Who buys Alaska if not the USA? (Is it guaranteed to be Britain?)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Višeslav, Apr 15, 2019.

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Who'd get Alaska if not the USA?

  1. Britain

    59 vote(s)
    45.4%
  2. The house of Liechtenstein

    29 vote(s)
    22.3%
  3. Someone else (explain in the comments)

    6 vote(s)
    4.6%
  4. Britain again

    20 vote(s)
    15.4%
  5. My neighbour Tim

    17 vote(s)
    13.1%
  6. They keep it

    33 vote(s)
    25.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Višeslav Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2018
    Simple question. Assuming for whatever reason, the US doesn't buy Alaska from the Russians, who does? I've heard of some weird proposals, like selling it to Liechtenstein, but what is the most likely scenario? Is it just Britain? Are there even other plausible options?

    I expect this thread to be pretty short, but, I guess I'll just have to wait and see...
     
  2. Galba Otho Vitelius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    I scanned through the Wikipedia article on the Alaska purchase. As usual, I don't know how accurate it is.

    The article indicates that the Russian government got the idea of selling Alaska because they thought they couldn't defend it if the British tried to grab it. They then tried selling it to the British. The article claims that this was an attempt to start a bidding war with the Americans, who the Russians really wanted to be the buyers, and the British were not interested. The British not being interested indicates that the Russians were overly concerned about the British seizing it in a war. If the Russians somehow hold onto the place until gold is discovered they keep it.

    The likeliest alternative customer to the Americans would probably be the French. Buying Alaska seems like something Napoleon III would do, and if we push the sale later in history, the Third Republic would want to the additional colony for prestige reasons. Russia would prefer that the French have Alaska instead of Britain.

    Purchase of Alaska by Austria-Hungary for some random reason would be fun.
     
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  3. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    It could remain unsold. It was not producing any profit but did not cost too much either. IIRC, the main reason for selling it was a fear that the Brits would just occupy it: place was indefensible at that time and to get something would be better than nothing.
     
  4. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    It prob the house of Lichtenstein
     
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  5. Višeslav Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2018
    I dunno. Tim might offer more.
     
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  6. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    belive it or not they were some of the richest people on the world at the time
     
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  7. Gabingston Well-Known Member

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    Minnesota
    What Frenchmen would want to leave their homeland with fantastic wine and cheese, travel halfway around the world, and wind up in a frozen tundra?
     
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  8. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    That’s a very good point: you’d definitely need a country with a culture of putting ice into the national drinks. To think about it, this may be a reason why so few Russians moved there: AFAIK a habit of cooling the bottles of vodka or the shot glasses is a modern one and nobody was drinking it on the rocks, which makes Alaska pretty much useless.
     
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  9. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Aug 26, 2017
    Maybe Russia keeps it, but ends up losing it to the Japanese, who make it a colony?
     
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  10. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    Jun 9, 2018
    Mmh, I think the british may like it. They were allies to the japanese but an imposible to defend place like Alaska bordering the Empire gives the uk something to press on Japan.
     
  11. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    if Japan buys it, would it be Japanese in ITTL present day?
     
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  12. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

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    Believe it or not there were French(wo)men who did just that back in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Well, not quite tundra, but it might as well have been.) ;) To replicate that in the 19th century would probably need convincing a few Métis people to come further north to "settle down".
     
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  13. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

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    Considering their track record with regards to Taiwan, probably not. It would probably still remain a Russian/Aboriginal mix.
     
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  14. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    It would depend on how many people they could bring there.
    Consider though - in numerical terms, Alaska is pretty much empty ITTL (yes there was a native and Russian population but it was tiny since Alaska was so barren), meaning that a solid majority of the place would be Japanese come 1945, and that assumes Japan goes to war with the US like OTL. ITTL the American fuel embargo can do nothing - Japan is sitting on lots of oil.
     
  15. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    And why would they do anything of the kind? Economic advantages of having it as a colony in 1905 had been not quite clear.
     
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  16. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

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    And here's another problem - regardless of who owns the land if Russia sells it or not, come the gold rushes a lot of North Americans are going to make the trek to Alaska and the Yukon. Ottawa (and before that the HBC) already has the Yukon under its jurisdiction, so that wouldn't be a problem; it's Alaska that would be the main concern here with the sheer amount of Americans and Canadians arriving for a quick buck.
     
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  17. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

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    They are still pretty wealthy, even without the lands in Bohemia.
     
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  18. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    My guess, because to imitate the empires. That, or Japan tries using it as a penal colony... until the gold or oil is found there
     
  19. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    And the Japanese probably build a new port near where Anchorage is ITTL, and flood it as well as Southern Alaska with Japanese settlers. That's my guess anyway.
     
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  20. Kaze Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    And use it as a launching pad to made Raids into Canada and the US in World War Two - then after the war, it is likely Alaska would become part of Canada.
     
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