CHW 3M: The Great Man Theory and Your Civilization

Remember the Great Man Theory? It argues that “great men” (note the gender bias) shape their times. Essentially, they do what no one else could do in similar circumstances, turning crises into opportunities.

In the first half of today’s class, your goal is to find your civilization’s greatest figure. You have a tremendous amount of choice, but the figure must have reached his/her significance before 1500 AD. In your notes, track the following:

  • who was this person?
  • what, exactly, did they do?
  • what were the crises they faced, and how were these crises overcome?
  • what is this figure’s legacy?
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