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Benevolent Dictators and Enlightened Despots

Name the countries ruled by these leaders who are sometimes considered to be enlightened despots or benevolent dictators.
Some of these countries no longer exist!
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 23, 2019
First submittedOctober 9, 2019
Times taken7,254
Rating3.95
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Reign
Ruler
Country
2000 -
Paul Kagame
Rwanda
1999 -
Abdullah II
Jordan
1970 -
Qaboos bin Said
al Said
Oman
1990 - 2019
Nursultan
Nazarbayev
Kazakhstan
1977 - 2004
France-Albert René
Seychelles
1959 - 1990
Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore
1953 - 1980
Josip Broz Tito
Yugoslavia
1963 - 1979
Park Chung-hee
South Korea
1923 - 1938
Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk
Turkey
Reign
Ruler
Country
1771 - 1792
Gustav III
Sweden
1762 - 1796
Catherine the Great
Russia
1759 - 1788
Charles III
Spain
1740 - 1786
Frederick the Great
Prussia
1740 - 1780
Maria Theresa
Holy Roman
Empire
1537 - 1574
Cosimo Medici
Tuscany
161 - 180
Marcus Aurelius
Roman Empire
268 BC - 232 BC
Ashoka
Maurya Empire
500s BC
Peisistratus
Athens
+4
level 76
Oct 23, 2019
Just curious, not one of the kings of England was considered benevolent? Or is it just a matter of other questions were chosen?
+10
level 77
Nov 29, 2019
The most traditional usage of the term "enlightened despot" or "enlightened monarch" by historians refers mostly to a group of kings and queens who, in the 18th century, were influenced by the ideas of the European Enlightenment into instituting some legal and economic reforms and also tolerating minorities.
By the 18th century the Kingdom of Great Britain was already a constitutional monarchy. George III was sitting on the throne through much of this century, and could be considered an enlightened monarch, but typically is not included as he wasn't really a proper despot.
+9
level 71
Oct 23, 2019
This should be interesting...
+34
level 65
Oct 24, 2019
Congratulations for what is easily the most controversial quiz ever created
+6
level 80
Jan 5, 2020
And yet there are no massive arguments on the comments of this quiz compared to others. Unless they were all deleted beforehand which could be a possibility.
+4
level 72
Oct 24, 2019
You might want to include the Dalai Lama(s) of Tibet?
+7
level 72
Oct 26, 2019
Most of them are hardly benevolent, though, unless you consider slavery, cannibalism and various abuse of power as such. The current one is all jovial and wings quotes like a factory, sounds smart etc, but the history is pretty grim.
+11
level ∞
Jan 5, 2020
Easy to be all sunshine and rainbows when you have no actual power.
+3
level 72
Nov 29, 2019
People forget how backwards and horrible Tibet was under the Dalai Lamas. They were far from enlightened.
+1
level 77
Nov 29, 2019
Got everything except the first one.
+2
level 77
Nov 29, 2019
How about Cyrus the Great?
+2
level ∞
Jan 5, 2020
I can dig it. But it's hard to say since we know so little about him.
+3
level 66
Nov 29, 2019
Where is the great Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow ?
+2
level 65
Jan 5, 2020
No Trump?
+10
level 67
Jan 5, 2020
He's neither enlightened nor a despot, so I don't think he meets the minimum requirements.
+2
level 40
Jan 5, 2020
Lee Kuan Yew was a very good leader for Singapore, and boosted his little country to a regional power and world trade power. I'm glad to see him on this quizz !
+3
level 22
Jan 5, 2020
As a turk id like to say this quiz is highly offensive. you cannot put Ataturk in a list of dictators. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was nowhere near a dictator and everyone in Turkey to this day loves and respects the true hero and the patriot he was for Turkey.
+2
level 49
Jan 5, 2020
Ataturk was definitely a dictator, even if that's not what "history" books in your country say. It's always sad to see nationalists getting offended because they don't accept the truth. What are you gonna tell me next ? That the Armenian genocide never existed ?
+4
level 63
Jan 5, 2020
The Armenian genocide had little to do with Mustafa Kemal. And no, current Turkish nationalists don't really like him. Kemalists are mostly liberals and left wing supporters. Some Turkish nationalists pretend to respect Ataturk only because disrespecting him could bring a backlash against them.
+1
level 71
Jan 5, 2020
At least he's an enlightened dictator, unlike the current one.
+1
level 30
Jan 6, 2020
Says who ? Ataturk is respected by some in the West only because he westernized and secularized Turkey. I cannot call englightment forcing people to dress in western clothes, forcing Muslims to call by a Turkish name instead of the Arabic "Allah", forcing mosques to give the call to prayer in Turkish, preventing women to wear a headscarf in public buildings, closing religious schools or exiling and putting in prison those who opposed secularism (read about Said Nursi for instance). I will not call Erdogan an angel, but I don't think he repressed more people that Ataturk did. Anyway, this quiz is by nature controversial. One may even call Hitler was englighted depending on their definition.
+1
level 71
Jan 6, 2020
Do you even know what Enlightenment is? Secularization is one of its key issues. You also neglected to mention women's suffrage and co-education, which Atatürk introduced. Despite his flaws, Atatürk ultimately brought about progress, while Erdogan stands for regression. And that last sentence, wow. Brief summary of Enlightenment: 1) Think for yourself 2) Question authority 3) Extend personal liberties 4) Get rid of censorship 5) Treat people equally regardless of their ethnicity 6) rely on rationalism. Hitler argued and acted against each of these principles. The Nazis were the direct antagonists of enlightened ideas.
+1
level 30
Jan 7, 2020
I doubt that any of the 18th century kings listed in this quiz separated the state from the Church. I don't relly think achieving secularization makes a ruler more entitled to be called enlightened, but it's the kind of issues where one is easily biaised.
I know what Enlightenment is but I didn't know enlightened dictator was necessarily linked to it. I thought it was generic like "acting according to noble principles". That's why I voluntarily used a weird example. My bad.
I didn't say Ataturk didn't do anything good but I wanted to point out the fact that he didn't truly advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, which are fundamental rights. Enlightenment was never about forcing people to act according to your opinions because you think you know better than them. One may find many examples of Ataturk going against the 6 points you mentioned, especially 1-4.
+1
level 58
Jan 5, 2020
so sad
+1
level 49
Jan 5, 2020
Got everyone except Ashoka. For the life of me, all I could think of was "Moria" from LOTR.
+1
level 55
Jan 5, 2020
No Pol Pot? Why?
+1
level 63
Jan 5, 2020
Because he's got an ugly name.
+1
level 67
Jan 6, 2020
He was responsible for the death of almost a quarter of his country's population. I wouldn't classify that under benevolence.
+2
level 55
Jan 5, 2020
Come on, Hitler said he wouldn't stop until Germany was saved and nearly killed himself early on out of frustration for how things were going. That's heart, sort of!
+2
level 30
Jan 6, 2020
Since this quiz is already controversial, Muhammad could have been added. No one who held political authority is loved and respected as much as him. The first caliphs are also considered to be benevolent dicators by Muslims, along with a few later figures.
+1
level 67
Jan 6, 2020
I can't disagree with that, although that raises a sort of philosophical question: If you are classified as a dictator by the modern sense but you lived in a period before the invention of modern parliamentary democracy, presidential term limits, and constitutional forms of government, are you really a dictator? Also, it's important to note that the first and fourth Caliphs after Muhammad were directly elected by their peers, and all four of the "rightly-guided" (with the possible exception of Ali) were unanimously accepted by their subjects through the system of "bay'ah", a kind of proto-voting system.
+1
level ∞
Jan 7, 2020
I never thought about it, but that would have been a good addition.
+1
level 53
Jan 6, 2020
look up Goli otok and then come back and tell me Tito was benevolent
+1
level 51
Jan 6, 2020
Where are my boys Assad and Gaddafi