One thing that has always existed has been the concept of politics. Whenever there was more than one person in a given place and decisions had to be made, the concept of politics was in existence. By definition it is the process by which decisions are made amongst a group of people.
Of course the process gets a bit more challenging the larger the group of people involved becomes. Within a small village it can be conceivable that everyone would have a say in the decisions of the day, but when you start talking about cities, districts, counties, states, and nations, individuals have to be entrusted with making the decisions and running the government of the land.
As the population of the world has grown and spread to every known corner, the need for individuals to get involved in the political realm. Some have been reluctant to do so, but did so anyway out of love of country. Others were eager to serve while some went as far as to conquer other lands so they could spread their influence even further.
Whatever the reason, the world would not be the place that it is without the many individuals, good and bad, that have been involved in the politics of their city, state, nation, or of the world in some way shape or form.
There were some like Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi that inspired people around the world to fight for their civil rights. There were also people like Adolf Hitler who started off trying to lead his people out of the rubble of WWI only to threaten the safety of the world.
For some there exact imprint on the world may be harder to tell than others. Take Chinese philosopher Confucius for example. His teachings are legendary, but there is no known book(s) that he wrote in existence. Then there are people like Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Tenin that entire texts are written on.
As the world grows more populous the opportunities for individuals to make an impression on the world, their nation, state, city, or just their community will continue to be plentiful.