Alternate History Thread

A change in a historical event is proposed. The community then discusses how the rest of history plays out, including the impact on the world today if there is any.

Once the discussion has played out, another change can be proposed (anyone can make the proposal).

Note: I won’t try to police when a discussion has “played out”. The thread will evolve as it wants to.

Change: Columbus’ ships are all damaged beyond repair on his first voyage and he and his crew are stuck in the Caribbean with no way back to Europe.


Personally, I’m not entirely sure that things would be all that different. I suspect that someone else would have attempted a similar journey by the mid 1500’s or so.

I wonder about the whole disease thing - would old world diseases have spread a bit slower (having been introduced by Columbus, but not exacerbated by the hundreds of others who would come in the next few decades), maybe giving some time for immunity to build up so that fewer people would have died?

If they didn’t die from disease, it would have been from war.
A little longer and more Euro’s would have died.

I always wondered what would have happened if CP/M became the dominant operating system of the 90s

War can definitely be devastating, but I doubt any wars in history have come close to the mortality rate of the old world diseases spreading across the new world. I don’t think Columbus’ presence would have significantly decreased that spread though - it would have happened much like it did, just 50 years or so later.

Yes - more Euros would have died if the native populations hadn’t been softened. The Euros still would have won, eventually.

Instead of being discovered by Columbus, North America was discovered by an Indian man who named the Native Americans “Italians”, since he believed he had landed in Italy.

I’m not very good at history. I’m assuming here that Columbus was from Italy, and thought he had landed in India. Feel free to correct my post if I’m wrong!


Well, he was trying to find a route to the East Indies. So, a Filipino or Indonesian or Malaysian looking for a route to Europe, and more specifically, if we are mirroring Columbus, to Spain.

Yeah, to be clear, Columbus himself was Italian. But he was sent to find a route to the East Indies by the King and Queen of Spain.

Genoan (Genoese?), I don’t think Italy existed at the time. Ironically the American-Italians who celebrate his legacy typically have family who would have been from the Kingdom of Naples, or of the Two Sicilies, which wouldn’t have exactly claimed ownership over some guy from Genoa.

I was thinking Spain, but I googled where he was from and it popped up Italy so I went with it. Was too lazy to search more.

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No worries. Check the thread title. It’s all acceptable.

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Next topic:

Breckinridge won the 1860 presidential election

I was hoping for:
“The Manson crew went to the house next door to Sharon Tate’s…”

The thread is the community’s to do with as it pleases. If people would rather respond to that one…

“First off, I don’t see how someone can get 1.3 million votes and NOT get elected President!!” (Even worse, come in FOURTH!)

So, before we discuss the consequences, how does this plausibly happen? None of Lincoln’s electoral states were gonna flip. And if they did, it would go to the HoR. And, they’d vote for Breckenridge as the “compromise” candidate? More likely to choose Bell.
Anywho, Civil War delayed another 4-12 years.

We don’t care about “how it happened” so much in this thread. It happened. Now what happens next?

I already answered.