Famous 19th Century Revolutionaries

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Revolutionaries, including B. R. Ambedkar, Leon Trotsky, Chiang Kai-shek, Jose Rizal and Pancho Villa.

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 Rani Lakshmibai

Rani Lakshmibai
Famous As: Queen of Jhansi State
Birthdate: November 19, 1828
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: June 18, 1858

Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.

 2 Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky
Famous As: People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs of the Soviet Union (1918-1925)
Birthdate: November 7, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bereslavka, Ukraine
Died: August 21, 1940

A Russian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary, Leon Trotsky developed a political ideology called Trotskyism, which eventually had a considerable impact on Russian politics. He also played a vital role in leading the Red Army to victory in the Russian Civil War.

 3 Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Famous As: Indian teacher
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ratnagiri, British India (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Died: August 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.
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 4 Paul Revere

Paul Revere
Famous As: Silversmith, Revolutionary
Birthdate: January 1, 1735
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 10, 1818
Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston and a Patriot in the American Revolution who is remembered for alerting his fellow Patriots, during a midnight ride, about the approaching British forces prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord. He remains immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride.

 5 Pancho Villa

Pancho Villa
Famous As: General
Birthdate: June 5, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Durango
Died: July 20, 1923
Military leader Pancho Villa was a significant figure of the Mexican Revolution. He supported the ouster of dictator Porfirio Diaz and later fought to remove Victoriano Huerta from power. He also allied with Emiliano Zapata and fought against Venustiano Carranza. He remains immortalized in many films and novels.

 6 Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal
Birthdate: June 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Calamba, Laguna
Died: December 30, 1896

Jose Rizal was a Filipino polymath and nationalist. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal turned towards writing and inspired the Philippine Revolution through his writings. The revolution eventually led to Philippine independence and Rizal became a national hero. His life has inspired several biographical films and TV series.

 7 Josip Broz Tito

Josip Broz Tito
Birthdate: May 7, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kumrovec
Died: May 4, 1980
Josip Broz Tito served as the prime minister of Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1963 and as its president from 1953 to 1980. He was also the Marshal of Yugoslavia. During World War II, he led the Partisans. He was also one of the main figures behind the Non-Aligned Movement.
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 8 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg
Famous As: Marxist economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution

 9 Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 4, 1807
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: June 2, 1882

Italian general, patriot, and republican Giuseppe Garibaldi is remembered for the role he played in the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. He is considered one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland." A highly proficient military general, he also led the Expedition of the Thousand on behalf of Victor Emmanuel II. He died in 1882.

 10 Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata
Famous As: Mexican Political figure
Birthdate: August 8, 1879
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Anenecuilco, Mexico
Died: April 10, 1919
Emiliano Zapata was a key figure in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 and led the agrarian movement known as Zapatismo. As the leader of the Liberation Army of the South, he contributed to the fall of Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz and later fought against Venustiano Carranza.

 11 Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: July 19, 1827
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nagwa, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: April 8, 1857
Indian soldier Mangal Pandey was a significant figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny, or First War of Independence. Pandey was a sepoy of the British East India Company’s 34th BNI Regiment. His life inspired the Bollywood movie Mangal Pandey: The Rising

 12 Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin
Famous As: Former Premier of the Soviet Union
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ulyanovsk, Russia
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

 13 Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai
Famous As: Freedom Fighter
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dhudike, India
Died: November 17, 1928

Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari

 14 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Famous As: Indian scholar
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: February 22, 1958

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day

 15 Benito Juarez

Benito Juarez
Famous As: Lawyer, Politician
Birthdate: March 21, 1806
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Pablo Guelatao, Mexico
Died: July 18, 1872

Benito Juarez was a Mexican lawyer and politician. He served as the 26th president of Mexico from 1858 to 1872, becoming the first president of Mexico who was of indigenous origin. He died of a heart attack in 1872. To date,  he is revered as "a preeminent symbol of Mexican nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention." 

 16 Birsa Munda

Birsa Munda
Famous As: Tribal Leader Who Revolted Against the British Rule
Birthdate: November 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ulihatu, Khunti, India
Died: June 9, 1900

In spite of his short life, which ended at age 24, Birsa Munda is remembered for spearheading the tribal movement against the British. He also made the British introduce new laws for the protection of the tribal land rights. He died in prison while undergoing trials.

 17 Éamon de Valera

Éamon de Valera
Famous As: Former President of Ireland
Birthdate: October 14, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 29, 1975

Irish statesman Éamon de Valera served as the 3rd President of Ireland from 1959 to 1973. An influential political leader in 20th-century Ireland, he played a key role in introducing the Constitution of Ireland. Prior to becoming the president, he served as Taoiseach on three different occasions. He was an austere, stern, and unbending figure.

 18 Jose Marti

Jose Marti
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 28, 1853
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: May 19, 1895

Son of Spanish immigrants, Jose Marti spent his childhood in a strife-torn Cuba and attended high school on financial aid. Marti’s poems, essays, and articles were laced with his patriotic vigor to free Cuba from the Spanish rule. He died battling on the field at Dos Ríos.

 19 Andres Bonifacio

Andres Bonifacio
Famous As: Filipino Revolutionary
Birthdate: November 30, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tondo
Died: May 10, 1897
Andrés Bonifacio, or the “Father of the Philippine Revolution,” established the Katipunan, the Philippine independence movement against the Spanish colonial reign. He also worked with La Liga Filipina. He is considered the first president of the Philippines though he was never officially the president. He was eventually executed for treason. 

 20 Louis Riel

Louis Riel
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 22, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Red River Colony, Canada
Died: November 16, 1885

Louis Riel was a Canadian politician. He is credited with founding the province of Manitoba. He holds a significant place in the history of the Métis people as he served as their political leader in pre-Manitoba Northwest Territories. Louis Riel is regarded as a folk hero by the Métis and other Canadian minorities for his efforts to defend their rights.

 21 Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph
Famous As: Nez Perce leader
Birthdate: March 3, 1840
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wallowa River
Died: September 21, 1904

Chief Joseph, a leader of the Nez Percé tribe of Native Americans, had initially agreed to the U.S. demand of them moving into a reservation in Idaho. However, fearing retaliation after his men killed a few whites, he attempted an escape to Canada, leading his people through an arduous trek.

 22 Peter Kropotkin

Peter Kropotkin
Famous As: Anarchist, Socialist & Historian
Birthdate: December 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 8, 1921

Russian philosopher Peter Kropotkin was a passionate advocate of anarcho-communism. He was also an activist, revolutionary, economist, and sociologist. He was arrested and imprisoned for his activism in 1874. However, he managed to escape and lived in exile for over 40 years in different countries across Europe. He returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

 23 Apolinario Mabini

Apolinario Mabini
Famous As: Revolutionary leader
Birthdate: July 23, 1864
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Talaga, Philippines
Died: May 13, 1903

 24 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 25 Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 30, 1814
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Russia
Died: July 1, 1876

Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian socialist and anarchist. He is credited with founding an anarchist school of thought called collectivist anarchism. Regarded as one of the most influential personalities of anarchism, Mikhail Bakunin has had a major influence on thinkers like Peter Kropotkin, Herbert Marcuse, Errico Malatesta, Neil Postman, E. P. Thompson, and A. S. Neill.    

 26 Chiang Kai-shek

Chiang Kai-shek
Famous As: President of the Republic of China
Birthdate: October 31, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xikou
Died: April 5, 1975

Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese revolutionary who led the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and later on in Taiwan until his death. He is credited with successfully leading the Northern Expedition against the Beiyang government, achieving Chinese unification. He was involved in a civil war with Communist Party of China, which he lost in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan.

 27 Red Cloud

Red Cloud
Birthdate: 1822 AD
Birthplace: near North Platte, Nebraska
Died: December 10, 1909

One of the most significant leaders of the Oglala Lakota tribe of the Sioux group of Native Americans, Red Cloud is remembered for his fearless resistance to the American plan of accessing the goldfields in Montana. He attached workers along the Bozeman Trail and eventually forced the U.S. to withdraw.

 28 Nestor Makhno

Nestor Makhno
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: November 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hulyaipole, Ukraine
Died: July 25, 1934
Remembered for his guerrilla tactics, his Robin Hood image, and his Black Army that kept the Red and White armies away from a part of Ukraine, Nestor Makhno lost his father as an infant. He began working on farms at age 7 and grew up to be an anarchist revolutionary. 

 29 Patrick Pearse

Patrick Pearse
Famous As: Politician, Barrister
Birthdate: November 10, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: May 3, 1916

Patrick Pearse was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, and revolutionary. He was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. Opinionated with radical views, he decided as a boy that he would dedicate his life to Irish freedom. A relentless idealist, he was executed after the Easter Rising and was immortalized as a symbol of the rebellion.

 30 Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte
Famous As: Emperor of the French (1804-1814)
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. 

 31 Constance Markievicz

Constance Markievicz
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 15, 1927

 32 Tantia Tope

Tantia Tope
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: 1814 AD
Birthplace: Yeola, Nashik District, India
Died: April 18, 1859

Best remembered for leading the Indian Rebellion of 1857, tribal leader Tantia Tope used guerilla tactics in his fights against the British. In spite of no formal military training, he also managed to seize Gwalior temporarily with Rani Lakshmibai. He was later hanged to death by the British.

 33 Yakov Yurovsky

Yakov Yurovsky
Famous As: Soviet Era Executioner
Birthdate: June 19, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tomsk, Siberia, Russian Empire
Died: 1938 AD

Yakov Yurovsky was a Russian Old Bolshevik. Also a Soviet Revolutionary, he acted as the chief executioner of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family on the night of 17 July 1918. A watchmaker by trade, he was a Chekist for a short time. In his later life, he allegedly expressed remorse over his role in the executions.

 34 Usman dan Fodio

Usman dan Fodio
Famous As: Teacher
Birthdate: December 15, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gobir, Nigeria
Died: April 20, 1817

 35 Manuela Sáenz

Manuela Sáenz
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: December 27, 1795
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Quito, Ecuador
Died: November 23, 1856

Manuela Sáenz was an Ecuadorian revolutionary who supported women's rights. She received the Order of the Sun, honoring her services in the revolution. Today, she is widely regarded as a feminist symbol of the 19th century. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government honored her with the rank of General.

 36 Francisco I. Madero

Francisco I. Madero
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: October 30, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Died: February 22, 1913

 37 Denmark Vesey

Denmark Vesey
Famous As: Carpenters
Birthdate: 1767 AD
Birthplace: Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Died: July 2, 1822

Sold as a slave in childhood, Denmark Vesey adopted the surname of his master. He later purchased his freedom with the money he had won in a lottery. Earning a living as a carpenter, he simultaneously launched a slave rebellion and planned a coup but was eventually hanged to death.

 38 Begum Hazrat Mahal

Begum Hazrat Mahal
Famous As: Wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah
Birthdate: 1820 AD
Birthplace: Faizabad
Died: April 7, 1879

Also known as Begum of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal was the second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She is remembered for rebelling against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following her husband’s exile, she took over affairs in the state of Awadh. However, she was forced by the British to abandon Awadh.

 39 Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy

Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: November 24, 1806
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: February 22, 1847

 40 Osceola

Famous As: Seminole leader
Birthdate: 1804 AD
Birthplace: Talisi, Mississippi Territory, US
Died: January 30, 1838

Osceola led the Seminole tribe of Native Americans in their resistance against the U.S. attempt of moving them out of Florida and into the land west of Mississippi. He was eventually deceived by a fake truce attempt, captured, and transported to Fort Moultrie, where he passed away.

 41 Karl Liebknecht

Karl Liebknecht
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: January 13, 1871
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: January 15, 1919

German socialist radical Karl Liebknecht is best remembered for co-founding the Spartacus League, an underground group that was declared illegal but later led to the formation of the Communist Party of Germany. He was shot to death on the orders of German commander Waldemar Pabst in the 1919 Spartacus Revolt.

 42 Augusto César Sandino

Augusto César Sandino
Famous As: Nicaraguan revolutionary Leader
Birthdate: May 18, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Niquinohomo
Died: February 21, 1934

Augusto César Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary. From 1927 to 1933, Sandino led a rebellion against the United States occupation of Nicaragua, due to which he was lauded as a hero throughout Latin America. Although the US government labeled him a bandit, Sandino went on to become a symbol of resistance and is revered as a national hero in Nicaragua.

 43 Maud Gonne

Maud Gonne
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tongham, United Kingdom
Died: April 27, 1953

 44 Alexandra Kollontai

Alexandra Kollontai
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 9, 1952

Alexandra Kollontai was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and diplomat. She served as the People's Commissar for Welfare in Lenin’s government. A powerful figure, she became the first woman in history to become an official member of a governing cabinet. She was also one of the few women to play a prominent role during the Russian Revolution. 

 45 Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: September 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Died: July 20, 1926

Bolshevik revolutionary Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, also known as Iron Felix, was born into a Polish noble family. Though Lenin considered him a hero, he often disagreed with Lenin’s views. He had been the director of Cheka. He died of a heart attack after finishing a 2-hour speech.

 46 Sybil Ludington

Sybil Ludington
Famous As: American Revolutionary
Birthdate: April 5, 1761
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kent, New York
Died: February 26, 1839

Born to a militia officer, Sybil Ludington later made history with her fearless resistance to the British during the American Revolutionary War. Most of her statues today find her perched on a horse, in a tribute to her night-long horseback ride to inform American soldiers of an impending British attack.

 47 Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst
Famous As: Militant
Birthdate: September 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Died: February 13, 1958

Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst was a British suffragette who co-founded the Women's Social and Political Union. From 1912 to 1913, Pankhurst directed the organization's militant actions from France. After the war, Christabel Pankhurst settled down in the United States of America where she served as an evangelist for the Second Coming movement.

 48 Hong Xiuquan

Hong Xiuquan
Famous As: Revolutionary
Birthdate: January 1, 1814
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hua County, Guangdong, Qing China
Died: June 1, 1864

Hong Xiuquan was a Hakka Chinese revolutionary best remembered for leading the Taiping Rebellion against the much-feared and powerful Qing Dynasty. Credited with establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hong Xiuquan later served as an inspiration to the Communists under Mao Zedong. In 1959, China established a small museum to honor his legacy.  

 49 Nana Saheb

Nana Saheb
Famous As: Peshwa of the Maratha Empire
Birthdate: May 19, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bithoor
Died: 1859 AD

Nana Saheb, also known as Dhondupant, was a major figure of the 1857 Sepoy Munity, or the first war of Indian independence. The adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II, he was initially on friendly terms with the British but was later forced by circumstances to join the rebels against the British.

 50 James Wilkinson

James Wilkinson
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: March 24, 1757
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charles County, Maryland, United States
Died: December 28, 1825

James Wilkinson served the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and also revealed Aaron Burr’s conspiracy to the U.S. government. While he worked against the Spanish people as part of the U.S. army, he was later revealed to be a Spanish spy, also known as Number Thirteen.