Questions tagged [alternate-history]

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

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7
votes
2answers
109 views

How to Build the Fictional Continents Using Our Real Continents

Presented here is a map of Earth with the fictional continents resurfaced, by the Redditor "Stagman1111": Source From left to right, the presented additional continents are Mu, Atlantis and ...
-1
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1answer
91 views

If people had different views on biology/nature since the 1600s, would scientific and technological development be different or would it be the same? [closed]

I was reading this article, https://aeon.co/essays/can-animals-be-usefully-described-as-clockwork-machines, and was wondering if people kept viewing animals as machine like would technology and ...
3
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2answers
100 views

What POD Would I Need For Earth's Lost Worlds to Exist Today?

This is a map of Earth as depicted by the DeviantArtist ToonHolt: As you can see, many new landmasses have been added, from lost worlds like Sundaland, Zealandia and Kerguelen, to fictional worlds ...
6
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4answers
348 views

Could one make decent armour based on a jaguar pelt?

I have always loved the fursuit uniform of the Aztec Ocelotl warrior: But, to my great disappointment, it turns out that in reality the suit was not made out of an actual jaguar pelt: the helmets ...
-3
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1answer
119 views

Creating Genetically Engineered Individuals [closed]

Let's say I want to make a genetically engineered being, who doesn't have iron-based blood, and is an improvement on humans across the board: strictly stronger, more resilient, greater lung capacity, ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What kind of education would telekinetic children get in a modern country?

In this case I'm assuming a low level telekinetics that can do anything they can see. People with Telekinetic skills are not discriminated against too much but they make up a small portion of the ...
2
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0answers
64 views

What if California Had Trisected in 1855? [closed]

In 1855, the California State Assembly passed a plan to trisect the state. All of the southern counties as far north as Monterey, Merced, and part of Mariposa, then sparsely populated but today ...
1
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0answers
56 views

What if WW1 never happened? [closed]

After learning more about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand I wondered, what would have happened, if he never had been shot. Similar to the man in the high castle, I want to explore an alternative ...
-1
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5answers
152 views

What would be some changes in regards to courtship to a society where men are conscripted for three years into the military? [closed]

Let's say there's a major or constant level of warfare with an external enemy is a modern developed society. Think like modern day Korea or Israel. As a result of this level of warfare men are ...
18
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2answers
3k views

If the Roman Empire in the Year 90 AD Found a Living Tyrannosaurus Rex, What Creature in Their Mythology Would They Most Likely Mistake It For?

I'm writing a story where a group of mischievous aliens teleport iconic creatures to inappropriate time periods. (Dimetrodons in colonial Germany, Pterodactyls in the medieval Ottoman Empire, ...
2
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2answers
170 views

Can I have an otherwise High Medieval society, if they are in perpetual Bronze Age?

I may have been too ambitious with one property of my advanced Mesoamerican civilisation. The very summarised background (which you can take as given; don't frame challenge this) is that after a wise ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Could the Troubles in Northern Ireland and England have ended in reunification?

I am trying to plot the background of an alternate history story revolving around an Irish-British teenager living in a post-Troubles London where tensions are much higher. Unlike our timeline, the ...
33
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17answers
8k views

Could the Industrial Revolution be delayed indefinitely? Or is it inevitable once a certain point in development is reached?

I am considering whether a pre-Industrial civilisation could carry on for millennia on an Earth-like planet without entering the Industrial Age. Of course, regularly destroying everything with ...
11
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7answers
2k views

How powerful could a person with superpowers/group of superhumans be without greatly affecting world history?

One of the major problems I've always had with the MCU and the DC universe is how powerful many of the beings or people are whilst the World is still almost the same as ours. It was as if the writers ...
10
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8answers
5k views

What could be the the consequences in this world if nuclear bombs didn't release radiation anymore?

In an alternative earth, or just a few decades from now, someone was able to make a breakthrough in nuclear bombs. Developing a way to make the radiation be nullified by its extreme chain reactions or ...
20
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6answers
5k views

AIDS vs Great Plague in medieval period

The Great Plague is known as one of the worst pandemics in human history as it killed between 75 and 200 million people from 1347 to 1351 (according to wikipedia). I would like to know if AIDS had ...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

What would it have taken for navies to control air forces historically?

So the idea of space navies is extremely common in science fiction, with the navy as the branch that is more or less dominant. Generally speaking they have marines under them and there is rarely an ...
7
votes
6answers
801 views

Television without primary colors

As humans, we're incredibly lucky that we only see in three primary colors. It makes the development of color displays quite easy. We only need to squeeze three subpixels into a single pixel! What if, ...
2
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5answers
183 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 ...
9
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7answers
1k views

Is a Selective Breeding Program to Create Enhanced Humans Plausible?

The idea is that the concepts of DNA, inheritance, and micro-organisms were discovered significantly earlier in history. Roughly 50 years after the founding of Alexandria as a city state in 332 B.C., ...
7
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4answers
203 views

How would the cold war continue- in space?

The cold war never ended in 1990-94, and the Warsaw pact still exists, as does the prominence of communism in eastern europe. It’s now 2030, and both sides have colonies on the moon and are ...
21
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14answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
192 views

What would have happened if the USA never dropped atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? [closed]

If the USA never dropped the bombs on Japan, how different would have japan looked today? Would it look like Taiwan or would it look like Europe? What would have been Japan's technological innovation? ...
2
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4answers
270 views

What could have caused a three-way cold war?

I was working on a story project some years ago which featured a highly alternate near future in which, among other things, a 3-way cold war had spread across the solar system. There were many other F&...
0
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1answer
5k views

How would the world function if there was no concept of monetary value? [closed]

What would happen if the idea of money and bartering did not exist or the idea did not evolve during history and no item held a status of 'precious' in terms of monetary value? Like if people gave ...
70
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28answers
18k views

How can I prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union?

During the era of the Soviet Union, Russia was a much scarier nation: The Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Race. No one can deny these were major events in Russia's history. Let's say ...
4
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4answers
225 views

What would an until-recently waterworld look like?

So, suppose a world that, for most of its biological history, was a water world, with minimal dry land. Starting from the Cambrian Explosion analogue, the world stays like this for roughly 460 million ...
0
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2answers
200 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
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1answer
107 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 ...
-1
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3answers
154 views

If the Vikings grew horns, what would their helmets look like?

Imagine all the Scandinavians started sprouting horns, much like their stereotypical image, out of their heads. Now, how do they redesign their helmets to match a horned head? Note that your helmet ...
-1
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4answers
3k views

Assuming that all separatist movements in North America succeeded, what would borders look like? [closed]

If every acknowledged separatist group in North America (That is, Canada, America and Mexico) had succeeded, what would the borders of modern day North America look like? Let's assume the following ...
5
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4answers
177 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 ...
0
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2answers
399 views

Enola Gay's Bad Day

So it's 1945 and the US has sent a bomber to drop the first nuclear weapon on Hiroshima. The crew arm the weapon and are just about to drop it but something goes horribly wrong and they are unable to ...
3
votes
2answers
381 views

What primitive electronics are possible using boiled potato power?

A boiled potato battery provides power at $9/kWh, at 1/6th the cost of kerosene, and 1/9th the cost of a D battery. One single boiled potato provides 5 volts of electricity. Pre-Columbian Americans ...
9
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11answers
2k views

Could a Time Traveller prevent the Civil War in the United States?

A sequel to Could a Time Traveller Prevent the Black Plague? Todd the time traveler's a cool dude and has decided to use his powers for good, more specifically he wants to stop the American Civil War ...
54
votes
15answers
12k views

Would a steam powered plane be able to cross the Atlantic ocean?

In a world where the development of internal combustion engines had been seriously delayed (for whatever reason), would it have been possible to power heavier than air aircraft by steam propulsion? ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

The Homeland effects of an English defeat in the Seven Years War [closed]

In a timeline I am working on, France wins the Seven Years War, mainly due to better support from their Allies Austria and Russia. One of the consequences of this is that the French Revolution does ...
1
vote
3answers
169 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 ...
52
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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, ...
1
vote
2answers
119 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
137 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-...
4
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
242 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
141 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 ...
1
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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 ...
2
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2answers
114 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 (...
4
votes
6answers
801 views

How do I make the Thirteen Colonies into a Monarchy instead of a presidency

In this alternate timeline, the Canadian Maritimes as well as Ontario also join the rebelling colonies, creating the Seventeen Colonies. During the American revolution, it was a pretty important that ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
135 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
146 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 ...

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