I think that Archduke Ferdinand of Austria should have been mentioned. While he may not be the most influentiol person, he was part of the most influential event of the 20th century.For those of you that don't what happened, he was assasinated in the balkans, in 1917? (somewhere at that time). This was one of the SEMINAL events of history. Most of the world political events of this century can be traced in one way or another to his death. His assasination started WWI. This event created certain things:The worst war in the history of mankind-WWII was nothing in comparison to the horror of trench warfare. Imagine fighting along the lines of Omaha beach(D-day) every single day of the war. And then throw in chemical weapons... The WWI and its aftermath created certain things: The rise of the US as an economic power(all of the European powers were devastated after the war. They essentially lost an ENTIRE generation of men to it). The US entering the world geopolitical arena as a power. Before this, the US was not really a player. And was essentially an isolationist. The rise of communists in Russia. WWI was a major factor in their power play. The ending of Russian involvement in the war was a primary goal for them. The subordination of Germany as a country. The treaties of WWI destroyed Germany's economy and was humiliating. This set the table for the rise of Hitler. The start of WWII. See above, but the treaty of Versailles essentially guaranteed a "round 2." I feel that Ferdinand's death was the most influential event of this century. WWI, WWII, communism, fascism, the Korean war, the cold war, the rise of the US... all of these things can be traced to that one event. I found it particularly interesting that many of the people on the list were directly related to WW2. Could this be a cause of the age group selected? And the selection of Bill Gates...very questionable. Modern PC computing was created by Xerox parc research and brought to consumers by Apple. Just so you know, Xerox parc created things like the graphical interface, networked computing, WYSIWYG applications, laser printers...
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