Thursday, 8 July 2004

Pondering counterfactuals

Matt Yglesias, Brad DeLong and the Volokh Conspiracy (at the moment, Tyler Cowen and Eugene Volokh) ponder the “alternative history” question of what the world would be like without a successful American Revolution. I don’t have much to add, but it’s an interesting concept to ponder. My gut feeling is that separation was inevitable by 1820 or so; the resources of the period (most notably, the lack of real-time communication and fast intercontinental transportation) probably just couldn’t sustain any form of unified government over an area separated by thousands of miles of sea.