Monday, December 18

Top 10 Evil Rulers

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10. Attila the Hun

Attila, also known as Attila the Hun or the Scourge of God, was the Ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453. He was leader of the Hunnic Empire which stretched from Germany to the Ural River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his rule, he was one of the most fearsome of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires’ enemies: he invaded the Balkans twice and marched through Gaul (modern France) as far as Orléans  before being defeated at the Battle of Châlons. He refrained from attacking either Constantinople or Rome. His story, that the Sword of Attila had come to his hand by miraculous means, was reported by the Greek writer Priscus. -Wikipedia.org

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9. Ivan the Terrible

Ivan IV Vasilyevich, Ivan Chetvyorty, Vasilyevich), known in English as Ivan the Terrible (25 August 1530, Moscow – 28 March 1584, Moscow) was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost 1 billion acres, growing during his term at a rate of approximately 130 square kilometers a day. Ivan oversaw numerous changes in the transition from a medieval nation state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first Tsar of a new and more powerful nation. -Wikipedia.org

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8. Benito Mussolini

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, KSMOM GCTE (29 July 1883, Predappio, Province of Forlì-Cesena – 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician  who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism. He became the 40th Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and began using the title Il Duce by 1925. After 1936, his official title was “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 Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, which gave him and the King joint supreme control over the military of Italy. Mussolini remained in power until he was replaced in 1943; for a short period after this until his death, he was the leader of the Italian Social Republic. -Wikipedia.org

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7. Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong About this sound pronunciation (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) was a Chinese  revolutionary, political theorist and communist  leader. He led the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His theoretical contribution to Marxism-Leninism, military strategies, and his brand of Communist policies are now collectively known as Maoism.  Mao remains a controversial figure to this day, with a contentious and ever-evolving legacy. He is officially held in high regard in China as a great revolutionary, political strategist, military mastermind, and savior of the nation. Many Chinese also believe that through his policies, he laid the economic, technological and cultural foundations of modern China, transforming the country from an agrarian society into a major world power. Additionally, Mao is viewed as a poet, philosopher, and visionary, owing the latter primarily to the cult of personality fostered during his time in power. Mao’s portrait continues to be featured prominently on Tiananmen and on all Renminbi bills. -Wikipedia.org

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6. Idi Amin

Idi Amin Dada (c.1925 – 16 August 2003) was the military dictator and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King’s African Rifles, in 1946, and eventually held the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army prior to taking power in a 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 abuses, 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. -Wikipedia.org

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5. Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken by the King. 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 Berlin Conference agreed to set up the Free State in 1885, on condition that the inhabitants were to be brought into the modern world and that all nations be allowed to trade freely. From the beginning, however, Leopold essentially ignored these conditions and ran the Congo brutally, by proxy through a mercenary force, for his own personal gain. He extracted a personal 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 native population to collect sap from rubber plants. His harsh regime was directly or indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people. The Congo became one of the most infamous international scandals of the early 20th century, and Leopold was ultimately forced to relinquish control of it to the government of Belgium. -Wikipedia.org

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4. Joseph Stalin

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili in Georgian or in Russian patronymic nomenclature Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following Lenin’s death in 1924, he rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.  Stalin launched a command economy, replacing the New Economic Policy of the 1920s with Five-Year Plans and launching a period of rapid industrialization and economic collectivization. The upheaval in the agricultural sector disrupted food production, resulting in widespread famine, such as the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, known in Ukraine as the Holodomor. During the late 1930s, Stalin launched the Great Purge (also known as the “Great Terror”), a campaign to purge the Communist Party of people accused of sabotage, terrorism, or treachery; he extended it to the military and other sectors of Soviet society. Targets were often executed, imprisoned in Gulag labor camps or exiled. In the years which followed, millions of members of ethnic minorities were also deported. -Wikipedia.org

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3. Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar

Ranavalona I ( born Rabodoandrianampoinimerina (Ramavo); c. 1782 – 16 August 1861 Antananarivo) was a Merina Queen of Madagascar. After succeeding her husband, Radama I, and becoming Queen, she was also known as Ranavalo-Manjaka I. Over the course of her reign, and after it, she was referred to by Western scholars as the Modern Messalina, the Bloody Mary of Madagascar, Most Mad Queen of History, Wicked Queen Ranavalona, the Mad Queen of Madagascar, and Female Caligula. The death of nearly half the population (largely by torture) during her reign is seen as a unique cultural quirk. Her attempts to annihilate Christianity  are typically cited as testimonials to the fervency of that faith as its adherents refused to recant it even under extreme torture and death. -Wikipedia.org

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2. Vlad III the Impaler

Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (November 25, 1431 – December 18, 1476), more commonly known as the Impaler or Dracula, was a three-time voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462.  Historically, Vlad is best known for his resistance against the Ottoman Empire and its expansion and for the cruel punishments he imposed on his enemies. In the English-speaking world, Vlad III is most commonly known for inspiring the association of the name of the vampire in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. When he came to power, Vlad ruled with the intention of exacting revenge on the boyars for killing his father and eldest brother. Though Vlad took nearly a decade to do so, he fulfilled this vow, completing the task on an Easter Sunday around 1457. The older boyars and their families were immediately impaled. The younger and healthier nobles and their families were marched north from Târgovişte to the ruins of Poienari Castle in the mountains above the Argeş River, 40 miles north of Târgovişte. Vlad was determined to rebuild this ancient fortress as his own stronghold and refuge so he might monitor the movements of the Hungarians coming through Transylvania and the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. The enslaved boyars, their families and some master masons were forced to labor until their deaths, rebuilding the old castle with materials from another nearby ruin. According to tradition, they labored until the clothes fell off their bodies and then were forced to continue working naked. None survived the construction of castle Poienari, as those who did not die from exhaustion were impaled. -Wikipedia.org

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1. Adolph Hitler

A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the precursor of the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and became leader of NSDAP in 1921. Following his imprisonment after a failed coup in Bavaria in 1923, he gained support by promoting German nationalism, anti-semitism, anti-capitalism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship  based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism.  Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe. To achieve this, he pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum (“living space”) for the Aryan people; directing the resources of the state towards this goal. This included the rearmament of Germany, which culminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe. -Wikipedia.org

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