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Do Great People Make History or Does History Make Great People?
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Posted 4/21/08
This question has been debated by historians since the beginning of the profession in the early 19th century.
The Great Man Theory suggests that great leaders are born and not made. Furthermore, it suggests that great leaders will arise where there is a need. On the other side, the Zeitgeist theory suggests “the spirit of times” and history makes great people.
In the case of Napoleon I, I would say he is a natural leader who made his won success and shaped his times because of his ambition and what he believed in. However, many could argue that he rose to power and it was possible because of the French Revolution.
What do you guys think?
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23 / F / Texas
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Posted 4/21/08
i think people make history by doing something.
that's how they get into history.
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27 / F
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Posted 4/21/08
Its all about the right place at the right time. My opinion is that there were many great people in the past because people werent as educated as us right now. So it was easier to convinced them to do whatever he wanted.
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25 / M / Philippines
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Posted 4/22/08
yeah...it's the people who make the history
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21 / F / where the sun shi...
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Posted 4/22/08
"it suggests that great leaders will arise where there is a need."

- What builds history is not history per say, history will not be history with out the situations, events and people involve. In case of napoleon, yes its a fact that his greatness is in relations with french revolution though, his legacy is because he rose above the stiatuon during french revolution (his ideas, his tactics, etc ), that is why we have such a histroy based in his era. Hence, history doesnt make great people. Great people makes history!
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40 / M / Closing in
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Posted 4/22/08
You can be truly great, and have no place in history. The turning point for Napoleon was when he was asked to put out a riot. As hard it is to believe, Napoleon could have been completely ignored by history. There was no particular reason why he should come into power. We know of success. We do not know all the people that would have been great but didn't get the chance. Because there are no facts to support they would have been great. Take Henry 8's son. Great? Mediocre? Lousy? We don't know, because he died so early. To succeed you need to be given the chance, in that case he did not live. If you don't get the chance, you won't make it, no matter how great you are. Think about all the riots and revolutions that were put out before any change of leaders. Would the leaders have been great? We don't know. Also you need support. It is not enough to have a great or necessary idea. There are people that would have been known as great reformers, if they had gotten the support they needed. Both in England and Norway there have been a prime minister taht had to go immideatedly because they held the "wrong" opening speech. Great leaders? Who knows.
Posted 4/22/08
depends on the individual. maybe someone needs to encounter a situation to bring out the best in dem
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27 / M / Los Angeles, Cali...
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Posted 4/22/08
so basically you're asking us if we're believing in destiny?
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Posted 4/22/08
History is relative to who's recording it. If the historian recording the events doesn't think that your contribution is important, your name won't go down, no matter how important the contribution actually is.
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Everywhere you wa...
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Posted 4/22/08
There is no history. There are just random events Chuck Norris allows to occur.
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Posted 4/22/08

YouAreDumb wrote:

There is no history. There are just random events Chuck Norris allows to occur.


You're a fucking idiot and Chuck Norris is a middle aged man who needs to hurry up and fucking croak.

Great leaders are born. You could propose the issue that comes with people standing up for others and speaking out when they are pressured, but that is kind of 50/50. Since normal people are not born with that courageousness and bravery whilst some are and use that to lead others.
Posted 4/22/08
Like what was said before. Great people are born. Some people are born with the leadership role in them. It isn't a coincidence that they were born at that time. If one person in that time period through history didn't stand up, then eventually another would. Great people make history is what I think. After all it is the people themselves throughout history that did that, not history making it up as it goes along. History itself is just record of past events.
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M / Sad and Beatiful...
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Posted 4/23/08
ppl make history bec. they where made 90% out of blood

bec. only with action something can happen, and actions are coused nearly always by humans
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28 / M / California, US
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Posted 4/23/08
I find many peoples answers interesting stating that "your born a leader". From how far can that be proven, you can't say George Washington became a great leader since he fought for the freedom and right to liberty for America since majority of the gibberish in history books are made of "the winners" story and the not whole story, some things can be left out. Now being said, History does make Great people since its admiration and also a great to seek, like General Patton whom fought in World War II having to be the great general of the US in Europe, he read up on the romans and loved there quotes on war which made him great for the the strategy learned from the roman and Illryi army battles in the past. I find the that it People are born great to be somewhat lie but great lie nontheless since great storytellers would say that about their leaders, heros, and role models. All in all thats my opinion, simply to be Great, you have to believe something higher then heavens and jump to grasp on the belief, thats were greatness is made.
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