How would the world map look right now without the World Wars?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,437
SoCal
How would the world map look right now without the World Wars?

Would Europe's 1914 borders have remained in place up to the present-day? Or would there have been some changes to Europe's borders in this scenario--for instance, as a result of an eventual revolution in Austria-Hungary which results in the country breaking up?

Also, in this scenario, would European countries have been able to permanently keep some of their colonies and perhaps to fully integrate them into the metropole? This is an especially interesting question considering that there would have been more surviving White people without the World Wars and thus very possibly greater White settlement in the Third World--or at least in certain parts of the Third World--in this scenario.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,629
Dispargum
Very little difference. Assuming the urge for self rule and self determination remain constant, the various peoples of the world would have found different ways to form nation-states based on ethnic identity. The world wars were only a process, not a result. Without the world wars the world would have found different processes to achieve the same end.

The colonial empires would still be gone today. They may have lasted a few decades longer, but they would not have made it into the 21st century. India and Pakistan would still be two different countries. Those two peoples were never going to live together in a single independent state. French Indo-China would still have broken up into Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Yugoslavia and Czechoslavakia would never have existed. Their component peoples would have gone directly to self rule. Israel might not exist without the world wars. There would be no Palestinian problem today. Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, etc may have lasted a little longer, but would all be gone by now. Lithuania, Ukraine, Kazakstan, etc would all be independent today.

Germany might still control East and West Prussia. Other areas that are ethnically diverse where no single group dominates, might belong to the other ethnic group. The Tyrol and Trieste may or may not be part of Italy today. The borders of the Middle East would be radically different without Sykes-Picot.

The Romanovs, the Hohenzwollerns, the Hapsburgs, etc would all have fallen by now. The post monarchial regimes may or may not have included an experiment with Communism. Probably would have, but perhaps in different countries. Without Communism, China might still be chaotic as under Chiang.

Some technologies may not have been developed or may have taken longer. Without wartime development of rockets and without Cold War stimulus, we may have never gone to the Moon. Other space technologes, like communications satellites, might not exist today. Cell phones and other recent technologies might still be a few years in the future. There might not be an internet yet.
 
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Jun 2017
2,976
Connecticut
Assuming nukes create the same second half of the twentieth century with no war(which I think has to be somewhat attributed to the world wars creating war fatigue) and there's no more major conflicts here's what I think.

German Empire's boundary's remain the same and would today be a constitutional monarchy similar to the UK's. They will probably fight a war with the Japanese over their colonial possessions in the Pacific. Depending on how the naval arms race goes in this scenario how that would turn out varies but Japan and Germany would collide at some point.

France would eventually give up on acquiring Alsace-Lorraine. France would focus all her efforts on keeping her colonial empire and it's likely she manages to be somewhat more successful at this enterprise than in our timeline(which wouldn't take much). Decolonization would not occur the same way without the World War's and while revolutions would still be fought, the colonial powers would put up considerably more of a fight without the fatigue of the world wars.

UK would take a longer time to give the Irish and everyone else their independence and might be able to avoid giving independence at all(movement for Ireland independence rather than Home Rule started during the war because of UK reaction that would have been different in peacetime). India and the empire might go along the Canadian path politically and the UK would have somewhat better success retaining their empire if they appeased these colonies with autonomy. Like with France don't believe the entire empire would stay together but I do think decolonization would be slower and the UK would have quite a few colonies. British house is still called Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The damage to India in terms of creating religious classes was done though and division into Pakistan and India likely still happens(Bangladesh probably not) though Pakistan would likely be the favored twin so I'm not sure they would revert to nuclear weapons to counter Indian nuclear weapons since the UK already would(at some point) have them, which is the main issue here.

Austria-Hungary survives, I have always been opposed to this logic the empire was doomed to fail, the main discontents with the empire were the Bohemians who'd always hated the Catholic Hapsburgs(see Thirty Years War) and Bosnia which was land the Austrians had just acquired that Serbia wanted. No inherent weaknesses here, seems like the biggest misconception in history that this was a "powder keg". Archduke Franz Ferdinand expands the monarchy into a third piece with Bohemia or Bohemia gains independence but the Austrian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Croat and Polish core of the empire survives and don't see a reason it wouldn't barring external forces. Losing Bosnia was inevitable and I think the Austrians would let it go. Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia would stay in Austria and Hungary and seeing that they had been there for about a millennia didn't really see any inherent issues with this. Poles were also happier to be in the Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire than in Protestant Germany or Orthodox Russia and while Poland would have been a preferable alternative, it was not a realistic one since it was controlled by three countries. Transylvania would be a mess but it's a mess today and it's not really possible to carve this out along demographic lines. Given how the country is tied together by it's monarch I think Austria-Hungary's monarch does not become a symbolic figurehead and the monarchy survives until there is an unpopular monarch in which case it will become a republic but I think a non constitutional monarch in the Hapsburg empire might have survived indefinably. While it's hard to know for sure Chalres and Otto both seem like men who'd be pretty popular monarchs especially if Franz Joseph was. Then again the Archduke would still be alive so they wouldn't be the next monarchs but let's just say for the sake of argument, like happened so often with the Hapsburgs, Ferdinand doesn't have kids or his kids don't survive to adulthood and Charles or Otto becomes Emperor.

In Russia the Tsar's son taking over would be interesting. Without the War, I do think the Tsar retains control and during Alexi's reign the opportunity would be taken to drastically democratize the country and the Tsar would slowly become a constituional monarch. Russia will have a hard time dealing with all of it's Balkans satellites who all hate each other because of the pre WWI wars. I do think the Austrians and Russians will give up on Bosnia but if either the Serbs acquite it they won't give up on Croatia or if Bosnia becomes independent the Serbians won't accept it. WWI is proof that the Serbs would have no problem fighting to the death against a superior opponent(per ratio of population, Serbia had a considerably harder WWI than the Soviets WWII in terms of loss of life) just to prove a point so they will still be a destabilizing force with Russian backers or without them. Russia without WWI and WWII though will be a major force to be reckoned with in the 20th and 21st century's and would likely be a superpower along with the US, Germany and the UK.

The Ottoman Empire would survive and the Israeli-Palestine conflict and all the issue in the Middle East would basically be averted. Yay! I'm hopeful the Armenian genocide would either be stopped because the war was over or that the international community(which would have the power to let the Russians achieve their Constantinople dreams which is about as great a leverage as possible) would intervene.

The USA would continue to expand in population, industrial power and military power similar to how China is right now in our timeline. Without WWI, USA will not become the World Policeman and will continue it's policy of staying in it's own neighborhood and dominating Latin America and the Pacific Ocean.

Important to note Japan's imperial ambitions are not effected by these wars not occurring unlike the other two Axis powers. This is interesting for two reasons, one there would be no Washington Treaty or Naval disarmament, in our timeline the US only agreed to this disarmament if the UK ended their alliance with the Japanese. Here that alliance would continue and the Japanese wouldn't feel as resentful over the racist Versailles snub. Japan with UK support might oppose German and US interests in the region. The UK staying in the Japanese picture makes it very muddy and hard to say what would happen.

China would not be a great power and would remain under shared Japanese and European domination for the near future.

Without the Treaty of London and the Versailles Conference, Italy doesn't go Fascist, without WWI Fascism doesn't arrive at all since WWI was the main thing that led to his occuring. Italy might retain a monarchy given how close the referendum was in our timeline(and how much stuff it followed) and will like many monarchs that in our timeline collapsed will gradually drift towards what the UK's monarchy is. Italy's monarchy was already considerably closer to this model than Germany, Austria and Russia. Italy would still retain Libya to this day. Given Libya's small population, geographical proximity to Italy, likely continued colonization and the fact it was Italy's only colony I do not see Italy losing Libya. No Colonel Gaddafi and the aftermath of Colonel Qaddafi.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,437
SoCal
Very little difference. Assuming the urge for self rule and self determination remain constant, the various peoples of the world would have found different ways to form nation-states based on ethnic identity. The world wars were only a process, not a result. Without the world wars the world would have found different processes to achieve the same end.

The colonial empires would still be gone today. They may have lasted a few decades longer, but they would not have made it into the 21st century. India and Pakistan would still be two different countries. Those two peoples were never going to live together in a single independent state. French Indo-China would still have broken up into Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Yugoslavia and Czechoslavakia would never have existed. Their component peoples would have gone directly to self rule. Israel might not exist without the world wars. There would be no Palestinian problem today. Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, etc may have lasted a little longer, but would all be gone by now. Lithuania, Ukraine, Kazakstan, etc would all be independent today.

Germany might still control East and West Prussia. Other areas that are ethnically diverse where no single group dominates, might belong to the other ethnic group. The Tyrol and Trieste may or may not be part of Italy today. The borders of the Middle East would be radically different without Sykes-Picot.

The Romanovs, the Hohenzwollerns, the Hapsburgs, etc would all have fallen by now. The post monarchial regimes may or may not have included an experiment with Communism. Probably would have, but perhaps in different countries. Without Communism, China might still be chaotic as under Chiang.

Some technologies may not have been developed or may have taken longer. Without wartime development of rockets and without Cold War stimulus, we may have never gone to the Moon. Other space technologes, like communications satellites, might not exist today. Cell phones and other recent technologies might still be a few years in the future. There might not be an internet yet.
You don't think that there was any hope of the Romanovs, Hohenzollerns, and Hapsburgs becoming constitutional monarchs?

Also, for what it's worth, countries generally tend to oppose secession. Indeed, new countries were primarily created in real life either as a result of war (such as World War I) or as a result of a multi-ethnic state collapsing and breaking up (such as the Soviet Union's collapse and break-up in 1991).
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,437
SoCal
Assuming nukes create the same second half of the twentieth century with no war(which I think has to be somewhat attributed to the world wars creating war fatigue) and there's no more major conflicts here's what I think.

German Empire's boundary's remain the same and would today be a constitutional monarchy similar to the UK's. They will probably fight a war with the Japanese over their colonial possessions in the Pacific. Depending on how the naval arms race goes in this scenario how that would turn out varies but Japan and Germany would collide at some point.
Why exactly would Japan pick on Germany rather than on another country, though? After all, France, the Netherlands, Britain, and the U.S. all had territorial possessions in this region.

France would eventually give up on acquiring Alsace-Lorraine. France would focus all her efforts on keeping her colonial empire and it's likely she manages to be somewhat more successful at this enterprise than in our timeline(which wouldn't take much). Decolonization would not occur the same way without the World War's and while revolutions would still be fought, the colonial powers would put up considerably more of a fight without the fatigue of the world wars.
Exactly which colonies (which includes Algeria in a de facto sense) do you think the European powers would have been able to keep up to the present-day?

UK would take a longer time to give the Irish and everyone else their independence and might be able to avoid giving independence at all(movement for Ireland independence rather than Home Rule started during the war because of UK reaction that would have been different in peacetime). India and the empire might go along the Canadian path politically and the UK would have somewhat better success retaining their empire if they appeased these colonies with autonomy. Like with France don't believe the entire empire would stay together but I do think decolonization would be slower and the UK would have quite a few colonies. British house is still called Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The damage to India in terms of creating religious classes was done though and division into Pakistan and India likely still happens(Bangladesh probably not) though Pakistan would likely be the favored twin so I'm not sure they would revert to nuclear weapons to counter Indian nuclear weapons since the UK already would(at some point) have them, which is the main issue here.
Which colonies do you think that Britain is likely to keep in this scenario?

Also, why exactly don't you see Bangladesh seceding from Pakistan in this scenario?

Austria-Hungary survives, I have always been opposed to this logic the empire was doomed to fail, the main discontents with the empire were the Bohemians who'd always hated the Catholic Hapsburgs(see Thirty Years War) and Bosnia which was land the Austrians had just acquired that Serbia wanted. No inherent weaknesses here, seems like the biggest misconception in history that this was a "powder keg". Archduke Franz Ferdinand expands the monarchy into a third piece with Bohemia or Bohemia gains independence but the Austrian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Croat and Polish core of the empire survives and don't see a reason it wouldn't barring external forces.
An independent Bohemia might be problematic since the Sudeten Germans would probably demand to either remain a part of Austria-Hungary or become a part of Germany and Bohemia without the Sudetenland would be hurt economically.

Losing Bosnia was inevitable and I think the Austrians would let it go. Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia would stay in Austria and Hungary and seeing that they had been there for about a millennia didn't really see any inherent issues with this. Poles were also happier to be in the Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire than in Protestant Germany or Orthodox Russia and while Poland would have been a preferable alternative, it was not a realistic one since it was controlled by three countries.
If the Romanovs are eventually overthrown in Russia, though, wouldn't Poland acquire independence?

Transylvania would be a mess but it's a mess today and it's not really possible to carve this out along demographic lines.
Simply giving all of it to Romania sounds like a good idea, though. :)

Given how the country is tied together by it's monarch I think Austria-Hungary's monarch does not become a symbolic figurehead and the monarchy survives until there is an unpopular monarch in which case it will become a republic but I think a non constitutional monarch in the Hapsburg empire might have survived indefinably.
Would Austria-Hungary actually be viable as a republic, though?

While it's hard to know for sure Chalres and Otto both seem like men who'd be pretty popular monarchs especially if Franz Joseph was. Then again the Archduke would still be alive so they wouldn't be the next monarchs but let's just say for the sake of argument, like happened so often with the Hapsburgs, Ferdinand doesn't have kids or his kids don't survive to adulthood and Charles or Otto becomes Emperor.
Franz Ferdinand had a morganatic marriage and thus his children were ineligible to succeed to the throne. True, FF could have tried changing the succession rules, but given how these rules were centuries-old, this might have created a lot of tensions within the Austro-Hungarian (Hapsburg) royal family and thus this might have been deemed not worth doing.

Also, for what it's worth, I have previously read that Franz Ferdinand had autocratic tendencies.

In Russia the Tsar's son taking over would be interesting. Without the War, I do think the Tsar retains control and during Alexi's reign the opportunity would be taken to drastically democratize the country and the Tsar would slowly become a constituional monarch. Russia will have a hard time dealing with all of it's Balkans satellites who all hate each other because of the pre WWI wars. I do think the Austrians and Russians will give up on Bosnia but if either the Serbs acquite it they won't give up on Croatia or if Bosnia becomes independent the Serbians won't accept it. WWI is proof that the Serbs would have no problem fighting to the death against a superior opponent(per ratio of population, Serbia had a considerably harder WWI than the Soviets WWII in terms of loss of life) just to prove a point so they will still be a destabilizing force with Russian backers or without them. Russia without WWI and WWII though will be a major force to be reckoned with in the 20th and 21st century's and would likely be a superpower along with the US, Germany and the UK.
This seems reasonable other than for Germany becoming a superpower. Basically, I just don't think that Germany would have the demographics to become a superpower unless it perhaps expands at Austria-Hungary's expense.

The Ottoman Empire would survive and the Israeli-Palestine conflict and all the issue in the Middle East would basically be averted. Yay! I'm hopeful the Armenian genocide would either be stopped because the war was over or that the international community(which would have the power to let the Russians achieve their Constantinople dreams which is about as great a leverage as possible) would intervene.
Yeah, I think that the Ottomans would face a military intervention from Russia if they tried to massacre their Armenians in peacetime. That said, though, it's not guaranteed considering that Russia did allow the Hamidian Massacres to occur back in 1895-1896.

The USA would continue to expand in population, industrial power and military power similar to how China is right now in our timeline. Without WWI, USA will not become the World Policeman and will continue it's policy of staying in it's own neighborhood and dominating Latin America and the Pacific Ocean.
Completely agreed with this.

Important to note Japan's imperial ambitions are not effected by these wars not occurring unlike the other two Axis powers. This is interesting for two reasons, one there would be no Washington Treaty or Naval disarmament, in our timeline the US only agreed to this disarmament if the UK ended their alliance with the Japanese. Here that alliance would continue and the Japanese wouldn't feel as resentful over the racist Versailles snub. Japan with UK support might oppose German and US interests in the region. The UK staying in the Japanese picture makes it very muddy and hard to say what would happen.

China would not be a great power and would remain under shared Japanese and European domination for the near future.

Without the Treaty of London and the Versailles Conference, Italy doesn't go Fascist, without WWI Fascism doesn't arrive at all since WWI was the main thing that led to his occuring. Italy might retain a monarchy given how close the referendum was in our timeline(and how much stuff it followed) and will like many monarchs that in our timeline collapsed will gradually drift towards what the UK's monarchy is. Italy's monarchy was already considerably closer to this model than Germany, Austria and Russia. Italy would still retain Libya to this day. Given Libya's small population, geographical proximity to Italy, likely continued colonization and the fact it was Italy's only colony I do not see Italy losing Libya. No Colonel Gaddafi and the aftermath of Colonel Qaddafi.
Completely agreed with everything in these last several paragraphs.
 
Jun 2017
2,976
Connecticut
Why exactly would Japan pick on Germany rather than on another country, though? After all, France, the Netherlands, Britain, and the U.S. all had territorial possessions in this region.



Exactly which colonies (which includes Algeria in a de facto sense) do you think the European powers would have been able to keep up to the present-day?



Which colonies do you think that Britain is likely to keep in this scenario?

Also, why exactly don't you see Bangladesh seceding from Pakistan in this scenario?



An independent Bohemia might be problematic since the Sudeten Germans would probably demand to either remain a part of Austria-Hungary or become a part of Germany and Bohemia without the Sudetenland would be hurt economically.



If the Romanovs are eventually overthrown in Russia, though, wouldn't Poland acquire independence?



Simply giving all of it to Romania sounds like a good idea, though. :)



Would Austria-Hungary actually be viable as a republic, though?



Franz Ferdinand had a morganatic marriage and thus his children were ineligible to succeed to the throne. True, FF could have tried changing the succession rules, but given how these rules were centuries-old, this might have created a lot of tensions within the Austro-Hungarian (Hapsburg) royal family and thus this might have been deemed not worth doing.

Also, for what it's worth, I have previously read that Franz Ferdinand had autocratic tendencies.



This seems reasonable other than for Germany becoming a superpower. Basically, I just don't think that Germany would have the demographics to become a superpower unless it perhaps expands at Austria-Hungary's expense.



Yeah, I think that the Ottomans would face a military intervention from Russia if they tried to massacre their Armenians in peacetime. That said, though, it's not guaranteed considering that Russia did allow the Hamidian Massacres to occur back in 1895-1896.



Completely agreed with this.



Completely agreed with everything in these last several paragraphs.
1)Well they'd be friends with the UK. Maybe the Dutch and French at some point but Shandong and the German stuff was largely closer and easier to take(they are islands).

2)The closer the more likely. France was somewhat close to keeping Algeria in our timeline. UK has an advantage if they follow the Home Rule model but rebellions would still occur if this didn't happen, Europeans would be much less willing to let the colonies go though and would put up a fight. Italy and Libya is the one I'm most sure of for the reasons I stated last post. Asia gets complex because Japan invaded the colonial region and the resistance to Japan became the resistance to colonizers. I'm not well informed on how well the Dutch were liked or disliked in Indonesia.

Another one I just thought of is that the UK probably keeps Hong Kong, if China's not a great power(and if Japan is not deposed as regional power they can't be) don't see them losing it, Hong Kong was willing to stay British..

3)The UK would still be in control was what I was thinking especially in Pakistain

4)I think they would be the third crown and they'd be a triple monarchy. I'm saying they'd have a chance of being independent anyway.

5)I didn't say the Romanov's would be overthrown. But no, Russia would still maintain her empire. In our timeline the situation was quite extreme.

6)I'm split on this.

7)That's a complex question. What I do feel strongly on is that Austria-Hungary was not a nation state and was wedded by their common monarch(ironically the same way the UK is wedded together that never gets mentioned) and without the monarch it would be hard to keep the empire together. Austria-Hungary was two separate countries and it would make little sense to keep them together without the emperor what's important to note is that Austria and Hungary would be considerably larger than their 1919-1920 borders, especially Hungary.

8)Yeah so I guess we can revert to Charles and Otto taking the throne. Based on my perception of them(Franz Joseph was popular) I do believe they were the kinds of people capable of keeping the monarchy together at least as a constitutional one if not retaining substantive powers.

9)Why not? They certainly would have been more powerful British(surpassed them economically) and Japanese. US and Russia could have been stronger long term. Don't think Austria and the Subetenland is an utter necessity and in the 19th century while Austria was off limits anyway because of the Hapsburg connection, politically it would be a huge advantage for the Centre Party(the Catholic dominated party) which was already a major party and their opponents all over the political spectrum would be tough to get on board. When Hitler annexed it of course this was not a concern because Germany was a one party state and it also was something that mattered to Hitler(being Austrian) a great deal more than it did to the Junkers.

10)Yeah it is unclear.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,629
Dispargum
You don't think that there was any hope of the Romanovs, Hohenzollerns, and Hapsburgs becoming constitutional monarchs?

Also, for what it's worth, countries generally tend to oppose secession. Indeed, new countries were primarily created in real life either as a result of war (such as World War I) or as a result of a multi-ethnic state collapsing and breaking up (such as the Soviet Union's collapse and break-up in 1991).

Alright, I suppose some of them could have become constitutional monarchs. I was really thinking that democracy would have emerged in those countries. They would not be absolute monarchies today.

I agree that the emergence of modern nation-states based on ethnic identity would not be neat and clean. Without the world wars there would have been other wars as subject peoples fought to obtain independence and self determination. The tendency toward ethnic-based self determination was a constant in the 20th century quite independent of the world wars. The movement took advantage of the world wars. It was not caused by the world wars.
 
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May 2016
74
US
European countries probably would have been more royalist, right-wing, and imperialist. Most of the colonial empires would have continued, though France (due to declining population and socialist popularity) and Belgium (due to unsustainability) would have decolonized. The British, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese colonial empires likely would have continued. Britain would be far-right by modern standards and focused on the Empire.

Empires would be in constant Red Scare and have persecution of communists as a constant bogeyman.

Without WW1 and the Russian Civil War, Russia might actually have 500-600 million people which would make them insanely powerful and the main "enemy superpower" to a coalition of several other countries.

Due to some amount of overpopulation in Europe there would have been mass economic emigration from Germany, Poland (under German and Russian control), and Russia. Possibly over a hundred million emigrating from those countries, and many might have been recruited by the colonial empires, though most would go to the US and Latin America.

China may have been humiliated several times by Japan and coalitions of European powers. Not necessarily conquered, though. Likely China remains independent except say, a Japanese Manchuria. China may become communist and stay that way to oppose foreign meddling.

The Ottoman Empire would survive but become an economic puppet of several countries. They might be able to break out of this by playing off other powers, though. I am not convinced that a surviving Ottoman Empire would actually be better for Arabs.

Israel may have formed eventually encouraged by Britain, if the Ottomans ever face some sort of southern emergency or rebellion.

Romania would be rich from oil.

Latin America would be better off without the Cold War, and with "colonial" efforts focused on the Old World instead of in interventions in Latin America, though how much better off it's hard to say.

Most of Africa would be worse off, except some areas like Egypt. If Ethiopia is never invaded by Italy, it would be better off.
 

Edgewaters

Ad Honorem
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
No USSR, and no Marxist-Leninist regimes elsewhere.
There would be lots more people in the world.
Technology might be a bit less advanced.
Imperialism would have slowed, but it would still be around in a reduced fashion.
Europe would be more powerful and more independent of the US.
No Israel, and a more stable Middle East.
Probably the Middle East would be dominated by a Czarist but liberal Russia.
There would probably have been a Cold War regardless, for geopolitical reasons.
Much reduced American power.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,574
Las Vegas, NV USA


A conservative guess. Probably Ireland would be independent and the Ottoman Empire would be smaller with the loss of the mideastern territories. Austria and Hungary would be completely separated.
 
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