What If....the Lend-Lease Act: J. Pullins, U.S. History Edition

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Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 12.26.20 PM
In 1941, the 77th United States Congress proposed an act entitled the Lend-Lease Act, which allowed the government to supply weapons and general support to the Allied nations of World War II. By the end of that year, America was attacked and the same members of Congress who proposed this bill swiftly declared war. With the current knowledge of World War II's influence in both American and global history, one must wonder what would happen if this act was never passed.

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  For this project, my point of divergence occurs in March of 1941, when the Lend-Lease Act is not signed into law. Subsequently, due to the U.S. Neutrality Acts signed years earlier, the United States sees no need to enter into WWII, which allows Germany to continue on its path of European domination, and Japan, Germany's ally, on its path of dominating the Asian contient and many of the Pacific Island territories. The rise of global power by Germany prompts it to become a major world power, which causes strife amongst the U.S. and Germany, and two nations often battle for the title of the singular global superpower. 

There are many things about this project that I enjoyed. Mostly, I enjoyed the very basis of it, which is the ability to change history. I am a firm believer in the butterfly effect, which is a theory that states that even the smallest decisions, such as what plant a butterfly may choose to land on, can cause the greatest long-term effects and effectively change the trajectory of history. With this knowledge, I knew I wanted to make a very small change, something that to many, may not seem too significant to do much of anything. However, I would show how after the course of many decades, that small change resulted in a massive shift of history. 

To reference Isaac Newton, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. While this is generally considered to be a law within the world of physics, this is something that can be applied to life as well. All of our lives are plagued with decisions, and the importance of the choices of those decisions are often not realized. I believe every person, no matter their social importance or relevance, has the ability to change the course of national and world history with one decision.