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Alternate History: Points of Divergence

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by Taure, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    What would be some interesting historical points of divergence?

    Realistic:

    - Neanderthals survive

    - A Roman legion (or several) stays behind in Britannia

    - Harold beats William in the Battle of Hastings, 1066.

    - Henry V does not die prematurely at age 35

    - Henry VIII is granted a divorce by the Pope

    - Britain realises the power of aircraft carriers in the 1930s, as the USA and Japan did

    Fantastical:

    - Nuclear bombs not possible

    - The existence of a mid-Atlantic micro-continent, settled by the Romans. Part 1, Part 2.

    - Habitable Antarctica

    - Full military schematics, including theoretical underpinnings and production methods, of X period sent back in time to Y period.

    - Deposits of naturally occurring advanced materials like carbon nanotubes, graphene, etc

    - Existence of a range of biological products with great value, similar to the utility of penicillin. The plants/organisms which produce them are geographically limited. Medical, educational, military, industrial applications of great power.
     
  2. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    Hitler trips going down the stairs in January of 1940 and breaks his neck. Someone actually competent takes his place. The biggest point being Germany doesn't poke Russia in the eye.

    ---------- Post automerged at 00:45 ---------- Previous post was at 00:42 ----------

    Similar to nuclear bombs not possible:

    Oppenheimer and Teller make a mistake when designing the Trinity device, leading to a dud. With no nuclear bomb, the Allies prepare for the Invasion of Japan.

    ---------- Post automerged at 00:52 ---------- Previous post was at 00:45 ----------

    Admiral Nagumo listen to his subordinates suggestions and launches a 3rd wave on the crippled ships in Pearl Harbor. The third wave succeeds in destoy nearly every large ship in the Pacific Fleet, crippling the ability of the US Navy to act with near impunity in the Pacific.
     
  3. KGB

    KGB Order Member

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    One I would like to see is: Columbus stumbles upon less then friendly natives and is promptly killed. The European expansion into new world is delayed by a hundred or so years.

    Another: Nazis actually finish Messerschmitt Me 262 before 1940. Thus rendering the british radar stations next to useless.
     
  4. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Ottomans win the 1683 Battle of Vienna. The Empire expands further into Europe.
     
  5. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Realistic:

    - Instead of immigrating to the United States, Nikola Tesla moves to the United Kingdom.

    Fantasy / Alien Space Bats:

    - Instead of waking up on January 1st, 2015 Stephen Hawking wakes up in Albert Einstein's body in 1896. With 119 years of advanced scientific knowledge, he will change the world forever.

    Friend, I have good news for you:

    Green Antarctica by D'Valdron
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  6. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Pope Leo X dies in the early 1500s to an assassination plot by political rivals of the dei Medici family. Cardinal Domenico Grimani, eldest son of the Doge of Venice, is named Pope Paul III. He is somewhat of a humanist, in comparison to his predecessor and undertakes a few reforms of the church. He is also an art collector, and chooses not to renovate St. Peter's Basilica.

    Because of this there is no push for indulgences and Johann Tetzel does not use exaggerated claims as to their efficacy. Martin Luther is not inspired to write his criticisms of the Church's policies in his Ninety Five Theses and is not excommunicated in 1521. When other, similar minded clergymen, attempt to put their opinions in to writing they do not have the support of a powerful noble like the Duke of Saxony and are forced to retract their writings.

    The Protestant Reformation does not happen, the Catholic Church remains whole and remains a powerful political entity long into the Age of Colonialism.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  7. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    - German victory in World War 1. Rise of Fascism in Great Britain and France?

    - The Viking colonization of North America (Vinland) continues in the 11th century.

    - Japan doesn't attack Pearl Harbor and America stays out of the European war.

    - Cold War turns hot in the 60s. Kinda hard to imagine this being done without nuclear strikes.

    - His Royal Highness, King George Washington.
     
  8. BTT

    BTT Headmaster

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    Persians manage to defeat the Greek in one of the numerous battles they had.
    Or perhaps Cyrus the Great is never born, and the Persian Empire as we know it never forms.
    Alexander living longer is the cliché divergence - so in a twist, he's stillborn.
    Hannibal conquers the Romans before they can send out Scipio Africanus to destroy Carthage.
    Romans somehow convert to Islam, instead of Christianity. Or they don't convert at all.

    More modern and quite cliché as well is the assassination of the Archduke being prevented.
     
  9. Sechrima

    Sechrima Disappeared

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    Two ancient scenarios I've thought about:

    • Alexander the Great recovers from his illness and, after constructing a massive fleet, launches a military campaign to conquer the Mediterranean. His new enemies include the Romans, Samnites, Carthaginians, and Syracusans. While busy fighting the first engagements in the West, a Greek uprising led by Demosthenes of Athens breaks out, greatly disrupting the war effort. The murderous scheming of the Macedonian court and Alexander's inner circle only worsens the situation.

    • The ancient Romans realise the potential of Hero of Alexandria's steam engine, the aeolipile, during his lifetime, leading to a steam-powered technological revolution. The Roman Empire subsequently discovers the New World, and conquers much of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  10. Agayek

    Agayek Heir

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    -Caesar fails in his bid to seize power from the Roman Senate in 49 BC, allowing the Roman Republic to continue to prosper and, likely, delay its fall for multiple centuries, if not to the modern day.

    -Napoleon decides not to press after the retreating Russian army, content with seizing the most valuable (read: westernmost) portions of the country.

    -Emperor Constantine I has a dream beseeching him to decorate his soldiers with the sign of the Christian god. He reacts by rescinding the Edict of Tolerance and purging his empire of all signs of Christianity.

    Fantasy:
    -The Tunguska event is caused by a crashed alien spacecraft that the Soviets discover shortly after the Revolution. The infusion of German scientists post-WWII accelerates their efforts to reverse engineer its technology, leading to a prosperous, technologically unmatched Soviet Union that dominates the Cold War.

    This'd be more interesting with Franklin on the throne to be honest, if only because of his hedonism.
     
  11. Garden

    Garden Minister of Magic

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    Realistic

    A Nation(?) Divided or a Collection United?

    -The Articles of Confederation are never replaced by the Constitution, and America remains fragmented and less unified. Given the lack of an effective federal government American trade isn't backed by a Navy, and suffers, Native Americans can more effectively push back against smaller-scale colonial incursion, and America doesn't unite, if ever, until many decades later. This has huge effects on Mexican, European, and Canadian power dynamics. Now that America is not poised to be the most powerful country in the 1900's, does Britain remain the world's superpower?



    A Big Stick and a Big Tent
    Teddy Rossevelt, in an unprecedented upset of the two-party system, wins the Election of 1912 with his Progressive Bull Moose party. He enacts progressive reforms like instituting an NHS, labor reforms, and anti corruption policies. His immense popularity and personal charisma allows him to retain the Presidency into WWI, where his hawkish views (as opposed to real-world American Isolationism) lead to a much earlier US entry on the side of the Allies. Consequently, the US suffers greater losses in WWI, but the war ends years earlier and with less bloodshed than it otherwise would have given the strength of the allied side.

    Germany is still humiliated but is subjected to milder post-WWI conditions-- consequently, Fasiscm, Socialism, and Communism never quite rise to power. Or maybe, given that the fundamental WWI question of who will rule Europe has not been answered, those parties rise anyways?

    An Ancient Home, a Modern Refuge

    The Palestine question is resolved more decisively in favor of the Jews in the 1920's and 1930's-- the British allow practically unrestricted Jewish immigration to Mandate Palestine before WWII and during WWII in light of (more) Jewish service in the British Army against the Ottomans in WWI and (more) local Arabs aligning with the Ottoman Empire. As Jewish persecution in Russia and Germany rises, Jews flee en masse to the Mandate. Nazis confiscate Jewish property but allow their forced expulsion to continue as the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. All other countries are closed to fleeing Jews, so they head towards Mandate Palestine.

    The Jews in Mandate Palestine rapidly outnumber local Arabs and recent Arab migrants to Palestine, and assured of their demographic superiority, are magnanimous with the local Arab population. No large-scale expulsion/fleeing of local Arab populations occur in the War of 1948. Israel is on better terms with local Palestinian Arabs, but on bad terms with surrounding neighbors, as in our world, mostly for strategic reasons. The consequent expulsion/fleeing of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews from Arab countries to Israel results in a very densely populated Israel.

    A Lone Superpower

    America, in the brief years between using the Atom Bomb on Japan and the Soviet Union making their own, decides to cement their supremacy over the rest of the world. In response to aggression from the Soviet Union in Berlin, they mobilize their Armed Forces. Tensions rise, and through diplomatic error, war between the Soviet Union and America breaks out. America uses nuclear weapons on two important Soviet cities, and extracts a surrender with harsh terms. An American-occupied Free Russia is created with part of the Soviet Union's land, Germany is unified under strict US supervision, and America is the world's lone superpower. Meanwhile, the secret of the nuclear weapons has spread to Britain, the remnants of the Soviet Union, and China....and there's significant precedent for their use.



    Fantastical

    Dinoland

    Australia is actually a continent filled with a variety of thought to be extinct flora and fauna.... mostly Cretaceous-era Dinosaurs. The first British settlers there discover even more dangerous wildlife than Australia currently has, an Aboriginal human population that has tamed and domesticated dinosaurs for war, meat, and labor. There is a sophisticated Aboriginal civilization, not very technologically advanced, but with powerful beasts of war. Dinosaurs fast become powerful tools of war. A primitive hunter-gatherer society of intelligent and feathered Velociraptors lurks in the unsettled portions of Australia.

    Newton's True Genius

    Isaac Newton is remembered for his groundbreaking working on gravity, mathematics, and the sacred science of alchemy. The first piece of inferior metal is transmuted to pure gold through his designs years after his death, and the first person to live more than 120 years uses his designs to create an Elixir of Life. Immortality is easily obtained and mass produced by the 1800's, the Four Elements are the basis of all matter, and the Heavenly Spheres and their motions have been exhaustively charted.

    Eternal Movement

    Perpetual motion machines and efficient energy storage are achieved in the late 1890's. Industrialization moves even faster, etc.
     
  12. redlibertyx

    redlibertyx Professor

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    I've toyed around with the idea of writing an Alt-History timeline before. Here are a couple of my ideas:

    Commanding Heights
    In an attempt to save his friend Vladimir Komarov from the well known deathtrap that was Soyuz 1, Yuri Gagarin manufactures a medical reason for Komarov to be grounded. Higher ups back at Moscow have the mission go ahead to continue the space race. Riddled with mechanical problems, Gagarin is killed when landing parachutes and retro-rockets fail to deploy. Outcry within the Soviet Union reach a fever pitch in 1968 when First Secretary Leonid Brezhnev is removed from power and ultimately replaced with Valentina Tereshkova — the first woman in space and member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. She's seen as a figurehead and mouthpiece for the ousted Nikita Khrushchev and his "reformist" allies.

    Some Knock-on effects: The Lin Biao Incident never happens and instead Zhou Enlai and his acolytes flee to Tibet, kicking off the Second Chinese Civil War. Jiang Qing replaces Mao as the premier leader of China. The Soyuz and Progress spacecrafts are abandoned, and replaced with a simplified (and lighter) TKS spacecraft. The Soviet Moonshot occurs in the mid-70s, well after the American one. John Glenn becomes president. So lots of Cold War stuff, but also lots of space exploration/rocketry stuff.

    It's Bye Bye Baby!
    During the construction of the new SF Giants Stadium (known in our world as Candlestick Park), a heavy wind blows over a crane killing dozens of workmen, including some African-American and Chinese-American workers. Construction at the park stalls for nine months while a State safety investigation into unsafe labor practices is concluded. Meanwhile, Henry E. North, the Republican foreman of the San Francisco Grand Jury, conducts an investigation into the transactions between George Christopher (R), Charles Harney, and Horace Stoneham that led to the Giants playing in San Francisco and the construction of the park. While the English-language press reacts negatively to the investigation at first, Chinese-language press in SF Chinatown hits hard, running weeks of editorials on the subject.

    The results? A Tong-backed recall election successfully removes Christopher who is replaced with John L. Burton (a Democratic Assemblyman who was relatively popular in Chinatown). The Candlestick Stadium Project is abandoned and Stoneham tries to move the Giants to another city. As a preventative measure, the SF City Council uses eminent domain to take the team and create a community-owned sports franchise (not unlike the Green Bay Packers). Chinese Tongs buy a large block of votes and use that to win lucrative contracts servicing Seal Stadium (a strategy emulated with varying degrees of success by the Black Panther Party in the late Sixties). The Giants contest the World Series in '60 and '62.

    There's some other odd ideas that I've included in this in the past, like Bruce Lee playing baseball instead of going into acting or the politically progressive community-owned Giants backing a women's baseball league with a team across the bay called the Richmond Riveters. Given the "hostile" environment, the A's might not move to Oakland. Because the Giants continue to play in Seals Stadium, Hamm's Brewery might stick around. A right field bleacher expansion might be built over 16th Street and into Franklin Square (like the various Fenway expansions) which might collapse in the '89 earthquake, killing hundreds if not thousands more.
     
  13. Peace

    Peace High Inquisitor

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    1) Napoleon's Russian Campaign isn't quite as disastrous as it was in real life and he remains in power into the 1820s. His empire is threatened by Britain but has successfully used the threat of Russian invasion to solidify its control over many territories. We enter a world where Britain can't match the best of France's field armies but France is contained on the Continent by the Royal Navy. Russia struggles to reform its army but repeated, limited French incursions hamper its efforts, as do the competing interests of various factions with the Tsar's court, including a large group of European exiles.

    2) Post-World War 2 a Nazi insurgency attacks the occupying powers.

    3) The Russian Civil War doesn't end in victory for the communists or anyone at all. The country shatters into several nation-states and duchies controlled by White Russians, communists, anarchists and warlords, creating a weak, fractured mess that poses no threat to anyone.

    4) The US takes more than Texas during the Mexican-American War, beginning a long period of encroachment and annexation of Mexican territory.
     
  14. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    There are a bunch of people here who seem enamoured with a more successful Nazi Germany....
     
  15. Peace

    Peace High Inquisitor

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    I'm less interested in a successful Nazi Germany and more interested in what would happen when the US, Britain and France (hereafter called the Tri-Powers) and the Soviet Union try to organise a coordinated anti-insurgency strategy despite vastly different approaches and burgeoning post-war rivalries.

    That said, I would like to see how a good author handles the dynamics of three superpowers - Nazi Germany, Soviet Union and USA - in the late 40s, early 50s.
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Probably because if you ask most English speakers to name a 'bad guy from History' they will think of Hitler first. Ask for relatively recent history (so you can include tech in your story) and that percentage climbs even higher.
     
  17. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Being interested in "What If" scenarios is not the same as wanting them to happen.
     
  18. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    Alternate outcomes to WW2 is the most popular topic in alternate history. Go look for actual novels at your local book store and I guarantee that the majority of them are about Hitler winning. Hell, I once bought an anthology of short stories about this topic with various scenarios where Nazi Germany took different paths to victory all written by professional authors.
     
  19. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    I've been on a forum where they have a thread thousands of posts long where they debate what the Nazis would have had to do to win. Nearly every plan begins with Hitler dying.
     
  20. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    Alternatehistory.com is full of these, The Whale has Wings is about the British moving forward with aircraft carriers. Military schematics being sent back falls into their members only ASB forum but Shipshape and Bristol Fashion is about the Falklands war task force being sent back in time to just before WWII and the uplift that goes with it.

    The writing on some of the timelines might not be up to DLP's exacting standards but the research and knowledge of the community is quite impressive, check some out if you have time, my favorite currently is The Horse and the Jaguar where the Mongol invasion force manages to get sufficiently lost at sea to end up in Central America.