Top 10 People who Changed the Course of History in the 20th Century

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Here are ten people who in 20th century changed the course of history, due to their actions or due to their beliefs and their ability to lead the masses. History may judge them as villains or as heroes, but their role as change makers is undeniable.

1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi


A frail man, with a simple philosophy of non-violence, and the ability to lead an entire nation with just his words sounded the death knell of colonialism in the 20th Century. Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela have all followed his footsteps in their quests.


2. Adolf Hitler


A highly reviled man, nevertheless we tend to forget that he raised a defeated Germany into one of the world’s strongest fighting machines. His political ambitions, his quest for power and his belief in the supremacy of the Aryan race were his undoing, but due to his actions he changed the course of history in the 20th century.


3. Winston Churchill


A master statesman and strategist, he lead his tiny nation to victory in one of the most turbulent times in history. Considered to be Britain’s greatest war-time leader, his oratorical skills, and his bonding with Roosevelt helped the Allies to triumph over Hitler’s army.


4. Mikhail Gorbachev


Pushing open the doors of reform, he spelt the end of communism as an all pervasive system of governance. His effective summits with Ronald Reagan closed the doors on the Cold War, and he presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Union. History will remember him as a man who shaped the destinies of many nations.


5. Martin Luther King


Many believe that it was his struggles for racial equality which spelt the doom of segregation in the United States. He was at the helm of the movement, where blacks and whites alike stood up to fight centuries of discrimination, and to him goes the credit for the victory that they achieved.

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