The murders of prominent figures were spoken of in ancient scriptures. Probably long before that, people killed their political leaders.
As a rule, this happens if they caused a threat to other people by their actions, the reason for the murder may be a controversial political position. People take revenge for personal reasons or simply want to become famous.
Human civilization is all built on the murder of people, but some of these acts have had a significant impact not only on some nation, but also on the course of history. Below are the ten most important murders in the history of mankind, with the greatest consequences.
Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Although this woman ceased to lead the country's government, her influence on politics was still very significant. Pakistan is prone to extremism, so the voices of moderates are extremely important. The death of this brave woman in 2007 at the hands of Islamic militants almost destroyed one of the few chances to establish political stability in the region. Since then, there has been less calm in Pakistan, and more and more explosions and gunfire. It remained unknown whether she could eventually reduce the warlike moods in the country's society, but one thing is clear - the death of Bhutto left a void behind. There was no opposition leader in Pakistan who could fill the void after she left. As a result, the nuclear-capable country is slowly sinking into chaos, threatening even greater instability in an already turbulent region. The politician was absent from the country for several years. Upon her return to her homeland, an attempt was made on her life, and two months later another one. A suicide bomber shot Benazir in the chest and neck, and then exploded himself. The death of a woman shocked the whole world, because she really claimed victory in the upcoming elections, wanting to change life in the country.
Reinhard Heydrich, statesman of Nazi Germany. Only historians of the Second World War know about this man. Meanwhile, it was he who could become the one who would lead Germany to victory. However, this was not destined to come true, because Heydrich was killed on the streets of Prague in 1942. The German himself preferred to do without guards, which ultimately became the cause of his death. The British special services were behind the Czech patriots. They sought to toughen up the fascists, pushing them into punitive actions. This, in turn, should have led to increased resistance among the occupied people. At that time, Heydrich was essentially the German governor in Czechoslovakia. He began persecuting Jews there, but at the same time improved the living conditions of the workers. Heydrich himself was as ruthless as Hitler himself, but he was considered almost twice as smart as he was. Reinhard could have become the Fuehrer's successor if he had lived up to that time. He would probably have supplanted Hitler's airy and delusional ideas, taking the reins of the Third Reich into his own hands. But this was highly undesirable for the Allies. Germany, ruled by Heydrich, could have avoided the mistakes of the last years of the war. True, no one will say what kind of leader he would be. Perhaps Heydrich would have made his own mistakes. In any case, the alternate history could be interesting.
Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India. The Indians had their own female leader. The Gandhi family have personified the country for several generations at once. Indira wanted to modernize a complex and archaic India, and her death caused long-term political instability there. As a result, this became the reason for the death in 1991 of her son and successor in political office, Rajiv Gandhi. The figure of a female prime minister is still considered highly controversial. After all, her policy was tough and unpopular. However, one cannot but reckon with Indira's efforts to make India a modern power. The murder suspended this process, albeit only for a short period. Gandhi's cause of death was her confrontation with the Sikhs. In the course of it, some of the shrines of this proud and rebellious people were desecrated. The prime minister herself could not allow the independence of the Sikhs from India. As a result, in 1984, the woman was killed by her own bodyguards, who turned out to be from among her opponents.
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States. Although Kennedy was only one of four American presidents killed by an assassin, the case received a lot of resonance. Until now, the death of a young, handsome and popular politician remains one of the greatest mysteries of the last century. The very same murder of the former senator from Massachusetts had a significant impact on the psyche of many Americans. True, Kennedy's death did not significantly affect the country's political course. His work was continued by his successor, Lyndon Johnson. He continued Kennedy's programs, adhering to his policies and views. Nevertheless, the nation received a dark and mournful imprint that still lays on it. Kennedy's death has given rise to a whole bunch of conspiracy theories that the paranoid lives on. The President managed to equalize the rights of blacks, launched the Apollo program, started the Vietnam War and unleashed the Cuban missile crisis. They killed him in 1963 in Dallas, when he was traveling in his motorcade. Lee Harvey Oswald was quickly arrested on suspicion of murder and was killed two days later by the police. So it remained a mystery whether he was a killer at all and whether he acted alone, who was behind those events?
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian politician and spiritual leader. This man became famous for his ideology of non-violence. Thanks to Gandhi, the cruel world began to lean towards peacefulness. People realized that not always weapons can solve all their problems. When an exhausted enlightened figure was shot in the streets of New Delhi by a student in 1948, it was a huge blow not only for India itself, but for the whole world. The dying Gandhi managed to show with a gesture that he forgives his killer. The country's leader's policy was based on compassion for the poor and resistance, without violent methods. Gandhi was able to bring about peaceful change by influencing both Hindu and Muslim populations. Torn by the war, India finally breathed a sigh of relief, because Gandhi became one of those who achieved independence from Great Britain. It was fortunate that the killer was an Indian. If Gandhi had been shot by a Muslim, it would have drawn the subcontinent into a bloody internecine war. Today there are memorials to the memory of the Mahatma in many cities around the world.
Julius Caesar, Roman dictator. Many people mistakenly call Caesar the emperor, but he never became one. The story of the death of one of the most prominent Romans is more like a melodrama plot than a bloody murder. Caesar was not only a brilliant military leader who conquered Gaul, France and Britain. He was a prominent politician and writer. Caesar won a series of civil wars and became the sole ruler of Rome. Society and the state began to change, becoming the basis for the emergence of an empire in the future. The government of the country became centralized. But this could not please some senators. As a result of the conspiracy, Caesar was killed in 44 BC. right at the meeting of the Senate. Seeing among the enemies and Brutus, his close friend, the dictator bitterly exclaimed the famous: "And you, Brutus!" Caesar realized that resistance was useless and covered himself with a toga so that he would not be seen at the time of death. The conspirators acted chaotically and did not really know what to do next. Rome received a new civil war and then was divided in two. On the other hand, Caesar's death was the impetus for a whole series of interesting events. Among them - the appearance of the first emperor of Rome, Octavian, the love drama of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.
Martin Luther King, Human Rights Defender. In the late 60s and early 70s of the last century, the history of black people in America could have been different. Indeed, in 1968, Martin Luther King, the main representative and inspirer of the colored minority, was killed. This proved to be a major blow to the movement for the observance of the civil rights of all residents of the country. King led a protest march in Memphis to support striking workers. But the leader of the demonstration was mortally wounded on the balcony by a sniper, James Earl Ray. It is logical to assume that the death of a very moderate leader gave the green light to the more militant blacks. The community has become more aggressive. Riots and riots broke out throughout the country, and dozens of people were killed. The death of a Baptist priest showed America that there really is a problem and it needs to be addressed. If King had not died 60-70s would have been much less belligerent. This story also remains very mysterious - the results of the ballistic examination were inconclusive, and Ray himself confessed to the act under pressure from the court. He later recanted his testimony. So it remained a mystery who exactly killed Martin Luther King and from what weapon.
Alexander II, Tsar of Russia. Outside our country, not many people know about Alexander the Second. Meanwhile, his death at the hands of anarchists in March 1881 significantly changed the course of the great country. The king himself was an enlightened monarch and reformer, at the time of his death he was on the verge of creating a parliament in the country. This could significantly democratize social life in Russia, as happened in England and other European countries. Alexander was nicknamed the Liberator, because he abolished the ancient and shameful serfdom for Russia. The tsar's successors chose a much tougher and more authoritarian approach to governing the country. The next 30 years of repression and corruption in the leadership sowed the seeds of the 1917 revolution. This is how the first communist country appeared, and the consequences of those events affected each of us. People's Will threw two bombs at Alexander's feet. Themselves, his heirs suddenly realized that romance and idealism died with him, and there could no longer be trust in the people who killed their tsar.
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. The death of the sixteenth president of the United States in 1865 had a major impact on America. He was killed in the theater at a play by a Southern supporter John Booth. However, Lincoln's death was a great tragedy for the South. After all, the President's activities after the end of the Civil War were aimed at the development of this region. Whereas his successor Andrew Johnson and subsequent administrations deviated from this course. Lincoln created a new banking system, laid a railroad across the continent, and raised the economy of a country that was exhausted after the Civil War. The President has become a symbol of the emancipation of black slaves. And Booth's betrayal essentially extended the Civil War for decades, giving new impetus to the oppression of blacks. Thus, the assassination of Lincoln led to exactly the opposite consequences than it was originally planned.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The events of 1914 changed the whole world to a great extent. During the visit of the heir to Sarajevo, he was assassinated by a group of six Serbs. Franz Ferdinand was killed along with his wife at point-blank range. The death of the heir was an excellent reason for Austria-Hungary to declare an ultimatum to Serbia, and then declare war. The government of this small country was in fact an accomplice in a terrible terrorist attack. But Serbia was supported by Russia. Austria-Hungary found its strong ally in Germany. So there was a whole chain of events, which literally within a few weeks unleashed the First World War. It covered the entire continent, without really bringing any benefits to anyone. 15 million people became victims of the conflict. But Franz Ferdinand himself nurtured the idea of transforming the Austro-Hungarian Empire, giving more rights to the Slavs. This would significantly reduce tensions in the country by changing its vector. The Archduke did not like Russians, but he categorically did not want to fight them. The reformist plans of the heir did not suit the Serbs, who organized the assassination attempt. Although other famous people subsequently died at the hands of the killers, nothing can compare in significance with those shots in Sarajevo, cruel, merciless and senseless.