EP 180: Alternate History with Monsieur Z

What if the Sino-Soviet Union formed? What if Iran became communist? What if Hitler died early? These are all questions answered by Monsieur Z, a YouTube channel that began producing alternate history videos in February of 2017. Run by Dean Moser, the channel now has nearly 40,000 subscribers who tune in every week to consider what the world would be like if history had gone an entirely different route.

The Monsieur Z assortment of playlists highlights the kinds of videos he creates: anarchism, communism, fascism, the ancient world, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, alternate Europe, alternate Asia, and alternate America. In each of these playlists, the videos focus on what the world would be like today if an alternate version of events had occurred.

Dean also has a playlist entitled “Videos YouTube Doesn’t Want You To See,” a collection of videos that YouTube has deemed as “non-advertiser friendly” content. YouTube often attempts to disincentivize content creators from producing certain content by not allowing ads to play on those videos. For Monsieur Z, these videos include “If the 2nd Amendment Didn’t Exist,” “What if JFK Survived?,” “What if National Bolshevism Replaced Communism?,” “United South America,” and more. Several also focus on what would have happened if various countries became communist or fascist instead of adopting the legal systems they have now.

His most popular alternate history videos analyze hypothetical scenarios such as Rome discovering steam power and World War I ending in stalemate. For example, in the latter video, Dean first explains what would have had to happen in order for a stalemate to occur in the first place — Germany would have had to re-establish trade with the United States in order to permit their submarine warfare. He then postulates other possible scenarios: the Central Powers taking Russia, further alliances dragging more nations into the war, continuous conflict on the French and German borders, and more. Eventually, an armistice would be signed and borders redrawn, resulting in a stronger Germany, a smaller Soviet Union, and even more consequences. He eventually reaches the conclusion that more fascist empires would have emerged in other European countries, leading to a Second World War regardless.

Monsieur Z videos are generally a voiceover of Dean speaking accompanied by still images and an occasional cartoon. He also uses maps and diagrams to further highlight his points. But overall, his goal is to analyze historical trends and events by looking at what could have happened — and why it didn’t.

To learn more about Monsieur Z, check out the full podcast below and visit his channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/josephmeza100000.

 


EP 179: Unique Insights on Historical Events with Step Back History

Tristan Johnson had always admired the work of successful scientists making a name for themselves in their respective fields — people like Bill Nye and Neil Degrasse Tyson who were easily identifiable as prominent scientists and produced content that people care about. And yet, the same could not be said for historians; naming even one prominent historian who produces interesting content is a challenge for many.

And so, he set out to change this. In September 2015, Tristan launched Step Back History, a YouTube channel that has amassed just over 40,000 subscribers in the time since its beginning. His goal was to help people realize the importance of history and how it can help us understand the modern world in a way that was different from the usual long lectures and dull descriptions. He wanted history to be engaging and exciting through his videos, and most importantly, connect the past to the present by looking at history from a new angle.

Tristan will often cover topics that are typically seen as rather boring and turn them into enlightening videos. For example, his most popular video, with nearly 200,000 views, is titled “The Truth About Native Americans before Europeans Arrived.” He goes into the history of Native Americans and the pre-Colombian world, his voiceover accompanied by animations, visuals, and drawings to keep viewers engaged. And most of his videos follow a similar format — clips of him talking interspersed with applicable visuals.

But Tristan also aims to move past the more well-known parts of history and delve into unconventional ideas that people often aren’t aware of. Some other popular videos like this cover topics ranging from random facts about Iceland to the Colfax Massacre to Zoroastrianism to the lost colony of Roanoke.

Many videos also center around current events, discussing things like the alt-right, Al-Qaeda, free speech, whether Trump is a Russian agent, balancing the Supreme Court, political correctness, a primer on Vladimir Putin, and legalizing marijuana. All in all, Tristan’s goal is to educate and entertain, both on things that have happened in the past and things that are still going on.

To learn more about Tristan and Step Back History, listen to the full interview with him below and check out his channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxTdWpLJurbGlFMWOwXWG_A.

Twitter