What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 1776?

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby PeZook » 2012-01-10 06:28am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I know it's still possible t navigate without satellites and so on, but it is still going to be a shock, an oh shit moment I think. At the very least it is going to take a little time to figure out what is going on. Of course, that time wil probably be the same as the national "what the fuck" period.


You're overestimating the importance of satellite navigation and communications. They're more convenient, sure, allow for quick and easy and precise navigation, but traditional navigational equipment still exists and is in continuous use. Radios are a perfectly valid way to communicate over long distances, even across oceans, and the US has several huge antennas that would work just fine. Erecting new masts when needed is pretty simple and can be done with XIX century technology.

It's not like contemporary navies would be a threat, anyways. Concerns like radio silence, electronic warfare, running too close to airbases etc. simply don't exist in 1776.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 06:47am

PeZook wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:I know it's still possible t navigate without satellites and so on, but it is still going to be a shock, an oh shit moment I think. At the very least it is going to take a little time to figure out what is going on. Of course, that time wil probably be the same as the national "what the fuck" period.


You're overestimating the importance of satellite navigation and communications. They're more convenient, sure, allow for quick and easy and precise navigation, but traditional navigational equipment still exists and is in continuous use. Radios are a perfectly valid way to communicate over long distances, even across oceans, and the US has several huge antennas that would work just fine. Erecting new masts when needed is pretty simple and can be done with XIX century technology.

It's not like contemporary navies would be a threat, anyways. Concerns like radio silence, electronic warfare, running too close to airbases etc. simply don't exist in 1776.


Fair enough. I wonder what effect this might have on the general population.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby LaCroix » 2012-01-10 07:49am

Also, the oilfields in Texas/Gulf, which are almost empty by now are suddenly full to the brim, again. While the US loses foreign imports, internal production has suddenly risen by a vast percentage. In the Appalachians, huge, empty mines are suddenly full again, whole mountains are back in place. In fact all the mines on the whole continent are full again. You simply have to go to the archives and actually know where the stuff was, with actual maps of the underground where it had been. Refineries and everything already exists, you only have to make a (relatively quick) dig down to get it. Vast areas of Canadian soil are free to settle, and the Great Plains are fully fertile again, with modern agricultural tools available.(Which means we can get by without vast amounts of fertilizer for a year or two). And people know of catastrophes that happened and how to avoid them.

While there will be rationing, the sheer amount of new jobs available will help public to accept the changes really quick. With no foreign goods, everything has to be restarted internally. Yes, the diet will be mostly corn at the beginning, but every kind of production will suddenly be needed. Mining will have an upswing, construction, everything. General motors and Ford may have a downtime, but only to retool. Merchant ships would be sent out with gold to procure raw materials need. A war economy would be initiated immediately in order to consolidate and rebuild.

And there will be war. England, France and Spain just lost vast territories to an unknown foe. Expeditionary troops will dispatch almost immediately, especially from Britain and Spain.

But these conflicts are negligible, simply the fact that contemporary units were used in huge formations and completely dependent on officers holding the troops together and coordinating them is deadly against a foe with the ability to kill at the boundaries of human visual recognition. Even modern hunting rifles are sufficient to eliminate the whole officer corps of an army before you are found. Especially since these officers are easy to identify, even if they suddenly were to use the same uniforms as standard soldiers. They won't learn fast enough. A handful of machine-gun and mortar squads will simply mop up the rest. You won't even need tanks or aircraft, except for making a point.

Also, naval supremacy is a given, the fastest warships these days rarely made more than 12 knots (in one direction only), and ranges were well below a mile, with accuracy only somewhat present below a couple hundred yards. And highly flammable and easy fractured hulls. A single mortar (especially with white phosphorus) would enable a Coast Guard Cutter to go mano-a-mano with the best of the Royal Navy. A freighter with a single 155 and a couple of machine guns would terrorize the seas, and need no further escort but troops to secure it at harbour...

Imperialism is not only a possibility, it is a given thing. I fully expect the United States of America to extend to both Americas (which at this time still were connected, no Channel) within a decade. It is almost a necessity in order to consolidate the new/old lands.

Another thing in favour is that the US would not have to fear any initial espionage, as no 1770-er could hide in our culture for long without outing himself.

I also honestly doubt many people would leave the US (With what? No airports anywhere and most blue water ships gone.) to educate the world. After all, while being rationed in the US for a few years would be kind of bad, outside live would be worse. In the US, you'd have a steadily improving status with at least basic infrastructure (and probably cinemas and other amenities on a time-table basis), medicine and other stuff, while outside, you would have absolutely nothing, and would have to start building everything from scratch. There will be some people that manage to get out, but they'd need years of tutelage to even start having any impact on stuff.

Even if they took an engineer's handbook and all the blueprints to our stuff with them, there is so much interconnecting tech needed.

For instance, at building modern furnaces in order to make the materials needed for modern tech:
You would need a small, very primitive one to start building the tooling to build a better furnace, to build the piping needed for a decent one, to be able to build the stuff needed to drill for gas to fire the burners for the turbines to generate electricity for the modern furnace. Oops - you need a turbine, well, for this you need....

Ok, let's use water power instead of gas, or wind? Same problems, and btw., these guys don't know about electricity, yet, so you have to teach them all this, as well - cables, transformers, switches, etc...
Oh wait, you still need plastic to isolate the cables, cranes to move the huge coils carefully...

And now remember that you are the only one knowing about this, but have never, ever made that stuff by yourself, by hand. And all the 'students' are just watching you and scratching their heads while you try telling them what to do.

Most people would simply give up after a while, without much progress.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Chirios » 2012-01-10 08:22am

LaCroix wrote:I also honestly doubt many people would leave the US (With what? No airports anywhere and most blue water ships gone.) to educate the world. After all, while being rationed in the US for a few years would be kind of bad, outside live would be worse. In the US, you'd have a steadily improving status with at least basic infrastructure (and probably cinemas and other amenities on a time-table basis), medicine and other stuff, while outside, you would have absolutely nothing, and would have to start building everything from scratch. There will be some people that manage to get out, but they'd need years of tutelage to even start having any impact on stuff.


Some people might leave for trade. Don't forget, there's a pretty decent amount of war going on in this world; America has a lot of guns, and nearly all of the narcotics traffickers just lost their source of income. Selling guns abroad is going to replace heroin, plus those that know their history will try to trade guns/medicine for opium.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Broomstick » 2012-01-10 08:51am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
PeZook wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:I know it's still possible t navigate without satellites and so on, but it is still going to be a shock, an oh shit moment I think. At the very least it is going to take a little time to figure out what is going on. Of course, that time wil probably be the same as the national "what the fuck" period.

You're overestimating the importance of satellite navigation and communications. They're more convenient, sure, allow for quick and easy and precise navigation, but traditional navigational equipment still exists and is in continuous use. Radios are a perfectly valid way to communicate over long distances, even across oceans, and the US has several huge antennas that would work just fine. Erecting new masts when needed is pretty simple and can be done with XIX century technology.
It's not like contemporary navies would be a threat, anyways. Concerns like radio silence, electronic warfare, running too close to airbases etc. simply don't exist in 1776.

Fair enough. I wonder what effect this might have on the general population.

Again, not that much.

Anyone who learned to drive before 2000 probably has some basic map skills, we'd still have the interstate highway system and all its signage.... even if you weren't able to use gas-powered cars for a few years the interstates could easily handle horse traffic, no problem. There will be a minor annoyance in regards to not being able to use your smartphone to Google locations before you leave home.... unless we manage to keep the internet up and running, in which we still have that, it just won't be updated for a long while.

For additional "ancient tech" - the radio beacon system in use around WWII is STILL a major aviation navigation system in the US, still maintained, and is the official back up to GPS (which, you may be surprised to know, isn't 100% infallible)

Really, a key thing is whether or not we can keep the power grid up and running, or restart it after an interruption. Even so, we're at a key point where there are still MANY people alive who pre-date modern technology and would serve a resources to backtrack as it were. I remember life before the computer revolution, as just one example, and my dad predates TV, radar, and some types of radio transmission (I'm talking about common usage, not cutting edge and in the lab stuff)

We don't NEED satellites, they're just nice conveniences. The biggest impact might well be weather predicting, which currently depends extremely heavily on computers and satellites... on the other hand, we'll have historical records of particularly bad weather events. I expect it will even out.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby PeZook » 2012-01-10 09:07am

Even someone who has no idea how to use a map whatsoever can learn the basics in, what, ten minutes? Enough not to get lost as long as he/she stays within reasonably civilized areas.

As for ship navigators, all of them still learn the "classic" stuff when they go into navigation ; It might take a couple refreshers for them to switch exclusively to simpler forms of navigation using charts, sextants, compasses and dead reckoning, but all of them spent countless sleepless nights practicing those skills for their exams.

And all our sextants, charts, compasses and chronometers are way better now than they were in 1776. Particularly, the contemporary naval chronometers were pretty damn shitty.

EDIT: In fact, producing glass and optics of extremely high quality (by 1776 standards) is the one thing that could get the US some neat trade leverage for very little expense of advanced technology.
Last edited by PeZook on 2012-01-10 09:11am, edited 1 time in total.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 09:10am

Fair enough, I'll concede and back out. Thanks for the information/education though, having grownup in the computer age it's hard to contemplate life without such things.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby PeZook » 2012-01-10 09:13am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Fair enough, I'll concede and back out. Thanks for the information/education though, having grownup in the computer age it's hard to contemplate life without such things.


Dude, I grew up in the computer age. I'm a snotty little brat compared to Broomstick. Those skills just aren't very hard if you can read and have a good map, though of course a lot depends on where you are: navigating the barren wilderness of Colorado is much harder than finding your way around Manhattan.
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 09:23am

I guess I was underestimating Americans as well. I was in the Scouts so I learned map reading and navigation. I suppose I figured americans were, well, dumber. Mea culpa.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Mr Bean » 2012-01-10 09:34am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I guess I was underestimating Americans as well. I was in the Scouts so I learned map reading and navigation. I suppose I figured americans were, well, dumber. Mea culpa.

Widescale GPS adoption is still in it's infancy in the US. GPS is not standard but an option on everything but Luxury cars to this day, and the RandMcNally US Road Atlas still sells ten million or so new editions each year. (FYI it's the 50 state one the size of a small child sold in most every American Gas Station). I navigated by one until 2005.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Lonestar » 2012-01-10 09:49am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I guess I was underestimating Americans as well. I was in the Scouts so I learned map reading and navigation. I suppose I figured americans were, well, dumber. Mea culpa.



I'd wager the BSA is bigger than what your countries scouting organization is.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby PeZook » 2012-01-10 09:57am

Lonestar wrote:I'd wager the BSA is bigger than what your countries scouting organization is.


Apparently,it's also the thing for proper young male christian boys to do in America :D
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JULY 20TH 1969 - The day the entire world was looking up

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- NEIL ARMSTRONG, MISSION COMMANDER, APOLLO 11

Signature dedicated to the greatest achievement of mankind.

MILDLY DERANGED PHYSICIST does not mind BREAKING the SOUND BARRIER, because it is INSURED. - Simon_Jester considering the problems of hypersonic flight for Team L.A.M.E.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 10:06am

Lonestar wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:I guess I was underestimating Americans as well. I was in the Scouts so I learned map reading and navigation. I suppose I figured americans were, well, dumber. Mea culpa.



I'd wager the BSA is bigger than what your countries scouting organization is.


Probably, but we Brits have the original.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Todeswind » 2012-01-10 11:28am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Lonestar wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:I guess I was underestimating Americans as well. I was in the Scouts so I learned map reading and navigation. I suppose I figured americans were, well, dumber. Mea culpa.



I'd wager the BSA is bigger than what your countries scouting organization is.


Probably, but we Brits have the original.


No you don't. The Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boone predate the UK scouting organization.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 12:35pm

Humbug.
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“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby RogueIce » 2012-01-10 02:09pm

So what about the other side of the coin? What happens in 2012 when the US gets replaced by the colonies? There's still all the US troops stationed overseas, any USAF aircraft that happened to be flying over somewhere that wasn't American airspace, as well as all of the US Navy at sea. Plus, there will be whatever number of American tourists that happened to be visiting another country as well.

Just for fun, let's say that Obama happened to be in Britain and Hilary was in the EU at the time on some official visit or other, so there's still some form of civilian leadership. (This, in turn, means that America-in-1776 has President Joe Biden, at least on paper)

Aside from the inevitable global economic crash, of course.

There is, of course, the issue of the troops in Afghanistan. It's not like Pakistan and/or Iran can just do whatever, after all: there are plenty of NATO troops in-country alongside the US forces, and their nations still exist and aren't likely to just abandon them. So US forces can probably count on at least some foreign support in getting out; after all, the remaining USAF airlift will no doubt come in handy for the NATO countries, so Obama and Clinton can certainly parlay their help in exchange for assistance in getting out, as well as the at-sea US Navy.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Mr Bean » 2012-01-10 02:55pm

I've got my money on Britain or Canada taking in our American troopers overseas in one of those great bits of irony as the US even with the Colonists and Native America's is still mostly empty. Your talking about places like Chicago that will have maybe 300 people living there or Washington DC which is now a malaria filled swamp again.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Rabid » 2012-01-10 02:59pm

There are still US boomers at sea, and IIRC American bombers with nuclear bombs in Italy and maybe South Korea. Diego Garcia is under British sovereignty, IIRC, so it will not be swapped.

NATO will land-grab 1776-America and deny non-NATO nations any rights on it. The question from there on is what kind of "sovereignty" will be established over the Continental US (the US oversea possession will quickly be used for their strategic positions, there's no question about it). Will it be a shared sovereignty with a a NATO military council on top ? How will proceed the Second-Colonization ? Will the long-term commitment of re-colonizing the continental US bring together the NATO members into one political entity, ala EU++ ? Thinking of it, almost every EU members are also NATO members... Will Obama be forced to accept the "integration" of the Continental US into the EU ?

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby TimothyC » 2012-01-10 03:10pm

Rabid wrote:There are still US boomers at sea, and IIRC American bombers with nuclear bombs in Italy and maybe South Korea. Diego Garcia is under British sovereignty, IIRC, so it will not be swapped.

NATO will land-grab 1776-America and deny non-NATO nations any rights on it. The question from there on is what kind of "sovereignty" will be established over the Continental US (the US oversea possession will quickly be used for their strategic positions, there's no question about it). Will it be a shared sovereignty with a a NATO military council on top ? How will proceed the Second-Colonization ? Will the long-term commitment of re-colonizing the continental US bring together the NATO members into one political entity, ala EU++ ? Thinking of it, almost every EU members are also NATO members... Will Obama be forced to accept the "integration" of the Continental US into the EU ?


The fundamental question is if the US forces abroad recognize the Continental Congress as the legitimate command authority (a much more involved question than the one that Captain Yelland makes in The Final Countdown as there there they would be putting themselves under the constitutional authority and here there is no constitution). If they do, then the 1776_US_in_the_Modern_World still has a lot of firepower, maybe enough to stave off outright territorial collapse. The question would be how fast can the navy make it home. It would be a US that in the medium term would be at the mercy of other first world powers/modern day allies, but it would still probably exist.

The World economy goes into free fall as US demand for manufactured goods and raw materials is gone, US debt is gone (for the 1776 people it hasn't been accrued yet) and things have generally been thrown into chaos.

One other thing the Modern_US_in_1776 does is reactivate the LORAN network, which we really would need if we have no GPS systems.
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby spaceviking » 2012-01-10 03:19pm

In the modern age scenario... Provided that American military can safely get out of their foreign areas and return, what is their best bet? They can not hope to hold on to the current United States, and even if they could it would drain every resource they still have. Maybe the United States could rejoin Britain or Canada.

The world is going to be in a tailspin though. A huge portion of the worlds GDP is gone, so is massive areas of what was once some of the most productive agricultural land. China currently holds huge amount of U.S debts, good luck collecting that.

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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-01-10 03:35pm

On the "1776 in the modern world" side of things, I wonder if the founding fathers would still hold their grievance with the British. After all, a lot has changed since 1776 for Britain, and 1776 America certainly isn't in a position to go making enemies. Might they either not issue or revoke the Declaration of Independence (depending on when in 1776 the swap occirs) if Britain can offer them reassurnaces that their problems are long gone?
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Rabid
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Rabid » 2012-01-10 03:53pm

If territorial claims on the Continental US are set back to their previous status as of 1776, it will mean that as much as the UK, France* Spain will be able to rightfully claim a huge chunk of the CUS. Also, the Russian would get Alaska back (?), which I don't think NATO will approve.


* : nope

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Vehrec
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Vehrec » 2012-01-10 04:39pm

If 1776 america on the east coast is the playground of the NATO countries, then who gets Texas, California and the other western states? My money is on Mexico or China-at last, a use for those aircraft carriers and something to do with all those people no longer making toys, bras and garden hoses for Americans.
ImageCommander of the MFS Darwinian Selection Method (sexual)

Chirios
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Chirios » 2012-01-10 04:40pm

What do you guys think will be done about the Native American tribes?

How high will unemployment reach?

How long will the worldwide depression last?

Simon_Jester
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Re: What If: United States Is Transported Back in Time to 17

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-01-10 05:31pm

Mr Bean wrote:I've got my money on Britain or Canada taking in our American troopers overseas in one of those great bits of irony as the US even with the Colonists and Native America's is still mostly empty. Your talking about places like Chicago that will have maybe 300 people living there or Washington DC which is now a malaria filled swamp again.
Yes. The total number of Americans overseas at any one time- not just troops- comes to about... well, from a single untrustworthy source, about six million (2% of the national population, not completely unreasonable).

That's about two to 2.5 times the total population of the 1776 colonies; there will be literally no place to put and no way to feed all those people in the continental United States.

On the other hand, with so much (effectively) virgin land, there's going to be a hellacious land grab attempt- the US government-in-exile will not be in a good position to keep Mexico from reasserting its control over the territories which come over and were at the time Spanish possessions.


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