WI: The Post-War Baby Boom Never Happens

The Baby Boomers - born between 1946 and 1964 - had a great influence on society, and still do today. But what if there was no increase in births in any country after the Second World War?

For argument's sake, let's just say that Einstein is in Germany when the Nazis rise to power, and thus dies in the Holocaust - delaying the Manhattan Project. Later on, when the atomic bomb is not ready, the United States carries out a massive invasion of the Japanese Home Islands - killing at least one million Americans in combat. By the time the war ends in 1947, millions of lives - many would-be parents of Baby Boomers - are dead, and the Soviets have expanded into all of Korea and the island of Hokkaido. In response, the isolationist Robert Taft secures the Republican nomination in 1948, and wins the election that year. He pulls all American troops back and does not fund the Marshall Plan.

So what happens under such a scenario? What would the world look like?
 
One million American dead for Downfall is probably stretching it. I would say quarter million to half a million, at best. Won't stop the Baby Boom.
 
The Baby Boomers - born between 1946 and 1964 - had a great influence on society, and still do today. But what if there was no increase in births in any country after the Second World War?

For argument's sake, let's just say that Einstein is in Germany when the Nazis rise to power, and thus dies in the Holocaust - delaying the Manhattan Project. Later on, when the atomic bomb is not ready, the United States carries out a massive invasion of the Japanese Home Islands - killing at least one million Americans in combat. By the time the war ends in 1947, millions of lives - many would-be parents of Baby Boomers - are dead, and the Soviets have expanded into all of Korea and the island of Hokkaido. In response, the isolationist Robert Taft secures the Republican nomination in 1948, and wins the election that year. He pulls all American troops back and does not fund the Marshall Plan.

So what happens under such a scenario? What would the world look like?
There would still be a baby boom in that scenario but smaller than IOTL. Even a ghastly US victory like that scenario still results in a post-war baby boom
 
A workable POD might be worse economic conditions for sometime after World War II. Its hard to prevent something like an economic boom when you are the only intact major economy on Earth but perhaps you could have an extended postwar recession and then another downturn in the 50s (earlier oil shock from Iran being more communist friendly?) that creates a generally unfriendlier economic atmosphere thus limiting earlier marriages and the Baby Boom?
 
A workable POD might be worse economic conditions for sometime after World War II. Its hard to prevent something like an economic boom when you are the only intact major economy on Earth but perhaps you could have an extended postwar recession and then another downturn in the 50s (earlier oil shock from Iran being more communist friendly?) that creates a generally unfriendlier economic atmosphere thus limiting earlier marriages and the Baby Boom?
Also the baby boom wasn't only in the United States. It happened world wide.
 

kholieken

Banned
Without Baby Boom : civil rights, anti-war movement, sexual revolution, rock music might disappears. Prolonged economic and societal stasis like long 19th century might appear. White population might go down faster, with negative growth since 90s, with Western Europe and North America become more similar to Japan.
 
A workable POD might be worse economic conditions for sometime after World War II. Its hard to prevent something like an economic boom when you are the only intact major economy on Earth but perhaps you could have an extended postwar recession and then another downturn in the 50s (earlier oil shock from Iran being more communist friendly?) that creates a generally unfriendlier economic atmosphere thus limiting earlier marriages and the Baby Boom?
What would society look like in the 1960s and 1970s? Would there still be a counterculture in the 1960s? Would there still be a crime wave in the 1970s?
 

Godot

Gone Fishin'
Really not sure how you'd avoid such a thing. Practically every man lucky enough to come home from the war no doubt felt the drive to have children, and even those people who didn't fight were buoyed by the end of the Depression/War/hard times and stopped putting off marriage and children.
 
Every major war results in a baby boom when the boys come home. If you want to prevent the baby boom you have to prevent WWII.
Probably the best way is the birth control pill being introduced during or immediately after the war.

Nope, the Pill may not have existed but there were plenty of other contraceptive options available if people wanted to use them. They chose not to. After the war people wanted to settle down and have the families that the war delayed.
 

Basils

Banned
Not ever going to be necessary.

Balderdash. Maximum KIA, based on period estimates, was more like 100,000, with total casualties (KIA, WIA, MIA, DoW) around 250,000.
You’d have to back things up, but the Axis doesn’t lose their strategic reserves in places on their extreme edge of their supply lines. No way, Stalingrad, Tunis and the such. So the USA gets sucked into a place where it learns Kasserine pass lessons in Sicily and takes massive loses and faces a stronger Axis that needs much more grinding down than in out time line. What if the USA suffered over a million KIA? Would they be enough to slow down the baby boom? Plus another year to the war and that’s another year with less men around to get women pregnant
 
My suggestion...

The baby boom is stunted or even stopped by an additive or ingredient in penicillin that makes people sterile...

Hey. Who knows? Thalidomide was a surprise as well.
 
What if the USA suffered over a million KIA? Would they be enough to slow down the baby boom?
Not out of the total population. The Boom might be smaller by a million or so (given miraculous conditions for the Axis), but that's a drop in the bucket.

IMO, the only way to avoid the Boom is not to have the Depression, or the war, and probably not have both. Otherwise, you're getting delayed gratification (or delayed ability to have or support kids).
 
You're going to need to screw the US in the War, badly. Soviet level badly where the population losses are so bad so constantly that any Baby Boom cannot make up for the dead. That in itself will make for a different economic, social and psychological situation after the War.

You would need to have WW2 completely become life or death for the continental US during the war. The war would need to physically feel desperate. It was in a lot of places but I mean absolutely desperate. You can do whatever "spice" you want for the details: a competent and unnaturally successful Italy, Japan hitting Pearl Harbor worse and with better early success in the Pacific, a better but failed defense by the Germans on D-Day, the Germans managing a breakout with the Battle of the Bulge that does not win the war but prolonged it, and probably better terror weapons that hit the US (like the Japanese plan to release plagues really working). And despite all that, you need to walk that fine line of the Axis not winning but not losing for longer and with greater harm to the US.

The emphasis is not fewer Boomers. Though that would happen, it's a red herring. The emphasis would be on a recovering, tired War Generation in a world with a different mood. The parents would be a generation of Survivors and the OTL Boomers would be the children of survivors trying to make something out of a broken humanity that had exhausted itself fighting bullies.
 
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