30 Responses

  1. Dax Baxter
    Dax Baxter at |

    It can be logically argued that the assissination of Archduke Ferdinand also lead to WWII in that the penalties imposed on Germany in the treaty of Versailles led to the rise of the Nazi’s and ultimately WWII.

    1. Dave
      Dave at |

      To take that a step further, WWII created the Holocaust which created the seeds for the forced creation of Israel which led to mass instability in the Middle East today and from there we can draw direct connections to a number of wars, rise of terrorism/extremist groups etc

  2. daniel
    daniel at |

    Archduke Ferdinand as number 1? Wow. I would not have put him anywhere near there. Sure, his death was the pretext used by Austria-Hungary to start a war with Serbia which resulted in WWI, but it had very little to do with him. If it had not been Ferdinand, it would have been someone or something else. Austria-Hungary was gunning for Serbia for years as a way to gain direct access to the Mediterranean and block the Russians from the same. The weakness of the Ottoman Empire left the area a political vacuum and ripe for the movement of one or the other. Both sides were looking for a reason to go to war over Serbia, Ferdinand was just a convenient excuse. To call that the most important assassination in history? WOW.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      Well, you sort of make the point in your comment…the list is not Top 10 Most Important People Who Were Assassinated–otherwise, I assume he would not even be on the list. His assassination, however, was very significant. It basically determined how the world would work for the rest of the century, if not longer.

      Yes, it probably would not have mattered had he not been assassinated–it probably would have happened to someone else. But it didn’t and that’s how history works.

  3. tim
    tim at |

    I really liked the list and agree with all of these except for Heydrich…at best his ascension to the head of Nazi germany would have prolonged the war, but in the end Nazi germany was destined to lose. Also, I think ferdinand assassination is overplayed becasue his death was really the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to WW1. Anyone who has a good understanding of the politics of this time knew (even then) that rampant nationalism and a series of alliances against each other was going to drag the countries of europe into war. In other words, it was inevitable that WW1 would erupt due to the circumstances, Ferdinand was just the spark. Thats why I don’t think it is deserving of the top spot

  4. bryan
    bryan at |

    If Dr. King not be killed, then the modern democrat party would not exist as it is today. Dr. King was a registered REPUBLICAN. During Dr. Kings fight it was the democrats that were the party of slavery, the pary of segregation, and the party of jim crow. It was REPUBLICANS who passed the voting rights act and civil rights act of 1965 and 1964. Democrats filibustered both these acts. The democrats have never been the party of racial equity. They want blacks poor and dependent on the gov’t. With the assassination of Dr. King, by a democrat, they achieved this.

    1. markusp
      markusp at |

      You’re wrong on nearly every account in your posting. First, Dr. King’s political leanings clearly were liberal, regardless of how he may have been registered. You state, “…it was the democrats that were the party of slavery.” This is patently untrue. You state, “party of segregation”. Again, this is completely false.

      Do you really believe that democrats “want blacks poor and dependent on the gov’t?” Are you aware that in all probability, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not killed by James Earl Ray? Even the family of Dr. King has issued public statement that they do not believe Ray was guilty. James Earl Ray was set up to be a “patsy”, and then got framed for a murder he did not commit.

      Are you aware that the ONE black police officer in Memphis on the day Dr. King was killed was verbally “reassigned” elsewhere for that time period? The likely culprit ultimately responsible for King’s death was J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was no democrat, that much is certain. He was nasty, and blackmailed politicians and celebrities by installing illegal wiretaps and then his agents monitored those phone conversations, noting any dirty laundry that could be used as leverage.

      Try to get your basic facts right.

  5. Jay
    Jay at |

    Can’t remember his name for the life of me… but some Roman Caesar was assassinated after 60 days because he failed to give a promised pay raise to his guards.
    In those 60 days, he fixed every problem the empire had.

    1. brian
      brian at |

      That makes no sense…how did fix EVERY problem if he was assassinated for not paying his gaurds

  6. brian
    brian at |

    almost all of the current lists just throw in rediculous things as a way of trolling.

  7. Peter Boucher
    Peter Boucher at |

    So what about Osama Bin-Laden and Moammer Gadhafi. I found No.9 to be quite interesting, Reinhard Heydrich. I am also a member of another Top Ten list website. He is in the Top Ten List on that website of the most “Sociopathic and Narcisstic people whoever lived and the synopsis of him goes into detail about the pleasure he got from watching people being tortured, maimed, disfigured and killed. Two Nazis were on that particular list, Heydrich and Josef Mengele (“The Angel Of Death)

    1. nova
      nova at |

      It is still too soon to tell how important those assassinations actually were.

    2. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      Well, technically Muammar Ghadafi was not assassinated–he was caputred and killed after a civil war. That’s like saying everyone who dies in battle is assassinated by the opposing army.

      As for bin Laden, sure his death was significant, but he was not nearly as powerful or influential (or even significant) as people think. He was broke, and recruitment was falling drastically. The only reason people wanted him dead was revenge. He was not as influential as someone like the leader of a country, he was just a public enemy.

    3. jayo
      jayo at |

      Bin-Laden was nothing more than a scapegoat, the exuse the US needed for their “war on terror”. They needed the war to build up the mass surveillance of their own citizens.

  8. Garfield
    Garfield at |

    I wrote a comment stating that the writer had made a mistake writing that Rajiv Gandhi was killed by Sikh extremists rather than LTTE extremists from Sri Lanka. Well the writer corrected this but why was my comment deleted. Because I just pointed out a mistake? Rather than at least saying “Thanks” my comment was deleted. What arrogance!!!

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Garfield, I usually delete the comments referencing mistakes because after the correction is made, what is the point of clogging up the comments with information that is not necessary now. But I do agree a thank you was in order so thank you for your correction. I will leave these comments up for posterity. I usually send an email to the commentor. I hope this soothes your bruised ego,it was not my intent to anger a reader.

      1. Ay
        Ay at |

        On the subject of corrections you refer to Heydrich as being ‘Every bit as ruthless and twice as smart as his protégé, Adolf Hitler’. Surely this is the wrong way round as Hitler was in no way Heydrich’s protégé.

  9. Roy
    Roy at |

    “Only history buffs would know his name”? You cant be serious, his infamy among the Jewish people alone will live forever, the master mind behind the “final solution “. Heydrich was the vilest of the vile,his execution changed nothing, the machinery of destruction was well in place by a perverse German people. Had he survived the end was inevitable and he would have been smuggled to some south American country on the “Rat Line” run by the Vatican under the auspices of “Blessed Pius XII” and another Austrian devil Bishop Hudal

  10. Kyle
    Kyle at |

    Julius Caesar wasn’t the first Emperor of Rome, his nephew, Octavian (later he took the name Caesar Augustus) was technically the first Emperor of Rome. He definitely would have become the first emperor had he lived longer but Cassius and Brutus were wanting to prevent such an action and thus were the instigators of the assassination. It’s funny, because it seems very likely that things would have been a whole lot less messy had he simply gained the power that the Roman people were so willing to give him. Ironically, such an action as his assassination led to the downfall of the Republic very quickly and very violently.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      I’m sorry, do you mean to say that Rome fell quickly and violently? Or that the Republic did?

      I can assure you Rome lasted for a very long time after Julius Caesar’s death–even longer, if you count the Byzantine Empire.

      If you mean the latter, the Republic was sort of “killed” in civil war–a bloodbath in which Octavian took power, and started the Empire.

  11. Keith
    Keith at |

    I’m surprised that Malcolm X is not on this list. His death in ’65 was the beginning of the darkest period in Civil Rights history. Thoughts?

  12. Nick
    Nick at |

    Under the other definition of assasination ‘deliberately killing someone for political reasons’. Jesus Christ can be included at number…ONE.

    1. Sasa
      Sasa at |

      While, technically, the primary definition of assassination does state it is for political reasons, an execution is not an assassination. Execution is putting someone to death, possibly for political reasons, while an assassination is more stealthy, more “cloak and dagger” if you will.

  13. Michael Vaughan
    Michael Vaughan at |

    Sarajevo was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914. Benazir Bhutto was a former head of government. The president was the head of state.

  14. Joy Oleka
    Joy Oleka at |

    read some theories on the assassination of Kennedy, who really killed him?

    1. Some Guy
      Some Guy at |

      Lee Harvey Oswald.

  15. anonymous
    anonymous at |

    John F. Kennedy: His death had only a MAJOR impact on the political course of the country. Kennedy would never had have wished for the radical implement the Great Society and only someone with Lyndon Johnson’s political skills and connections in Congress could have implemented these left wing programs that we are still suffering from.

  16. Thomas Mitchell
    Thomas Mitchell at |

    The failure to mention the Nov. 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing religious fanatic during the middle of the Oslo peace process is a major omission. Rabin had the security background and credibility to make major concessions and sell them to the Israeli public. Had he not been assassinated there might have been a peace treaty between Israel and Syria.

    Hitler was hardly the protege of Heydrich. Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party, which was built around his cult of personality. Heydrich was the protege of Himmler. But ultimately it was Hitler’s poor strategic and diplomatic decisions that led to Germany’s defeat in WWII. Hitler surrounded Germany with enemies with whom he went to war at the same time and he continually interfered with his generals in the running of the war to the detriment of the war effort.

    Read any account of antebellum American history–clearly the Democratic Party was the party of slavery. It was the Democratic Party in the South that led the secession drive in 1860-61 that led to the Civil War. While the Whig Party wasn’t an antislavery party, it did have an antislavery wing in the North. The Democratic Party in the North supported the spread of slavery to the western territories–the cause of the Civil War.

  17. john stones
    john stones at |

    People saying Malcom X or JFk are wrong. They affected America in a way that in hundreds of years no one will remember but Franz Ferdinand was different it affected the world. Its not just USA in the world. Americans think everything is about them. What difference would it make outside America if JFK didnt die. Or Malcom X it dosent effect the world also if Martin Luther king wasnt assinated what would be the differeence. His deaths sparked riots that ended inequality but if he lived he still would have ended it. Franz Ferdinand is number 1. Two world wars and millions of people died .

  18. Rick Singer
    Rick Singer at |

    I know this is an old article but in the #9 entry, Reinhard Heydrich, Senior Nazi Official, I believe the writer intended to use the slang work cojones which translates to balls, not kahunas which is Hawaiian for a wise man or shaman. I suppose the write might be saying that Reinhard Heydrich might have needed to find and enlist other important persons to pull off the coup. I’m thinking he mean cojones in this context and not referencing finding several “big kahunas who run the whole show”.


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