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


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!


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