18th Century Political Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Political Leaders, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and James Madison.
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 1 
Alexander Hamilton
(American Revolutionary and Founding Father of the United States)
Alexander Hamilton
55
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
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.

 2 
George Washington
(1st President of the United States (1789 - 1797))
George Washington
31
Birthdate: February 2, 1732
Sun Sign: Aquarius
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.

 3 
Thomas Jefferson
(3rd President of the United States)
Thomas Jefferson
41
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shadwell, Virginia, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

The 2nd Vice President and the 3rd President of America, Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of USA and the principal draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a staunch advocate of democracy and a strong believer of individual rights and religious freedom, despite the fact that he himself owned nearly 600 slaves.

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 4 
Benjamin Franklin
(One of the Founding Fathers of the United States)
Benjamin Franklin
17
Birthdate: January 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: 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 
Andrew Jackson
(President of the United States (1829 – 1837))
Andrew Jackson
26
Birthdate: March 15, 1767
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waxhaws
Died: June 8, 1845

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of USA. His presidential reign has been termed as Jacksonian democracy and witnessed the shift of political power from established elites to ordinary voters. Coming from humble beginnings, Jackson knew the struggle of the masses and thus, worked towards creating a more inclusive country.  His picture has been featured on the front side of $20 bill since 1928.

 6 
John Adams
(2nd President of United States (1797-1801))
John Adams
26
Birthdate: October 30, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

One of the Founding Fathers of America, John Adams was a statesman, attorney, and diplomat who served as the second president of the United States. He was a principal leader of the American Revolution. As a lawyer, he was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. His administration has been favorably ranked by historians and scholars.

 7 
James Madison
(4th President of The United States)
James Madison
12
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway, Virginia, United States
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.

 8 
Simon Bolivar
(Revolutionary & Military Leader)
Simon Bolivar
13
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.
 9 
William Henry Harrison
(The First U.S President to Die in the Office and Had the Shortest Presidency in the U.S. History)
William Henry Harrison
12
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Virginia, United States
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.

 10 
Davy Crockett
(U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee (1827-31, 1833-35))
Davy Crockett
6
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Limestone, Tennessee, United States
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.
 11 
Aaron Burr
(3rd Vice President of United States)
Aaron Burr
22
Birthdate: February 6, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 14, 1836

A soldier, lawyer and one of the founding Fathers of America, Aaron Burr rose to become the third Vice president of the United States. His turbulent political career, which included bitter rivalry with Alexander Hamilton, concluded when he mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel and was later charged with treason.

 12 
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1828 - 1830, 1834))
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
6
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.
 13 
Samuel Adams
(American Political Philosopher and 4th Governor of Massachusetts (1794–1797))
Samuel Adams
4
Birthdate: September 27, 1722
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 2, 1803
Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, also served as the governor of Massachusetts. Samuel formed the Boston Tea Party and also played a major role in drafting the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution. He was a second cousin of President John Adams.
 14 
William Wilberforce
(Abolitionist)
William Wilberforce
4
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.
 15 
John Hancock
(Governor of Massachusetts (1780-85, 1787-93))
John Hancock
4
Birthdate: January 23, 1737
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
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.

 16 
Maximilien de Robespierre
(French Lawyer and Statesman & One of the Most Influential Figures of the 'French Revolution')
Maximilien de Robespierre
11
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.
 17 
Henry Clay
(Political Leader)
Henry Clay
5
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.

 18 
John C. Calhoun
(7th Vice President of the U.S.A)
John C. Calhoun
6
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.

 19 
John Jay
(1st Chief Justice of the United States (1789 - 1795))
John Jay
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1745
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 17, 1829

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the famous Paris Treaty, John Jay was best known as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, although he occupied various other important public positions. He was a diplomat, who shaped his country’s foreign policy. He passed legislation to gradually abolish slavery, but he himself owned five enslaved people.

 20 
Patrick Henry
(Founding Father of the United States)
Patrick Henry
4
Birthdate: May 29, 1736
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Studley, Virginia, United States
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.

 21 
Meriwether Lewis
(Explorer, Politician)
Meriwether Lewis
4
Birthdate: August 18, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ivy, Colony of Virginia
Died: October 11, 1809

Best known for his exploration of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, Meriwether Lewis led the legendary Lewis and Clark Expedition. He had also been the governor of Louisiana. His mysterious death at age 35, due to gunshot wounds, sparked a huge debate on whether it was a murder or a suicide.

 22 
Daniel Webster
(Former United States Senator)
Daniel Webster
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1782
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Salisbury, New Hampshire, United States
Died: October 24, 1852
 23 
Robert Clive
(The First British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India)
Robert Clive
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

Robert Clive was a military officer and the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India. Nicknamed Clive of India, Robert Clive is credited with laying the foundation of the East India Company rule in Bengal. He won the Battle of Plassey in 1757, which enabled him to establish Company rule in Bengal.

 24 
Thaddeus Stevens
(Former United States Representative)
Thaddeus Stevens
4
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.
 25 
George Clinton
(Vice President of the United States (1805-1812))
George Clinton
4
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.

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster, Middlesex, England
Died: October 18, 1865
 27 
Chief Seattle
(Tribal chief)
Chief Seattle
4
Birthdate: 1786 AD
Birthplace: Suquamish, Washington, United States
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.
 28 
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
(Ottoman Governor of Egypt)
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1769
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kavala, Greece
Died: August 2, 1849

Muhammad Ali of Egypt was the de facto ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848. He was also the Albanian Ottoman governor and is considered the founder of modern Egypt. He implemented drastic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres in Egypt. He established the Muhammad Ali dynasty that ruled Egypt until the revolution of 1952.

 29 
Robert Walpole
(Prime Minister of Great Britain (1721-42))
Robert Walpole
4
Birthdate: August 26, 1676
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houghton, Norfolk, England
Died: March 18, 1745
 30 
John Graves Simcoe
(British Army General Who Founded the City of Toronto and Abolished Slavery in Canada)
John Graves Simcoe
4
Birthdate: February 25, 1752
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotterstock, Oundle, England
Died: October 26, 1806

John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general best remembered for founding York (present-day Toronto, Canada). Simcoe, who served as the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, was responsible for introducing institutions like trial by jury, courts of law, freehold land tenure, and English common law. John Graves Simcoe also played a key role in abolishing slavery in Canada.

 31 
William Pitt the Younger
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1783-1801, 1804-06))
William Pitt the Younger
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1759
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hayes, Bromley, England
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.

 32 
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
(Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom)
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1764
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fallodon, Northumberland, England
Died: July 17, 1845
 33 
Grigory Potemkin
(Russian Statesman, Army Officer and Lover of Empress Catherine the Great)
Grigory Potemkin
4
Birthdate: October 11, 1739
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chizhevo, Russia
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.

 34 
Tadeusz Kościuszko
(Statesman, Engineer)
Tadeusz Kościuszko
4
Birthdate: 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mieračoŭščyna
Died: October 15, 1817

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian statesman, military leader, and military engineer. Thanks to his participation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's fight against Prussia and Russia and his role in the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko is widely regarded as a national hero in the United States, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

 35 
Georges Danton
(Minister of Justice of France (1792))
Georges Danton
6
Birthdate: October 26, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Arcis-sur-Aube, France
Died: April 5, 1794

Georges Danton was a major figure in the early stages of the French Revolution. While many historians state that he played a key role in the establishment of the First French Republic, a few scholars refute this claim. He served as the first president of the Committee of Public Safety and was beheaded by the advocates of revolutionary terror. 

 36 
Klemens von Metternich
(Chancellor of the Austrian Empire (1821-48))
Klemens von Metternich
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1773
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: June 11, 1859
After being appointed the Austrian ambassador to France, Klemens von Metternich met Napoleon many times and apparently had a brief affair with Napoleon’s sister, Caroline, too. He duped Napoleon into thinking he supported France against Russia, and secretly made an alliance with Russia, Prussia, and Britain, to eventually overthrow Napoleon.
 37 
José de San Martín
(Military Leader, Politician)
José de San Martín
4
Birthdate: February 25, 1778
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yapeyú
Died: August 17, 1850

José de San Martín was an Argentine general who played an important role in the Spanish American wars of independence. San Martín is considered a national hero of Peru and Argentina. The Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest honor conferred by the government of Argentina, was created in his honor.

 38 
Ethan Allen
(Revolutionary War Hero)
Ethan Allen
3
Birthdate: January 21, 1738
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Litchfield, Connecticut, United States
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.

William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1748
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 29, 1811
 40 
Philip John Schuyler
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1733
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
Died: November 18, 1804
 41 
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1766-68))
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1708
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: May 11, 1778
 42 
Charles Evans Hughes
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glens Falls, New York, U.S.
Died: August 27, 1948
 43 
Napoleon Bonaparte
(Emperor of the French (1804-1814))
Napoleon Bonaparte
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
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. 
 44 
John Quincy Adams
(6th President of United States (1825 - 1829))
John Quincy Adams
11
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.

 45 
Benjamin Rush
(Founding Father of the United States)
Benjamin Rush
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1746
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Byberry, Philadelphia, United States
Died: April 19, 1813
 46 
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
(1st Prime Minister of France (1815), Ambassador of France to the UK (1830-34))
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
4
Birthdate: February 2, 1754
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 17, 1838

While his clubfoot prevented him from joining the army and also earned him the nickname The Lame Devil, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord later became the bishop of Autun. Known for his womanizing ways, he also went down in history as an opportunist who changed sides.

 47 
Spencer Perceval
(Politician, Lawyer)
Spencer Perceval
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1762
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London
Died: May 11, 1812

Spencer Perceval was an English barrister and statesman who served as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister from 1809 to 1812. The only solicitor-general to have served as UK's prime minister, Perceval was also the only British PM to have been murdered. His assassination inspired poems like Universal sympathy on the martyr'd statesman, which was published in 1812.

 48 
Anthony Wayne
(Senior Officer of the United States Army (1792-96))
Anthony Wayne
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Easttown Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 15, 1796
John Montagu, 4th earl of Sandwich
3
Birthdate: November 13, 1718
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Died: April 30, 1792

At age 10, John Montagu succeeded his grandfather, Edward Montagu, as the earl of Sandwich. The Eton- and Cambridge-educated statesman had held several important positions, such as the First Lord of the Admiralty. While gambling, he would often have bread and meat, leading to the delicacy being named “sandwich.”

 50 
Elbridge Gerry
(Vice President of the United States (1813-14))
Elbridge Gerry
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1744
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marblehead, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 23, 1814