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  • #16
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Now that is an interesting scenario. Sort of a North and South Russia... East and West...?

    Anyway, with a surviving Imperial / Western Russia that the Duma / Czar control and a Communist one things could get interesting. Given the way other Communist and Democratic states turned out I could see a White Russia Alaska being an economic powerhouse while Russia itself languishes under Communist control.
    This has a lot of problems.

    I agree with Carl that there is a very good chance that Alaska will stay 'White', I just don't see the rest in quite the same way.

    Assuming Alaska remains under Russian control it is going to be a backwater to beat all backwaters. Siberia, woefully underdeveloped by any reckoning, is going to look like the Rhine valley in infrastructure terms compared to Alaska. There will be a few bits constructed during the gold rush. Some villages and a few towns along the coast for fishermen & military garrisons....and not a lot more. Hell, there are only about 750,000 people there now, and that is with a resource boom & the richest nation in the world stumping up the dough. Sure, Alaska might get some US money, but that won't be nearly enough to turn it into a 'powerhouse' of any sort.

    Put simply, Alaska isn't going to be all that welcoming to a Russian emigre community used to being a little closer to the action. Until the Japanese & Communists took over China would have offered not only more opportunities, but closer proximity to the nation they were trying to re-claim. I suspect most of those with money or seeking it will look to Europe, the US or further afield for their futures (I have met a few descendants of the émigré community in Australia).

    Don't go assuming it will be all Jeffersonian Democracy & ****. Just as likely to be a corrupt & dictatorial KMT-style administration more concerned with employing former Okhrana agents to keep an eye on the inevitable Chekist infiltrators than writing flowery constitutions & bills of rights. Think Cubans in Miami freed of the constraints imposed by a democratic host nation.

    As the Cold War hots up the place becomes a frontline with US military bases all over. As the 60s & 70s roll on a relatively sleepy little place usually only known for its appearances in Cold War propaganda as 'Free Russia' discovers that it is sitting on some hefty natural resources - cool.

    There is certainly potential for Alaska to become a reasonably affluent little nation of some sort, but some sort of an 'East Russia' setting up in competition to the real thing? not with less than 1% of the population.

    This place is more likely to apply for US statehood than ever become part of Russia again.
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
      Agreed. More likely that USA and Canada invade it in 1918 and take it with ease. The real question is what happens to it afterwards? Do the Americans want to annex it all? Or do they have Canada annex it? I question whether the US would view Alaska as desirable territory. I suppose a big part of it would be whether the Russians had discovered gold or not. It's entirely possible that they wouldn't have, as the gold was first discovered on the eastern side of Alaska and across the border in the Yukon.
      Valid points.

      I think the US would have held onto it as the US was already experiencing the savage post-WW1 letdown. We had gotten involved in our first European conflict, one of our allies collapses into Red anarchy, US generals are critical of the decision to allow Germany to surrender, and the world seems no better. Keeping Alaska could add a tangible off-set to the entire 'bad experience'.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by BF69 View Post
        This has a lot of problems.

        I agree with Carl that there is a very good chance that Alaska will stay 'White', I just don't see the rest in quite the same way.

        Assuming Alaska remains under Russian control it is going to be a backwater to beat all backwaters. Siberia, woefully underdeveloped by any reckoning, is going to look like the Rhine valley in infrastructure terms compared to Alaska. There will be a few bits constructed during the gold rush. Some villages and a few towns along the coast for fishermen & military garrisons....and not a lot more. Hell, there are only about 750,000 people there now, and that is with a resource boom & the richest nation in the world stumping up the dough. Sure, Alaska might get some US money, but that won't be nearly enough to turn it into a 'powerhouse' of any sort.

        Put simply, Alaska isn't going to be all that welcoming to a Russian emigre community used to being a little closer to the action. Until the Japanese & Communists took over China would have offered not only more opportunities, but closer proximity to the nation they were trying to re-claim. I suspect most of those with money or seeking it will look to Europe, the US or further afield for their futures (I have met a few descendants of the émigré community in Australia).

        Don't go assuming it will be all Jeffersonian Democracy & ****. Just as likely to be a corrupt & dictatorial KMT-style administration more concerned with employing former Okhrana agents to keep an eye on the inevitable Chekist infiltrators than writing flowery constitutions & bills of rights. Think Cubans in Miami freed of the constraints imposed by a democratic host nation.

        As the Cold War hots up the place becomes a frontline with US military bases all over. As the 60s & 70s roll on a relatively sleepy little place usually only known for its appearances in Cold War propaganda as 'Free Russia' discovers that it is sitting on some hefty natural resources - cool.

        There is certainly potential for Alaska to become a reasonably affluent little nation of some sort, but some sort of an 'East Russia' setting up in competition to the real thing? not with less than 1% of the population.

        This place is more likely to apply for US statehood than ever become part of Russia again.
        Taiwan economically crushed Red China until they got rid of Maoist policies and started to move to a freer market. South Korea, West Germany, etc., all stomped their Communist counterparts economically.

        I could see a White Russia in Alaska doing the same thing. Plenty of opportunities for hydroelectric, lots of raw resources, and a sizable chunk of land. Norway, Sweden, Finland all do reasonably well.
        A gold rush in a White Russa Alaska would have brought lots of immigration. It would have also given a lot of Russian ex-pats a place to go along with refugees.

        I don't see the US doing an outright land grab after WW 1 either. The US didn't get heavily involved in the Russian Civil War and where they did it was often to stop other powers from land grabs of their own, Japan in particular.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          Taiwan economically crushed Red China until they got rid of Maoist policies and started to move to a freer market. South Korea, West Germany, etc., all stomped their Communist counterparts economically.

          I could see a White Russia in Alaska doing the same thing. Plenty of opportunities for hydroelectric, lots of raw resources, and a sizable chunk of land. Norway, Sweden, Finland all do reasonably well.
          A gold rush in a White Russa Alaska would have brought lots of immigration. It would have also given a lot of Russian ex-pats a place to go along with refugees.

          I don't see the US doing an outright land grab after WW 1 either. The US didn't get heavily involved in the Russian Civil War and where they did it was often to stop other powers from land grabs of their own, Japan in particular.
          The problem is that unless the Tsars suddenly embrace Classical Liberalism then you won't see any significant economic development. I'd also point out that Germany, South Korea and Taiwan all had very large populations in small countries. Makes tax collection and infrastructure development easy.

          So the big what if is do enough business minded Russians and Liberal intellectuals migrate over to create a functioning Capitalist economy?
          A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
            The problem is that unless the Tsars suddenly embrace Classical Liberalism then you won't see any significant economic development. I'd also point out that Germany, South Korea and Taiwan all had very large populations in small countries. Makes tax collection and infrastructure development easy.

            So the big what if is do enough business minded Russians and Liberal intellectuals migrate over to create a functioning Capitalist economy?
            Considering the place was hardly a thriving hub of cosmopolitan cultural riches, no. If too many "White" Russians retreat to Alaska, it will attract the attention of the Bolsheviks. Post-civil war, the Reds attempted to bring back into the fold all the imperial fractions they realistically could. A lot of this was not so much greed on their part but important preventative behaviour to thwart two very expansionist empires: Japan and Britain.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              Taiwan economically crushed Red China until they got rid of Maoist policies and started to move to a freer market. South Korea, West Germany, etc., all stomped their Communist counterparts economically.
              All the nations you mentioned had PEOPLE in them. Already living there. Tens of millions of them, for the most part. Apart from a few hundred thousand (at best) hardcore white Russians dreaming of a glorious return that isn't going to come, who is going to rush to a place that has the poorest infrastructure in the Tsarist Empire (thing about that for a moment) and is about as out of the way as a place can get? This isn't like people fleeing across a land border or a bit of water. Even the 'close' ones would have to go a long way. Most of the rest would have to bypass a string of more promising potential homes to get to the edge of the world.

              Take off the ideological blinkers. A population of under 1 million by the end of the C20th isn't going to 'stomp' anything worth stomping. Doesn't mean it will be an economic basket case, just that it will be too small for anyone to care.

              I could see a White Russia in Alaska doing the same thing. Plenty of opportunities for hydroelectric, lots of raw resources, and a sizable chunk of land. Norway, Sweden, Finland all do reasonably well.
              Norway, Finland & Sweden all have historical resident populations who 'belong' to the place and dwarf anything Alaska is remotely going to have. They therefore have centuries upon centuries of connection to the land and lots of lovely infrastructure. They also have and large markets immediately to their south to which they are historically linked. Virtually everything in 'East Russia' is going to be starting from scratch.

              A gold rush in a White Russia Alaska would have brought lots of immigration.
              Most of whom would do what the people who migrated to the American gold rush did historically - **** off when the gold ran out. I know Americans who went to Alaska when it was part of a modern American nation to look for gold. it sucked. it would suck MUCH more several generations earlier. I'm fascinated that you seem to think an until very recently Tsarist backwater is going to attract significantly more immigrants than an American territory did historically. I'm afraid this is moving into solid ASB territory.

              It would have also given a lot of Russian ex-pats a place to go along with refugees.
              Hmmmm. You can freeze your ass off carving a new nation out of a frozen backwater with a few villages or small towns in it or you can live in proper, pre-existing nations like Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the US or even China. Yeah, they are going to be overwhelmed with applicants.


              I don't see the US doing an outright land grab after WW 1 either. The US didn't get heavily involved in the Russian Civil War and where they did it was often to stop other powers from land grabs of their own, Japan in particular.
              I wasn't fully serious and was thinking more of an application to join rather than an annexation.
              Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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              • #22
                The US had a long history of outright land grabs. Hawaii is one such in the Pacific, Puerto Rico another. If businessmen or other groups with a deep enough interest in the region want it there will be a effort to take it. Certainly such efforts were not always sucessfull. Nicarugua to name one, the Phillipines were never actually made a permanent US territory, but there was a effort.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  The US had a long history of outright land grabs. Hawaii is one such in the Pacific, Puerto Rico another. If businessmen or other groups with a deep enough interest in the region want it there will be a effort to take it. Certainly such efforts were not always sucessfull. Nicarugua to name one, the Phillipines were never actually made a permanent US territory, but there was a effort.
                  A strong possibility during the era of 'manifest destiny'. A Tsarist backwater virtually unconnected to Russia proper would be a tempting prize for all manner of American adventurers & politicians. However, if we get as far as a non-communist 'East Russia' I suspect attitudes will have changed.
                  Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                    The US had a long history of outright land grabs. Hawaii is one such in the Pacific, Puerto Rico another. If businessmen or other groups with a deep enough interest in the region want it there will be a effort to take it. Certainly such efforts were not always sucessfull. Nicarugua to name one, the Phillipines were never actually made a permanent US territory, but there was a effort.
                    Yup.


                    We held Cuba for a while, the PI for roughly fifty years, some odds & ends in the Pacific. Snatched up a lot of land in the settlement of the war with Mexico.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                      Snatched up a lot of land in the settlement of the war with Mexico.
                      While involved in a terribly gone south renegotiation hearing with the Mexican government over the acquisition of Texas, and the matter of something like 165-years of back-rent, a young chivato takes severe exception to Arnold J. Rimmer's diplomacy tactics and zeros-in a complaint of his own...

                      Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by HMS Jr. View Post
                        While involved in a terribly gone south renegotiation hearing with the Mexican government over the acquisition of Texas, and the matter of something like 165-years of back-rent, a young chivato takes severe exception to Arnold J. Rimmer's diplomacy tactics and zeros-in a complaint of his own...

                        There's always somebody who doesn't like the new arrangement...


                        Just ast night I put that on 'DVDs I'm going to watch this week'...great movie.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                          There's always somebody who doesn't like the new arrangement...


                          Just ast night I put that on 'DVDs I'm going to watch this week'...great movie.
                          And usually, all in the matter of degree and execution, isn't it?

                          Indeed. That, and a precious few others, are monthly staples of mine. That is when not cracking jokes with the wife on pergolas and the prospective alternative usages of same.
                          Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by HMS Jr. View Post
                            And usually, all in the matter of degree and execution, isn't it?

                            Indeed. That, and a precious few others, are monthly staples of mine. That is when not cracking jokes with the wife on pergolas and alternative usages of same.


                            Ever seen 'The Long Riders'? Less graphic, but definately a decent offering in the genre. A bit newer, but definately not new.
                            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                              A strong possibility during the era of 'manifest destiny'. A Tsarist backwater virtually unconnected to Russia proper would be a tempting prize for all manner of American adventurers & politicians. However, if we get as far as a non-communist 'East Russia' I suspect attitudes will have changed.
                              I see the changes as coming in the 1960s/70s after oil is proved on the North Slope. That would attract immigration & a population of temporary labor for the oil industry. From the 1970s through the 80s changes in demographics will be creating social tensions in the quasi Russian population and internal politics. Post 1992 another significant change will start when post Communist Russian inevitably increases direct contact with the Alaska state. The Alaskan government may attempt to gain leverage by playing the new Russia off against the US in terms of investment, political alignment immigrants ect...

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