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  • #31
    Gold Strike in Alaska in 1861

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    Theres a historical divergence. The Russian policy was to fill out settlers in the new imperial territorys with imigrants from other European states or nations. A large portion of theose were Germans. Lets assume for a moment that several thousand Germans had immigrated to the Alaskan coast under Russian sponsorship. By 1860 the Russian/German population in the coastal enclaves is upwards of 50,000 with more on the way. This is not unreasonable. In the 19th Century there was a wave of German immgration to North and South America. Had the Russians provided more incentives they might have taken on a larger portion of the people leaving the German states or the German Empire.

    Does that affect Russian policy towards retaining Alaska? Would it create a Prussian/German interest in the area? Assuming this German immigration contiues post 1860 what would the effect be?

    I think this is a very interesting idea. Let's say that Gold was found in Alaska in 1861 (rather than 1896), right after the Civil War broke out. I can very easily see Russia putting a lot of effort into settling Alaska after this, viewing it as a way to leapfrog across empty Siberia and the Far East. After all, this is what the US did, backfilling from the West Coast.

    I can easily see a lot of Germans going there, as well as Americans who did not want to fight in the war. Could have drawn interest also from the Scandanavian countries too, especially Sweden.

    I think the part that maybe takes a suspension of disbelief but I think it certainly possible is to picture to the Russians being smart and running Alaska as a cash cow, giving people freedom and the right to make money, as long as they got their substantial take.

    I think one can picture Alaska taking off at this point, as a part of Russia.
    A richer, less autocratic Russia would have made the world a very different place by say 1900.

    So I guess I don't see Alaska being a separate nation, but I see a situation where Russia dominates Eurasia and the US dominates North America, earlier than 1945 when this did occur.
    Last edited by lakechampainer; 05 Sep 09, 07:57. Reason: adding date of actual gold strike

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