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In addition to the fact that all four men were power-hungry and ruthless leaders, their early lives and careers shared some interesting similarities. First, they were not born in the countries they ended up ruling. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (1879–1953) was born in Georgia (a country just outside of Russia). German chancellor (minister of the state) and führer (supreme leader) Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) was a native of Austria. French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) came from the isle of Corsica in Italy. Persian king Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.) was from the city-state of Macedon. All four men rose to power through the military or, as in Alexander's case, after having carried out military strategy. Once installed as rulers, all four men conducted great military campaigns to expand their spheres of influence. The wars brought on by their nationalism left millions dead. History has been forgiving of both Alexander and Napoleon, who today are often seen as heroes, but Hitler and Stalin committed atrocities (extremely cruel acts) that cast a shadow into the twenty-first century.
Further Information: "Alexander the Great." MSN Encarta. [Online] Available http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=03296000, October 26, 2000; Bonaparte, Napoleon. [Online] Available http://www.napoleon.org/, October 26, 2000; Hitler, Adolf. [Online] Available http://www.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_hitler.html, October 26, 2000; Joseph Stalin. [Online] Available http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=6659, Octobers 26, 2000.
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