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Republic of Alberta
Major cities: Edmonton
Independence from Dominion of Canada: Declared 1882; recognised 1905
Prior to the extension of Dominion of Canada authority into the Prairies, the Hudson's Bay Company (which owned the territory of present-day Alberta) was unable to prevent the influx of American settlement into the far western part of this fertile region. Based in Calgary, this large community of fiercly independent-minded American farmers, merchants, and traders refused to submit to the Canadian government, with its strong overtones of the British monarchy which their ancestors had freed themselves from in the Revolution. A provisional government was formed in 1882 when the arrival of Dominion land surveyors and a small detachment of Royal Canadian Mounted Police precipitated a crisis in the Calgary area. Independence was declared and the well-armed population of American extraction quickly encouraged the Canadian government officials to leave. The Dominion of Canada had been faced with such crises before, when the arrival of land surveyors in Manitoba had encouraged the indigenous Metis to declare their independence, but in Alberta's case the government's supply lines were stretched three times as far and its authority in the rest of the Prairies was still tentative. Both sides were content to assert their authority through armed, mounted patrols based out of Calgary (in the Albertan case) and Prince Albert (in the Canadian case) The resulting occasional skirmish helped to lay out the boundaries of the two nations, which were confirmed at a series of negotiations held throughout the last part of the 19th century. The Canadian government was reluctant to allow an essentially American state north of the 49th parallel, but was equally reluctant to engage in another large-scale western war, this time with white settlers. Eventually, it was agreed in 1905 that Alberta could remain outside the dominion as long as it never joined the territory of any American state, thereby violating Britain's traditional sovereignty over the territory north of the 49th parallel.
Alberta is a republic with a government based on the typical American model. The president is the head of state and government, and the two-house legistlature is based in Calgary. Relations with the Dominion of Canada have typically been rocky, but the recent boom in oil production in Alberta has lent it more leverage in international relations. Today, the Republic of Alberta exports most of its oil to the Dominion of Canada.
The majority of the population of the Republic of Alberta is of American extraction, although a sizable community of Canadian immigrants also live there, drawn recently by the oil boom. Immigrant farmers from eastern Europe have also migrated into Alberta via the Canadian Prairies, settling as wheat farmers. The influx of American settlers in the mid-19th century was accompanied by the (sometimes violent) displacement of native peoples, who have since traveled north into Canada's Northern Territories or been settled on reservations within Alberta.
The recent oil boom has made oil production and refining the number one industry in Alberta, although wheat farming also remains important. The majority of trade is with the Dominion of Canada, although British Columbia and the neighbouring American states are also important trading partners.
The initial military crisis with the Dominion of Canada led to the creation of the Albertan Rangers, a paramilitary force of armed, mounted American settlers. With the transition from a provisional republican government to a more permanent one, the Army of the Republic of Alberta was created, a sizable professional force for the country's size. The recent wealth from the oil boom has meant that this force is very well equipped in the American fashion. The general population of American extraction also remains fiercely militant about Alberta's sovereignty, though no organised militias exist.