Trivial events that made history

antonina

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
6,304
Warsaw, Poland
#1
One of the most interesting things about history is how completely trivial events occasionally bring about huge consequences - the pebble that triggers an avalanche.

Was there such a thing in the history of your country, or any other that comes to your mind?

The effects needn't be catastrophic - positive count as well.
 
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antonina

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
6,304
Warsaw, Poland
#2
For example: Catherine of Aragon gives Henry a strapping son. Result:

Henry doesn't break with Rome.
Anne Boleyn - just another mistress.
Thomas More dies in bed.
No Queen Elisabeth.
English abbeys keep their stained glass windows.
No Cromwell, no Puritans.
No "Little Britain", perhaps? ;)

Do you think this might work better as a speculative history thread?
 
Dec 2011
1,392
#3
Whatever sparked the Great Fire of London was likely some very mundane everyday thing. Would London and therefore England and therefore the world be the same if this (and the rebuild) had not happened?
 
Sep 2012
1,104
Taiwan
#5
From one of my own areas of interest: The birth of Sima Yu in 278. Sima Yu was the exceptionally gifted son of Sima Zhong, crown prince of the Jin dynasty of China, and grandson of Emperor Wu (Sima Yan). One of the primary reasons Sima Yan allowed Sima Zhong to retain his position of crown prince was because of the former's affection for his grandson Sima Yu (Sima Zhong was both developmentally disabled and married to a particularly Machiavellian wife, both of which were catalysts for China's decline at the turn of the fourth century). Had Sima Yu not been born, Sima Zhong might not have come to the throne in 290, the War of the Eight Princes might not have happened, China might not have been overrun by nomadic tribes and perhaps wouldn't have faced three centuries of division. Even if Sima Zhong did come to the throne, it was Sima Yu's actual death in 300 that caused the War of the Eight Princes to escalate, so even then without him things might have been very different.
 

antonina

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
6,304
Warsaw, Poland
#6
Some bloke with a black hand shot an Austrian Arch Duke, or an ostrich depending on your sources.
This does come to mind, but then it's not really this trivial (not for Ferdinand ;)) event which brought about WWI - it would have broken out one way or another, wouldn't it?

Whereas if not for Catherine's natal mishap the entire history of England would have (probably) run a different course.

Whatever sparked the Great Fire of London was likely some very mundane everyday thing. Would London and therefore England and therefore the world be the same if this (and the rebuild) had not happened?
A different London certainly, we might be able to see some medieval streets, a bit of Shakespeare's town.

How did it happen I wonder. Someone drunk tripped going upstairs with a candle?
 

jackydee

Ad Honorem
Jan 2013
4,569
Brigadoon
#7
This does come to mind, but then it's not really this trivial (not for Ferdinand ;)) event which brought about WWI - it would have broken out one way or another, wouldn't it?

Whereas if not for Catherine's natal mishap the entire history of England would have (probably) run a different course.



A different London certainly, we might be able to see some medieval streets, a bit of Shakespeare's town.

How did it happen I wonder. Someone drunk tripped going upstairs with a candle?
It started in a baker's, I think. Though at the time there was allsorts of conspiracy's about Spanish agents starting it, or was it the French? Im sure I read a few foreigners were attacked in the days afterwards.
 

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