Greatest state leaders of the 17th and 18th centuries

Feb 2019
Just a list to get things started:

Akbar the Great arguably the most accomplished Inidan ruler of this period
Gustavus Adolphus the Great one of the greatest military leaders of all time
Christian IV of Denmark outstanding achievements for Denmark
Louis XIV of France "His name can never be pronounced without respect and without summoning the image of an eternally memorable age" - Voiltaire
John III Sobieski the Athleta Christi of this period
Kangxi Emperor one of the most illustrious monarchs in Chinese history.
George Washington the father of his nation
Sep 2016
Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin
Louis XIV of France
William III of Orange
Peter I the Great
Catherine II the Great
Frederick II the Great
John III Sobieski
Nader Shah
Gustav II Adolph
Shah Abbas I the Great
Oliver Cromwell
George Washington
Akbar the Great
Charles XII
Last edited:
Feb 2019
George III

Pitt the Younger

Louis XIV

Gustavus Adolphus

Joseph II of Austria

Maybe Sigismund III

Frederick Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg
Feb 2019
Christian IV of Denmark outstanding achievements for Denmark
In what sense? As an administrator he could certainly be considered outstanding, he greatly improved Denmark's finances, accomplished several great cultural and architectural feats and brought about a good level of domestic stability. Yet, in the last 3rd or so of his reign he got into the 30 Years' War. Once he did he suffered military humiliation and a great loss of prestige, he also lost his role as a champion of Protestantism to Sweden. Towards the very end of his reign Denmark suffered utter humiliation and a considerable loss of territory in the Torstensson War with Sweden, eventually leading to the loss of Scania and Denmark losing its Baltic superiority and wealth to Sweden.

I find him to be somewhat mixed, he had some outstanding achievements but he also had some humiliating failures, in the end these failures led to Denmark's loss of territory and power.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
Iirc Christian's problem was that he never managed to convince the rather powerful Danish nobility that a permanent standing army was becoming a necessity for a a modern state to assert itself, and that they needed to be OK with ponying up for one. Denmark certainly could afford one. It's navy was first rate. But the land army was always relegated to a kind of unnecessary expense as soon as there wasn't an active war on. And when there was, mercenaries were the thing. (Afaik Christian got around a lot of cash-flow problems by simply tweaking the fees of the Sound trade. Even so getting a long-term commitment to permanent military preparedness eluded him.)