5 Most Controversial World Politicians of All Time

Adolf Hitler

Photo by ww2gallery

The following political figures have always been surrounded by 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 the 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 the 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 were 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 World War II had started, he took the lead in warning about the 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 the 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 a 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 a 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 the early 1920s, Hitler became a leader of the 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. 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 World War II, Hitler committed suicide in 1945.

1 Comment

  1. Rhov Anion

    In a century of political and social upheaval, with politicians who ordered the deaths of millions of their own people, or committed acts of genocide so massive that many today feel it’s “impossible” so many millions could have been murdered, of all these politicians who deserve the term “controversial,” you pick… Bill Clinton. Not because he was actually divisive or anything, not because he brought his nation to the brink of economic collapse or slaughtered whole ethnic groups. No, because he had sex and then lied about it.

    Stalin? Nah, brah, too basic. Pol Pot? Kim Il Sung? Nope, already got one Asian representative. Nicolae Ceaușescu? I bet you have to Google that name. Pinochet? Who cares about South America! Gaddafi, Mugabe, Idi Amin Dada? Who cares about Africa!

    I mean, I get it, you know your audience is probably American, and they couldn’t point to Romania or Uganda on a map, let alone name a single leader. Still, if you want to pick an American, you’ve got Hoover and the stock market crash, Roosevelt who was so hated before WWII that a group of Wall Street bankers plotted to assassinate him, Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb, LBJ’s tax hikes and embroilment in Vietnam, RICHARD NIXON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, or Reagan who single-handedly destroyed the American middle class. But nah, totally Clinton who ushered in America’s longest peacetime economic growth but then banged an intern and lied about it.

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