Inexperienced leaders that were ultimately sucessful

Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
Which world leaders, although they didn't have much prior experience in governing, ultimately proved to be good rulers?

A classic example is Roman Emperor Claudius. Afflicted with what was probably Tourette syndrome, he was largely excluded from power by the rest of his family. Ironically, this saved him from several family purges. When he unexpectedly became Emperor after Caligula's assassination, he proved to be an able and efficient administrator. He embarked on massive building projects, took a personal interest in Roman law, and added Britain to the Roman Empire.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
Abraham Lincoln.

Without the benefit of hindsight, if you had to place a bet on whether Lincoln or Jefferson Davis would turn out to be the better war president, you'd have placed that bet on Davis.

Davis was a much more experienced politician, was a graduate of West Point, had been a former secretary of War for the United States, and was a decorated war hero who commanded a regiment during the Mexican-American War.

Lincoln's resume paled in comparison, yet not only turned out to be a better war president than Davis, but was arguably *the* best president in the history of the United States.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
George Washington comes to mind. I don't believe he had any political experience, at least administrative or executive. He did a fine job during the inception of the USA.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
George Washington comes to mind. I don't believe he had any political experience, at least administrative or executive. He did a fine job during the inception of the USA.

It's quite interested how he had plenty of experience in military matters but was a very mediocre general, but while having no experience in politics and administration he was a great president.
 

Space Shark

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,474
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
Octavian/Augustus certainly had to learn on his feet.
Perhaps when he first inherited Julius Caesar's legacy, that was true. But by the time he defeated Marc Antony, he'd been acting as a ruler for some time.
 

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,816
Ohio, USA
It's quite interested how he had plenty of experience in military matters but was a very mediocre general, but while having no experience in politics and administration he was a great president.
He had experience as a colonel during the French and Indian war, but it wasn't a lot, especially not in comparison to some others, particularly one of his own opponents, Howe.

However, I would not consider him a mediocre general on the whole. He was a mediocre battlefield tactician, for sure, but in terms of developing a war-winning, managing politico-military relations, care for his men, and strength of leadership overall, he was far from mediocre.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,673
Florania
Would any people name Emperor Aixinjueluo Xuanye (or Kangxi Emperor)?
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
However, I would not consider him a mediocre general on the whole. He was a mediocre battlefield tactician, for sure, but in terms of developing a war-winning, managing politico-military relations, care for his men, and strength of leadership overall, he was far from mediocre.
He was definitely a great leader of men, but at the end of the day a general's main responsibility should be winning battles, and Washington's record left a lot to be desired before the French showed up and bailed him out of a couple of disastrous years of defeats and retreats.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,495
Netherlands
Charles V. Started out as a youngster who was unable to make decisions, was catapulted as king into a country (Spain) he had no connection with and at home had to deal with various rebellions/riots. Ended up as the most powerful monarch of the era.

William of Orange as well. Started out as a spoiled brat. Later his only ambitions were to pay for his lifestyle and keep the aristocracy important. Only when he became outlawed is when he started the process of becoming the face of the revolt and "father of the country".