'American Australia' is possible

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Grand Archduke of Austria, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Grand Archduke of Austria Well-Known Member

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    I have read a couple of posts about the feasibility of America colonising Australia. All of the posts I read came to no feasible conclusion of its possibility, I, therefore, decided to solve the challenge. The aim of the is post is to give a hypothesis of a reasonable colonial possibility; whatever happens after that is completely open to discussion.

    There are two problems:

    Time is critical in this scenario. The chance of the US colonising Australia will not take place between 1783 and 1803-4 because there are no viable opportunities. (None of which I know anyway.)

    US territory from 1783 to 1845 is eastern to mid-west America which is completely opposite to Australia. The US would have to travel the entire Atlantic, past the Cape and the Indian Ocean. Therefore for the US to have a chance at colonising Australia The Californias and the West coast is a must have, because the US would only have to travel the Pacific. Oregon's west coast and the rivers are worthless at this point because they are not chartered or navigated and neither are the Californias, but they have already been settled by the Spanish which is something.

    The best opportunity comes after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803-4 but no later than 1820. The very best opportunity is in 1808 when the Peninsula War started and Spain becomes ravaged by civil war. Not only is it the best opportunity because Spain is weak but because Thomas Jefferson, who just doubled the US is still in power. If there is one person who could imagine such an abstract idea as the Manifest destiny it was him. He can either do two actions, he can buy what territory Polk conquered and if the Spanish refuse, he should be able to conquer it without much drama. If he does not conquer the territory by the end of his second term, Madison can finish the war.

    This comes to the third problem. War of 1812. Wars will hinder the US being able to colonise Australia because colonisation is expensive. Therefore the US should implement a no war policy regardless of the casus belli's they have on any of the squabbling European nations.

    If the US can buy/conquer by 1810 that gives them 10 years to understand this vast geographical area they now own. However, the real story starts when it reaches Madison that there is a vast "southern land" in the Pacific that is mostly uninhabited. As for state names 'American Sahul' sounds cool.
     
  2. Demothenes Can’t we just get back to the good times

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    I think the bigger question is why would they take a far worse bit of land oceans away when they have an entire “empty” continent right next door
     
  3. Mitchell Hundred Well-Known Member

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    From 1783 to about 1890 the US's manifest destiny was about getting coast to coast and filling in the interior between.

    The only way you can get Americans looking seriously overseas is if their territory was capped at the Mississippi.
     
  4. Grand Archduke of Austria Well-Known Member

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    You are both correct and that is why it never happened. I must say Australia cannot fit a lot of people in it despite its size, people mainly live on the coast. It has the same population as California. If the US were going to colonize it, it would be purely for jingoistic terms. It does not have to be all of Australia either it can be a portion of the continent.

    Ironically, however, Australia has more of a chance of becoming a collection of US states in the far future than in the past.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  5. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    The logistics of it would be mind-boggling. America in the 19th century didn't have the reach of the Royal Navy, which could help control Australia AND was nearer (especially once the Suez Canal was built).
     
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  6. 606jae Well-Known Member

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    I just had an interesting idea but have not given it any thought. France creates a colony somewhere on Australia and sells it to the USA along with Louisiana
     
  7. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Gets taken away from them in 1812. The US doesn't have the ability to fight outside its own borders other than some privateering.
     
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  8. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    That's assuming that the War of 1812 doesn't get butterflied away.
     
  9. PuffyClouds Well-Known Member

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    I doubt America can fight a war of conquest in the Texas region before 1812 without earlier settlement in West Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

    A tangential remark:
    The 1818 specie payment for the bonds of the Louisiana Purchase is accepted as one of the principle causes of the 1819 Recession. Jacob Astor had begun a promising commercial venture connecting trade between Oregon and China just before the War of 1812. Boston shipyards also produced some of the earliest advanced clipper sailship designs. If you could secure a plentiful source of opium poppies, get America to avoid the War of 1812, and speed up clipper development then Americans could dominate the opium trade in China, and maybe avoid the 1819 Recession. Britain probably takes control of the market by the early 1830s though. That's not too bad for American finances because then they can switch over to trading Chinese luxuries for the British bills of exchange they got for Southern cotton - like OTL.
     
  10. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

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    What about a barely settled (as in French colonial tradition) French west Australia that ends up in American occupation/hands after a war early in the 20th century? Seems a bit big for a war reward.

    Or.

    As a way to curb french expansion in Australia, England ask Portugal to take control of the top end/north west Australia - since Portugal controls East Timor/east Flores - and they establish some forts there, while the U.K. eventually grab most of west Australia while a small coastal part around Kimberley/top end/pilbara/Gascoyne and their immediate hinterland is (formally) Portuguese, the place would be almost empty beside some pearl fishing villages, failed attempts at plantations and maybe a prison for degredados. In the second half of the 19th century you could have a situation similar to how . Lima Lopes sold east Flores to the Dutch without lisbon’s conscent or how Joseph William Torres tried to get North Borneo for the USA. Portugal wasn’t exactly known to have a firm grip on its colonies, as long as it happens before the pink map ultimatum it should be plausible, Portugal could also ask for recognition of some of its territorial claim in Africa in exchange, similar to how Portugal gave northern Namibia or southern Senegal to Germany/France in exchange of international support.

    The USA end up in control of like a million sqkm of mostly useless land in north-north Western Australia
     
  11. HowAboutThisForAName Manservant to Melon the Mischievous Mog

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    It's worth noting that Britain had been dumping convicts in Australia since 1788. Admittedly it was only a few thousand in the first few decades but it was very much a long-term strategy in taking convicts whose crimes weren't so egregious and violent so as to establish a serviceable settler presence on the continent from the first instance. Britain saw much of the continent, particularly the much more hospitable east coast, as their territory from rather very early on. I'm no naval expert but my understanding is that by the time the US can even come close to challenging British interests in Australia the continent would already be well and truly settled by the British.
    A weird, roundabout way of doing this would be a more widespread republican revolt some time in the middle of the 19th Century, perhaps if even more Irish were dumped there, who petition the US for support and eventual annexation. But I dunno how plausible that is, if at all.
     
  12. mspence Well-Known Member

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    Best point might be in the 1890s during or after the Spanish American War. By then the US had the means to actually get to Oz. Maybe they make a deal with Britain after the Boxer Rebellion & Australia becomes a US territory while Britain is bogged down in the Boer War? Maybe things go worse for Britain and they decide they can't afford to keep it in the Empire, a la the Dutch and the East Indies?
     
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  13. Grand Archduke of Austria Well-Known Member

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    That’s more viable than my scenario. I always think of the complex instead of the simplicity. That means if any country had any viable colonising opportunities like Portugal or Holland it could be easily sell it to the US. Denmark sold thier Virgin Islands because they were not profitable but would not sell Greenland because of oil.
     
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  14. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    And the self-governing Dominion that makes up the entire continent just goes along with this for shits and giggles? Australian Federation was accomplished in January 1901. It had been in train for- conservatively- a decade. All Britain's Australian colonies had been self-governing since the early 1860s.

    Britain and America can make any trade they want, but the facts on the ground are the facts on the ground. By the 1840s any American Australia would involve a massive occupation across the Pacific of white English-speakers, which is not going to be remotely popular with any part of American society.
     
  15. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    France nabs Southern New Zealand, gets bored, and sells the place to the US. It is thus referred to as American Australia.
     
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