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What If?

This Article was written by Saoirse Georgina Cunningham-watson, Year 10

Marie Antoinette wasn’t killed. How do I know? Because I gave the people cake!

Imagine living in a world without a Second World War, the Tsar was never murdered and the Black Death never came to England. How does it look? Is it better? Worse? The same? Great Scott! Let’s go back to the past!

There are a lot of arguments surrounding the idea of going back in time and changing history. Some argue that even if you got rid of the child that would start a world war, the course of events wouldn’t change.

What would you do? If I gave you a time machine right now and told you to change a moment in history, what would you choose? Would you even do it? When asking people, nine said they would and five said they wouldn’t. What about you?

Personally, I would not. Simply because what if it does change how the world is? What if I was the reason a country went to war and lost everything? Or the reason everyone is dead? Others may argue that what if you were the reason everyone was saved and the reason nobody had to go through such terrible lives? Let’s look into this further from both these sides and see why people said they would or would not, change the past.

Upon asking a teacher, they stated they would change the past. “I would change the past in order to get rid of colonisation and the slave trade as I believe the discrimination today is largely due to events that occurred in the past.” This is a great point as there is a lot of racism and discrimination that is generations old. If you think about it, a child is more likely to develop these thoughts because of the environment they’re brought up in. So if their parents were brought up in the same way, and their parents, and theirs and on and on and on. By removing the origin of all the hate and discrimination, you could potentially change the world and make it a better, safer place.

On the other hand, I asked two students who said they would not change the past. “If I changed the past then who knows what would actually end up changing, I might not even be alive right now!” A fair point. Nobody truly knows where their family fully comes from, maybe in order for your parents to be born or meet a catastrophe had to happen in order to bring them together. If that never happened then I might not even be writing this article today. “The world is fine the way it is and even though there are issues they will be resolved eventually. If you changed the past to stop something terrible from happening, you might be the reason something worse comes around.” Very insightful! The idea that you might be the reason something terrible happens would stop a lot of people from changing History. For example, would you prevent the Wall Street Crash if you knew Germany would win WW2?

The ideas conflict with each other because there will always be a ‘What If?’ What if Julius Caesar wasn’t stabbed in the back? What if you were never born? Removing an event from any point in time will have consequences, would you be able to live with them? Is it worth changing the past if you would then change the future? More importantly……The time machine’s ready…What are you changing?


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