The royal governments of Europe fell in love with these ideas almost immediately, and in 1689 the Parliament of England abolished all taxes on grain to drive down prices. This allowed English grain the cheapest in the world, and it sold quickly abroad — forcing countries to become dependent on Britain. Less than a year later, in 1690, the Parliament banned the sale of French liquor to encourage the manufacturing of English gin from, you guessed it, English grain. That same year, a centralized English bank was created to stabilize the currency. To make their economic power even stronger, the Parliament would force Scotland into “The United Kingdom” in 1707, successfully “taking” the wealth of another nation.
During July of 1940, the people of Berlin were delighted with Hitler’s promises of success. France had collapsed after six weeks of fighting, and German troops stood on guard throughout Europe. Norway and Belgium, not to mention Poland, were under occupation. All that stands between Adolf Hitler and dictatorship of all of Europe is Great Britain. Conquest seems to be only a matter of time. Winston Churchill announced that Britain was unconquerable and that “the curse of Hitler will be lifted”, and for some period of time the British never thought of losing.
The Industrial Revolution caused several European nations to expand their economies and create new job opportunities. While some European countries, such as France and Germany, eventually did catch on to aspects of the growing Industrial World, the nation of Great Britain industrialized much faster than the rest of them and stood above the rest in industrial growth. Great Britain had several reasons that helped them succeed and industrialize faster than other nations, such as the fact that their population and middle class grew substantially, their coal and iron ore deposits were large and bunched in a close proximity of each other, and that their political policies on loans made it easy for enthusiastic merchants to begin a business.
Imagine a world where World War II could have ended years beforehand. A world where millions of men, women, and children weren’t slaughtered horrendously in genocide. A world where Nazi Germany never really became a global, or even continental, threat. Alternative history is very interesting, perhaps one of the most interesting things to study in the recordings of our world’s past.