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Great Man Theory

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“A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false.”  Thomas Babington Macaulay, British Historian, 1800-1859. Great Man Theory. “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Thomas Carlyle, British Historian, 1795-1881. Deep Historical Currents.

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Presentation Transcript
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“A history in which every particular incident may be true may on the whole be false.”  Thomas Babington Macaulay, British Historian, 1800-1859
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“The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”Thomas Carlyle, British Historian, 1795-1881
deep historical currents
Deep Historical Currents

“Although in that year, 1812, Napoleon believed more than ever that to shed or not to shed the blood of his peoples depended entirely on his will (as Alexander said in his last letter to him), yet then, and more than at any time, he was in bondage to those laws which forced him, while to himself he seemed to be acting freely, to do what was bound to be his share in the common edifice of humanity, in history.”

Leo Tolstoy, Russian Writer, 1828-1910

history the progress of the consciousness of freedom george hegel german philosopher 1770 1831
“History: The progress of the consciousness of freedom.”George Hegel, German Philosopher, 1770-1831
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“A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of Communism”“History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.”“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”Karl Marx, Political Philosopher, 1818-1883
the role of chance
The Role of Chance

What if Hitler had remained blind due to his wounds in World War I?

How would Japanese history be different if the Mongols had sailed for Japan three days later?

How would American history be different if Lincoln had been too sick to attend the Ford Theatre?

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“History was a trash bag of random coincidences torn open in a wind. Surely, Watt with his steam engine, Faraday with his electric motor, and Edison with his incandescent light bulb did not have it as their goal to contribute to a fuel shortage some day that would place their countries at the mercy of Arab oil.”Joseph Heller, American Author, 1923-1999
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”Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.”

Howard Zinn, American Historian, 1922-2010

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”Small Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of family, conceals the fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, master and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such as world conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be of the side of the executioners.”

Howard Zinn

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“Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.”George Orwell, 1903-1950
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