Questions tagged [history]

For questions dealing with the past events of a given world.

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38
votes
15answers
8k views

Is it plausible that a country developed steam engines before gunpowder?

Man, I really have to find a way to stop getting into logic dead-ends. So, in the story I’m writing, there’s this country that developed big bad war machines that run on steam engines. The way they ...
50
votes
21answers
10k views

Would descendants of Earth people stranded on another planet eventually forget about Earth?

The world I'm building would be based on a new planet discovered and colonized by modern humans (us, essentially). But then some disaster or another happens, and the end result is that all contact ...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

A second 30 years war [closed]

Imagine this; It was no secret that the French wanted some beef with the Prussians in 1840, as there was the Rhine Crisis, as France demanded the borders of 1806, where the Rhine was the territorial ...
6
votes
10answers
1k views

How to prevent time travelers from developing god complex?

Year 2077 C.E. someone invented a one way time travel into the past safely, the problem is that anyone can replicate the method with ease due to the proliferation of All-In-1 Advanced 3D printers and ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

A confederation of the Rhine without Napoleon

In an alternate scenario I am building, The French revolution never happens and thus Napoleon does not come to power. Without Napoleon, the Napoleonic Wars never occur and the HRE remains intact. The ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

What would be the implications of the Great Pacific War I created for the remainder of the 2020s and the next decade? [closed]

Well, I created this military conflict called the Great Pacific War as a scenario to simulate a hypothetical direct confrontation between the States and China, and before I ask my main question, I ...
54
votes
15answers
11k views

Most useful knowledge from the 30's to understand current state of computers & networking?

Human-vampire hybrid wakes up from hibernation that started in the late 30's and finds that world has changed. What kind of knowledge from the 30's would be best starting point to learn computers &...
5
votes
3answers
885 views

How do I prevent the collapse of Francia

One of the many empires to come from the Roman empire, the Frankish Empire was the territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks, a confederation of West Germanic tribes, during Late Antiquity and the ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

How long does it take for a fact to become a legend? (In a medieval setting)

Given a vaguely European Medieval society free of magic, how long does it take for historic record to devolve into fiction? Rephrased, how long would it take an Arthurian legend to form, where the ...
1
vote
5answers
606 views

Ultra-Modern Farming Techniques in the Middle Ages [closed]

If we journey back to the year 700 (I dont't know quite a lot about that time besides that it was the middle ages and their crappy hygiene, farming techniques and living standards) we come across very ...
3
votes
3answers
563 views

Where did the “paler skin means higher status” concept originate? And approximately when? [closed]

I have observed the phenomenon of people with paler skin being seen as higher status and more desirable in a number of places where I have travelled, including SE Asia, India, Western Europe and its ...
5
votes
3answers
930 views

How I explain New France not having their Middle East? [closed]

In an alternate history I am designing, France wins the Seven Years War and does not lose their land claims in America. A problem I have reached though is explaining why land east of the Mississippi ...
5
votes
3answers
276 views

How to design puzzles for an ancient period in Earth history?

I'm writing a Earth history time travel story, and the main character needs to solve puzzles from each time period he visits. I'm going very far back in history and I'm concerned about being able to ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

Can Feudalism Endure Advanced Agricultural Techniques?

A multi-state feudalistic medieval society manages to accomplish certain advancements (directly agricultural and supportive), specifically discovering/refining/implementing: Crop rotation "Modern" ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
149 views

How fast would paper memos travel? [closed]

How fast would paper memos travel around an office? Between offices? How fast would it be expected for a response? How often would mailrooms deliver mail and similar items?
14
votes
7answers
7k views

What is the most befitting place to drop 'H'itler bomb to score decisive victory in 1945?

Supposedly Adolf Hitler had in his possession a blueprint of a working atomic bomb. Its destructive power is estimated to be similar to or on par with "Fat Man" which was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. ...
0
votes
3answers
188 views

How would the body evolve if DNA was signed?

So, I was in Biology Class about 30 minutes ago and during the Lecture my Professor mentioned Antigens. I remembered that antigens had something to do with the type of blood people have. Basically, ...
-1
votes
2answers
297 views

What are the “red flags” of an impending revolution?

Revolutions happen and quite often they have catastrophic results on the nation, from destroying and replacing the nation to splitting up the nation into parts. Usually the result of the revolution is ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What would the Soviet Union have looked like if Trotsky was in power, not Stalin?

During the final days of Lenin, it was time to pick his replacement. For reason no body understood, Stalin was allowed to go into power and he immediately focused on keeping this power. Trotsky and ...
2
votes
2answers
597 views

What if zombie apocalypse happened in 18th century [closed]

What would happen if a zombie appeared in 18th century Italy? More specifically, a walking Dead style zombie "spawning" in Turin, The Duchy of Savoy on noon, 3 of May, 1715.Turin is far upriver in ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Advantages & Disadvantages of Allowing Freedom in Local Law in an Empire

So I am looking to structure a country so that there are other areas that are "free" to make their own laws but pay a tribute to the main country. I know that there's historical precedent (Rome's a ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

How would people with the wisdom of the 7th century describe or explain tectonics

This question is basically related to my former question: What would change if our Earth lacked mountains? (Geology) So in my world people have stopped at a level of wisdom that might be similar to ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

France wins the 7 Years War

After France lost the 7 Years war, they were forced to give away land. No matter how little land they are forced to give, it is most likely that they will give away French Louisiana as all other land ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

How many countries could theoretically exist in North America? [closed]

Compared to the vast majority of the world, North America is pretty bland when it comes to countries, we have the US, Canada and mexico, that's it. Now Cascadia, California and Texas were all at one ...
2
votes
0answers
582 views

What would the world be like today if the Germany had won WWI? [closed]

I'm trying to create a world set in our current time but where the only difference is that 100 years prior the Central Powers won WWI. I'm curious how the geopolitics of the world would change. In ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

Immigration in pre-industrial culture

The setting is not earth, but a fantasy world whose technical and cultural advancement parallel that of Europe and North America circa 1790-1820. In this era, what sort of immigration laws and ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Introducing money to a barter based economy

If a person from a culture that uses money was to try and introduce such a system to a tribe of people that use a barter-based system, how could they do this in the shortest amount of time? What ...
7
votes
5answers
574 views

What will “history” be in 10,000 years?

In 10,000 years, what aspects and events from today will still be remembered or are likely to still be remembered? The invention of the internet lets us store vast amounts of information, but most of ...
3
votes
3answers
330 views

10 commandments to encourage development

Ok, so I saw this question, and I thought that it was an interesting idea to explore. But then I thought, the opposite would be equally interesting! So I came up with a scenario that I couldn't ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Utilizing oil as an incendiary weapon

During medieval age and earlier in Earth's history, oil was used as an incendiary weapon to burn animals, people, wooden fortifications and well anything that could burn. It's speculated that one ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What materials are needed to build large structures, such as castles? [closed]

I am trying to understand what natural resources a city would need access to in order to build walls/castles. I am trying to place my cities in relative location to all needed resources, but I need to ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How were swamps drained in early modern/colonial societies? [closed]

Right now I'm trying to build a colonial setting for an RPG, in which a group of farmers accidentally uncovers some ruins of great power buried under a swamp while draining it. Before the swamp is ...
1
vote
2answers
379 views

Writing an article on a town, how can I make it into an interesting and worthy article? [from my world's equivalent of Wikipedia] [closed]

I am writing articles on the various villages, towns and cities in my world. This is from my world's equivalent of Wikipedia and the entire wiki is a WIP, and you are welcome to help contribute to it. ...
2
votes
0answers
199 views

How would colonists from the Outer Solar System see UNAPA? [closed]

As you can tell, I had a question as to who was the bigger monster in the Extraplanetary Wars. However, that question is currently on hold, but I shall link regardless: The Extraplanetary Wars: Which ...
6
votes
5answers
687 views

How would historians remember the Extraplanetary Wars from a neutral standpoint? [closed]

Well, as per the scenario I have been developing with these past few questions, I was thinking of putting this scenario in the year 2500 CE. For those of you whom have been living under a rock for ...
85
votes
11answers
12k views

What would be the best way to get clean, drinkable water in a medieval city?

Help! I've been transported back in time to London in 1303 AD. After saying hi to the flock of other worldbuilders who have inexplicably travel back in time to Medieval Europe, I decide to set out to ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the generally accepted terms used to define “magic users?” [closed]

There are many different words used to define magic-users Wizard Sorcerer Mage Magician Enchanter Witch/Warlock But is there an actual distinction between the names, or do some (or all) refer to the ...
7
votes
2answers
753 views

Creating a Classical civilization

By classical civilization, I mean one that form the ethical, governmental, scientific, or lexical foundation for cultures that follow. Such a civilization's impact lasts for centuries if not millennia....
3
votes
1answer
339 views

Age of Sails: What would be the reaction of major naval powers of 14-15th century to a 19th century made trading clippers and schooners?

So basically how would the major naval powers of the 14-15th century react to modern built trading schooners and clippers that are a lot faster than their 14-15th century counterparts if by any chance ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a realistic version of an American fighting with the Russian troops in World War II?

I'm toying with the idea of writing stories about the influence of World War II on Russia. The target audience are ordinary Americans, hence it makes sense to have a viewpoint character, who is an ...
2
votes
3answers
485 views

Can war be burst between two groups of the same race, magic and religion? [closed]

Assume the following "template" world (I'm saying it because it depicts an idea of mine, but can be derived to others' worlds too): Fantasy landscape, under the control of one god. God has direct ...
16
votes
5answers
412 views

Online character generation resources: types of occupation throughout history

I need to generate some characters for my world, and at the moment, inspiration fails me. Now, before you reach for the 'Close' link, I'm not asking for the WB community to help me with character ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternative History: If the Hindenburg Incident Never Happened

The Hindenburg Incident was a very famous tragic part of history, much like the Titanic, but what would happen if the famous airship never burned? Would airships continue to be the dominant force of ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

What if antibiotics existed in the Middle Ages? [closed]

I wonder what would have happened if antibiotics existed earlier, like in the Middle Ages. What do you think would have changed?
2
votes
2answers
273 views

What if the slave trade occurred at a later date? [closed]

In my world there are two dominant races, Lorani and Subloran (as seen in this question). The two have lived in a strained peace for thousands of years, primarily by ignoring each other. But in the ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

Is psychohistory a practical leadership tool?

I just finished Isaac Asimov's novel Foundation, the first book in the Foundation series. Its premise relies in part on one character, Hari Seldon, planning the future of a scholarly world by using ...
15
votes
5answers
958 views

Methods for creating great people for your world's history

I am working on developing my world's history. Great people help give a world flavor. From profanity to holidays to religions and nations, great people can be the lynchpin on which the pendulum of ...
31
votes
9answers
9k views

What would modern IT look like if Silicon Valley had been completely destroyed in 1985?

In the 1985 movie A View to a Kill, James Bond discovers--and then foils--a plot by to destroy Silicon Valley, in a manner that makes it look like a natural disaster. The plot for doing so is a bit ...
16
votes
5answers
630 views

Balancing science and history when building a world

When building a world, I use one of two approaches: Either figure out the geography or write down the societal history. I can then use the one to influence the other and then move on to the rest of ...