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Historical determinism is the belief that events in history are entirely determined or constrained by various prior forces and, therefore, in a certain sense, inevitable. It is philosophical view of determinism applied to the process or direction by which history unfolds. Historical determinism places the cause of the event behind it.

The concept of Determinism appeared in the 19th century. The main idea is that certain factors determine the existence of humans and therefore limit the scope of their free will. In history, this is an approach that holds that history is intrinsically meaningful. Used as a pejorative, it is normally meant to designate a rigid finalist or mechanist conception of historical unfolding that makes the future appear as an inevitable and predetermined result of the past.



In 1822, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of History were published posthumously. In this text, Hegel establishes the idea that history is guided and, therefore, determined by reason.

Marx, Engels, and historical materialism

The dialectical method of the movement of history (Historical materialism) is a triad of Thesis-antithesis-synthesis whereby each movement (thesis) gives rise to its contradiction (antithesis) and through the dialectic, a synthesis is reached. According to Marx and Engels, original primitive communism was succeeded by the antithesis of private ownership of the means of production, from which the class struggle and the entire history of the economy and society derives. This antithesis will finally give way to the synthesis of a classless society. Rational knowledge, by dominating the entire process, makes it possible to finally resolve social contradictions.

See also