1. Apr 9, 2007

### Rothiemurchus

If the russians hadn't sold alaska to the usa, would the world be a different place today?

2. Apr 9, 2007

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Of course.

Also, consider that Russians occupied the west coast of what is now the US, down through the Sacramento Valley.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_colonization_of_the_Americas

Also -
http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/activity/suttersfort/pages/sutter.html

3. Apr 9, 2007

### turbo

Also, the Russians had relations with the Inuit, Tlingit, Aleuts, and a whole lot of other tribes of native americans living on the west coast of the US. The Russians hunted whales and fished here, and also engaged in trade with the natives in the very lucrative fur market.

4. Apr 9, 2007

### Manchot

If you can believe it, we'd probably be even more dependent on foreign oil if not for Alaska.

5. Apr 9, 2007

### denverdoc

Well it just proves "folly" as in Seward's is a matter of perspective.

6. Apr 9, 2007

### drankin

It was one of the most brilliant acquisitions this country has ever made.

I've lived there 10yrs of my life. My children are Alaska Natives.

There are a folks up there that would like to secede from the US. Alaska would certainly be capable of being its own prosporous country. One of the only places in the country where there is no sales tax, state income tax, and they even pay each resident oil royalties for every year that you live there. Every man woman and child.

It's the light/dark seasonal cycles I did not care for after a few years.

7. Apr 9, 2007

### denverdoc

I would have a big barreled pistol self-pointed at the right angle after a single year there I suspect. The seasonal stuff i couldn't handle. I trained with a gal from Anchorage, of partly Inuit descent, who was a treasure. Went straight back there from Colorado. We miss her. But she was devoted to her native land, and I suspect couldn't handle the sunshine beaming down 300/365 days a year. Myself I agree that the natural resources are the property of all. Likely it works in Akaska where there is a super-abundance relative to the population, is an argument to consider. But also being a newcomer and unfettered by old money is something to reflect on.

8. Apr 9, 2007

### Pythagorean

Secession is out of the question. There's only two way we could get it: a) diplomatic b) violence

diplomacy will never work because our roots are as a free trade zone for the US. The US relies on us in so many ways (military position, strategy, and intelligence; fisheries, oil, research and development, the list is endless, some politicians might see us as an inexhaustible resource) that it will never give us up.

violence won't work because we're over-policed, a lot of military personnel are transferred frequently (so they don't have a sense of belonging to Alaska, they're dedication is to the US) and we have multiple military bases controlled by DC up here.

The US machine has properly invested in "homeland security" in Alaska. We are it's *****.

9. Apr 9, 2007

### Danger

I probably shouldn't get involved in this, since I've had a couple of Keith's, but let's keep in mind that what is now Alaska was Canadian property until the idiot Brit government (who unfortunately controlled us) decided to give it to Russia instead. :grumpy:

10. Apr 9, 2007

### drankin

I just mentioned it because it was a peculiar idea, living up there, it seemed almost like a possiblitiy. Which it is not, of course.

It's one of the few states, if not the only, that you can walk into a Wal-Mart and in a matter of minutes purchase a nice large caliber handgun with nothing more than proof that you are an adult, put it in your pocket, buy a case of ammo, walk out, and the it's completely legal. That's what they call "the last frontier", my friends.

11. Apr 9, 2007

### Cyrus

I would assume the crime in Alaska is almost non-existant.

12. Apr 9, 2007

### drankin

Why would you assume that?

13. Apr 9, 2007

### Cyrus

Just seems like better people would be in Alaska. Its not like the streets of DC.

14. Apr 9, 2007

### denverdoc

Not to butt in. and i haven't seen a single stat--crime rate fluctuates with season, is largely a function of alcohol/drug abuse, and is overall more violence vs purely property crimes?

15. Apr 9, 2007

### drankin

Actually, here are some stats: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/akcrime.htm

Crime is better in some respects and worse in others per 1000 people compared to other states. The demographic is not typical though. The gender ratio is one of the most significant in the nation. More men than women. There is a saying up there, "You don't lose your woman, you just lose your turn". And in my experience, it holds true :rofl:

16. Apr 9, 2007

### drankin

I think there is something to be said about distance from other people. Too many people around can make one irratable :). There is a lot of empty land. Though, Anchorage has a pretty dense population. Mainly because it's right up between some mountains and the ocean. Everywhere else can be very spread out. They are still homesteading up there!

The thing about Alaska is that the people are from everywhere. Most people are from outside of Alaska and ended up there by circumstance or military stationing. I was an Air Force brat.

17. Apr 10, 2007

### drankin

Alcoholism is significant up there. Particularly among the Natives. Some villages are alchol-free for that reason. (Some are actaully "white-man" free, they won't let you out of the Cessna you might have dropped in with). They don't have the same tolerance as those that have had it in their ancestry for thousands of years. As far as being a problem, depends on who you talk to. Long winters don't help.

But the country is incredible.

Man, keep me talking and I'll end up going back!

18. Apr 10, 2007

### BobG

I don't think there would be a huge difference. Russia may have interacted with a lot of the Alaskan natives, but they only occupied a small area in the Alaskan Gulf. They weren't very likely to settle the rest of Alaska and not very likely to hold on to what they did occupy because of the British. If the US hadn't 'bought' Alaska from Russia, it would probably be part of Canada.

As it is, the US paid Russia $7.2 million, but a court later declared that deal invalid since Russia didn't own or occupy most of Alaska. The US had to repurchase Alaska from its indigenous residents for$962 million in 1971. A lot of people think that deal was still a rip-off of the native Alaskans.

19. Apr 10, 2007

### drankin

One thing is for sure, they got a much better deal than any Native Americans ever did.

20. Apr 10, 2007

### denverdoc

Well my guess wasn't too far off--didn't foresee the rape as #1 but in retrospect makes sense, somewhat undermining the notion that rape is not a sexually motivated crime in most instances. Certinly crimes of violence #8 vs property crimes--roughly median values, confirmed my suspicions.

I'd love to go up there in the summer, and am determined to see the A.Borealis before I die, preferably under the influence of the right intoxicants.