The Empire of Alaska (Russian: Аляскинская империя) is a Northern nation located on North America, Greenland and parts of Asia. The country's primary language is Russian, although Aleut, Inuit and Tlingit are common tongues as well. The official religion is the Alaskan Orthodox Church, with 85% of the country practicing; other major religions include Judaism (10%), Roman Catholicism (3%) and indigenous faiths (2%). The nation's capital is at Sitka, although the Church is based out of Aleksandrgrad, and the Kamchatka and Okhotsk Krais, which have semi-autonomous governments that answer directly to Sitka, are based out of Petropavlovsk and Okhotsk, respectively. It is bordered at the 52nd parallel by the United States in North America and on Hudson's Bay by French Canada, as well as Korea, China, Japan and Siberia in Asia.
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Following the Russian Exodus, many of the migrants in eastern Siberia found themselves in a difficult position. They could return to the Siberian stronghold at Omsk, continue to risk attacks by local peoples out on the Steppe, or attempt to find a permanent settlement on the North Pacific coast. The Chinese had seized Russian territory in Central Asia already, and Vladivostok had been absorbed by the Kingdom of Korea. Many Russians, seeing the absorption of Russian territory by foreign powers inevitable, moved to large Asian capitals such as Peking or Hanseong and lived in squalid, ethnic communities. The powerful Tolstoy family, recently deposed from their position of power in Russia, led one of the many "Russias in Exile" from Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula, controlling territory as far north as the Arctic Sea. In July of 1829, twelve years after the Tolstoys joined the Exodus, they led 40,000 Russian emigrants across the Bering Sea to a place on the Gulf of Alaska they named Aleksandrgrad in honor of their slain Czar. As far as the survivors of the Exodus were concerned, their journey had come to an end.
National Organization and Growth
After the fall of Petrograd in 1813 and the Great Russian Purges of 1817-18, the Alaskan colony run by the Russian America Company had governed itself more or less freely. The Tolstoys were not the first to think of crossing the Bering Sea to safety in North America; the Russian-speaking population of Alaska was around 50,000 in 1830 discounting the Kamchatkan members of the Exodus newly arrived. For the past decade, thousands of Russians had trickled into the wooded hills along the gulf, and many more had fled to the capital, Sitka. There were settlements as far south as Vancouver Island, and the Company maintained a trading post in the San Juan Islands.Feodor Tolstoy came into this environment in 1829 feeling that his nation of 90,000 Russian expatriates, the survivors of one of the greatest ethnic tragedies in history, was ready to reorganize and form a new Russian Empire on the Pacific. He established his capital at Aleksandrgrad, appointed Bishop Valentin Britov the Patriarch of Alaska and set about forming alliances with the native Tlingits and Aleuts, the latter being far more receptive to the thousands of expatriates arriving by the year. Aleksandrgrad grew to a population of 75,000 by 1840, trading across the Bering Sea with the Kamchatkan and Okhotsk colonies and even with Japan and Korea. In 1843, with the population of Alaska at nearly 800,000 Russian expatriates, Feodor Tolstoy died and passed the execution of Alaskan affairs down to a young politician, Mikhail Lermontov. At only the age of 28, Lermontov, the so-called "Father of Alaska" moved the capital south to the easily defendable city of Sitka and declared himself Czar of Alaska, a move even Tolstoy dared not make (although he was honored with the posthumous style of "Czar Feodor I" in 1872. Keeping in mind Czar Ivan IV of Siberia still waging a war with Napoleon in the Urals, Lermontov extended formalities to the expatriate capital at Novosibirsk but declared to his former leader that Alaska was, for all practical purposes, an independent nation. Ivan's death in 1845 severed all formal ties between Siberia and Alaska, allowing Lermontov to claim superiority over Okhotsk and Kamchatka, which relied on Alaskan trade to avoid absorption by China or Korea.
Lermontov would rule until his death in 1869, a life defined by prosperous growth in Alaska (which had a population of nearly three million by his death on both sides of the Bering Sea), as well as his devotion to peace with the Aleuts and wars with the Tlingits, who opposed his every measure in southern Alaska. Lermontov was an artist who, when not at state functions (of which there were few, with most of the Russian nobility murdered in the Purges or dead from the Exodus), would paint the Alaskan wilderness or write poetry describing the plight of his expatriate nation. The famed Alaskan author Leo Tolstoy wrote of Lermontov, "Of Czar Mischa, there was only grace, gentlemanry and governance. He saw the world and its faults, and he saw the world and its beauty."
Rivalry with United States
Naturally, close proximity with the rapidly developing United States created a noticeable rivalry - largely due to the fact that both countries claimed vast regions of land that had formerly belonged to Britain, but which had previously had such little settlement that the contention was largely worthless. Now, however, large stretches of the untamed wilderness was claimed by both parties - the United States believed it had a claim deep north into the land known as Yukon, and Alaska was so ambitious as to claim land all the way south to beyond the 49th parallel, including Vancouver Island, which had long been settled by the Americans and was home to Sydney, a key Pacific port.
Struggles had been ongoing in the Great North for quite some time; Americans and Alaskans had experienced small skirmishes between rival settlers as far south as modern-day Oregon. As the 1860's drew to a close, Americans began to call for an extension of territory all the way north to the Arctic Ocean, which would make them the largest country on earth. Alaskans, meanwhile, demanded a push south to claim the Columbia River; they envisioned a fertile, peaceful province that would become the breadbasket of Alaska.The settlers started to intermix around the 51st parallel, which was the de facto border, despite extreme claims from both sides. At the Alaskan city of Kialgory (Киалгоры) just east of the Rocky Mountains, the American settlers had begun to clash with the Russian-speaking population. Kialgory was located exactly north of the 51st parallel, and was rapidly turning into central Alaska's hub on the Great Plains, along with Novostroya and Mikhailgrad farther east, and Evgenigrad to the north.
Another contentious issue between Alaskans and Americans was the treatment of Native Americans - the Alaskans, while experiencing trouble dealing with Tlingits, treated Native Americans generously and considered them valuable trading partners. With a national heritage defined by the loss of one's original homeland, they sympathized with Sioux and Crow who regularly fled into Alaskan-controlled territory to avoid American settlers and encroachers. Chief Sitting Bull of the Sioux built a massive, permanent camp near Novostroya that became known as "Indian City". While many Americans regularly ventured north to trade with the massive Sioux settlement, Sitting Bull and his allies, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud, regularly staged attacks south into the United States before retreating back into Alaska, all throughout the late 1860's and almost all of the 1870's. American soldiers under the command of General James Smith once raided a village on the outskirts of Indian City and managed to capture Red Cloud and brought him back to the United States, in the infamous 1877 Sioux Raid.
Czar Feodor II, Mikhail's hot-tempered son, openly demanded an apology from the United States. President Josiah Marks complied, and sent his Secretary of State, Rutherford Hayes, to personally apologize for the incident. The "Sitka Accords" established a tentative border at 51'30, which left Kialgory in American territory. Due to low literacy in Alaska, many did not know about this event. Czar Feodor was furious, but said little of the matter.
Marks forbade his military from entering Alaskan territory for the rest of his term, but with the death of Samuel Tilden in 1881 and the ascension of his Vice President, Gregory Dunn, to power, the US Congress openly encouraged occasional raids against Alaskan territory in order to attack Sioux and Cheyenne Indians hiding out. In one incident, the 1882 Sibirski Affair, 28 Alaskans were killed along with 12 Comanches camped outside of the village of Sibirski in the foothills of the Rockies by American soldiers, even though Sibirski was deep north into Alaskan lands.
Feodor demanded an apology again, but the diplomatic, conciliatory Marks was no longer in power. Dunn cordially refused and bluntly told Feodor that if the Alaskan military would not control the Indians, then the American military would.
By 1884, the situation in the muddled territory was critical. Indian attacks from Alaska were getting out of control in the Plains, and the growth of American settlement along the Georgian Strait was threatening the Alaskan fur and fishing settlements that had existed there for decades. Feodor ordered his most trusted general, the young, half-Inuit Boris Anasenko to move with the 175,000 strong Army of the Pacific against the major American settlements in the Fraser River Valley (the Alaskans called this the "Sogovin Offensive," since the Alaskan name for the river was the Sogova/Согова). He also used the Trans-Alaskan Railroad that stretched from the Strait of Georgia to the Plains to transport a 240,000 strong Army of the East to Evgenigrad, under the command of Andrey Zukhov. The Alaskan surprise attack against the city of Chester near the north end of the Strait of Georgia on May 23rd, 1884 resulted in the annihilation of the entire garrison of 500 stationed there against 20 Alaskan losses - one of the most lopsided losses in American military history.
News traveled fast south to the Americans in Sahalee, and on May 30th, 1884, Dunn was pressured into declaring war on Alaska.
See also: Alaskan War
The Alaskan War was a destructive conflict that officially lasted between 1884 and 1887, but which really did not end until the 1890's. The war pitted two long-dormant North American military powers against one another - the United States had not engaged in legitimate, classical warfare in forty years and the Alaskan Imperial Army had experience fighting Tlingits, Aleuts and smaller, roving teams of bandits.
At the outset of the war in 1884, both empires had very different goals - the Americans envisioned a United States hegemony over the Great North, and President Dunn described in a speech he gave in Baltimore "that we will one day fly the Star-Spangled Banner over the battlements of Sitka, over the spires of Aleksandrgrad, and on the distant shores of Alaskan Asia." For Alaska, control over southern territory was vital - much of the land in question was where the backbone of their agricultural industry was located, and they coveted the Columbia River Valley's fertility. Czar Feodor demanded that the Alaskan Bear be hung from the walls of Fort Boise in Oregon, and swore to his soldiers as they embarked on ships headed for Vancouver Island that they would fight to the last man before the United States captured Alaska. With a few Alaskans old enough to remember fleeing Russia during the Purges and the horrors of the Exodus, the matter of being conquered and driven from their homes by an invading neighbor was unacceptable.
For the majority of the war, the fighting was defined on two fronts - the Columbia Theater, as it was called, and the Missouri Theater, named after the major rivers in each region. For the most part, the Columbia Theater was dominated by the Alaskans initially until a successful American counteroffensive late in the war, and the Missouri Theater experienced the exact opposite.
Anasenko's Sovogin Offensive was a startling success initially - his Army of the Pacific fought their way down the Strait of Georgia, experiencing minimal American resistance, while another army from Sitka seized control of northern Vancouver Island. The large Alaskan population in the region sabotaged American infrastructure and in one case, at Fort Bellis on Vancouver Island, rose up in arms on their own and overpowered the American garrison.
Old friends and comrades Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant, now both old men, traveled west to advise the young General Arthur Perry, who was charged with heading America's Army of the Dakotas. Alongside Perry's regular conscripts were the Crows, longtime enemies of the Sioux who were fighting alongside the Alaskans. In the first major battle of the war, on June 23rd, 1884, Perry's 8th Corps collided with the Army of the East at Cold River in what is now Montana. The Alaskans outnumbered the Americans 3 to 1 but were still forced to retreat. In Washington, this early success was hailed as a major victory. "We'll be home for Christmas, just you boys wait," Perry allegedly promised his soldiers.
The reality of the war soon sunk in. While the Army of the Dakotas enjoyed many early victories, even capturing Kialgory in early September, the Army of Oregon under James T. Nansett was being rocked by Anasenko. On August 13th, the two armies clashed in the violent Battle of Burrard, just north of Sahalee. By August 20th, after a long, bloody fight to nearly the last man, Nansett himself was captured and killed by Indians allied with Anasenko and Sahalee was captured.
The Americans and Alaskans had traded the captures of two major frontier cities. But here the American successes largely ended - Perry's army pushed north towards Evgenigrad, where the Army of the East had been expecting them to attack. As the winter months set in, the Alaskans successfully staved off the Siege of Evgenigrad through a brutal war of attrition. The Americans were not prepared to fight a war in the biting cold conditions, and in early December a feint by Perry resulted in the Battle of Detovalsk, a total rout. Perry fled south towards Kialgory, which the Alaskans promptly surrounded.
The Americans weathered a similar siege at Wilson, located in the foothills of the Cascades not far from Sahalee. Nansett's successor, George Jameson, split the Army of Oregon in half and sent one section up the Fraser to defend the town of Clark, while he set in at Wilson, which was strategically near the much more important port of Bellingham. While Wilson eventually fell, Anasenko spent valuable resources trying to ensure victory there.
Anasenko would capture Bellingham but be roundly defeated in the Battle of the Skagit soon thereafter. His successes in the Puget Sound ended there - he would spend the next two years taking and losing the Fraser Valley. In the Plains, Perry wound strike back and drive far north in Alaskan territory, trying to find a point in the Rocky Mountains with which to cross towards Sitka or Aleksandrgrad. Winter would hinder him again, and Perry's Retreat in early 1886 was one of the most humiliating episodes in American military history, with nearly half of the 200,000 man army sent in the Yukon Campaign dead from starvation, cold or Indian attack.
Alaska recaptured Kialgory in 1887 as Anasenko planned out his final retreat north from Sahalee after the brave Sitka Raid by the American Navy and 500 Marines. While an American loss, it proved that the United States had naval superiority over Alaska and could strike at their capital at any time. Soon thereafter, Aleksandrgrad, Kodiak, Unalaska and several other key Alaskan ports were bombarded by American vessels, and the Alaskan navy was decimated. One raid even reached Petropavlovsk.
In 1887, President James Blaine of the United States personally arranged a truce with Czar Feodor, who was toppled in a popular coup led by Mikhail Dmitrov (with support of Anasenko) later that year. In 1888, Blaine and the new Czar Mikhail met in Sitka to strike out the terms of the Treaty of Sofiyagrad, signed two months later, which ended all hostilities and drew America's northernmost border at the 49th parallel and Alaska's southernmost frontier at the 52nd parallel.
Skirmishes, especially with Indians, would continue well into the 1890's, and the question of Vancouver Island - which was occupied by both nations - would linger for several years.
Post-Alaskan War, Reform and Pacific WarCzar Mikhail II would die in 1893 (allegedly due to assassination) and his son, Nikolai I, would take over. Nikolai would reign until 1934, and his reign is remembered for its focus on reduction of monarchical power and the rise of the Premiership to significance, as well as the rewriting of the Constitution in 1924 to build the three-branch system of government that has lasted until today.
Anasenko, despite his stalemate and muddled success in the Sovogin Offensive, was something of a national hero to many Alaskans. His pressure against Nikolai in the late 1890's helped him be appointed as the First Premier of Alaska in 1897. He opposed the Treaty of the San Juans, which Nikolai had signed. It had given all territory south of 51'15 to the Americans in a permanent border, as well as all of Vancouver Island. Despite this, Anasenko purported until 1912 that Vancouver Island be dually run by both countries. After his retirement from the Premiership that year and his death in January of 1914 ended the "Island Dispute" as a popular issue in Alaska, as his successor, fellow Alaskan War veteran Ivan Sergetov, focused on the modernization of the economy and major reform.Under Sergetov's successor, Dmitri Tomegin (also half-native), Alaska's dominance over claimed territory as far east as Greenland was fully established, with the founding of Novo-Moskva on the western coast of the massive island, and the establishment of an Orthodox parish in Iqaluit and the expansion of Atlantic trade in that city made Alaska an emerging power in both Pacific and Atlantic trade.
With the Constitution of the Empire of Alaska signed and ratified by every krai (including Greenland and the Asian territories, which held out until 1927) in 1924, Alaska introduced democracy to all landowners in the country. Unfortunately, Nikolai's deference to Tomegin in matters of foreign policy in the early 1920's allowed for the Pacific War, where Alaska suddenly found itself allied with the United States and the distant lands of Mexico, Colombia and Oceania in the fight against primarily Japan, but their Chinese allies as well. Alaska's alliance with Siberia spawned the vicious, deadly Asian Front where Chinese and Japanese soldiers fought in the freezing cold of Siberia to seize more territory. The fighting in the Aleutian Islands, as well as a bold Japanese air and naval raid against Aleksandrgrad in 1927, paved the way for Alaska's early exit from the war. America and Oceania would fight on until 1929, but Alaska signed the Kodiak Accords with Japan in 1927 to withdraw from the war. Shortly thereafter, Nikolai exercised his constitutional authority and removed Tomegin's successor, Georgiy Ivanov, from office and meddled greatly in the affairs of his replacement, Mischa Komarov, until his death in 1934.
Reign of Aleksandr IFrom 1934 to 1960, Aleksandr I ruled Alaska and made it a major player in global politics, emergent after its humiliating losses in the Pacifc War. Aleksandr began to trust his Premiers more and more as time went on, and by 1950 was allowing Yakov Sighovaryin to practically run the country as a dictator. The growth of the oil industry in the 1930's and 40's created an environment when politicians were practically for sale - Alaska was considered one of the most corrupt countries in the Western world. Aleksandr still made the focus on the agricultural growth around Kialgory and Mikhailgrad a priority, due to the cold, inhospitable conditions further north. In 1943, the Siberian Army launched an invasion of western Alaska - the Siberian-Alaskan War lasted for six years, and the Alaskan victory was a major boost to national morale.
Like many countries in the 1930's and 1940's, Alaska suffered from waves of discontent favoring communism as a form of government. Aleksandr survived two assassination attempts by communist agitators in the 1940's and declared a War on Communism to combat the issue. With the Anarchy in England, the popularity of Marxism in the world declined sharply and Aleksandr worked towards further democratic reforms. The popularity of Marxism, especially during the Siberian-Alaskan War, bothered him and signaled to the power-brokers in Alaska that change was needed - in 1956, the Constitution of Alaska was rewritten to extend the right to vote to all Russian-descendants in Alaska. In 1970, Native Alaskans would be given this right as well.
During this era, the most dominant political figure in Alaska was Yakov Sighovaryin, who was chosen by a reactionary Duma in 1944 to succeed Sergey Kolov as Premier, largely to crack down on the communist agitators and also to curb the rampant corruption by the "new money" corporate executives who controlled the "new guard" politicians brought in by elections to challenge the older generations of leaders.
Sighovaryin was both a blessing and a curse to the traditionalists who orchestrated his election. He envisioned himself a 20th-century version of Boris Anasenko - he had fought in the Pacific War and had resigned his post as Rear Admiral of the Asian Fleet in 1941 to take a post in Sitka. Sighovaryin was also elected by the Duma largely due to his military expertise, as Alaska was at the height of the Siberian-Alaskan War. His leadership during the six-year struggle helped subjugate communists and restore "order, peace and tradition" to Alaska.
Despite this, Sighovaryin completely usurped power from the Duma and more or less ran the country on his personal whim, especially after the Treaty of Anadyr ended the war with an Alaskan victory. He fiercely cracked down on American-backed, corrupt oil executives and nationalized the oil industry. For a man who was more or less dictator for sixteen years, Sighovaryin marched step-in-step with Aleksandr I in the process of reform and an expansion of the electorate. Despite his insistence on mandatory conscription and, towards the late 1960's, the formation of a state-sponsored personality cult around him, Sighovaryin helped create socialized medicine and housing for the poor. He resigned his post the day after the coronation of Aleksandr II in 1960, and died less than a year later in 1961.
Reign of Aleksandr III, Revolution of 1991 and Present Day
Aleksandr died in 1960, and his son, Aleksandr II, reigned briefly until his assassination in 1964. Aleksandr II had deferred a tremendous amount of power to Sighovaryin's successor, Kirill Osopek, and was a weak, ineffective leader. His reign and death helped further disconnect the relevancy of the Czar from everyday politics. Following that tragic event, his cousin Aleksandr III took power, and he warmly accepted the notion of a "constitutional monarchy". He did, however, work with Osopek in the late 1960's to give the Duma relevance again, and it was during this time that corruption spread among the insulated "Osopekists," political allies of the Premier and, to some extent, Sighovaryin. Following the North-South Scandal of 1986, many lost faith in the bloated government, and popular discontent spread during weak economic times in the late 1980's. The resignation of Premier Andrey Valenko in 1988 stemmed a chaotic political atmosphere and the Duma was nearly dissolved twice. Finally, in 1991, street riots spread for several months until the old Aleksandr III finally announced his abdication and the elevation of his cousin's son, Nikolai, to power.The "Revolution of 1991" was considered a major turning point in Alaskan history - new anti-corruption laws were signed, the "old guard" nobility were finally relieved of their control of the Alaskan Duma, and the rampant patronage that occurred within the bureaucracy was curbed. The power of the Patriarch of Aleksandrgrad was also scaled back so that his services were not "purchasable," as reformist Premier Boris Molotov decried. The 1990's were a wild time in Alaska, as the old oligarchs rapidly lost power and the scramble to assert corporate control led to a rise in violent crime, especially in Aleksandrgrad and Kodiak.
In 2002, Vladimir Putin defeated Molotov in the first-ever general election in which the Premier was not selected by the Duma, thanks to a constitutional amendment in 1994. Putin established himself as a law-and-order leader, reformed the judicial system, and nationalized the police force, following this unprecedented move by tripling its size and raising its wages while cutting subsidies for long-ailing companies. His conservative coalition narrowly survived the 2006 elections and he continued his battle against crime, while offering subsidies to new, clean-energy companies. In 2010, he stepped down after his two-term limit expired, and the moderate Svetlana Karalova is now the first female Premier of Alaska.
Government and Politics
Monarchy and Premiership
Czar Nikolai II is the current head of state in Alaska, with his residence at Ekitask 23 miles south of Sitka, although his entirely ceremonial office is at the Swan Palace in Sitka. As Czar, he holds only nominal power within the constitutional monarchy, but his ceremonial power involves the swearing-in of all members of the Alaskan Duma, the Premier, the formal Declaration of Law, and address of troops. The Czar holds the position of Chief of Military, although constitutional law prevents him from making any significant military decisions. Czar Nikolai II is of the House of Dmitrov, which has been in power since 1887, and he has ruled since 1991.The current Premier is Svetlana Karalova, who was elected in 2010 as the first female Premier of Alaska. She resides at the Swan Palace in Sitka, and is the head of government in Alaska. Her offices are in the East Wing of the Palace, exactly one floor down from the Moon Tower that the Czar has his ceremonial office in. The Premier makes all important executive decisions in Alaska, and as head of the Duma is a key member of the legislative process (although the Duma President is the one who truly runs the day-to-day activities of the legislative body).
Patriarchal StructureSitka is the administrative capital of Alaska, but Aleksandrgrad to the north is the nation's largest city and primary center of commerce. It is here that the Finance Ministry meets, and it is here that the Church of Alaska has its main headquarters. Patriarch Kirill (Cyril) I (secular name Vasily Toldik) is the current head of church in Alaska, making him the third effective ruler of the country next to the Czar and Premier. This tripartite system of rule is often seen as heavily skewed towards the premier - the Tsar's power is largely ceremonial in nature, and the Patriarch only dictates church policy, which is tightly interwoven with legislative policy. The Patriarch has the power to veto "unholy" laws passed by the Duma, and cannot be removed from power by either the Czar or Premier. However, the Holy Conference - a council of bishops who meet in Aleksandrgrad - elect and can impeach a patriarch they disagree with, and the Duma is responsible for reviewing bishops appointed to the Holy Conference by the Czar. Kirill I has made his primacy, since his enthronement in 2003, focused on removing much of the corruption prevalent in the Alaskan Orthodox Church, a campaign begun by his predecessor, Patriarch Vasily III.
The Duma is a legislative body that was formed during the Democratic reforms of the 1920's. The Constitution of Alaska assigned the Premier as the Head of the Duma and gave the Duma the power to appoint a Premier by a two-thirds majority. As no political party has ever grown dominant in Alaska, parties will often form coalitions - generally, due to the chaotic party politics in Alaska, parties will trade allegiances and disintegrate and form based on regional preferences and electability.The Duma has 400 members, each elected from a separate district of Alaska defined by population (similar to the United States House of Representatives). Many members serve for decades, and the swapping of parties in order to maintain the governing coalition often results in lengthy terms for both Duma members and Premiers. The President of the Duma is a rotating position that any Duma member who has served for six years is eligible to submit his candidacy for. The President of the Duma serves a one-year term and is elected by his peers by a simple majority vote. The President of the Duma is a largely ceremonial position, having lost much of its relevance during the reign of Sighovaryin.
Oil and Resources
The oil industry has dominated Alaska and made it a significant nation ever since the importance of oil began in the late 1800's. After successfully defeating the United States in a bitter war over resources and their establishment as the northern power on the continent, Alaskans have prided themselves a global provider of fossil fuels and other important natural resources. The biggest boom in the oil industry was during the 1930's, when powerful Alaskan oil companies dominated the increasingly corrupt government during the global economic boom.
Towards the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, oil has become more scarce not only in Alaska but in Colombia and the Middle East. As such, Alaska is leading the movement towards clean fuels that are in high demand around the globe, and was hailed in 2009 for its efforts towards a cleaner world.
Mining is still a huge industry in Alaska, especially in the south near the United States border. The Gold Rush of the late 19th century established many communities in Alaska that still exist today as thriving mining and logging towns. Mineral exports constitute about 21% of Alaska's current economy.
Fishing and Food
Alaska is responsible for a high percentage of global fishing, using the rich North Pacific for its catches. With a monopoly on whale meat from the Bering Sea, Alaska is a leading exporter of meat and sea products to the United States and Asia. On top of that, farming - both livestock and grains - is a massive industry in the Plains region of southern Alaska, where the agricultural industry is still strong.
In major cities such as Mikhailgrad, Kialgory and Evgenigrad, large manufacturing centers have developed as cheap alternatives to the United States. Since Alaska's minimum wage is on average a third of that in the US, many major American companies have moved their factories to Alaska. The most commonly produced goods in Alaska are computer products and other consumer retail goods, although Ford recently opened its first assembly line plant in Evgenigrad in 2002.
The Alaskan coast is a popular destination for American cruises, and a number of townships that thrive off of the tourism industry have developed. Yunova and Sitka, besides being major Alaskan cities, earn about 25% of their cities' economies from tourism. Cruises from Japan to the cheap ports of Okhotsk and Petropavlovsk have started recently as well, meant to emulate those on the North American side of the Pacific. Another reason Alaska thrives from tourism comes from a nation-wide drinking age of 18, with a restaurant-waiver for 17 year olds. Due to the higher drinking ages in both the United States and French Canada, large cities have boomed with hospitality industries meant to cater to tourists who cannot drink in their home countries. When the US raised the drinking age to 21 in 1987, Kialgory's hospitality industry boomed by 250%. Today, numerous tourist hubs, most famously the ski resort of Gozovy in the Rocky Mountains, cater almost exclusively to American underage tourists.
Information and Technology
Aleksandrgrad began emerging in the mid-1990's as a major hub for non-American Internet providers, including Alasknet and Polar. Polar today employs nearly 65,000 residents of Aleksandrgrad, and its suburb in the suburb of Tolstozhe across the New Russia Bay (Залив Новой России/Zaliv Novyj Rossii) from the city proper, and its own, Roman Anatalyev, is one of the ten richest men in the world, and the richest in Alaska. He personally owns three Alaskan professional hockey teams, two American football teams, an American basketball team and a French-league soccer team. The telecommunications company Seagull (Чайка/Chajka) is based out of Kialgory, and supplies not only 75% of all Alaskan landline and cell phone consumers, but also about thirty million American customers. Briefly, in the late 1990's, Alaskan video game company Videoplay (Видео игра/Video-Igra) attempted to release its Videoplay console in Alaska and later the United States - in a market cornered by Japanese and American products, the venture flopped, although the Videoplay is now an expensive collectors item.
Alaska is the producer of three of the worlds best-selling alcohols - Anasenko vodka, a fine brand popular in the United States; Shumshinak brandy, originating among Inuit brewers in the 1930's; and Medved Beer, a mead-like dark beer made with a high percentage of honey and which is difficult to find the United States but is one of Alaska's most popular drinks. Alaska is also the source of numerous clothing brands, and starting in 1998 Evgenigrad began hosting the Evgenigrad Fashion Weekend every June, and soon cemented itself after a few years as a fashion show as important as those in Paris, Milan and New York. Every year in August, Kialgory hosts the Kialgory Invitational, a major international golf tournament that has been ongoing at Aleksandr II Memorial Greens since 1982. Both the Kialgory Invitational and Evgenigrad Fashion Weekend are major economic drivers for the region, as they occur mere months apart and support local industries.
Relationship with United States and NATO
Alaska has repaired their relationship with the United States since the Alaskan-American War in the 1880's admirably and in fact aligned itself as a critical US-ally in the Cold War. The United States jumped to Alaska's defense in the Pacific War and both have an interdependent economic model - the Alaskans need US investment in their heavy industry, while Alaska is the biggest oil and natural resource exporter to the United States.
Alaska was one of the founding members of NATO and has maintained its status as a stalwart American ally during the Cold War, even helping negotiate a cooling of tensions during the St. Lawrence River Crisis in 1969. Despite this, Alaska is probably the most friendly of NATO countries towards the French Empire due to their proximity to Canada, although the history of French treatment of Alaska's ancestral homeland, Russia, is often a contentious point
Beginning in the 1980's, a number of problems, amongst them the drugs-for-gold trade and illegal immigration, caused a growth in tension with America. Eventually, in 1995, the two countries signed the Mutual Border Protection Act, which would see a reinvestment in border security between the two nations. The 1986 North-South Scandal is widely credited with toppling the regime of Aleksey Valenko and indirectly leading to the political instability that would cause the Revolution of 1991 and the Liberal Era of the 1990's.
Asian Sphere of Prosperity Debate
Alaska is a nation of nearly thirty million inhabitants, but its major cities are all grouped in three distinct regions - Gulf, Asiatic or Plains.
- Sitka: The capital of Alaska, Sitka has an estimated population of about 150,000 people (according to 2004 Alaskan census). Sitka is renowned for its squalid communal living and spread-out cityscape, although efforts began in the late 1990's to begin consolidating the high-rise culture of Sitka into newer, fresher buildings constructed with the same principle in mind.
- Aleksandrgrad: Aleksandrgrad has an estimated population of about 800,000 people, and has similar communal living to Sitka, although the city began its updating and modernization plan in the 1980's. During the 1950's, Aleksandrgrad was ranked as the "most dangerous city in the Western world" by WORLD Magazine. It is currently the busiest port in Alaska.
- Yunova: Located south of Sitka, Yunova is a major city with a population of nearly 100,000 people. Yunova was considered in the 1920's as a more appropriate site to place the capital of Alaska in due to its protection from the Pacific.
- Kodiak: Kodiak (pop. 74,000) is a large city on Kodiak Island, known as a major port and infamous as the site of the Kodiak Accords that ended the Alaskan involvement in the Pacific War, as well as the place where Czar Aleksandr II was assassinated in 1964
- Unalaska: With a population of about 80,000, Unalaska is a similarly cramped, crowded city with communal high-rise living, similar to Aleksandrgrad and Sitka.
Petropavlovsk, Okhotsk, and Anadyr are three major Pacific ports with a total population of nearly two million. Alaska's oft-overlooked presence in Asia accounts for a sizeable portion of its GDP, as it makes trans-Pacific shipping easier with such large settlements so close to Japan and China.
- Kialgory: With a city population of one million and a metropolitan population of nearly two and a half million, Kialgory is Alaska's largest city, located directly on the American border, and it's most well-known due to its international presence, lenient drinking laws and as the site of the 1982 Summer Olympics. The Kialgory-Evgenigrad Corridor has a population of nearly four and a half million and is the critical economic hub of all of Alaska.
- Evgenigrad: With a population of 750,000 and nearly two million in its metropolitan zone, Evgenigrad is the northern anchor of the Kialgory-Evgenigrad Corridor and one of the major financial centers of Alaska. The dominance of this region has inspired discussion, especially following the Revolution of 1991, to move the capital to the true center of the country.
- Mikhailgrad: Located near the border with Canada, Mikhailgrad has a population of 700,000 people and a metropolitan area of about a million people. It is one of the most important mining centers in North America and the term "Mikhailgrad-tough" refers to the blue-collar culture of the city, known throughout North America. It has often been called "Alaska's Pittsburgh."
- Novostroya: While a major Plains city in the early 1900's, the collapse of the Novostroya Mining Company has sent the city into a slump since the early 1980's and created a mass exodus to other cities. While still relevant with a population of 400,000 and a metropolitan area of twice as much, Novostroya has struggled for nearly three decades to reinvent itself economically.