Could Alaska Be A Country?
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Politics and Activism

Could Alaska Be A Country?

Part 2 of the States as Nations Series

Could Alaska Be A Country?
Travel Alaska

As we enter 2017 and America recovers from the recent 2016 Presidential Election a certain word is on the lips of many Americans: Secession.

With California, Texas and Florida having legitimate political thoughts on leaving the United States of America a question is popping up on everyone's mind. Could these States function as Sovereign Nations? Could my State? How would they do so?

In this 50 part series we explore each State in terms of it that State could survive as a Nation by looking at how that State currently fairs and could hypothetically fair in the terms of three categories:

Economics-This looks at how much money that State is making compared to how much it spends, what it exports and imports and how it would impact the world on an Economic scale.

Political-The Political standpoint of the State is taken into account to try to grasp an understanding on how that State would be governed as an independent Nation. The method of Government can have massive impact on the Economy and foreign affairs so it is essential to consider.

Sociocultural-What would the society and culture of this Nation look like based off of the State it is formed from? The Social and Cultural ideologies of a Nation ultimately can decide not only the role it will play to the World, but also how long it will last.

This time we tackle the majestic and massive State of Alaska. Could America's Last Frontier function as it's own Nation?

Alaska as a State

Alaska is a State like no other. It is the largest of them all with an area of 663,000 square miles, this is so large that it could take up 1/5th of the rest of the United States. Despite this absolute massive size, Alaska has the third smallest population of all the States. Only 740,000 people live in Alaska, with it being estimated that nearly half of them live in Anchorage. The reason for this is that much of Alaska is near uninhabitable and has been completely untouched by man. With Alaska not being part of the contiguous United States and instead being the Northwest extremity of Canada, it does not experience the relatively balmy weather of the rest of the States. Most of Alaska sits right under the Arctic Circle (the very top section of the State is considered inside the Circle). Because of this Alaska has very short summers where the weather can be quite pleasant depending on what section of the State you are in. The winters however, are long and harsh with the temperature dropping below 0 degrees fahrenheit in almost all of the State and very heavy snowfall. Along with having extreme low temperatures, Alaska is a rugged wilderness comprised mostly of rocky mountain ranges, heavily wooded valleys and the barren tundra of the Arctic North. These harsh environments have given Alaska the nickname "The Last Frontier" as it is the last great challenge in America's expansion. Those who call Alaska home are typically drawn to the great beauty of the untouched wilderness despite having to endure conditions that the rest of the United States could ever imagine.


Alaska is an economic curiosity. It sits on a literal and figurative gold mine of raw materials such as timber. It has decent farmland during the summer and an immense fishing industry. Tourism is another major part of Alaska. Almost 2 million people visit Alaska every year to get a glimpse of the natural beauty of the tundra. It has become a popular stop for Cruises of the North Pacific, Wildlife enthusiast and adventurers wishing to see the land untouched by progress. Where Alaska really makes money though is in Mining and Oil. Alaska is believed to have enough undiscovered Petroleum to supply the entire Earth for 20 years. With oil disappearing quickly in the Middle East and the entire world still dependant on the black gold, Alaska could become the next great energy supplier. Along with Petroleum, Alaska has a large mining society with Gold and Zinc being heavily mined. Alaska does have two weaknesses though. The first is its small population. Small populations can still make for strong economies, but only if they are financially stable and constantly buying and growing. The second even a minor recession hits such a small population it could have devastating effect. The other weakness lies in that while Alaska has vast raw materials it lacks the infrastructure or manufacturing base to manufacture and process its resources on a scale to support itself.


An independent Alaska would very likely still function as a Republic much like the United States. Alaska has always had a near balance of Democratic and Republican sympathies, with the wealthy South Alaskans and business owners tending to think more conservatively while the Native populations, "bush people" who live in the wilderness and the more populated cities swing towards liberalism. Land distribution has always been one of the key political points for Alaska since it is so large and the discovery of Oil has only complicated them. Due to this, I believe that Independent Alaska would actually split itself up into smaller States, or more likely Provinces as it's neighbor Canada does. City regions would be divided into small provinces with Anchorage or Juneau likely functioning as a Federal District. The wilderness would be divided into large economic based zones to maximize efficiency of resource production. The Islands would be turned into an Archipelago Province focused on fishing. A large part of the State, most likely the Arctic North, would be set aside as an area for the Alaskan Natives to govern with relatively little interference from the Federal Alaskan Governments. Alaska would most likely continue to only have two to four major Political Parties since its politics are very heavily based on the Left/Right ideology. Alaska would have to develop strong relations with at least one of its three nearest neighboring Nations: Canada, the United States or Russia. It is most likely that this relation would be with Canada but whatever the outcome it would have a very large impact on Alaska's politics as it would need this larger Nation for manufacturing.


The people of Alaska would really not be that heavily changed by the conversion to an Independent Nation. There would essentially be minor effects for all of the four groups of people. The City Dwellers would find their towns expanding very quickly as the Federal Government tries to advance Alaska's manufacturing and economics so that it can compete with the rest of the world. Bush People would have a new Federal Authority to answer to that would likely monitor them more heavily than the United States Federal Government had. Depending on how the political standpoints of the Government handled the Land distribution and Province governance, the Bush People could see the new Alaska as either a threat to their free lifestyles or a freeing force enabling them to continue living without governance. Those who live in the moderately populated provinces would continue to live in families heavily focused on resource harvesting but would now be paid directly by the Federal Government and because of this likely be forced to specialize in certain fields depending on where they live, they would likely become more wealthy through this though and see it as a positive change. The Alaskan Natives would be the most affected of all the groups, especially the Alaskan Federal Government followed in Canada's footsteps and created a Province for Native peoples. This would grant the natives the freedom to live their traditional lifestyles but could also be used as a tool of oppression if the Government chose to isolate the Natives in this province to slowly kill off their culture, this is unlikely though as Alaskan Natives have a positive outlook on non-native Alaskans and non-native Alaskans have a positive outlook on the Natives.

Could Alaska be a Country?

Alaska on it's own would start out as an obscure Nation of divided Provinces that would be almost immediately picked up either by Russia, Canada or the United States as a raw material provider. For the first few decades Alaska would remain this small provider for its mother Country, kinda like Lichtenstein to Switzerland. Alaska would progress though and focus heavily on growing its population, cities and influences. After only four or five decades of Independent Governance Alaska would have a population of around 2 million, have become a highly organized Government one of the most valuable countries in the world due to its petroleum and other raw materials that other countries now lack. Alaska could take two paths by this point. It may go on to continue functioning as a Republic with the struggle of Left/Right still being critical to its politics (this would likely only continue if Conservatism became the more powerful of the two parties) and it following the path of the United States. The other option (this one would occur almost certainly if Liberalism became the more powerful movement) would be Alaska to follow the path of Democratic Socialism and take after the Nordic Nations such as Denmark or Alaska's neighbor Canada. Regardless of the path taken, Alaska would grow as an independent Nation to become the supplier of raw materials for a hungry world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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