If WW1 and 2 never happened, would European nations be the main superpowers today?

Oct 2016
1,104
Merryland
#2
absolutely.

the real question is, would they have maintained their colonies?

probably not.

very glad so many colonies achieved independence without too much bloodshed (India).
 
Jun 2017
2,891
Connecticut
#3
The empires dependent on colonies would be pretty unclear as like sailorsam mentioned it's unlikely they keep their colonies all the way to the present but Germany and Russia most certainly would be much better off. France would likely be less powerful(and by that I mean more powerful but less powerful relative to other powers) because her status as one of the big five at the UN is based on her being on the winning side of the two world war's while she was one of the weakest great powers, so I think France is better off power wise in our timeline.

The great power lineup would likely be the following.

USA, Germany, Russia, Japan, UK

Main differences here are Germany and Japan replacing France and China along with Russia being stronger. Germany and France in our timeline are headed towards being the centerpieces of an EU so how much is that difference really, so really the big change here would be Asia with Japan being a great power instead of China. Important to note Austro-Hungarian survival doesn't equal them remaining one of the world's preeminent powers. Italy still having Libya(which given the small population, proximity and likely colonization I'm going to predict without the World Wars) doesn't make Italy a great power either, Italy, Austria and France would be secondary powers along with the Ottomans.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,054
Dispargum
#4
^ Where would you rank China if not in the top five? Would Japan be in the top five without the benefit of post-war rebuilding to include the introduction of democracy?
 
Jun 2017
2,891
Connecticut
#6
^ Where would you rank China if not in the top five? Would Japan be in the top five without the benefit of post-war rebuilding to include the introduction of democracy?
China would not be able to free themselves from foreign subjugation, the world wars are what allowed China to escape foreign domination in our timeline, first getting rid of Germany, and then getting rid of Japan. Remember Japan was an ally of the UK and the only reason that alliance ended is because the US made that a demand for the Washington Naval Treaty if the US was going to accept an equal fleet size to the UK(despite being on pace to far surpass the UK) so the UK and Japan wouldn't team up to fight the US with a combined larger fleet. Without WWI, that disarmament conference never happens(because the UK can still afford their gigantic USN sized fleet) and Japan would be free to dominate China and Asia with British encouragement and international sanction(Germany also had holdings in China and the region that wouldn't just magically go away like they did in our timeline). Without Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations and the subsequent introduction of anti aggression and self determination as pillars of the world order, the status quo would remain and a feature of this was European powers and Japan dominating China.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,054
Dispargum
#7
^ I don't know. I doubt China would have remained down forever. Sooner or later a strongman would have taken power in China and set things right. If not Mao, then someone else - possilby Chiang if he did not have to fight the Japanese and Mao at the same time. If not Chiang, then someone else. I can see Japan still invading China, but I don't see the US standing by and doing nothing about it. Nor would Britain necessarily remain allied to Japan if Japan threatened British interests in China. Even if China and Japan were at war in the 1940s, I can still see China rising into the top five by 2018. That actually did happen. I don't see a war between Japan and China remaining local. Someone else, most likely the US, would get dragged in.


Pre WW1, Britain was already strapped to finance construction of the Dreadnoughts. I suspect there would still be a Washington Naval Treaty. Without WW1 then perhaps the treaty would have been signed earlier. Wilhelm II was the only one who wanted a naval arms race, and even he gave up circa 1912.
 
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Feb 2016
4,357
Japan
#8
They would be better off Britain, France and Germany especially. Russia may still be a monarchy.

Their empires would still have collapsed ... probably not as peacefully in the British case.

But they’d be ethnically and culturally less diverse, probably more agressive and warlike.
 

arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
#9
Yes. Probably some empires would collapse, peacefully.

I wonder if WWI would even happen for the Russian Empire if there were not such thing as the Dardanelles.
 

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