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Best Bad People Who Led Countries of All Time

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    1
    Adolf Hitler

    Adolf Hitler

    Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] ( listen); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP); National Socialist German Workers Party). Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany (as Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945. He was at the centre of the founding of Nazism, the start of World War II, and the Holocaust. A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the German Workers' Party, precursor of the Nazi Party, in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup d'état, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, in Munich. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-semitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. After his appointment as chancellor in 1933, he transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and
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    8 votes
    2
    Robert Mugabe

    Robert Mugabe

    Robert Gabriel Mugabe (Shona pronunciation: [muɡaɓe], English: /muːˈɡɑːbiː/ moo-GAH-bee; born 21 February 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980. He served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, and as the first executive head of state since 1987. Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the white-minority rule government of Ian Smith. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974. Upon release with Edgar Tekere, Mugabe left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle (Rhodesian Bush War) from bases in Mozambique. At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans. He won the general elections of 1980, the second in which the majority of black Africans participated in large numbers (though the electoral system in Rhodesia had allowed black participation based on qualified franchise). Mugabe then became the first Prime Minister after calling for reconciliation between formerly warring
    6.33
    6 votes
    3

    Idi Amin

    Idi Amin Dada was the military dictator and third President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946, serving in Somalia and Kenya. Eventually, Amin held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. He later promoted himself to Field Marshal while he was the head of state. Amin's rule was characterised by human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000. During his years in power, Amin shifted in allegiance from being a pro-Western ruler enjoying considerable Israeli support, to being backed by Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Soviet Union and East Germany. In 1975–1976, Amin became the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states. During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was a
    7.25
    4 votes
    4
    Ivan IV of Russia

    Ivan IV of Russia

    Ivan IV Vasilyevich (Russian: Ива́н Четвёртый Васи́льевич, Ivan Chetvyorty Vasilyevich; 25 August 1530 – 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584), known in English as Ivan the Terrible (Russian:  Ива́н Гро́зный​ (help·info), Ivan Grozny; lit. Fearsome), was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 km (1,562,500 sq mi). Ivan managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of all Russia. Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan's complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. On one such outburst Tsar beat and unpremeditatedly killed his groomed and chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left the Tsardom to be passed to Ivan's's younger son, the weak and intellectually disabled Feodor I. Ivan's legacy is complex: he was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, founder of the
    8.00
    3 votes
    5

    Ruhollah Khomeini

    Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini (روح‌اللّه مصطفوی موسوی خمینی, Persian pronunciation: [ruːholˈlɑːhe muːsæˈviːje xomeiˈniː], 22 September 1902 – 3 June 1989) was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution as the highest ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. Khomeini was a marja ("source of emulation") in Twelver Shi'a Islam, author of more than forty books, but is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. In his writings and preachings he expanded the Shi'a Usuli theory of velayat-e faqih, the "guardianship of the jurisconsult (clerical authority)" to include theocratic political rule by the Islamic jurists. This principle (though not known to the wider public before the revolution) was installed in the new Iranian constitution after being put to a referendum. He was named Man of the Year in 1979 by American newsmagazine TIME for his
    10.00
    2 votes
    6
    Qin Shi Huang

    Qin Shi Huang

    Qín Shǐ Huáng (Wade-Giles: Chin Shih Huang; Chinese: 秦始皇; 259 BC – 210 BC; personal name: Zhào Zhèng (Wade-Giles: Chao Cheng; Chinese: 趙政); name in classical Chinese: (趙正) was the king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC, during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. He ruled until his death in 210 BC at the age of 49. Calling himself the First Emperor (Chinese: 始皇帝, Shǐ Huángdì) after China's unification, Qín Shǐ Huáng is a pivotal figure in Chinese history, ushering nearly two millennia of imperial rule. After unifying China, he and his chief advisor Li Si passed a series of major economic and political reforms. He undertook gigantic projects, including building and unifying various sections of the Great Wall of China, the now famous city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army, and a massive national road system, all at the expense of numerous lives. To ensure stability, Qin Shi Huang outlawed and burned many books and buried some scholars alive. From the beginning of the Zhou dynasty in 1045 BC to the time of the First Emperor, rulers of the Chinese states were titled Wang (Chinese: 王), a term that
    8.00
    2 votes
    7
    Benito Mussolini

    Benito Mussolini

    Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (Italian pronunciation: [beˈnito mussoˈlini]; 29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party, ruling the country from 1922 to his ousting in 1943, and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of fascism. Originally a member of the Italian Socialist Party and editor of the Avanti! from 1912 to 1914, Mussolini fought in World War I as an ardent nationalist and created the Fasci di Combattimento in 1919, catalyzing his nationalist and socialist beliefs in the Fascist Manifesto, published in 1921. Following the March on Rome in October 1922 he became the 27th Prime Minister of Italy and began using the title Il Duce by 1925, about which time he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state. After 1936, his official title was Sua Eccellenza Benito Mussolini, Capo del Governo, Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell'Impero ("His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire") Mussolini also created and held the supreme military rank of First Marshal of the Empire along with King
    5.67
    3 votes
    8
    Caligula

    Caligula

    Caligula (Latin: Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41), also known as Gaius, was Roman Emperor from 37 AD to 41 AD. Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned the nickname Caligula (meaning "little soldier's boot", the diminutive form of caliga, n. hob-nailed military boot) from his father's soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in 19 AD, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children where she became entangled in an increasingly bitter feud with Tiberius. This conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Unscathed by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the emperor on the island of Capri in 31, where Tiberius himself had withdrawn five years earlier. At the death of Tiberius in 37, Caligula succeeded his great-uncle and adoptive grandfather. There are few
    5.67
    3 votes
    9
    Francisco Franco

    Francisco Franco

    Francisco Franco y Bahamonde (Spanish: [fɾanˈθisko ˈfɾaŋko]; 4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975), was a Spanish general, dictator and leader of the Nationalist military rebellion in the Spanish Civil War, and authoritarian head of state of Spain, from October 1936 (as a unified nation from 1939 onwards) until his death in November 1975. He came to power while recognizing the principles of the far-right Falange movement, although this was for propaganda reasons, as he belonged to no political party before becoming Head of State. As head of state, Franco used the titles Caudillo de España and Generalísimo, but also was called formally as His Excellency, The Head of State. Franco was from a military family, and although originally intent on entering the Spanish Navy, he instead became a soldier. He participated in the Rif War in Morocco, becoming the youngest general in Europe by 1926. After returning to the Spanish mainland, he saw service suppressing an anarchist-led strike in 1934, defending the stability of Alcalá-Zamora's conservative government. Following the formation of a Popular Front government, made up of various left-wing factions, instability heightened. Violence between
    7.00
    2 votes
    10
    Joseph Stalin

    Joseph Stalin

    Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин; born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, Georgian: იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი; 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 until his death in 5 March 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the Russian Revolution in 1917, Stalin held the position of General Secretary of the party's Central Committee from 1922 until his death. While the office was initially not highly regarded, Stalin used it to consolidate more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, gradually putting down all opposition. This included Leon Trotsky, the principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders. Whereas Trotsky advocated world permanent revolution, Stalin's concept of socialism in one country became primary policy as he emerged the leader of the Soviet Union. In 1928, Stalin replaced the decade's New Economic Policy with a highly centralised command economy and Five-Year Plans, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization in the countryside. As a result, the USSR was rapidly transformed from an agrarian society into an industrial power, the basis
    7.00
    2 votes
    11
    Maximilien Robespierre

    Maximilien Robespierre

    Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (IPA: [ma.ksi.mi.ljɛ̃ fʁɑ̃.swa ma.ʁi i.zi.dɔʁ də ʁɔ.bɛs.pjɛʁ]; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer, politician, and one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Estates-General, the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, he advocated against the death penalty and for the abolition of slavery, while supporting equality of rights, universal suffrage and the establishment of a republic. He opposed war with Austria and the possibility of a coup by La Fayette. As a member of the Committee of Public Safety, he was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended a few months after his arrest and execution in July 1794. Influenced by 18th-century Enlightenment philosophes such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Montesquieu, he was a capable articulator of the beliefs of the left-wing bourgeoisie. He was described as being physically unimposing and immaculate in attire and personal manners. His supporters called him "The Incorruptible", while his adversaries called him dictateur sanguinaire (bloodthirsty dictator). Maximilien de
    7.00
    2 votes
    12

    Pol Pot

    Pol Pot (19 May 1925 – 15 April 1998), born Saloth Sar (Khmer: ប៉ុល ពត), was a Cambodian Maoist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until his death in 1998. From 1963 to 1981, he served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. From 1976 to 1979, he also served as the prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea. Pol Pot became leader of Cambodia on April 17, 1975, and his rule has been described as being a dictatorship. During his time in power he imposed agrarian socialism, forcing urban dwellers to relocate to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labor projects. The combined effects of forced labor, malnutrition, poor medical care, and executions resulted in the deaths of approximately 21 percent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated 1 to 3 million people (out of a population of slightly over 8 million) died as a result of the policies of his three-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
    7.00
    2 votes
    13
    Mao Zedong

    Mao Zedong

    Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung  listen (help·info), and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), was a Chinese communist revolutionary, political theorist and politician. The architect and founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949, he governed the country as Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China until his death in 1976. Politically a Marxist-Leninist, his theoretical contribution to the ideology along with his military strategies and brand of policies are collectively known as Maoism. 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. Coming to adopt Marxism, he became an early member of the Chinese Communist Party, soon rising to a senior position. Mao rose to power by commanding the Long March, forming a united front with Kuomintang (KMT) during the Second Sino-Japanese War to repel a Japanese invasion, and leading the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory against
    6.50
    2 votes
    14
    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي Ṣaddām Ḥusayn ʿAbd al-Maǧīd al-Tikrītī; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) 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 its 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, later referred to as the 17 July Revolution, that brought the party to long-term power of 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 Persian Gulf War, and UN sanctions. Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of
    4.67
    3 votes
    15
    Nicolae Ceauşescu

    Nicolae Ceauşescu

    Nicolae Ceaușescu (Romanian pronunciation: [nikoˈla.e t͡ʃe̯a.uˈʃesku]; 26 January 1918 – 25 December 1989) was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's last Communist leader. He was also the country's head of state from 1967 to 1989. His rule was marked in the first decade by an open policy towards Western Europe and the United States, which deviated from that of the other Warsaw Pact states during the Cold War. He continued a trend first established by his predecessor, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, who had tactfully coaxed the Soviet Union into withdrawing its troops from Romania in 1958. Ceaușescu's second decade was characterized by an increasingly brutal and repressive regime—by some accounts, the most Stalinist regime in the Soviet bloc. It was also marked by a ubiquitous personality cult, nationalism and a deterioration in foreign relations with the Soviet Union. Ceaușescu's government was overthrown in the December 1989 revolution, and he and his wife were executed following a televised and hastily organised two-hour court session. Born in the village of Scorniceşti, Olt County,
    7.00
    1 votes
    16
    Slobodan Milošević

    Slobodan Milošević

    Slobodan Milošević (pronounced [slɔbɔ̌dan milɔ̌ːʃɛʋitɕ] ( listen); Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Милошевић; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was the President of Serbia (originally the Socialist Republic of Serbia) from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. Amongst his supporters Milosevic was known by the nickname of "Sloba", similar to the nickname of "Tito" adopted as a surname by Josip Broz Tito during World War II. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990. His presidency was marked by the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Yugoslav Wars. In the midst of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Milošević was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Milošević resigned the Yugoslav presidency amid demonstrations, following the disputed presidential election of 24 September 2000. He was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities on Saturday, 31 March 2001, on suspicion of corruption, abuse of power, and embezzlement. The initial investigation into Milošević faltered for
    4.50
    2 votes
    17
    Vlad III the Impaler

    Vlad III the Impaler

    Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), was a member of the House of Drăculești, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known by his patronymic name: Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș pronounced [ˈvlad ˈt͡sepeʃ]), and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III is revered as a hero in Bulgaria as well for his protection to Bulgarian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Bulgarian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube, recognized his leadership and become part of Wallachia, following his raids on the Ottomans. Vlad III spent much of his rule campaigning against the Ottoman Empire and its expansion. As the cognomen 'The Impaler' suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is central to his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of his victims
    4.00
    1 votes
    18
    Leopold II of Belgium

    Leopold II of Belgium

    Leopold II (French: Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor, Dutch: Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor) (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was the King of the Belgians, and is chiefly remembered for the founding and brutal exploitation of the Congo Free State. Born in Brussels the second (but eldest surviving) son of Leopold I and Louise-Marie of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the throne on 17 December 1865 and remained king until his death. Leopold is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf. He used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, an area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Powers at the Berlin Conference in its final Act in 1885, committed the State to improving the lives of the inhabitants. From the beginning, however, Leopold essentially ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using a mercenary force, for his personal gain. Leopold extracted a fortune from the Congo, initially by the collection of ivory, and after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forcing the population to collect sap from rubber plants. Villages were required to meet
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    19
    Nero

    Nero

    Nero (Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68) was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death. During his reign, Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and enhancing the cultural life of the Empire. He ordered theaters built and promoted athletic games. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a revolt in Britain and also annexed the Bosporan Kingdom to the Empire, beginning the First Roman–Jewish War. In 64, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. In 68, the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul and later the acclamation of Galba in Hispania drove Nero from the throne. Facing assassination, he committed suicide on 9 June 68 (the first Roman emperor to do so). His death ended the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, sparking a
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