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President Palin (of Alaska) by Steve Payne & Stan Brin

Author says: what if the Seward Purchase never happened so that Alaska did not become a sovereign nation until 1991? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1921, the US offered to recognize the incipient Soviet Union in exchange for the eastern province of Magadan, opposite Alaska on the Bering sea. Virtually unpopulated, the area would be administered by the Alaskan territorial government. The Senate ratified the treaty, although some noted that the area, especially the Kamchatka Peninsula, was close to Japan and might be considered a ripe plum. Those predictions were realized when Japan attacked the US anchorage at Seal Harbor, on Kamchatka, on Dec. 7, 1941, forcing the US into the Second World War.

In 1930, major gold deposits were discovered in the Magadan territory, causing the population to increase to as much as 100,000 by 1935. The Japanese invastion of Magadan in 1942 is believed to have spared Hawaii and Alaska a similar Japanese incusion. Known as "Yamamoto's Folly," the invasion left the Japanese fleet vulnerable to bombers based in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. The Kamchatka Peninsula was retaken in 1944, as was Sakhalin six months later.

In 2006, December 4th: on this day in the Capital City of Sitka, forty-two year old Sarah Louise Palin was sworn in as Head of State, becoming not only the youngest, but also the only woman and American born Alaskan to assume the Presidency. The centerpiece of her economic stimulus package included a commitment to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Palin's election signalled a new focus on the Americas which had become increasingly inevitable since the new nation gained its independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union fifteen years before. Ironically, the USSR's predecessor state, the Russian Empire had considered selling the territory on at least two separate occassions.

Following negotiations with representatives of the Federal Government, on April 9th 1867, the US Senate rejected ratification ridiculing the purchase as "Seward's folly", "Seward's icebox", and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden" because it was believed foolhardy to spend so much money on the remote region. The purchase was briefly considered once again during 1905 when the Federal Government played a formal role in negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. The Tsar was desperate to refill the coffers of the exchequer due to the expenses of the disasterous conflict, but his agents were unable to interest the Federal Government in a purchase of Russian America.

In a light hearted moment of privacy after the NAFTA signing ceremony in Washington, Palin joked to fellow Conservative politician John McCain that had her parents not moved to Wasilla when she was an infant, perhaps she, and not Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would have been chosen as Vice President.

Author says the idea that the Seward Purchase might fall through is explored on Google Groups. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne and Stan Brin, Editor and Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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