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Alyeska, officially the Республика Аляски (Russian Cyrillic), Respublika Aljaski (Russian Transliteration) or the Republic of Alyeska, is a republic in the northwestern part of North America, bordered on the North by the Arctic Ocean, on the East by Assiniboia, the south by the United States of America and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It was a founding member of the Juneau Pact and a close ally to the US and its historical motherland, Russia. It has a strong economy focused on natural resource extraction, namely oil and gold, as well as a well developed lumber and transportation industry.
Alyeska was for many years considered nothing but a desolate wasteland of snow, mountains and impenetrable forests. Only the Inuit and other First Nations lived in the land that was Alyeska, forming a thriving culture and society. Only in the 18th century did the first explorers reach the borders of modern Alyeska, and mostly in the south of what was to become British Oregon Territory. The first settlements were fur trading forts set up by the Hudson's Bay Company where Natives would come to trade furs for manufactured goods.
In the eighteenth century, the first Russian explorers searched the northern reaches of the nation and set up their own fur trading forts. Though Spain also exerted claims as far north as Nootka Sound, the First Great European War resulted in Spain handing over their claims to Russia in return for African and Caribbean territory from France. Russian settlers first arrived in 1804, and set up a settlement in modern day Sitka, named New Archangel for a time. The settlement slowly grew, as the inhospitable climate and lack of resources made it difficult to attract residents. The Russian Empire did not give up on Alyeska though, and continued to support the colony, and reached further east toward the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers, reaching Great Lave Lake. Tensions with the British over Alyeska and the Hudson's Bay Territory were resolved peacefully in the 1840s.
While fur trading with the Natives was the most lucrative economic activity in Alyeska for the longest time, the rumours of gold brought the first prospectors from the Pacific Republic and Australasia to see if they could strike it rich. The first discovery of gold in the Klondike region came in 1857, but the outbreak of the First Global War and the difficulty in communication meant that no prospecting was done for almost seven years after this discovery.
Russia, one of the biggest losers of the First Global War, saw the gold in Alyeska as a great opportunity to provide money and resources to the cash-strapped Imperial government. As the first settlers traveled north to the Klondike for gold, Russian military and bureaucrats headed north as well to enforce a 10% tax on all gold recovered from the Klondike area for Moscow, as well as other fees and taxes that, while it wasn't high, did seem onerous at times, and led to fights between poor prospectors and tax-collectors, who often spoke different languages. The Klondike wasn't so much a Gold Rush as seen in Australasia and the Pacific Republic but more a "Gold Crawl," due to the heavy handed Russian intervention. It is estimated that, based on modern dollars, almost $500 million of gold was found in the 1870s and 1880s before the prospectors began to move on to other rumoured locations, including Nome, where even more gold was found and made almost twice as much as in the Klondike.
As the population increased and the cost of maintaining services rose as well, the Russian Empire began to look into ways to reform it's colony in North America. Eventually it was decided to establish Alyeska as a "dominion", similar to how Great Britain established Canada. Local affairs would be undertaken in Sitka for Alyeska, while foreign policy and military matters would be still under the control of Moscow. On September 6, 1869, the Russian Imperial Dominion of Alyeska was established, with Gregory Petrov Geramovich as Prime Minister. Payments of taxed gold was still sent to Moscow, but they ceased after 1893, while full military control was taken over by Alyeska.
Still a dominion of Russia, Alyeska was dragged into the Second Global War, and Alyeskian troops fought bravely in Assiniboia, British Oregon Territory, and the Pacific Republic. A small battalion of troops was raised and sent to fight on Europe alongside Russian troops, but the primary focus of the war was on the valuable resources that were found in the northern nation. In the peace treaty, Alyeska was given the lions share of British Columbia to administer, increasing the population by two-thirds and increasing the land by one-quarter. After the war, which of a military commitment of over 100,000 men (one-eighth of the population), of which 12,000 died, Alyeska was granted full sovereignty by the Russian Empire in 1923.
The Great Depression is 1931 devastated the Alyeskian economy, as the natural resources that Alyeska produced was almost impossible to sell. Political crisis rocked the nation as Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich died in 1938, and Czar Nicholas II named his brother Micheal as the heir tot he throne, upsetting Alyeska due to his perceived lack of interest in the nation. While the Third Global War raised Micheal's value in the eyes of Russia, it did little for Alyeska, which was effectively controlled by the Prime Minister, which was still appointed by a representative of the Russian Czar, leading to corruption and political crisis time and again. When the "Year of Three Emperors" rocked the Russian Empire, Alyeska voted overwhelmingly to remove the distant Russian Monarchy from rule, and Alyeska was established as a Presidential Republic in 1949.
The Third Global War raised Alyeska from bankruptcy, and with an army that nearly reached 250,000, Alyeska once again came to the aid of Assiniboia and the US, helping repulse the Pacific Republic in the West and National Socialist Ontario and the Confederate States of America in the East. Industries were established in Vancouver and Juneau that turned out tanks, weapons and ships in ever increasing numbers, while oil from the north helped fuel the Allies War Machine. The Alyeskian Navy served with distinction in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.
After the war, Alyeska was a founding member of the Juneau Pact, signed in the second largest city of Alyeska in 1948, and remains a strong ally of the United States and Russia to this day. The economy is heavily dependent on natural resource extraction, while attempts to diversify the economy have been less than promising. Political corruption, long a hallmark of Alyeskian politics, is still rampant, leading to the infamous case of seven Prime Ministers and two Presidents in three years (1976-1979), all ousted on corruption charges. Today Alyeska has an enormous tourism industry that is rapidly becoming the most important part of the economy. Shipping and rail facilities in Vancouver and Juneau ship millions of tons of goods each year from Asia to North America and vice-versa.
Alyeska is a primarily natural resources based economy: forestry in the Alyeskan Columbia interior, oil, gold and other resources in the north and fishing on the Pacific Coast. Transportation, especially railways, shipping and aviation are major industries in cities like Vancouver and Juneau. Three of the largest railways in North America (the AAA Railway, the Western Pacific Railway and the American Trans-Continental Railway) all have terminals in Vancouver, allowing goods to be easily shipped from the Port of Vancouver, quickly becoming one of the busiest ports in the World. Airlines also fly to Vancouver, Juneau and Sitka before either continuing over the Pacific or to other destinations in North America. AlyeskAir is one of the leaders of aviation, having been founded in 1917 after the Second Global War and pioneering frontier air settlements.
Culture and Demographics
Alyeska is home to four major population groups: the Native Americans that include Inuit and Columbian Aboriginals; Russian settlers mostly in the north around Sitka; British settlers that established the cities of Vancouver, Esquimalt and others in Alyeskan Columbia; and American settlers that first arrived during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1870s, and later spread over the nation. A blending of the three immigrant cultures had for years dominated Alyeska, but with increasing recognition of the original inhabitants of the land, Native Americans have claimed a place in Alyeskan culture and identity.
Government and Military
Alyeska was a "Dominion" of the Russian Empire from when it was founded in 1869 until 1949, when a Republic was declared due to the unpopularity of the Russian Monarchy. Modelling itself on the United States, a three branch Federal Government was set up, with a Presidential Executive branch, a two house Congress (the House of Deputies and the House of States) that appoints a Prime Minister to represent them, and a Judicial branch with a veto giving Supreme Court. The President serves a four year term, with no limits on how many times he may run, while the House of Deputies, lead by the Prime Minister, serve four years terms unless a vote of non-confidence brings the government down.
The Alyeskan Armed Forces are an all volunteer force, composed over 20,000 regulars and about as many reservists. The Navy is composed of frigates, destroyers, submarines and other ships, while the Army is mostly infantry based with only one cavalry (armour) unit. The Air Force is a primarily interceptor based force. The Armed Forces works Assiniboia and the United States in the North American Strategic Defense Command for North American security. As a member of the Juneau Pact, Alyeska is also bound to come to the aid on any member that is attacked.