Top 10 Most Cruelest Rulers Of All Time
Many rulers seemed to exhibit indifference to the suffering of others and some may have positive pleasure in inflicting it. Bad rulers regularly practice violence under the disguise of social or legal framework. These are ten cruelest rulers in history, who have significant impacts in history and may directly or indirectly affect the world we live today:
10. Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was a 17th century political and military leader in England and known for atrocities against Catholics in Scotland and Ireland. In Ireland, Cromwell’s forces massacred nearly 3,500 people on Drogheda, including Roman Catholic priests. In Wexford, he was also responsible for the death of 3,500 Catholics. During his entire campaign in Ireland, it is estimated that 50,000 people were killed, evicted and deported. In Scotland, he massacred 2000 people in Dundee and razed the city’s harbor.
9. Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a politician, orator, lawyer and an important figure in the French revolution. He ruled France during the “Reign of Terror” that claimed the lives of between 20,000 and 40,000 people. Many aristocrats, clergymen, middle class citizens and peasants were executed during his rule. Robespierre was guillotined without trial in 1794 for numerous acts of coincidental justice.
8. Ivan the Terrible
Ivan the Terrible or Ivan IV Vasilyevich was a Russian tsar and considered as an early founder of the modern Russia. His most important contributions were the conquest of Siberia, centralization of power and the creation of new legal code. His most violent act was the Sack of Novgorod, when he suspected that the city was planning to defect to Poland. He built a wall around the city and each day, his troops rounded 1500 people randomly from the city to be massacred. He killed his own son in a heated argument after Ivan struck his pregnant daughter-of-law who was accused of wearing immodest clothing.
7. Vlad III
Vlad III was a ruler of Wallachia and seemed to take sadistic pleasure in killing and torturing. The number of his victims was estimated to range between 40,000 and 100,000. His cruelty was such that the sight of 20,000 rotting corpses impaled outside his capital sickened and turned back an invading Turkish army.
6. Idi Amin
Idi Amin Dada was a Ugandan dictator who deposed Milton Obote in 1971 and took power after the coup. His regime was characterized with severe economic mismanagement, corruption, nepotism, extrajudicial killings, ethnic repression, political repression and gross abuse of human rights. Human rights groups and International observers estimated that between 100,000 and 1,500,000 people were killed during his bloody reign. Amin regularly switched side as he saw fit, with backings ranging from Western powers, Israel. Moammar Gaddafi, to Soviet Union. He died in exile at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
5. Pol Pot
Pol Pot or Saloth Sar was the leader of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. He was responsible for the bloody genocide of Cambodian people that targeted intellectuals and “bourgeois elements” of the society. In just 4 years, he wiped out 20 percent of Cambodian people or 1.5 million lives.
4. Leopold II
Leopold II of Belgium was the owner of the Congo Free State and the second king of Belgium. He succeeded Leopold I, his father, in 1865 and remained in power until his death. The Congo Free State under his regime was one of the most controversial scandals in history. Leopold privately owned territories in Africa that was 76 times larger than the modern day Belgium and under his rule 3 million Congolese died through forced labor and oppression.
3. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was a statesman and a central figure of the Nazi Germany. He established totalitarian dictatorship known as the Third Reich and his policies were responsible for the death of millions of people. In Russia alone, 20 million civilians and 7 million soldiers perished in the Great Patriotic War.
2. Joseph Stalin
Researchers estimated that more than 3 million people died under Stalin’s cruel regime. After the dissolution of USSR, many official records became available; it was revealed that 800,000 people were executed for political and criminal offenses, 1.7 million died in the Gulags and nearly 400,000 died during various forced resettlements. In addition, 6 million people died as the result of famine.
1. Mao Tse Tung
Although Chinese population doubled from 550 million to 900 million under his rule, Mao Tse Tung were responsible for the death of many millions of them. Early during his rule, several landlords were picked from each village and executed, resulting to the death of 700,000 people. In addition, 6 million were sent to forced labor camps and many perished.
A few years later, famine and other consequences of the Great Leap Forward has caused the death between 15 and 46 million peoples. The suffering of the Chinese people didn’t end there; the Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s directly affected more than 100 million people.