It has often occurred to me that things would be a lot different if certain turning points in history did not happen. Moving back to the South has made me think more about the War Between the States (as I was taught to call it... you may know it as the Civil War). What would Reconstruction have looked like if Lincoln had not been assassinated? The man who ordered the band to play Dixie in tribute to his fallen enemy would not have run things the way his successors did. How about before that? What if Stonewall Jackson had lived? He was a brilliant strategist and might contributed to the Confederacy winning the war. What if the Confederacy had won the war? Would what is now the US be two countries... or more? (For the record, I don't believe slavery as a way of life would have survived in any case... it was not efficient... but I think blacks in the South would still be living in segregation if the Confederacy existed as a separate nation.) As you can see, there are a lot of "What If"s? around and there are those who believe that every major turning point spins off its own alternate universe where that course of events is the reality. I think it's possible.
Here is another that intrigues me even more than the one mentioned above. Celts were widespread across Europe. There were Celtic settlements in the Middle East (Saint Paul's Galations were Celts as much as Julius Caesar's Gauls) and Celtic mercenaries in Egypt. So why are Celts reduced to remnants on the fringe of Europe? Because they never united with one another but fought as individual or, occasionally, allied clans. What if there was someone who could have united them to fight together in the early days of Roman aggression? What if there was a Celtic Empire instead of a Roman Empire. It would be a different world and I often wonder what that world would have been like.
What do you think?