History is in the dead past, never changing and so unforgivingly setting the conditions in the present. It doesn't repeats itself, and seldom resembles itself again in time, but it effects resonate far out into the future. There isn't any point putting the blame on events that happened, or to hope to be able to change them, we should just make the best out of it, but just because we shouldn't, doesn't mean we can't. It could be just for the sake of pointing out what went wrong, or perhaps to draw out a better plan for future actions, or even to warn people of things that have yet to occur. Whatever my intention is, here is my list of single events that I would like changed, in chronological order.
1. Have Alexander the Great live much longer. That guy was the Great, what else could I ask for? In only a few years, he carved out a huge empire, and his conquests began only at 16.
2. Have Archimedes do more experiments, I know we were all fascinated by the time Archimedes jumped into his bathtub and then ran round the city naked and shouted 'Eureka', but the beginning of real Science could actually have began from this guy and not Galileo 2 millennium later. Besides his displacement principle, he also discovered the Archimedes screw, the principles of levers, pulleys, and even make progress in Mathematics like pi, and the area of a sphere. Now only if he had a telescope, or did experiments with gravity like Galileo did, modern Science could have sprang up so much earlier. And of course, that would continue on into the Roman empire after Greece was assimilated.
3. Have Julius Caesar choose the next successor to the throne of the Roman Empire based on merit, and not set up a dynasty. If you don't know your history, Julius Caesar chose his stepson (he didn't have a son, so he figured he adopt one) Augustus to be the first Roman Emperor. Augustus wasn't the real problem, but his descendants were, creating some of the messiest problem the Empire had to face, and future weak emperors eventually help hasten the downfall of the Empire. Up till Caesar's time the Empire was the most secular state ever established (excluding some Greek city states, but come on, they were cities) containing people of many different cultures, and as history tells us, you don't get that very often.
4. Have Christians get persecuted more often in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was peaceful enough with their secular state, Christians were rightly a threat to the Empire, there was no need to turn it into the Christian Roman Empire. One more thing, if Christianity didn't spring up, there wouldn't exist the most dangerous religion present today, Islam, the illegitimate child who share father Abraham with the Judo-Christians.
5. Have people dig up fossils centuries earlier, again I would probably put this in the Roman Empire. Actually what I can't believe is that no one in the past actually stumbled across fossils, haven't anyone dig up a grave and saw that the skeleton was all that was left of a person? It really wasn't all that hard to find parts of a buried fossil exposed on the ground, why didn't any of the ancient people notice them? If someone had collected the fossils, then maybe someone could piece up the age of the Earth and evolution so much earlier that many superstitions of today would never have taken root.
6. Have Emperor Constantine killed. First he made Christianity the official Roman religion, which part of secular doesn't he get? Next, he split up the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western, sure let the West fall so that a new dynasty can sit on the throne of the newly built city of Constantinople. Do I need to say any more?
That's about it for the ancient world, now to move on to the Middle Ages. However, apparently I don't really have anything much to change except prevent some untimely deaths.
7. Maybe I played Age of Empires II too much, but I would like to have Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa not die. He died by drowning in a pool while trying to drink water, a pretty anti-climatic death. Without him, his army was devastated while fighting the Crusades, paving the way for the Turks to invade the remaining portion of the Roman Empire.
8. Joan of Arc was another untimely death, though France seem to manage just fine after her death.
Well, I'm pretty much contented with the situation in the Middles Ages because the tensions between countries pretty much ensure that everyone was up to date on technology, and how can I ever be angry with the Enlightenment. Now let us travel past the Industrial Revolution.
9. Have Charles Darwin find Gregor Mandel's work on genetics. The only problem with evolution at that time was that Darwin could find out what causes variation in animals and how it is passed on, something that Mandel had already worked on long before. If only they had met, then Science would have flourished.
10. Probably the last, have Britain step in when Hitler was trying to militarise Germany. All problems in the future could almost be certainly traced back to this single event. Had Britain put its foot down, there would never have been a World War II, and there are reasons to believe that the Hitler at 1933 wasn't as evil as the Hitler at 1939. In addition, Communism would never have spread so much, first of all, Hitler would allow his neighbours to be Communist, we have already seen how fast Communism was gone from Germany, and with Germany's help, from Spain too. The big difference between Communism and Fascism is that Communism has the power to last much longer, while Fascism collapse when their leaders die.
In addition, Japan would be under much more pressure to get out of China since the Allies are no longer occupied with Hitler. Korea probably wouldn't get split into 2, and would probably be democratic, since Russia have only a small border with it, and probably wouldn't invade Japan. There wouldn't be any North Korea to deal with today. Without a huge Communist threat there wouldn't be a Marshall plan which splurges money without care on any non-Communist country that existed, stopping a number of dictator from ever coming to power.
What's more is that the Europeans would still have their colonial empires and wouldn't start the whole lot of pity for their colonies. Their pity has caused them to be too tolerable to other people's believes, no matter how strange or dangerous they could be, leading to a whole lot of terrorist bombing, and the Netherlands are currently being so overrun by Muslims that Sharia law is being enforced in some places, the law that says chopping of hands is the punishment for robbery, that stoning is required when committing adultery and that women must cover all parts of their body and are not to leave house unless accompanied by a man. And of course the law which any civilised person is disgusted most at, death to any apostles.
Think, so much that we can do with just one change, yet that change was never made and we are set upon this course of history. Now, only the future can still be changed and its getting shorter all the time.