The following political figures have always been surrounded with controversies, from famous sex scandals to changing the regime of a nation. Although they are not in power today, they are still prominent leaders who regularly strike world debates on their controversial nature of action. Without further ado, here is a list of 5 most controversial world politicians of all time.
1. Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong is a highly controversial politician. He is regarded as one of the most important individuals in modern history. Zedong was a founding father of the People’s Republic of China and a Chinese communist revolutionary. In the late 1950s, Zedong launched a campaign to transform country’s economy from an agrarian economy to an industrial one.
However, this campaign led to one of the deadliest famines in history. He is criticized for the Cultural Revolution that he had started in 1966. It was a program to weed out supposed counter-revolutionary elements in the country that lasted a decade and was marked by widespread destruction of cultural artifacts, violent class struggle and an elevation of his personality cult which is officially regarded as a “severe setback” for the country.
2. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill is considered as the greatest war-time leader of the 20th century, and is also considered to be a controversial politician. A few years before the World War II had started, he took the lead in warning about Nazi army and in campaigning for rearmament. Winston Churchill was seen controversial in returning the pound sterling to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, which was a move that is seen as creating the deflationary pressure on the economy of the United Kingdom. In addition, he is also criticized for his opposition to increased home-rule for India.
3. Bill Clinton
The 42nd president of U.S., Bill Clinton, is another controversial politician who was involved with the famous sex scandal in 1998. Clinton had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who was a 22-year-old White House intern. The affair led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives. Clinton engaged in perjury and obstruction of justice during this time, which led to his acquittal in 21-day Senate trial. After he left office, Bill Clinton has been involved in humanitarian works and public speaking.
4. Ruhollah Khomeini
Known as Ayatollah Khomeini in the Western world, he was an Iranian politician and religious lead who saw the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. TIME magazine named him the man of the year, which made him controversial figure all around the world. Khomeini was known for his support of the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis and for calling the government of the United States – the Great Satan. During the war with Iraq, he was also criticized for ordering the execution of political prisoners.
5. Adolf Hitler
The leader of the Nazi Party and the German politician, Adolf Hitler, has been one of the most controversial politicians ever. In early 1920s, Hitler became a leader of German Worker’s party. He was imprisoned for some time for attempting a coup. However, he gained popular support through his charismatic oratory, which promoted anti-communism, anti-Semitism and Nazi propaganda.
After being appointed as the chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler transformed Germany into a single party dictatorship. The World War II started after his invasion of Poland. Hitler’s regime was responsible for the racially motivated genocide of millions of people around the world. In order to avoid being captured towards the end of the World War II, Hitler committed suicide in 1945.