USA Purchase Rupert's Land after the American Civil War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by stubear1012, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that the Hudson Bay Company wanted to sell Rupert's Land and the American government wanted to buy it.

    "As the Dominion of Canada was taking its first steps, its political leaders were eyeing a vast area of land to the west of the new nation.
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    The government of John A. Macdonald purchased almost eight million square kilometers of land from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869. The area was almost 30 times the size of Great Britain. (Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada)
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    An enormous territory called Rupert's Land was up for sale. It encompassed almost eight million square kilometers, including most of the prairies, and parts of what are now northern Quebec, northern Ontario, and Nunavut. The once powerful Hudson's Bay Company controlled the area. But the British fur trade giant had been in decline for years and it was now preparing to sell Rupert's Land.

    The Americans, who had just paid Russia $7.2 million for Alaska in 1867, were looking for other properties to expand the Republic and eyed the territory.

    But Canada saw Rupert's Land as the natural extension of its new nation which included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.

    George Brown, editor of The Globe and a Father of Confederation, described it as "the vast and fertile territory which is our birthright - and which no power on earth can prevent us occupying."
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    The Hudson's Bay Company was prepared to sell to the Americans who would pay top dollar, but the British government made it clear it wanted the territory to be sold to Canada.

    On March 20, 1869, the Hudson's Bay Company reluctantly, under pressure from Great Britain, sold Rupert's Land to the Government of Canada for $1.5 million."

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    Lets assume that Great Britain lets the HBC sell Rupert's Land to the USA. For the sake of this discussion, lets assume that the USA agreed to honor all current land claims in the settled area and agreed to extend to HBC the same rights and privileges as an American Company. Also, lets assume that the USA honors these agreements due to the importance of trade with Britain and the size of the British navy.

    With what was Canada in the OTL, now split into two separate areas, what would happen? Does two separate countries evolve with one on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast? Does these two sections find themselves coming under the economic control of the USA and eventually become part of the USA?

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Mr_Fanboy Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Ontario + Quebec + the Maritimes, but British Columbia almost certainly eventually ends up in the USA in this scenario.
     
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  3. wtw Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if Britain really would have approved of this, but it makes for a much more powerful and larger US. Hell only China and India would beat us in population, no one on size.
     
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  4. Centralen Well-Known Member

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    I don't really think that it would make the USA that much more powerful. The region is very sparsely populated.
     
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  5. wtw Well-Known Member

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    mineral resources
     
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  6. Caesars11 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe to appease British sentiment a divide sale , 1/2 to US , 1/2 to Canada along the 85 degree longitude so Quebec and Ontario fill out to the bay and the US gets access. HBC charges the US more for their half, appease GB, room for Canadian growth?
     
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  7. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    Why does the HBC sell? Why do the British let them?
     
  8. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    ... which people don't really know about yet. So far as anybody is concerned, Rubert's Land is a bunch of dry praries, mountains, large spans of lakes and conifer forests who's fur and timber just aren't what they used to be from a financial standpoint, and a sparse sprinkling of Indians and half-Indians/Half Frenchies. Even if they knew about them, its going to be a LONG time before they're profitable to extract compared to sources elsewhere.

    In the long run, yah you'll get wealth out of it. But in the frame of time a corporation or even most nations care about Rubert's Land is mostly "wasteland". And people don't know that they'll be getting wealth out of it. Now, I think the bigger issue is going to be getting the US to want to buy the territory after just plopping down a fair sum for Alaska and having not seen the returns yet to justify purchasing yet more land northern land.
     
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  9. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    They'd probably actually sooner become their own Dominion. They had already graduated to to the status of self-governing colony, had a rapidly growing population, and a very British culture.
     
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  10. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    Considering the geography, might Canada and Britain be open to some sort of settlement where the USA buys western Rupert's Land from the HBC and the North-Western Territory from Canada? As far as anyone knows, the North-Western Territory is even more empty and (at the time) useless than Rupert's Land. Such an arrangement would mean:

    -- The HBC gets to sell Rupert's Land, as it wanted.

    -- Canada and Britain ensure that Canada retains a considerable part of Rupert's Land (presumably up to and including the already settled Red River and Churchill areas).

    -- The USA gets to acquire more northern land (which it wanted) and gets an overland connection to Alaska (which means little, since it's mostly a damned inhospitable region in between, but that sort of thing speaks to territorial integrity, and people tend to like that).

    -- Canada sells the North-Western Territory (which it considers rather useless, now that the North-West Passage is proven to be a myth) for a nica amount of cash.

    -- BC presumably gets to become its own Dominion.
     
  11. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding why the USA wanted to buy Rupert's Land, it is my understanding that policy of manifest destiny created the need. With the Alaskan purchase, Russia was peacefully removed from North America. With this purchase, the amount of land in North America under British control/influence was greatly reduced. Unless Mexico developed an alliance with a major European power, the USA would now have no serious rivals in North America.

    "In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
    • The special virtues of the American people and their institutions
    • The mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America
    • An irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty[3]"
     
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  12. dmg86 Well-Known Member

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    something to also keep in mind is that after the civil war the British owed the US money for losses infected by CSA ships built in British shipyards. The US came close to buying BC from Britain at the time.
     
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  13. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    You're playing fast and loose with the word "close". Britain was nowhere near selling territory to the USA.
     
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  14. Lusitania Donor

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    Britain was not at any time going to sell the land when its purchase would allow British North American colonies to unite from Atlantic to pacific.

    It’s all fine today from our perspective to say they should or could of bought it but the empty land was hardly worth it to the Americans who were in the midsts of rebuilding from civil war and had just paid a huge sum for their own piece of rock, trees and wilderness.
     
  15. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    You may be right but I keep thinking about the following:

    1) Many Americans really believed in policy of manifest destiny.
    2) Expansion into Canada has been a goal of my American leaders since the Revolutionary War.
    3) Since the British viewed the land as having no real value, why not agree to let HBC sell.

    Thank you
     
  16. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    IOTL the US already is third largest in population
     
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  17. Lusitania Donor

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    There was a value to having the land under British rule and a sign of British might. Now you may have some who looked at profit only but they were not the majority.

    Also while many might believe in the manifest destiny it did not mean that they were willing to invade another country and evict the current people (natives excluded). They moved into sparely populated northern Mexico territory and empty west coast. The prairies were after thought and only settled when all other viable land had been settled.
     
  18. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    For one, this all but strangles Canada in the cradle.

    British Columbia will likely eventually join the USA - supplies and settlement from Britain and Canada are too distant, or would pass through the USA - but when it happens, it will be on their terms.

    The Eastern remnant likely splits into two or three separate dominions, that all leap when Britain says frog.

    A lot of immigrants who went to Canada in OTL may go ITTL to South Africa or Australia.
     
  19. wtw Well-Known Member

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    I know, but we would beat Russia on size then
     
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  20. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding more British immigration to South Africa, that could be a good thing if it avoids apartheid. Instead you would have something along the lines of segregation that would slowly change over time. In that case, South Africa would be stronger country.