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World Leaders by Country or Region

World Leaders Meeting for Global Affairs
Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at the site of the Yalta Conference. The "Big Three" shaped global affairs for decades.

Historians generally reject the idea that history is carried on the backs of a few great people. That said, history is still chock-full of leaders and rulers who have had major impacts on the world. Infoplease is here to help with our lists and biographies of some of those people. We've broken them down by country or region, though some countries take a lot of different forms; e.g. we only have "Russia" after 1533, since Russia was preceded by nations like the Kievan Rus, Novgorod, and Muscovy. Find a list of past and current leaders of every country in the world.

1. Due to the number of written resources and the focus of modern scholarship, we have more about historical leaders from Western countries and some other nations with strong written traditions. This isn't to say there weren't important leaders from, say, Africa's many kingdoms and empires. But, we know more about Mansa Musa of Mali, who sponsored many Arabic-speaking scholars, than about  early leaders of the Kingdom of Kongo, who left few records. 

See also Current World Leaders, Kingdoms and Monarchs of the World