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mcpon

100 most influential people in history

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Just to add a few more to Nephele's list of influential women:

 

Florence Nightingale - the 'original' lady with the lamp, bringing succor to injured 'officers' in the Crimean War during the 1850's who wrote about her experiences and kick started a lot of improveemnts in medical treatment around the world.

Mary Seacole - Of greater moment, the Black women who initially influenced some of Florence Nightingale's latter ideas while caring for injured of all ranks but mainly the common soldiery. This women crossed just about every social divide in her time of rank status and race to say the least and in a recent(ish) survey came out top of the 100 greatest Black People in Britain so her influence is continuing.

Boudicca - a women that more has been written about and talked about than many throughout history.

Victoria - 'inspirer' of the Victorian Age in Britain influencing and changing public tastes and perception with her long period of mourning all across the British Empire and beyond.

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When I saw this topic, I thought 'Great!' and immediately started to compile my own mental list with a view to sharing it here. Then I thought of the variables involved, and more and more problems started to arise. Thus, I compile here a list of variables (is that the right term, MPC? :) ) to be taken into consideration when compiling such a list.

 

1) Are the people concerned influential, or are the times they lived in? Columbus may have discovered the New World and heralded an era of permanent European settlement, but improvements in technology and navigation made it almost certain that the New World would be discovered by someone around 1500. Perhaps Caesar, and his own set of circumstances, could be considered here.

 

2) Legendary figures - Should persons such as Jesus Christ and Abraham, for whom there is little or no direct documentary evidence, be considered, and does their possible lack of authenticity make them - or at least their names - any less influential?

 

3) Technological innovators - In Victorian times there were several 'Inventors' who patented machines which were almost certain to become available in some form over the next few years. Eddison, for example, simply waited for someone else to invent machines he had already patented, whilst getting the credit himself.

 

4) Artists and composers - As has already been mentioned, the Arts are not everyone's bag - have they been influential in the development of human society? My personal view may be yes, but I can see how, in the grand scheme of things, the Arts could be seen as a sideshow.

 

Just a few thoughts!

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This list would be an ongoing process. I doubt we could ever agree on who (or why) people should be considered for inclusion.

 

My own personal priorities would ensure figures who helped create World Powers (Roman, Mongol, British etc) would get top billing.

 

I feel the religious founders are over-rated. Their original teachings have been changed, twisted, expanded/reduced, re-invented or simply forgotten to fit the political manifesto's of thousands of secular or spiritual world leaders from Constantine to James 1 via Henry VIII.

Just study the reigns of Henry VIII's 3 offspring to understand how members of the same family and generation could be at odds to one another. When one adds the divisions of time and place to the mix the teachings of Christ are all but lost in the smallprint of political control.

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I feel the religious founders are over-rated. Their original teachings have been changed, twisted, expanded/reduced, re-invented or simply forgotten to fit the political manifesto's of thousands of secular or spiritual world leaders from

 

Yes, but can you honestly say that they don't have tremendous influence on the world? Whether or not that influence has been manipulated, altered or strictly adhered too, it's still influence.

 

As for Boudica, she certainly made a splash in the historical pages, but in the big scheme of things, she accomplished little more than getting the Iceni completely butchered. However, despite the fact that her rebellion against Rome had absolutely no impact on the eventual and permanent unification of Britain (whether we attribute this to

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mcpon:

 

I for one like your list. You can always quibble with this selection or that selection or where this person was slotted. At least it wasn't bogged down in political correctness like a lot of other similar lists I've seen. Bravo.

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I wonder what this list (and its additions), would look like if a Russian, or a Chinaman, or an Indian composed it?

 

Gorbachev most certainly deserves to be amongst the top few, as he is the only man in history (to my reckoning), to have given up an empire without firing a shot, aka a nuclear weapon.

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I suppose that I would add in another caveat which is how complete any author's knowledge can be of every possible subject area and therefore the potential influence range of any individual excluded from their list.

 

I find such list's always more subjective than objective. As has already been pointed out any one man's or woman's greatness is almost invariably dependent on the work of others (and in some cases either the inaction or delayed action of others). Equally how far does an individuals period of influence extend - only within their lifetime, into the next generation or like Boudicca was it minimal in their own lifetime but skip forward a few centuries and something (not necessarily correctly recorded) finds a resonance amongst later generations?

 

Possibly of more moment having recently sat through part of yet another XX number of Worlds greatest ....you can end up sitting and wondering under precisely what criteria the lsits were created as your interpretation is nothing like theirs before attempting to make your selection. Even if a set of 'rules' are given does your understanding of them equate to everyone elses and indeed theirs to each other?

 

For which reasons, despite the earlier suggestions of a few 'missing' influential women, I also will pass on trying to compile my own 100 list. :)

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For which reasons, despite the earlier suggestions of a few 'missing' influential women, I also will pass on trying to compile my own 100 list. :)

 

Don't 'pass', it would be most interesting, (to me at least), even if it isn't 100.

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For which reasons, despite the earlier suggestions of a few 'missing' influential women, I also will pass on trying to compile my own 100 list. :)

 

Don't 'pass', it would be most interesting, (to me at least), even if it isn't 100.

Well I would think Livia, Elizabeth the 1st, Catherine II of Russia, Madame Curie and Joan of Arc would certainly qualify for sure, even Helen of Troy if we are including possibly mythological figures. Even men like Adam Smith who was unusually devoted to his mother probably owed at least some of their genius to women in shaping their thoughts. Who influences the influencer's ?

Edited by Horatius

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Mcpon, what are the basis for your list? What have you taking into account?

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Mcpon, what are the basis for your list? What have you taking into account?

 

No real basis, just what I felt. I just went around the internet, searching for "most influential (scientists, ideas, inventions, etc.)" lists and topics and see who they came up with. I made predictions, such as that Marxism will be kind of like Manichaeism - prominent on the world stage for a time but then fade away eventually, but Marxism on a larger scale, so I knocked him down. I'm not a historian, just a history major, so my knowledge is limited. I'm more interested in what other people have to offer. They may think, hmmm, mcpon put up some interesting names, maybe I will too.

Edited by mcpon

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Ok.

 

My first thought on your list was why Jesus (7th), Mohamed (1st) and Abraham(13) was in that order?

 

Wouldn't it be logical to assume that Mohamed is basing his influence on what Abraham and Jesus did, and Jesus on Abraham? I would personally revers the order of those three in my list to begin with.

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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?

 

Well, I downgraded Newton because most of the things that Newton discovered in Optics was already discovered by Arab scientists. Liebniz "invented" Calculus, independent of Newton, and came up with the notations. And most or all of his first two laws of motion had already been discovered by Arab scientists. Those are just what I've read, I don't really know. The basis for the rankings is based on how influential were the movements that these people were a part of and how big of a part did these people play in these movements, all subjective. And Jesus is 5th, not 7th.

Edited by mcpon

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Ok.

 

My first thought on your list was why Jesus (7th), Mohamed (1st) and Abraham(13) was in that order?

 

Wouldn't it be logical to assume that Mohamed is basing his influence on what Abraham and Jesus did, and Jesus on Abraham? I would personally revers the order of those three in my list to begin with.

 

Then, by that logic, Newton might not even make the list because of all of the "giants" whose shoulders he stood on.

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