The world has witnessed all types of leaders. From humane ones to others who use cruelty on their subjects. While majority rise to the throne with promises of good governance, time pressure and the desire to retain power turn them around to be at their worst.

They employ all manner of tactics that include brutal deaths, excommunication and torture for those deemed to be against their rule. Those who surround the rulers in such instances are always gifted with goodies from the rulers’ basket. Promotion to positions of power, land and property are among the gifts offered to the royal members here is a list of 10 rulers whose cruelty remains to be felt through generations.

10. Qin Shi Huang

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryA ruler of the first Qin dynasty, he was at the helm of leadership for a whooping 37 years. During this tenure, he was famous for getting rid of scholars who contradicted his ideas. As though this was not enough, he ordered the burning of books and any scholarly materials he deemed would generate contradictory ideas from his statesmen. At his time, he also ordered for construction of what is today referred to as the Great Wall of China. While majority of the workers died while on site, he also ensured the remaining workers were killed to preserve secrecy. During wartimes, he was known to capture men from other countries and turn them into his slaves after castrating them.

9. Idi Amin Dada

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History

After serving in King’s African Rifles in 1946, Amin was promoted to a general in the Ugandan army a position he held before overthrowing power. He ruled his country in a dictatorial; manner for nine years from 1971 to 1979. During his time in power, he is believed to have killed almost half a million people. Rumor has it that in certain times he would consume the flesh from his victims in full glare of his security detail. Despite his dislike for the whites, he lost his seat through the same avenue that he got it. He ran into exile and passed on in 2003 in a Saudi Arabian hospital.

8. Gaius Julius Caesar

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryHe started off with great support for his countrymen. His first humane acts included setting off prisoners held unjustly and removing taxes imposed on the residents. When change knocked, he started eliminating his opponents through execution. To make the situation sever, he forced family members to watch and witness the execution. This deteriorated further with his forceful for sexual relations with his sister who he later sold their services to his cronies. Turned into a beast on his people whom he raped and killed at will. At some point in his life, he made one of his horses a priest.

7. Attila the Hun

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryAtila rose to the throne after killing his brother becoming the leader of the Hunnic Empire. He was at the throne for the period between 434 and 453 Ad when he was acknowledged as a ruthless assassin of the time. Through wars and intimidation, he expanded the empire to cover Russia, Ukraine and the modern-day German. His love for war was exhibited through his famous saying that no grass was to grow in the fields he stepped. His cruelty was widely felt in Western Europe where he butchered many opposed to his reign.

6. Wu Zetian

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryA concubine at the age of 14 years, Wu rose and became one of the greatest leaders in ancient china. An era that spanned between 690 and 705 AD, she is one of the ruthless rulers in Chinese history. During her regime, she was highly respected for making amicable decisions that held together her kingdom through handpicked military leaders. However, her word was always final and any opponent was severely punished. During the time, a great majority was exiled for simply opposing her ideas. Execution of her close associates and family members who dared oppose her was prevalent through her rule.

5. Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary)

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryShe was born as an only child to the then notorious king of England Henry VIII. She was installed as the queen of England in 1553 and ruled until 1558. After her installation, she married Philip II of Spain. At the time, England was mainly protestant and her reign saw a great change when this was changed to Catholicism. Immediately after she made this ruling, majority of the Protestants who defied her orders were burned alive. A move that saw hundreds of [protestants killed also earned her the name “Bloody Mary”.

4. Ivan IV

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryOtherwise referred to as Ivan the Terrible, he was the first ruler of Russia and ruled between 1533 and 1547. Ivan IV had a complex personality with majority claiming he suffered from bouts of mental illness. During his time, the solders would round-up an average of 500 to 1000 people who would be killed after a rigorous torture before him and his son. To ensure his subjects never escaped, he created a wall around the city and this ensured all the residents were within his reach. In certain instances, it is believed he would enjoy watching people frying in pans while others would be crippled through torture.

3. Adolf Hitler

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryA leader who was at the centre of Nazism since it’s inception, Hitler was one of the strong forces during World War II. A German politician born in Australia, he started off as a leader of Socialist German Workers party before landing the post as the chancellor of Germany between 1933 and 1945. He managed to conquer many territories during the war a result of which millions lost their lives. He was the mastermind behind the Holocaust” that saw slaughter of over six million Jews including women and children. He met his death through suicide where he shot himself with a cyanide capsule in his mouth.

2. Josef Stalin

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in HistoryA Soviet Union premier for 29 years, Josef ruled his subjects with an iron fist. In what he took as a measure to rid his country of poor peasants, he oversaw the killing of over 20 million of his countrymen. The peasants were either killed or allowed to starve to death. Being among the leaders who reigned during the era of Russian revolution, he is considered to be the only one who wielded much power most of which he used to oppress the poor majority and get rid of those considered as threats to his regime. Considered as one of the greatest rulers in Russia, he is also one among the acclaimed ruthless rulers of all times.

1. Augusto Pinochet

Most Cruel Rulers Ever in History

After overthrowing Allende’s government in Chile, Pinochet rose to power through assistance of the United States. His policies that included the free market saw a significant growth of Chile’s economy leading to a strong and highly acclaimed economy in Latin America in the years between early 1980 and late 1990’s. During his time however, more than 35,000 of his countrymen were tortured and disappeared mysteriously. Majority of these people were his opposers and their supporters. While he was accused of abusing human rights, Pinochet died before he could face the jury.

For centuries, the poor and those opposed to power have been victims of their rulers. Majority have been exiled, tortured and even killed in the process. The leaders who take this course of action are intent in maintaining their hold on power and therefore take the easy route to get off their opponents. This comes despite the fact that majority of such leaders are democratically elected or assume power with the assistance of the friends who later turn to be foes.


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