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Topic ClosedMichael Hart’s ranking of the 100 Most Influential people

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Michael Hart’s ranking of the 100 Most Influential people
    Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 13:42

I can't seem to remember a discussion about this, which I think is an interesting topic nontheless. One thing that is very apparant is that religious figures dominate the list (implying that they were the most influential group of people). Next comes innovaters and scientists, and then political figures. The highest ranked political/military figures does not come until #17 (Qin Shi Huang), followed by Caesar Augustus at #18. This view would be consistent with "the pen is mightier than the sword"

Agree or Disagree?

The following list, an "annotated" version of Hart's with religious affiliation inserted comes from http://www.adherents.com/adh_influ.html

Rank Name Religious Affiliation Influence
1 Muhammad Islam Prophet of Islam; conqueror of Arabia; Hart recognized that ranking Muhammad first might be controversial, but felt that, from a secular historian's perspective, this was the correct choice because Muhammad is the only man to have been both a founder of a major world religion and a major military/political leader. More
2 Isaac Newton Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e., Athanasianism;
believed in the Arianism of
the Primitive Church)
physicist; theory of universal gravitation; laws of motion
3 Jesus Christ * Judaism; Christianity founder of Christianity
4 Buddha Hinduism; Buddhism founder of Buddhism
5 Confucius Confucianism founder of Confucianism
6 St. Paul Judaism; Christianity proselytizer of Christianity
7 Ts'ai Lun Chinese traditional religion inventor of paper
8 Johann Gutenberg Catholic developed movable type; printed Bibles
9 Christopher Columbus Catholic explorer; led Europe to Americas
10 Albert Einstein Jewish physicist; relativity; Einsteinian physics
11 Louis Pasteur Catholic scientist; pasteurization
12 Galileo Galilei Catholic astronomer; accurately described heliocentric solar system
13 Aristotle Platonism / Greek philosophy influential Greek philosopher
14 Euclid Platonism / Greek philosophy mathematician; Euclidian geometry
15 Moses Judaism major prophet of Judaism
16 Charles Darwin Anglican (nominal) biologist; described Darwinian evolution, which had theological impact on many religions
17 Shih Huang Ti Chinese traditional religion Chinese emperor
18 Augustus Caesar Roman state paganism ruler
19 Nicolaus Copernicus Catholic (priest) astronomer; taught heliocentricity
20 Antoine Laurent Lavoisier Catholic father of modern chemistry; philosopher; economist
21 Constantine the Great Roman state paganism; Christianity Roman emperor who completely legalized Christianity, leading to its status as state religion. Called the First Council of Nicaea which produced the Nicene Creed (which rejected Arianism and established Athanasianism (Trinitarianism) as "official doctrine")
22 James Watt nonreligious developed steam engine
23 Michael Faraday Sandemanian physicist; chemist; discovery of magneto-electricity
24 James Clerk Maxwell Presbyterian; Anglican; Baptist physicist; electromagnetic spectrum
25 Martin Luther Catholic; Lutheran founder of Protestantism and Lutheranism
26 George Washington Episcopalian; Deist first president of United States
27 Karl Marx Jewish; Lutheran;
Atheist; Marxism/Communism
founder of Marxism, Marxist Communism
28 Orville and Wilbur Wright United Brethren inventors of airplane
29 Genghis Khan Mongolian shamanism Mongol conqueror
30 Adam Smith Liberal Protestant economist; expositor of capitalism; religious philosopher
31 Edward de Vere
a.k.a. "William Shakespeare"
Catholic; Anglican literature; also wrote 6 volumes about philosophy and religion
32 John Dalton Quaker chemist; physicist; atomic theory; law of partial pressures (Dalton's law)
33 Alexander the Great Greek state paganism conqueror
34 Napoleon Bonaparte Catholic (nominal) French conqueror
35 Thomas Edison Congregationalist; agnostic inventor of light bulb, phonograph, etc.
36 Antony van Leeuwenhoek Calvinist microscopes; studied microscopic life
37 William T.G. Morton ?? pioneer in anesthesiology
38 Guglielmo Marconi Catholic and Anglican inventor of radio
39 Adolf Hitler born into but later rejected Catholicism; allegedly a proponent of Germanic Neo-Paganism; Nazism * conqueror; led Axis Powers in WWII
40 Plato Platonism / Greek philosophy founder of Platonism
41 Oliver Cromwell Puritan (Protestant) British political and military leader
42 Alexander Graham Bell Unitarian/Universalist inventor of telephone *
43 Alexander Fleming Catholic penicillin; advances in bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy
44 John Locke raised Puritan (Anglican);
Liberal Christian
philosopher and liberal theologian
45 Ludwig van Beethoven Catholic composer
46 Werner Heisenberg * discovered the principle of uncertainty
47 Louis Daguerre ?? an inventor/pioneer of photography
48 Simon Bolivar Catholic (nominal); Atheist National hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
49 Rene Descartes Catholic Rationalist philosopher and mathematician
50 Michelangelo Catholic painter; sculptor; architect
51 Pope Urban II Catholic called for First Crusade
52 'Umar ibn al-Khattab Islam Second Caliph; expanded Muslim empire
53 Asoka Buddhism king of India who converted to and spread Buddhism
54 St. Augustine Christianity Early Christian theologian
55 William Harvey Anglican (nominal) described the circulation of blood; wrote Essays on the Generation of Animals, the basis for modern embryology
56 Ernest Rutherford ?? physicist; pioneer of subatomic physics
57 John Calvin Protestant; Calvinism Protestant reformer; founder of Calvinism
58 Gregor Mendel Catholic (monk) Mendelian genetics
59 Max Planck Protestant physicist; thermodynamics
60 Joseph Lister Quaker principal discoverer of antiseptics which greatly reduced surgical mortality
61 Nikolaus August Otto ?? built first four-stroke internal combustion engine
62 Francisco Pizarro Catholic Spanish conqueror in South America; defeated Incas
63 Hernando Cortes Catholic conquered Mexico for Spain; through war and introduction of new diseases he largely destroyed Aztec civilization
64 Thomas Jefferson Episcopalian; Deist 3rd president of United States
65 Queen Isabella I Catholic Spanish ruler
66 Joseph Stalin Russian Orthodox; Atheist; Marxism revolutionary and ruler of USSR
67 Julius Caesar Roman state paganism Roman emperor
68 William the Conqueror Catholic laid foundation of modern England
69 Sigmund Freud Jewish (non-practicing); Atheist; Freudian
Freudian psychology/psychoanalysis
founder of Freudian school of psychology; psychoanalysis
70 Edward Jenner Anglican discoverer of the vaccination for smallpox
71 Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen ?? discovered X-rays
72 Johann Sebastian Bach Lutheran; Catholic composer
73 Lao Tzu Taoism founder of Taoism
74 Voltaire raised in Jansenism;
later Deist
writer and philosopher; wrote Candide
75 Johannes Kepler Lutheran astronomer; planetary motions
76 Enrico Fermi Catholic initiated the atomic age; father of atom bomb
77 Leonhard Euler Calvinist physicist; mathematician; differential and integral calculus and algebra
78 Jean-Jacques Rousseau born Protestant;
converted as a teen to Catholic;
later Deist
French deistic philosopher and author
79 Nicoli Machiavelli Catholic wrote The Prince (influential political treatise)
80 Thomas Malthus Anglican (cleric) economist; wrote Essay on the Principle of Population
81 John F. Kennedy Catholic president of United States
82 Gregory Pincus Jewish endocrinologist; developed birth-control pill
83 Mani Manicheanism founder of Manicheanism, once a world religion which rivaled Christianity in strength
84 Lenin Russian Orthodox;
Atheist; Marxism/Communism [
more]
Russian ruler
85 Sui Wen Ti Chinese traditional religion unified China
86 Vasco da Gama Catholic navigator; discovered route from Europe to India around Cape Hood
87 Cyrus the Great Zoroastrianism founder of Persian empire
88 Peter the Great Russian Orthodox forged Russia into a great European nation
89 Mao Zedong Atheist; Communism; Maoism founder of Maoism, Chinese form of Communism
90 Francis Bacon Anglican philosopher; delineated inductive scientific method
91 Henry Ford Protestant developed automobile; achievement in manufacturing and assembly
92 Mencius Confucianism philosopher; founder of a school of Confucianism
93 Zoroaster Zoroastrianism founder of Zoroastrianism
94 Queen Elizabeth I Anglican British monarch; restored Church of England to power after Queen Mary
95 Mikhail Gorbachev Russian Orthodox Russian premier who helped end Communism in USSR
96 Menes Egyptian paganism unified Upper and Lower Egypt
97 Charlemagne Catholic Holy Roman Empire created with his baptism in 800 AD
98 Homer Greek paganism epic poet
99 Justinian I Catholic Roman emperor; reconquered Mediterranean empire; accelerated Catholic-Monophysite schism
100 Mahavira Hinduism; Jainism founder of Jainism
RU St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic influential early Christian philosopher
RU Archimedes Greek philosophy father of experimental science
RU Charles Babbage ?? mathematician and inventor of forerunner of computer
RU Cheops Egyptian paganism Egyptian ruler; builder of Great Pyramid
RU Marie Curie Catholic; nonreligious physicist; radioactivity
RU Benjamin Franklin Presbyterian; Deist American politician and inventor
RU Mohandas Gandhi Hinduism; influenced by Jainism (mother was a Jain) Indian leader and Hindu religious reformer
RU Abraham Lincoln Regular Baptist (childhood);
later ambiguous -
Deist, general theist or
a very personalized Christianity
16th president of U.S.; led during Civil War
RU Ferdinand Magellan Catholic navigator; named Pacific Ocean; first circumnavigation of globe
RU Leonardo da Vinci Catholic artist; inventor

RU = Runner Up (order is alphabetical)

Another work that could be compared to the previous is one by Lt Col Lanning, who wrote a book on the top 100 most influential military leaders. Obviously there are significant differences. In general, I find Hart's (who is a historian) list of military leaders to be more plausible.

 1. George Washington
 2. Napoleon I
 3. Alexander the Great
 4. Genghis Khan
 5. Julius Caesar
 6. Gustavus Adolphus
 7. Francisco Pizarro
 8. Charlemagne (Charles the Great)
 9. Hernado Cortes
10. Cyrus the Great
11. Frederick the Great (Frederick II of Prussia)
12. Simon Bolivar
13. William the Conqueror
14. Adolf Hitler
15. Attila the Hun
16. George Catlett Marshall
17. Peter the Great
18. Dwight David Eisenhower
19. Oliver Cromwell
20. Douglas MacArthur
21. Karl von Clausewitz
22. Arthur Wellesley (First Duke of Wellington)
23. Sun Tzu
24. Hermann-Maurice, Comte de Saxe
25. Tamerlane
26. Antoine Henri Jomini
27. Eugene of Savoy
28. Fernandez Gonzalo de Cordoba
29. Sebastien Le Pestre de Vauban
30. Hannibal
31. John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough)
32. Winfield Scott
33. Ulysses Simpson Grant
34. Scipio Africanus
35. Horatio Nelson
36. John Frederick Charles Fuller
37. Henri de La Tour dAuvergne de Turenne
38. Alfred Thayer Mahan
39. Helmuth Karl Bernhard Von Moltke
40. Vo Nguyen Giap
41. John Joseph Pershing
42. Maurice of Nassau
43. Joan of Arc
44. Alan Francis Broke (Alanbrooke)
45. Jean Baptiste Vacquette de Gribeauval
46. Omar Nelson Bradley
47. Ralph Abercromby
48. Mao Zedong
49. H. Normal Schwarzkopf
50. Alexander Vasilevich Suvorov
51. Louis Alexandre Berthier
52. Jose de San Martin
53. Giuseppe Garibaldi
54. Ivan Stepanovich Konev
55. Suleiman I
56. Colin Campbell
57. Samuel (Sam) Houston
58. Richard I (the Lion-Hearted)
59. Shaka
60. Robert Edward Lee
61. Chester William Nimitz
62. Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher
63. Bernard Law Montgomery
64. Carl Gustav Emil von Mannerheim
65. H.H. (Hap) Arnold
66. Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk)
67. John Arbuhnot Fisher
68. Heihachiro Togo
69. Moshe Dayan
70. Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov
71. Ferdinand Foch
72. Edward I
73. Selim I
74. Giulio Douhet
75. Heinz Guderian
76. Lin Piao
77. Isoroku Yamamoto
78. Harold Rupert Alexander
79. Erwin Rommel
80. Lennat Torstensson
81. Saddam Hussein
82. Fidel Castro
83. Horatio Herbert Kitchener
84. Tito
85. Karl Doenitz
86. Kim Il Sung
87. David Glasgow Farragut
88. Garnet Joseph Wolseley
89. Chiang Kai-shek
90. Frederick Sleigh Roberts
91. Saladin
92. George Dewey
93. Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Conde
94. Kurt Student
95. George S. Patton
96. Michel Ney
97. Charles XII
98. Thomas Cochrane
99. Johan Tserclaes von Tilly
100. Edmund Henry H. Allenby 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:04

Originally posted by Imperator Invictus

1. George Washington

most ridiculous ever!
 

2. Napoleon I
 3. Alexander the Great
 4. Genghis Khan
 5. Julius Caesar

quite agree with that, maybe not with the order and one could argue about Caesars actual military abilites but overall this would be the standard top 3.


 

14. Adolf Hitler

second most ridiculous ever!

21. Karl von Clausewitz

23. Sun Tzu

totally overrated, just because they wrote some miltiary manuals that are popular today doesn't makes them great, this is especially true for Clausewitz who hasn't got many actual fighting experience at all

 

didn't bother to look at the following numbers

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:10

A pretty pointless ranking and impossible to put into correct order in reality. Fun to loot at, but nothing more

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:28

Both lists are fine, but the problem is with George Washington. Outside America he is a nobody and he certainly isn't the greatest general ever. No historian thinks that. His early military career was unspectacular and his successes were often more appropriately credited to someone else. Also, he did not even have a big part in achieving American Independence. He had little imput on the constitution, in fact Jefferson should be ranked ahead of him in terms of influence.

 



Edited by Winterhaze13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:35
Not a bad list, but the ranking itself rather reflects the personal prejudices of the author than anything else. Would be interesting to see what criteria he applied.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:36

Actually, the last list on military leaders is bad too. They have most of the right people but they are in the wrong places. According to one source the best military leaders are Alexander, Hannibal, Genghis Khan and Napoleon. Hitler was not a military leader and Charlemagne wasn't very good either. In fact, at Roncesvalles he probably deserves the most criticism for the defeat.



Edited by Winterhaze13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:36

I agree with Kalevipoeg.

I would add that many of those names shouldnt be really on the list.

Take for example brothers Wright who invented airplane. Did they change history? No!. Many people were working on this problem and it was only matter of time (the same year, year later or 2 years later) and even some kind of race who will invent the airplane first. So really they didnt influenced the world because airplane would have been invented anyway.

For me, people who infulenced the world are those who somehow changed history or changed the way in which people think. Therefore Mohammad, Jesus Christ, Nicholo Machiavelli or Napoleon were influential but brothers Wright, Leonardo da Vinci, Bethoven, Bach were not.

After consideration im not sure if Napoleon was influential. After his defeat everything came back to the old order so he didnt really change the world. The ideas of revolution which spread in Europe werent invented by Napoleon and would spread even without him. Maybe the fact that he helped spread them really fast made him influential.

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:40
No, Napoleon definately changed history by spreading enlightenment or revolutionary ideas around Europe. It was Napoleon who created the first modern state equiped with a bureaucracy and national army. In fact Italian and German nationalism was largely influenced by him.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 15:55

Originally posted by Winterhaze13

No, Napoleon definately changed history by spreading enlightenment or revolutionary ideas around Europe. It was Napoleon who created the first modern state equiped with a bureaucracy and national army. In fact Italian and German nationalism was largely influenced by him.

Actually French republic before Napoleon had both bureaucracy and national army. Sooner or later others would follow this example. The question is if Napoleon really make those things happend earlier or not.

In fact, because of Napoleon's defeat most of continent came back to what was before and it was the spring of the nations in 1848 which changed the history. Can you say that without Napoleon there would be no spring of the nations?



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:02
Originally posted by Mosquito

Originally posted by Winterhaze13

No, Napoleon definately changed history by spreading enlightenment or revolutionary ideas around Europe. It was Napoleon who created the first modern state equiped with a bureaucracy and national army. In fact Italian and German nationalism was largely influenced by him.

Actually French republic before Napoleon had both bureaucracy and national army. Sooner or later others would follow this example. The question is if Napoleon really make those things happend earlier or not.

In fact, because of Napoleon's defeat most of continent came back to what was before and it was the spring of the nations in 1848 which changed the history. Can you say that without Napoleon there would be no spring of the nations?

Well, without Napoleon France would have been invaded in 1794 by the Great powers and the Bourbon dynasty reinstated. Without him revolutionary ideas would not have spread because the revolution would have been defeated. And yes there was something resembling a bureaucracy before Napoleon but it was him who developed it greater. And he created bureaucracies in places he conquered including Piedmont-Sardinia which would unite Italy into a single state.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:04
35 Thomas Edison Congregationalist; agnostic inventor of light bulb

wrong! it was Heinrich Gbel
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:08

I am going to first comment on the second list, about military leaders.

 1. George Washington  ??????????

This is very American-centric.  Did George Washington ever command more than 10000 men in a single battle?  Ranking Washington among the top 100 would be fine, but as the first, ahead of military geniuses such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon?  I agree that George Washington is both overrated as a military commander and a founding father.  Washington was more important to the American Revolution symbolically.

2. Napoleon I
3. Alexander the Great
4. Genghis Khan

I agree with Temujin here, for we have three true military geniuses.   Although the specialities were artillery, infantry, and cavalry, respectively.   Well deserved rank.

7. Francisco Pizarro ??????????

9. Hernado Cortes ??????????

What?  For manipulating and cheating on poor Native Americans?  Number seven?

I think that Tamerlane, Hannibal, Saladin, and Patton shoud move up many ranks.

Although I think Simon Bolivar well deserves his rank at 12.

This is where I disagree with Temujin:  Sun Tzu did command armies, and never lost a battle.  He was not only a military philosopher but also an actual general.  His rank should go up much higher than 23.

I also think that Eisenhower and McArthur are overrated (I like Patton better!)  Eisenhower was more natural as a politician, not a military leader, and MacArthur lost Phillippines (horrendiously) in WII and seriously miscalculated in Korea.  Therefore, I would put Patton ahead of his two contemporaries.

I do not quite agree with the following rankings:

48. Mao Zedong and 76. Lin Piao

Mao Zedong never lifted a rifle, while Lin Piao commanded the PLA.

14. Adolf Hitler and 79. Erwin Rommel

Granted, Hitler did conquer most of the European mainland, but his inability to listen to better trained officers such as Rommel led in part to his ultimate demise.

81. Saddam Hussein

We must think twice after the Second Persian Gulf War!


And where are Baybars and Subutai???

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:09
Originally posted by Winterhaze13

Well, without Napoleon France would have been invaded in 1794 by the Great powers and the Bourbon dynasty reinstated. Without him revolutionary ideas would not have spread because the revolution would have been defeated. And yes there was something resembling a bureaucracy before Napoleon but it was him who developed it greater. And he created bureaucracies in places he conquered including Piedmont-Sardinia which would unite Italy into a single state.

France had many good generals, if not Napoleon others could defend it. Even if France would have been defeated the ideas of revolution would spread. Who knows, maybe if not Napoleon and Holy Alliance which was created because of him, the ideas of revolution would result in spring of the nations long before 1848.

And noone else but Napoleon was the guy who has murdered revolution and made many nations on continent hostile towards revolutionary ideas.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:24
For those of you who have a problem with Washington let me ask you this.  How would history be different if Washington had not been the Commander in Chief of the American Colonies?  What if it were instead a lesser man such as an Oliver Cromwell?  The fact that he resigned his commission peacefully says a great deal about his character and ensured allowed the survival of the fledgling American democracy. 

If you wish for me to spell it out for you then let me ask you this, would the Liberal revolts of Europe in the mid 19th century have happened if Washington appoints himself king?  Would the French revolution have occurred?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:25
Originally posted by poirot

I am going to first comment on the second list, about military leaders.

 1. George Washington  ??????????

This is very American-centric.  Did George Washington ever command more than 10000 men in a single battle?  Ranking Washington among the top 100 would be fine, but as the first, ahead of military geniuses such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon?  I agree that George Washington is both overrated as a military commander and a founding father.  Washington was more important to the American Revolution symbolically.

2. Napoleon I
3. Alexander the Great
4. Genghis Khan

I agree with Temujin here, for we have three true military geniuses.   Although the specialities were artillery, infantry, and cavalry, respectively.   Well deserved rank.

7. Francisco Pizarro ??????????

9. Hernado Cortes ??????????

What?  For manipulating and cheating on poor Native Americans?  Number seven?

I think that Tamerlane, Hannibal, Saladin, and Patton shoud move up many ranks.

Although I think Simon Bolivar well deserves his rank at 12.

This is where I disagree with Temujin:  Sun Tzu did command armies, and never lost a battle.  He was not only a military philosopher but also an actual general.  His rank should go up much higher than 23.

I also think that Eisenhower and McArthur are overrated (I like Patton better!)  Eisenhower was more natural as a politician, not a military leader, and MacArthur lost Phillippines (horrendiously) in WII and seriously miscalculated in Korea.  Therefore, I would put Patton ahead of his two contemporaries.

I do not quite agree with the following rankings:

48. Mao Zedong and 76. Lin Piao

Mao Zedong never lifted a rifle, while Lin Piao commanded the PLA.

14. Adolf Hitler and 79. Erwin Rommel

Granted, Hitler did conquer most of the European mainland, but his inability to listen to better trained officers such as Rommel led in part to his ultimate demise.

81. Saddam Hussein

We must think twice after the Second Persian Gulf War!

I dont want to be too much polish-centric but were dozens of better generals only in Poland (what about the rest of central and eastern Europe). Take for example John Charles Chodkiewicz (pol. Jan Karol Chodkiewicz) who defeated 12000 or 14000 Swedes having just 4000 men (not to mention his other victories like Weissenstein vs Swedes, Kokenhausen vs Swedes, Chocim vs Ottomans where also was outnumbered by the enemy but victorious suffering minimal casualties) or Zolkiewski who won at Klushin having 7000 men against 35000-40000 russians and swedes or Sobieski.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:26

It's rediculous to assume that something like that would eventually occur. That's like saying if Franz Ferdinand wasn't killed by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo someone else would have killed him somewhere else. It's just not logical. And besides France was losing the war against Austria and Prussia in 1793.  Napoleon added to the revolution more then he took away and even Wellington who practically ruled France after the Battle of Waterloo admitted that he had been good for France.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:28

Originally posted by Laelius

For those of you who have a problem with Washington let me ask you this.  How would history be different if Washington had not been the Commander in Chief of the American Colonies?  What if it were instead a lesser man such as an Oliver Cromwell?  The fact that he resigned his commission peacefully says a great deal about his character and ensured allowed the survival of the fledgling American democracy. 

If you wish for me to spell it out for you then let me ask you this, would the Liberal revolts of Europe in the mid 19th century have happened if Washington appoints himself king?  Would the French revolution have occurred?

The American Revolution was not the main event that influenced the French Revolution. The enlightenment thinkers, the disenfranchisement with the monarchy, Ancient Greece and Britain's Glorious Revolution probably did more to influence France and Europe then George Washington.

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:30

Originally posted by Laelius

For those of you who have a problem with Washington let me ask you this.  How would history be different if Washington had not been the Commander in Chief of the American Colonies?  What if it were instead a lesser man such as an Oliver Cromwell?  The fact that he resigned his commission peacefully says a great deal about his character and ensured allowed the survival of the fledgling American democracy. 

If you wish for me to spell it out for you then let me ask you this, would the Liberal revolts of Europe in the mid 19th century have happened if Washington appoints himself king?  Would the French revolution have occurred?

Actually you hit the point. US revolution highly influenced history in Europe.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:34
Originally posted by Winterhaze13

It's rediculous to assume that something like that would eventually occur. That's like saying if Franz Ferdinand wasn't killed by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo someone else would have killed him somewhere else. It's just not logical. And besides France was losing the war against Austria and Prussia in 1793.  Napoleon added to the revolution more then he took away and even Wellington who practically ruled France after the Battle of Waterloo admitted that he had been good for France.

Do you belive that without assasination of Ferdinand the WW1 wouldnt happend? Everything was going toward war, the only question was when and how.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2005 at 16:34
The most influential founding father was Thomas Jefferson.  Washington served mostly as a symbol, a figurehead.  I admire Washington for his rectitude and honour, but not his military genius.  As to military exploits, ranking him above Napoleon woud be preposterous.

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