Long-term impacts of no world wars?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GustavusAdolphus1, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Rufus Well-Known Member

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    The economic effects shouldn’t be underestimated either. The lack of World Wars likely means that the Gold Standard remains firmly in place, which is going to limit what governments will be able to do quite a bit, as does the lack of precedent in regard to economic intervention during wartime.

    That probably means that the welfare state never reaches the level of OTL, though the lack of annual inflation also means that real wages will continue to rise.
     
  2. anotherlurker Well-Known Member

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    Germany by 1914 had a debt level somewhere around 50 % of gdp, a welfare state quite generous for its time and inflation is not mutually exclusive with the gold standard. Money can be printed well enough, you just state that this year your currency buys you 2 % less gold, there's no real difference compared to today where you print money and the market reasons your currency buys you x% less Dollars (if you dont like the value of "x" you buy or sell some more Dollars), or you can do it like the USA did in the 30s with one big devaluation though that's bound to create unrest.
     
  3. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    The German Navy was funded by debt, part of the deal to get it funded without new taxes.
     
  4. VictorLaszlo Well-Known Member

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    Overwhelmingly yes, but the sparkling wine tax of RM 0.50 per bottle had specifically been introduced in 1902 to finance the buildup of the Imperial Navy and has, despite the fact that most of the Imperial Navy has been resting on the bottom of Scapa Flow for almost a century, like most taxes once introduced, never been repealed.
     
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  5. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    Keynesian economics became the basis of the New Deal, between the wars. I think recession was inevitable, though not necessarily bad enough to become a Great Depression, depending on timing. After all, the Dust Bowl and its consequences could not be controlled. On that basis, I would say Keynesian economics would come along, just on a different schedule.
     
  6. mianfei Well-Known Member

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    In fact, with the development of lithophile metallurgy (titanium, uranium etc.) in the interwar period it is quite possible that in the geologically youthful “Enriched World” of Eurasia, the Americas (excepting Guianan South America) and New Zealand, nominal wages would have become obliged to fall once the much greater abundance of lithophile elements compensated for the vastly greater difficulty of breaking their bonds to oxygen. Under a gold standard – and contra the envy already felt by Enriched World working classes – falling money wages would not necessarily mean falling real wages.

    I do have some optimism that falling nominal wages in the Enriched World could have allowed this ecoregion to be less uncompetitive in that field – agriculture – for which its soils were uniquely designed amongst all the soils of Earth’s geological history. In OTL vast land clearing of the ancient soils of Australia and Africa due to their surfeit of land has had catastrophic consequences for the planet’s ecology, but without artificially high wages in the generally resource- and land-poor Enriched World this would be less severe a problem.
     
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  7. DougM Well-Known Member

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    I think the “speed record” as an indicator of aircraft development is a false measure.
    Before WW1 spread was everything because the money In prizes and in support and fame and such usually was tied to some sort of speed record or race. If the plane was impossible to keep maintained or its wings flew off if it turned much at speed or if it destroyed itself while flying or what have you didn’t realy matter. So we got spread improvement at all cost.
    During the war development was more along the lines of building stronger and more dependable aircraft. That had a useful weapons load. All things that require heavier ore sturdy aircraft and all things that are pretty much directly opposed to making the plane fly faster.

    Using speed as a standard we could argue that all planes flying today are worse technology then those flying 50 years ago. As we no longer have planes like the B58 Hustler, the 727 (which in the right configuration was a very fast passenger plane and of course the SR 71 and the Concord. But if you talk to pretty much any pilot they will tell you that a B787 or a B2 or a F22 are all MUCH more advanced then anything in the air in the 60s.
     
  8. DougM Well-Known Member

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    I think the “speed record” as an indicator of aircraft development is a false measure.
    Before WW1 spread was everything because the money In prizes and in support and fame and such usually was tied to some sort of speed record or race. If the plane was impossible to keep maintained or its wings flew off if it turned much at speed or if it destroyed itself while flying or what have you didn’t realy matter. So we got spread improvement at all cost.
    During the war development was more along the lines of building stronger and more dependable aircraft. That had a useful weapons load. All things that require heavier ore sturdy aircraft and all things that are pretty much directly opposed to making the plane fly faster.

    Using speed as a standard we could argue that all planes flying today are worse technology then those flying 50 years ago. As we no longer have planes like the B
     
  9. new statesman Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that just because the core of a state has a financial deficit with the porifery. Dose not mean that it wishes rid of it .
     
  10. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Blue is the airspeed record pre-war projection, red is RL so the war perhaps caused a 3-4 year lag. The focus on speed pushes engine development, better fuels, stronger airframes, streamlined airframes etc. which then finds its way back into military aircraft. War can retard things like the radial engine being kept in production way past its use-by date. On the other-hand it did bring Rolls Royce into the aero-engine market but they would have got in anyway, probably through RN Airship development.
     
  11. mianfei Well-Known Member

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    Droughts do not of themselves cause depressions. Even rapid or runaway climate deterioration as has occurred in southwestern Australia since 1975 has not had major economic effects locally, so it would not be expected that the Dust Bowl was a necessary or sufficient condition for a depression. The depopulation of the High Plains actually dates back before the Dust Bowl (and has of course continued and even intensified under generally wetter climatic conditions since the 1960s) so the only implications would have been in short-term politics (as was also the case in 1896, 1916 and to a minor extent 1956 and 1988).

    There is the danger that without public works the Plains would have been even more depopulated and global food production shifted even more to the ancient continents of Australia and Africa – a situation whose unsustainability I must emphasise as much as possible since few are really aware.

    However, there is also the possibility that without World Wars there would have been increased European immigration to the region’s cities up to the 1950s – which might have meant more industrialiation given the large oil reserves. This would really have been no different from OTL except for bigger Plains cities once the “Enriched World”’s comparative disadvantage in agriculture is intensified by new technology, especially as the US is sufficiently resource-rich that it – post-lithophile metallurgy – could not have been affected by cheaper prices for its exports.
     
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  12. MattII Well-Known Member

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    Sans the war, aviation development would have likely gone into airliners (see Sikorsky's Ilya Muromets's, and filter through European nationalism), Thus driving cruising speed, size, range and reliability in equal measure, though not all in the same aircraft.
     
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  13. DougM Well-Known Member

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    I am not saying without the war airplanes would develop slower I am just saying with the war development DIDNT slow down. And that spread is not a could indicator of development.
    During the war they concentrated on developing WAR planes (fighters and bombers) and development went in that direction. Speed is useless in a war plane if it can’t take a hit or it can’t maneuver or it can’t hold up on the front lines. Vs pre war when speed was the holy grail that everyone was after at all costs.
    Conversely after the war speed increased again for two reasons. First once again speed was (for some airplanes) the most important thing and they were designed for top speed at (almost) any cost. See the Gee Bee for example. But the other reason is that during the way they figured out a lot of important things such as what to do and what not to do as far as structure goes and basic aerodynamics and such. In effect the war years started off with the airplane being a temperamental beast that was very specialized and often dangerously limited in other areas. During the war design/development gave us airplanes (usually) that where much more “rounded” in that in general they were easier to maintain, held up better, could take some damage and usually were at least generally fly able by a typical pilot.
    After the war the designers still had this knowledge and thus the aircraft were overall better, even the specialized aircraft were usually not so radically strange that they where unflyable or so structurally questionable that the wings folded up in a turn.
    The extremes tended to be like the Gee Bee dangerous to fly but not to the level that sees things like the Christmas Bullet.

    Without this time to make aircraft more “mature” for lack of a better term you will get a continuation of the very specialized design and will have to learn these lessons the hard way. And while aircraft are falling out of the sky learning this (and killing pilots and flight crews) they will get a bad reputation that will take them a bit of time to overcome, where as when a plane killed its pilot because of bad design during the war no one other then the designers and those imiadiatly involved payed attention. Because a handful of pilots getting killed is hardly noticeable in a war that sees thousands die in a single battle in a single day.
    So the development cost of aircraft (in terms of human lives) was paid for and thus hidden by the war. The same way the monetary cost was paid for by governments vs private owners or companies.

    So I don’t think that without the war we will see some magical time of aircraft development. The need will not be thier to push push push. The money will not be thier. And what money is thier will want to be “safer”. No airline or even airplane manufacturer can aford the cost of a failed design. And of course every death will be splashed across the papers and will see a bit of the reputation of the airplanes taking a hit.
     
  14. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    We talk much of aviation, but the wars, especially WW2, were instrumental in the advancement of other technology. Some years ago, Lee Iacocca, long-time CEO of Chrysler, spoke of his entry to the work force as an engineer for Ford Motor Company in the late forties. His observation was that Henry Ford's management style was so autocratic and out of date that if the government had not stepped in, commandeered industry and forced Ford to modernize and update for war manufacture, the company might have fallen so far behind that it would not have survived the fifties.
     
  15. anotherlurker Well-Known Member

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    What things exactly were invented during 4 years of war that are more worth than having Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia developing aircraft in peace time as well, free from civil war, peace treaty restrictions, financial troubles or national disintegration? You had government orders for "things good enough", not for experimentation and pushing limits, and they didnt exactly watch out to keep young and innovative people away from the front (they did that to a degree during the 40s). Many aircraft producers went out of business after the war on all sides, among the victors the order books suddenly emptied and the bloated companies collapsed, on the losing side the same happened with a development ban on top of that. The following debt and economic woes among all war participants put larger experimentation out of reach for most nations until the mid 30s. And last you can try to imagine the many thousands of potential aerospace engineers who either died in trenches or had to settle with more mundane careers after summer 1914 and the effects of them missing.

    And if we accept that during the war some improvements were made? Well, the way i see it without the war you get more countries, more money and more companies building aircraft and learning things. The things OTL learned by 1918 might only be learned by 1922 or 1925, but the things OTL learned by 1940 would be coming by 1930 or 1935 instead. More people, more money, more inventions and innovations.
     
  16. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

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    I think technology is probably a subject best avoided. Technology can develop for multiple reasons or due to the intelligence of one person. One of the people who died in the wars and things related to it could have made a major discovery or breakthrough on something if they live. I always go with technology developing along at a similar rate as otl because it is the hardest to probably predict.
     
  17. NiGHTS SEELE-14

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    I wasn't talking about technology, I was talking about cultural works. Things like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings may never be made because certain ideas or experiences that their authors had will never be experienced because of a the lack of these wars and their spin-offs.
     
  18. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    Since Star Wars used aeronautical film as a backdrop pattern for the movement of space ships, this aspect of that movie would change. I think Lord of the Rings would be far enough into fantasy that it would change less. In the late forties, Hollywood discovered WW2 movies did not market as well as westerns. Without the world wars, battle-oriented stories would either be set in the past or would involve countries that were lesser developed. In the early 1900's, there was a thought process that the industrialized world had "outgrown" traditional wars, and whether that idea could linger for another century is questionable.
     
  19. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    There would be more poetry :perservingface:
     
  20. Dingus Khan Emperor of Nowhere

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    Without WW1 and the Russian Revolution (at least as we know it), I wonder what impact this would have on the militant communist movement, if they can still rise to power in any countries or not.