AHC: The US sells Alaska to Canada sometime between 1867 and 1959

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sailor Haumea, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Sailor Haumea Liberal Hawk

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    Is there any way that the US could come to regret its purchase of Alaska from Russia and decide to sell it to Canada? Or is this ASB?
     
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  2. Crowbar Six Well-Known Member

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    You mean sell it to the British Empire. A sale to Canada into the first half of the 20th Century would amount to the same thing.
     
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  3. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Very difficult. I can't think of a single instance where the US sold any territory it acquired. Such a treaty would have to be ratified by the Senate and the US wasn't hard up for cash.
     
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  4. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    There is not way sell Alaska to Canada during first half of century when it would mean selling Alaska to British Empire which would violate Monroe Doctrine. So USA at least should firstly abandone that. And even then it would be very difficult if not impossible. I don't know if it is possible all. Does even constitution allow that? And even if it doesn't violate the constitution, USA would need some very good reason do that and approval both houses of Congress. And what about American citizens in Alaska?

    Only situation what I could imaginate that being even slightly possible is even worse Great Depression and even that would be very difficult.
     
  5. AussieHawker New Found Daenerys Loyalist

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    As part of a peace deal, with the US getting a payment for it, like with the Mexican peace deal.
     
  6. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Probably there firstly should find way get war between UK and USA and get USA lost that badly. And paying for conquered areas hasn't ever been habit of UK.
     
  7. Milo Posh Geordie Donor

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    Maybe as part of a wider trade, US purchases Philippines from Spain, Britain and Germany objects and to buy Britain off, let me buy Alaska.
     
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  8. RamscoopRaider Some Sort of Were-Orca, probably an Akhlut Donor

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    Very unlikely the profits of the seal hunting and fishing paid for the purchase within a few years AFAIK, Russia only sold because they needed hard cash now. So Alaska is a net benefit to the US, unless the US is in a situation where it needs hard cash right this minute selling Alaska makes no financial sense, and once Gold is discovered it becomes even more of a profit. You could have reasons other than financial but most of those reasons would make Canada not want to buy it either, and even financial wise the US is Canada's biggest trading partner if it is in such bad shape it needs cash now bad enough to lose a revenue stream like that, Canada is likely not in a position to afford buying it
     
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  9. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Prior to WWI the US owed Britain a huge amount of money, so perhaps they use Alaska to pay off debts from the Civil War?
     
  10. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    The amounts weren't that huge. The country was hardly in desperate shape after the ACW.
     
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  11. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Until the gold was found Alaska wasn't seen as being worth much though and there was a fair amount of opposition to it's purchase so it could be seen as an easy way to pay off what debt there was from the war.
     
  12. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    Is that really the case? There might have been a constitutional requirement for Canada to get the UK to agree to any new acquisition of land(such requirements for things like adding senate seats exist to this day), but I don't think Canada after 1867 was considered legally part of the British Empire, in the same way that, say, India was pre-1948.
     
  13. James Proffer Member

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    Not a sale exactly. After the Louisiana Purchase the US and the UK negotiated a territorial swap with the UK getting LP land above the 49th parallel and the US getting BNA land west of the great lakes and south of the 49th parallel.
     
  14. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    True. But that is more settling a territorial dispute than an actual sale.
     
  15. Burton K Wheeler l'état profond, c'est moi Moderator

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    Would definitely have to be prior to the Klondike rush in 1897, probably well prior. The U.S. first started using the Lynn Canal to access the Yukon in 1880, and there was a gold find in the Juneau/Douglas area at the same time, so likely before that too. I can't think of any other major strikes before 1880.

    Overall, the U.S. has no particular incentive to let go of Alaska in that narrow window between 1867 and 1880, definitely not to the British Empire.
     
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  16. David T Well-Known Member

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    This is a rather bizarre idea because much of the motive of the purchase was anti-British. William Mungen of Ohio declared that “by accepting this treaty we cage the British lion on the Pacific coast,” and went on to predict that eventually the US would absorb all of British North America. https://books.google.com/books?id=d2maug_3uAAC&pg=PA109 Charles Sumner in his speech defending the purchase, said that "The present Treaty is a visible step in the occupation of the whole North American continent. As such it will be recognized by the world and accepted by the American people. But the Treaty involves something more. By it we dismiss one more monarch from this continent...." Sumner added that
    "Another motive to this acquisition may be found in a desire to anticipate the imagined schemes or necessities of Great Britain. With regard to all these I confess my doubts, and yet, if we may credit report, it would seem as if there was already a British movement in this direction." https://archive.org/stream/speechoncessiono00sumn/speechoncessiono00sumn_djvu.txt

    Anyone who thinks that the US would take the attitude "let's decrease the territory of the US and add to the territory of European monarchs in North America" basically misunderstands the psychology of America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And yes, to people in the US, Canada was part of the British Empire--certainly before the Statute of Westminster. (And maybe even after it--"It's clear from the above sources that in 1940 the US objected--at least
    in part on Monroe Doctrine grounds--to Canadian as well as British occupation of Greenland. This may have been due to a belief that despite the Statute of Westminster, Canada was still part of the British Empire..." https://soc.history.what-if.narkive.com/tAo6KXk1/greenland-and-iceland-join-canada)
     
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  17. Quintuplicate Well-Known Member

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    Can states be sold without their consent?
     
  18. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Alaska wasn't yet state. But not sure if even territories can be sold without consent of residents.
     
  19. sendô Well-Known Member

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    It'd probably be easier to get Russia to surrender the territory directly to Britain as part of the Crimean War settlement than to get the US to sell it to Britain, given that buying Alaska was primarily about stopping Britain from eventually acquiring it.

    In any case, the Russians offered the territory to Britain, but Britain wasn't interested.
     
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  20. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    You either need a US who for what ever reason refuses to buy Alaska in the first place or if Britain seized the Hawaiian islands first and the Americans are about to buy Alaska and offer to trade it for Hawaii.