These 10 Dictators From History were Moral, Virtuous and Outright Great!


Called “The Tyrant of Athens” – a misnomer for sure, Peisistratus’ administration helped Athens prosper and become one of the most beautiful ancient cities.

During the time 561 B.C. to 527 B.C. that he ruled, Peisistratusdidn’t believe in a one-man power policy, but instead believed in governance effected by distribution of power. Aristotle described the time as the “Age of Cronus- the Golden Age of Athens”. He took away the lands of the rich and gave them to the poor- kind of like a Robin Hood moment in Greek history! He instituted the Panathenaic Festival (a festival to honor the birth of Athena-Goddess of Wisdom). He also championed the lower class of Athens – exhibiting an early example of populism. He funded many religious and artistic programs. Water supply was an important facet he concentrated on. He promoted the cultivation of Olive as a lucrative cash crop. He even appointed travelling judges- so justice could be served wherever needed!(1,2)


Known as “Frederick the Great”, he was Prussia’s king from 1740-1786 and was famous for winning wars and expanding territory; he was also responsible for several economic reforms that transformed the country. 

Image credit: Anton Graff/wikimedia

Frederick The Great was the very embodiment of enlightened absolutism. He unified Prussia by 1772 and was known to lead his armies to war. He was a patron of art and culture. He wasn’t as paranoid and there was considerable freedom for the press. He built canals and encouraged agriculture. Indirect taxation systems were introduced; andmore importantly- he was immigrant-friendly because he established a thousand villages! He was a major proponent of meritocracy. Only murders deserved the death sentence- a petition that he would sign personally. He even established Germany’s first veterinary school out of consideration for our furry friends! A man truly ahead of his times!(source)


Labelled “EL Liberatador” (The Liberator) by citizens of six South American countries.

The president of Gran Columbia from 1819-1830, Simon Bolivar was called the Dictator of Peru in 1824. He abolished Spanish dominion from large parts of the South American Continent.

He was instrumental in freeing Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Bolivia, Panama and Ecuador. He opened several monasteries and convents in Lima. He established the Ginecco- a school for women in 1825. He also opened universities in Peru, Trujillo and Arequipa and liberated New Granada with a daring military campaign.(1,2,3)


Called the “Boss” by his party members and government officials, he is also nicknamed Ti France. He also likes to call himself an “Indian Ocean Socialist”.

He adopted a moderate socialist ideology that favored some state intervention in the economy and strong ties with conservative forces like the Roman Catholic Church. He was installed as the President in 1977following a coup d’état overthrowing the then serving President of Seychelles. He has been a benevolent dictator and has lead Seychelles to become the most developed country in Africa. An efficient healthcare system, national literacy rate of over 90% by increasing government funding and low infant mortality rates has eliminated poverty in Seychelles.(source)

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