Historical Great Leaders

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Sir_Elderberry
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:18 am UTC

Midnight wrote:Also, people are saying Washington was a military genius.
You do realize that during the first four years of the Revolution, he lost every major engagement--right? It was only with the Prussian (or was it Hessian?) drill sergeant and the aid of the Marquis de Lafayette that Washington kicked ass.

My argument for Washington is less that he led us to independence, and more that once we got there he didn't just say "You know, I think I'll be President until I'm dead." He also established a precedent of civilian control of the military during the Revolution, which is also pretty cool. I confess to not being a military historian, so I won't try to actually evaluate his competence in that sphere.
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Chuff » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:53 am UTC

Midnight wrote:Both Roosevelts, Churchill.. they all did damn skippy jobs.

Elizabeth definitely was just. Yes, there was an issue with Catholicism, but when you consider that her father not only banned Catholicism but made his own church and declared himself pope, OR that the previous queen was called "bloody mary" because of the sheer amount of non-Catholics she killed... well... Elizabeth is up there.


I don't see why Churchill doesn't count, though. He was effective, had significant impact, and I can't recall any great lack of justice.

Teddy Roosevelt used his power to entrench his country as a world power, created the isthmus of Panama (at great cost admittedly, but that's potentially outweighed by the benefits to globe-trotting trade from Atlantic to Pacific). He also created the National Park system in America, which is pretty damn cool, and reinforced the power of the president. For a while, post-lincoln, it was a figurehead at best. Roosevelt brought it back.

FDR for reasons obvious and complete.



Also, people are saying Washington was a military genius.
You do realize that during the first four years of the Revolution, he lost every major engagement--right? It was only with the Prussian (or was it Hessian?) drill sergeant and the aid of the Marquis de Lafayette that Washington kicked ass.

Prussian. The mercenaries the English hired were Hessians.

Also, the parks are more than cool.
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Alpha Omicron
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Alpha Omicron » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

No love for Tommy Douglas then? He led the first socialist government in North America, and was responsible for the eventual implementation of universal public health care throughout Canada. He was voted Greatest Canadian.
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Idhan
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Idhan » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

Well, I've done a big revision of the first post so that it includes a sort of mini-summary of the events of the rest of the thread.

I have some other things to say, but at any rate: in defense of Ashoka Maurya, conquering Kalinga was an objective that the Mauryans had had since the days of Chandragupta. Ashoka was just more competent at achieving that goal. Also, it was in the beginning of his reign, and he really regretted it. I think it's reasonable to say that a Darth Vader-style deathbed repentance shouldn't carry too much weight, but repenting near the beginning of one's life and reign and living one's life according to new, reformed principles seems like reasonable grounds for considering the post-conversion life independently. As for FDR, I believe that Social Security is running a surplus, and is a big lender to the rest of the government. Eventually it won't, but if one considers Social Security independently, then it's a creditor running a surplus, which will eventually run a deficit in the future, which is much better than the rest of the government, which is a huge debtor which is running deficits right now. If one considers Social Security as part of the rest of the government, with no independent accounting -- well, then it's as sustainable or unsustainable as the rest of the government, such as defense spending, infrastructure, etc. One might say that Social Security is undesirable for some reasons, but I don't think that one can say it's unsustainable in any meaningful sense. As for internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, yeah, that was indefensible.

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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Walter.Horvath » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:09 pm UTC

Idhan wrote:-Alexander the Great, King of Macedon
  • Proposed by Walter.Horvath
  • Excluded on the basis of waging wars of aggressive conquest

Idhan wrote:someone who wields power both justly and effectively and has a significant impact.

If you think that Alexander should be remove on the grounds of unnecessary conflict, you may as well remove Saladin. Both fought amazingly bloody battles over territory, and both were the result of prolonged provocation in the form of encroachment.

I also wouldn't be afraid to say that the long-term benefits of the Hellenistic culture Macedon brought were a great bonus to the lands of that area. Amazingly, the area around the Fertile Crescent had been subject to constant invasion, encroachment, and revolution since the beginning of Mesopotamian culture, despite their great resources. The stability that Alexander brought to the region helped sustain political unity, despite the crumbling of the empire upon his death. What he did was take the ruling political system in conquered regions and keep them in place, while substituting small things to ensure that they would stay loyal to (ultimately) him.

I won't go so far as to say that the culture spread jump-started more arts in that time period because I don't know what the Persians did previous to his conquest, and don't want to judge if the Greek culture was better.
Idhan wrote:-Mark Antony
  • Proposed by Walter.Horvath
  • Excluded on the basis of... well, why include him? He wasn't very effective, nor was he particularly just. He wasn't a monster or a complete failure, but I'll need more of an argument for why he really stands out as teh awesome before he goes on

Right, and I suppose this is a great place for the discussion on his effectiveness and awesomeness. He did turn into a coward near the end of his life, and wasn't able to win over the hearts of the Romans quite as well as Caesar did. He did, however, have great oratory skills, and waged arguably successful military campaigns. While his enormous land allocations to Egypt and Cleopatra's sons were, well, obscene, I doubt that any of them would have been recognized by Rome in any sense.

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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Antimony-120 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:18 pm UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:No love for Tommy Douglas then? He led the first socialist government in North America, and was responsible for the eventual implementation of universal public health care throughout Canada. He was voted Greatest Canadian.


I'd second him, since y'know every other country with public health care (hi europe,also medicaid but that's the child we like to pretend we don't have) basically ran with his idea. But I'm Canadian and very biased. The main problem being his lack of fame for that accheivement (also he wasn't Prime Minister when he came up with it).

As for Catherine the Great...I dunno how the Polish would feel about that, what with the whole "Attacked, annexed and rebellion brutally repressed" thing. The Ottomans I have less sympathy for, absolutist and all that, and Sweden was just being greedy, but the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Grop
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Grop » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:13 pm UTC

There's already a few French characters in the list, but my favorite French leader would be Henri IV.

He was remarkably tolerant regarding religion, and quite close to the people (and careful about their well-being). He was a brave, soldier king who spent much time on the saddle, mostly to protect his people.

(He also loved women a bit too much, but that only makes him more charismatic as a Frenchman ;)).

He had to fight the ultra-catholic league (supported by Spain, which dominated Europe at that time) in order to be the king. And he put a long series of religious civil wars to an end while protecting the Protestants.

Basically, he was a guy who took the reins of France in one of the worst situations, and who made it a peaceful, wealthy and strong country.

(Sadly, he was killed while his son was too young to rule, which caused much trouble again. Also his grandson persecuted the Protestants later).

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Idhan
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Idhan » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:55 pm UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:If you think that Alexander should be remove on the grounds of unnecessary conflict, you may as well remove Saladin. Both fought amazingly bloody battles over territory, and both were the result of prolonged provocation in the form of encroachment.


Okay. I'm still a bit dubious about Alex, especially considering that he was one of the three examples of people I had intended on excluding from the very beginning of this thread, but for now, I've put him on the "included" list.

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Nath
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Nath » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:37 am UTC

Idhan wrote:-Mohandas K. Gandhi, Lawyer and Indian Independence Leader
  • Proposed by Shpow
  • Excluded on the basis of failing to wield real political authority at any point

I disagree. Gandhi held a vast amount of political power. He never had an official government position, but the job title is not what makes someone a political leader.

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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Pansori » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:09 am UTC

Nath wrote:
Idhan wrote:-Mohandas K. Gandhi, Lawyer and Indian Independence Leader
  • Proposed by Shpow
  • Excluded on the basis of failing to wield real political authority at any point

I disagree. Gandhi held a vast amount of political power. He never had an official government position, but the job title is not what makes someone a political leader.


I agree with Nath... I was surprised to see Gandhi on the exclusion list, but especially for the reasons that were stated. If we are talking about great figures who contributed in a positive manner I would think Gandhi would be on the top of anyone's list. Could you clarify what exactly you mean by "failing to wield REAL political authority"? I also disagree with Martin Luther King being excluded for the reasons stated.

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Alpha Omicron
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Alpha Omicron » Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

Apparently "Leader" really means "Government Official". Which is lame.
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:35 pm UTC

It also means someone who hasn't led during a war or dealt with any internal strife that required military intervention, apparently.
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Midnight » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:44 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:It also means someone who hasn't led during a war or dealt with any internal strife that required military intervention, apparently.

can't be that, cause lincoln is up there and he not only led during a civil war, he also put kentucky under martial law.
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Ralith The Third » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:22 am UTC

I would add further dispute to Napoleon for the Whiff of Grapeshot event, as I understand he did it of his own initiative.
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Grop
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Re: Historical Great Leaders

Postby Grop » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Napoleon would suck as a *just* leader. Certainly he did things that had positive consequences especially for France. But he was clearly about taking everything from the world and giving it to his friends.


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