Assuming that Hitler did not start the second World War and that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not murdered, where would our species be?

Keep in mind that during WWII, a lot of technology was invented due to the NEED for it during the war.

  • Less work on nuclear weaponry and usage of nuclear energy to our benefit
  • Idea of 'rationing' would have lowered the amount of food we would have
  • Much, much greater population
  • Jews were not mass-killed, as the Holocaust didn't happen

How different would the world have been (taking technology into account) should the World Wars not have started?


closed as too broad by James, Brythan, Tyrabel, Frostfyre, TrEs-2b Dec 23 '15 at 18:31

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. This is an interesting question but very very broad. I think a little narrowing of focus is needed to make this in any way answerable. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 23 '15 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hey @James. Thanks! Could you possibly tell me how to focus it? I'm not sure how I could get more specific (not saying I'm 100% specific) $\endgroup$ – user16444 Dec 23 '15 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ The main problem is what specifically do you want to know about consequences wise? I could write a volume of books on just the technological implications, and additional volumes on society, culture, trade, etc etc etc. You set the stage well enough I think but altering history has infinite possibilities right...so we need to know what you want to know to focus our attention. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 23 '15 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ I see. I'm thinking of the social impacts of day-to- day life and technological differences $\endgroup$ – user16444 Dec 23 '15 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ It is probably worth splitting that into two questions to help narrow your focus. I would also recommend focusing on a particular group or technology respectively. Maybe you could ask what the comparative social impact would be on Germans had the wars not happened, giving a time span helps as well, 1905 - 1952 or so. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 23 '15 at 15:32

Well, first of all, not having the second World War is redundant. The second World War was caused by the way that the first World War ended. Some other ways the world could have been different

  • The Russian Revolution might not have happened. If Russia's armies had been free in 1917, they might have put down the rebellion before it really started. If the rebels had even tried.

  • The Great Depression might not have happened. One of the triggers was Germany ceasing to pay its war reparations from World War I.

  • No Holocaust. Hitler was a reaction to the Great Depression and the loss of World War I.

  • No Cold War. Without communist Russia and World War II, what starts the Cold War?

  • No communist revolution in China. The communist party in China was founded in reaction to events in Russia.

Of course, it also could have been pretty much the same. The assassination of Ferdinand was the trigger for the war, not the cause. All the same pressures would have been there and the war might just have happened later, with a different triggering event.

If you want more of an answer, you might consider posting more about the assumptions of your change. Did the assassination attempt happen but fail? Was it caught before it started? What happened? Note that even an unsuccessful attempt might have triggered World War I.

Also, consider limiting your time period more. Note that some of my changes are dependent on previous changes. If you select different assumptions, then they are no longer valid. For example, the Russian Revolution might have happened in 1922 if World War I started in 1919 as the result of a different trigger. And then we'd get back the rest of the changes that were dependent on no World War I as well.

You also may want to consider limiting the question geographically. For example, without World War I, what would have happened to the government in Russia? Would the Tsar have stayed in power? Would there have been a military coup? Would the Bolsheviks have ended up in power anyway? There are a number of possibilities here and which one you choose will influence what happens later.

If you want to know what the world of 2016 would be like without the assassination of Ferdinand in 1914, you need to figure out what the world would be like in 1919 (end of war in our world), 1929 (start of the Great Depression), 1939 (start of World War II), 1952 (Eisenhower elected), 1959 (Cuban Revolution), 1991 (dissolution of the Soviet Union), etc. Many of those events would not have occurred without World War I--perhaps none. At each step, there are a number of possibilities that depend on previous choices. What choices do you make initially?

  • $\begingroup$ It has been said that the First World War was pretty much inevitable, even without the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Military spending had escalated massively before that war, and tensions were high everywhere. It would have just been some other excuse to fire the first shot. $\endgroup$ – Smoj Dec 24 '15 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ Also the Russian and Chinese revolutions were independent of WW1. It was a major catalyst, sure, but they were in reaction to the disparity in wealth between the ruling and lower classes. Some of those conditions changed due to the attrition in that war. Women working in factories helped universal suffrage. Armies started admitting lower classes as officers. Revolutions might have been possible (before or even after the war) in UK, Germany, France and other countries. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848. $\endgroup$ – Smoj Dec 24 '15 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Smoj: In real 1917, there where two revolutions in Russia. The first lead to the republic and the socond to the USSR. Without WWI, it is thinkable that only the first happens, but not the second. $\endgroup$ – Julian Egner Apr 5 '17 at 13:54

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