I am not going into too many details about why the war would happen, how it would be fought and who would won. Coverage of these plans and the expected result can be found not only in Dvorsky's article but also in Edmund Morris' Theodore Rex (and I am not talking about the Whoopi Goldberg movie) and Robert Conroy's 1901. I think we can skip pass this issue by saying Germany would have ultimately lost. Its fleet would be defeated and its soldiers would be forced to surrender after being left trapped a half a world away surrounded by hostile forces. What I really want to talk about is what happens next.
The United States would come out the war feeling elated having defeated not just one, but two, European empires. This victory also wouldn't have the moral ambiguity of the Spanish-American War. The United States was attacked and they defended themselves. Whoever was president at the time, McKinley or Roosevelt, would be able to ride the popularity surge to get whatever policy they wanted adopted with almost unanimous approval. Presumably certain measures would have to take precedence. Fear of another invasion would mean money spent on more troops, more ships and more fortifications along the East Coast.
We may even see a more interventionist version of the Roosevelt Corollary to defend the western hemisphere from future invasions. There may be increased interventions into Latin America affairs and we may even see America taking a larger role in governing struggling countries. Outright annexation is probably unlikely, but formal protectorates and commonwealths like Puerto Rico aren't out of the question.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Germany would be humiliated. The Kaiser and the military would lose a lot of prestige and perhaps the Reichstag would take advantage of the situation to gain more power. The Social Democratic Party would see a growing support among the populace and could potentially turn Germany into a constitutional monarchy and end the rising militarism. Of course the military, not wanting to lose their influence, could just stage a coup, but then again after such a humiliating defeat against America, they may lack the popular support to pull it off.
Depending on how domestic issues play out, Germany's foreign policy could change. They navy smashed and their army defeated, Germany may be less likely to make risky ventures that could lead to another costly war. So if, shall we say, a crisis arose in the Balkans, Germany may just stay out of it or at the very least use some of the Realpolitik from Bismark's era and try to mediate a peace. A Germany unwilling to risk a large scale war could potentially create a world not dissimilar to Richard Ned Lebow's Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! Then again if there is a coup in Germany, peace in the long run would be impossible. That being said, a general European war may see the early involvement of a more militarized United States, ready and willing to take down the country who launched an unprovoked attack against them recently.
What do you guys think? What would the future hold for the United States and Germany in a world where they went to war before World War I? And do you want to see more What If Wednesdays? Let us know in the comments.
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.