What if World War II never happened?

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I had a strange dream this morning right before I woke up where I was in the military. It wasn’t in the United States, but rather an imaginary country somewhere within the geographical borders of the United States. In a brief moment of lucid dreaming, I asked someone in my dream why this country existed, and not the US. He told me that there were actually 13 smaller countries with completely different names. When I asked him why, he responded “No Nazis!”, implying that Hitler never rose to power and there never was a second world war. Why this drastically changed the political landscape of North America, I don’t know; it was a stupid dream and those things rarely make sense anyways. But, it did leave me with an interesting question.

What would the US, and the rest of the world for that matter, be like if World War II never happened? How would life be different for the average person, or how would we look to other countries? Would we still have the same level of technology we have now? How about economy? Would we even still be a superpower?

I’ve thought about things like a smaller population without a post-war baby boom, a much smaller economy due to a lack of military prodution/build up, maybe even a delay of women’s rights since there wouldn’t have been a reason for them to start taking up the kinds of jobs and responsibilities needed to support fighting troops.

There’s got to be an unimaginable amount of differences between a post-WWII America and an America that had a very peaceful 30s and 40s. I’m sure people much smarter than myself and with a more educated understanding of things like economics, politics, anthropy, military, technology, music, art, literature, activism, etc…. could come up with more nuanced ideas.

What do you think?

 
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Without WW2 the US may not have recovered to its former economic glory like you said, so it would be a very different world indeed if that was the case.

As for Europe, the world war enabled Stalin to take over most of Eastern Europe. No WW2, no Cold War perhaps, or at least not on the same scale.

 
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We’d probably all be speaking some variety of Russian.

 
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What would the US, and the rest of the world for that matter, be like if World War II never happened?

Direct results

→ A longer depression would have been bad for everyone.
→ The Jews would not have been able to garner the support it did for the foundation of Israel.
→ Japan would not have received the infusion of post-war support it did, which means we might not have the technological innovation we see out of Japan today.
→ No UN, no NATO, no war crimes trials…all conflicts since that time would have been fundamentally altered.
→ Many innovations would have come later, if at all; this includes most modern advancements in flight (radar, capacity, engines, etc.).

Indirect results

→ China and Japan might be allies (as opposed to Japan and the US). On the other hand, there could have been a war just between the two of them.
→ The Middle East would be drastically different, especially in regards to political boundaries.
→ Communism likely wouldn’t have spread the same way it did. In fact it might not have come up at all.
→ Civil rights for all groups would have been delayed drastically.
→ There would still be a number of colonies.

I think overall we would see significant European involvement in Africa (in the form of colonies). China would have been a world power, at least in Asia. The United States would be strong, but not the international heavyweight it is. More likely we would just be a power player in the Americas. Russia would be on the verge of being a third world nation, having never experienced the political changes it did in WWII.

We’d probably all be speaking some variety of Russian.

How on Earth would Russia do anything to us? Why would they do anything?

 
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How on Earth would Russia do anything to us? Why would they do anything?

Well without WW2 I doubt the cold war would’ve happened…

Germany wouldn’t have gotten out of a depression…

 
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Saint, I agreed with most of your thoughts, but a few seemed a little iffy.

→ Communism likely wouldn’t have spread the same way it did. In fact it might not have come up at all.

Wasn’t the spread of communism instigated more by post industrial working conditions and wages than anything else? Besides, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had Russia well on its way towards communism decades before WWII, and Stalin came to power a little over a decade before the official start to World War II.

→ There would still be a number of colonies.

There was anti-imperialist sentiment growing in the West after World War I. It definitely would have taken longer for African nations to gain independence without World War II, but it still would have happened.

 
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Wasn’t the spread of communism instigated more by post industrial working conditions and wages than anything else?

If that’s true then why didn’t it occur in heavily industrialised nations like the UK, France, Germany or the US?

Besides, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had Russia well on its way towards communism decades before WWII, and Stalin came to power a little over a decade before the official start to World War II.

I believe Saint is reffering to the Cold War, not the spread of communism in Russia. Without WW2 the USSR would not have occupied all the terrotiory it did during the Cold War which would not have caused all the tension that arose as a result of that.

 
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Wasn’t the spread of communism instigated more by post industrial working conditions and wages than anything else? Besides, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had Russia well on its way towards communism decades before WWII, and Stalin came to power a little over a decade before the official start to World War II.

As woody said I meant outside of Russia, it was clearly a bit too late for Russia itself.

Russia wouldn’t have had the power to push it the way they did if they never became a superpower. They would have also had a harder time pushing into Eastern Europe without established footholds gained at the end of WWII. But who knows, I’m just speculating.

There was anti-imperialist sentiment growing in the West after World War I. It definitely would have taken longer for African nations to gain independence without World War II, but it still would have happened.

If various colonies had not been “liberated” by some power or another during the war, I doubt too many of them would have had the balls to try and break off on their own. Looking at Britain alone, it was the disastrous loss of Asian colonies that caused the rest of its territories to gain hope.

 
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As a fan of the Eastern Soviet Front in WW2, I would be sad if the battle never happened.

 
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We would not know as much about health as we do now. In those days there was so many operations and we learned so much from them

 
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well wasnt the balfur declaration the start of what was destined to become Israel? And i think that was signed earlier than WW2

Nazism led to the Fifth Aliyah (significant immigration), riots, and capping of Jewish immigration. that means a 22% population shift occurred because of WWII. There also wouldn’t have likely been American or UN support of it’s declaration of independence.

 
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“China would have been a world power, at least in Asia.”

Am I the only one that think that sounded a little funny?

 
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It’s a hard to word situation. It would have been a regional power for sure, and significant on a world stage but lesser than say Russia.

 
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Here are some points i would like to bring up:
. Russia might not have been able to take control of the eastern european it did, as they would have been stronger then when they were attacked by the nazi’s
. More jewish people as they wouldn’t have been exterminated.
. Palestine would still be big but the jewish were given it and it became israel
. Fascism wouldn’t have grown out of control like it did then
. Ww2 wouldn’t have been subject of the media, Meaning less documentaries now.
. Countries would have been richer because they had millions of pounds/dollars to pay in debt because of damages.
. Technology would have been more advanced as alot of the nazi super weapons and others were destroyed by the allies.
. Other nations would be super powers
.Colonies would have been kept by other countries.

 
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Originally posted by SaintAjora:

Wasn’t the spread of communism instigated more by post industrial working conditions and wages than anything else? Besides, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had Russia well on its way towards communism decades before WWII, and Stalin came to power a little over a decade before the official start to World War II.

As woody said I meant outside of Russia, it was clearly a bit too late for Russia itself.

Russia wouldn’t have had the power to push it the way they did if they never became a superpower. They would have also had a harder time pushing into Eastern Europe without established footholds gained at the end of WWII. But who knows, I’m just speculating.

There was anti-imperialist sentiment growing in the West after World War I. It definitely would have taken longer for African nations to gain independence without World War II, but it still would have happened.

If various colonies had not been “liberated” by some power or another during the war, I doubt too many of them would have had the balls to try and break off on their own. Looking at Britain alone, it was the disastrous loss of Asian colonies that caused the rest of its territories to gain hope.

Haha! Whats wrong Saint? You speak as if Communism is a plague.

I would believe that many countries that were affected by the depression would not have recovered as quickly as is did. There might have been some colonies still left in Africa. Basically, the world would have remained pretty far behind. Russia and China would probably be pretty prosperous , more so than usual

 
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Well, Great Britain would probably the number one superpower.
Palestine and India would still be British colonies, and the British Empire would control most of the oil wells in the region.
No Pakistan, no Israel, no nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Perhaps no nuclear power at all. The development was very expensive.

The development of rockets and jets would have been slower, no NASA or Apollo missions.

Soviet Union: Difficult. The earned sympathy during the war, allowing Stalin to take over east Europe, but the destruction of their industry definitely weakened them. Communism might have taken over with full power.

No one would have cared if Japan takes over China. China would be ruled by an emperor controlled by the Japanese.

In fact, if there was no Hitler, someone else would have started a world war. Russia, Japan, or even France.

 
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No one would have cared if Japan takes over China. China would be ruled by an emperor controlled by the Japanese.

The British would. We would be afraid of losing our colonies in the East. Not forgetting Hong Kong either.

In fact, if there was no Hitler, someone else would have started a world war. Russia, Japan, or even France.

Most nations weren’t ready to commit to another world war after the horrors of WW1. There could have been a world war, but probably further down the line than 1939.

 
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Germany would have nuclear power, since Einstein began researching it there.

 
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Uh, Germany does have nuclear power. Most developed nations do.

 
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But he does bring up a good point many scientists would have remained in Germany instead of ending up in the USA or USSR. So if Germany was able to recover from its economic trouble its is highly possible that they would have become the power player in the advancement of knowledge lets call it.

 
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Originally posted by woodythedon:

Without WW2 the US may not have recovered to its former economic glory like you said, so it would be a very different world indeed if that was the case.

As for Europe, the world war enabled Stalin to take over most of Eastern Europe. No WW2, no Cold War perhaps, or at least not on the same scale.

Poland saved Europe from Russia. Polish-Bolshevik War 1919-1921.

 
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Poland saved Europe from Russia. Polish-Bolshevik War 1919-1921.

The Bolsheviks were not powerful enough at the time to have expanded further into Europe. That dispute was to ensure that they regained the provinces they already had control of pre 1917. There was no real expansion into Western Europe.

 
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Well, I see it this way:
Technology would likely be a good bit below where we are today due to no major “reason” to discover anything that could help in a war against horrors. Not to say it wouldn’t be discovered eventually…

Japan would likely still be an Empire, and likely would have taken over a good portion of Asia by now.

There would be far more Jewish people.

Skinhead groups would be far smaller and less organized due to the fact that a majority are Nazi based.

 
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Nuclear weapons would have been produced later.
No UN or war crimes
Isreal would not exist
Japan might have conquered all of China
USA and other countries would take longer to get out of the depression (which was one of the main causes of WW2)
Another country (Maybe Italy) would have caused a War
League Of Nations would have lasted longer
Jets would have been produced later
Rockets would have been produced later
Less developed Tanks
Battleships would stay the Capital class for longer
Countries may have disarmed
Less rights for woman
More Jewish people
Empires swould last longer
Less Communists in the world
Might be no BNP
Might not have made it to the moon yet
Much less (and less developed) Computers
No Indiana Jones
No Holocaust
India would have been indepenant later then 1950
China would be Nationalist (Goumindang) instead of Communist (CCP)
Germany would be more developed in comparison to other countries
Japan would no be as well developed compared to other countries
We would still fear Communism more than Fascism
Mussolini & Hitler would have died later
France would be more powerful
Germany would have been the first to develop nuclear weapons (just later)
Middle East might be more stable then it is now
No hate for NAZIS as they were not well known until they controled Germany