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E-commerce in 5 Easy Steps.

E-Commerce can seem confusing. Learn how to setup and maintain E-commerce in 5 Easy Steps. Have you been told that every single person has an impact on the world? That’s not quite true. Take Fred Wortle of Munster, Indiana, for instance. His actions have no consequence, and that suits him just fine. You do you, Fred. But not everybody has Fred’s lackluster freedom. Take American presidents. The smallest changes in these men’s lives would have changed all of history, maybe throwing us all into a dystopia … or saving us from one. Just think about how …

1. Abraham Lincoln Could Easily Have Wound Up In The Donner Party

The Donner Party was a group of frontier folk who headed west to California, got stranded on the way, and became the most famous cannibals in history. Delirious with cold and facing starvation, they fed on deceased members of their own group, the corpses having been preserved neatly by the cold, the meat suffering only moderate freezer burn. The cannibals were the lucky ones. Half of the party fortified themselves with human flesh and made it, but the other half died before getting the chance. Or maybe you’d say the dead were the lucky ones, depending on how picky an eater you are.

Two families, the Donners and the Reeds, fronted the group (it’s sometimes known as the Donner-Reed Party). The Reed family was led by patriarch James, who’d been a clerk and a miner before joining a volunteer militia and taking part in the Black Hawk War. It doesn’t sound like he saw any combat, but he did make some friends there, including an Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln. After the war, the two stayed friends and both returned to Springfield, where Lincoln helped Reed by offering all kinds of legal advice, as well as teaching him how to secretly stash his money.

Lincoln’s political career took off, but Reed’s career fell apart despite the legal help, and so Reed put together a group bound westward, where things surely had to be better. Several people outside of the two main families joined up, and Lincoln could have been one of them under slightly different circumstances. We know that he’d always been interested in moving to California, and this would have been the perfect opportunity to do so. He already had family there waiting for him. Plus he’d been offered a government position on the West Coast, which would have been an easy alternative to serving in Congress.

But there was one problem: Mary Todd was pregnant. Or there were two problems, if you count the toddler the couple already had, as neither pregnancy nor the terrible twos make for comfortable wagon travel. So Reed had to venture forth without his buddy Abe (Mary Todd herself reportedly saw the party off as the wagons rolled away). Reed had to settle for a personal memento in place of his friend: some documents written by Lincoln concerning their time together in the military. Lincoln went on to Congress, the presidency, shaping the fate of the country, all that stuff. But in a different universe, we could have gotten a biopic about his life titled Abraham Lincoln: Cannibal Pioneer.

Related: Abraham Lincoln: Portrait Of A Crazy Badass

2. Ronald Reagan Applied To Join The Communist Party, But Was Rejected

This sounds absurd based on our common picture of Reagan, in which we conceive of him as either “conservative” or “so conservative he defeated communism just by existing.” But the man’s politics were very different at the start. During the Depression, the Reagans benefited personally from the New Deal (the father, Jack, a Democrat, was unemployed until Roosevelt’s work projects gave him a job). So Reagan strongly supported the New Deal and idolized FDR.

Lincoln’s political career took off, but Reed’s career fell apart despite the legal help, and so Reed put together a group bound westward, where things surely had to be better. Several people outside of the two main families joined up, and Lincoln could have been one of them under slightly different circumstances. We know that he’d always been interested in moving to California, and this would have been the perfect opportunity to do so. He already had family there waiting for him. Plus he’d been offered a government position on the West Coast, which would have been an easy alternative to serving in Congress.

But there was one problem: Mary Todd was pregnant. Or there were two problems, if you count the toddler the couple already had, as neither pregnancy nor the terrible twos make for comfortable wagon travel. So Reed had to venture forth without his buddy Abe (Mary Todd herself reportedly saw the party off as the wagons rolled away). Reed had to settle for a personal memento in place of his friend: some documents written by Lincoln concerning their time together in the military. Lincoln went on to Congress, the presidency, shaping the fate of the country, all that stuff. But in a different universe, we could have gotten a biopic about his life titled Abraham Lincoln: Cannibal Pioneer.

Related: Abraham Lincoln: Portrait Of A Crazy Badass

2. Ronald Reagan Applied To Join The Communist Party, But Was Rejected

This sounds absurd based on our common picture of Reagan, in which we conceive of him as either “conservative” or “so conservative he defeated communism just by existing.” But the man’s politics were very different at the start. During the Depression, the Reagans benefited personally from the New Deal (the father, Jack, a Democrat, was unemployed until Roosevelt’s work projects gave him a job). So Reagan strongly supported the New Deal and idolized FDR.

Follow Rahul Krishna on Twitter for bits cut from this article and other stuff.

For more, check out Andrew Jackson, The Most Terrifying Man Ever Elected President: