Imagine how one aspect of the past 100 years would be different if Archduke Franz Ferdinand had not been killed in 1914.

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This week MPR is running a series of reports, a "counterfactual history" of the first World War of nearly 100 years go - examining what our world would have been like without this "Great War."

They are asking experts for their thoughts on what our world would have been like, such as:


  • The Germany of the 1920s is not bled by the victorious and vindictive allies so the Nazis never come power. Europe would have been a more German-speaking continent.

  • Adolf Hitler -- an aspiring artist and vegetarian -- never goes to war and never enters politics. Instead, he becomes the manager of a company that produces alternative medicine.
  • Jews continue to thrive, and there is no Holocaust. The small Jewish settlement in Palestine continues, but without a flood of refuges it remains a minority community there.
  • Without World War I, there is no World War II and no Cold War. Science develops much slower -- the U.S. doesn't put a man on the moon, there is no atomic bomb, and penicillin and antibiotics are slower to hit the market.

They are seeking comments and contributions from others - you may want to add your imaginings to the discussion.

An interesting twist to the 'what if's' described by John Lennon in his "Imagine" lyrics.

Would we have had a formal declaration of a "national anthem" in 1918?


Would we have had prohibition?

Would women's voting rights have been passed in the 1920s?

Share your thoughts with us, or with Minnesota Public Radio!

246 Comments

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