The most famous executed rulers



Transfer of power has always been a difficult issue. In the Middle Ages rulers usually left their place to heirs. However, dynasties were often interrupted. The reason for this – the murder of the ruler, conspiracy against him, the lack of those same heirs.

Those who want to take the throne have always had more than enough. But extremely rarely the head of state was subjected to public executions. After all, this meant a sharp change in the state system and a sharp rejection of the old foundations.


The people who publicly kill their former ruler, resolutely break with the past. And although this phenomenon is very ambiguous, it happened several times in history. Our story will be about the most famous rulers of the past and the present, who were not fortunate enough to fall by the hands of the executioner.

The most famous executed rulers

Louis XVI

. The Great French Revolution forced the king to make significant concessions. September 18, 1789, Louis signed a document abolishing the feudal rights of his lords. The monarch himself agreed to move to Paris, where he actually became a hostage. Seeing that the authorities are slipping away, his wife, Marie Antoinette, started to work. She decided to strangle the revolution with the help of foreign aid. The Queen conducted an active correspondence with her native Austria and friendly Prussia. It was Marie Antoinette’s plan to escape the family to Lorraine in June 1791. However, the king was identified, and the plans fell through. To save himself and his family, Louis was forced to swear allegiance to the Constitution and in 1792 even managed to declare war on Austria. However, a new wave of the Revolution led to the capture of the Tuileries Palace, the royal family was arrested and placed in Tampl prison. September 21, 1792, Louis was officially deposed by the Legislative Assembly. The king himself, even in confinement, continued to communicate with foreign states and enemy emigrants. Then Louis was accused of high treason. During the trial, by a vote of 380 to 310, the former monarch was sentenced to death. The monarch himself behaved with dignity, defended himself, referring to his constitutional rights. On January 21, 1793, he ascended the scaffold in Paris, on the Revolution Square. The king’s last words were that he dies innocent and forgives all those who are to blame for his death. The guillotine cut off Louis’s head. Europe reacted to such an outrageous fact – a month later France was at war with England, the Netherlands and Spain.

The most famous executed rulers

Nicholas II.

In 1917, the power of the tsar was overthrown in Russia. Under the pressure of public opinion, the plight of the country in the First World War, Nicholas handed over power to the Provisional Government. However, it did not last long in power – the Bolsheviks came to power in October 1917. Immediately, the White Guard forces were formed, which aimed to overthrow the new regime and return the power of the tsar. In this difficult situation, the Bolsheviks signed with the Germans a humiliating treaty on the termination of Russia’s participation in the First World War. In political chaos, the figure of Nicholas II and his family was very uncomfortable. This was an additional trump card in the hands of the White Guards. First, the former ruler was held captive near Petrograd, and then sent to Tobolsk, and from there to Yekaterinburg. There the royal family together with the servants settled in a private house. In mid-July 1918, parts of the White Guard troops began to approach the city. The already distant sounds of guns were heard. This predetermined the fate of the king. Early in the morning of July 17, the tsar, his wife, children and servants were driven into the lodge and shot there. One of the participants in the execution recalled that the executed ones behaved quietly and calmly, guessing about their fate, showing nothing of excitement. In 2008, a decision was made to rehabilitate Nicholas II and his family members. And in 1998 in Yekaterinburg, excavations were carried out, the remains were identified and reburied with honors in the Peter and Paul Fortress.

The most famous executed rulers

Charles I.

In 1640, the conflict between the English King Charles I and Parliament reached its climax.The thing is that the king trampled on the right of the assembly to set taxes. Also, Charles sought to subjugate the church by strengthening the influence of Anglican bishops. And this all against the background of the fact that more and more Englishmen professed Protestantism, which the episcopate did not recognize. Such a policy of absolutism led to uprisings in Scotland and Ireland, the country plunged into civil war. The Parliament had its own army, consisting of extreme Protestants and headed by Cromwell. The king in 1642 raised his own flag over the troops. In 1645, Carl was defeated, he was held first in the hands of the Scots, and then was transferred to the British Parliament. All this time he does not seek compromises with Cromwell, negotiating with foreign allies. Even Parliament Karl was able to win over to his side. Then Cromwell at the head of the army arrived in London and dispersed the council, leaving only part of it, Okhvostye. Loyal Cromwell deputies created a commission, which sentenced Karl to death. He was declared a tyrant, a traitor, a murderer and an enemy. On January 30, 1649, the king was beheaded on the scaffold before his own palace. The last words of the monarch were about power and about absolutism. After the execution, the executioner raised Karl’s head, but did not say the traditional words: “Here is the head of a traitor.” The killing of the king caused a shock in society. After all, the king, whatever he was, was considered a sacred figure. Karl’s head was even allowed to sew to the body in order to bury it dignifiedly in Windsor. The execution of the English king meant the end of the era of absolute monarchy. After the short reign of Cromwell, the son of the murdered king, Charles II, was called to the throne.

The most famous executed rulers

Nicolae Ceausescu.

The fall of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s led even to the execution of one of the former dictators. His last speech before the already rebellious people of the Romanian Ceausescu delivered on December 21, 1989. A people thirsting for freedom heard a speech only about raising salaries and pensions, which led to a booing of the country’s leader. In Bucharest, there were constant flashes of demonstrations, in response to this, military snipers began to shoot at people. December 22 Ceausescu and his wife, having spent the night in his palace, ran away from there by helicopter. The new Minister of Defense ordered the people not to shoot, and the Ceauşescu dictatorship was announced from the balcony of the Central Committee building. Departing from Bucharest, the former ruler realized that the flight from the country is impossible. Changing the helicopter to a car, the dictator and his wife could not find a refuge anywhere. As a result, on December 22 at 17:50 in Tirgovishte he was detained by the police. In the capital, however, clashes continued between the supporters of Ceausescu and his opponents. As a result, in the same Tirgovishte the tribunal was quickly assembled, which within an hour sentenced the ruler and his wife to death. 10 minutes after the announcement, the sentence was already carried out. We shot Ceauşescu three volunteer paratroopers. The last words were sung by the leader of the Socialist Republic of Romania. The bodies of the executed were shown on the same day on national television. This brutal move forced the dictator’s supporters to lay down their arms, which saved thousands of lives.

The most famous executed rulers

Joseph Tiso. By 1938, Josef Tiso was the de facto leader of the Slovak People’s Party. When Germany occupied Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, Slovakia declared autonomy. It was Josef Tiso who became her prime minister. In 1939, the politician visited Berlin, where Hitler persuaded him to proclaim the independence of Slovakia. Tiso immediately became prime minister of the new republic, and then its president. The foreign policy of Slovakia was completely subordinated to the interests of Germany. Thus, Slovakia took the side of the Reich in its attack on Poland. And the Slovaks joined the Soviet Union as part of the fascist troops. Yes, and Tiso’s domestic policy passed with an eye on Berlin. A mono-party authoritarian political system was created in the country, in 1942 the president signed a law on the deportation of Jews. This became the embodiment of the anti-Semitic views of the leader.As a result, more than 50,000 Jews were deported and destroyed. When in 1944 in Slovakia, the partisans became more active, Tiso called on Germany to help. This actually meant the occupation of the country. The appearance of German soldiers provoked the Slovak National Uprising. In April 1945, seeing the approach of the Soviet troops, Tiso fled the country to Bavaria. There he was arrested by the Americans and extradited to Czechoslovakia. On charges of high treason, Joseph Tiso was hanged on April 18, 1947.

The most famous executed rulers

Saddam Hussein.

In the 1970s, as a result of the revolution, the power in Iraq was captured by the Baath Party. One of its leaders was Saddam Hussein, who dealt with security and special services. In 1979, President al-Bakr resigned, the de facto head of state became Hussein. He immediately held political cleansing, removing competitors. Hussein’s ambitions to become a new regional leader demanded money and wars. Armed conflict with Iran caused damage to the economy, the invasion of Kuwait caused outrage on the part of the world community. During Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi troops were routed by the US and its allies. Hussein himself responded brutally to suppress insurgent actions, including with the help of aviation and the army. The cult of the leader’s personality was established in the country, although the people were starving. America decided to democratize Iraq, under the pretext of developing Saddam weapons of mass destruction and financing terrorists in 1993, a new military operation began. Appeals of the world community to Hussein to leave the post of head of the country dictator ignored. In March-April 2003, Iraq was captured, the leader himself was constantly considered dead, but he again and again appeared on TV screens, causing enthusiasm among his citizens. On December 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein was still caught by the Americans. The dictator hid in the basement of the village house, he looked like a tired man, resigned to his fate. On October 19, 2005, the trial of Hussein began. Especially for him, the occupation authorities restored the abolished capital punishment. Saddam himself refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court and rejected the charges brought against him in executions, massacres and suppression of uprisings. On November 5, 2006, Hussein was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The dictator’s death was shown on television, Hussein cursed the Persians and Americans with his last words. The dictator’s death did not reconcile the political and religious sides in Iraq. There are still shooting, explosions are heard. The Americans themselves admitted that they did not find any traces of the development of weapons of mass destruction, nor the financing of terrorists from Al-Qaeda by Hussein.

The most famous executed rulers

Luarsab II.

When King Kartli Giorgi X died, the 14-year-old Luarsab II ascended to the throne. His candidacy was approved by Shah Abbas I, who was at that time in Tbilisi. The young tsar was ordered to oppose the Ottoman Empire, he managed to prove himself in the Battle of Tashiskari in 1609. In 1610, Luarsab II visited the Shah, who returned the Tbilisi fortress. In 1612 the king ordered to kill Khan Kazah, who, on the orders of the Iranian shah, ravaged Kartli. Having puffed up with the king of Kakheti, Luarsab II found an ally in the future confrontation with Iran. In 1614 Shah Abbas attacked Kartli. Luarsab went to Imeretia, where he called for the help of Georgian kings and Ottomans. Under the threat of ruin of lands and eviction of the inhabitants of Luarsab by order of the Shah returned to Kartli. Immediately, the young king was imprisoned for refusing to follow Muslim traditions. For eight years Luarsab II was there, refusing to accept Islam. Despite the requests of Georgian politicians and Russia, the tsar was still executed. Now he is ranked among the saints.

The most famous executed rulers

Maximilian I.

In 1832, the second son was born to the Archduke Franz Karl of Austria in Vienna. Maximilian was very fond of the sea, but fate forced him to take up politics. For a while he visited the governor of Lombardy and Venice, and then a quiet family life turned abruptly.In far-off Mexico an empire was formed, on the throne of which it was decided to plant Maximilian, brother of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary Franz Josef. His king found the new country in ruin and in civil war. Maximilian decided to become that person who will reconcile all. However, the European patrons obviously did not like it. And the Austrian himself was a stranger to his people. With the end of the Civil War, the French left France, leaving Maximilian alone with the enraged Republicans. On February 13, 1867, the emperor with the remnants of troops fled from Mexico City to Queretaro. The city fell on May 15. The emperor himself, along with his two generals, was sentenced to be shot by a military court. The execution took place on June 19. It is interesting that the predecessor Maximilian, the self-proclaimed Emperor Agustin, was also shot. His body was embalmed and given to the Austrians for burial in the Imperial tomb in Vienna.

The most famous executed rulers


Conradin.

By birth, Conradin could become king of Germany, but due to opposition from the Pope he could not do it. The guardian of the 5-year-old boy left him the right to inherit the land of his father and the title of the Swabian duchy. In the management of him Konradin officially and joined in 1262. In 1266 another hereditary territory, Sicily, was transferred by the Pope to the Frenchman. The Italians called for help to Conradin and, with the support of the great German feudal lords and their knights, in 1267 crossed the Alps. Do not stop him and the excommunication from the church. Many Italian cities sided with Conradin in his campaign throughout the country. The battle against the French in the Arno valley was won, in 1268 Conradin entered Rome as emperor. In Sicily itself, thanks to the Spaniards, an uprising broke out against the French. The decisive battle at Tagliacozzo on August 23, 1269, the German still lost. Disciplined French knights defeated a mixed army of mercenaries, exceeding their number. Conradin fled, but was captured and was given to Charles of Anjou. Together with the supporters of the German sentenced to execution, which was carried out in Naples on the market square on October 29, 1268. In memory of Conrad, two songs left in the German folklore, included in the Manes collection, entitled “Songs of the young King Conrad”.

The most famous executed rulers

José Balta (1814-1872).

Peruvian Balta already by the age of 30 reached the rank of general. However, in 1855 he preferred to resign and engage in politics. Jose Balta took part in numerous uprisings that shook the country in the 1860s. As a result, on August 2, 1868, he himself became president. The country was in a difficult situation. To remedy the situation, Balta resolutely set about solving economic problems. Contracts were concluded with foreigners, railways, new streets and bridges began to be built. It’s time for new elections. Balta himself supported Antonio Arenas, who eventually lost the fight to tax inspector Manuel Pardo. Then General Jose Gutierrez appealed to Jose Balta, calling for a military coup and to retain power. A surprising time, the president refused this in favor of the democratic principles of the transfer of power. After the refusal of Balta, Gutierrez decided to act on his own. On July 22, 1872, with the help of military force, he dismissed the president and arrested him. The people began unrest, the actions of the rebel general were not approved even by many military men. July 26, 1872 due to popular unrest was ordered to execute Jose Balta. However, the president’s death caused even more outrage. The same day the crowd burst into the presidential palace and the Lynch court killed Thomas Gutierrez, and his body was hung on one of the towers of the city’s cathedral. Surprisingly, in one day Peru lost two of its leaders at once.



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