Unlike Hinge moments which can be thought of as the result of a single decision, alternate trends are those POD which come about thanks to many smaller variants. These are those which cannot be pinpointed to a single event or specific point in time.


  • The evolution of a microscopic organizsm which draws energy from breaking down sea salt results in a freshwater ocean.
- Sailing is considerably easier, since no water supplies need to be taken.
- Coastal cities are even more prominent, possibly covering most of the world's shorelines.
- There are no water shortages and almost no desert civilizations.
- Different evolutionary paths.

Late Bronze Age

  • The Sea Peoples suffer from maritime or natural disaster around 1200BC.
- Chariot use continues to be influential in the Mediterranean area in the iron age.
- The ordered civilization of Mycenaen Greece, Anatolia, and Levant continue well into the iron age.
- Egypt remains in an age of splendor.
-Possibly writing remains syllabic rather than alphabetic.

Ming Dynasty China

  • Eunuchs stay in power in China and China does not become isolationist.

Discovery of New World

  • Big bad disease evolves in new world, becomes endemic in Aztec country, and is taken back to old world.
  • Norse don’t settle Greenland until after Inuit are on the scene. These Norse eat fish and learn from the natives. Old world / New World travel develops.
Justification: Erik the Red was violent even by Viking standards. He easily could have died during one of his earlier murder sprees. For some inexplicable reason, OTL Norse Greenlanders had a taboo against eating fish but other Vikings did not have this taboo. They also had contempt for native Dorset and later for Inuit and NA Indians. A different Norse colony may have better relations with the natives, especially if the natives were the Inuit who had advanced technology appropriate to the environment (dogsleds, kayaks, harpoons etc).
- A fish-eating and adaptable Norse colony would have greater chance of survival, could support a larger population, and would have a better chance at expanding into the New World.
  • Other groups might have established long-lasting or permanent colonies in the New World.

Neanderthals, Polynesians, Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Celts, Visigoths, Irish, Welsh, Scots, Basques, the Knights Templar, Moslems, representatives of the city-states of Italy, the Hanseatic League, Holland, Burgundy.

Catharites and other heretic groups might have fled to the New World in the late Middle Ages. The mysterious civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, or ancient Japan, might have spent more time developing ocean-going ships. OTL, pottery was discovered on the western coast of S. America which resembles the Jomon pottery of ancient Japan.

Columbus might have sailed for England, Holland, France, Portugal or one of the Italian city-states. Or another admiral from one of those countries might have sailed to the New World.

19th Century Europe

  • Germanies and Similar Never Unite
Justification If you look at a map of 1750 Europe, it's full of tiny countries like Savoy and The Bishopric of Ghent. Through the course of Napoleon and Otto von Bismark these became absorbed into France, Germany and Poland but they didn't have to be.
Possibility: Strong empires (Angevin? Almohad? Austrian?) on the extreme East and West of Europe could have prevented the Germanies and other small countries from uniting, maintaining them as a "buffer zone".
Europe would have had a lot more small wars but maybe not any World Wars.
...But maybe not. After all, 18th century Europe had several messy, complicated, and widespread wars while both Germany and Italy weren't unified. Similar wars with modern technology would probably be considered World Wars.

Early US

  • US founders adopts a parliamentary style of government.
The US Constitution was based pretty significantly on the British system, and one proposal for the election of the President was election by the Congress
Comment: The Presidency was pretty weak during the late 19th century; it's conceivable that the President could've evolved into a nearly powerless office, creating a kind of pseudo-parliamentary system.
  • Tecumseh wins more, stays alive longer.
No one is quite sure how he died, or where he was buried. However, we know he died at the Battle of the Thames. If the battle had worked differently, Tecumseh could have lived out the war.
Possible British territory increase after the war due to Tecumseh's military talents. Also there is a possibility that Tecumseh would have been able to create the Native American confederacy that was Tecumseh's dream. With this new country in place south of the Great Lakes, US expansion would have been more difficult.
  • Hollywood not in Hollywood
In 1908 Francis Boggs filmed in sothern California because the climate in Chicago was not the best. In 1913 Cecil B. DeMille also filmed in Hollywood because of the climate. Could some other area with a sunny climate have been chosen? Florida? Texas?
Movie industry less liberal which causes US culture in general to be less liberal. (This is questionable. Hollywood may be liberal as a result of the artistic nature of actors directors and writers, who would still be in the movie industry regardless of its geographical situation.)

World War I

  • Germany and Austria win WWI.
Justification: Germany lost due to bad strategies, not a lack of military power
- Wilhelm II. remains emperor, the Weimar Republic is never proclaimed, no WWII as we know it.
  • Schlieffen Plan completly executed. France attacked through Belgium and the Netherlands.
Justification: for the Schlieffen Plan see: [1]
- The Netherlands forced into war. The Netherlands would probably have reacted with submerching the lands around Holland and creating Fort Holland. This could have let to a trench war around Holland, cutting of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague from the mainland.

World War II

  • Germany goes ahead with operation Sealion (invasion of Great Britain)
Justification: Plans were drafted and at one point were set to go.
- the various government in exiles have to relocate once more. Britain and allies move to Canada, others to the USA
- The US concentrate all its resources on the Pacific conflict
- A few governments sue for peace
- Sealion fails, which allows a quicker British victory before the USA and the USSR are really involved.
  • The Germans do not invade the Soviet Union focussing in the Western front, neither declares war on the USA if Japan attacks.
Justification: Probably needs Hitler removed, or a better strategist he would have listened.
- German loses anyway as the British Empire still has more resources than the Third Reich. Soon after the British Empire breaks away.
- Germany wins (Britain is fighting alone, with neither the USSR nor the USA in her side). Exhausted by the war, the Third Reich is defeated by the Soviet Union before 1955.
- A Cold War arises between Britain and Germany. This will not favour Germany.

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.