Irrespective of whether they build an army and earn their nation’s freedom or they are simply running from a death sentence, there is something about rebels that can’t go by unnoticed. For most people, it really does not matter if the cause they are fighting for makes sense or if it is correct; the masses just admire them for the mere fact that they had the courage to stand up usually against powerful oppressive forces and never give up fighting for what they believe in. Following is a top of the most remarkable rebels throughout history.
1. George Washington
In all honesty, if you were to look at George Washington’s actions as a whole, you will soon realize that one of the most beloved Founding Fathers was a rebel. After he gained his military skills in the service of the English and fought the French and Indians, George Washington went against the laws of the British and earned the United States of America’s independence.
Spartacus is the most notable leader of the slaves in the Third Servile War against an extremely powerful Roman Empire. After escaping from a gladiator school, he created a resistance movement in a strategic position near Mount Vesuvius. Although he led several successful campaigns against Rome’s legionnaires for almost two years, he took an awkward decision: he turned his forces around and helped the Roman army fight off a last stand. Historians at the time claim that Spartacus’s forces were decimated on the battlefield and the fate of the leader is unknown, since his body was never found.
3. Pancho Villa
Doroteo Arango, mostly known as Pancho Villa is one of the most symbolic figures of the 1910 Mexican revolution. Born in a poor family, he was forced to live in exile at the early age of 16 simply because he shot the administrator of the hacienda for attempting to rape his sister. Although initially he supported General Huerta, Pancho Villa got into a conflict with him and was condemned to death. Luckily, the president changed his punishment to imprisonment from which he escaped. Pancho Villa started fighting against General Huerta’s forces and later on became the governor of a Mexican state.
4. William Wallace
Throughout history, noblemen have always sat together; all noblemen except William Wallace who got into a conflict with the Scottish high nobility because he would simply not recognize King Edward I as the rightful successor to the throne. Therefore, he built his own army and claimed two important victories despite the fact that his army was greatly outnumbered. Unfortunately, betrayal was very common during Wallace’s times, so he got captured and condemned to death by hanging.
5. Giuseppe Garibaldi
If you were to check out Giuseppe Garibaldi’s biography, you will conclude that he lived his entire life as a rebel. Exiled in South America after the failed insurrection of Giuseppe Mazzini, he came back to Italy and defended Rome from a French invasion. Twelve years later (1860), Garibaldi fought for the liberation of Italy with the help of the British Navy. Unfortunately, he was captured in battle and imprisoned for several years. When Garibaldi was released, he got received a seat in the Italian parliament and became an important and highly respected political figure of his time.
History records show that it is very likely that the rebel pharaoh of Egypt, Akhenaten was not really the first choice as ruler; yet, the suspicious death of his older brother brought him on the throne and allowed him to open a very interesting chapter in Egyptian history. It is sufficient to note that the reign of Akhenaten was so scandalous that the entire Egypt put an effort to erasing his name from the temples: he rebelled against the entire pantheon of Egypt and established there is only one god, Aten.
7. Galileo Galilei
A brilliant mathematician, astronomer, physicist and doctor, Galileo Galilei can be considered one of the most important scientists of the Middle Ages. In an age where the Church reigned supreme and nobody dared to contest its authority, Galilei came with an incredible hypothesis that was in direct opposition with the position of the Catholic Church: the Earth revolves around the Sun and not vice versa. Trialed and convicted in spite of the notes of the Church’s mathematicians who stated that his observations were correct, he never gave up on studying the mysteries of the universe.
8. Mohandas Gandhi
Gandhi will remain one of the most prolific leaders in the 20th century history. Having sacrificed himself for the amity of India, he represents the emblematic image of the fight against racisms, colonialism and violence. Even though he was raised according to the Hindu religion, he practiced a universal Hinduism and strongly believed that all men should be treated as equals irrespective of gender, social class and religion. If it wasn’t for Gandhi, India would not be the country it is today.
9. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The fight against racism in the United States started with Rosa Parks, a brave woman who simply refused to conform to an oppressive system and its ridiculous laws. After that point there was no turning back: just 4 days after the incident, Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected as the head of the new protest group and become the vector for the civil rights movement. If Dr. King would have conformed to hypocritical rules just like the rest of the people, it is very likely that the US would not have an African- American president at this point.
10. Robin Hood
Even though historians cannot confirm or infirm his existence, Robin Hood remains the eternal illustrative rebel of all times. Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, Robin Hood was allegedly a wronged nobleman who decided to put an end to King John’s corrupted reign. Regardless of whether he was a fictional character or a real person, one fact is for sure: Robin Hood incorporated an early and very consistent concept of an ideal socialism where people can enjoy equal rights.