Questions tagged [alternate-history]

For questions that ask what might have happened if history had taken a different path.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
2answers
48 views

How would centaurs fight British musket infantry squares of the 18th - 19th century (aside from using artillery)?

How would centaurs fight British musket infantry squares of the 18th - 19th century (aside from using artillery)? The centaurs would have the same technology as the British, more or less. Would they ...
6
votes
4answers
121 views

How much trouble would a great depression era rural county have with settling a late cretaceous Montana/Wyoming?

I have a very specific setting in mind that can be pretty much summed up as "Wild West with Dinosaurs". However, I'm still trying to figure out the details of just how the people native to a ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

How can Hong Kong be brought into the Commonwealth of Nations?

Between 1927 and 1949, a civil war in China was fought between the Nationalist ROC-led government led by Chiang Kai Shek, and the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. These two forces put their ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

In the modern era, how could I have a very bad recession comparable to the Great Depression?

In my world (modern day Earth, but at a higher technology level with national AI systems being commonplace across the world, cybernetics limbs being an option, and autonomous weapon systems being ...
54
votes
18answers
6k views

Could you design a fighter plane for a centaur?

It's the Great War, and all the nations are having a good time of it, painting their biplanes flashy colours, as they shoot into their own propellers! But over in the corner, lonesome and dejected, ...
6
votes
3answers
120 views

Could a pre-modern civilization make a gas canister with rough valves and pressure regulation?

I wanted to have a gas cylinder that would hold up to about 10 litres of gas (oxygen, mainly) at 20 atmospheres of pressure. Or, if that's impossible, 7 atmospheres would suffice. The setting is pre-...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Could you develop Electrolysis with Pre-Modern technology?

Electrolysis was a popular idea for how mermaids would generate oxygen for their guests. This leads to another question: Is it possible to perform electrolysis with pre-modern technology? Electrolysis ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 views

What smallest single change after 1949 would've relocated Canada's financial capital to Quebec, rather than Toronto?

Inspired by Toronto's unaffordable real estate prices and What single change in history would allow to make the German city of Munich be in modern France?. I haven't visited Canada in a while. But I ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

Alternative Pre-Modern Rocket Fuel to Gunpowder: Can you make a naphtha rocket?

In a pre-17th century world without gunpowder, can rockets still be developed? Could you perhaps make a naphtha rocket? RP1 is made from highly refined kerosene, which has been about since at least ...
4
votes
5answers
225 views

What smallest single change would've produced a financial hub in Republic of Ireland, rather than London?

Inspired by Brexit that can boost Dublin’s finance hub, says Central Bank of Ireland's report and Duff & Phelps's Global Regulatory Outlook (GRO) report. Ireland and UK are similar because English ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

School system for primitives

What is the most basic type of civilization which can sustain a school system where children spend 12 to 14 hours each day in school where they learn and develop attributes instead of culuture. A ...
5
votes
3answers
153 views

How can I redirect Great Britain back to Catholicism after the English Reformation?

I, Mary the Magnificent, am the greatest and most successful queen in the British Empire. I grew up in luxury as a member of the valiant Tudor family. Unfortunately, Europe had taken a dark turn some ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

What Effect Will This Pseudo-magic Substance Have On Early Humanity?

This world is like ours, but with the addition of an enhancing substance that comes in different colors and is found in rare (and small, no bigger than a fridge) meteorites that have been landing at (...
3
votes
3answers
133 views

Defense of Atlantis?

In my alternate timeline, the original Atlantean civilization perished around 1,500 BCE. Around 1000 BCE, humans once again find Atlantis, this time with 10,000 Greek outcasts fleeing from persecution ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Proto-German name for Plant People

I was considering calling plant people in a setting, "skoagraz," which is a combination of the words for forest (skogaz) and flood (agraz). Flood seemed a good word to imply inclusiveness, ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What if Ukraine joined EU and NATO before 2004? [closed]

I wonder what would Ukraine look like today if their development took a different shape after 1990. Wikipedia: "Ukraine was initially viewed as having favourable economic conditions in comparison ...
2
votes
5answers
151 views

What kind of catastrophe could wipe out a country's human population without harming its ecosystems?

In the backstory of my universe, China ceased to exist as a country sometime around the 2010s as a result of the CCP trying to meddle with alien technology in an attempt to accelerate its efforts at ...
3
votes
4answers
219 views

Modern-day Roman Empire [duplicate]

Before asking the question, let me give you some background. I am a big fan of Roman history, everything from the gladiators of the Colosseum to the writings Seneca, and the other day I was thinking ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

What is the best place to rebuild humanity [closed]

Imagine that time goes back, no apes smarter than chimpanzees appear, and then in year 2020, 100000 random humans with all the knowledge we have now spawn naked in one area. In what region of the ...
21
votes
14answers
4k views

What Point(s) of Departure Would I Need for Space Colonization to Become a Common Reality by 2020?

As of 2020, colonizing outside of Earth and into the other bodies that orbit our sun--planets, moons and even asteroids--is all talk and no do. Sure, we have stations like the International Space ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

What elements are needed so that successor states are influenced by an original state, judging by historical precedent, and for how long?

For starters this obviously has many variables so it would be difficult to provide concrete answers on the level of 1+1=2. Thus I'm including our historical precedent element so it won't be total ...
5
votes
3answers
158 views

A Rabid Black Death, Part I: How Virulent Would it Be?

Our first record of rabies, the infamous foaming madness disease, dated all the way back to 2000 BC. The foaming at the mouth and excessive aggression are among the most recognizable symptoms of ...
5
votes
2answers
199 views

Importing Asian Technology and Political Support into Mesoamerica

This is the year 1400 CE. I am a prince in my early teens, belonging to the Zapotec civilization, Mexico. I always get recurring dream that in less than 4 generations, hostile people from far away ...
18
votes
14answers
4k views

Would a Pre-Columbian America with its own plagues still be vulnerable to Old World diseases?

Most of the Native Americans in our history were killed by smallpox, measles, etcetera, and this video makes a good case for why: though the Americas had cities of their own, they lacked many options ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

How does gunpowder-magic reshape the world after its discovery in the year of the Water Pig 3600 Huángdì era? - The (re)unification of China [closed]

Let's assume a postulate from this answer happens: small explosions cause small leaks [in the Manasphere]. So cannon fire causes Mana to leak in for a while. - Darcy Thomas Let's assume this is true....
2
votes
0answers
60 views

How to Make Columbia from Bioshock a Reality [duplicate]

This is Columbia, the city featured in the video game Bioshock: Infinite. It stands out in that this city floats in Earth's atmosphere. How? Some sci-fi handwavium called "the Lutece Particle&...
16
votes
18answers
8k views

How plausible is it for nuclear power to be invented but not nuclear weapons?

I don’t need a super detailed answer here, so this is definitely going to be pretty opinion-based. For context, let’s say you have a world where WW2 was ended by an all-American superhero punching ...
3
votes
4answers
383 views

What plausible history allows a society to adopt Dark Age weaponry and reject “modern”-ish weapons?

Let's consider some highly civilized/organized, free-thinking world akin to the Medieval/Dark Ages: Technology is fairly rudimentary, reduced to — for the most part — two-handed swords, halberds, and ...
12
votes
7answers
945 views

Would it be possible for Tsar to escape execution and form a great power elsewhere?

I imagined the scenario for a story where the USSR still forms and will later fight in a Cold War with the USA. However, I am imagining a scenario where the tsar escapes, goes with some loyal ...
7
votes
5answers
286 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...
12
votes
12answers
4k views

The internet without computers - 1940s era

Alternate 1900s Imagine that we are in an alternative Earth in the early to mid 1940s. There has been no World War 2. In this world there are analog computers used rarely in laboratories for ...
17
votes
11answers
2k views

Could a world without borders and immigration restrictions exist? [closed]

I’ve heard a few people imagine an alternate history where people are completely free to live in whatever country they choose to. Countries/city states would have to maintain a high standard of living ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

How do I write a fictional alternate history to handwave in a higher predilection for firearms among world cultures?

I'm not a fan of the word "handwaving" it just makes me sound like I'm bullshitting something I want into my story with various excuses. Essentially I want to have all of the world's ...
7
votes
2answers
118 views

How do I strike a balance between real-world inspiration and purely fictional design, especially for alternate cities? [closed]

My primary question comes from a fledgling animator's perspective. I'd like to capture the general look and feel of a lot of South Florida's cities, while also combining it with my urban-fantasy/...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How would human civilisation develop with little iron?

Imagine a planet that's identical in pretty much every aspect (including Homo Sapiens) to our own current Earth, with only a single exception - the continental crust has, for whatever reason, much ...
-1
votes
4answers
275 views

How could a fascist/far-right party have risen to power in 1930s USA? [closed]

In the real world, while the Great Depression hit the United States quite badly, several factors meant that fascist parties and organisations never really gained the traction they did in the US, as ...
8
votes
4answers
164 views

Minimum tech for agricultural desalination

I'm trying to figure out a realistic setting that depends heavily on desalinating sea water for desert agriculture. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out exactly how early in the tech tree, this can ...
1
vote
2answers
250 views

Hypothetically or Theorethically can ancient to medieval periods technology make non biodegradable plastic bag?

To make it clear, I mean the period or timeline, so this include the entirety of the world during up to 1500, not just specifically the technology of ancient/medieval Europe, ancient/medieval Japan, ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

What kind of simple typo would change the course of the history the most? [closed]

Obviously the cases where the importance of a message or data is acknowledged, the relevant people would probably triple-check it several times, so something like "wrong latitude/longitude ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Before the advent of satellite imaging, what would have been the easiest place to hide a secret civilization?

Imagine that you're an adventurer archaeologist in the early to mid-20th century, like Indiana Jones. One day you find a lost civilization in an underexplored corner of the world. However, instead of ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

What would present day society be like if people were much more intelligent on average [closed]

My earlier question was closed because I didn't follow the rules properly. Truly sorry about that. I hope I'll do better this time. My question is, what would a society be like today if people had ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Terra Australis: How can I minimize the effects of its existence on the climate in the rest of the world?

Imagine that Terra Australis was real, that there really was a vast continent in the Southern Hemisphere like that shown on old maps. It's massive, encompassing what in our world would be Antarctica, ...
7
votes
6answers
234 views

What Point(s) of Departure Would the Native Americans Need to Sail Across the Atlantic and Colonize Europe?

Just a few days ago on DeviantArt, I found this map by MoshiDungo: The title of the map is What if the Americas colonised Europe? As the title explicitly implies, it shows a pre-Columbian Europe ...
4
votes
3answers
327 views

How do we regard Hitler now the Third Reich has “Denazified” [closed]

So Germany has not lost World War 2 and now occupies most of Europe, from France over as far as Poland. It's the 1990s now, Hitler is long dead and Greater Germany has undergone a process of "...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Humans, except they always find the right solution to the wrong predicament [closed]

Two mothers say a baby is theirs, simple solution, split the baby in two so they bot get half! Lost your family? Find a new one! Your husband cheats on you with your friend? Cheat on him too with your ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Society of producers, humans who can produce solid material from their bodies and it is used to make clothes, tools and buildings

In this world humans are kind of like spiders: they can produce their own building material. This substance can be used to make clothing resistant to heat and cold depending on the variation. It ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Method of premature change of president and vice president in alternate version of the USA [closed]

I'm working on a world (for a series of stories) not much different from our reality. The laws are almost same to the letter - the timeline diverged ~2013 but with no important changes in the law. ...
2
votes
4answers
133 views

All mammals are now conscious and extremely intelligent. Why does a non-human mammal want to revert it? [closed]

History: Our expirements backfired. We tried to give a couple great apes consciousness intelligence, and sapience and we thought we failed and released them back into nature. Turns out, our ...
6
votes
17answers
3k views

How to find out if someone is guilty of adultery?

Cheaters are considered to be inferior humans with defective genes and just like mentally ill people and individuals born with various handicaps are eliminated from the gene pool. Capital punishment ...
10
votes
11answers
3k views

WW2 Era Soviet Rifle Squad, Time Travels to 1066 England, attempts to take over [closed]

(This part is pretty hand-wavy, and only exists to provide context for a fun thought-experiment/fictional story. Feel free to skip to next paragraph) In 1943, the Soviet Union has developed what they ...

1
2 3 4 5
14