Is history the result of actions carried out by event-making individuals or do the events make the individuals?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is completely a matter of opinion since there is no way that we can ever know for sure what might have happened if, for example, a different person had been president at some particular time.  However, I would argue that history is the result of both of these.

Let's look at the case of Osama bin Laden and 9/11.  Clearly, bin Laden was the person behind the terrorist attacks of that day.  In this sense, we can say that history was made by his actions.  On the other hand, though, bin Laden was "created" by events as well.  If it had not been for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (and the US support for the Mujahideen fighting that invasion) bin Laden would never (you can argue) have had the chance to form Al Qaeda and launch those attacks.

So this is really an imponderable question.  We cannot know for sure, but it seems to me that both explanations have merit.

coruscation | Student

Also i'd like to add this, there is no right or wrong answer. I just need help starting my essay. I'm not really good with words or Essays. Thanks in advance.