What Kind of population could Alaska support ?

I`m thinking around the 1880`s is when it really gets going .But before then it might have gotten a slight start in the 1860`s .I was thinking that by around 1930-40 they would have about the same population and industrial base as Italy .As well as an awesome navy to defend against Japan and/or the United States .


Simply not possible.
 
Quinoa is a very good crop for Alaska, if you can get the right type from the Andes. Other cold weather crops like turnip, cabbage, etc. can also grow in Alaska (although obviously only in certain areas). At best you'll have an Alaska with maybe 10 million people, highly dependent on food imports.

Resource-wise, I think Alaska is pretty wealthy in resources, but environmental restrictions prevent their exploitation. Of course, if you exploited them enough to have 10 million people there, you'd get a situation like certain parts of Siberia with tons of industrial pollution and destruction of the environment. Alaska can also easily be an energy superpower, with all the oil as well as the proposed Rampart Dam which could generate up to 5 gigawatts of hydroelectric power and create the world's largest manmade lake. Oh, and destroy a major wetland with tons of waterfowl breeding grounds as well as a rich indigenous culture.

You wouldn't be making anything that resembles Alaska or even Alaska with millions more people, you'd just be making another part of Siberia.
 
Alaska could probably support a significantly larger population; the bigger is why would it have to? Even leaving aside the relatively harsh climate, the state's peripheral geography makes it really hard to build a major population center. It's far away from other big population centers, and it has no practical use as a port for other regions, something that would be true even if it were part of Canada. It isn't going to be a railway or highway junction either.

You need some reason why several million people would up and move to Alaska. Perhaps some kind of White Russian refuge? (Though most probably would just go to Europe.) A Jewish state? You basically need for people to not be able to go to more compelling, better-located regions.
 
My thought was that the main groups who would immigrate would be composed of .
A)Half race people from India seeking acceptance and freedom .
B)Poor and downtrodden people from Europe who came because the Government
of Alaska would pay for their way (They actively seek immgirants to their
Country )And like the idea of owning land .
C)Refugees from war torn areas and famine stricken regions .Ireland in the
1880`s being a good example .
D)People who are used to the climate Alaska has and would not be uncomfortable
in it ,ie Swedes ,Norwegians ,Danes as well as some Finns ,Poles ,and Germans .
Also some people who might choose to Immigrate are political exiles like the French Royalists after the second time they were ousted .
 
But why would they not go somewhere else? Even with something like White Russians, exiled royalists, etc., you won't be able to get that many people to go there, if only because a lot of them would go elsewhere rather than what will be/is Siberia pt. 2 (Alaska needs money, after all, so environment comes second). Unlike Alaska, Taiwan was comparatively well developed when the Nationalists fled there, and I just don't see Alaska even developing to Taiwan levels. Even a Jewish state in Alaska would probably be extremely lucky to have half the amount of people modern Israel has (for one, Jewish-Arab relations would be better in that case, so less Jews leaving those countries).
 
In the TL I have the British East India company sending ships every year to buy Alaskan whale oil ,furs and other goods .These ships are fully loaded on the homeward trip but besides from a few luxury items they are mostly empty .So Alaska`s first king decides to boost population and begins offering land to potential settlers .Many Swedes ,Norwegians ,Russians ,Poles and Dutch answer .The Indiamen can carry about 75 men and women on a trip to Alaska as passengers .So if you have perhaps twenty ships a year coming once a year ,that Amounts to around 1500 a year .For twenty five years that`s 3700 !In addition Alaska has a whaling fleet and when the crews of these ships retire from the business they often have wives whom they got from the islands .And children before long .
In addition there were around 150,000 natives already living in Alaska by 1800 .So if families were large ,as they were in those days .You could see that by around 1900 Alaska might have a population of around fifteen million .
But those would not be the only ways to get to Alaska .If gold were discovered early many Americans might choose to come to the country ,and then be to poor to afford to go home .Also if Alaska could get the British in on making a transcontinental railroad in the 1860`s perhaps .You would only have to sail across the Atlantic .
Plus yeah all the groups of people that were downtrodden on the continent like ex-Confederates ,Indian especially .Add that to all the oppressed groups in Europe like the poles ,Slavs and others that might want to get as far away from where they came from .
And who would invade a frozen wasteland ?Except Hitler ,Napoleon ?
So did Alaska gain independence under Russia?
 
In answer to DarthFanta`s question about how Alaska got independent .Yes they were colonised much heavier ITTL than ours were Russia only ever used the region for the fur trade .In about 1800 they became independent from Russia and so on and so on .
As for B-29`s remark that Russia somehow takes everything north of San Francisco and holds it ...Bah !They could barely hold onto Alaska as it was .
 
My thought was that the main groups who would immigrate would be composed of .
A)Half race people from India seeking acceptance and freedom .
B)Poor and downtrodden people from Europe who came because the Government
of Alaska would pay for their way (They actively seek immgirants to their
Country )And like the idea of owning land .
C)Refugees from war torn areas and famine stricken regions .Ireland in the
1880`s being a good example .
D)People who are used to the climate Alaska has and would not be uncomfortable
in it ,ie Swedes ,Norwegians ,Danes as well as some Finns ,Poles ,and Germans .
Also some people who might choose to Immigrate are political exiles like the French Royalists after the second time they were ousted .

A) Tiny population
B) With what do the Alaskans pay for the passage? And what land are they getting compared to say, Iowa
C) And Alaska is better than USA how?
D) No one is comfortable in Alaska's climate (pre-central heating and air-con) - not when they could emmigrate to the Mid-West / South of the USA
And political exiles often like to be closer to their home nation - in case an opportunity arises to return.

Even today less than 0.5% of Alaskan land is farmed (882,000 acres). Compare that to say todays Belgium with 3.4 million acres (and a further 1.2 million acres as pasture)

Population of Belgium is c. 11 million - which suggests that even with todays agriculture Alaska would struggle to support much more than 3 million

Alaskan natives numbered about 80,000 before the impact of European diseases in the mid 1700s. Alaskan population IOTL only reached 60,000 by 1900.

http://labor.alaska.gov/research/pop/estimates/pub/pophistory.pdf

There is a reason why the original thread is in ASB
 
The only plausible way for Alaska to have a population in the millions as of 1940 would be for it to remain a possession of the Russian Empire and then after 1920 for Comrade Stalin to make colonization of the area a Number One State Priority.
 
I found this via Google:

http://www.farmflavor.com/us-ag/alaska/

Top Agriculture Products
1. Greenhouse/nursery
2. Hay
3. Potatoes
4. Cattle and calves
5. Dairy products

Number of Farms
680

Land in Farms
882,000 acres

Average Farm Size
1,285 acres

I can't see that this is enough to sustain very many people. Greenhouse tech may have promise, but requires tech to establish.

Maybe that's why hunting and fishing are such big food sources.
 
I wasted some time reading on Russian America (Alaska) a bit ago. Even with some minor incentives and bold plans by the Russians, the European population of Alaska during Russian rule never surpassed 3,000. Gold in the Yukon was rather important bolstering the population, yes. However the growth is well below what you want, 32,000 in 1890 to 63,000 in 1900. I would say you get some materials to read, I know of some lovely sources if you want any.
 
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