12 March 2014

Counterfactuals: WWI

     I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a story on All Things Considered in which the host exploring a counterfactual history of World War I, in which the Archduke was not killed, WWI did not take place... and a ton of other stuff didn't happen.  Listen to the story or at least read the article to find out what all they theorize might have changed, from politics, to science to social issues (which is just about everything).

     They challenged listeners to send in their ideas on what might have been different.  I tried to thing about how this might have directly impacted my ancestors, which was somewhat difficult, but here are a few things:
  • No WWI means that there would be no unstable, resentful and vulnerable Germany, thus no WWII.  So my grandfather wouldn't have gone overseas and his crops wouldn't have been stolen while he was there.  He would have stayed home and farmed, and not have given it all up and moved to Atlanta for different work.  My parents would never have met and I would never have been born.  
  • WWII means that women wouldn't have entered the workforce to make up for the men going overseas, or taken certain positions in the army.  Women like my Great-Aunt Ollie wouldn't have gone to California to build airplanes and fill other jobs around the country.  Without this experience, the women's liberation movement would be delayed and we could today remain in a society where women, especially in the middle and upper classes, are expected to be homemakers. 
     It's hard to come up with things!  I didn't have any post-war immigrant ancestors or World War deaths in the family.  I bet others can come up with more.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails