The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from France

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This page contains a list of the greatest French Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,710 Politicians, 823 of which were born in France. This makes France the birth place of the 3rd most number of Politicians behind United States and Germany.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary French Politicians of all time. This list of famous French Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of French Politicians.

Photo of Napoleon

1. Napoleon (1769 - 1821)

With an HPI of 95.88, Napoleon is the most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 195 different languages on wikipedia.

Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, and again in 1815. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. He also remains one of the most celebrated and controversial political figures in history.Napoleon had an extensive and powerful impact on the modern world, bringing liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, especially the Low Countries, Switzerland, and large parts of modern Italy and Germany. He implemented fundamental liberal policies in France and throughout Western Europe. His lasting legal achievement, the Napoleonic Code, has been highly influential. Roberts says, "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on—were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire."Napoleon was born in Corsica to a relatively modest family from minor Italian nobility. He supported the French Revolution in 1789 while serving in the French army, and tried to spread its ideals to his native Corsica. He rose rapidly in the Army after he saved the governing French Directory by firing on royalist insurgents. In April 1796, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and their Italian allies, scoring a series of decisive victories and becoming a national hero. Two years later, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power. He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing the War of the Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign, and a historic triumph at the Battle of Austerlitz, which led to the elimination of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly knocked out Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, then marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, annihilating the Russians in June 1807 at Friedland, and forcing the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to accept the Treaties of Tilsit. Two years later, the Austrians challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram. Hoping to extend the Continental System (embargo of Britain), Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured brutal guerrilla warfare, and culminated in a defeat for Napoleon. Napoleon launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the catastrophic retreat of Napoleon's Grand Army, and encouraged his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A chaotic military campaign culminated in a large coalition army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The coalition invaded France and captured Paris, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April 1814. Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba, near Rome. In France, the Bourbons were restored to power. However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which ultimately defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. The British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. His death in 1821 at the age of 51 was received with shock and grief throughout Europe.

Photo of Louis XIV of France

2. Louis XIV of France (1638 - 1715)

With an HPI of 93.37, Louis XIV of France is the 2nd most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 120 different languages.

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. Louis XIV's France was emblematic of the age of absolutism in Europe. The King surrounded himself with a variety of significant political, military, and cultural figures, such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Vauban, Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Charpentier, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles Perrault, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during his minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchy in France that endured until the French Revolution. He also enforced uniformity of religion under the Gallican Catholic Church. His revocation of the Edict of Nantes abolished the rights of the Huguenot Protestant minority and subjected them to a wave of dragonnades, effectively forcing Huguenots to emigrate or convert, and virtually destroying the French Protestant community. During Louis's long reign, France emerged as the leading European power and regularly asserted its military strength. A conflict with Spain marked his entire childhood, while during his reign, the kingdom took part in three major continental conflicts, each against powerful foreign alliances: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. In addition, France also contested shorter wars, such as the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined Louis's foreign policy and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled by "a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", he sensed that war was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.

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3. Charlemagne (748 - 814)

With an HPI of 91.86, Charlemagne is the 3rd most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 145 different languages.

Charlemagne (English: ; French: [ʃaʁləmaɲ]) or Charles the Great; from the latin Carolus Magnus (2 April 748 – 28 January 814), numbered Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of the Lombards from 774, and the Emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, he united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire around three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonised by Antipope Paschal III. Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage. He became king of the Franks in 768 following his father's death, initially as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I, until the latter's death in 771. As sole ruler, he continued his father's policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianising them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Charlemagne has been called the "Father of Europe" (Pater Europae), as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church viewed Charlemagne less favourably due to his support of the filioque and the Pope's having preferred him as emperor over the Byzantine Empire's first female monarch, Irene of Athens. These and other disputes led to the eventual later split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054.Charlemagne died in 814 and was laid to rest in Aachen Cathedral in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons who lived to adulthood, but only the youngest of them, Louis the Pious, survived to succeed him. He also had numerous illegitimate children with his concubines.

Photo of Louis XVI of France

4. Louis XVI of France (1754 - 1793)

With an HPI of 88.73, Louis XVI of France is the 4th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 95 different languages.

Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; French pronunciation: ​[lwi sɛːz]; 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months just before he was executed by guillotine. In 1765, upon the death of his father, Louis, Dauphin of France, he became the new Dauphin. Upon his grandfather Louis XV's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title King of France and Navarre, until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of King of the French until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792. The first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform the French government in accordance with Enlightenment ideas. These included efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille (land tax) and the corvée (labour tax), and increase tolerance toward non-Catholics as well as abolish the death penalty for deserters. The French nobility reacted to the proposed reforms with hostility, and successfully opposed their implementation. Louis implemented deregulation of the grain market, advocated by his economic liberal minister Turgot, but it resulted in an increase in bread prices. In periods of bad harvests, it led to food scarcity which, during a particularly bad harvest in 1775, prompted the masses to revolt. From 1776, Louis XVI actively supported the North American colonists, who were seeking their independence from Great Britain, which was realised in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime. This led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789. Discontent among the members of France's middle and lower classes resulted in strengthened opposition to the French aristocracy and to the absolute monarchy, of which Louis and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, were viewed as representatives. Increasing tensions and violence were marked by events such as the storming of the Bastille, during which riots in Paris forced Louis to definitively recognize the legislative authority of the National Assembly. Louis's indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime, and his popularity deteriorated progressively. His unsuccessful flight to Varennes in June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, seemed to justify the rumors that the king tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign intervention. The credibility of the king was deeply undermined, and the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic became an ever-increasing possibility. The growth of anti-clericalism among revolutionaries resulted in the abolition of the dîme (religious land tax) and several government policies aimed at the dechristianization of France. In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792. One month later, the absolute monarchy was abolished and the First French Republic was proclaimed on 21 September 1792. Louis was then tried by the National Convention (self-instituted as a tribunal for the occasion), found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793, as a desacralized French citizen under the name of Citizen Louis Capet, in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty – which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis's surname. Louis XVI was the only king of France ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. Both of his sons died in childhood, before the Bourbon Restoration; his only child to reach adulthood, Marie Therese, was given over to the Austrians in exchange for French prisoners of war, eventually dying childless in 1851.

Photo of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

5. Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (1122 - 1190)

With an HPI of 86.62, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor is the 5th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 87 different languages.

Frederick Barbarossa (German: Friedrich I., Italian: Federico I; 1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March 1152. He was crowned King of Italy on 24 April 1155 in Pavia and emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155 in Rome. Two years later, the term sacrum ("holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his empire. He was later formally crowned King of Burgundy, at Arles on 30 June 1178. He was named Barbarossa by the northern Italian cities which he attempted to rule: Barbarossa means "red beard" in Italian; in German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart, which has the same meaning. The prevalence of the Italian nickname, even in later German usage, reflects the centrality of the Italian campaigns to his career. Before his imperial election, Frederick was by inheritance Duke of Swabia (1147–1152, as Frederick III). He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf. Frederick, therefore, descended from the two leading families in Germany, making him an acceptable choice for the Empire's prince-electors. Historians consider him among the Holy Roman Empire's greatest medieval emperors. He combined qualities that made him appear almost superhuman to his contemporaries: his longevity, his ambition, his extraordinary skills at organization, his battlefield acumen and his political perspicacity. His contributions to Central European society and culture include the reestablishment of the Corpus Juris Civilis, or the Roman rule of law, which counterbalanced the papal power that dominated the German states since the conclusion of the Investiture Controversy. Frederick died in 1190 in Asia Minor while leading an army in the Third Crusade.

Photo of Napoleon III

6. Napoleon III (1808 - 1873)

With an HPI of 86.45, Napoleon III is the 6th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 98 different languages.

Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873) was the first President of France (as Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte) from 1848 to 1852 and Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870. A nephew of Napoleon I, he was the last monarch to reign over France. First elected to the presidency of the Second Republic in 1848, he seized power by force in 1851, when he could not constitutionally be reelected; he later proclaimed himself Emperor of the French. He founded the Second Empire, reigning until the defeat of the French Army and his capture by Prussia and its allies at the Battle of Sedan in 1870. He oversaw the modernisation of the French economy and worked to have parts of the centre of Paris rebuilt following Napoleon III style guidelines; he was an overall popular monarch, using plebiscites to guide his action. Napoleon III, who drastically expanded the French overseas empire and made the French merchant marine the second largest in the world, engaged in the Crimean War, the Second Italian War of Independence, the Second Franco-Mexican War, as well as the disastrous Franco-Prussian War, in which he served alongside his soldiers during the fight, an uncommon action for a head of state in the modern era. Napoleon III commissioned a grand reconstruction of Paris carried out by his prefect of the Seine, Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, accompanied by an elaborate system of parks and gardens. He launched similar public works projects in all other major cities in France. He expanded and consolidated the railway system throughout the nation and acted to modernise the banking system. He promoted the building of the Suez Canal and established modern agriculture, which ended famines in France and made the country an agricultural exporter. He negotiated the 1860 Cobden–Chevalier Free Trade Agreement with Britain and similar agreements with France's other European trading partners. Social reforms included giving French workers the right to strike and the right to organise. The first female students were admitted at the Sorbonne and educational opportunities for women were increased, as did the list of required subjects in public schools. In foreign policy, Napoleon III aimed to reassert French influence in Europe and around the world. In Europe, he allied with Britain and defeated Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856). His regime assisted Italian unification by defeating the Austrian Empire in the Franco-Austrian War and later annexed Savoy and Nice through the Treaty of Turin as its deferred reward. At the same time, his forces defended the Papal States against annexation by Italy. He was also favourable towards the 1859 union of the Danubian Principalities, which resulted in the establishment of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Napoleon III doubled the area of the French overseas empire with expansions in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. On the other hand, the intervention in Mexico, which aimed to create a Second Mexican Empire under French protection, ended in total failure. From 1866, Napoleon III had to face the mounting power of Prussia as its Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought German unification under Prussian leadership. In July 1870, Napoleon III reluctantly declared war on Prussia after pressure by the public. Without allies and with inferior military forces, the French Army was rapidly defeated as Napoleon III was captured at Sedan. He was swiftly dethroned and the Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris. He went into exile in England, where he died in 1873.

Photo of Louis XV of France

7. Louis XV of France (1710 - 1774)

With an HPI of 86.19, Louis XV of France is the 7th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 81 different languages.

Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity (then defined as his 13th birthday) on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was chief minister from 1726 until his death in 1743, at which time the king took sole control of the kingdom. His reign of almost 59 years (from 1715 to 1774) was the second longest in the history of France, exceeded only by his predecessor, Louis XIV, who had ruled for 72 years (from 1643 to 1715). In 1748, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745. He ceded New France in North America to Great Britain and Spain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France. Historians generally criticise his reign, citing how reports of his corruption embarrassed the monarchy, while his wars drained the treasury while producing little gain. His grandson and successor Louis XVI would inherit a kingdom in need of financial and political reform, which ultimately would lead to the French Revolution of 1789.

Photo of Henry IV of France

8. Henry IV of France (1553 - 1610)

With an HPI of 86.09, Henry IV of France is the 8th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 79 different languages.

Henry IV (French: Henri IV; 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother. He inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army.He and his predecessor Henry III of France were direct descendants of Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; Henry IV belonged to the House of Bourbon, descended from Robert, Count of Clermont, younger son of Saint Louis. As Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood". Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He initially kept the Protestant faith (the only French king to do so) and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. After four years of stalemate, he converted to Catholicism to obtain mastery over his kingdom (reportedly saying, "Paris is well worth a mass."). As a pragmatic politician (in the parlance of the time, a politique), he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes (1598), which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became the target of at least 12 assassination attempts. Having faced much opposition during his reign, Henry gained more status after his death. He was admired for his repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education. During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas truly began with the foundation of the colonies of Acadia and Canada at Port-Royal and Quebec, respectively. He was celebrated in the popular song "Vive le roi Henri" (which later became an anthem for the French monarchy during the reigns of his successors) and in Voltaire's Henriade.

Photo of Giuseppe Garibaldi

9. Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 - 1882)

With an HPI of 85.56, Giuseppe Garibaldi is the 9th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 101 different languages.

Giuseppe Maria Garibaldi ( GARR-ib-AWL-dee, Italian: [dʒuˈzɛppe ɡariˈbaldi] (listen); 4 July 1807 – 2 June 1882) was an Italian general, patriot and republican. He contributed to the Italian unification and the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. He is considered to be one of the greatest generals of modern times and one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland", along with Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and Giuseppe Mazzini. Garibaldi is also known as the "Hero of the Two Worlds" because of his military enterprises in South America and Europe.Garibaldi was a follower of the Italian nationalist Mazzini and embraced the republican nationalism of the Young Italy movement. He became a supporter of Italian unification under a democratic republican government. After participating in an uprising in Piedmont, he was sentenced to death, but he escaped by sailing to South America and spent 14 years in exile, taking part in several wars and learning the art of guerrilla warfare. In 1835, he took up the cause of the Brazilian Riograndense Republic in its attempt to proclaim another republic within Santa Catarina, joining the rebels known as the Farrapos. Garibaldi also became involved in the Uruguayan Civil War, raising an Italian force known as Redshirts and is still celebrated as an important contributor to Uruguay's reconstitution. In 1848, Garibaldi returned to Italy and commanded and fought in military campaigns that eventually led to Italian unification. The provisional government of Milan made him a general and the Minister of War promoted him to General of the Roman Republic in 1849. When the war of independence broke out in April 1859, he led his Hunters of the Alps in the capture of Varese and Como and reached the frontier of South Tyrol; the war ended with the acquisition of Lombardy. The following year, he led the Expedition of the Thousand on behalf of and with the consent of Victor Emmanuel II. The expedition was a success and concluded with the annexation of Sicily, Southern Italy, Marche and Umbria to the Kingdom of Sardinia before the creation of a unified Kingdom of Italy on 17 March 1861. His last military campaign took place during the Franco-Prussian War as commander of the Army of the Vosges. Garibaldi became an international figurehead for national independence and republican ideals. He was showered with admiration and praises by many intellectuals and political figures, including Abraham Lincoln, William Brown, Francesco de Sanctis, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, George Sand, Charles Dickens, Friedrich Engels and Che Guevara. Historian A. J. P. Taylor called him "the only wholly admirable figure in modern history". In the popular telling of his story, he is associated with the red shirts that his volunteers, the Garibaldini, wore in lieu of a uniform.

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10. Philip IV of France (1268 - 1314)

With an HPI of 85.36, Philip IV of France is the 10th most famous French Politician.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Philip IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), called Philip the Fair (French: Philippe le Bel), was King of France from 1285 to 1314. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him (from friend and foe alike) other nicknames, such as the Iron King (French: le Roi de fer). His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."Philip relied on skilful civil servants, such as Guillaume de Nogaret and Enguerrand de Marigny, to govern the kingdom rather than on his nobles. Philip and his advisors were instrumental in the transformation of France from a feudal country to a centralized state. The king, who sought an uncontested monarchy, compelled his vassals by wars and restricted feudal usages. His ambitions made him highly influential in European affairs. His goal was to place his relatives on foreign thrones. Princes from his house ruled in Naples and Hungary. He tried and failed to make another relative the Holy Roman Emperor. He began the long advance of France eastward by taking control of scattered fiefs.The most notable conflicts of Philip's reign include a dispute with the English over King Edward I's fiefs in southwestern France, and a war with the Flemish, who had rebelled against French royal authority and humiliated Philip at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. The war with the Flemish resulted in Philip's ultimate victory with which he received a significant portion of Flemish cities, which were added to the crown lands along with a vast sum of money. In 1306, Philip expelled the Jews from France, and in 1307 he annihilated the order of the Knights Templar. He was in debt to both groups and saw them as a "state within the state". To further strengthen the monarchy, Philip tried to take control of the French clergy, leading to a violent conflict with Pope Boniface VIII. This conflict resulted in the transfer of the papal court to the enclave of Avignon in 1309. His final year saw a scandal amongst the royal family, known as the Tour de Nesle affair, in which Philip's three daughters-in-law were accused of adultery. His three sons were successively kings of France: Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV. Their deaths without surviving sons of their own would compromise the future of the French royal house, which until then seemed secure, precipitating a succession crisis that would eventually lead to the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453).

Pantheon has 823 people classified as politicians born between 101 BC and 1989. Of these 823, 108 (13.12%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande, and Christine Lagarde. The most famous deceased politicians include Napoleon, Louis XIV of France, and Charlemagne. As of October 2020, 54 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Bernard-René Jourdan de Launay, Margaret of Bourbon, and Patrick Devedjian.

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