Alternate History

Timeline (Scientific America)

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Joseph Wells and his wife Sarah emigrate to America seeking a better life than their lower middle class subsistence.


Herbert George Wells is born.


Having gained some prosperity from his china shop in New York, Joseph Wells invites his adult son to visit the World Fair in Paris. H. G. Wells is entranced by the wonders of progress all around him and impressed by the Eiffel Tower. It is also the first time H. G. Wells met Thomas Edison. Though the interaction between the two men is brief, it nevertheless forms the foundation of their future friendship.


H. G. Wells visits the Chicago World Fair. He rides the Ferris Wheel. In his memoirs, Wells attributes all of his inspiration to this experience, claiming “…when I rose into the sky and saw the whole world unfold before me, feeling myself lifted by the power of Science, I had no choice but to write about it.”


H. G. Wells publishes his first novel, The Time Machine. The book describes a man who travels through time to visit a distant future where men have achieved enlightenment and happiness through technological progress. At the end of the book the Time Traveler returns to his own time, having pocketed a few of the museum pieces. It is strongly implied that these will be used to bring about the utopian society of the future millennia early.

The book is a mixed hit in the United States, but does not extend far beyond it until Wells’ later work creates more interest.


H. G. Wells writes The Island of Doctor Smith, a novel about a man who created a race of intelligent beast-men and faces persecution by his enemies, who wish to destroy the island along with its wonderful creatures.

The work is well-received as an adventure story. In scholastic circles, critics note its themes of scientific independence and suppression and an underlying implication of racism.


After several successful novels, H. G. Wells writes his breakout hit The War of the Worlds. Detailing the grim tale of a Martian invasion of the shores of the United States and the heroic stand of the American military and ending with the destruction of the aliens by means of a weapon engineered by Thomas Edison, it takes the country, and soon the world, by storm. Wells’ other books are reprinted and he rises to some prominence within the society of writers.

The War of the Worlds is generally credited with giving a new life to the genre of Scientific Romance. Like Wells’ earlier works, it glorified both science and its defenders, in addition to being a compelling read.


The sequel to The War of the Worlds is published. The Men in Mars, telling the story of the counter-invasion of Mars by Earth’s military, is an even bigger hit than the original. It inspires a whole slew of books about space exploration and dealing with alien worlds and creatures. Several critics suggest it is a response to the rising militaristic tensions in Europe.


With the public’s enthusiasm for science at all-time high, a number of politicians attempt to seize the trend. The Scientific Party of America is formed. Its founders attempt to harness the force of people’s optimism by promising to build a brighter future for all Americans through funding development of new technology. Wells accepts honorary membership but refuses to run for office, claiming he’s of more use by being the ‘Paul Revere of the Future’, warning people of the Golden Age that is theirs to seize.


Albert Brahms becomes the first member of the Scientific Party to be elected Congressman. Brahms claims that the writings of Wells are what inspired him to run for public office. Right away, he urges increased funding for science and development.


With the beginning of a terrible war in Europe, Brahms urges for scientific developments to be applied to the army. Inspired Wells’ novel The War in the Air, he paints a grim picture of airplane-based warfare over the East Coast. His arguments are heeded and the Brahms Grant for Military Research is created. The first Brahms Grant is given to the Wright Brothers in an effort to create the world’s first true air force.


The Scientific Party enjoys unprecedented support, having captured several additional seats both in the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the 1916 election, Albert Brahms is nominated as the Scientific Presidential candidate.

During the election, the then-President Woodrow Wilson runs under the slogan “He Kept Us Out of the War.” The Republican nominee, Elihu Root, likewise runs on a platform of peace. Brahms runs as the more militant candidate, vowing to do “Whatever is Needed” to preserve America’s freedom and progress. He advocates harsher dealings with German submarine warfare. Though this resonates with some segments of the population, many people are skeptical. Brahms stays in the race mostly by the strength of his promises to ensure the automation of factories, which would ensure the work day would be drastically reduced while all the products become cheaper and the support of the Progressive Party and former President Roosevelt.

Things change mid-election when a message from Germany to Mexico urging the latter to ally itself with Germany is discovered. The message suggests that it may be in Mexico’s interests to declare war on U.S. if U.S. enters the European Theater. It goes on to list the benefits Mexico could gain by seizing American resources and removing the population from American lands.

The message throws most Americans into outrage. Wilson and Root attempt to reverse their positions, but this mainly succeeds in losing support from the remaining pro-peace faction. Brahms’ polls skyrocket. On Election Day he narrowly edges out the other candidates, becoming the first Scientific President of the United States.


The United States Navy battles the German submarine fleet in mid-sea. The fledgling United States Air Force is transported by ship to Britain, from where it makes first tentative attacks against Germany. Incendiary ammunition is used to destroy German Zeppelins, proving once and for all the superiority of heavier-than-air aircraft.

H.G. Wells writes The Black Oppressor, a novel about an evil man who seizes control of a country's science and uses it for evil instead of good, before being overthrown by the book's protagonist, at which point the progress towards the scientific utopia can begin. There is little doubt the novel is political.

Congress passes the Making Service Pay Act, encouraging Americans to enroll in the military in exchange for financial and educational benefits.

A series of Revolutions takes place in Russia.


United States gains total air superiority over Europe. The British give America all their research on tank construction.

The fighting continues to stalemate.


Americans use the ever-improving bombing techniques to demolish German trenches, eventually leading to victory. The First American Fighting Machine Force arrives just in time to help demolish the Central Powers.

The Treaty of Versailles is signed. President Brahms is very excited to join the League of Nations, proclaiming it to be "The First Step towards the True World State, guided by the principles of Science and Representative Democracy to unite all of Earth in a Utopian Community." He insists that the treaty require Germany to make any and all of its scientific discoveries freely available to the public.


During the 1920 election, Brahms panders to his base by doubling the budget of the National Academy of Sciences. His opponents from Republican and Democratic parties attempt to woo the nationalists by painting the United States entry into the League of Nations as the end of the country. But with the extremely low number of war casualties and the optimism following the victory, Brahms has little trouble getting re-elected. He is put over the top by his signing of the Alcohol Education Act, requiring a 'drinking license' from anyone who wishes to ingest alcohol. In order to acquire the license, the participant must go through a class which outlines the dangers of drinking.

Shortly after the election, the Scientific Party finally has enough votes in Congress to allow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote, with many members of the Democratic and Republican parties lending their support.

Isaac Asimov is born.


Congress Passes the Road Building Act in response to more and more vehicles. Many protest the tax increases. Few protest the concurring Medical Research Act, which establishes a comprehensive structure for the effort to wipe out disease.

Progressive Party officially dissolves, most of its members joining the Scientific Party instead.


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is created.


Te Cheap Electricity Act is passed. The intent of the law is to make electricity affordable and accessible for the whole country.


The Republican and Democratic party strike a deal. The latter withholds its candidate for the Presidency in exchange for the former abandoning several key congressional seats. The candidates from both parties run on the platform of lowering the tax burden. The Scientific candidate, Roger Redford, runs on the promise of continued reform but is narrowly defeated by Calvin Coolidge. However, for the first time, the Scientific Party comes to control the majority of both Houses of Congress.

The first around-the-world flight is completed.

Vladimir Lenin dies, throwing USSR into political upheaval.


Joseph Stalin seizes power in the USSR. He promises to build "Scientific Communism and Communist Science." His remarks are badly taken by Western scientists, who claim that science can know no country and bow to no national interests.


Congress passes the Vaccination Act, requiring that every person in the United States undergo a series of inoculations. There are a number of religious objectors, but by and large this throws public support to the Scientific Party and their platform to wipe out disease.

The first Rocket-Plane is developed.


The terms of the Road Construction Act are completed. The Scientific Party attempts to pass another, similar act, but it is vetoed by Coolidge, leading the Scientists to paint him as a Luddite.


The greatly reduced Republican and Democratic parties officially return to their roots by rejoining as the Democratic-Republican Party. Calvin Coolidge runs as their candidate. Initially, he appears to have a majority. However, two events happen to unsettle his candidacy. The first is the discovery of penicillin. This 'Scientific Miracle' rekindles the public enthusiasm for science. The second is the death of H.G. Wells. The beloved novelist leaves his body to science. His final words are in support of scientific endeavours. Energized, the Scientific voters turn out in unprecedented numbers, and the Scientific candidate is voted in. In his victory speech Herbert Hoover promises to build up America into a Bastion of Reason.


Herbert Hoover announces a series of public works projects and further increases the funding for scientific research.

The Dow Jones reaches record heights for the tenth year in a row.


Over the protests of Democratic-Republicans, the Scientific Party passes a constitutional amendment to grant the League of Nations representative much broader powers.

The World Economic Council is created to deal with the fears of over speculation. Though it was found that the stock prices seemed mostly to reflect the unprecedented economic growth yet, a number of International Laws were passed, regulating investment activities. The Keynes Act required all members of the League of Nations to adopt a more active economic regulation strategy.


The effort to eradicate Polio is announced. In a rare moment of agreement, the USSR joins in the effort, passing their own version of the Vaccination Act.


Herbert Hoover is re-elected by a wide margin due to the Democratic-Republican Party's loss of its favored candidate. Franklin Roosevelt, favored to be nominated, refused to run for them due to his support of the anti-polio effort by the Scientific Party.

The City of Hooverville is founded in South Dakota.


Congress passes the Weather Control Act in an effort to correct for the series of soil-stripping winds ravaging Midwest. The act provides for the protection and restoration of the soil as well as creating an agency to research methods of changing the weather.

Amelia Earhart becomes the Commander of United States Air Forces.

Adolf Hitler seizes power in Germany. He promises to resist the provisions forbidding Germany from keeping its scientific advances private. Herbert Hoover responds "Like Hell!"


Joseph Stalin is killed by an assassin. Russians accuse the British.

Scientific Comics #1 is published, featuring Superman, the Guardian of Science. The iconic hero gains his powers from a carefully planned scientific experiment and fights crime in the name of Science.


The use of fluorescent light bulbs becomes widespread.

Following a stormy year, Trotsky assumes a shaky position as the head of the Communist Party in USSR. He begins edging away from Stalin's industrialization policies, suggesting that the Soviet people would do better to focus on ensuring everyone is adequately fed and provided for first.

The game of Regulated Market is released. The object of the game is to earn money while benefiting society at large, avoiding damaging the environment, or engaging in unsavory business practices.


Germany breaks the Treaty of Versailles. President Hoover has several squads of covert operatives airdropped to place American flags at strategic locations in Berlin. Though the operation is mostly a success, one of the squads ends up surrounded by Germans. The international incident following this causes much embarrassment for Hoover in an election year. Alf Landon capitalizes on it to pull out a victory. He promises to curb government intervention in the economy, prompting cheers from Democratic-Republicans, and boos from the Scientific Party.


Polio is considered officially eradicated.

Alf Landon and the Democratic-Republican controlled Congress create several tariffs repeal three major regulation acts. United States is in default of the League of Nations Keynes Act.


By trotting out economists screaming dire warnings, Scientific Party regains a narrow majority in Congress, vowing to stop the deregulation of markets. American politics grind to a screaming halt as partisan gridlock seizes Washington.

Trotsky and Hitler have a shouting match at a conference. This is the first time the two men are seen together.


Germany annexes a number of nations in Eastern Europe, claiming an attempt at protection against the Soviet menace. Trotsky cries foul. Italy and Japan sign alliances with Germany, while Great Britain and France attempt to play mediators. America remains neutral since the population can't agree on whose side, if anyone's, the government should take.

The World Economic Council finds American violations of the Keynes Act unacceptable. The member-nations of the League of Nations impose economic sanctions on the United States until such time as the threat to world economy created by unregulated markets is brought under control. Prices of goods shoot up all over America, and the Scientific party hosts rally after rally calling for a return to government regulation.


The peace efforts in Europe break down. USSR and Germany exchange ballistic missiles. Germany comes out of the exchange with less damage due to the buffer zone created by its occupied nations. Their armies clash at the border. Germany has more recent machines, but USSR has an advantage in numbers.

Japan attempts an invasion of Russia. Unexpected levels of resistance leave the Japanese army in the middle of Siberia when an early winter hits. The cold is terrible, and Japanese war machines frequently explode as oil freezes. In a terrible reversal, the Japanese army is counterattacked by Soviet divisions with weather resistant machines and clothing. The snow runs read with Japanese blood as the Winter of Death begins. By the time spring comes, over 650,000 Japanese have been slaughtered.

In the United States election, the Scientific Party comes back with a vengeance, winning both unprecedented majorities in both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. President James Farley becomes the first Irish Catholic to be President.

The Twentieth and Twenty-First Amendments to the Constitution are passed. The Twentieth Amendment requires the government to regulate the economy in accordance with the World Economic Council decisions. The Twenty-First Amendment grants the vote to eighteen year olds.


Germany successfully invades Ukraine. A hundred miles to the south, USSR successfully invades Poland. After a bloody year, German armies are forced to retreat to reinforce the borders of Germany proper. UK and France make it clear to Trotsky that the conflict must stop there. Trotsky agrees and begins fortifying Czechoslovakia.

The Chinese Rebellion begins. Millions of Chinese rise up in violent opposition to Japanese occupation.

Isaac Asimov publishes Nightfall.


Over the protests of the American representative, the League of Nations officially revokes the Treaty of Versailles.

Late in the year, Soviet Union begins the massed bombing of Japan.

Chiina is officially liberated by the nationalist forces.

During the midterm election Democratic-Republicans stage massive antigovernment protests. The Demoncratic-Republican party is increasingly seen as the party of small government, national neutrality, and traditional family values - not ideas very popular in America at the moment.


Isaac Asimov comes to light thanks to his series of stories about robots. The robots are depicted as artificial creatures with electronic brains who come to stand by humans as their equals. In the years to come, the idea would be taken by Asimov and others to its logical extreme, leading to the formation of the Transhumanist movement.

Stories about human rights abuses in Germany begin to circulate. Trotsky meets with former president Hoover in secret, asking him to put pressure on President Farley to use American spies to uncover more. Decades later, it is revealed that Hoover promised to do everything he could.


In response to Asimov's stories, the Institute of Robotics is founded in New York, while the First Robotics Society takes root in London.

Farley elects not to run for another term. The Scientific Party nominates Benjamin Green instead. The man is seen as being a tad on the idealistic side, but polls well. Following a mid-campaign assassination attempt, his poll numbers surge upward and he ends up carrying forty-one states.

Japan signs a peace treaty with Soviet Union. After trying to force a deal similar to the Treaty of Versailles, Trotsky settles for a deal in which Japan asks to be invaded by any and all members of the League of Nations if it shows aggression towards USSR again.


In a series of shocking revelations, the world learns of the genocide perpetrated by Germany and Italy on their own populations. With international pressure mounting, Hitler suddenly snaps and orders the German army to invade the world. In the chaos of the next nineteen days, many areas of Europe experience intermittent bombing. Much to the horror of the world population, the first official wartime use of the atomic bomb occurs. The city of Lviv is reduced to a radioactive wasteland.

Hitler is deposed and arrested, but too late for Germany. The Second Treaty of Versailles is forced on it.

In Italy, Mussolini is likewise deposed.

Many members of Nazi and Fascist parties flee to Africa and South America.

Trotsky dies.


Following the havoc of 1945, the world is in an odd place, caught between fear and hope. For millions in Germany and Italy, a dark cloud seems to have lifted. But for the rest of the world, the events of the previous year have been terrifying. The peace that the people so enjoy suddenly seems fragile. Everything looks scary. Even science, once so well beloved, suddenly looks scary, for it put the power to destroy a city into the hands of a man like Hitler.

In USA, President Green attempts to counter these doubts by accelerating the exploration of space. At the current rate, the scientists guarantee a man in orbit within a decade. Green asks them what they need to achieve one by the end of his term.

On the phone lines between American and Russian mainlands, a new economic system is born. For about a decade, economics enthusiasts in both countries have been attempting to bridge the gap between the stringent controls of communism and the looser, though still potent, regulations of the Western marketplace. The 1946 breakthrough is the work of Doctor Seleznev, which explores not the outer manifestations in economic and governmental terms, but the root causes of the two systems. He shows that both systems are ultimately based on historical causes irrelevant in today's vibrant world, and that what is needed is an entirely new system. He goes on to propose a complex structure mixing government and private control that falls somewhere in-between the current systems, and uses a sort of pseudo-currency which cannot be used to accumulate interest (a vital point for communists). The movement picks it up. Though they find several deep flaws, the economists continue to refine the system until it emerges as the Precise Economic Theory.


In United States, a new political party emerges, known as the Impact Party. They carry two big platforms: firstly, the members of this party subscribe to the Precise Economic Theory, and wish to see the government transformed according to its tenets. Secondly, they have a different approach to scientific development, demanding "...Science, but not for its own sake - always for the sake of what it can do for the people!" This resonates with the portions of the electorate who see some of the Scientific Party's projects as frivolous. The Impact Party polls higher than the other 'third parties' combined.


The Democratic-Republicans regain the Presidency as Thomas Dewey successfully unseats Green. The Scientific Party maintains a slim majority in Congress. The Impact Party isn't considered a factor yet, but both of the major parties begin generating plans to use against it.

A twin to the Impact party is born in the USSR. For the first time since the conception of the largest country on Earth, a second party is allowed to exist. The ideas spread, incorporating the people's desire to see more Western products with the desire to appear loyal.


William Fogg becomes the first man in space, too late to save former President Green's political aspirations, but not too late to rekindle people's optimism. The prospect of spreading humanity out far enough that it need not fear any disaster is appealing.


The Oil Crisis strikes. Several countries in the Middle East territory, fed up with the increasing reliance on alternative energies by the great powers of the world, collude to raise the oil prices dramatically.

The Scientific Party leads the way in authorizing even higher funding for solar and hydrogen power.

Late in the year, the League of Nations declares the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OOPC) to be an imminent threat to the economic stability of the world and authorizes a combined invasion, beginning the Oil War.


American, Soviet, British, and French troops pour into Middle East. They easily seize the oil fields, ending the Oil Crisis. However, the Big Four countries have no intention of guarding the fields forever. The attempts to coerce the governments of OOPC turn bloody when the wrong things are said.

In US, Rock n Roll is born.


The Oil War comes to a questionable end. Most of the former OOPC governments have been toppled. The populations vary between incensed and pacified.

The League of Nations council places the former OOPC countries under its own jurisdiction and authorizes massive aid packages. In France and America, people grumble that their World Tax money is going to build water parks in the Middle East.

On the campaign trail Dewey expresses strong anti-communist tendencies, most likely in an effort to pander to his base. This plays poorly with the remainder of the population, many of whom see the Soviet Union as an ally, particularly after the latter's support in the Oil War. The Impact party chooses not to field a Presidential candidate. Their voters mainly join the Scientific Party, leading Green to join the exclusive club of non-consecutive Presidents.

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