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Realistic Consequences of Moving A Nation:

My teacher's a panda
I plan to write a story about a country (in this particular case, a fictional version of the United States) that is removed from this Universe and into another.

The story is this: In this world, the United States is in a war with another country (Not yet determined and probably will never be determined. I may decide to leave the identity of this warring nation ambiguous), and out of the blue, this warring country launches missiles at the US. Unable to figure out a way to disarm the missiles, the president makes the hasty decision to move the entire country out of harm's way. It turns out that the government has had secret technology to travel through space and time into alternate dimensions, and had an entire system set up so that the entire country can be moved in a time of crisis. The time of crisis has come and the entire country, the land, the people, and all the property on the land, have been moved into another dimension.

Now the story will be about this country as they try to make a new life for themselves in this strange Universe which rules are much different than their own. They will attempt to continue life they way they've been living it before, but find that it's not as easy as they thought.

My question is what would some consequences of this move be, politically, economically, sociably, religiously, etc? I know that after this country has moved, it will not be able to communicate with anywhere back in their old Universe, so they will be literally cut off from the rest of the world. How would this affect the economy? How would it affect the people's trust in the government? Would the president face any backlash for his actions, despite just saving them all from total destruction?

Away on the wind~
International trade. How would Americans fare without imported products?

There'd be very few fish left in the nation to eat.

Hmmm... I think priests, etc. might be a bit pset at the fact that they're now no longer connected to the Pope. In fact, being moved to a different universe, many Christians may feel that they are no longer connected to God.

The President would likely face a lot of backlash. It would be like Fan Dumb- people complaining for stupid reasons.

People who were visiting internationally? How would any British tourists feel about being permanently stuck in America? For that matter, how would people who had family overseas for a while feel about being permanently away from them?

Communication would become more difficult without any satellites.

And... eh... Wait, how did they bring the atmosphere with them?
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
I've beeen thinking about this topic a lot lately, as I've been working on outlining a series of stories where, as a consequence of certain events, the Western half of North America is removed from this universe entirely and placed in its own dimension. My series will, with the exception of one installment, be focusing on the other side of the change, though, so I'm trying to do this in such a way that the impact on other places and the environment is minimal - it helps that the rest of the world is dealing with such a huge crisis at the moment that this bit seems minor in comparison. I was mostly concerned with environmental impact. It depends on a lot of things about the method of moving it. For example, does the tectonic plate below it go along with it, or does it stop at such a height that the ocean is unaffected? If the ocean doesn't come with the country, is it placed in one? Does it have enough water where it is now? I still have no idea how to handle this, so I'm just asking questions that I hope will lead to some progress for both of us.

But yeah, I think in your case, people would be pretty angry at those responsible.

edited 31st Oct '10 9:26:44 PM by INUH

here is a similar story idea, but with a smaller area (a town and the nearby military base and surrounding farmland) transported.

At first, the psychological effects will dominate, but within minutes to hours the question will shift to the environment - does the other dimension have air, water, and sunlight same as Earth, or not? Within days, logistics and military politics become the issue - what of the other parts of the dimension - are there enemies to fight? friends to make? Oil? Food? tongue

Meanwhile, the world power structure back on Earth is radically altered. Not to mention any dangers that might have replaced the missing land - will there be massive earthquakes due to the geologic effects of the warp? Could lava beds uncovered by the missing soil threaten Canada and Mexico? What about nuclear fallout or alien creatures? surprised

the fictional united states would probably have to nationalize all the factories and whatnot that were owned by other nations.

And I have no Idea how one could get everybody, from the US what about the people overseas were they somehow tracked? what happened to Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico did they go to separate universes or joined the main US-verse?

I would think that since the US decided to delebratly abandon ship it as it were that they'd take big chunks out of the tectonic plate and ocean with them since they might need those resources, assuming that they could not identify their target universe.

Of course it dings the reality meeter to assume that one could do all of that instead of disabling missiles or fighting a war but if it works for your story so be it.

As far as the people I would think it would be pretty bad, the sky doesn't look familiar, the gravity probably has changed, there might not be any sun or moon to provide for the people. The computers probably work but now telecommunications are limited to the US. I would think there would be a quite for a few weeks, followed 18 months of riots/civil war maybe more, and then a tenuous restructuring.

wild mass guessMaybe it's a conspiracy...
My teacher's a panda
Thanks everybody. All great things to think about. And I do realize that there is a huge gaping plot hole here, but hey, so do many great stories that are highly revered. But if I must give a justification as to why they couldn't just destroy the missiles, I would say that an enemy agent infiltrated the military and sabotaged their defenses, except for their escape route, which was kept a mega super secret.

As for things like fish and atmosphere, I have decided that the Universe they are taken to do have those that would be sufficient to keeping the people alive. They somehow find themselves on a planet that seems similar to Earth, except with a lot of key differences, but they're definately not floating around in space. They managed to land themselves in the middle of a vast ocean, but due to differences in the way physics works in this Universe, none of their boats can sail across it. Their planes can't even fly. They think there might be other life and civilizations on the planet, but they have no way of finding them.

I've already figured that they wouldn't have satellite connections, so cell phones, GPS, and satellite TV won't work. I don't know how this would affect internet or cable, but I'm assuming that they would be in tact.

As for imported goods, I'm assuming that the people are just going to have to live with what they already had. They might worry about rationing food for a little while, but then they discover that food grows faster there, and much more abundantly, and with hardly any work required. But I don't know what other products would they have to worry about getting know that international trade is gone?

I didn't give much thought about what would happen to the rest of the world. I figure that once my country leaves it, it no longer becomes relevant. They will probably have troubles, but there is no way anything they can do can affect my country now.

Also, I haven't really figured out how the transportation process works. I'm not basing this story on any sort of hard science at all. It's going to be more of a fantasy story, with "technology" acting more like magic, but only enough to advance the plot. So I don't know how much of the country will be moved, if the tectonic plates will be broke or not, or how much energy will be required for such a feat to be accomplished. My major focus will be on how this people react to their new environment, which will be a lot different than what they are used to.

What was the name of that novel, where a small US town gets zapped back into the past, and has to establish itself there? It strikes me as basically the same plot.

Did you give it thought what will happen to the place it'll be replacing in the other universe? It's fun if they never learn what happened to it (did it end up back in their own universe, and how did that go?) but it's quite different if they arrive to what was just empty green area than if they do in the place of another nation or nations.

That's 1632 and its sequels. I think it would be similar to an extent, but on a larger scale and with a different destination, which would change a lot about how people handled it. Definitely good reading for getting ideas, though.
 11 Blurring, Mon, 1st Nov '10 11:38:50 PM from Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Get bored because one can.
If the physic of the new dimension is different, you have to be mindful that the effect will apply to human bodies too. For example, one of the laws the human body follow is the laws of thermodynamic. If the universe have different laws for thermodynamic, the human body will be pretty much screwed.
Ain't no parrot on my shoulder and no rings in my ear, but I ain't no irate pirate, real swashbuckling buccaneer!
My teacher's a panda
[up][up][up] The country doesn't replace anything. It just falls in the middle of a vacant ocean. I had the idea that there might've been a country there earlier that left several months before by their own, but similar means, just to make this universe seem a lot more parallel, but have ultimately decided not to go that route since it's unnecessary to the main plot.

[up] I've already decided that when the nation is moved, everything that is moved has been altered in order to settle into the new environment without everything exploding. That means that the human bodies have been altered as well, and one of the main plot elements is discovering that their entire biological make up has changed. I don't have an explanation yet as to why they all changed, but as I mentioned before, I'm not worried about the hard science. It's the psychological and social changes that I'm mostly interested in.

They did something like this minus sci-fi, in the 40's and 50's. That's why there is fighting over the Gaza strip today.
 
If you want to fix your plothole, you could say that the transport technology is alien in origin. Another fix would be having missiles are using a similar technology that can yank the missiles out of existence for a few seconds when they are threatened, then back into existence and on the same course when the threat is gone.

As for what we would do, I would say getting working air and water transport would be priority number 1. If we can't do that, then large amounts of train lines would be built.
 
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Total posts: 14
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