According to the butterfly effect, tiny changes in a system lead to huge repercussions. By an extension of that, events in human history are studded with could-haves and should-haves of its own.
Therefore, it is essential to study historical events from a neutral perspective in order to draw a fair comparison. Listed below are our handpicked top 8 events which altered the course of human civilization, continuing to do so even today.
1. Napoleonic Wars Enlarged the US
Previously called Saint-Domingue, the modern-day Haiti island in the Caribbean was under the Napoleonic regime. The sugar production from the island was adored by the French monarchy, proving to be a cash cow for the empire. More so, the funding accumulated from the large-scale sugar cane helped in fortifying his stronghold in Louisiana.
With the Slave Revolution (1791-1803), Napoleon was left in utter dismay, relinquished hopes of maintaining his invasion of the islands, now that the funding was slackening due to wars in the mainland. Thus, the Louisiana territories were sold at a steal away price to the American government, due to which the term Louisiana purchase was coined. Alternatively, the French could have had a French colony, impacting world history greatly.
2. Nazis were prevented Atomic Weaponry by Norwegians
In the development of nuclear weapons, heavy water (D3O) is required in immense quantities. It enables the creation of nuclear isotopes called Plutonium-239. In 1934, a Norwegian plant was developing heavy water at a steady rate. With German scientists hot on the atomic bomb’s trail, the facility was encouraged to be laid to waste in 1943. Hence, the Norweigan saboteurs managed to disrupt the German heavy water supply.
In 1944, a Norwegian Commando sunk a cargo carrying heavy water en route to Germany, sinking German plans for igniting an atomic war into the seabed. Thus, Norwegian changed the course of the war and our history with their sneaky antics.
3. Crimean War: Rise of the Middle-East
With the British Empire, Ottoman Empire and French Empire pitted against the Russian Empire in 1854, the outcome threw the Ottoman Empire into bankruptcy, taking loans from England and France for floating above the water. Still, with mountainous debts piled up, the Ottoman Empire sided with Axis bloc in WWI to nullify their debts.
However, the Axis bloc was crushed due to their massive ineptitude from a variety of standpoints. The fledgling empire was split into a number of nascent nations, establishing the now famous conflict-ridden and politically unstable region called the Middle-East.
4. First Manned Flight in 1903
As the world moved at the pace of a stream engine ship, it was deemed sufficiently fast. However, Orville and Wilbur had plans of their own as they altered the course of human history with their first manned flight in 1903, setting the gold standard of travel, cargo/ freight transportation, civilian air travel and heralded a new era of military combat: jet fighters. Many dogged efforts of would-be aviators were lost in annals of history, though.
5. Boston Tea Party
The titular event is slightly misleading (slightly is an understatement), however, it triggered events which would shape human history for the next 200 years and onwards. Tea was boycotted as a British beverage and it culminated with the infamous American Revolution. As is the case, America was the first colony to mutiny against the British Empire. More importantly, George Washington had some outside help; the French aided this revolution which resulted in a newly minted the United States of America.
As Congress pushed towards independence in 1776, the republic set the precedent for the French Revolution. This gave rise to the concept of nationalism and resulted in an ongoing struggle against imperialism by the Asian and African colonies. Thus, losing its major source of income, the British was demoted from the world’s financier to the world’s biggest debtor.
6. Rise of Capitalism
By definition, capitalism is known as an economic system which thrives on ownership of capital goods/ sell-able merchandise by a corporation. The extent of demand and pricing is mainly decided by the competition in a typified free market.
The father of modern capitalism is known as Adam Smith. As per him, an invisible hand governs the market in the absence of government interference. In this case, the government would enforce law and order, police would enforce security and the court can settle disputes. Capitalism also triggers hyper-competition, economic disparity, corruption, individualism and consumerism.
The Barclays Bank and Lloyds of London were pillared on the massive wealth accumulated from the transatlantic slave trade. The reaped profits from thriving transatlantic slave trade graduated small London-based coffee houses to global banking and insurance corporations today.
The modern society is pillared on capitalism as communism and socialism failed, mechanizing the society.
7. Productive Revolt: Emergence of Microprocessor
Aspiring youth lab workers, the traitorous eight resigned from their jobs at Mountain View, California. The employer named William Shockley showed his disapproval for research into silicon-based semiconductors. They embarked on their own independent research, authored tech history and heralding an age of microprocessors in human lives for the future decades.
The founded Intel and invented the microprocessor and computers have never looked back since then. Hence, September 18th was the day Silicon Valley was birthed.
8. Motion Pictures were Motioning Towards the Exit Door
The motion pictures were largely a new form of entertainment, however, it was becoming yesterday news as the audience soon moved on to vaudeville. With the Edison inventing crude newsreels, it was shown in penny arcades, among other cheap attractions, its appeal deteriorated.
Mr. Tally in 1902 inaugurated the Electric Theater, a new venture intended to show movies and various tech gadgets of the era, such as audio recordings. With Tally foraying into multimedia entertainment, it spurred mass quantities of mini-cinemas called nickelodeons (entry fee was 1 nickel) for watching movies. Thus, motion pictures became entrenched in human history.