International Adam

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Greatest Ruler Week 2


Candidate Set #1: Otto von Bismarck vs. Ivan the Terrible

Candidate #1: Otto von Bismarck   

Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, or Otto von Bismarck, was the leader of Prussia and Germany. In 1862, King William I of Prussia appointed Bismarck as chief minister. This enabled Bismarck to influence  the king. Bismarck helped lead the Prussian invasion of Denmark, and also caused the king to begin the Austro-Prussian Wars.

Bismarck saw the opportunity to unite the German-speaking states, so he edited a telegram from William I to insult France and Prussia. Prussia won the war soon after and Bismarck was crowned King of united Germany (The Second Reich). He was crowned in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles (an insult to the French).


Candidate #2: Ivan the Terrible 


Ivan IV, or Ivan the Terrible, was the first czar of all of Russia. Ivan III liberated (freed) the Russian from Mongols, leaving his grandson, Ivan the Terrible, to rule.

For his foreign policy, Ivan had 2 goals: resist Mongol conquest and gain access to the Baltic Sea. Ivan succeeded at keeping Russia safe from Mongol conquest. But in his attempt to gain access to the Baltic Sea, one of his advisors defected  and joined the Lithuanian side.

Unfortunately, Ivan was mentally disturbed. Due to the death of his wife, Anastasia, Ivan fell into depression and accused the Russian nobles of poisoning his wife. He organized a police force and ordered anyone who he considered a traitor executed.


Cast your vote for these two candidates: Otto von Bismarck or Ivan the Terrible

Candidate Set #2: Mikhail Gorbachev vs. Kaiser Wilhelm II

Candidate #1: Mikhail Gorbachev 

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, or Mikhail Gorbachev, was the first actual president of the Soviet Union. He succeeded(followed) Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko as general secretary. He helped build relations with President Ronald Reagan.

Gorbachev introduced a more democratic way of government, and was elected the first president, not dictator, of the Soviet Union in 1990. He lost an election the following year after many countries like Ukraine and Lithuania wanted independence and lost to Boris Yeltsin.

Candidate #2: Kaiser Wilhelm II  

Wilhelm II was the last kaiser(emperor) of Prussia and Germany.  He succeeded his father Frederick III who died of cancer. He exposed details of Otto von Bismarck while Bismarck was in office. Bismarck claimed that Wilhelm would bring disaster to Germany.

During World War I, Wilhelm was the commander-in-chief of the German armed forces, along with Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. After the war and Germany’s loss, Wilhelm faced a mutiny that pushed him to resign and exile himself to the Netherlands where he spent the rest of his life.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Mikhail Gorbachev or Kaiser Wilhelm II

 Candidate Set #3: Nicolas I vs. Frederick I


Candidate #1: Nicolas I 

Nicolas I was emperor of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland.  He succeeded   his older brother, Alexander I, who had no children.  His foreign policy caused a decline in the Russian economy.

Nicolas I helped Russia helped lead to victory against Persia (Iran) in the Russo-Persian War. He seized territories in the Caucasus states including Armenia and Azerbaijan. He also helped Russia win the Russo-Turkish War. On the eve of his death, Russia had reached the greatest extent of its empire, but was in large financial debt.


Candidate #2: Frederick I Barbarossa 


Frederick Barbarossa, or Frederick I, was the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  He led them in the Third Crusade (the Crusades were wars fought between the Christians and the Muslims for control of Jerusalem). Pope Gregory VIII commanded the Christians for the Third Crusade.

Frederick would’ve fought alongside Richard the Lion-Hearted of England and Philip Augustus of France, but in 1190, on his way to Jerusalem, Frederick I died due to drowning in the Saleph River.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Nicolas I or Frederick I

 Candidate Set #4: Henry Hudson vs. Zheng He


Candidate #1: Henry Hudson 

Henry Hudson was an explorer dedicated to find the Northwest Passage, an imaginary strait that went through North America to get to China.  He led two expeditions, funded by Muscovy, England,  but was forced turned back due to an ice blockade.

Hudson eventually led a third voyage, funded by the Dutch East India Company. He believed there was a route through the Pacific. He eventually found a river, which was named after him (Hudson River). During his fourth voyage, his crew led a mutiny(revolt), throwing Hudson and 8 other men overboard, never to be seen again.


Candidate #2: Zheng He 

Zheng He, also known as Ma Sanbao and Ma He, was a Chinese-Muslim general/explorer that explored and traded across Asian and African lands. Before more Europeans came to China, China’s leader Yonglo sent seven expeditions to discover what is beyond China, all led by Zheng He.

Zheng He’s fleet consisted of 40-300 ships over 400 feet long(bigger than the Santa Maria). Everywhere he went between Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa, he gave gifts of silver and silk.  The Chinese government was concerned about the money needed to go on expeditions instead of buying weapons to defend against barbarian attacks. After the seventh voyage, China withdrew into isolation.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Henry Hudson or Zheng He

Candidate Set #5: Richard the Lion-Hearted vs. Saladin


Candidate #1: Richard the Lion-Hearted 

Richard I of England, otherwise known as Richard the Lion-Hearted, was King of England, Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany. He led the English during the Third Crusade.

On his way to the Holy Land, a huge storm took his army to Cyprus(located below Turkey), where he conquered Cyprus and massacred all who disliked Richard, proving him to be very ruthless. With Philip Augustus of France retreated, Frederick I drowned, and a disagreement with Duke Leopold V of Austria, when he got to Jerusalem, he suddenly found himself without allies. He immediately ordered a retreat, realizing that his army could not stand up to Saladin.

Richard was held captive by Duke Leopold of Austria—whom Richard insulted—and was held prisoner to England’s new king Henry VI for the rest of his life.

Candidate #2: Saladin 

An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, or Saladin, was leader of the Muslims during the Second and Third Crusades. His greatest victory came during the Battle of Hattin, where he captured Jerusalem and killed his personal enemy himself, Reginald of Châtillon.

When he invaded Egypt, he built universities and hospitals. Using the money from Egypt, he conquered Syria. During the Third Crusade, he fought Richard the Lion-Hearted’s army and had the advantage. Saladin and Richard the Lion-Hearted can to peace saying the Muslims can keep control of the Holy Land and the Christians are allowed to make their pilgrimage.

Saladin also had a kind side. When Richard’s horse was killed, Saladin sent him a steed to use in battle. When Richard got sick, rather than kill him, Saladin sent his best doctor to nurse him back to health.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Richard the Lion-Hearted or Saladin

Candidate Set #6: Agamemnon vs. Nicholas II

Candidate #1: Agamemnon 


Agamemnon was the king of Mycenaeans, the Greek people that settled before the Dorians(Before “This is Sparta!”). During this time, they fought the independent city-state of Troy during the Trojan War. Agamemnon led the Greeks during the Trojan Wars. He was murdered when he returned from the war.

Candidate #2: Czar Nicholas II 

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov, or Nicholas II, was the last czar of Russia before Russia turned into the Soviet Union (USSR). He succeeded Alexander III. Before World War I, in 1904 Japan attacked Russia, where Nicholas was forced to surrender Port Arthur. By spring 1905, Nicholas’s navy were destroyed during the Battle of Tsushima. During the summer, Russia entered peace negotiations with Japan, but the worst was yet to come.

In 1905, many subjects of Nicholas revolted and ordered a petition to impeach the czar. Troops fire and killed near a thousand people, which became known as Bloody Sunday.

During World War I, Nicholas became commander-in-chief to gain control of the military. Due to his leadership, Russia performed poorly in the war since Nicholas spent nearly a year in St. Petersburg. A man by the name of Rasputin took control until Rasputin’s murder in 1916. The Bolsheviks, a group of Communists, led by Vladimir Lenin, assassinated Nicholas and his family.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Agamemnon or Nicholas II

Candidate Set #7: Ferdinand Magellan vs. Vasco da Gama

Candidate #1: Ferdinand Magellan 

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer to discover fortune and fame in the Spice Islands in Indonesia. He went with a fleet of 5 ships from Spain. He found the Strait of Magellan. On the way to the Spice Islands, he faced a mutiny and executed one captain and left another captain.

By 1521, Magellan had reached the Pacific island of Guam, where they replenished their supplies. When he reached the Philippines, he became friends with the Cebu island tribe, where he was asked to fight the neighboring Mactan island tribe, were he was shot to death by a poison arrow.


Candidate #2:  Vasco da Gama 

Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. In 1492, King John II sent da Gama to the port city of Setubal to attack the French. In 1497, John’s successor, King Manuel I (crowned in 1495), selected da Gama to lead a Portuguese fleet to India in search of a seaward route from Western Europe to the East. During that time, the Muslims had control of trade thanks to their location.

By May 1498, da Gama had reached India after heading around South African peninsula. However the Muslims did not like this so they killed 50 of da Gama’s men, so da Gama responded by burning 10 Muslim ships. After 20 years worth of travel to India, in 1524 he was crowned Portuguese viceroy(a ruler exercising authority in a colony on behalf of a country) in India. In 1524, he died in India.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Ferdinand Magellan or Vasco da Gama

Candidate Set #8: Yaroslav the Wise vs. Rurik

Candidate #1: Yarolsav the  Wise 

Yaroslav Muddy, or Yaroslav the Wise, was grand prince(emperor) of Kiev from 1019 to 1054. After Yaroslav’s father, Vladimir, united the Russian kingdom of Kiev, Yarolav’s elder brother Svyatopolk the Accursed took rule. With Viking and Novgorodians support, Yaroslav overthrew Svyatopolk and became grand prince of Kiev.

As grand prince, Yaroslav glorified Kiev thanks to the help of the Byzantines. He also had a strong foreign policy, suppressing the Lithuanians, Estonians, and Finnish tribes, although his military campaign towards Constantinople was a failure.

Candidate #2: Rurik 

(Not much is known about him)Rurik was one the founder of the Rurik dynasty. He was a Viking who founded the first Russian city of Novgorod.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Yaroslav the Wise or Rurik

Candidate Set #9: Vladimir Putin vs. Muhammad Ali Pasha

Candidate #1: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is the current president of the Russia. He was elected from 2000-2008, and was re-elected in 2012.  In 1999, former Russian president Boris Yeltsin dismissed his prime minister for presidency and appointed Putin during Yeltsin’s resignation period.

Due to constitutional term limits, Putin was prevented from running for the presidency in 2008. (That same year, presidential terms in Russia were extended from four to six years.) However, when his protégé Dmitry Medvedev succeeded him as president in March 2008, he immediately appointed Putin as Russia’s prime minister. He re-ran for election in 2012 and is currently in office.

Candidate #2: Muhammad Ali Pasha

Mehmed Al?, or Muhammad Ali Pasha, was a viceroy of Egypt and established a new Ottoman/Egyptian dynasty. He also encouraged Egyptian independence.

Muhammad Ali Pasha started ruling Egypt 3 years after Napoleon Bonaparte of France came and occupied Egypt. While he was in office, he removed the Malm?ks, the ruling oligarchy, removed the old landholding classes, turned the religious class into payment collectors of the government, restricted the activities of the native merchant and artisan groups, neutralized the nomadic Arabs, and crushed all movements of rebellion among the peasants.

He felt that Egypt deserved independence, so Ali Pasha invaded Sudan. He felt that with his army strong enough, he could  fight the sultan(Ottoman emperor). After two wars, European powers were forced to get involved, forcing Egypt to remain part of the Ottoman Empire.

Cast your vote for these two candidates: Vladimir Putin or Muhammad Ali Pasha.




Otto von Bismarck

Frederick I

Zheng He



Vasco de Gama

Nicholas II

Yaroslav the Wise

Muhammad Ali Pasha

There was a tie between Kaiser Wilhelm II and Mikhail Gorbachev, so the tiebreaker will be the first set for the next week.