If you could switch places with any historical leader who would it be?

I would switch with Napoleon. I think that he could've done a better job in spreading the ideas of the French revolution and could have encouraged the creation of nation states that were his puppets instead of putting family members in charge of fractured states. His war against Russia could've been won if he appealed to the enslaved masses of the Russian empire by promising them freedom instead of trying to force Russia back into the embargo against Britain.

Most original answer gets MHO.
Please don't put Stalin, Hitler, Mao or any other ruthless dictator.


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  • I will have to say Kim Il-Sung. Why? Because he had almost unlimited opportunities. Imagine being able to have your own country with millions of citizens and having almost unlimited power. He could have made so much out of it. He could have followed his ideas of anti-imperialism and still created a nation where people are not only free but happy. He could have turned North Korea into an east Asian version of Scandinavia, a country where people would say "that's a place I want to live at".
    I actually feel quite similarly about Mao. He too, had a lot of opportunities that he missed. However, in the case of Mao, I also have to tell you that he is nowadays very often accused of crimes that he did not commit or condone. One great example for this are the millions of people who were murdered after Mao came into power. It is often said (especially in communism-hating America) that Mao killed all those people. The truth however is that Mao actually spoke up AGAINST killing innocent civilians. Both Mao and the Communist Party in China publicly announced that they are very much against murdering civilians, even if these civilians might have different political views. Once Mao was in power, he believed that he should devote his energy to governing and not killing. Also, like many other leaders, Mao understood that killing innocent civilians would not help his political cause but would in fact haunt him in his later career. The millions of people who were killed after the Communist Revolution in China were almost exclusively killed by normal, politically unaffiliated people, mostly farmers and other members of low social classes. Many of these normal (but poor) people had been enslaved, exploited and abused by their feudal lords in unimaginable ways for decades and centuries. They had an insatiable wrath and desire for revenge in their hearts. So when Mao got into power and the revolution succeeded, many of these poor people believed their chance for vengeance to have arrived and they went on gruesome killing sprees throughout the country. Both in China and in the Soviet Union, this wrath and lust for revenge of the common people was one of the central reasons why Lenin and Mao decided to govern in an autocratic fashion. Lenin even wrote in his lengthy treatises on politics that he did not believe in a left-wing, liberal communism the way people such as Rosa Luxemburg envisioned it. He argued that while in Germany this is an option, it would never function in

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    • Russia because there is so much anger and desire for revenge among the common people. In order to prevent these people from going crazy and plunging the nation into chaos, Lenin believed that ruling with a strong hand was the only way to retain law and order. Ironically and sadly, one of those revenge-seeking peasants that Lenin deeply feared later became the next leader of the Soviet Union (Lenin did not like Stalin and thought he was a brute. He wanted Trotzky to be his successor but unfortunately died too early to officially proclaim this decision, which gave Stalin the opportunity to seize power and later kill Trotzky). In China, Mao thought quite similarly to Lenin but contrary to Lenin, he was not able to prevent people from killing and torturing their former masters.

    • Didn't think about Kim Il Sung. Yes a man with opportunity.
      Mao's actions led to the starvation of millions no different from what Stalin did in Ukraine.

What Girls Said 1

  • Cleopatra. She was pretty badass and incredibly intelligent.

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What Guys Said 5

  • John Kennedy

    Not because I'd do anything different with his life. But because the US needs a real president in our time to fix things that have gone terribly wrong.

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  • So my initial thought was Hitler, as he started with some good ideas before he started taking over countries. But since we're not allowed to pick ruthless dictators, I guess I'd choose James Longstreet.

    He had an impeccable record in the military, and his disagreement with Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg was sound, but he didn't press Lee. I think the only thing he lacked as a great leader was the ability to know when to tell his superiors when they were flat out wrong.

    Also, Teddy Roosevelt was a close second here. He was just an all around awesome guy. By far the most awesome President the U. S. has ever seen.

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    • What exactly were Hitler's "good ideas"?

    • @BlueCoyote The greatest ideas he had were breaking the treaty of Versailles and instituting social programs to help the German people. He was a socialist it's just the crazy White supremacy crap ruined everything. That's why the Nazi party was called National Socialist. A disgusting combination of nationalism and socialism.

  • Being a Brit i think i'm obligated to say Churchill, Haha.

    - Convince government to easen up the Treaty of Versailles punishments, Thus giving no reason for the Nazi party to ruin Germany's democracy and start WW2.
    - Continue strengthening the British Empire, Perhaps Re-Establish rule in Canada / Australia / New Zealand Etc.
    - Invade China + Japan via India. Coax US. into providing assistance if need be by perhaps offering southern American colony as payment.
    - Pretty much control the majority of the population and industry of the planet.

    Yeah... Pretty much maintain and strengthen the British Empire so its still around today.

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  • I'd switch places with Alexios IV Angelos so that I could stop the advance of the Venetians and their usurper, Alexios IV Duokas. This could be enough to prevent the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 and prevent the Turks from destroying the Eastern Roman Empire.

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  • Teddy Roosevelt
    Fight for the common man

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