Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin died after being shot in a Duel to the Death when he was 35 years old, after fighting (and winning) a staggering 28 duels at that point, surviving by keeping his cool. What other awesome works would have he written!
The two art gods of the Renaissance, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, were once commissioned to paint a mural together. After a series of delays and other misfortunes, they let the matter fall.
If Saul Steinberg had his way, then in the early 1980s (what was then known as) Walt Disney Productions would have been shut down, broken up and sold off in pieces to separate companies, just like MGM was in the late 1960s.
If Adolf Hitler got that job as a painter, things MIGHT be a lot happier. He really wasn't half bad.◊ Of course, World War One would have still ended the same way, the Germans would still have been pissed at the Treaty of Versailles, and instead of Hitler it probably would have been somebody else. It would be even more interesting if the Archduke of Austria-Hungary had never been assassinated, which was what caused World War One and in turn set the events in motion for World War II. Although there are many other factors other than Franz Ferdiand's assassination which might've triggered it anyway, but they are too numerous and complicated to be discussed on this wiki. Leave it at that.Please.
Not to mention what if one of the 42 (knownn) attempts to kill Hitler actually worked.
That one is an open question. Would the Germans surrender after losing their leader, or would they fight harder after losing their greatest liability?
Most likely the latter, as outside Valkyrie (where the Wehrmacht would have seized power and surrended unconditionally to the US an Britain and signed a truce with the Soviets), most didn't have long term or plans past kiling Hitler, and in the event of Hitler's death, Göering or any one of the more savvy high commanders would have taken command and would probably have taken a back seat and given the competent generals free reign.
Kurt von Schleicher, the Chancellor immediately before Adolph Hitler, would have stayed in power if he did not shorten a recess in the Reichstag prior to a budget introduction. Shortening the recess led to several mistakes that led to Hitler's unification of the NSDAP and successful bid for the Chancellorship. None of these mistakes could have occurred is von Schleicher went with the original recess.
Or, what if he had been permanently blinded or even killed in the mustard gas attack?
Russia, and it would've done it much more effectively.
Or if Lenin didn't die to begin with?
If Franz Ferdinand had become Emperor he could have completed his dream of transforming the Austria-Hungarian Empire into the United States of Greater Austria through a series of political reforms. This would have served the dual purpose of keeping the Empire together by giving the subject peoples a say in the parliament and giving a reason for the absorption of new overseas and southern European territories into the Empire as full members. This could have possibly averted the Balkan conflict that started the war.
Germany could have still lost the first World War, but had the war not been drawn out as long as it was, the Kaiser might still have retained power. The same goes for Tsar in Russia.
It wouldn't have broken out in exactly the same fashion, but it would almost certainly have exploded sooner or later. The unhappy fact is that Europe was basically divided into two armed camps eyeing each other narrowly, and that, as incredible as it seems to us nearly a century later, a lot of people wanted a war. There were several crises already that could have sparked a general war (Dogger Bank and Morocco, for example), and if Franz Ferdinand had lived to ascend the throne, it can't be assumed that he would have been left to reign in peace. (Among other things, the Hungarian aristocracy was bitterly opposed to Franz Ferdinand's plans for reform, as it would have significantly reduced their power over their portion of the Empire, much of which was comprised of the very minority groups that the Archduke wanted to raise up. At least one timeline on http://www.alternatehistory.com posits just such a scenario where the Magyar nobles rise in rebellion against Emperor Franz Ferdinand in the context of an alternate World War I.
And how does that situation differs from Europe ever since...wanted to write first council of Vienna, but maybe fall of Roman empire would be closer to truth. Except for different weaponry, of course. War was nothing but tool of politics afterall.
Even if Ferdinand was assassinated, what if Germany had never delared war on Serbia (setting off a chain reaction of allies on either side declaring war), and it had just stayed a regional conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia?
Well, if you're positing a smarter Wilhelm II, you might as well leave Bismarck running Germany's foreign affairs. Though it's not unlikely that even he would've eventually failed at juggling all the balls he had in the air. Still, he couldn't help but do a better job of it than Wilhelm did.
What if the 22nd Amendment was never passed and the US President could still serve out as many terms as he'd like? Could we have had another President who would have done like Franklin D. Roosevelt and served three terms or more?
More then likely, Bill Clinton is the only President so far who could have pulled off such a feat. Harry Truman (who was exempt from the Amendment due to it being passed while he was in office) was wildly unpopular at the end of his second term and thus chose not to run for a third; Dwight D Eisenhower (the first President to have been term limited) left office with both mediocre approval ratings and in poor health* not to mention that he would have been up against the telegenically adept and arguably charismatic JFK; John F. Kennedy was assassinated during his first term; Lyndon Johnson was eligible for a third term (He had served less than two years of Kennedy's term), but dropped plans for a second reelection bid due to his extensive unpopularity at the time; Richard Nixon, with threat of impeachment looming, resigned the Presidency during his second term; Gerald Ford was voted out after serving out the rest of Nixon's second term; Jimmy Carter was voted out after one term; Ronald Reagan left office with decent popularity, but was 77 and his health was steadily deteriorating; George HW Bush was voted out after one term; George W. Bush left office at the end of his second term as one of the most hated Presidents in history. In contrast, Clinton left office with extremely high approval ratings and was in good health. It can be assumed that if he were eligible for a third term, he could have easily defeated Bush and been reelected.
Butterfly Effect comes into play here. Clinton or any other president running for a third term would prompt a change in strategy by the opposing party, meaning that different candidates than the ones we know may end up running. Clinton may not have faced George W. Bush in 2000.
If you use the Butterfly Effect, you have to take into account that none of the same people would be born after the point of departure. Someone might have run for a third term or more, but if it wasn't soon after the point of departure, it wouldn't be anyone that exists in this universe.
It remains to be seen where Barack Obama's health and popularity will stand at the end of his two terms in office.
On that note, if that played out and Clinton was on his third Presidential term when the 9/11 attacks occurred, what would he have done differently than Bush?
Probably not that much. Clinton had already bombed Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and bombed Iraq multiple times.
If Clinton had served as President well into the 2000s, would the United States be in better shape today? Or, contrary to what his opponents say, are the US's problems today not entirely the result of George W. Bush's policies and the country would still be in shambles today regardless of who was in office through the decade?
It's safe to say that if Clinton had served more than two terms, at the very least the government wouldn't be facing the huge debt debacle it's dealing with today. Clinton kept the debt at a reasonable level throughout his two terms and had completely eliminated the Reagan budget deficits as well, as the US government reported surpluses for 1998, 1999 and 2000. And then Bush had the government back in the red by 2002.
Not necessarily. The surplus was as much a product of the Dot Com Boom of the 90s as it was a product of the Clinton/Republican Congress partnership. When the Dot Com Bubble burst, economic growth slowed down, and the 9/11 attacks certainly didn't do anything to help what was already a sputtering economy.
It should be noted that the main cause of the 2000s budget deficits was Bush's tax cuts, which he strongly championed in his 2000 Presidential campaign; he argued that the government posting consecutive budget surpluses showed that the government was taking in more money than it needed and that it should give it back to the American people in the form of a tax cut. That being said, his idea of a tax cut in response to the surpluses gained enough traction with voters that it forced opponent Al Gore to change positions and promise tax cuts as well, so no matter who got elected, the tax cut still would have happened. If Clinton got elected for a third term as discussed in this scenario, he too would have probably promised tax cuts on the way to defeating Bush, so even then, the Bush tax cuts would have still happened. Either way, they were disastrous for the budget since the US had to drastically increase defense spending in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the beginning of the War on Terror. Throughout the 90s, beginning during the George HW Bush Presidency, the US cut defense spending, viewing a strong defense as less of a priority since the Cold War had ended.
On the topic of deficits, what if George HW Bush had fought harder against the Democratic-controlled congress and forced through harder budget cuts and denied their attempts at raising taxes, thus allowing for his reelection in 1992 and preventing Bill Clinton from rising to prominence?
What if Big Bush had simply overthrown Saddam Hussein in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War? Would the US have avoided the debacle in Iraq that plagued most of the 2000s, or would have the same mess occurred just 12 years earlier?
Many people know that in the 1800 election, Thomas Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr tied 73-73 in the Electoral College, forcing a run-off election in the House of Representatives and the electoral system to be redesigned for the 1804 election. Fewer people know that the initial result in 1800 was in fact 74-72 in Burr's favor, because an elector from New York cast both of his votes for Burr, apparently on purpose. Fortunately, the rogue elector's double vote for Burr was forbidden by the constitution, and the New York state legislature re-assigned the second vote to Jefferson. Had the elector in question cast his second vote for anyone other than Burr or Jefferson however, his plan to get Burr elected as President would have gone through without a hitch since the vote wouldn't have violated any laws, and unless he just straight up refused to take the President's office, a Burr administration would likely have drastically reshaped the country's early history.
Samuel J. Tilden and Al Gore both won the Popular Vote, yet lost in the Electoral College. Had the college never been instituted in the first place, this would mean that Rutherford B Hayes and George W. Bush would never have been elected.
Actually four candidates have received less popular votes but won anyway: Quincy Adams, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George Bush.
True, but in Gore's case, the margin of victory wasn't in the popular vote, but in the state of Florida. With the electoral vote margin at stake with an all-or-nothing system of allocation in place, Gore's margin of defeat was less than the attendance of a high school football game. There's a whole list of might-have-beens that could have changed the outcome with a single change: Bush's brother being the Governor, yet not dismissing himself from involvement in the subsequent Courtroom Antics; Florida's Secretary of State, responsible for all of the vote tabulation and certification, being a member of the Bush campaign and not dismissing herself; accusations of voter disenfranchisement; a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that halted the last-minute recounts; and so forth. For those who remember, every news channel on the planet was providing minute-by-minute updates of the victory margin down to the individual. Any change that added a number of votes equal to a paper route subscription would have changed the results of the Presidential election.
Don't be too sure. One important factor is the number of absentee ballots, and how/when they are counted. At the time of the 2000 election (and, perhaps, even now), absentee ballots were counted only if the number of absentee ballots exceeded the vote spread in a given area. Thus, if you have State A, where Gore leads Bush by 1,000 votes, and there are 1,100 absentee ballots, those ballots will be counted. However, if you have State B, where Gore leads Bush by 10,000 votes, and there are 9,900 absentee ballots, those ballots will not even be looked at. As a matter of fact, in 2000, there were six million absentee ballots that remained uncounted, and we have no way of knowing which way those votes went. Had the electoral college been abolished, and a national system of voting taken its place, those six million votes would have come into play, and we can only speculate as to the results.
Also another thing to keep in mind: Florida had initially been called for Bush after the first night; not by a large margin, but enough to not realistically be surmountable. The story goes that Bush had been told to expect a phone call from Gore announcing his concession, and in fact Gore was bare minutes away from doing so and was on his way to a press conference to announce that fact before results from other counties came in that plummeted Bush's margin of victory to the razor's edge. When the phone call came, instead of conceding, Gore told Bush his intention was to challenge the results. Imagine what would have happened if the results were an hour or so late and he had given up without a fight when there was a very real chance at victory. A very large What Could Have Been in itself.
Actually, the state had originally been called for Gore when the polls closed in most of the state at 7 PM Eastern Time. Significant because there were ten counties that traditionally had (and still have) Republican loyalties in the Central Time Zone, meaning that they were still in play. Granted, they only made up about 5-6% of the state's population (1.5 districts out of 23 or so), but it caused some voters from those counties to turn aside. Had that call not been made, perhaps the margin of votes referenced above could have remained significant, likely bypassing the court battles. This call was rescinded around 10 PM EST and the call for Bush was made after midnight.
Another What Could Have Been in the election were the two candidate's decisions to fight for, and challenge, recounts in certain counties and districts believed to be favorable to them. After the state was finally and officially called for Bush, Gore sued on behalf of the districts whose recounts were still in process. On the other hand, Bush countered that allowing an exception to these districts, whose recounts had missed the deadline, would have been unfair to the rest of the state (an invalid claim, because Florida's State Constitution empowers the Florida Supreme Court to "do whatever is necessary" [exact words] to clear up contested elections, including ''ordering recounts in only one or two counties.'; in short, Bush's lawsuit was based on utter bullshit and Bush had no standing to bring it before the Supreme Court, but the Republican-controlled Supreme Court heard it anyway). The Supreme Court ruled for Bush, naturally. Which leads us to That Other Wiki (down towards the bottom). Under this study, a full recount of every ballot in the state would have resulted in a Gore victory by almost any standard. However, with only a recount of the districts Gore was fighting for, the victory would have still gone to Bush. Had he argued for a full recount of the state's ballots, once and for all, rather than focusing on the ones he felt favored him, the Supreme Court would have had no equal protection-based reason to deny him and he would have been elected. The tremor you felt in the floor when the study was released was Gore's head hitting the desk on a cosmic scale.
One final note: What might have happened to the development of the parties had Gore won the Presidency? In the eight years of Bush's presidency, the Democratic party, during the 90s dominated by center-left politicians like Bill Clinton, was swept up by a Progressive movement that galvanized the left wing of the party, famously signified by a photo of Michael Moore and John Kerry standing side-by-side on the podium during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Had Gore and the center-left Democrats won the presidency, would the at-the-time Right-wing Republicans (who would later move to the center-right after the Bush years with the rise of the Tea Party movement) have possibly become more liberal in their leanings as the Progressive movement sought a foothold in the system? Would the Republicans have become a centrist party akin to the 90s Democratic party and the Democrats gone a more Conservative route? Or would the Democrats' alignment stay the same, and a new Conservative party risen to take the place of the Republicans?
Speaking of potential U.S. Presidents, Milton Friedman (a Nobel prize winning economist) believed that Donald Rumsfeld should've been on the Republican ticket in 1988 instead of Bush Sr. If that happened, the problems that Bush faced may have been avoided (according to Friedman)
Let's not forget... what if Dewey really did defeat Truman? Answers on this vary, as some regard him as the best President that the U.S. never had, while others feel that his refusal to commit to policies and seeming indecisiveness during the election would have made him a poor leader.
Dewey's non-committal campaigning style in 1948 was the result of poor advice from his advisers, who felt that all he had to do was show up in order to win the election. Had Dewey taken the same approach to campaigning in that election as he had done in the 1944 election (where he put much more effort into campaigning against the hugely popular Franklin Roosevelt), he would probably have utterly destroyed Truman in the polls.
Another question related to 1948 — what if Harold Stassen had secured the Republican nomination instead of Dewey? During the campaign, Stassen openly criticised Dewey for not being aggressive enough in his campaign style and taking it for granted that he was going to be victorious. Stassen's subsequent history shows that he certainly wasn't lacking in spirit or determination, so he might actually have been the Republican's best bet for victory in 1948.
What if George W. Bush stayed a baseball team owner?
Then his brother Jeb probably would have become President. Jeb, not George W., had been the one groomed for the Presidency by his family and their supporters. But W. decided he wanted to run and either nobody in the family had the heart to tell him "No," or they did and he wouldn't listen. In any case, the Bush name went from being somewhat respected to universally reviled (it's worth noting that while former two-term Democratic President Bill Clinton was heavily featured in his party's 2012 convention, W. was not present and was barely even mentioned at the GOP's get-together).
A similar question, which has both political wonks and baseball fans wondering, is what could have been if George W. Bush had become commissioner of Major League Baseball? Bush made no secret of his desire to become commissioner and was told, according to former commissioner Fay Vincent, by then-acting commissioner (and current commissioner) Bud Selig that he was being considered for the position. Perhaps some of the same situations would have come up for both commissioner of baseball (such as the labor unrest of 1994) and President of the U.S. (such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) regardless of whether or not George W. Bush held either position, but how these events may have been handled differently is certainly a question.
What if Bush Sr. had died, requiring Dan Quayle to assume the presidency?
What if John F. Kennedy had followed the Secret Service's advice and left the bulletproof bubble-top up on the Presidential limo in Dallas?
Then he would have been toted as the asshole who started the war in Vietnam instead of Johnson.
Although it might have affected Oswald's (or whoever's) aim, the bubble-top was not bulletproof and existed only to protect the occupants from rain.
So, were the Secret Service afraid that it was going to rain?
Apparently not as they agreed to leaving it off (it was Kennedy's request.) A better question than the bubble top (Oswald was in fact a good marksman and might have hit him anyway) would be what if the Secret Service had put their collective foot down and had agents on the corners of SS-100-X? Would we instead have the first incident of a Secret Service agent fatally taking a bullet for a President (one of Reagan's agents took a bullet for him, but survived.)
Kennedy likely would have survived if he wasn't wearing a steel back brace that held him in place like a sitting duck. The first shot would likely not have been fatal, and would have thrown him forward so that he was no longer in the line of fire. The second shot was what killed him.
Also, JFK technically IS the asshole who started the war in Vietnam, or rather got the US in up to its neck. As the generation who practically canonized him dies off and their grandchildren start writing history, he'll get more public blame. (This Troper's history professor was genuinely perturbed when he realized the reason all his students in his Vietnam seminar could be so detached and cold-blooded discussing it was none of them had any sort of personal identification with it or the personalities involved and were looking at it the same way they looked at World War I—purely academic.)
Robert McNamara (Kennedy's Defense Secretary) and Clark Clifford (a trusted advisor who later succeeded McNamara at DoD) both separately wrote that Kennedy, while supportive of South Vietnam's government, had told them in no uncertain terms that the US would not fight their war for them. Under LBJ, of course, that's exactly what ended up happening. Neither believed that Kennedy would have approved the massive troop increases that LBJ implemented.
The asshole who started the war in Vietnam was actually Eisenhower. The war began in 1955 after all. Kennedy saw Vietnam as a pain in the ass he didn't want to get involved in. A week prior to his death, he issued National Security Action Memorandum # 263 which withdrew forces from Vietnam. This order was later reversed by LBJ. A Kennedy survival scenario likely means no Vietnam War and Kennedy being blamed for losing a country to communism.
Not quite. The Memo # 263 is a little more ambiguous than that. It actually approved a "recommendation" of McGeorge Bundy that stated it was the "objective" of the U.S. to withdraw its forces by the end of 1963, which is not the same thing as an order to remove U.S. forces by the end of 1963. The recommendation that JFK approved also said, "It remains the central object of the United States in South Vietnam to assist the people and Government of that country to win their contest against the externally directed and supported Communist conspiracy." In context, what JFK was approving was what would later be called the "Vietnamization" of the war—turning it over to the government of South Vietnam as much as possible, as quickly as possible. That was also the policy of LBJ, it just never quite worked out that way. Presumably, the reason JFK wanted Memo # 263 kept secret was in case circumstances on the ground changed. He didn't want the public to know that he had approved an "objective" that couldn't be met.
On the topic of Aaron Burr, what if Alexander Hamilton had taken their duel seriously? He missed on purpose and Burr killed him. Had this not occured, Hamilton, one of the best legal and financial minds of the time, could have very plausibly been one of the earliest presidents. Would he, for example, have put the Supreme Court into the situation created by Marbury v. Madison, which ended with the Supreme Court being able to overturn laws? Or would the entire system of checks and balances be completely different today?
Hamilton was not a native-born American (he was born in the British West Indies) and was thus ineligible to be President; it would've taken a constitutional amendment.
The constitution reads: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." (Emphasis added) None of the early Presidents were born in the United States; they were born in the British colonies.
They were all born in the colonies that would become the continental United States. Technically the clause may have covered Hamilton, but most of the people with positions of power in early America considered Hamilton to be ineligible because of it.
Um, No. Alexander Hamilton was 1. A citizen of the US when the Constitution was signed 2. 35 for some years of his life, and 3. Had been a resident in the US for more than 14 years at the time of his death. He was clearly eligible for presidency, as much as George Washington.
Ho Chi Minh repeatedly asked the United States for intervention in Vietnam after World War I, hoping to establish an independent democratic government styled after that of the US in the the French-controlled Vietnam. The USA found little interest in the plight of some far off Asian colony, and was not interested in antagonizing their French allies. Ho later turned to the Soviet Union and Communist China.
Similarly, Fidel Castro only turned to Communism after being rebuffed by the US.
Speaking of Castro, what if Fidel had been drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947?
Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, Gerald Ford (Who played center for the Wolverines) was offered lucrative deals to play for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. What if he took one of them and embarked on a career in the NFL?
Similarly, Ford won his congressional seat largely because incumbent Representative Bartel J. Jonkman didn't think the small-time lawyer posed a real threat to his seat, and thus ran a lackluster campaign. What if Jonkman hadn't gotten cocky and instead fought hard to defend his seat in the primary against Ford?
On top of that, in the 1950s Ford was asked to run for governor of Michigan and declined, as his ambition was to become speaker of the house. What if he had accepted and became Michigan's governor instead?
Or, what if Ronald Reagan hadn't challenged Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, who planned on running for reelection?
In 1919 Woodrow Wilson had a stroke and was unable to convince the Republican-controlled Congress to let the United States join the League of Nations. Had it done so, it would have been able to influence the League's actions towards Germany and could have perhaps completely prevented World War II from happening.
In addition, a healthy Wilson would have pushed for a fair peace treaty. In his absence, the European victors pushed through the very unfair Treaty of Versailles, which declared the entirety of WWI to be Germany's fault and ordered the German people to pay crippling reparations for decades, leaving a bankrupt, demoralized nation ripe for someone like Adolf Hitler to take over. A dissenting diplomat correctly declared the treaty to be merely "a twenty-year cease-fire."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some criticised the treaty for not being harsh enough on Germany, and allowing them to eventually recover.
What about Japan?
Even if Japan was still bold enough to attack the US without allies, it would have been put down a lot quicker without a European theatre to deal with. Though it's possible that the lack of war fatigue and reason to even develop the technology may have prevented the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. Remember, Japan at its most psychotically arrogant extremes, never thought it could destroy the US - the Empire wanted to do enough damage to America's Pacific holdings to force it to sue for peace so it could access American controlled resources, especially petroleum. It may even have been possible that Isolationist America wouldn't care what the Japanese did to the rest of East Asia if its government wasn't itching for a war with the Axis, as long as they left the Philippines alone. And, in a darker take, if post-war Europe recovered far faster due to the League of Nations, most of East Asia may have been already part of various European Empires by the 30s.
It's not clear in this alternate history Japan would have ever attacked the US. As noted above Japan would have been without allies in this scenario, and moreover if the US were part of a larger peacekeeping assembly Japan would risk facing more than just the US, and Japan had no delusions about waging war against the entire Western World, at least not until the Eastern was firmly unite and industrialized. The biggest thing though is that if the rest of the world wasn't waging a massive war Japan probably would have had access to oil through other means, and they only ever attacked the US to gain access to pacific oil.
In 1912, a large number of African Americans cast their votes for Woodrow Wilson hoping that he'd live up to his promises to support their issues. What did Wilson do after being elected? He further restricted the rights of African Americans, removed several of them from government positions they had held for years, and further increased segregation. When the blacks complained, he told them that "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." As a further insult to the African American voting base that helped him to his office, he also said, "If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it." The full segregation Wilson installed remained in place until Truman's administration. It is widely regarded that, had he not installed those policies in the first place, more equality for Blacks may have been gained much earlier. Nice Job Breaking It, Jerkass.
What if William had lost the Battle of Hastings, or at least been forced into a draw?
There is no way it could have ended with a draw. William of Normandy had burned all his boats - literally - so that there could be no retreat. Also, the Normans were actually Vikings (or Norsemen) that had invaded Normandy and settled, adopting the French language and feudalism. The French Crown, in reality a fairly precarious monarchy outgunned by its own dukes, had accepted them as another duchy because they couldn’t get rid of them. With William defeated and all his warriors captured or dead, the King of France would have been looking retake Normandy for the Crown. There would have been no question of France ransoming or aiding any of the Norman invaders – it would have been keen to disown them and make peace with England as quickly and cheaply as possible. With its tired, battered army, England would be looking to make peace as well. Plus, there was a rather powerful contingent of Norman descendants in Sicily to worry about, not to mention Vikings still on the seas… If the Anglo-French peace talks had gone smoothly, talk might well have turned to long-term treaties and mutual assistance against Viking-derived invaders, and others. So we have the continuation of the Saxon rule in England, the dissolution of Normandy, and a serious possibility of entente cordiale starting back in 1066. And that’s just for starters.
What if Hannibal had received the reinforcements he needed to take Rome?
On a related note, what if Attila the Hun had destroyed Rome?
Absolutely nothing. Constantinople was the capital of the Empire, and it was far too well defended for the Huns to conquer.
On a further note, what if Valentinian III had not murdered Flavius Aetius so soon after he defeated Attila at Chalons?
What if the USA and the Soviet Union had gone to war in 1962?
What if the Japanese forces at Midway had been a bit more prepared, and kept a few aircraft aloft?
They likely still get attritted to death in Guadalcanal, and annihilated in the Phillippean Sea 2 years later.
In addition, even if the Japanese had taken Midway as a forward base, the U.S. Army Air Force would have simply destroyed it with a B-17 raid from Hawaii, perhaps taking out the now-surviving aircraft carriers as well.
Even if the U.S. Navy had lost all of its carriers and the Japanese none (ie: inverting what actually happened), the sheer volume of manpower and industry available to the U.S. compared to what Japanese had, would mean that hypothetical defeat would've only delayed things.
Wouldn't it be more like Class 3? Nuclear weapons are not generally targeted equally at all parts of the globe. The Minor and non aligned states would likely BARELY get hit, and while there would be environmental effects, I find it hard to believe that life as resilient as it is would almost cease to exist globally. Especially in the Southern Hemisphere where the Cold war was not as hot.
If Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales had lived, Queen Victoria not only would never have been Queen, she never would have existed. Her father only got married to a respectable woman and had legitimate children because Charlotte died, and there was no heir to the throne. Before that, he had spent years cheerfully porking a variety of mistresses.
Perhaps more importantly, Charlotte's husband Leopold would never have become the first King of Belgium, nor would he have married Louise of France and fathered Leopold II, the founder and sole owner of the notorious Congo Free State. Leopold's exploitation of the Free State - which led to the creation of forced labour camps, the use of monkey meat infected with a simian virus to feed the labourers, the use of prostitutes to entertain the labourers so they wouldn't riot, an epidemic of syphilis that caused genital warts and encouraged the spread of other sexually transmitted diseases, and the eventual migration of the labourers and prostitutes to the new crowded colonial cities - is now considered to have been the primary factor that created the conditions for simian immunodeficiency virus to mutate into human immunodeficiency virus.
What if the Civil War never occurred, but rather the US just let the North and South split apart?
Or, what would things be like now if they had resolved their differences without secession and war?
Or, what would things be like now if the 3/5ths compromise had failed, and instead of the United States we had two separate countries, one based on slavery and one based on enterprise?
Or, what would things be like now if everyone read and abided by Thomas Jefferson's original criticisms of slavery? Not least Jefferson himself...
John Wilkes Booth had organized a three-headed attack on the night he assassinated Lincoln. One man would kill the Vice-President, while another would off the Secretary of State. The man who was to kill Johnson got cold feet and spent the night drinking instead, while Seward's attacker nearly succeeded; Seward (and his son, grievously wounded defending him) nearly died, but miraculously pulled through. What if all three men had died that night?
What if the Roman Senate hadn't assassinated Julius Caesar? Or, what if they had finished the job, i.e. had him formally declared a tyrant, voided his estate, confiscated his property and assassinated active supporters such as Mark Anthony as well?
A bigger question is: What if Caesar had been sanctified as the Flamen Dialis? Originally he was named as the next in line for this position that had a high honor but an enormous list of dos and don'ts. These include not being able to stay outside the city walls overnight (or past a single night or past two nights depending on who's rules), not allowed to sleep away from his own bed for more than 2 consecutive nights, possibly not even allowed to touch things like iron or a horse. Basically had Caesar actually been installed into the office he would have never been able to become the political or militaristic powerhouse that lead to his eventual assassination. (Basically it was luck and political infighting by others and a massive change in power where people basically FORGOT that the city needed someone in the office and left Rome without a High Priest of Jupiter for what some scholars believe was close to 70 years).
Or, what if Antony and Cleopatra defeated Octavian at Actium?
At least one historian speculates that, among other things, Antony may have delegated the day-to-day running of Palestine to his ally, Cleopatra. The Egyptian bureaucrats were closer, knew the area better, and were more sensitive to religious and cultural differences than the Romans. As long as the Egyptians kept taxes flowing, the Romans would have been happy. The Egyptians would likely have ruled Palestine with a lighter hand—for example, they likely would have seen no particular reason to execute a wandering Jewish healer-preacher.
Nixon attended an FBI recruitment talk at law school, and, following his graduation, applied to join them. He was well qualified, received excellent references, and passed the interviews, assessments, background checks and medical with flying colours. An appointment was made for him to come to Washington DC to be sworn in as a probationer. However, Nixon had made it known that he wanted to take his bar exam, and the FBI agreed that he should do so prior to joining, so the appointment was cancelled to enable this. Apparently, communications ceased at this point, with both Nixon and the Bureau believing that the other would contact them as and when they were ready to proceed. As it was, Nixon completed his bar exam successfully, and, hearing no word from the FBI, eventually accepted a standing job offer from a prestigious local law firm.
Nixon was in Dallas on November 21 and 22 (he heard the news of JFK's shooting in the car on the way to Dallas airport). And on November 21, allegedly, Oswald left his house with his rifle, stating that he was going to shoot Nixon.
Speaking of Nixon, what if his cronies hadn't been stupid enough to leave tape on the door at the Watergate hotel?
Another Nixon one. When Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973, a new Vice President had to be chosen to replace him. Republican Party leaders pushed for George Bush or Nelson Rockefeller. Nixon rejected these two men and chose Gerald Ford instead. If he hadn't, Bush or Rockefeller would have become President when Nixon resigned ten months later.
Most likely Rockefeller, for the same reasons Ford chose him: better domestic policies, unlike Bush, who was best at foreign policies.
What is Tsar Nicholas II had taken Rasputin's advice and stayed out of World War I?
What would have happened if the Manhattan project had slipped up, or Emperor Hirohito had decided (or been persuaded) to continue fighting to the bitter end? Operation Downfall - The Invasion of Japan. The invasion was set for the 1st of November 1945. The Imperial Japanese army and citizen militias numbered about a million, with enough equipment and weapons for two thirds and enough ammunition for half. The Imperial Navy didn't have enough fuel for its remaining handful of capital ships and was banking on the efforts of several hundred suicide speedboats. The Air Force had scraped together everyone and everything that could fly - some 10 000 planes - for kamikaze duty. The Allied armada would have numbered over 500 ships from all over the world, including several dozen battleships and carriers, with thousands of planes from said carriers and island airbases providing support for and escorting the invasion force itself - which would have numbered in the high hundreds of thousands of troops from all over the English-speaking world using American weapons and equipment. The coasts would have had to be abandoned because the sheer volume of Allied naval firepower would have been enough to obliterate any defensive lines within kilometres of the coastline, necessitating defense-in-depth on the order of, say, Iwo Jima. If the fall of Germany and Okinawa were anything to go by, the Allied forces could have expected house-to-house fighting interspersed with suicide attacks and civilian mass-suicides. Put simply, it would have been like Okinawa plus Stalingrad with a measure of Vietnam and Afghanistan. Both Afghanistans. Every bridge would have been blown, every road mined, every dam blown, every able-bodied person mobilised and sent to fight to the best of the Government's ability to sacrifice its people for itself and the Emperor. No one used gas or biological weapons of mass destruction in WWII (even Nazi Germany, which has more than enough stockpiles to drive Russians into extinction, but instead wasted their resources on Awesome, but Impracticalsuperweapons) because they feared the reprisals. But with its back to the wall, the Empire just might have used it even though they only had the gear to protect half their troops - and never mind the militia or the civilians. Even if they hadn't used it first, the Allies (who did have adequate protective gear) were planning to use some - tear, mustard, chlorine or other - though they never had to make the call on what to use. If the atomic bombs had proved workable but had not forced Japanese surrender, there were plans to use them to support the invasion - they thought that waiting a day or so for the fallout to dissipate would be sufficient to avoid radiation poisoning and didn't issue protective gear for it. Allied High Command estimated half a million Allied dead and another half million with their lives messed up or ruined forever as a result. In short, more English-speaking people would have died, been maimed and/or scarred for life in Operation Downfall than in the entire War, or any war, before or since. HQ also expected five to ten million Japanese dead at the least, not accounting for government-sponsored mass suicide, gas attacks, disease and starvation resulting from the destruction of infrastructure. Whilst its not like Japanese people were in danger of being wiped out entirely - it's surprisingly hard to kill lots of people, even when you set your mind to it like the Nazis did - but it's not inconceivable that many tens of millions of them would've been killed. Just think of all the anime and manga that never would have been produced!Perish the thought!
We think. The Japanese were beyond war-weary at this point. It was probably the only reason why the occupation went as smoothly as it did (for an occupation, at least).
Apart from Showa's direct order to be nice. The entire population was on 1200 calories a day in August 1945, and it would have gotten worse if the US hadn't been minded to ship in all the food Japan needed to narrowly avert a true disaster in the next few months. However, this figure conceals big differences: a lot of people in the cities, like Tokyo, were living on less than 500 a day, whereas many in the countryside were actually getting by on 1500-2500 calories a day, i.e. what you need to survive and/or thrive.
In addition, what if the Japanese had gone through the Swiss rather than the Soviets when trying to negotiate peace talks?
What if the Pacific Fleet's aircraft carriers had been at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941?
The US could have lost that entire fleet five times over, and still would have won. Do check the production figures sometime - the US basically stopped producing carriers after '43, because they realised they already had more than enough to win.
To be more specific, the battleships would have gotten off lighter on account of the Imperials focusing on the carriers. The short-term effect (for the first year or two) would have been for the US to pursue a more balanced course of warfare*
not as carrier-centric
that would have incorporated more and better AA capability over the fleets and more aggressive use of battleships. If the US Navy deigned to give Japan the decisive battle they were looking for in those first couple of years, the US would have had to make it a much more battleship-centric action instead of the carrier-action that happened at Midway (due to their temporary disadvantage in air-power).*
Though IRL both ships of the class were sunk by aircraft, the Iowa-class of battleships was pretty much designed to destroy the Yamato-class. On paper at least, they were perfectly capable of doing just that
. Also, we would have likely seen the deployment of the USS Montana class.
This could've had interesting post-war implications if the US Navy's early-war battleship- and cruiser-centric strategy was reflected in the production of new ships - it's possible that their preference for more of the same would have over-ridden their newfound respect for ship-based aircraft. Cruisers aside, Battleship armour is easily able to shrug off most non-nuclear anti-ship and cruise missiles. This would have confined the sea-skimming anti-ship missile to a more secondary role in modern naval warfare. With a little ingenuity and heavy investment in S/VTOL fighter technology, we could have seen The Battlestar 's sea-faring counterpart, AKA the battle-carrier become a serious reality.
What would have happened to the Republic of Colombia if Jorge Eliecer Gaitan wouldn't have been killed off?.
Or what would have happened if Luis Carlos Galán would have been assasinated too?.
What if one of the many attempts to capture or kill Pablo Escobar before his eventual death had succeeded?
What if people had listened to Saddam's son-in-law Hussein Kamil? He defected in 1995, telling the world about the things Saddam's scientists had done with weapons of mass destruction. However, while that got the media attention, he also told the world, severaltimes that Iraq had DESTROYED all its WMD. It took a war to prove he was right.
What if the Colombian Exchange never happened? And Eurasia and the Americas were permanently separated. True, we'd have much less of the goods that the two sides have exchanged, but we'd also have FAR fewer diseases.
What if Stéphane Dion had succeeded in his plans to set up a Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois government in Canada after the 2008 election? The Conservative PM, Stephen Harper had parliament suspended for two months in an attempt to ward off a vote of no confidence, and in the meantime Dion was forced out of the Liberal leadership and replaced with Michael Ignatieff, who promptly abandoned the coalition plan and announced that the Liberals could win the next election outright... only for the 2011 election to result in a handsome Conservative majority and the Liberals being slaughtered. Had Dion held onto his position (or if Ignatieff had stuck with the coalition plan), then the last few years might have been very different for Canada.
At the very least, we most likely wouldn't have backed out of our Kyoto commitments, among other things...
What if the United States' paranoid concerns about communism hadn't led to overthrows of leftist leaders and supporting or propping up right-wing rebels and dictators? Incidents such as working with the British to overthrow Iran's prime minister and installing the Shah whose tyrannical rule is responsible for the islamist fundamentalists coming to power. Or supplying and training islamist rebels in communist Afghanistan in a (successful) attempt to drag the Soviets into a military quagmire. Or supporting Pinochet's coup of Salvador Allende in Chile. And on and on... Not to say these situations would have turned out all sunshine and roses but would they, perhaps, be better without the US' fear of the creeping communist menace?
Or, for that matter, what would have happened had the USSR not propped up dictators (Castro, Ceauceascu, Idi Amin, Ho Chi Minh, etc.) and supported left-wing rebels (FARC, the IRA, the PLO, the Sandinistas, etc.) in the pursuit of its foreign policy goals?
Ceauceascu and Idi Amin did get support from The Us too and maybe castro would not be the leader of Cuba if The Us supported dictator Fulgencio Batista did not have the power over Cuba in the first place.
What if Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette had been prepared to properly run a country?
What if Anne Boleyn's miscarried/stillborn sons had lived?
With his "heir and a spare" secure, Henry would have had no reason to get rid of Anne and try again. Anne would probably have outlived Henry, and, barring disaster, the princes (probably named Henry and Edward, though not necessarily in that order, and probably raised as Protestants) would have gone on to produce at least one further generation of Tudors to keep the throne warm. Neither Mary the bastard (from his annulled marriage with Catherine of Aragon) nor Princess Elisabeth would have reigned (although Elisabeth would probably have become queen consort somewhere), and James VI of Scotland would have remained just that.
Now if first wife Catherine of Aragon’s six children had survived to adulthood, Henry would have been perfectly content with his heir and two spares, and would remained happily married to her, even when it became obvious that she wasn't going to bear any more children. Crown Prince Henry would have gone on to inherit the throne as Henry IX, and his brothers, named Edward (probably) and William (possibly) would have been there to keep the line safe. The princesses, named Mary (almost certainly), Catherine and Isabella (quite probably) would all have married royalty, building alliances elsewhere. Anne Boleyn would have remained a maid of honour. Most significantly of all, Henry would not have broken with the Roman Catholic Church in order to annul his marriage, and his descendants would not have made England Protestant, or spread Anglicanism through out the later British Empire. A Catholic England might have resolved its later difference with Catholic Ireland without The Troubles.
Not a "what if..." statement as such - On November 7, 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney's presidential transition Web site briefly went live. The night before, Romney had gone down to a shockingly early (11:15 PM EST) defeat and Barack Obama was reelected.
Socrates fought in the battle of Delium in 424 B.C. The battle was an unmitigated disaster for Athens, and when the army split up and retreated, many were caught in the mountains and slaughtered, while others were trapped and besieged when they fled to Delium. Socrates, however, retreated through the Oropus forests and returned safely to Athens. What would human thought look like if he hadn't made it home?
During the Revolutionary War, in 1777, George Washington was riding down a path when he was confronted by a German mercenary. When told to stop, he wheeled his horse and retreated. The mercenary was holding a powerful rifle (which he had invented) and aimed at Washington's back... but couldn't bring himself to shoot a man from behind. If he hadn't had those scruples...
Speaking of Washington, the Hessian commander on the Delaware was informed on Washington's crossing of the Delaware by a spy, but dismissed it to play card games (because card games areSerious Business). Had he prepared for Washington's crossing, Washington would have lost and possibly been killed, the biggest boost to the morale of the disenheartened Continental Army wouldn't have happened, and the revolution would have sputtered out around 1777,
Admit it, there's been at least a few moments like this in your life.
In 1954, newly formed American Motors - Nash and Hudson - suggested to Kaiser-Willys and Studebaker-Packard that they all merge into one big company, similar to GM, to survive the Big Three's price war. Had they actually merged, they might still be around, and would have been able to challenge Cadillac, Lincoln and, from 1955 on, Imperial with Packard, already a legendary luxury marque, offer quality mid and low range cars (Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Kaiser), Studebaker Trucks and the original Jeep, Willys, as well as Studebaker's General Products division and defense contracts (later renamed General Dynamics, and still in business), its other diversified, non-automotive related businesses and Packard's Ultramatic automatic transmission.
Shortly before General Motors' financial woes, they introduced the Pontiac G8 sport sedan (a reworked Holden Commodore). On the auto show circuit, the G8 was displayed with a coupe utility called the G8 ST. Citing the aforementioned financial woes, General Motors released only the sedan. If they had released the ST as well, could they have avoided bankruptcy? Also, could Pontiac have survived?
What if the Space Shuttle Challenger had made it into orbit?