Unlike some of their contemporary counterparts, the ten most important South American leaders in history are praised for their significant contributions to the development of their respective societies. Whether they brought about social change, altered the way politics was done, boosted economic performance, or installed revolutionary regimes, the continent would simply not be the same without them.
The ten most important South American leaders might not be known around the world in the same way certain North American or European politicians are, yet this is not necessarily a bad thing. Unlike other regions of the world, South America is notorious for its lack of engagement in armed conflicts, and thus, local politicians rarely make an appearance on the international stage. Hence, despite their massive influence on domestic politics, the most important South American leaders have sometimes gone unnoticed in other regions. After all, few people care about what goes on in distant nations, unless it affects their country or region directly.
If you are interested in the region, and want to visit the birthplace of some of the politicians mentioned below, be sure to check out our previous post of the top travel destinations in South America. Making the trip could be enlightening, especially after learning more about the most important leaders, and if not, you can always enjoy the natural beauty of these nations. Getting to know the local population, experiencing their way of life, and studying their history, will not only change your opinion about certain political figures, but also help you to understand their political priorities.
Once we have left our preconceived notions aside and accepted the political and economic instability of the region as a crucial element in its history, we can proceed to determine the ten most important South American leaders. It is worth mentioning that the political figures that appear in the following list are presented in a random order, since ranking people according to their influence is practically impossible. Hence, pay no attention to the order in which they appear, but rather focus on their achievements!