Can historical developments be explained as consequence derived from cause?
If there are some historical developments that can be explained as consequence derived from cause, these are limited cases, in which you can even predict the future to certain extend.
As an example I would use the technological development, that can be predicted when we say, “Most probably the human technological knowledge will be wider in the future”. Out of it we can derive many consequent predictions about the future.
An other example is the demographic development, that has obvious trend, and again we may say; “Most probably the population of the wealthy nations, (US, Europe, Japan) will shrink in the next decades, while the population of rest of the world will grow. Again you can derive out of it many consequent predictions about the future.
The third example I would use is the economy, where you can with certain confidence say; “Since 2008 the economic wealth is shifting from the traditional developed nations, (again US, Europe, Japan), to the rest of the world.
Yet all this historical trends, has nothing to do to historical consequences of political decisions of political communities and/or their leaders. These are unpredictable and the consequences of their deeds are also unpredictable. Take for example the recent history of president Bush the Junior. At first he was elected by 50,000electors from Florida. Then since September 11 he was doing what he was doing. The attack at September 11 wouldn’t be prevented by a different president, but all the rest could be totally different. Probably the war in Iraq would never happen. The economic policy would be different and the world economic crisis of 2008 could have been prevented.
Conclusion, certain trends of human history can be identified, but the human history is about destiny and decisions of individuals and communities, and the consequences of their decision, I wouldn’t be to hasty to predict the consequences of certain decisions.
To make it clear what I meant to say above is; no one could predict before 1936, where Germany is heading too, so no one except of the Nazis themselves are to be blamed for what they had done to the world. No one could even imagine to where all this is heading too until 1938.
In a same way, even if we can with certain level of security predict that the fundamental Muslims will take over the political power in most of the Arab world, we can’t predict today to where the Arab world is heading too? Are they going to implement their ideological-religious agenda, or are they going to sink in the mud of the unsolvable, urgently pressing economic problems? Or to say it in a metaphor, are they going to be troubled with the municipal sewage, or are they going to make wars among themselves and with the others? Who can say with certainty, what the future will bring to us from this part of the world?