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There were many scapegoats in history. Today, we will talk about them, who they are, and what they do. Since the inception of history, scapegoating has remained one of the notable characteristics of prominent leaders to blame for their own flaws and faults. The scapegoating tactics have remained a source of escape for a leader to pour out his/her frustration and defeat the targeted one. Several prominent personalities have been scapegoated for different lame reasons.


Their sufferings have strengthened stress toward highlighting the gruesome effects of the scapegoating attribute of the leaders. Contemporarily, the thought leadership skills make sure to demoralize the scapegoating in the future. Thought leadership stresses taking the liability for one’s own mistakes rather than concealing in the disguise of taking the help of the scapegoating phenomenon.

The following is the list of prominent personalities that have gone through scapegoating and have remained notable scapegoats in history:

Here is the list of some Scapegoats in history.

Have a look at Scapegoats:

Sacco and Vanzetti:

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian anarchists. Both of them were arrested in Boston in 1920. Both of them were convicted and probed for a murder case and armed robbery. Though, over the period, during their trial, both were proved to be innocent and without guilt. But, even then, they were executed after 50 years of prison.

Later on, the governor of Massachusetts confessed that both of them were scapegoated and charged due to the city’s prejudicial and racist approach. During that period of their arrest, Boston had a prejudicial racist temperament toward Italy. For this reason, both of them endured the charge of being the victim of scapegoating in prison. And thus, both of them have been enlisted as scapegoats in history.

Rudolf Hess:

Rudolf Hess was enlisted as the next heir in the list of the furor of German land. During world war 2, in 1941, he intended to visit Scotland to negotiate peace with Britain. Without judging his intentions, he was prisoned by the British and thrown in prison. Thereupon, he remained a prisoner for the rest of his life there. He had been scapegoated by both sides of the parties of world war 2. The allied forces wanted him to remain silent and do not initiate a peace deal. Whereas Hitler called him a traitor. Thus, he remained one of the prominent scapegoats in history. And he endured gruesome treatment in the British prison.

Leon Trotsky:

Leon Trotsky was the head of the red army of the soviet union. Lenin’s death as head of the soviet union embarked on the journey of choosing a potential candidate to lead the soviet union.  Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky were chosen to be selected through votes as the head of the soviet union.  Joseph Stalin probed Leon Trotsky as a capitalist and Zionist.  Eventually,  Stalin won by propagating the wrong picture of Leon Trotsky.  Later on,  in 1925, he was assassinated by Stalin’s man in Mexico.  This made him one of the targeted Scapegoats in history. 

Marie Antoinette:

Marie Antoinette was elected as the queen of France.  During the protest against the monarchy,  the protest and contempt toward monarchy and governance were less and more toward anti-hostile proclamations toward the queen.  The protest toward Louis XVI’s rule was intended to scapegoat Marie Antoinette.

Eventually,  Marie Antoinette and her husband were beheaded and executed.  This attempt of execution made them scapegoats in history. Thus,  the target toward the queen was more than prejudicial than anti-government.  Hence,  Marie Antoinette became one of the afflicted Scapegoats in history.  She was even victimized to be blamed for the poor economy and poor governance of the country. 


The Jews were targeted to be scapegoated for a persistent period.  They were persecuted by Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, Babylonians, Romans, Russians, Spanish, English, and Germans. They were called to be the sole reason for failing economies and downfalls. 


More specifically,  Hitler had anti-Semitic sentiments toward Jews and preferred genocide against them.  The Jews were subjected to face gruesome and harsh treatment in these prejudicial targeted situations.  Thus, the Jews have become targeted scapegoats in history.  However,  later on,  their emerging thought leadership skills gave them renouncing edge as a leading community in the middle east. 

How has thought leadership turned a leaf?

Thought leadership has capacitated humanity to realize the horrible outcomes of scapegoating throughout history.  It did convince the leaders and politicians to adopt responsible measures to improve the situation rather than scapegoating personalities and tribes.  Over the period,  a new wave of self-actualization has taken place in the personalities of the leaders.  The leaders have been convinced to recognize the partial treatment toward one sect,  tribe, or person through the evolvement of thought leadership skills.  Hence, thought leadership has facilitated some change in perceptions and behaviors toward marginalized and targeted personalities. 

Role of thought leadership in eradicating Scapegoats in history:

Scapegoating has remained a tool of leaders and politicians to hold another person as the culprit of one’s own misdoing. Thought leadership has a potential role in overcoming the biased and prejudiced perceptions and treatments of people toward others.  Thought leadership skills inculcate and nurture values and principles in leaders.  Those values and principles help evaluate and facilitate the actual flaws rather than scapegoating the burden of one’s own flaws upon others.  Likewise, it improves the relationships of the leaders with the people around them through understanding and compassion. 

Hence, these scapegoats in history have been subjected to endure the partial and biased treatment of the leaders and people toward them.  This ploy of scapegoating had a frightening and phobic effect on other people psychologically. 

To some extent,  it did diminish the people’s potential efforts to come up with ideas and thus squeezed the potential of thought leadership in people. Chronologically,  the improvement in leadership skills through the inculcation of thought leadership skills has changed the situation contemporarily.  It did bring improvement at present up to some extent.  And the afflicted scapegoats in history have been confessed by prominent personalities for going through tough times. 

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