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  • United Who?

    What if the United States, after the American Revolutionary War, was plauged with weak governments, poor military, and lack of innovation in technology? The Industrial Revolution doesn't hit America as strongly (if at all). By the 20th Century, America never became more than a minor power.

    So how would this affect the world?

    (Also, since the U.S. was weak, they never even attempted to attack other powers like Spain or Mexico. Just wanted to make that clear)

  • #2
    West coast is Mexican. It's unlikely the Amerinds would be able to maintain independence. Mexico was more than capable of dominating them.

    The British would bully us and harass us (well, not us...I'd be a Mexican in that case).

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    • #3
      You would have to fundamentaly change the US to get this result.

      The Government WAS weak, the Military WAS poor.... by European standards. European Aristocrats refused to learn from the American Civil War (Russia was a notable exception) because it was "armed mobs chasing each other around the wilderness, from whom little can be learned".


      Okay... lets say the one thing that made the American Revolution different from the others is not there. Our Revolution turns against itself... as is usualy the case.
      Washington gets killed trying to break up a drunken brawl between his own officers. Instead of being the first National Leader in modern times to voluntarily step down from power... something that shocked the world... Washington goes to his grave and a leaderless Congress is lead around by the nose by a series of War heroes or.... or what?

      This is not working for me. The Founding Fathers set a course and the whole war was fought on the premise that less Government is better Government and that achievers ought to be free to reap the rewards of hard work and good ideas.
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
        You would have to fundamentaly change the US to get this result.

        The Government WAS weak, the Military WAS poor.... by European standards. ...
        What was strong was European investment. Post revolution Britian was still the largest investor in the US, but it was no longer able to exercise a monopoly. Other European businesses or banks were able to gamble on investment in the development of industry and extraction of the raw materials. Without that mass of cash & credits, and a robust American banking system to direct or distribute it the industrial development here would have been much slower.


        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
        Okay... lets say the one thing that made the American Revolution different from the others is not there. Our Revolution turns against itself... as is usualy the case.
        Washington gets killed trying to break up a drunken brawl between his own officers. Instead of being the first National Leader in modern times to voluntarily step down from power... something that shocked the world... Washington goes to his grave and a leaderless Congress is lead around by the nose by a series of War heroes or.... or what?

        This is not working for me. The Founding Fathers set a course and the whole war was fought on the premise that less Government is better Government and that achievers ought to be free to reap the rewards of hard work and good ideas.
        Washington also used the considerable power he had through political connections and a intensly loyal group of supporters to sort out the early establishment and organization of the Federal government. Most other candidates for the first presidency, like Adams or Jefferson, would waste to much time struggling with all the squabbles and petty fights of the Congress and States governments.

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        • #5
          Oh, okay.

          So, are we too broke to by Louisiana, too?

          If so, North America becomes a battleground for the Napoleonic wars, and Britain can hijack as many American sailors as they like.
          Russia keeps Alaska, no nation takes a stand against Colonial Imperialism (the failure of the US to thrive sets that movement back a century or so, and Germany wins one World War or another, take your pick.

          Dark times.
          "Why is the Rum gone?"

          -Captain Jack

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            Oh, okay.

            So, are we too broke to by Louisiana, too?
            Perhaps, or too politically inept? A weak president & fractacious Congress cant agree to purchase?

            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            If so, North America becomes a battleground for the Napoleonic wars, and Britain can hijack as many American sailors as they like.
            Russia keeps Alaska, no nation takes a stand against Colonial Imperialism (the failure of the US to thrive sets that movement back a century or so, and Germany wins one World War or another, take your pick.

            Dark times.
            I've been told Russia sold Alaska to the US to prevent Britian from taking the area by force. If the US is a nonplayer in the Pacific then Britian might add Alaska to its Canadian provinces.

            Similarly Louisiana might become a British prize at the end of the Napoleonic wars. Or it might revert to Bourbon possesion in the final settlement after 1814.

            Mexico may become a major player in North America. Or it might break up into several nations. It was a large place with poor communications before the railroads. The tidal wave of European immigrants does not necessarily stop just because the US is a weak entity. So, Mexico may disintigrate into several states. Some of those may not necessarily be Spanish speaking and Catholic. ie: Tejas & California are geographical possibles.

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            • #7
              If Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne had been defeated in 1794 in the Northwest Indian War (or Little Turtle's War) in Ohio...The USA might just have remained a weak collection of states on the east coast of North America. There's an interesting article about Wayne's campaign in the latest issue of Military History magazine.
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              • #8
                We were plauged by weak government, rival states issues, no military, no way to collect taxes, no way enforce laws, little respect from foreign powers, no united goals or actions, in the toilet economy, and the list goes on and on. That is why the Articles of Confederation was thrown out and the Constitution established.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LtCol View Post
                  We were plauged by weak government, rival states issues, no military, no way to collect taxes, no way enforce laws, little respect from foreign powers, no united goals or actions, in the toilet economy, and the list goes on and on. That is why the Articles of Confederation was thrown out and the Constitution established.
                  What we were however were shameless smugglers and when necessary priates. We consistently refused to accept any restriction on trade regardless of what European powers were at war and to take substantial risk of loss to realize the great profits that could be realized by being free traders in such circumstance.

                  Curiously the most immediate effect might have been the destruction of the southern planataion system either through lack of markets or being force into uneconomic relationships with European markets.

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                  • #10
                    True, but so what?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                      Russia keeps Alaska
                      Well, Russia sold it for the reason it was no longer feasible to keep it and that Britain would get it anyway as Russia didn't have any strong navy in the Pacific. So it would've lost it this way or another. Maybe it would've even sold it to Britian, for an even smaller price.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CATO1948 View Post

                        Curiously the most immediate effect might have been the destruction of the southern planataion system either through lack of markets or being force into uneconomic relationships with European markets.
                        Tobacco had been in decline from the latter half of the 18th Century. That was destroying the plantation or industrial slave operated farms. Had the Cotton Gin not become available & made the cotton industries expansion practical the Plantations farms would have dwindled into a anchronism, run by a few old families longing for their 18th Century glory days. Efforts to turn the plantations to other crops had been sucessfull on a individual scale. ie Washingtons conversion of Mt Vernon into industrial scale food production. But that required a high level of technical knowledge, a willinigness to inovate, sales skills (to sell the products), and a willingness to put in the long hours running a business. Most of the plantation owners were unwilling or unable to make the transition, despite the example of several sucessfull men like Washington.

                        William H Harrisons effort to establish a plantation economy in the Indiana territory in the 1820 - 30s failed as the small farmers proved more viable in supplying the grain markets. The failure of Harrison & his associates demonstrated the inability of the average plantation farmer to compete in the food market. It required slavery & monoculture of a high demand crop, like Tobacco or Cotton to make the plantation system sustainable. Without industrial development in the former colonies Cotton would not be viable there & the plantations would atrophy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                          If Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne had been defeated in 1794 in the Northwest Indian War (or Little Turtle's War) in Ohio...The USA might just have remained a weak collection of states on the east coast of North America. There's an interesting article about Wayne's campaign in the latest issue of Military History magazine.
                          Waynes victory is the best known of the war for the Northwest Territory. Harrisons victory at Tippecanoe was one of the several others. There were defeats aswell. A few kilometers east of Harrisons victory is the site where a miltia raiding party was ambushed and run off with heavy losses by a Miami warband.

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                          • #14
                            Britain would annex the US and rule like 80% of North America. Then Canada would be in ctrl of the US =D
                            A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amenta Kaiser View Post
                              What if the United States, after the American Revolutionary War, was plauged with weak governments, poor military, and lack of innovation in technology? The Industrial Revolution doesn't hit America as strongly (if at all). By the 20th Century, America never became more than a minor power.

                              So how would this affect the world?

                              (Also, since the U.S. was weak, they never even attempted to attack other powers like Spain or Mexico. Just wanted to make that clear)
                              OK, they stick to the Articles of Confederation as the governing document and quickly divide into five or six confederated interests. The British soon take New England and the central states while Spain take a portion of the South.

                              The odd thing is that with less national restraint than existed, I believe that European expansion into the West would be greater albeit with the formation of dozens of European sized nation constantly fighting over resources.

                              IOW, as close as early America came to falling as it was, a few fundamental changes would mean no USA at all.
                              "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                              George Mason
                              Co-author of the Second Amendment
                              during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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