According to Hegel's philosophy of history, history has a purpose and direction. For Hegel, history ultimately culminates in human freedom. This freedom and human emancipation is realized in the state, and not just any state, but a form of government that cultivates and advances autonomy—that is, the ability for subjects to live and choose freely.
Hegel's philosophy of history traces different incarnations of the state that have been constructed throughout history, from authoritarian systems to democratic systems, which have appeared in ancient Greece, Persia, and finally the Prussian state. Hegel's ideas about the relationship between history and the state are persuasive because he uses concrete historical examples to reveal how states have evolved and transformed cultural norms and values. Hegel reveals that in the course of human history, mankind has inched closer to freedom.
These freedoms include the right to vote and own property, along with the ability to pursue a vocation in civil society. For Hegel, however, the ultimate freedom is the realization that humans are interdependent, that we have duties to each other, and that we are only free if we respect each other's status as an autonomous individual.