Monday, November 19, 2007

Alternate History Weirdness

Alternate history is a weird sub-culture. There's a whole segment of the population who ponder the what-ifs of our past. Usually the pondering involves something called a POD or point of divergence. A point of divergence is a critical moment in time where the result is the opposite of what actually happened.

Not surprisingly, here in the good ol' USA, most alternate history involves the Civil War. The conflict provides many potential PODs: Order 191 is not lost, Lee wins Gettysburg, Grant is cashiered following Shiloh, etc.

The above map is interesting in its divergence is in 1787.

In 1787, a fire in the Philadelphia State House kills George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and other members of the Constitutional Convention. This leads to a radically different constitution, and a fundamentally weaker Union.
It reminds me of a book I read in the 80s called The Nine Nations of North America. I don't know if any of this means dilly, but I can't help being fascinated.

Read the full alternate history timeline at Strange Maps.

No comments: