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"New York Philosophy" Message Board › History's Turning Points - Contest Submissions

History's Turning Points - Contest Submissions

John
broughton
New York, NY
Post #: 195
Post your submissions for history's greatest turning points here!

We will select top submissions at our April 2009 event.

The more detailed and specific the turning point the better. For instance, saying "What if Hitler died early?" is not very specific, whereas "What if Operation Valkyrie had succeeded?" is better grounded in reality.

The smaller the 'adjustment' to history, and the larger the impact to world affairs, the better!

If a turning point is a little obscure, that is okay. If the turning point is REALLY obscure, you may need to explain it to everyone!

The best turning points will be presented at the April event, where members can vote for the top three for prizes!

Note: any submissions will be considered public domain and usable by anyone for any reason.

John
Ken
user 3853997
New York, NY
Post #: 3
What would have happened if Saul had not been blinded by the light? Would Yeshua have not been turned into a divine being with the subsequent development of Paulism (aka Christianity)?
EddieN
user 3740480
New York, NY
Post #: 127
Here's a baker's dozen of questions to start the ball rolling:

What would have happened if the Mayflower had suffered the same fate as the Titanic?

What would have happened if Christopher Columbus had reached China on his westward journey and not accidentally hit Hispanola instead?

What would have happened if China had fully developed the technology behind gunpowder to its logical conclusion, instead of declaring it to be a dangerous WMD and therefore halted all further development of the technology?

What would have happened if instead of the first humans coming from Africa, they had come from (say) South America?

What would have happened if the "three-fifths of a human" argument in the Constitution had been scrapped in favor of full recognition of the rights of all people in the United States, regardless of whether they were slave or free?

What would have happened if Napoleon Bonaparte had succeeded at Waterloo and not been taken down by the British forces?

What would have happened if the UN had been successful at stopping the Rwandan genocide even before it began?

What would have happened if Nelson Mandela had died on Robben Island?

What would have happened if the Mahatma had decided to remain a lawyer in South Africa and not go back to India?

What would have happened if Charles Babbage had succeeded in building a full-scale working Difference Engine and a full-scale working Analytical Engine? And what would have happened if Ada Augusta, Countess of Lovelace hadn't snuffed it?

What would have happened if Srinivasa Ramanujan hadn't died so early, and in obscurity, but rather had had his work more widely circulated and celebrated in his lifetime?

And what would have happened if Tim Berners-Lee had said to himself, "You know what? Screw CERN, I'm gonna start a company and profit the hell out of this World Wide Web thingie I've developed!"
Erik W
user 3021046
Irvington, NY
Post #: 3
Turning points:
Someone learns how to light a fire.
Someone invents the wheel.
Major monotheistic religions emerge in the form of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
At the Battle of the Teutoberg Forest, Germanic tribes limit the advance of the Roman Empire.
After the voyages of Zheng He, the Chinese decide the rest of the world isn't worth bothering with.
Columbus lands in the Americas.
Galileo looks through a telescope.
Guttenberg introduces the printing press.
Martin Luther's criticism of the Catholic church finds support.
Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto.
Charles Darwin says your uncle's a monkey.
Kandinsky paints the first non-objective painting.
Somewhere along the way, things like eyeglasses, clocks, indoor plumbing, birth control, antibiotics, toilet paper and toobrushes are invented.
The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.
After the digital revolution, everything turns into zeroes and ones, and is immediately downloadable onto your iPod.
The rebel plans are successfully delivered to Obi-Wan Kenobi, allowing the rebellion to destroy the Death Star and to support the development of a Jedi who will ultimate restore balance to the Force and peace to the galaxy.
John asks everyone, "What is the most important turning point in history?" which is probably the most important turning point in history.

That's all I can think of for now; I can't wait to hear from everyone else!
-Erik
John
broughton
New York, NY
Post #: 196
@ken: great suggestion - already listed in event announcement (3rd down under classical). keep them coming!
John
broughton
New York, NY
Post #: 197
@Eddie: I like 3, 5, 10, 12 especially! great stuff.
John
broughton
New York, NY
Post #: 198
@Erik,

The event is a bit misnamed. First, instead of Greatest Turning Points in History, it really should be the Greatest Turning Points of History. But the double meaning is cool.

For the turning points, though, we are examining the counterfactual aspects, so each item should be phrased in the form of a negative. I can work with that though!

John
PiWi
user 3398759
Virginia Water, GB
Post #: 113
What if Hero of Alexandria had successfully promoted the adoption of his steam engine in 50 AD?

What if Louis XVI had avoided the financial crisis, prevented the States General from convening, or been able to crush the budding revolt in France in 1789?

What if Napoleon had not sold Louisiana in 1803?

What if Scopes had never gone to trial in 1925?

What if Durruti hadn't died in 1936 and the anarchist movement had prevailed in Catalonia during the Spanish civil war?

What if Truman had not given the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

What if the Cubans had fired missiles into the US in October 1962?

What if Dorothy Walker Bush had been killed in a car accident in August 1923 10 months before she gave birth to George Bush Sr?
John
bakerjohnj
New York, NY
Post #: 1
Nov 2008. John McCain wins US presidential election after the Supreme Court rules in his favor.
Clyde
user 2856436
New York, NY
Post #: 1
Here's one,

What if Seward's "folly" never came to fruition, and the US chose NOT to purchase Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867?


Clyde
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