Do Individuals Change the Course of History, or Is Change the Product of Larger Historical Forces? Support Your Argument with Historical Examples.

Do individuals change the course of history, or is change the product of larger historical forces? Support your argument with historical examples.

Historical change is the outcome of a phase of change within a society. Individuals influence this phase through their actions; yet these actions are pre-determined by their experiences which they themselves had no control over. Historical change requires a permitting environment in which to influence; an environment where a majority must be knowingly affected by an individual, meaning individuals are under the constraints of historical forces. Power defines opportunities for change, a requirement where all aspects are founded on society. Outstanding figures frequent these time periods, however, society dominates the nature and constraints of these individuals, the influence of these characters on history the products of larger historical forces themselves.
An individual’s environment will inevitably define their experiences, the major influencing factor of an individual’s actions or decisions—an influence which cannot be genuinely shaped by the individual. People are born without any choice in their birth circumstances, their environment. Therefore, experiences gained within this environment are influenced by factors outside an individual’s control, meaning that an individual’s knowledge and understanding have been at least partly, if not solely, founded on uncontrollable influences. Decisions are influenced by prior experiences (from any indefinite amount of time past) that have been shaped by an environment out of an individual’s control. Genuine decisions, however, are made without the constraints of these influences—a non-existent aspect concerning decision-making. This can be demonstrated with the case of Adolf Hitler. Substantial evidence has been found stating that Hitler’s anti-Semitic prejudices stemmed from personal observation and reasoning (Mein Kampf 1942; Anti-Semitism 2001), observations that he...