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The Role of An Individual in History

The article presents an in-depth and thorough analysis on how significant


individuals that marked a particular point in our history played his role in the turn of
events, including the individuals role in the process of state formation and process.
Leonid Grinin argued that when the humankind has found itself at the new
developmental turning point, various individuals can dramatically impact the further
development of the world as a whole, and so it is of great importance to analyze it.

The first part of the article was about the different views on the role of an
individual in history. It was noted that the Greeks and Romans paid no mind or
consideration for the role of an individual because of their fatalistic point of view on
the future, believing that peoples life was predetermined. In the Middle Ages however,
the historical process was a realization of divine goals, and not of the human himself.
God acts through the selected people, and to understand their role is to understand
Gods divine plan. During the Renaissance, the outstanding peoples activity was
already considered the most important driving force in history, where Great mens
biographies and deeds were given much interest. From 16th to 17th century, these
were the times where new science grew and so the historical process was viewed as
one with laws and great advancement. In the 17th century however, the rationalists
had no well-defined view on the role of the individual and so it was considered
unimportant. In the 19th century there is a search of possibility to combine the
recognition of some historical figures' greatness with the processes of historical
development, at that the analyses of conformity between personality and environment
became one of the most important in the problem of the role of an individual. Overall,
the main realization that I had from the first part of the article is the fluctuation of the
importance given to the historical role of an individual in different times and places.

The second part of the article discusses the authors approach to the problem of
the role of individual in history. Depending on different conditions and circumstances
and with regard to characteristics of a society in question, time and individual features
of a personality, the his-torical role of the latter may vary from negligible to the greatest.
There are various factors that affect the role of individuals as a conceptual system,
and these factors comprise of conditions particularly, on the specific features of
historical place and time, social structure and personal characteristics.

Lastly, the article presented the model that included four societys state phases
to which I was able to use to analyze Dr. Jose Rizals role in the Philippine history. The
first phase shows a stable society of the monarchy type. The establishment and early
stage of Spanish colonization in the Philippines marks the first phase where it is
relatively quiet still and no relevance yet to Rizals role. The second phase starts when
the system is tending to decline. I think this is the phase where Rizal became aware of
the unjust Spanish government. In Rizals early years, he was already exposed to the
abuses of the friars and officials, especially of the unjust execution of the GOMBURZA
which later on became his inspiration in writing one of his famous work, El
Filibusterismo. The third phase starts when the regime does die under revolutionary
pressure. Rizal was greatly important in this phase in the society, to which his
influence dramatically impacted the actions of the Filipinos to revolt against the
Spanish government. I think that Rizal died whilst this phase continued. He was not
able to live to see the day the Spanish regime died under revolutionary pressure. And
lastly, the fourth phase starts when the creation of a new system and regime. His
death extremely sharpened the struggle of the Filipinos, and even though he died
without seeing the fruition of his nationalistic efforts and aspiration for our country,
the seed he planted in the hearts of Filipinos continue to grow strong and is passed to
several generations. His legacy was able to live through.