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mcpon

100 most influential people in history

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I know you guys already have a most influential scientist & historical leader threads, so I apologize if this thread seems too similar to those. But after I read Michael Hart's list, I decided to come up with my own. I know that some of the entries are questionable. But who would you guys put on your list? Who do you think is the most influential people?? And, lastly, I tried the search and didn't find a thread exactly like this one, so sorry if this thread is just a repeat.

 

#

  1. Mohammed
  2. # Jesus of Nazareth
  3. # Aristotle
  4. # Tsai Lun (credited with the invention of paper)
  5. # Johann Gutenberg
  6. # Paul of Tarsus
  7. # Shih Huang Ti
  8. # Louis Pasteur
  9. # Plato
  10. # Siddhartha Guatama
  11. # Confucius
  12. # Abraham (reportedly the founder of Judaism)
  13. # Isaac Newton
  14. # Sri Krishna (since I included Abraham, I'm going to include him too, his historiocity wasn't challenged until Christian missionaries did so)
  15. # Euclid
  16. # Tim Berners Lee (invented the world wide web (with help))
  17. # Adolf Hitler
  18. # James Watt / Matthew Boulton (Watt invented it, but Boulton manufactured it and made it into big business)
  19. # Constantine I (the Great)
  20. # Genghis Kahn
  21. # Thomas Edison
  22. # Karl Marx
  23. # Alexander the Great
  24. # Nikolai Tesla (invented the radio as found by the Supreme Court & pioneered AC polyphase power distribution system)
  25. # Christopher Columbus
  26. # Hernan Cortes
  27. # Nicolas Copernicus
  28. # Socrates (just because of his reputation)
  29. # Philo T. Farnsworth (invented electronic television that most closely resembles contemporary ones)
  30. # Asoka (for turning Buddhism from a tiny sect into a world religion, brought Mauryan empire to largest land extent)
  31. # Moses
  32. # Augustus Caesar
  33. # Gavrilo Princip (unwittingly, triggered the two World Wars and Cold War)
  34. # Albert Einstein
  35. # Henry Bessemer
  36. # Sui Wen Ti (reunified China)
  37. # Martin Luther
  38. # Umar ibn al-Khattab (greatly expanded the Islamic empire outside of Saudi Arabia and most responsible for establishing the Islamic government of today, and most of his conquests have stayed Muslim)
  39. # Pope Urban II (his speech ignited the Crusades)
  40. # Sigmund Freud
  41. # Saint Augustine of Hippo
  42. # Charles Darwin
  43. # St. Thomas Aquinas
  44. # Alexander Graham Bell (telephone would have been invented anyways without him, but still beat Gray to it)
  45. # Nikolas August von Otto
  46. # Al-Khwarizmi / Leonardo Fibonacci (for their parts in getting the West to adopt the Hindu-Arabic numeral system that is used by most countries in the world today (along with their other influences on math))
  47. # Galileo Galilei
  48. # Charlemagne
  49. # Queen Isabella & Ferdinand
  50. # Zayd ibn Thabit (prepared the "definitive" version of the Koran as commissioned (Sunni view))
  51. # Karl Benz (built the first automobile)
  52. # William the Conqueror
  53. # Napoleon
  54. # Lao Tse
  55. # Zoroaster
  56. # Galen (his emphasis on investigation and observation influenced Arabic science and he was the leading medical authority in the west for around 1400 years)
  57. # Charles Babbage / Howard Aiken (Aiken's model was based on Babbage's design)
  58. # Wilbur & Orville Wright (Wright brothers)
  59. # Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley (invented the transistor)
  60. # Julius Caesar
  61. # Cyrus II (the Great)
  62. # Menes (started the dynastic tradition of Egypt)
  63. # George Washington
  64. # Saints Clement of Ohrid, Cyrill, and Methodius (for their contributions in the development of the Cyrillic alphabet)
  65. # William Shakespeare
  66. # Jack Kilby / Robert Noyce (for inventing the silicon chip)
  67. # John Locke
  68. # Sir Alexander Fleming
  69. # Francisco Pizarro
  70. # Muawiya I (of the Umayyad dynasty)
  71. # Michael Faraday (eletric motor, etc.)
  72. # Adi Sankara (revived Hinduism after Buddhism and Jainism were starting to take over Southeast Asia)
  73. # Vladimir Lenin
  74. # Simon Bolivar
  75. # Maharshi Veda Vyasa (credited with the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita)
  76. # Mencius
  77. # Richard Arkwright
  78. # Mao Zedong
  79. # Ibn Firnas / Salvino D'Armati / Alessandro Spina (supposed inventors of reading stones and eyeglasses, respectively; Spina made it known)
  80. # Madhavira
  81. # Nagarjuna
  82. # John Calvin
  83. # Leo Baekeland (invented the first "real" plastic)
  84. # Mani
  85. # Edward Jenner / Lady Montagu
  86. # Louis Daguerre / Joseph Niepce (would have happened anyways, but still beat Fox Talbot to it)
  87. # Adam Smith
  88. # Alessandro Volta
  89. # Han Wu Ti ("martial emperor" not the other one)
  90. # Johann Karl Frederich Gauss
  91. # Homer (wrote Greece's national epic poems)
  92. # Carl von Linde (for his contribution to the field of refrigeration)
  93. # Queen Elizabeth I
  94. # Sulieman the Great
  95. # Vinton Cerf (often regarded as the "father of the Internet")
  96. # Ibn al-Haytham (arguably, the "first real modern scientist")
  97. # Zhu Xi
  98. # Tribonian (codified Roman Law, under Justinian I)
  99. # James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin
  100. # Ferdowsi

I tried to lower the percentage of Europeans / Americans on the list than was on Hart's list. His had around 80 percent. I got it down to around 70 percent. And I also tried to emphasize people that influenced the late 20th century technologically (which made me end up with more Americans than I wanted) since Hart's list came out in the 1970's. And I also tried to balance out people before the modern age (Middle Ages & before) with those of the modern age. I'm biased against the arts because I don't know much about it and don't know how certain artists influenced later art.

 

And besides, all lists like these are arbitrary and biased, even Hart's. How can it not be?

Edited by mcpon

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Adam Smith is not only the father of modern economics and responsible for the liberalization of international trade that has financed most of the big ideas on this list, Smith's idea of the "invisible hand" is precisely identical to (and a predecessor of) Darwin's idea of "natural selection." Biologists and historians of science have noted many times that Darwin's "most dangerous idea" owed its genesis to the Scottish economist Smith, and any list of the 100 most influential people in history should include Adam Smith. He was one of the greatest geniuses of an era that is humbling in its talent.

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Adam Smith is not only the father of modern economics and responsible for the liberalization of international trade that has financed most of the big ideas on this list, Smith's idea of the "invisible hand" is precisely identical to (and a predecessor of) Darwin's idea of "natural selection." Biologists and historians of science have noted many times that Darwin's "most dangerous idea" owed its genesis to the Scottish economist Smith, and any list of the 100 most influential people in history should include Adam Smith. He was one of the greatest geniuses of an era that is humbling in its talent.

 

Informative and yeah, you're probably right.

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Richelieu, Bismarck, Stalin, Justinian, Frederick the Great, Peter the Great, Columb, prince Henric of Portugal, Deng Xiao Ping, Ghandi, Magellan, FDR, Churchill, Nasser, Stephenson, Curie, Fermi, J. St. Mill, Hegel, Herder, Kant, Toma D'Aquino, Voltaire, Nietzche, Mussolini, Lorenz, Wilhelm the II (rather then Gavrilo Princip), Adam, Eva, Cain etc

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I'm rather taken aback that (unless I missed other names) there is only one woman represented on your list -- Queen Isabella -- and she's listed in conjunction with her husband.

 

Granted, fewer women than men have had influence on world affairs throughout history. But there nevertheless have been women who have broken the mould and had their voices heard.

 

Whether or not you agree with and/or support the goals, views, etc. of the following, these are nevertheless women of influence whom you might add to your list:

 

Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) - for 45 years the reigning monarch of a world power.

 

Clara Barton (1821-1912) - founder of the American Red Cross, which today provides humanitarian services on an international level.

 

Marie Curie (1867-1934) - termed "The Mother of Modern Physics," she pioneered research in radioactivity and was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize (she received two, in fact).

 

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) - considered "The Mother of Modern Dance," she established dance schools in Germany and France and toured extensively with her troupe of young dancers, as well as individually, reviving an ancient Greek aesthetic.

 

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) - her philosophy of Objectivism continues on well after her death, through her novels and other writings which have been translated into many languages.

 

Marjane Satrapi (1969- ) - through her internationally acclaimed, autobiographical, graphic novels, she has become a spokesperson for Iranian women and a campaigner against totalitarianism. Earlier this year, the film adaptation of her novel, Persepolis, won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969- ) - scriptwriter of the controversial short film Submission (a critical statement about the treatment of women under Islamic rule), and freedom of speech advocate, she is currently under a death threat from Islamic extremists and living in hiding. This past September she was guest speaker at the Atheist Alliance International convention (with bodyguards, metal detectors, and a bomb-sniffing dog as security). An urgent appeal has been made by author Sam Harris for contributions to a private trust dedicated to financing her security.

 

I could have added more, but these are starters. Anyone else here care to add to this list?

 

EDIT: Although the last two on my list perhaps aren't yet officially a part of "history," still being alive as they are, they are nevertheless making history through their international influence.

 

-- Nephele

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I'm surprised that I don't see a single non-literary artist. I believe Beethoven and Bach made Hart's list, though I might include Mozart over Beethoven. Also no Michelangelo. Maybe art isn't everyone's proverbial cup of tea, but who on earth isn't aware of these people?

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Just to add to Nephele's list, what about Mother Teresa?....... She founded the Missionaries of Charity and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. For over forty years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying in Kolkata (Calcutta), India.

As the Missionaries of Charity grew under Mother Teresa's leadership, they expanded their ministry to other countries. By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless. Surely she deserves a mention?

 

 

Just another thought.... What about Pamela Anderson?? Those slow motion shots of her running down the beach have got to count for something???? :lol:

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Probably the most influential woman in American history was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." After this novel, the "peculiar institution" of enslaving blacks became the "abominable institution" of human slavery. Her impact is best summarized by the (apocryphal) quip attributed to Abraham Lincoln, who met her by saying, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!"

Edited by M. Porcius Cato

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One of mine, is in part a response to Nephele

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The list seems very abitrary.

 

Mohammad at 1. Christ at 7, Abraham at 13.....

 

How were these names/positions reached?

 

Newton (at 14) said 'he saw a little further by standing on the shoulders of giants'. Did he mean the 13 above him in this list?

Edited by spittle

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The list seems very abitrary.

 

Mohammad at 1. Christ at 7, Abraham at 13.....

 

How were these names/positions reached?

 

I believe Hart's reasoning for Mohammad is because he was both a conqueror/political leader and the founder of a major religion.

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Abraham Lincoln [i'm surprised he hasn't made the list so far, since he is known world wide as possibly the most famous figure in American history]

 

Lincoln and Franklin were both "honorable mentions" in the original list by Hart. Jefferson was included in the original, as he should be, but is conspicuously absent from this list by mcpon.

 

Of course, our places of origin have a major influence.

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The list seems very abitrary.

 

at 1. Christ at 7, Abraham at 13.....

 

How were these names/positions reached?

 

Newton (at 14) said 'he saw a little further by standing on the shoulders of giants'. Did he mean the 13 above him in this list?

 

Should this list be arranged in alphabetical order? Chronologically? In order of occurence in the consciousness of the population at UNRV?

 

My own list, had it been without prior influence, would've had Christ at the top because of all that emanated out of his life in the past 2,000 years, even to including Mohammad. But my own list would've had Caesar right up there next to Christ, as I believe he (generic) produced the need for a Christ. These would've represented my own bias of Western Civilization, which would've been no more preferable. I presume?

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I see that Michael Hart's list includes my suggestion (earlier in this topic) of Queen Elizabeth I, and also that Hart gives honorable mention to Marie Curie (whom I also suggested).

 

Other women who received honorable mention on Hart's list are:

 

Susan B. Anthony

Betty Friedan

Joan of Arc

The Virgin Mary

Maria Montessori

Mary Wollstonecraft

 

I'm nevertheless astounded that Hart -- or any historian compiling a list of influential people -- wouldn't have at least given honorable mention to Ayn Rand and (as MPC suggested) Harriet Beecher Stowe.

 

-- Nephele

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O'Higgins

John-Paul II

J.F. Kennedy

Osama bin Laden

Tom Paine

Castro

Ho Chi Minh

John XXIII

King John (Magna Carta)

Henry VIII

Bismark

Hertzl

 

(No particular order.)

Edited by Gaius Octavius

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