up this transformation at his funeral in 1912, with the words: "the contrast between that which preceded the funeral car and that which followed it was striking indeed. Before it went old Japan; after it came new Japan."During his lifetime, the emperor was known by his personal name Mutsuhito. But upon his death he was given the reign name, Meiji. His personal name is never used in Japan in any official context. As the reigning emperor is referred to as the "Emperor", all deceased emperors are referred to by their given reign name. The correct usage in Japanese is the "Meiji Emperor"   more
2 votes
1 comment
6

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully ... representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation's Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the South African Communist Party and sat on its Central Committee. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961, leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial   more
2 votes
1 comment
7

Jesus Christ

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refers to h... im as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts.Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and how closely the biblical Jesus reflects the historical Jesus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi from Galilee who preached his message orally, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate. Scholars have constructed various portraits of the historical Jesus, which often depict him as having one or more of the following roles: the leader of an apocalyptic movement, Messiah, a charismatic healer, a sage and philosopher, or an egalitarian social reformer. Scholars have correlated the New Testament accounts with non-Christian historical records to arrive at an estimated chronology of Jesus' life. The most widely used calendar era in the world, counts from a medieval estimate of the birth year of Jesus   more
2 votes
1 comment
8

Confucius

Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and since... rity. His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives. He also recommended family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", an early version of the Golden Rule   more
1 vote
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9

Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The ho... norific Mahatma —applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa,—is now used worldwide. He is also called Bapu in India.Born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, western India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women's rights, building religious and ethnic amity, ending untouchability, but above all for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi attempted to practise nonviolence and truth in all situations, and advocated that others do the same. He lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as means of both self-purification and social protest   more
1 vote
1 comment
10

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans", is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret and...  Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the English-allied Burgundian faction, was later handed over to the English, and then put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges, was convicted on 30 May 1431 and burned at the stake when she was about 19 years old.Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France, along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Remi, St. Petronilla, St. Radegund and St. Thérèse of Lisieux   more
1 vote
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11

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan, born Temujin, was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise.He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of northeast Asia. After founding the Mong... ol Empire and being proclaimed "Genghis Khan," he started the Mongol invasions that resulted in the conquest of most of Eurasia. These included raids or invasions of the Kara-Khitan Khanate, Caucasus, Khwarezmid Empire, Western Xia and Jin dynasties. These campaigns were often accompanied by wholesale massacres of the civilian populations – especially in the Khwarezmian controlled lands. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.Before Genghis Khan died, he assigned Ögedei Khan as his successor and split his empire into khanates among his sons and grandsons. He died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. He was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia at an unknown location. His descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states out of all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of modern Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories   more
1 vote
1 comment
12

George Washington

George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention that drafted ... the United States Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation and remains the supreme law of the land.Washington was elected president as the unanimous choice of the electors in the elections of both 1788–1789 and 1792. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types. His leadership style established many forms and rituals of government that have been used since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address. Further, his retirement after two terms and the peaceful transition from his presidency to that of John Adams established a tradition that continues today. Washington was hailed as "father of his country" even during his lifetime.Washington was born into the provincial gentry of Colonial Virginia; his wealthy planter family owned tobacco plantations and slaves. After both his father and older brother died when he was young, Washington became personally and professionally attached to the powerful William Fairfax, who promoted his career as a surveyor and soldier. Washington quickly became a senior officer in the colonial forces during the first stages of the French and Indian War. Chosen by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to be commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, Washington managed to force the British out of Boston in 1776, but was defeated and almost captured later that year when he lost New York City. After crossing the Delaware River in the dead of winter, he defeated the British in two battles, retook New Jersey and restored momentum to the Patriot cause   more
1 vote
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13

Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan, born Kublai and also known by the temple name Shizu, was the fifth Khagan of the Ikh Mongol Uls, reigning from 1260 to 1294, and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, a division of the Mongol Empire.Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui and a g... randson of Genghis Khan. He succeeded his older brother Möngke as Khagan in 1260, but had to defeat his younger brother Ariq Böke in the Toluid Civil War lasting until 1264. This episode marked the beginning of disunity in the empire. Kublai's real power was limited to China and Mongolia, though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a far lesser degree, in the Golden Horde. If one counts the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world's inhabited land area   more
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14

Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji,...  first applied to Bose in Germany, by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, in early 1942, is now used widely throughout India.Earlier, Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939. However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Congress high command. He was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940.Bose arrived in Germany in April 1941, where the leadership offered unexpected, if sometimes ambivalent, sympathy for the cause of India's independence, contrasting starkly with its attitudes towards other colonised peoples and ethnic communities. In November 1941, with German funds, a Free India Centre was set up in Berlin, and soon a Free India Radio, on which Bose broadcast nightly. A 3,000-strong Free India Legion, comprising Indians captured by Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, was also formed to aid in a possible future German land invasion of India. During this time Bose also became a father; his wife, or companion, Emilie Schenkl, whom he had met in 1934, gave birth to a baby girl. By spring 1942, in light of Japanese victories in southeast Asia and changing German priorities, a German invasion of India became untenable, and Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia. Adolf Hitler, during his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942, suggested the same, and offered to arrange for a submarine. Identifying strongly with the Axis powers, and no longer apologetically, Bose boarded a German submarine in February 1943. In Madagascar, he was transferred to a Japanese submarine from which he disembarked in Japanese-held Sumatra in May 1943   more
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15

Musa I of Mali

Musa I was the tenth Mansa, which translates as "King of Kings" or "Emperor", of the wealthy Mali Empire. At the time of Mansa Musa's rise to the throne, the Malian Empire consisted of territory formerly belonging to the Ghana Empire and Melle and i... mmediate surrounding areas. Musa held many titles, such as Emir of Melle, Lord of the Mines of Wangara, and Conqueror of Ghanata, Futa-Jallon, and at least another dozen   more
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16

Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army who was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Hon... or for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur, Jr., the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur was valedictorian at the West Texas Military Academy, and First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times   more
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17

Hideki Tōjō

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18

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953.Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary o... f the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin's criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. By the late 1920s, he was the unchallenged leader of the Soviet Union. He remained general secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.Under Stalin's rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. However, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in correctional labour camps and the deportation of many others to remote areas. The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, known as the Holodomor in Ukraine. Later, in a period that lasted from 1936 to 1939, Stalin instituted a campaign against alleged enemies within his regime, called the Great Purge, in which hundreds of thousands were executed. Major figures in the Communist Party, such as the old Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky, and several Red Army leaders, were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the government and Stalin   more
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19

Kim Il-sung

Kim Il-sung was the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to hi... s death. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea from 1949 to 1994. He invaded South Korea in 1950, and would have succeeded in overrunning the entire peninsula if not for UN intervention. The Korean War, sometimes referred to as the Korean Civil War, was stopped with a cease-fire signed on 27 July 1953. As of now, the Korean War has technically not ended.His tenure as leader of North Korea was autocratic, and he established an all-pervasive cult of personality. From the mid-1960s, he promoted his self-developed Juche variant of socialist organisation, which later replaced Marxism-Leninism as the ideology of the state.His son Kim Jong-il became his formal successor at the 6th WPK Congress, and succeeded him in 1994. The North Korean government refers to Kim Il-sung as "The Great Leader" and he is designated in the North Korean constitution as the country's "Eternal President". His birthday is a public holiday in North Korea and is called the "Day of the Sun"   more
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20

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse, literally "His-Horse-Is-Crazy"; ca. 1840 – September 5, 1877 was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of...  the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.Four months after surrendering to U.S. troops under General Crook in May 1877, Crazy Horse was fatally wounded by a military guard, using his bayonet, while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska. He ranks among the most notable and iconic of Native American tribal members and has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a 13¢ Great Americans series postage stamp   more
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21

Leif Erikson

Leif Erikson or Leif Ericson was a Norse explorer regarded as the first European to land in North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. According to the Sagas of Icelanders, he established a Norse settlement at Vinland, tentatively ... identified with the Norse L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada.It is believed that Leif was born in Iceland around the 970s—the son of mother Thjóðhildr and father Erik the Red, an explorer and outlaw from Western Norway. Erik founded the first Norse colonies in Greenland, and was based at the family estate Brattahlíð in the so-called Eastern Settlement, where Leif had his upbringing. Leif had two known sons: Thorgils, born to noblewoman Thorgunna in the Hebrides; and Thorkell, who succeeded him as chieftain of the Greenland settlement   more
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22

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political cr... isis. In so doing he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was a self-educated lawyer in Illinois, a Whig Party leader, state legislator during the 1830s, and a one-term member of the Congress during the 1840s. He promoted rapid modernization of the economy through banks, canals, railroads and tariffs to encourage the building of factories; he opposed the war with Mexico in 1846. After a series of highly publicized debates in 1858 during which he opposed the expansion of slavery, Lincoln lost the U.S. Senate race to his archrival, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln, a moderate from a swing state, secured the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1860. With almost no support in the South, Lincoln swept the North and was elected president in 1860. His election prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederacy. No compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery   more
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23

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping was a politician and reformist leader of the People's Republic of China who, after Mao Zedong's death, led his country towards a market economy. While Deng never held office as the head of state, head of government or General Secretary...  of the Communist Party of China, he nonetheless was the "paramount leader" of the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1992. As the core of the second generation leaders, Deng shared his power with several powerful older politicians commonly known as the Eight Elders.Born into a peasant background in Guang'an, Sichuan, Deng studied and worked in France in the 1920s, where he was influenced by Marxism-Leninism. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1923. Upon his return to China he worked as a political commissar in rural regions and was considered a "revolutionary veteran" of the Long March. Following the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Deng worked in Tibet and other southwestern regions to consolidate Communist control.Deng was instrumental in China's economic reconstruction following the Great Leap Forward in the early 1960s. His economic policies, however, were at odds with the political ideologies of chairman Mao Zedong. As a result, he was purged twice during the Cultural Revolution, but regained prominence in 1978 by outmaneuvering Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng   more
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24

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong, also transcribed as Mao Tse-tung, and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China fr... om its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His Marxist-Leninist theories, military strategies and political policies are collectively known as Maoism or Mao Zedong Thought.Born the son of a wealthy farmer in Shaoshan, Hunan, Mao adopted a Chinese nationalist and anti-imperialist outlook in early life, particularly influenced by the events of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and May Fourth Movement of 1919. Mao converted to Marxism-Leninism while working at Peking University and became a founding member of the Communist Party of China, leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and the CPC, Mao helped to found the Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies and ultimately became head of the CPC during the Long March. Although the CPC temporarily allied with the KMT under the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War, after Japan's defeat China's civil war resumed and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalists who withdrew to Taiwan   more
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25

Benito Mussolini

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 until his ousting in 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pre... tense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship. Known as Il Duce, Mussolini was one of the key figures in the creation of fascism.Originally a member of the Italian Socialist Party, Mussolini was expelled from the PSI due to his opposition to the party's stance on neutrality in World War I. Mussolini denounced the PSI, and later founded the fascist movement. Following the March on Rome in October 1922 he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi on February 2014. After destroying all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his fascist followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state. Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943. A few months later, he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German client regime in northern Italy; he held this post until his death in 1945   more
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26

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH, is a Singaporean politician. He was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. He is also widely recognised as the founding father of modern Singapore.As the co-founder and first Secretary-General of ... the People's Action Party, he led the party to eight victories from 1959 to 1990, and oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a "First World" Asian Tiger. He is one of the most influential political figures in Asia.Singapore's second prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, appointed him Senior Minister in 1990. He held the advisory post of Minister Mentor, created by his son Lee Hsien Loong, when the latter became the nation's third prime minister in August 2004. With his successive ministerial positions spanning over 50 years, Lee is also one of history's longest-serving ministers. On 14 May 2011, Lee and Goh announced their retirement from the cabinet after the 2011 general election   more
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27

Otto von Bismarck

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890. In the 1860s he engineered a series of wars that unifi... ed the German states into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. With that accomplished by 1871 he skillfully used balance of power diplomacy to preserve German hegemony in a Europe which, despite many disputes and war scares, remained at peace. For historian Eric Hobsbawm, Bismarck, who "remained undisputed world champion at the game of multilateral diplomatic chess for almost twenty years after 1871, devoted himself exclusively, and successfully, to maintaining peace between the powers."Upon his 1862 appointment by King Wilhelm I as Minister President of Prussia, Bismarck provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria and France, and aligned the smaller German states behind Prussia in defeating his arch-enemy France. In 1871 he formed the German Empire with himself as Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia. His diplomacy of realpolitik and powerful rule at home gained him the nickname the "Iron Chancellor". German unification and its rapid economic growth was the foundation to his foreign policy. He disliked colonialism but reluctantly built an overseas empire when it was demanded by both elite and mass opinion. Juggling a very complex interlocking series of conferences, negotiations and alliances, he used his unrivaled diplomatic skills to maintain Germany's position and used the balance of power to keep Europe at peace in the 1870s and 1880s   more
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28

Qin Shi Huang

Qin Shi Huang, personal name Zheng, was the King of the State of Qin who conquered all other Warring States and united them into one kingdom in 221 BC. Rather than maintain the title of king borne by the Shang and Zhou rulers, he ruled as the First ... Emperor of the Qin dynasty from 220 to 210 BC. The title emperor would continue to be borne by Chinese rulers for the next two millennia.During his reign, his generals greatly expanded the size of the Chinese state: campaigns south of Chu permanently added the Yue lands of Hunan and Guangdong to the Chinese cultural orbit; campaigns in Central Asia conquered the Ordos loop from the nomad Xiongnu, although eventually causing their confederation under Modu Chanyu. Qin Shi Huang also worked with his minister Li Si to enact major economic and political reforms aimed at the standardization of the diverse practices of the earlier Chinese states. This process also led to the banning and burning of many books and the execution of recalcitrant scholars. His public works projects included the unification of diverse state walls into a single Great Wall of China and a massive new national road system, as well as the city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army. He ruled until his death, which occurred in 210 BC despite his search for an elixir of immortality   more
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Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814. He implemented a ... wide array of liberal reforms across Europe, including the abolition of feudalism and the spread of religious toleration. His legal code in France, the Napoleonic Code, influenced numerous civil law jurisdictions worldwide. Napoleon is remembered for his role in leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won the majority of his battles and seized control of most of continental Europe in a quest for personal power and to spread the ideals of the French Revolution. Widely regarded as one of the greatest commanders in history, his campaigns are studied at military academies worldwide. He remains one of the most studied political and military leaders in all of history.Napoleon was born in Corsica in a family of noble Italian ancestry that had settled in Corsica in the 16th century. He spoke French with a heavy Corsican accent. Well-educated, he rose to prominence under the French First Republic and led successful campaigns against the enemies of the French revolution who set up the First and Second Coalitions, most notably his campaigns in Italy   more
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30

Saint Peter

Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. Venerated as a saint, he is also the first Bishop, and considered to be the first Pope by ... the Roman Catholic Church.The New Testament indicates that Peter was the son of John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Saint Andrew was also an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus' inner circle, thrice denied Jesus, and preached on the day of Pentecost.According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus Christ. Tradition holds that he was crucified at the site of the Clementine Chapel, while his mortal remains are contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery in 1968. Every June 29 since 1736, a life-size statue of Saint Peter has been crowned in St. Peter's Basilica with a papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, and papal vestments, as part of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. By Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is Pope Francis   more
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31

Charles de Gaulle

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first president from 1959 to 1969.De Gaulle came to the ... fore in the interwar army as a proponent of mobile armoured divisions. During World War II, he attained the rank of brigadier general. De Gaulle led the Free French Forces and a government in exile against France's pro-German Vichy government while he was in London and Africa, gained control of most French colonies, and participated in the liberation of Paris. Despite France's initial defeat, de Gaulle insisted that it be treated as a great power by the other Allies. His promotion of French national interests led to confrontations with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, due to their initial unwillingness to inform him of the D-Day landings in June 1944.De Gaulle secured a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for France in 1945. After the war ended, de Gaulle became prime minister in the French Provisional Government, resigning in 1946 because of political conflicts. He founded his own political party, the Rally of the French People—Rassemblement du Peuple Francais, —in 1947. When the Algerian war crisis was ripping apart the Fourth Republic, the Assembly brought him back to power as President of the Council of Ministers during the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle led the writing of a new constitution founding the Fifth Republic, and was elected President of France. Gaullism, de Gaulle's foreign policy strategy as president, asserted that France is a major power and should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national security and prosperity. Often criticized for his "Politics of Grandeur", de Gaulle oversaw the development of French atomic weapons and promoted a foreign policy independent of "Anglo Saxon" influences. He withdrew France from NATO military command—although remaining a member of the Western alliance—and twice vetoed Britain's entry into the European Community. In May 1968, he appeared likely to lose power amidst widespread protests by students and workers, but survived the crisis with an increased majority in the Assembly. However, de Gaulle resigned in 1969 after losing a referendum in which he proposed more decentralization   more
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32

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as the leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, and then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, un... til his death. Under his administration, the Russian Empire was dissolved and replaced by the Soviet Union, a one-party socialist state; industry and businesses were nationalized, with widespread societal reform implemented. Politically a Marxist, his theoretical contributions to Marxist thought are known as Leninism, which coupled with Marxian economic theory have collectively come to be known as Marxism–Leninism.Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin gained an interest in revolutionary leftist politics following the execution of his brother Aleksandr in 1887. Expelled from Kazan State University for participating in anti-Tsarist protests, he devoted the following years to a law degree and to radical politics, becoming a Marxist. In 1893 he moved to St Petersburg, and became a senior figure in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Arrested for sedition and exiled to Siberia for three years, he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, and fled to Western Europe, living in Germany, France, England, and Switzerland, where he became known as a prominent party theorist. In 1903, he took a key role in the RSDLP schism, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Briefly returning to Russia during the Revolution of 1905, he encouraged violent insurrection and later campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletariat revolution. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar he returned to Russia   more
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33

Georgy Zhukov

Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, was a Soviet career officer in the Red Army who, in the course of World War II, played a role in leading the Red Army drive through much of Eastern Europe to liberate the Soviet Union and other nations from the occupat... ion of the Axis Powers and, ultimately, to conquer Berlin. He is the most decorated general officer in the history of the Soviet Union and Russia.Amongst many notable generals in World War II, Zhukov was placed at the top due to the number and scale of victories, and his talent in operational and strategic command was recognized by many people. Many famous military leaders in the world such as Bernard Montgomery and Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized Zhukov's great contributions in many important victories in the Second World War. His combat achievements became valuable heritages in humanity's military knowledge, exerting great influence on both the Soviet and the whole world's military theory   more
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34

Pol Pot

Pol Pot, born Saloth Sar was a Cambodian communist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until 1997. From 1963 to 1981, he served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. As such, he became the leader of Cambodia on Ap... ril 17, 1975, when his forces captured Phnom Penh. From 1976 to 1979, he also served as the prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea.He presided over a totalitarian dictatorship that imposed a radical form of agrarian socialism on the country. His government forced urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects. The combined effects of executions, forced labor, malnutrition, and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated 1 to 3 million people died due to the policies of his four-year premiership.In 1979, after the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, Pol Pot fled to the jungles of southwest Cambodia, and the Khmer Rouge government collapsed. From 1979 to 1997, he and a remnant of the old Khmer Rouge operated near the border of Cambodia and Thailand, where they clung to power, with nominal United Nations recognition as the rightful government of Cambodia. Pol Pot committed suicide in 1998 while under house arrest by the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge. Since his death, rumours that he was poisoned have persisted   more
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35

Ho Chi Minh

Hồ Chí Minh, born Nguyễn Sinh Côn, or Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành, Nguyen That Thanh and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam....  He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People's Army of Vietnam and the Việt Cộng during the Vietnam War.He led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ. He officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems, but remained a highly visible figurehead and inspiration for those Vietnamese fighting for his cause—a united, communist Vietnam—until his death. After the war, Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City; however, the name Saigon is still very widely used   more
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36

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and i... ts regional organisation Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region—which espoused ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism—Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to power in Iraq.As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalized oil and other industries. The state-owned banks were put under his control, leaving the system eventually insolvent mostly due to the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War, and UN sanctions. Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of government as oil money helped Iraq's economy to grow at a rapid pace. Positions of power in the country were mostly filled with Sunnis, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population   more
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37

Simón Bolívar

Cuando la Independencia de América comenzaba a pensarse con otros nombres y a iniciar su recorrido autónomo, nació en Caracas, el 24 de julio de 1783, Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios. Venezuela era entonces una Capitan... ía General del Reino de España, en cuya población se respiraban resquemores por las diferencias de derechos existentes entre la oligarquía española..   more
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(Maximum 900 words)
SNP1 says2014-05-26T20:59:34.5460689-05:00
Why is Jesus on this list?
brandan says2014-05-26T22:30:18.0817886-05:00
Well he altimatley created the worlds largest religion. Why is Leif Erikson on this list?
SNP1 says2014-05-26T22:32:18.8894876-05:00
"Well he altimatley created the worlds largest religion." Where is the historically reliable evidence for that?
brandan says2014-05-26T22:34:41.0201757-05:00
Dont sit here and debate Christianity with me. You asked why he is on the list, i am simply just giving you an answer.
discomfiting says2014-05-26T22:40:00.8555386-05:00
Brandan you have the burden of proof...
brandan says2014-05-26T22:42:36.6316480-05:00
Ok, give me proof that the Spartans fought the Persians for example
discomfiting says2014-05-26T22:43:20.0371625-05:00
I never said the Spartans fought the Persians therefore I don't have a burden of proof... Lol
brandan says2014-05-26T22:44:24.8920125-05:00
The bible is proof enough for me. That's all that matters.
General-Z says2014-05-26T22:47:29.0717784-05:00
Jesus Christ was real enough to be treated as a messiah. The only thing disputable are his powers and who caused his death.
discomfiting says2014-05-26T22:50:10.9952418-05:00
Nobody's arguing if he was the messiah, if he was killed by Romans or Jews or whomever, or anything. All SNP1 asking for was proof that he (Jesus) created the world's largest religion. When you make a statement you need credible & reliable sources, a book that says a 600 year old man saved the planet's species with a tiny ark, is not a credible source.
muricamurray says2014-05-26T23:18:13.4098514-05:00
You all are a bunch of commie lovin' traitors...
bengrf says2014-05-26T23:19:33.5856089-05:00
With all this talk about Jesus I would like to point out that it was Paul who created Christianity not Jesus.
gread9 says2014-05-27T04:36:04.5125257-05:00
Am i the only one who realises that no women are on this list but there have been some great women leaders
SNP1 says2014-05-27T07:16:38.7226152-05:00
"The bible is proof enough for me." The New Testament is not a historically reliable source.
SNP1 says2014-05-27T07:20:05.4321117-05:00
"Ok, give me proof that the Spartans fought the Persians for example" No one here made that claim, but the Battle of Thermopylae was recorded by Greek historian Herodotus, the Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus (this one is debateable on reliablility, but is consistent with reliable documents), Greek historian Ephorus. "The Greco-Persian wars are also described in less detail by a number of other ancient historians including Plutarch, Ctesias of Cnidus, and are referred to by other authors, as in Aeschylus' The Persians. Archaeological evidence, such as the Serpent Column (now in the Hippodrome of Istanbul), also supports some of Herodotus' specific claims." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae
yetifivepecks says2014-05-28T10:31:02.4983282-05:00
God, I hate Mao. I'm a sinophile, so that certainly colors my views, making me hate him more than other dictators.
General-Z says2014-05-29T16:04:47.0713195-05:00
I personally find Deng Xiaoping better than Mao Zedong. Mao was the very same person that inspired Pol Pot.

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