Political Assassinations that changed the course of History

Political Assassinations That Shook the World

Leaders will always have rebels. Some people oppose their views while the rest oppose their acts. It is never easy being a leader, especially when you are under the spotlight and judged for every single step you take. Same was the case of assassination with these leaders. They may have made mistakes or so it seemed to those who stepped forward to right the wrongs in their own way.

These untimely deaths can also have a significant political impact on government policy and act as a catalyst for shaping world events. These assassinations have undeniably changed the world.

1. John F Kennedy

Political Assassinations That Shook the World
The motorcade before the assassination

Arguably one of the most famous assassination in history. The 35th United States President was assassinated while in a rally on 22nd November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime but he refused the charges saying he was being framed. The entire conspiracy died with the murder of the culprit while in custody.

In fact, the Kennedy family has been dogged by tragedies for many generations. Five years after John F Kennedy’s death, his younger brother Robert F. Kennedy was also assassinated in 1968, while campaigning for the presidency.

2. Julius Caesar

Political Assassinations That Shook the World
A portrait depicting the assassination of Caesar

Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. Several Senators took part in the assassination of Caesar. About 60 senators stabbed him about 23 times, according to the wiki. His death came not later than a month after he instilled as a dictator. The senate was worried the power would go to his head and that he would claim to be king, and no longer heed the senate.

His death led to civil wars and ended Rome as a republic, and establishing it as an Roman empire.

3. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Political Assassinations That Shook the World
portrait depicting the assassination

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His assassination became the most immediate cause of World War I.

On 1914, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip assassinated Franz Ferdinand and his wife while they drove through Sarajevo, Bosnia. The culprit was a member of Young Bosnia and an assassin for The Black Hand. Franz Ferdinand’s assassination led to the July Crisis and precipitated Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia. Eventually, it triggered a series of events and entanglement that led to political allies between two countries, starting World War I.

4. Tsar Nicholas II 

Family picture of last of Romanov Dynasty

Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov was the last ruler of Russia’s Romanov Dynasty. On 1918, Bolsheviks shot the tsar, his wife, and their five children to death in a basement. The assassination of the Romanovs meant the end of the royals for Russia. Their death led Russia ruled by imperial tsars to being a communist state.

Their death gave birth to the Soviet Union. During the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent three-year Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin dominated the soviet forces. Decades later, the Russian-dominated Soviet Union grew into one of the world’s most powerful and influential states. Eventually encompassing 15 republics–Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved following the collapse of its communist government.

5. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Mahatma Gandhi

In 1948, a Hindu extremist assassinated Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi on his way to evening prayers. He successfully helped India gain political independence from Britain in 1947. He led many famous peaceful protests that have influenced modern civil disobedience movements across the globe. Gandhi developed a public persona and philosophy of truth-focused, non-violent, non-cooperation he called Satyagraha.

After his death, he has become a symbol of what mass political protests can achieve, and an icon to later figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama and former President Barack Obama.

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