18th Century Political Leaders

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Political Leaders, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and James Madison.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar.
7
Famous As: Revolutionary & Military Leader
Birthdate: July 24, 1783
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Died: December 17, 1830
After losing his parents as a child, Simon Bolivar also lost his Spanish wife to yellow fever later and thus decided to devote himself to politics. He was the first president of Gran Colombia and Bolivia, and also led Peru and Venezuela in their fight for freedom, against Spain.

 2 George Washington

George Washington.
20
Famous As: First U.S. President
Birthdate: February 22, 1732
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Westmoreland County, Virginia, United States
Died: December 14, 1799

America’s first president, George Washington led the country with integrity, firmness and prudence that made him one of the greatest presidents in American history. He became a national hero before assuming presidency, when he led the Continental Army to victory against the British during the American Revolution.

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 3 Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton.
32
Famous As: Founding Father of the USA, Political Philosopher
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nevis, British West Indies
Died: July 12, 1804

Known as America’s one of the most influential Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He also fought in the American Revolutionary War and was considered as a leading votary of the strong central government.

 4 Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin.
9
Famous As: Founding Father of the United States
Birthdate: January 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 17, 1790

Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States as he was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a writer, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, an accomplished diplomat and much more. He is a key figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.

 5 James Madison

James Madison.
9
Famous As: 4th President of the United States
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway
Died: June 28, 1836

James Madison played an important role in drafting the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights and is hailed as the Father of the Constitution. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, considered to be a seminal work of political science. As president, he led the country into the 1812 war and historians place him as an above-average president.

 6 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams.
10
Famous As: 6th U.S. President
Birthdate: July 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 23, 1848

The sixth president of the United States of America John Quincy Adams played a key role in shaping America during its formative years. He helped develop the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually became a vital tenet of the U.S. foreign policy. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest secretaries of state and diplomats in the American history.

 7 William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison.
11
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charles City County
Died: April 4, 1841

The ninth president of the US, William Henry Harrison died 31 days into his presidential term, becoming the shortest-serving US president ever. His demise caused a brief constitutional crisis pertaining to the succession to the presidency. Subsequently, Vice President John Tyler became the new president, setting an important precedent in terms of transfer of the presidency in such situations.

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 8 James Buchanan

James Buchanan.
13
Famous As: 15th U.S. President
Birthdate: April 23, 1791
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cove Gap
Died: June 1, 1868

James Buchanan was a prominent American lawyer who served as the 15th president of the United States. He is often criticized for failing to address the issue of slavery and is consistently ranked among America's worst presidents. His life and work inspired the 2019 film Raising Buchanan in which he was played by René Auberjonois.

 9 John Tyler

John Tyler.
8
Famous As: 10th U.S. President
Birthdate: March 29, 1790
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charles City County
Died: January 18, 1862

The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler was dubbed His Accidency as he became the president after the sudden death of President William Henry Harrison when the former was serving as the vice president. Tyler's acceptance of full presidential powers set a prominent precedent and served as a model for succession to the future presidents.

 10 Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor.
8
Famous As: Military Leader and the 12th President of United States
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barboursville, Virginia, U.S.
Died: July 9, 1850
Zachary Taylor was the 12th U.S. president, from March 1849 till his death in July 1850, thus spending just 16 months in office. His heroism in the Mexican–American War had earned him the title of major general. A novice in political affairs, he was the last president who owned slaves.

 11 Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren.
8
Birthdate: December 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kinderhook
Died: July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren was an American statesman credited with co-founding the Democratic Party, one of the world's oldest and contemporary political parties. He served as the eighth president of the US and later became a prominent anti-slavery abolitionist leader. He also played a key role in forming the two-party system in the US.

 12 James K. Polk

James K. Polk.
7
Birthdate: November 2, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pineville
Died: June 15, 1849

The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk was an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. He is credited with extending the territory of the US during the Mexican–American War. During his presidency, the US annexed the Mexican Cession, the Oregon Territory, and the Republic of Texas.

 13 Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett.
5
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greene County
Died: March 6, 1836
American folk hero Davy Crockett, or the "King of the Wild Frontier,” was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee and part of the Texas Revolution. He opposed the Indian Removal Act. He was killed by the Mexican army the Battle of the Alamo.

 14 Maximilien de Robespierre

Maximilien de Robespierre.
7
Famous As: Influential Figure of the French Revolution
Birthdate: May 6, 1758
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arras, France
Died: July 28, 1794
Maximilien de Robespierre was a leading left-wing lawyer and leader during the Reign of Terror. He led the Committee of Public Safety and was part of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club. He was accused of establishing a dictatorship and was guillotined in 1794, thus beginning the Thermidorian Reaction.

 15 Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
5
Famous As: Former First Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: May 1, 1769
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: September 14, 1852
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, served as the British prime minister twice. He also served as the governor of Seringapatam and Mysore, and won the Battle of Assaye. He led the Hundred Days War and along with the Prussian army, won the Battle of Waterloo, defeating Napoleon.

 16 Sam Houston

Sam Houston.
4
Famous As: Former Governor of Texas
Birthdate: March 2, 1793
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockbridge County, Virginia
Died: July 26, 1863
Sam Houston was the governor of Texas from 1859 to 1861. He was also the senator from Texas, the President of the Republic of Texas, and the governor of Tennessee. As part of the Texan Army, he won the Battle of San Jacinto. The city Houston is named after him.

 17 John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun.
5
Famous As: 7th Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: March 18, 1782
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abbeville
Died: March 31, 1850

John C. Calhoun was an American political theorist and statesman. From 1825 to 1832, he served as the seventh vice president of the US. Before becoming the vice president, Calhoun served as secretary of war, a position which he used to modernize and reorganize the United States Department of War. He was played by Arliss Howard in the film Amistad.

 18 William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce.
4
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: August 24, 1759
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull
Died: July 29, 1833
William Wilberforce, an independent MP from Yorkshire, was a champion for the British anti-slavery movement and made a significant contribution to the passage of the 1807 Slave Trade Act and the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. He supported missionaries in India, founded the Church Mission Society, and was against animal cruelty.

 19 John Hancock

John Hancock.
4
Famous As: Former President of the Continental Congress
Birthdate: January 23, 1737
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Quincy, Province of Massachusetts Bay
Died: October 8, 1793

Merchant and statesman, John Hancock, served as the president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776, owing to this position. A rich man, he used his wealth to support the colonial cause during the American Revolution. He also used his influence to ratify the United States Constitution in 1788.

 20 Henry Clay

Henry Clay.
5
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: April 12, 1777
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover County, Virginia, United States
Died: June 29, 1852

Henry Clay was an American statesman who represented Kentucky in the US House of Representatives as well as US Senate. Considered one of the most important political figures of his era, Clay helped found the Whig Party and the National Republican Party. He is also considered one of the greatest speakers in the history of the US House of Representatives.

 21 Robert Peel

Robert Peel.
4
Famous As: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: February 5, 1788
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ramsbottom
Died: July 2, 1850

Statesman Robert Peel had been the prime minister of the U.K twice. He was also a two-time home secretary. He established the Metropolitan Police Service and also introduced the Tamworth Manifesto, thus co-founding the modern Conservative Party. He died of injuries after a horse he was riding fell on him.

 22 Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry.
4
Famous As: 5th & 6th Governor of Virginia, Orator, Revolutionary leader, Prominent promoter of American Revolution and Independence
Birthdate: May 29, 1736
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover County, Virginia
Died: June 6, 1799

A significant figure of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry was the first governor of post-colonial Virginia. A skilled orator, he is remembered for his iconic words “Give me liberty or give me death!” He excelled as a lawyer and gained fame with his win in the Parson's Cause.

 23 William Pitt the Younger

William Pitt the Younger.
4
Famous As: Youngest Prime Minister of Britain
Birthdate: May 28, 1759
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hayes, Bromley
Died: January 23, 1806

British statesman, William Pitt the Younger, became the youngest prime minister of Great Britain in 1783 when he was just 24. During his stint as the prime minister, he was also Chancellor of the Exchequer. Several major political events,  including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, happened during his tenure.  He is ranked highly among all British Prime Ministers.

 24 Meriwether Lewis

Meriwether Lewis.
4
Famous As: Explorer, Politician
Birthdate: August 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivy, Colony of Virginia
Died: October 11, 1809

 25 George Clinton

George Clinton.
4
Famous As: Fourth Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: July 26, 1739
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Little Britain, New York, United States
Died: April 20, 1812

George Clinton is one of the pioneers of funk music. He initially released multiple hits with the collective Parliament-Funkadelic and then launched a solo career with the album Computer Games and the singles Loopzilla and Atomic Dog. He has also lent his voice to the TV movie Freaknik: The Musical.

 26 Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster.
4
Famous As: Former United States Senator
Birthdate: January 18, 1782
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salisbury, New Hampshire, United States
Died: October 24, 1852

 27 Robert Clive

Robert Clive.
4
Famous As: British Military Officer
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

 28 Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle.
4
Birthdate: 1780 AD
Birthplace: Blake Island
Died: June 7, 1866
Chief Seattle was a Suquamish and Duwamish chief who was a close friend of David Swinson "Doc" Maynard and is remembered for his amicable relationship with the white settlers. The city of Seattle was named after him. He is widely known for his speech on Native American land rights.

 29 Grigory Potemkin

Grigory Potemkin.
4
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: October 11, 1739
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chizhovo, Russian Empire
Died: October 16, 1791

Grigory Potemkin was a Russian statesman, military leader, and nobleman. A favorite of Catherine the Great, Grigory Potemkin was appointed governor-general of Russia's southern provinces in 1775. An influential personality, Potemkin supervised the construction of several important edifices, such as the Tauride Palace. He is also credited with founding the towns of Ekaterinoslav, Sevastopol, Kherson, and Nikolayev.

 30 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte.
3
Famous As: Emperor of the French
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 

 31 Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen.
3
Famous As: Revolutionary War Hero
Birthdate: January 21, 1738
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Litchfield, Connecticut
Died: February 12, 1789

As a child, Ethan Allen was fond of deciphering passages from the Bible. He grew up to co-establish Vermont and led the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolutionary War. After failing to achieve Vermont’s separation from New York, he tried to unite Vermont with Canada.

 32 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.
3
Famous As: The Great Commoner
Birthdate: November 15, 1708
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster
Died: May 11, 1778

 33 Charles Evans Hughes

Charles Evans Hughes
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glens Falls, New York, U.S.
Died: August 27, 1948

 34 Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush.
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 19, 1813

 35 Antonio López de Santa Anna

Antonio López de Santa Anna
4
Famous As: Politician, Officer, Military personnel
Birthdate: February 21, 1794
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Xalapa
Died: June 21, 1876

 36 Anthony Wayne

Anthony Wayne.
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Easttown Township, Pennsylvania
Died: December 15, 1796

 37 Spencer Perceval

Spencer Perceval
3
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer
Birthdate: November 1, 1762
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London
Died: May 11, 1812

 38 John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich

John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich
3
Famous As: Statesman
Birthdate: November 13, 1718
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Died: April 30, 1792

 39 Thaddeus Stevens

Thaddeus Stevens.
4
Famous As: Former United States Representative
Birthdate: April 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Danville
Died: August 11, 1868
Thaddeus Stevens was member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and a Radical Republican leader. He played a major role in ending slavery and chaired the House Ways and Means Committee during the American Civil War. He was also known for ill-treating the ex-Confederates during Reconstruction.

 40 Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry.
3
Famous As: Former Vice President of the United States
Birthdate: July 17, 1744
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marblehead
Died: November 23, 1814

 41 William R. King

William R. King.
3
Famous As: Shortest Serving Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: April 7, 1786
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sampson County, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 18, 1853

William R. King served as the vice president of the U.S. in 1853 and died 45 days after assuming his duties. He was a representative from North Carolina and an Alabama senator. He led to the drafting of the Compromise of 1850 and had also been a minister to France.

 42 Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 19, 1721
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 23, 1793

 43 Richard Mentor Johnson

Richard Mentor Johnson.
3
Famous As: 9th Vice President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: October 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Louisville
Died: November 19, 1850

 44 Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans

Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
3
Famous As: Duke
Birthdate: April 13, 1747
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Domaine de Saint Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
Died: November 6, 1793

 45 Augustus II the Strong

Augustus II the Strong
3
Famous As: Elector of Saxony
Birthdate: May 12, 1670
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: February 1, 1733

 46 Lord North

Lord North.
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Piccadilly
Died: August 5, 1792

 47 Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole
3
Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Autobiographer, Politician
Birthdate: September 24, 1717
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London
Died: March 2, 1797

 48 Stanisław August Poniatowski

Stanisław August Poniatowski
3
Famous As: King of Poland
Birthdate: January 17, 1732
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Voŭčyn, Belarus
Died: February 12, 1798

 49 Richard Henry Lee

Richard Henry Lee
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 20, 1732
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stratford Hall, Stratford, Virginia, United States
Died: June 19, 1794

 50 Ferdinand VI of Spain

Ferdinand VI of Spain
3
Famous As: King
Birthdate: September 23, 1713
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 10, 1759