The world as we see it today was shaped by the events that took place all throughout history. Kingdoms and nations rise and fall and wars have been fought. However, it is not only the events that took place that shaped the world, but there are also significant people that contributed much to what has happened throughout history. Here is a list of the top 10 most important people in history that helped shape the world as we know it today.
10. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein as we know is one of the most influential men in the world of Science. He changed the way his fellow scientists view the world in his time by developing the theories of general and special relativity. In the year 1950, Albert Einstein had five landmark scientific papers, which any of these papers would have been considered as an astounding work of original science in our time. Together, these scientific papers presented a whole new view of the entire universe, mathematics and physics. He also contributed much in creating the science of quantum mechanics. His theory of relativity “E=mc2” led to the creation of the Atomic bomb which was dropped in the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima which then led to the ending of World War 2.
9. Karl Marx
Karl Marx was a German political economist and a philosopher who developed the socio-political theory of Marxism. The Marxist socio-political theory played a very important role in the development of the modern social science and the socialist political movement of Communism. Karl Marx published a number of books during his lifetime with the most famous of all, The Communist Manifesto and the Capital, which also many of his books were co-written by his friend, the German revolutionary socialist Friedrich Engels. Marx believed that capitalism, like all other previous systems of socioeconomics, inevitably would produce international tensions which then would lead to its own destruction and replacement of a new economic system just like how capitalism replaced feudalism.
8. Olympe de Gouges
While most of the history of the world was shaped by men, few of these most influential men all throughout the history did much to change the other half of the entire human population, the women. It was up to women to demand that the society treat them as equals and only in the end of the 20th century that they began to do so en masse. However, before this time where women fought for their rights, there was a pioneer of the women’s movement, it was Olympe de Gouges. She was a political activist of the French Revolution and one of History’s very first feminist. She was an outspoken advocate for improving the condition of slave colonies of her time. Today she is best remembered as one of the earliest feminist who demanded the government to give the French women the same equal rights as the French men.
7. Johann Gutenberg
Johann Gutenberg was known as the inventor of the printing press. His invention of the printing press made education and literacy available to all as it is now. Before the printing press was invented, it was nearly impossible for the rest of the world to gain access to written books because it was too expensive and too rare for any man or woman to have at that time. Without the invention of the printing press, the world would have still remained as how it was in the past, denying people of the knowledge that only exceptional people were able to acquire. The first printed book ever published was the King James Version of the Bible.
6. Constantine the Great
In 306 AD, Constantine the Great became the Emperor of Western Rome and after a civil war, he became the sole ruler of the whole Roman Empire in the year 324 AD. When he first came to power, Christianity was one of the growing religions of that time with a significant number of members and it just suffered greatly in a devastating persecution under the rule of Emperor Diocletian. Constantine was the very first Emperor who converted to Christianity and worked without cease in promoting his new found faith across his Empire.
5. Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer who set into motion a series of events that changed the world forever. He had made the North and South America available for exploration. Although many experts would argue that it was the Vikings who were able to set foot in the world some 400 years earlier than Columbus did, he was the one who provided the information about the continent that allowed exploration and settlement.
4. Paul of Tarsus
Approximately 50 years after the death of Jesus Christ, when Paul set off aboard a ship from Troas, crossing the Aegean and arrived in the shore of Europe, he probably did not know what the significance of his arrival would have in world history. It was there that Christianity made it’s very first documented appearance in the continent that would later on become synonymous with the word “Christendom” all throughout the middle ages. Paul has referred himself as the apostle to the gentiles and was one of the main contributors of the new testament of the Bible.
Muhammad is known as the founder of the faith of Islam at the same time a military and political leader of his time. Mohammed completely revised the economic, social and political life of a large area of the Middle East and some parts of North Africa, eliminating some horrid practices like female infanticide and created new rights and autonomy for women. He received and transmitted the holy book of Islam, the Koran. The Muslims see him not as the creator of a new religion, but as the one who restored the original and uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and all others before him.
Buddha or Gautama Buddha was born as a prince in a small kingdom in Nepal. A prophecy told that Buddha would grow up to be either a great holy man or a great king. His father had hoped for the latter and tried to steer him away from a religious life by keeping him in a sheltered environment and keeping him away from seeing all human suffering. This plan of his father all backfired as he witnessed for the first time as an adult, the sight of disease and old age which greatly shocked him. This event then led to Buddha’s journey away from all the luxuries of his home in search for enlightenment and truth. While meditating, he eventually received enlightenment and later developed the idea of the Noble Eight Path, which are a set of ethical principles to live by. He spent the rest of his life traveling through the Indian subcontinent, preaching his new faith wherever he goes.
1. Jesus Christ
Jesus is perhaps, the most influential man who ever lived. He changed the history of mankind and became the center of the world religion of Christianity. He is believed by the Christians to be the Son of God, although debated by the Muslims as only one of the prophets of God. There were many miracles attributed to Jesus such as the turning of water into wine, healing the leper, resurrection of the dead and many others. However, this super natural abilities Jesus displayed were not that really out of the ordinary that made him completely different than the prophets before him, it was his resurrection from the dead the cemented his sovereignty over all.