Not sure/don't know
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(1) What if Truman had decided to DEMONSTRATE the power of the atomic bomb to the Japanese by, say, exploding one ten miles offshore from Tokyo? How would history be different?
(2) What if Hitler had decided to launch an invasion of Great Britain before turning his eyes east to the Soviet Union?
(3) What if Lincoln had survived the assassination? I.e., what if Booth's bullet had been just a few inches off, leaving Lincoln only wounded?
(4) What if Hannibal and Carthage had DEFEATED Rome? How different would history be?
Just for a FEW examples....Historians are ALWAYS asking themselves questions like this. If you don't think so, it can only be because you don't read much history.
In FACT, the very question raised in the OP to this thread is a counter-factual question: what if the American Revolution had NOT happened? What if we had remained tied to Britain? Would this be a better world, or not? It is an INTERESTING counter-factual question!
History records that Harriet Tubman helped over 300 slaves to freedom. That's what history books said for decades because one historian wrote this and everyone else just quoted him. A later historian took a very careful look at records and discovered that she helped maybe 70 or so slaves to freedom, and indirectly helped another 70 or so. Records aren't precise, but a more careful accounting can only count maybe 150.
So...did she help 300+ or only 70? Is the "revisionist" history wrong simply because it came later? That wouldn't make sense.
Independent US in...Google says 1808 and 1865
So it's at least plausible.
But I agree, so much would be different it's impossible to say such things.
Last edited by Dr.Knuckles; 4th July 2016 at 05:28 PM.
For example: A few years back, the state of Texas, which has outsized influence on textbook choices in America, rejected a U.S. History textbook that was widely praised in academia for its balance and coverage of important topics in American history. What did Texas object to? They objected to one line in the book, where the authors were reporting that some 500,000 women worked as prostitutes in the Old West. They weren't objecting to the ACCURACY of this statement, because it IS accurate. No, they objected because they did not think high school juniors and seniors were capable of absorbing that kind of 'information'.
The authors of the textbook rightly REFUSED to censor their textbook, and as a consequence, millions of American high school students were deprived of an excellent textbook. Shameful, really.